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Borkenhagen, Ervin

Document Type

Oral History

Date of Interview



Ervin Borkenhagen was born 9 May 1918 in rural Lewisville, Blue Earth County, Minnesota, to Gus and Matilda (Salisburg) Borkenhagen. He was raised on the family farm, remaining there until he was seventeen. He then moved to town and started working as a blacksmith. In 1939, his father asked him to come back and help on the farm, so Ervin took on that work as well. He was married in April of 1940 (wife Della Gieseke), and had one child by the time the United States entered the war in December 1941. During the war years, Ervin continued to work as a blacksmith and a farmer. Because of his status as a farmer and father, Ervin received a deferment from military service for the duration of the war. During the war he and his wife, Della, had one more child. When the war ended in 1945, Ervin continued to farm, but gave up blacksmithing. In the following years, Ervin and Della had two more children. Since retiring from farming in 1979, Ervin kept busy by working around his house and taking care of his cabin. He was an avid hunter and fisherman. Ervin is the grandfather of Daniel Borkenhagen, a member of the Oral History Project staff during 2001-02. Ervin Borkenhagen died on 24 Jan 2005.


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Ervin Borkenhagen.mp3 (34233 kB)
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