Dyba Brothers and their Lives in Miles City
Posted by Kati Walding (+23) 8 years ago
Hi there to anyone possibly reading this,
My great grandfather is Valentine Dyba. One of the original 9 Dyba brothers. I just visited Miles City ( as a surprise visit from my husband) and was able to see the gravesites of my family as well as speak to a few people about the Dyba Crew. I was curious about the ranch they owned, if there were any pictures of it anywhere? I was tempted to call a few Dyba's in the phonebook but became to nervous due to the fact I have never met any other Dyba but my Grandmother. She passed before away before she was able to fill me in on their lives in Miles City. Where would I possibly find as much information on their lives in Miles City? Any help would be amazing.. Thank you so very much
Kati ( Great Granddaughter of Valentine Dyba)
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Posted by AnnaN (+21) 8 years ago
Hey Kati! My name is Megan Dyba and Valentine was my great uncle. I could get you some pictures of the ranch , or any other pictures if you would like to see. you can email me at [email protected] if you would like to talk more
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Posted by Bill Zook (+497) 8 years ago
Please get in touch with Paul Dyba who lives in town. His father was the last brother to operate the Dyba holdings north of MC. He lives here in MC and is easily reached by phone.
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Posted by Kati Walding (+23) 8 years ago
Hi Megan,
Thanks for the quick response!! I was just in town last Monday and was bummed I wasn't able to stay longer. I would absolutely love to see any photos of the ranch and of our family. I will email you privately soon. I'm excited! I have their passenger manifest and a picture of the boat they came to America on. I will go digging for them and send you copies if you'd like. I saw a Paul Dyba Jr in the phonebook, but, like I said I was too nervous to just make a cold call. lol Silly I know. Anyway, I hope we talk again soon and I hope you all have a very Merry Christmas and a Blessed New Year!!!
Kati
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Posted by Kati Walding (+23) 8 years ago
Hi Bill,
I did see Paul in the phonebook. I am nervous to talk on the phone for whatever reason. I'm not sure what to say and I really don't want to be rude and start asking for information. I guess it seems easier to send a letter or an email so they can answer when they want to or even if they want to. I will try to call though. Thank you for the information and Have a Merry Christmas!! Kati ( email is [email protected])

[This message has been edited by Kati Walding (12/23/2012)]
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Posted by J. Dyba (+1350) 8 years ago
Paul Dyba Jr. is my Father. I grew up on our family farm with my Grandfather, Valentine's brother, Paul Dyba Sr. That entire group of brothers was a very interesting family with an extremely interesting history.

I can assure you that my Father has both a tremendous amount of information/knowledge about the Dyba brothers and the ranch, along with a healthy dose of willingness to share that with others. Strangers included. I would not hesitate giving him a call. He would love to chat with you about this subject, that I can promise.

[This message has been edited by J. Dyba (12/24/2012)]
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Posted by Bill Zook (+497) 8 years ago
I can only add ditto to what Josh says. His dad is very approachable and a good visitor.
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Posted by Kati Walding (+23) 8 years ago
Hi Josh,
Thanks for your response. I have seen your comments on many subjects here. I will call after the holidays, so everyone can enjoy them without me prodding. LOL I'm so excited andsad at the same time. My Grandmother Agnes and I were working on this together before she passed away. Her memory was pretty sharp still, but, she missed out on pretty big chunks of time. Hopefully, I will be able to visit MC again and maybe even meet up with some of you guys!! Here's to hoping anyway. Florida is a long ways off. I thank you again and I hope all of you have a Very Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!!

Kati

P.S. I should tell you that I'm having a great Christmas because of this surprise trip to Miles City. I can't wait to talk to this side of my family!!! Huge Smiles from me!!

[This message has been edited by Kati Walding (12/24/2012)]
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Posted by J. Dyba (+1350) 8 years ago
I spoke with my Father about this today. Apparently your Grandmother Agnes was raised by my Grandparents due to the death of her mother. She also briefly baby-sat my Father during the first couple years of his life.

