Ervin Borkenhagen Oral History Interview


Audio icon
Ervin Borkenhagen Oral History Interview
Ervin Borkenhagen Oral History Interview
September 29 2001
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
36m 30s
Ervin Borkenhagen, Interview, National Home Front Project, Washington College, Chestertown Maryland.
Interview was recorded by Dan Borkenhagen through Concordia University St. Paul for the Starr Center of the American Experience National Homefront Project
Amboy, Blue Earth, Minnesota, United States, NA [43.88801,-94.15663] [id:5016250]Lewisville, Watonwan, Minnesota, United States, NA [43.92329,-94.43747] [id:5034554]