1. Bernard Edward Yahna was born April 16, 1858 in Landskron, Bohemia,
and died September 09, 1934 in Grand Forks ND. He married Kathryn Grun March 01,
1892 in St Henry's Catholic Church, Watertown WI, daughter of Simon Grun and Kathina Bok.
She was born December 09, 1868 in Watertown, WI, and died July 07, 1954 in Larimore, Grand
Forks, ND. Buried at St Henry's Cemetery, Watertown WI.
According to Joannie Dickson Yahna, his name was pronounced BURN-erd.
Gertrude McCabe Yahna's papers contained these notes: "Alex Mckenzie says Gramp Y
had the cleanest claim shack in the country - took off one day each week to really
clean." "Abner Jodock says Gramp Y lived one whole winter on potatoes and
salt." "Asked Alex McK if Gramp Yahna ever lived on that far west
homestead [yes] when he sold it and moved to the east farm."
"McSharry 1893 atlas plat book, p20. 157.84 of 19 (sec) NW qtr Bernard E.
Yahna." This was where Barney and his wife first lived in a claim shanty. "Sec
13 show 2 qtrs (Myrtle Hofer's and ours) under Stephen Mahood, later John Mahood."
This refers to Grace Township Section 19, and Logan Center Township Section 13, which were
adjacent to each other. Grace Section 18 was the location of the Yahna farm, originally
homesteaded by Bernard. Apparently Bernard, in 1893, owned the NW quarter of section 19.
Another map, from the Grand Forks County Heritage Book v2, p168, unknown date, shows that
this land was owned by A.D. Henry. On page 428 of that volume, it indicates that Amos
Henry filed on the claim in the summer of 1881. And his new wife, Phoebe Bonham Henry,
filed on an adjacent quarter in Grace Section 19. The Grand Forks County Heritage
Book v2, p173, shows that B.E. Yahna and John F. Hofer owned the SE and SW quarters,
respectively, of Logan Center Section 13, with no mention of a Mahood.
Another note says "1910 Plot, Section 13 SE quarter - claim sold to C.E. Condon
before 1910; 1902, I guess." There is no mention of a C.E. Condon on Logan Center
Section 13 in the GFCHB. This appears to be confused. Other papers say that NW quarter of
section 19 , Logan Center, belonged to C.E. Condon in 1910, "who evidently bought it
from Barney... he (Barney) then had bought the SW quarter of section 13, in the same Twp
from John Mahood."
He immigrated to Wisconsin when 9 years old (abt 1867) with his parents and siblings.
When in his early 20's he decided to go west, coming to Fisher's Landing (Fisher, MN)
where he worked on a farm one summer and a brewery that winter. In the spring he followed
the railroad west to Arvilla, in Dakota Territory, about 1880. At first he worked as a
hired man on the large Hersey farm near Arvilla, "taking care of horses,"
according to J.B. McCabe. Then he homesteaded in Logan Twp, "west of school almost 3
miles", or 3 miles west of Fergus, which is now Logan Center, in 1882 or so. He
"batched" there in a sod hut until spring of 1889, when his sister Annie came
out to clean house for him (see photocopy of letter in scrapbook.) After her marriage
(Thomas Mooney) in 1891, Barney went back to Wisconsin and "married Kathryn Gruen
(Green)" in March 1892. They moved to the east edge of Logan Twp (bought home qtr)
about 1900. They lived in home pasture (on hill by trees) in old bunk house til 1903.
Built the barn in 1902 and house in 1903.
On one section of land Barney acquired there was a spring of sparkling clear water.
During the "dirty thirties this spring furnished fine, pure water, for many
neighboring farmers, when many wells went dry, due to the severe drought." The
farmstead looked like a small village at one time, with well house, hog house, chicken
house, farm shop, garage, smokehouse, machine shed, a large barn and a small barn, cook
car, two windmills, and a large farm elevator across the road. It came to be known as the
Fairview Farm. About 25 workhorses were needed, as the steam engine was mostly for running
the separator at threshing time.