Either way, he is aware you may be calling and will be very open to sharing whatever information you'd like to know.
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Posted by Kati Walding (+23) 8 years ago
Well just in your last message I learned something about my grandmother. I know I was named after my Great grandma Kattie but didn't know that my grandma was raised by other family. I am capable of asking too many questions during my phone calls. I don't want to overwhelm anyone. I'm trying to shorten my questions list down some. I'm excited to hear about this side of my family. My questions may not even be the right ones to be asking. I will call soon or would you know a good time/day for me to call? Thank you so much.. Kati
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Posted by Kati Walding (+23) 8 years ago
Hi again everyone!! I'm receiving quite a bit of family answering my post. I am curious what is a reasonable amount of questions should I limit myself to? I'm very inquisitive and have a tendency of going overboard when is comes to my family and their pasts. I guess by me starting out on here asking some things, is a decent start. I have searched many years of our family's history. I actually paid a very well known research company for a lot of it. I was also able to track the ship down that they arrived on in Ellis Island and bought a copy of the ship and it's passenger manifest. What I don't have are the personal experiences that people remember. Who were the Dyba's and the Deibele's (ggma's maiden name) So, anyway, I have really only learned of the paper trail part of our family. I have not spoke with anyone over the phone about any of this, and I'm guessing that's where my hesitance comes in. Any useful tips so I mess up with possible, proper etiquette and things like that. Happy New Year to you all. I hope this year is full of love!! Kati
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Posted by Krazebby (+54) 8 years ago
Please call Paul, I know he will gladly answer ALL of your questions, plus more!
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Posted by J. Dyba (+1350) 8 years ago
My Grandfather came to my school in 7th grade and did a story-time/Q&A with my classmates that my parents likely still have the video of. Perhaps a copy of that can be made/arranged for you. He goes into great depth about the trip over to America if I remember correctly.

I can assure you that you'll never be able to ask to many questions to my Dad about Pop, his brothers and the ranch. Lol.
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Posted by Kati Walding (+23) 8 years ago
Thank you!! That eases my mind. I will call soon. What's a good time/day? Don't want to intrude?
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Posted by Dorothea Dyba Sturges (+57) 8 years ago
Dear. Dyba Family
I'm new at this computer. so bear with me. I was born in 1929 in Miles City,MT and grew up there, graduating
from Custer County High Shool in class of 1947. I am the daughter of the second oldest son of the original 9 boys. My father was Walter. We lived @1206 Knight Street. My father worked for the Milwaukee Railroad. I am eager to help any of the younger Dyba family with info I may have. You can email me, [email protected]

Dorothea Dyba Sturges
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Posted by Pauline Flotkoetter (+14) 8 years ago
my father was one of the nine brothers., and was close to your grandfather. I have some pictures I would be willing to share. We were recently talking about your brothers at your aunt Irene,s husbands funeral. Can you give us an update on your family? We would of loved to visited with you while you we're here. If you only had went in too Main Street Grind and ask about the family, my granddaughter would of filled you in, and we could of made contact.
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Posted by Kati Walding (+23) 8 years ago
I was only able to stay for about a half day there. I did go into the visitor's center on Main. I guess I wasn't sure what question's to ask right away. I ran into a woman at the Super 8 motel who knew the Dyba's somehow. She was very nice. I do not have any photo's of my Grandmother's side of the family besides her. I'm getting so many people that are now responding, I'm excited and worried as I don't want to forget or miss out on the stories or information that I'm being told. I need a recorder!!! Also how was it that several Dyba members moved to California? I was born there myself and my grandma moved there a long time ago. I have located the ship's manifest and the photo of the ship they immigrated to the America's on. Trying to figure out the best way to get it back into my computer to send to whomever would like a copy. My email again is [email protected] for anyone that would want it. Ok I'm also trying to prioritize my questions for when I make contact. It's taking me forever!!! I love research and I love this family, everyone is so willing to help. My Grandma, Agnes O. Dyba would be so thrilled.. Talk again soon
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Posted by Dorothea Dyba Sturges (+57) 8 years ago
I live in Sacramento suburb of Citrus Heights and am curious where in CA you lived and also where your grandmother Agnes my cousin lived
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Posted by Kati Walding (+23) 8 years ago
We all were in Orange County area or at least as far as I know. Agnes moved to Sweetwater Texas at some point but don't exactly know the year but I will find that all out for you. I also am getting your emails, my apologies for not writing sooner, the flu has come on strong over here. Speak soon
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Posted by mom (+71) 8 years ago
To all the strands of the Dyba Family: The fist Dyba family, Powell, Agnes, and sons Walter, John, Paul, Anton, and Fred embarked in second class quarters on the German ship, "The Vaterlandt" from Antwerp, Belgium in 1909. Lured by the promises of free land, they and two other sons, Bill and Valentine had traveled from Buckhom-Holm, Westphalia, Germany, seeking every immigrant's dream. Because of a reported eye condition, William (Bill) and Valentine were denied entrance to the United States at Ellis Island. The story goes that a nurse was hired to accompany the children back to Germany, where the children lived with relatives for a year while Powell sought permission for them to join the rest of the family. During this year the family settled in Erlenstown, Pennsylvania where the youngest of the nine brothers, Leo was born. In 1910 the oldest son, Mike traveled to the United States with he two younger ones. He was, by that time, 21 and a journeyman plumber. He settled in Pennsylvania, while the rest of the family traveled to and settled around Miles City. According to oral history, they lived somewhere in the area of the present day Pine Hills Correctional Facility while searching for just the right place to homestead.

