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10/25/2006 – News

Volume 123, Number 38             Wednesday, October 25th, 2006

Author with local roots pens autobiography
Dorothy Kent Hofstrand, who lived near Brinsmade for 37 years, wrote her autobiography before her death.

Her book begins:

"It was the winter of 1920, and we were all sick with influenza. My older brother, younger sister, and I lay on cots in the living room of our farm home. Our mother, six months pregnant, was very ill. She had cared for the rest of us until her strength was gone. She was in bed in the dining room. Our dad was very ill with double pneumonia, a common result of the flu. The windows of our isolated farmhouse were covered with quilts in a vain attempt to hold out the cold.

Relatives, neighbors, and our faithful hired man took care of us. We were 10 miles from Hatton, North Dakota, the nearest town with a doctor. Hearing my mother take her last breath was very traumatic for me, an eight-year-old girl. I sensed by the activities and the look of those caring for her that she was gone. I hardly knew her. It was February 20th."

Dorothy grew up and earned a standard teaching certificate from Valley City Teachers College. She started teaching in a one-room rural school in Benson County near Brinsmade. There she met and married the clerk of the school board, Leslie Hofstrand. During the "dirty thirties" and beyond, she farmed with her husband and reared a family.

Upon Leslie’s death in 1969, she retired to Mesa, Ariz. Through her church she served as a volunteer guide for a Native American museum in Sitka, Alaska. In later years she wrote her life’s story chronicling her trials and joys of growing up and living on the prairie of North Dakota. She included favorite memories of rural living, perspectives on the times, experiences while traveling the world, photographs, sketches, farm recipes, poems, inspirational quotations and other things she had collected over the years.

Mrs. Hofstrand died in Mesa Oct. 27, 2003 at the age of 91.

Two sons, Richard Hofstrand of Champaign, Ill. and Donald Hofstrand of Mason City, Iowa survive, along with four grandchildren.

Her 242 page book, Remembering Again was published posthumously and is available from Bench Mark Publications at 1613 West William Street in Champaign, IL 61821 at a cost of $14.

The Minnewaukan Beautification Committee recently did some decorating on Main Street with a fall and Halloween theme. Stop signs, light poles, the gazebo and the bell tower, which used to be on the roof of the fire hall, got the treatment.