Login

Hauks celebrate Diamond wedding anniversary

On June 3, 1950, Peggy Clark and George Hauk were married in the Wall Lutheran Church. They have spent the last 60 years living in the Grindstone area on their farm.

Peggy, the oldest of six children, was raised in Wall. Her parents were William (Bill) and Myrtle Clark. Their house was the last place on the south edge of Wall and from their on it was pasture land.

Peggy's father had moved to this country in 1910 from Iowa where he and his older sister, Anna, were born. Clark's grandparents emigrated to America from County Cork, Ireland, during the potato famine. They settled in New York. His parents Elizabeth Ann (Butler) and Thomas Jefferson Clark were both born in New York. When Bill was four years old, he broke his ankle. Since his mother was sick and died shortly thereafter, his ankle was not properly taken care of and his leg had to be amputated several times. Clark never considered himself handicapped. His second daughter, Eveyln, was quite a runner so he challenged her to a race and beat her. To say the least, Evelyn was a bit miffed. There wasn't a job that he couldn't do - he was a painter, barber, carpenter, sheep herder, telegraph operator, worked for the WPA as a timekeeper and retired from the state highway department. Peggy recalled that he once bet Ernie Pierce that he could do chin-ups with Pierce hanging onto his leg. Pierce took him up on the bet, since a new Stetson hat was up for the taking. Clark took off his artificial leg that he would wear once in awhile, handed it to Pierce, did his chin-up and wore his new hat out of the store. There are lots of stories but you will have to ask Peggy for those yourself.

Peggy's maternal grandparents, John S. and Matilda (Christianson) Johnson, emigrated from Norway in the late 1880s. Grandma Johnson, at the age of 18, came to America on a boat that was sponsored by relatives and docked in Philadelphia. She worked as a nanny in Chicago until marrying Johnson in 1903. Grandpa Johnson and three of his brothers came to America and continued their carpentry trade which they had learned in Trondheim, Norway. Johnson's first wife had died, leaving him a son, Emild, who he took back to Norway to live with his grandparents until Johnson was able to return for him. The Johnsons moved to South Dakota by covered wagon with four children and lived on the edge of the Cheyeene River breaks overlooking Wasta. Johnson returned to Norway to get Emild, who was then 16 years old, to live with the new family in America. Johnson would go back to Chicago to continue his carpentry trade until he had earned enough money to stay home on the farm with his family. Grandma Johnson could hear the wolves howling and told one of the neighbors, who told her it was coyotes. She responded that she knew the difference between a howl and a coyote yapping!

Peggy reminisced about staying with her grandparents and loving every minute of it. She recalled that Grandpa Johnson kept a tin in which he kept lemon drops. She and her siblings had eaten them all and knowing how much Grandpa liked his candy, went to the barn and collected little sparrow eggs to replenish the tin. Grandpa came in, opened the tin, took a handful, popped them in his mouth and the sputtering in Norwegian began! Peggy said she couldn't speak Norwegian but she could understand the words, and on that day she learned a few more! Grandma Johnson had a good sense of humor, when the women suffrage movement was taking place, she didn't think it was necessary since because women had suffered enough. Grandpa Johnson was more stern and worked from sunrise to sunset to build up his claim.

During the war years, the Johnsons moved to Wall and owned most of the block where the Harnisch house is now located. Peggy said that Grandpa Johnson collected a lot of stuff or "yunk" as the Norwegians would say. The Johnson farm in Norway is still in the family.

When Peggy was just a little girl, her parents moved out to Peno Basin where her father worked for Bill Pippert (Billy Pippert's father) for a couple of years. The family then moved back to Wall. During the war, her father thought they should do their patriotic duty, so they raised a big garden. They had chickens, pigs and cattle. Well, the grasshoppers moved in and started to eat the garden. The chickens were eating the grasshoppers and the pigs had a mineral deficiency and wanted to eat the chickens. (I believe that may have caused an uprising in the Clark home.)

Peggy said even though their house wasn't very big and four girls slept in the same bedroom, there were many a night spent talking and giggling and she wouldn't have wanted it any other way. She re-

(continued on page 2)

called that when the REA came to Wall, everyone would know when the Clarks were up because they would burn the toast, open the door and throw the toast out and let the smoke billow out of the house.

In the summertime, she would work at the Cactus Cafe or babysit for Ted and Dorothy Hustead. She also babysat for Hazel Whitwer and would help with the ironing. Peggy said Whitwer had a gas iron and she would iron really fast so she wouldn't scorch the ironing or start a fire.

She graduated from Wall High School and then went on to Black Hills State Teacher's College and completed 12 weeks of schooling to become a school teacher. She taught at the Grandview School and had 10 Kjerstad children for students, whom she loved very dearly. Once in awhile, Pearl Kjerstad would fly her airplane to Wall and pick her up and take her to school.

It was nearing Christmas and the kids were getting ready for their Christmas program and of course someone had to play Santa Claus. The school kids had a list of all the men who they thought would be Santa. Well, Santa appeared and knew all their names, but they didn't recognize anything about him or his voice - it just so happened to be George Hauk. Peggy said he hasn't been a very generous Santa since then.

Hauk's family came to America during the Revolutionary War time and settled in Wisconsin. They were of English descent. He said their name was actually spelled Hawk but due to poor penmanship at the time it became Hauk. His father was on the first train that crossed the Missouri River in 1901 with the Carmichaels. His mother, Joy, who was of English and French descent, came in 1920 and was an English teacher in Philip. Joy's mother had died from tuberculosis when she was nine years old. Joy loved adventure and thought it would be fun to come out West. Joy loved the Badlands, knew the names of all the birds, flowers and loved collecting rocks. Peggy said she would make the best of everything. Hauk was born seven miles north of the home place where his mother was attended by Mrs. Scharfe, a midwife. He told me he has lived on the same place for 87 years (Peggy told him it was 86 years).

After George and Peggy were married, they moved to his parents' farm at Grindstone. Hauk and his father, Frank, had 37 head of milk cows, which they milked with a machine. They sold the cream and fed the milk to their pigs. For electricity they had a diesel light plant and the families would have to take turns using their appliances. They had a Serval refrigerator that ran on propane, their tractors used gas instead of diesel, and the mailman would deliver mail three days a week if the dirt roads were passable. Peggy said the day they got rural electricity and water was one of the greatest.

The couple raised four boys, Dave lives in Miles City, Mont., and has two children and four grandchildren. Doug and his wife, Fay, live in Philip where he is a teacher and she a nurse. They have three children and one grandchild. Dan is the head custodian for the Wall School System. He and his wife, Cindy, have two daughters and a grandbaby on the way. Duane lives on the place with his wife, J'Nae. They have two sons.

Peggy said their place was always busy and a good place to raise boys who could fish, hunt, ride horses or go swimming. Families would gather for the holidays or just get together. Nieces and nephews spent a lot of time with them and were always sad to leave. Being one of those nieces, I can remember spending a lot of time with them. Even though their health is not quite so good, the family still spends a lot of time with them. Kittens are being tamed by great-grandchildren and grandsons are always popping in to see what Grandpa and Grandma are doing.