Rich grassland was discovered and a strong good spring about fifty miles out along the Thompson Creek divide toward Jordan. This became the "home place" for an outfit that eventually controlled (not owned) 72 1/2 sections. Because it was a two-day, those working the place communicated with other parts of the family in town with homing pigeons. Interestingly enough, they had raced pigeons from lofts while still in Germany.

The spring still exists, and probably some of the traces of the buildings and fences. The place left the Dyba Family in 1970 and was sold to a Texas investor. It was later sold again in several parcels and is mostly in the hands of local ranchers.

The story is rich and interesting. Josh Dyba was right, Paul Jr would love to share stories. We are in the phone book, just call.
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Posted by Bill Zook (+497) 8 years ago
Thank you. "Mom," you make a most attractive lure to those of us who knew the Dybas and some of their history. Please, please write it down for posterity! I feel their story is so representative of that era that many of us can relate to it from our own histories, regardless of where our ancestors landed.
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Posted by Kati Walding (+23) 8 years ago
Thank you so very much "mom". I do remember my grandmother Agnes saying something about a nurse helping the family. I didn't know however her extent. You have made my day!!! I love hearing old stories and seeing things that I will be able to later share with my children. Getting over a bug, I'm sorry for not calling yet.

Kati
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Posted by mom (+71) 8 years ago
Bill, You know I can't resist a good story, don't you? So what is the next story to be told?
Kati: Paul (aka "Jr") said that Agnes and Joe lived with his folks for a while probably on the B.B. ranch on Pumpkin creek and later the Homestead place at Hillside. He also said they stayed for a time here in Miles City with Fred (Fritz) and Anna. This was most likely because of the distances to school from either ranch.
When the family emigrated Germany was gearing up for war, and there was a premium for families with more than six sons. William and Fred were honorary godsons of Kaiser Wilhelm and Prince Fredrick. They each received a bag of gold sovereigns at their baptism, and the promise of a free university education when they were old enough. However, Powell, the father of the family had been in the Prussian army and then was employed in the coal mines of Germany. He was fully aware of the war atmosphere and chose to take his sons out of the country before they became cannon fodder.
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Posted by Dorothea Dyba Sturges (+57) 8 years ago
Hi, mom! There are a few inaccuracies in the info you have, that I' d like to clear up. (1) my grandfather's name was not "Powell ", ( which sounds neither Polish nor German). His first name was " Paul". My father, Walter, told me this many times. Also the ship's manifest has him listed as "Paul" , and so does his death certificate. (2)The Dybas (Paul and Agnes) lived in Bochum, Germany -- a city near Dortmund and close to Dusseldorf. My father told me he was born and grew up there. And it is the city listed on the ship's manifest. (3) The eye infection the two boys had was what we now call, "pink eye". You are correct, they were denied entry into the U.S. at that time and had to return to Germany. (4). Regarding the pigeons and communicating between Miles City and the ranch (homestead) ---that didn't happen. My dad had homing pigeons in Miles City, and that is what the "brothers" remembered. Homing pigeons were a serious hobby with my dad, so I know something about pigeons. They only fly ONE WAY--HOME. There is no possible way they they could make a round trip, or go both ways. They can't , they aren't built that way. I hope this clears up any questions you may have.
.
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Posted by mom (+71) 8 years ago
Dorothea: Thank you so much for your information. I would bet there are many more stories you have that I don't. I was writing from oral history, and as you know, it is only as accurate as the memory of the story teller, and the hearing of the audience. My husband's dad was well into his nineties when he died, and I spent many hours around their kitchen table listening to him spin tales. A relative once said that the Dybas were natural born story tellers, and I can attest to that. We own documents and paperwork dealing with the ranch and other things, but real history isn't in things but in the people that lived the history. You and all of the other cousins hold parts and pieces of it. I am just a recorder Please share with us the tales. I would love to write them to share with future generations, as the whole family has lived a big part of the American story.
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Posted by Kati Walding (+23) 8 years ago
Hi Everyone!

