‘Coming Home’ to celebrate Old Settlers: Ann Friesz Hoff
By Annette Tait
These days, Ann lives just down the road a piece in Mandan.
Ann was born the fifth of six children of Victor and Emma [Pfliger] Friesz, growing up on the family farm about 14 miles southeast of Center.
“It was like being the middle child,” Ann said, “I was five years from the oldest, and then there was five years to the youngest.”
Born in DoBranga, Germany, in 1888, Victor immigrated to the United States with his family, arriving in the Center area in 1901. In 1926 he homesteaded the land that became the family farm. Emma was born in 1903 in Kiem, and later moved with her parents to a farm south of Center, where the two families lived across the creek from each other.
Ann also lived near water when she was growing up.
“We lived by a creek, so we used to go down to play in the water,” Ann recalled. “There was a stock pond we swam in, and we picked and ate buffalo berries. I still go up to pick them, but now I make jam.”
Ann attended country school at Bremer School District #3 from first through seventh grades.
“Then, during the war, they couldn’t get a teacher,” Ann said. “So, Mother took me to Mandan to go to St. Joseph’s for eighth grade.”