Fergies Bayou Prairieville, LA

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I am listing stories that have been handed down by different family members, I hope you enjoy them. Thanks to cousin's Leta Goedert and Ben Kirchen for their input.

The correct spelling for Ernsdorf is Arensdorf, I did not change it because I am sure they wrote it down like it was said.  I did make one addition, it was John Kirchen who was Ben's father and it is blue type.  I believe this was about Peter Arensdorf.

Story related to Ben Kirchen by his father (John Kirchen): In the spring, one nice sunny warm day, Mr. Ernsdorf decided to drive to Julesberg, Colorado, with his team of oxen and covered wagon. Sometimes my father would go with Mr. Ernsdorf as they most often bought their groceries and supplies there. This time my father didn't go along. It so happened, that later in the afternoon a raging blizzard came up, so Mr. Ernsdorf decided he better stop and stay with a homesteader living about half way to Julesburg. He was unable to find this stopping place, so finally decided to unhitch the oxen, tie them on the south side of the covered wagon, then crawl into the wagon and cover up with all the blankets he had. This was one of the old time blizzards and lasted close to 3 days. On the third day the sun came out, Mr. Ernsdorf crawled out of the wagon, hitched up the oxen and started for home. During all this time, my father worried about him, so he got a horse from another neighbor which he rode to meet Mr. Ernsdorf. Mr. Ernsdorf had frozen both feet, and was still walking on them, when he got home they thawed out his feet in snow water. My father thought sure he would lose his feet, but he didn't, he was tough.

The Kirchen's bought a plot for four graves. When the fourth, Ben's father came to be buried there wasn't room for him as the grave sites had been incorrectly aligned, Jim would have had his grave partially under the road. Ben conferred with the priest and they buried him, partially under the old unused road. Ben told about the five foot stone with all their names.

This short story is from the  Notes for CATHERINE CONSBRUCK.

Catherine and Henry lived on a farm and Henry bought a new car to drive to church. During the early 1930s there were terrible dust storms among other bad things happening to farmers. Grandma Catherine tells this over the objections of Grandpa: One Sunday during church, a dark dust cloud was spotted, so church was stopped early that people might get home. Grandma and Grandpa started home, but when the dust became so dense he couldn't tell if he was on the road, he suggested that Grandma light the lantern and carry it in front of the car. She walked down the road ahead of him. He followed --

but he drove like a lot of grandpas, a jerk ahead, then brake, then jerk ahead again.  He got too close several times, and then really scared her.  She leaped off the road into a barrow pit, and he followed her right into it.

DuWayne and Leta Goedert.


DuWayne and Paul and perhaps his sisters were born in the telephone office where his mother and aunts worked.

DuWayne was not doing well as a baby, as he could not keep down mother's milk or cow's milk. Dr. Gray recommended goat's milk. One of the neighbor, perhaps Pete Stansbury, lent them a goat and Duwayne was able to grow and retain his food until he was old enough to tolerate cow's milk

DuWayne and his parents lived on a farm southwest of Roseland. Once while his parents were gone he and Paul harnessed the calf. They wouldn't go, so they tied them to the wagon, using Grandpa Henry's new reins for the harness. We got in the wagon, they wouldn't go, so they sicced Gyp on the calf. They went around the barn, threw the boys out of the wagon, went through the barbed wire fence and cut one of the reins in two. He never told about the consequences.

He was unable to locate a birth certificate, and has never been able to find one. He finally got one here in Jerome after he retired from the army.


When I was very young, Foley Abbott (a neighbor and one of the dearest friends I ever had) made a device to attract bees that would guide them to a honey tree. It was a wooden stake with a shallow box on the top, about six inches square and one inch high. He filled the box with some old honeycomb, and also some anise liquid on it. With compass in hand, Foley would watch, and when a bee came to the box, he would see what direction it took as it flew into the woods. Foley walked very fast for a long way near the family ranch, with me hurrying along behind as fast as my legs would carry me. Foley carried the cross-cut saw, and would watch his compass and follow the bees path in a straight line. (He told me that was how the term bee-line came to be.) I was so happy to be included in this important task that I didn't complain.

When we found the bee tree, Foley, wearing a net over his hat, sawed the tree down. It was a big hollow tree. We then walked back to the house to get Stella (his wife) and, carrying buckets and large pans, Foley and Stella, wearing hats with nets, would scoop the honey into the containers. Even with the nets over their faces, they got stung now and then.

Back at the house, I had to be very careful not to step on the still live bees that came back in the honey.

They were everywhere, and had to be strained out of the honey




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Last modified: 06/21/06