I located the ship's picture and manifest but I can't figure out how to post a picture on here for everyone. I feel that isn't as much as the amazing memories of the family, but it's something. if you can tell me how I will post them. I absolutely love the information posted so far. Oral history is definitely better than any document that I may be able to find!

Kati
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Posted by Diana Crippen (+124) 8 years ago
Dyba folks - about your earlier "Powell"/Paul discussion - I think that Paul (pronounced Pall - rhymes with mall) is an "American" name. Whatever that person's name was in German (maybe Pavel), was possibly pronounced PAH-well, or some such thing, something with two syllables. So, that is possibly where the confusion came in.

Hope you don't mind me butting in. My grandmother was born in Holland, and her family changed many of their names coming through Ellis Island in 1892. Diana
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Posted by Dorothea Dyba Sturges (+57) 8 years ago
Diana, you could be right regarding then"Powell/Paul Dyba business. .immigration did in fact change my father's name from Wladslaus to Walter. However, If one is looking for a "Powell" Dyba, there is always the possibility of heading totally in the wrong direction. Especially since my grandfather was listed on the ship's manifest as "Paul"
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Posted by mom (+71) 8 years ago
The family entered the United States, and once past emigration, they considered themselves Americans. Agnes very firmly told the children, when they spoke in their native tongue, "We are in America now, we speak English!" They wanted the other two children to join the family, but this was going to take money and a lawyer. They settled in Pennsylvania and the patriarch of the family took a job there in the coal mines in order to earn enough money to pay for the lawyer. Within the year they had yet another son, Leo, born in America. Mike, along with the two younger children, had joined them in Pennsylvania. All of the children were enrolled in a school that was apparently connected with the mines. It was there they learned to speak excellent English. Family history says several trips were made to the west before they decided to settle in the Miles City area. When the family moved west, they stopped in Minneapolis to gather the supplies needed to establish a homestead in Montana, the edge of the wilderness. Because the children spoke English so well, thirteen year-old Paul did a lot of the negotiating. They shopped at various hardware stores in Minneapolis. One thing they purchased was a Damascus-twist double barreled shotgun called a "Jenny Simple", so called after the store where it was purchased. This was a pretty standard purchase for western homesteaders, and many of the stores carried their own brand. Many years later, a gun expert who examined the gun said that the original owner of the gun must have been an excellent shot, because the right barrel showed a great deal more wear than did the left. It would be interesting, the stories that gun could tell if it could talk.
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Posted by Dorothea Dyba Sturges (+57) 8 years ago
My goodness, you have an enormous amount of information. Where did you gather so many details? All of this is new to me. I do know my dad was adamant about speaking English. ( he spoke with a decidedly German accent, and sounded like Henry Kissinger, when he talked). But since my mother, Caroline, was born in Minnesota, and only spoke English it, I'm sure it was easier for my father not to lapse into German. In fact he wouldn't even teach us kids any German. However, the time or two that Agnes ( my grandmother) came to Miles City, she spoke only German, as I could not understand anything she saidl, although my mother understood some, and I'm sure my dad must have helped mom. I do remember that grandma was ill and mom took care of her for a very short time. This was not when she ( Agnes) broke her hip, it was earlier than that. It's interesting that a 13 year old Paul would have done negotiating since he had two older brothers who could have helped...but maybe he was a trader by nature, and they relied on him. By the way mom, how are you related?
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Posted by mom (+71) 8 years ago
I married into the family.....43 years ago. As I said, my father-in law was a story teller and I loved to heard them. My father-in-law spoke high German, but his English was without a trace of an accent. He married someone who spoke only low German. When they didn't want us to know what they were talking about, they would lapse into German, but only then!
There are many many stories, but I don't want to take over. I know the other branches of the family have stories as well, send them to me and I will put them in a readable form for all of us.
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Posted by J. Dyba (+1350) 8 years ago
"Mom" is Nancy Dyba, wife to Paul Dyba jr and the daughter in law of one of the Dyba brothers, Paul Sr.(and my mother) After the ranch was sold my parents moved onto a farm in Yellowstone Valley with Paul Sr and his wife Margaret. "Mom" had an enormous amount of time to talk with and absorb information from Paul about the Dyba brothers history and heritage. As I mentioned earlier my parents have an old tape of Paul Sr. talking to my 7th grade class at Sacred Heart about the family's move to America. I do believe they have one of him talking to my sister's High School German class as well.

