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the Robert Gunn and Ampheous Brown Gunn


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Robert Gunn, the second son of George Hugh Gunn and Jane Smith Gunn, married Ampheous Brown on June 20, 1883. She also had come from Ontario with her family . In 1879 they settled five miles west of Scotland, SC. Her brother, Wesley Brown, later married Jennie Munn--daughter of Christina Gunn Munn and a niece of Robert Gunn.

The Robert Gunns raised six children and two died in infancy; one on February 4, 1888 and one on May 3, 1897. The family resided on a homestead 3 1/2 miles east of town until 1894. After they left this homestead, the Ed Schneiders lived on it. Years later it was known as the Guy Gergets place.

After moving into Scotland, SC, the Robert Gunns lived on the same block as the Hugh Gunns, with just one house--the Waneks'--between them. Elmer Stevenson eventually bought the old Bob Gunn house; he tore it down and built a new one on the site.

"Bob" was Scotland City Marshal after the family moved to town, and a highly respected one, from all reports. The family also ran the restaurant in Scotland for many years--around the turn of the century.

A "Scotland Journal" item from 75 years ago (July 23, 1904) stated the following:

"Marshal Gunn with the assistance of George Burrows was kept quite busy last Sunday excorting (spelled that way in the item) hoboes out of the city. Some twenty or more were presented with invitations to move on westward."

Robert Gunn wasn't well for years. He was very heavy and suffered from dropsy which is probably why he resigned his city marshal position.

Later on "Bob" had the mail route to Olivet which was eight miles away. He went twice a day, covering a total of 32 miles per day. He used to change horses at noon and water them at the tank across the street, down a way from their chalk rock house.

When Robert and Ampheous' two youngest, Leota and "Buck", were still small children, they decided to go wading in Scotland after a big rain. They "waded" and "waded" so far they ended up clear out at the Hugh Gunn farm three miles from town! Their uncle, Sol Brown, had to hire a livery team to go out to the farm after them. He was pretty disgusted and said, "If they was my kids, they'd get their hides tanned!" Their Uncle Sol was deaf and talked very loudly--so when he said things, people tended to remember them.

One time "Uncle Sol" complained to George Hugh Gunn: "The darn kids, they make me nervous, George!" (meaning the Robert Gunn children).

Since the Robert Gunns' four girls and the Hugh Gunns' Marguerite and Marie were all about the same age, they used to pal around together. They'd pack picnic lunches and eat them down along the creek.

When Della Gunn started teaching school out in the country--about four miles from Scotland--she borrowed Alex Gunn's pony, "Nibbs" to ride back and forth to school. He was smart and tricky, as most Shetland ponies are, and she had quite a time with him.

"Nibbs" learned to reach around and untie her shoes so they'd fall off; she would have to get off him to put them back on again. One day he was smart enough to get away and ran back to the farm--so she gave up using him for transportation. After that she boarded with someone near her school.

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The Robert Gunns' oldest child was George Charles--named after his two grandfathers. He homesteaded near Cottonwood, SD, worked as a carpenter for a short time, and then became a barber. He worked in the shop of his uncle, Nels Brown, for about twenty years and then started a shop of his own; he ran it as long as his health permitted.

He and his mother had lived together for years after all the other members of the family were gone. George Charles was extremely devoted to her, and after her death in 1931 his health failed rapidly. He died in January 1933 at age 48.


SUSAN MAY GUNN   (1886-1922)


Susie was named after her maternal grandmother. She worked in the family restaurant and taught school. Her health was never very good. She lived at home with her mother, brothers and sisters until her death at 36, following an appendectomy.




Minnie was a telephone operator at Scotland, SC, where she met Albert Bertelson who was the night telegraph operator.   They were married Oct. 27, 1913 at Parker, SD and lived in Pukwana, SD until Dec. 1914.  Then they lived at Milford, Iowa until 1916; and at Draper, SD until 1918.

They then moved to Kennebec, SD where they lived for the next eighteen years.  In 1936 they moved to Postville, Iowa, their home at the time of Minnie's death.

Their first son died in infancy.   They raised two children -- Robert and Neva.

Minnie's niece, Della Quillin Studt, who was about eight years old when the Bertelsons left kennebec, wrote:

"Aunt Minnie was my favoirite aunt.  It was a glorious day when mother (Leota) would tell us aunt Minnie was coming to visit us.  We loved her so much and hated the day to come when she had to leave and go back home.  She came about twice a year."

Albert Bertleson worked for the Milwaukee Railroad for 55 years as agent and telegraph operator.  Albert married again in 1956 to Myrtle Bray Burns. 



Robert Bertelson was born June 26, 1915 while his parents lived at Milford, Iowa. He moved with the family to Kennebec when about three years old and grew up there.  He was a bookkeeper for Farmers elevator in Presho (near kennebec) for 11 years; then assistant manager of elevators in Parkston and Tyndall, and manager of the farmers elevator in Humboldt from 1948 to 1964.  He was then a salesman for Northwest Seed Co. and later for Lincoln Seed -- during which job he suffered a stroke, in 1973.

