As I Remember



Reminiscences of and for the Family

A conversation with Cousin Vernon Brandt did it, congealed my resolution to set down some family memories before Alzheimer's took over! We were thinking of how G'pa Brandt, Sr. (OUR grandfather) happened to come to Sheridan.

The family had been living in South Dakota, and G'pa had built a beautiful new barn, only to have a cyclone come along and carry it away. He built another, and during cyclone season, the wind lifted it up and set it down on the foundation again, but in an unstable condition. He and G'ma and Aunt Minnie had been to Oregon on a visit, staying with old neighbors who had settled in the Sherwood area (the picture taken in 1915 in Portland with the fake airplane shows G'pa and G'ma, Aunt Minnie, and the Henry Kasters, the neighbors in question. Henry Kaster was a brother of G'pa's brother-in-law Philip Kaster, husband of Antonia, or the famous Aunt Tony, of Artesian).

In December 1912, G'pa Brandt had a farm sale (we have a copy of the farm sale poster on the kitchen wall) and sold off many animals and much farm equipment. He loaded a railroad car full of still more animals and farm equipment and some of their belongings and settled his son William (my dad, actually called Willie by the family) in the boxcar and stayed with him the first night. After that, G'pa went off to the coach car with the rest of the family for the balance of the trip. Daddy, age 16, was to feed and water the animals. Each night, the train crew would come through and swipe a chicken for their supper-- Daddy got a whipping for every chicken that disappeared!

G'pa Brandt had bought his ticket for Sherwood, Oregon, or thought he had, but with his broken English, the station agent had thought he said "Sheridan," so the family went on through Sherwood and were on the edge of Sheridan out east of Ballston when the mistake was discovered. They unloaded there and discovered an old shack of a house with an even lesser of a shack on the back of the property. They have have stayed there several weeks, because Aunt Minnie remembers (she was 9 or 10) that the old gentleman out back took a liking to her and hammered a ring out of a penny and gave it to her-- and she still has it!

G'pa Brandt explored around and bought the original home place, the one where Vernon lives now. G'pa and G'ma stayed there until 1926, when Uncle Ed Brandt married Aunt Alice Grauer. G'pa and G'ma Brandt bought a house in Sheridan from the Graves, and the lived there until G'ma Brandt died in December 1940.


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