I was personally very fortunate to get to grow up on that farm and spent a large part of it in Paul Sr's back pocket both helping and harassing him. My memories of times with my grandfather are by far some of the most wonderful I have.
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Posted by Dorothea Dyba Sturges (+57) 8 years ago
Thank you for clearing up who "Mom" is. Are you the son/daughter of Paul and Margaret? It was my impression they only had two sons, Steve and Paul, Jr. Or are you a grandchild? Tracing this lineage is more complicated than it needs to be, it seems to me. It certainly explains why Missus Mom is such a trove of information. I do hope she writes much of this down before it is lost forever. I have some pictures of grandfather Paul, and the one of the brothers you all probably already have. This is such an adventure for me, especially since my own father is gone. Deo Gracias!
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Posted by J. Dyba (+1350) 8 years ago
I am Paul Jr's son.
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Posted by mom (+71) 8 years ago
With nine brothers, there are many descendents out there. I challenge all of you to add stories to the collection. C'mon Max and Bob, I know you have a lot of them, and the ability to tell the stories as well. Arlene, talk to your mom, there are stories there, I know. To all of John's children, where are you? Your stories have to be legion, Linda, help me make this fun and worthwile. Talk to your mom. Dorothea, your information has been so good. Thanks. This post has generated a lot of talk, Lets get it down.
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Posted by Kati Walding (+23) 8 years ago
I am so amazed at the wealth of knowledge that will soon be available. I am unaware of so much. I love to research and when I made the original post, I was only expecting a small amount of information to maybe trickle in. I am so disconnected from this side of my family. I feel family is everything, sadly it broke apart when it came to my parents. One generation can make you lose everything. I am grateful that I will be able to learn the things that my beautiful grandmother Agnes wanted me to. She started me on this journey. I hope I can help contribute to this as well. I will be writing all of the comments from this site as well as who posted them. I pulled out my paper research today, but, I believe you all have that as basic knowledge. I'm excited to be adding to my family file.

<3 Kati <3
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Posted by Dorothea Dyba Sturges (+57) 8 years ago
Mom....since you probably spent the most time listening at the Dyba table, do you ever remember Margaret or Paul making reference to the name "TILLIE"? This name sounds familiar to me, and I think it may have referred to Valentine's wife, Kate. My reason for thinking this is that Kati Walding said her grandmother's middle name was "Otille". And it's possible that Kati's grandmother, Agnes, was named for both her mother (Kate/Otille) and her grandmother, Agnes. The name "Tillie" would not have belonged to any of the other Dyba Brothers wives. It would not have been a nickname for Agnes either, because her nickname was "Toodie". Comments?
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Posted by mom (+71) 8 years ago
Dorothea; When Paul returned to Montana from Canada, he was quite the young swain. He worked as a Rang Rep, riding the Hillside area for the CBC brand. He took up with a shy young thing by the name of Tillie B. Paul never spoke much about it, but we have a photo of him as a handsome dude in chaps, boots, a western hat and shirt complete with leather cuffs. As with all handsome young cowboys, he has a beautiful girl on his arm. The beautiful girl was not Margaret who became my mother-in-law. The picture was taken in about 1928, so the time frame would have been about right.... 'spose that is the connection?

Ask one of Valentine's descendants, they should know. Arlene, are you around?

[This message has been edited by mom (1/25/2013)]
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Posted by mom (+71) 8 years ago
Kati, I only met Valentine once, but he indeed could be termed a "character". As a young Dyba, he was a very hard worker. He was excellent with livestock. As any good livestock man, he put the needs and comfort of the critters before that of his own. Paul's first memory of him must have been about in 1949. He was driving an old 1928 two door Chevy coupe. In the passenger seat was a collie. He had tacked a chunk of white canvas, probably sheep wagon canvas over the roof that had long disappeared. The rumble seat was open and was his storage space for picket pins, cream cans, camp axes and trappings that always accompanied the sheepwagon. Tied behind was an old black horse. He kinda matched the rest of the outfit, well worn but suited to the driver. Valentine didn't carry a gun at that time. He preferred to let others do his shooting and his mechanicing for him. This task was delegated to Leo, the baby of the bunch. Leo never missed what his rifle was pointed at, and could fix anything with wheels, or invent something new. Valentine had the responsibility of herding and sheparding the main band of sheep on the ranch. The band generally contained two to three thousand head of sheep, all branded with a black "D", for Dyba Brothers. The branding iron was made from an old bowling pin that had been used for this purpose for fifty or more years. It had a "D" carved out of the wooden base, and was coated with several decades of the sticky but durable paint used to mark the sheep. It was the main brand for all of the bands on the ranch. When a jacknife was used to clean the club off for re-use, multiple layers of black blue and red lanolin-based paint were revealed. Valentine's bunch was marked with black. The yearling ewe bunch was marked with blue, and the secondary bunch was red. We used that club to mark our sheep well into the eighties when our barn burned.

