My fourth grand-uncle Josef Stoltz, together with a group of German immigrants who served in the Civil War, set up a cemetery and constructed the first Catholic church in Wright County, Minnesota. As far as I can tell, the bell they bought still rings from the third Church of St. Peter in Delano, Minnesota. I’ve… Read More

Typical sod house built by homesteaders in the Dakota Territory. Peter and Apollonia Stoltz and their children would have lived in a similar house.

From this valley they say you are going. We will miss your bright eyes and sweet smile, For they say you are taking the sunshine That has brightened our pathway a while. So come sit by my side if you love me. Do not hasten to bid me adieu. Just remember the Red River Valley,… Read More

Union troops camped outside Chatanooga

In a pig’s eye. Under no condition, not at all, as in “In a pig’s eye he’ll pay me back,” or “You think he’s competent? In a pig’s eye!” This expression, a euphemism for in a pig’s ass, is generally used as a strong negative. [Slang; late 1800s].

—From The American Heritage Dictionary of Idioms by Christine Ammer, 1997.… Read More