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Lincoln Valley and Alice Essig


Lincoln Valley was a small village in Sheridan County populated mainly by Germans from Russia. In the 1950s, it was still thriving with a country school, several churches, a creamery, a general store, an implement shop, an insurance agency and, of course, a bar. The back room of the gas station was sometimes used for showing movies. By the late 1960s, only one person remained. Joe Lientz was still supplying farmers with parts when they broke down.

On a nearby farm, however, Walter and Alice Ripplinger Essig were preserving history, becoming some of the first Germans from Russia to start documenting their unique heritage. In the 1970s, Alice was key in founding the North Dakota Historical Society of Germans from Russia , now known as the Germans from Russia Heritage Society . She worked for a number of years in its headquarters office and was described as a “walking encyclopedia of data information for names and genealogy facts” as she and Walter helped visitors research their family histories.

Alice died on this date in 1997, survived by Walt, her husband for more than 65 years.

Dakota Datebook written by Merry Helm