To go looking for Valentine when he was out on the range was somewhat like looking to a needle in a hay stack until you understood the habits of the sheep. Valentine rotated the band through the pasture in a circular pattern so there was no overgrazing. During the forties and fifties, this pasture was about 45 sections. At high noon, the sheep would be on water, and grazing until evening. In late afternoon or early evening, the herder pushed them to where he intended to bed for the night. As the shepard followed his band, so did the sheep wagon. When he settled for the night, it was parked high on a butte with the front door facing an easterly direction. From this vantage point he could observe his charges and hear the sheep bells if anything caused the wooly critters to shift and move in the night. With the door to the east he could catch the best breezes. (Whoo, this is etting long, more later.)
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Posted by Dorothea Dyba Sturges (+57) 8 years ago
Mom, my gosh this is terrific stuff..Not only for me,( I knew Valentine spent most of his life living in a sheep wagon, what a lonesome life that must have been). But particularly for Kati, whose great grandfather Valentine was. Perhaps sometime she can make it to Montana and see for herself, all the acres and acres of acres and acres.
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Posted by mom (+71) 8 years ago
I have greatly enjoyed posting these stories for people to read. However, this is a public forum and I hesitate to impose something on the public that may have a narrow audience. If others outside the family wish to read the stories, let me know, otherwise I will write for just those interested family members.
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Posted by MRH (+1500) 8 years ago
I enjoy reading these posts. If folks are not interested, they do not need to open the thread. Just my opinion.
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Posted by TDF (+154) 8 years ago
Please continue with your amazing stories. I am thoroughly enjoying every word!
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Posted by Amorette Allison (+11757) 8 years ago
Christian Dyba was on the Sacred Heart Honor Roll in the paper on Friday.
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Posted by J. Dyba (+1350) 8 years ago
The sheep wagon we refurbished and lived in during the Fair each year was Valentine's old wagon I believe. My parents likely have tons of pictures of that wagon laying around.

I really wish I could have known Pops brothers as well as I knew the great Aunts/Uncles on the Anderson side.
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Posted by Kati Walding (+23) 8 years ago
I am thoroughly enjoying the memories already!! I made a mistake on my Grandmother's middle name, it is Otillia, Dorothea. I'm sorry about the misspelled name before. I was looking up a few things last night, while copying the posts on this forum. I need to get a better understanding of the correct family relations. There is plenty of information available but I'm only typing names and ages from the passenger manifest for Vaderland in 1909: ( Paul line 14 thru Friedrich line 22) Paul Dyba age 46, Agnes Dyba age 43. Father of Wladyslaw Dyba age 16 (looks like Wladyslarch), Johann Dyba age 16, Paul Dyba age 11, Walentin Dyba Age 9 ( Not on board), Anton Dyba Age 6, Wilhelm Dyba age 4 ( Not on board)and Friedrich Dyba Age 1. Paul brought $70 for the trip. I did see the name Pawel and a Pauel used for other Paul's on the manifest if that helps answer the "Powell" question. I then see another manifest with a Valentin (no e) Dyba age 10 for March 8, 1910 coming from Antwerp on the Vaderland. Last residence was in Gelchenkirschen, Germany. But again his name is crossed out. I located a third attempt the year of 1910 on December 8. This time on the Bremen I also wondered about their Uncle that Michel listed as their visiting location when coming to America.. I am trying hard to figure out the handwriting. I do know that the City of Ehrenfeld, Pa is listed. Their father Paul listed Michel also as his Brother in law. Anyone have an idea? Ok so for now i'm finished and will probably be on here again tomorrow.
Good Night,
Kati
P.S. I am not sure how to do this but can we start our own family website? I've seen many out there. Just an idea..
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Posted by mom (+71) 8 years ago
Kati, I have no idea, I am just the writer. I have now mastered most of MS Word, but they will probably change it now that I have. Grandma Shantz, (mother in law to Paul) always pronounced her son-in-law's name as Pall, but the elder Paul as two syllable Pawell or Powell. She too was German. Family tradition always said the children came over a year later, with their bother Mike. Pop (my father in law) more or less indicated that was why the oldest son came to the United States, and why he remained in Pennsylvania. I met him once at either Valentine or Leo's funeral,and he looked like a "Dyba" for sure....somewhat short, deep brown eyes with a twinkle and a deep kndness that belied the fire they became irritated. , wide shoulders, a schnorbitz that just skimmed his upper lip, with a fairly good sized nose that kept the mustache in place. He had short stocky legs and wasn't very tall. To look at Max Dyba today is to see Mike as I remember him 35 or so years ago. He resembled "Pop", as well as Anton.