He married Florence Patzlaff of Farmer, SD on September 2, 1945.  They had five children.  The first, a daughter, died in infancy.  The remaining four children were, Craig, Keith, Gary, and Pamela.



Neva was born in Scotland, SD while her parents were living at Kennebec.  She was born on June 26, 1920 -- on her brother's fifth birthday!

Kennebec acquaintances said that Neva was a very beautiful girl as a teenager.  She compelted high school after they moved to Postville.  She did clerical work in Mitchell, SD and Rockford, IL; then returned to Postville while her mother was ill.

She married Leon K. Olson of Postville on October 17, 1946 at the famed "Little Brown Church in the Vale" at Nashua, Iowa.   Leon worked for creameries and dairy cooperatives in that area of Iowa and was appointed plant manager in 1967 when NE Iowa Dairy joined Mississippi Valley Milk Producers Association.

Neva worked for Hygrade Food Products in Postville from 1956-1977.




Della married Carl Bertleson, the younger brother of Albert Bertelson, who married her sister Minnie.  Carl also was a telegraph operatior in Scotland at the time he and Della became acquainted.

Della died following the birth of their son Arne at Parker, SD.  He was raised at Parker by his Bertelson grandparents.

Arne worked as a telegraph operator in Independence, MO and retired as a train dispatcher.  He and his wife, the former Virginia Witthor, had two married daughters living in the Kansas City area.  Their older daughter, Ingrid, married a medical doctor -- Mahesh Chandra.  The younger daughter, Susan Della, married Jospeh Tarpenning.



Leota -- or "Leta", as she was known when she and brother Robert waded three miles to the farm -- taught at Scotland, Tabor, and Running Water, SD prior to her going to Kennebec to visit and assist her sister Minnie Bertleson.  She walked four miles twice each day in order to get to one school where she taught.

While in Kennebec helping at the depot where Albert Bertelson ran the depot agency, she met Joe Quillin of Kennebec.  They were married in 1921 and had four children: John, George, Della Mae and Donna Fae.   They lived around Kennebec throughout their married life.

Joe remarried in 1955.

Former neighbors of the Quillin's recalled that when John and George were small, the boys -- about 1 1/2 years apart in age -- used to have "their own language" to communicate with each other.  They conversed just fine with one another, but neither their parents nor anyone else could understand what they were saying.  This continueduntil they started school, where it created quite a problem for the teacher.

Della Quillin Studt wrote concerning her mother, Leota:  "She was certainly a wonderful person and an ideal mother and grandmother.  I had three children when she died."



By 1979 John and George Quillin were living in Kennebec and were the most progressive, innovative feedlot operators in that community.

John served in the Air Force for four years and George had been in the Navy approximately the same length of time.



Della and her husband, John, farmed and raised cattle up until the time John started doing contracting work.  He built an appliance store in Presho which Della managed.

They have seven children and eleven grandchildren (as of 1979):

Judy Faye, Robert (m. Martha Newberg), Mary Lou (m. Anthony Urban), Roger, Peggy Lee (m. Tim Boysen), Lucille May "Lucy" (m. Kim Halverson), Lavonne Kay (m. Ken Miller).



Leota Gunn Quillin's second daughter, Donna Fae, married William Verle Peterson in Reliance, SD.  As of 1979, their daughter, Diana, was working for the State Electrical Board in Pierre, SD.;  their other daughter, Ina Lee, was a beautician in Vermillion; and their boys were still in high school.


Robert, or "Buck", was the only family member born after the family moved from their farm into Scotland.

During World War I he volunteered to serve with the Scotland and Tyndall contingent of the SD Infantry, this unit later being transferred into the 147th F.A.AEF.  There he served with honor and distinction in France throughout the war.

Serving with him was his cousin George Schneider, as well as his double cousin, Percy Brown, the son of Jennie Munn Brown.

After "Buck" returned from service he worked as a rural mail carrier until his death in 1935 at age 40, leaving three children aged four to twelve.

His widow, Rose (Rokusek), continued living in Scotland, where she raised the children.



The oldest child, Allen L., who also was nicknamed "Buck", died of complications following a high school football injury.



Inez married Ray Ghering and lived at Wall, SD where Ray was a government trapper and she worked at the local Gamble Store.

Inez and Ray had four children:   Carmen (Mrs. Richard Crawford), Raymond, Betty (Mrs. Larry Lloyd), and Patricia (Mrs. Larry Wilder).

Inez Gunn Ghering died of a heart condition at age 50.



The son that was four at the time of his father's death has gone by the nickname "Buck" since his older brother's death.

As of 1979, Robert was retired from the Navy and he and his Japanese wife, the former Hisayo Kobayashi, were living in San Diego with their two teenage children.

While in the service they lived in many places throughout the world.  Their daughter, Barbara, was born while they were living in Greece.


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