In a letter from Bernie Yahna Johnson to her sister-in-law Gertrude McCabe Yahna
9/17/1975, Bernie says that she has just talked to her brother, Walt, and wanted to pass
on some info to "Sis", who was gathering it for the Grand Forks County Heritage
Book, published 1976. Bernie says she and Walt
"...talked last night and agreed on the following: Our father (Bernard) staked his
claim west of Logan Center - homesteaded on this land in a sod shanty (we are sure). We
both recall him bragging about this many years before he died. We feel this was for a
period of possibly 6 or 7 years. Aunt Annie, his sister, kept house for him for a while,
but after a while he figured he ought to get himself a bride - so he went to Watertown WI,
met our mother, courted her for 6 weeks only, married there, and brought her to Dakota to
the sod shanty where they lived for a short time. Mama always talked about this, and at
Christmas time once or twice dad would cut down a bare tree, and Mama would pop corn,
string it, and decorate the tree. We recall her telling this story laughing very heartily.
After a year or two, Dad built a tiny house further east on an incline or gradual
slope. We are sure (Walter remembers) that Joe, Helen and he were born in that little
house -- how Dad got these different locations we have no recollection at all. Here is an
instance where Walter remembers very well: Walter had a bright red wagon and Joe and Helen
pulled him down the hill to a still further location where Dad was to build his house and
barn. The barn was built first in 1902, and the new house quite a while later, so they
lived in the tiny house for quite a while he recalls. Walter never liked his early youth
on the farm.
I (Bernadette) was born in the new house 8 years after Walter. I recall walking up to
the old location many times, where there used to be one or two trees and Dad told me that
was where he and Mama lived during the times Joe, Helen and Walter were born.
Another baby boy was born 4 years after I, weighed 12 lbs, but died cause too fat
around the heart."
In the fall of 1926 Barney and Kathryn moved to Grand Forks, where they purchased a
home on Chestnut Street. Their eldest son, Joseph, took over management of the farm, and
clerkship of the Logan Center Consolidated School, which Barney had held for many years.
Barney died in 1934 after a short illness. Mrs. Yahna continued to live in Grand Forks
for some time, but then made her home with her eldest daughter, Helen Landman, of Kempton,
until her death in 1954 in Larimore, where Mr. and Mrs. Landman had retired. She had also
spent a short time with her youngest daughter, Bernadette Torkildson in San Francisco,
after leaving Grand Forks.
From the BLM:
YAHAN BERNARD E 05 150 N 056 W 019 80 251101 PA 2592 11/02/1891
YAHAN BERNARD E 05 150 N 056 W 019 38.82 251101 PA 2592 11/02/1891
YAHAN BERNARD E 05 150 N 056 W 019 39.02 251101 PA 2592 11/02/1891
Immigration: March 1867, Port of New York. Naturalized: April 08, 1891, GF
County, ND; vol F29, pg61
Census says "Catherine Green" was born 1/1868. Sis' and Joan's date book says
The Dodge/Jefferson Counties Gen Society has the following info: Catherine Gruen (d/o
Simon Gruen & Catherine (nee) Buck (b. 29 Sep 1846 @ Lebanon-d. 16 Sep 1922), buried @
Children of Bernard Yahna and Kathryn Grun are:
2 i. Joseph Edward Yahna, born September
04, 1894 in Logan Center, ND; died November 21, 1959.
3 ii. Helen Gertrude Yahna, born May 09, 1896 in Logan Center, ND; died November 1977.
4 iii. Walter Simon Yahna, born July 23, 1901 in Logan Center, ND; died March 07, 1976
in Seattle, King County WA 98115.
5 iv. Bernadette Yahna, born March 12, 1909 in Logan Township, ND. She married (1) Al
Torkildson; born Abt. 1910. She married (2) Richard G. Johnson November 11, 1967; born
Abt. 1890; died January 1976.
Bernadette lived in Chico CA. For many years she worked at I Magnum dept store in San
Fran. Al worked in a "war plant".