[This message has been edited by mom (1/27/2013)]
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Posted by Dorothea Dyba Sturges (+57) 8 years ago
My Polish friend from church, finally got back to me regarding the question of my grandfather, "Paul", and the spelling of his name. She said, "Paul" in Polish, would be spelled "Pawel", and pronounced "Pavel", even tho there is no letter "V" in the Polish language. So it seems logical, that the pronouncing it as "Paul" (Pall), makes sense. In Latin it is spelled "Paulus", however the Slavic language and alphabet are definnitaly different.
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Posted by Kati Walding (+23) 8 years ago
I believe I ran across a book many years ago named "Fanning of the Embers" I want to say that's what it was. It had the story of The Shantz couple in Miles City. Have you or anyone else read the book?
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Posted by mom (+71) 8 years ago
Dorothea; I don't think Valentine was lonely in all of those acres and acres of acres and acres, so much as he was alone. It was a way of life he chose.

Shortly after his wife Kate died, Valentine became quite despondent and distraught. He farmed the children out with various family members, and went to his brothers asking them to buy him out of the company. They didn't want to, but he was insistent, and so they did, and life went on. He took the money he received and disappeared for several weeks. Six or eight weeks later, he returned to the ranch from Miles City. The surprised brothers were even more surprised when he asked for his job back. Family ties among this band of brothers had been strengthened by years of working together, and Valentine gladly returned to his job with the sheep. The Dyba Brothers were glad he was there. He wasn't lonely, he had his dog for companionship and he never lacked for something to do. With a band as large as 3000 head, he constantly had some critter needing medical attention. Some rebel always tempting fate and trying to find the greener pastures; marauding coyotes and eagles had to be put on the run, and he always had an eye on the skies. The sheepherder knew better than most the fickel nature of Montana's weather.
He didn't go hungry, for he knew that the camp tender would find him and his wagon once a week. His meager supply of sweets would be replenished, his tobacco can refilled, and a new batch of reading material would arrive along with the kerosene to keep the lamp he read by burning. What more could a man ask?
Home, for Valentine for seven months of the year was a Montana Airstream, a sheepwagon.
By the late fifties , sheepwagons were already becoming a thing of the past. The early wagons were mounted on the running gear of a regular wagon and had been covered in double layers of canvas, one plain and one waterproof. The newer wagons were redesigned to fit on rubber tires. They were covered in shiney aluminum and could withstand a lot more inclement weather. They were still home away from home for many men through those years. Made of wood, the bottom of the sheep wagon was only about four feet wide, just wide enought to fit on the bolsters of a wagon chassis. It rose about six feet over the running gear like a box. Wooden slats arched over the top of the box from one side to the other. the first layer of white canvas was stretched over the wooden slats and was firmly attached. Over that another layer of canvas, this one waterproof, was stretched much like the canvas of the conestoga wagons. Both ends of the box were wooden. A double "Dutch" door opened over the wagon tongue. The bottom half could be kept closed to keep the dog and other critters out, and the upper half swung wide to catch any stray movement of air. Occassionally a pane of glass was stuck in the door to allow some light.

The opposite end of the wagon was the bed end. High in the end, was the bunk. A very small three paned glass window over this bunk provided the only other light available inside this early "mobile" home. On the bunk was a cotton tufted mattress, well-used and prodded to fit the herders body as he rested. On the shelf over the window was a twelve cell Philco battery radio. Lucky was the man who had a tick or feather mattress It was the rare dog that was allowed on that bed. Storage space was under the bunk which ran about half the length of the wagon. Into this storage space, under the mattress compartmenet slid the table. It was perhap three feet long and twenty inches wide and fit snugly under the mattress. When it was pulled out for meals, a single leg dropped down from underneath the table top for support. The table often was covered in some bright checkerboard oilcloth, red and white or blue and white in color. It was positioned immediately between the two narrow benches that ran on both sides of the wagon, These benches provided the only seating for the herder or his company. Room for four at the maximimum, sleeping room was on the narrow bench. The seats would lift up and provide more storage space for boots, britches, extra blankets,and canned goods or whatever else had to accompany the man on his travels. A leather tongue hung out the front side of the seats to work as a handle, and the hinges on the backside were leather as well.

