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70 YEARS AGO • JUNE 26, 1950


On July 1, Rose Mary Morkert, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Walter A. Morkert of Thompson Falls and Walter Borgmann, son of Mrs. Marie A. Borgmann of Aitken, Minnesota, were united in marriage at the M.E. Church here. The brides brother and wife attended the bride and groom.

Following the ceremony there was a wedding reception at the home of Mr. and Mrs. E. W. Morkert, another brother of the bride in Plains, where friends and relatives had gathered to wish the couple happiness.


From Pioneers and Early Settlers

of Thompson Falls, Montana

Walt’s father, August, was serving in World War I when the great flu epidemic of 1918 struck. August was at Camp Augusta in Georgia when the influenza broke out in strong force throughout the camp. This unit had received their orders to be shipped out for overseas when they all had to be quarantined. By coincidence, the Armistice was signed the same day the quarantine was lifted and August was able to return home.

August had met Maria Weisenberg prior to the war, but they had delayed their wedding until August was a ‘free’ man. On returning home they were married November 17, 1919 in Canova, South Dakota. Walter was their third child.

In 1932, August and Marie after several severe crop failures, moved their family to Aitkins, Minnesota, where they lived on a farm and had 10 head of milk cows, a couple of horses and some young stock. Toward the end of June in 1938, August had worked extra hard getting hay in because it looked like it was going to rain. He was very tired when he went to bed that night, sometime during the night he died in his sleep of a cerebral hemorrhage.

Maria with her family small in age, held the family together. At the age of 12 Walt learned to drive and was the sole driver for the family.

When World War II began, the family was still working on the farm and with Walt 18 years of age in 1944, he entered the service and was sent for his physical, which he did not pass. Not returning home, he found work in a sawmill and for the next four years worked in this industry. Then he drove a delivery truck at a lumber yard and from there went to powerline construction in 1948.

Reither Construction crews took Walt to Wyoming then to North Dakota.

Then the owner of the Reither High-Line Construction bid on a job up Blue Slide arriving in Thompson Falls the middle of April of 1950. Two months after his arrival Walt met Rose Mary Morkert. It was quite a blow to realize that within a very short time the crew would be moving on to Sandpoint, Idaho, but it was long enough for the two to know that they wanted to be together. On the weekend of July 1, Rose Mary and her mother came to Sandpoint to pick Walt up and return to Thompson for their small family wedding. On the return trip home with Walt, the car broke down just out of Hope, Idaho and a distress call was made to brother Harold to come get them. They arrived in Thompson Falls early the next morning and the rush began. Walt needed a haircut, arriving at Ray Stinger barber shop, he was probably number 10 in line with only one barber. By this time the various wedding problems were beginning to accumulate, first with Rose Mary who had sent away for her wedding dress only to be informed at the last moment that they didn’t have it and a mad dash was made to Missoula to find a replacement. Then Walt wrote to his mother in Aitkins, Minnesota, to please send his white dress shirt for a wedding, not telling her it was his wedding. She sent a blue shirt and a yellow shirt. Finally the time came to be at the church and they were only 15 minutes late.

After they were married, Rose Mary’s brother Bud was working construction and heard of a job in Tuscor with Johnson Logging Company. Walt took the job of setting chokers for a catskinner and he and his new bride moved to the logging camp where they were housed in a tent house for the rest of the summer. None of the modern comforts of their apartment house, no running water except for the creek, nor electricity, but the simplicity of basic living. The logging was shut down in late fall due to the snow being too deep and they moved back to Thompson Falls to board with Rose Mary’s parents.

They resided with her parents until September, 1951 when Fay, her mother, located four lots bordering the Forest Service Mule pasture that were covered with pine trees so thick that it was hard to see the forest service fence.

Rose Mary’s father owned 120 acres up Clear Creek and told Walt if he wanted to build a log home, he could use his truck to haul home the logs. Walt was on unemployment, so he had the time. Which he used to clear enough ground for a house and hauling in logs.

Money was in short supply, but Mr. and Mrs. Bert Macho owned a hardware grocery store (now True Value) and they were allowed to charge. So the nails needed for a two room house were charged and the home completed just before their first child, Happy, was born in 1951.

In addition, the Borgmann family are charter members of Our Savior’s Lutheran Church in Thompson Falls.

They had the following children: Walter A. “Happy” Borgmann, married to Valerie and Rose Mary Lynne, married to Orville Eaton.


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