On either side of the table were two long narrow drawers. Generally the herder kept his cooking stuff and untensils in one drawer and his personal items in the other. The personal items could include his shaving kit, a pencil or pen and some paper, as well as his tobacco and/or pipe. Valentine wasn't a heavy smoker but he did smoke Prince Albert, either rolled in papers for cigarettes or stuffed in an old pipe. The sheep were all quietly bedded and the camp chores taken care of before the rich warm smell of the burning tobacco rolled out over the waves and waves of rich grass. The camp tender would bring him a large round can with his grocery order each week. He would transfer the tobacco into a smaller flat can that fit in his shirt pocket, and he always had it available. Unlike other herders, Valentine was family. If he needed or wanted something else, he rode into the homeplace and raided the larder for what he wanted. Others paid for their tobacco and it was deducted from their wages. Valentine was family.

Some herders preferred Bull Durham. This was stronger and more pungent. It came in small white cloth bags tightly packed with the finely chopped dried tobacco leaf. The small bags were packed in a square bundle that held 12 bags. Packed on the side of each small bag was a package of the lightweight white "smoke" papers. The little white bag was closed with a draw string. The ends of the drawstring had round gold medallions glued to each end. These made it easier to keep a grip on the strings with teeth while the hands were otherwise occupied rolling the cigarette and pinching the end to keep the ground leaf inside the papers rather than all over the pants and floor.

Nearly every herder's home smelled of tobacco mixed with whatever he burned in his cook stove, and the smell of the kerosene he burned in his lamp. The lamp, either a single mantle, or a double mantle, if the herder wanted to read, hung high in the arch of the wagon, over the table. Extra kerosene was stored under the bed as was an extra lamp. Potatoes, some canned food stuffs, and maybe an extra bedroll were pushed into the space as well, even a bucket of coal for the stove could be squeezed in. Moving toward the dutch door of the wagon, ran narrow benches. At the end of these narrow benches on one side was where the tiny stove was located. The chimney poked up through the roof and usually hung at an angle anchored to something with a twisted strand of baling wire....the herders' best friend and handiest tool.
Although the stove was tiny, it was quite efficient. It had only two small burners over a fire box. It had an oven that actually worked quite well and some of the herders became surprisingly good cooks for what they had to work with. Probably the most difficult task was in getting the wagon level enough that cakes came out baked level. Above and behnd the stove was a towel rack or just another chunk of wire. This was where the man of the house draped dish towels, wet gloves, and dirty wet socks. As you came in the door, just to the left was a triangular shaped shelf that held an enamel water pail and dipper. Under the shelf was a small drawer.

No, I doubt that Valentine was lonely. Wild Critters of all kinds kept him company in this empty space. The wind still never ceases to blow through, and the long grass stalks rub and talk to each thing that passes through them. Loneliness wasn't an option. Valentine was family.
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Posted by Dorothea Dyba Sturges (+57) 8 years ago
Your story of Valentine's life and the sheep wagon that was his home, is beautifully written. You have a nice gift for prose..continue to write, and make notes of all you know, and remember. It just might have the makings of a book about life on the prairie, and of those who lived it. Keep up the good work.
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Posted by Kati Walding (+23) 8 years ago
Absolutely beautiful...I'm still writing this all down, it seems to be a bit more difficult with my 3 kiddos wondering what I'm doing. My husband is also a great reader and storyteller. He's told all the time he has a gift. I'm impressed by your knowledge mom. I could have never known even a bit of this information if it wasn't for you. So Thank you.. I see your story playing in my head while I read it.
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supporter
Posted by Diana Crippen (+124) 8 years ago
Mom - thank you from me, too. I am not a family member, but my great grandfather was a Dawson County sheepman in the 1880s. He moved on to Ravalli County in 1888.

Your story telling is beautiful and evocative. YOU MUST write a family history book. It is so easy to have things published yourself these days.

Please, please, please do it. Do not wait.

Diana
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Posted by Pauline Flotkoetter (+14) 8 years ago
I think we need to have a family reunion.
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Posted by Dorothea Dyba Sturges (+57) 8 years ago
Pauline, I think you have a good idea there..There are a few Sacramento Dyba's who might be interested. I don't travel much anymore, but my brother David probably would. He is still in touch with Norma, and his wife Patti likes to travel. I say, go for it!
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Posted by mom (+71) 8 years ago
Pauline, Lets get started. Perhaps this summer we need to have a reunion where we will plan a larger one. Knowing the size of this family, this could get huge fast. Call or something. We're still in the book, and still the same! Now I have to write about the last lambing camp. It was May 10, 1967.......Okay, I'll start another thread.
Nancy
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