Ashley Jewish Homesteaders Cemetery
You are cordially invited to the Rededication
of the Ashley Jewish Homesteaders Cemetery
Sunday 21 May 2017 at 2 p.m.
Detail on May 2017 Dedication Governor's Proclamation on Jewish Homesteaders' Day
The Ashley Jewish Homesteaders Cemetery is the only permanent physical reminder of the McIntosh County, North Dakota Jewish farming community — the largest Jewish agricultural settlement in North Dakota. North Dakota had the fourth largest number of Jewish homesteaders in any state in the US from 1906 through 1915. Twelve-hundred Jewish farmers farmed on 250 homesteads in over fifty North Dakota settlements from the late 1870's.
Over 400 Jewish individuals lived on 70 to 100 homesteads near Ashley. The McIntosh County Jewish homesteader community was made up of Russian and Romanian immigrants escaping persecution, including the Russian prohibition against Jews owning land for farming. They came to America after pogroms in their native lands, part of a migration of 1.25 million Jews between 1880 and 1920. Unlike most of their Jewish brethren who remained on or near the east coast in bigger cities, they headed to "The Great Northwest" to become farmers — boarding trains from New York to the prairie, then climbing into horse-drawn buggies or walking to Ashley in ruts of ox-cart trails from the train depot at Eureka, South Dakota, "Odessa of the North."
This Cemetery stands as a symbol of the acceptance the Jewish homesteaders felt to remain true to who they were, even on the harsh Dakota prairie. They were a registered Jewish congregation in 1907, before they had a building for worship or a formally trained rabbi. They were competent farmers and raisers of cattle and chickens, without prior experience. They were Americans — free to practice their religion and to choose their livelihood. The site was named by the National Parks Service of the Department of the Interior to the National Historic Register on 17 November 2015 as a significant historic property, worthy of preservation.
- The Lost Jews of McIntosh County by Ron Vossler (1986)
- Old Jewish Cemeteries in N.D. show once-large community, by Ted Quanrud, Bismarck Tribune, in Grand Forks Herald, Sunday 6 December 1987
- Ashley Synagogue History
- Rabbi Julius Hess, cemetery founder
- Cleaning & Preservation Project (2014)
- National Registery of Historic Places Announcement
- National Register of Historic Places Certificate
- National Park Service web site - National Registry
- National Registry Nomination
Help support the preservation of the only cemetery on the National Historic Register specifically honoring Jewish immigrant homesteaders in North Dakota. Make a Donation
The Ashley Jewish Homesteaders Cemetery is near Ashley, McIntosh County, North Dakota. It is also sometimes referred to as "Beth Itzchock Cemetery," "The Ashley Jewish Pioneer's Cemetery," and similar names.View Larger Map
Map of Cemetery
Click on image for larger map
Alphabetical by last name, as the names appear on the tombstones. ♠ = Photo of tombstone. [?] = unclear, missing, indecipherable character.
- Auerbach, Israel. 1862-1916 ♠ ♠ ♠ ♠ ♠
פ"נ אבינו איש תם וישר משכיל על דבר אמת ר׳ ישראל חיים בר משה שמואל אווערבּאך הלך לעולמו בּיום כ׳׳ו תמוז תרע׳׳ו ת׳נ׳צ׳ב׳ה׳
(Here lies the honest and decent man educated in matters of truth Mr. Yisrael Haim son of Moshe Shemuel Auerbach died the twenty-sixth [?] day of Tamuz 5676  May his soul be bound in the bond of life)
- Auerbach, Sarah. 1862-1915 ♠ ♠ ♠ ♠
- Bender, Kiva. April 1858 – 24 June 1913 ♠ ♠ ♠ ♠ ♠
- Becker, Maxine Sally. 1926 – 1932 ♠
- Bloom, Mr. [Bloom, Lipman] 5 January 1873 – 14 May 1913 ♠ ♠
- Dorfman, Freda. d. 25 January 1915, age 33 ♠ ♠
- Filler, Rebecca. d. 18 February 1923, age 37 (Born in Russia, 1886; wife of Joseph Filler; mother of Israel [Esrael, Isador], Harry, Fanny, Sam; lived in or near Ashley, ND, 1910; lived in Rosenthal, ND, 1915; lived in Hosmer, Edmunds County, SD, 1920) ♠ ♠
- Goldstone, Isadore. 10 August 1921 – 17 November 1921 (A.K.A. Idel Goldstone, son of Joseph Goldstone & Esther Juster, Eureka, SD) ♠
הילד יהודה בן יוסף גאלדסטאן נפ' ט"ז חשון תרכב לפ"ק ת'נ'צ'ב'ה'
(The lad Yehuda ben Yosef Goldstone, died 16 Heshvan 5682  May his soul be bound in the bond of life)
- Grossman, Yitzchak (Isadore). ♠
פ"נ ר' יצחק בר אלכסנדר גראסמאן נפטר יום א כ"א לחודש שבט תרע"ה נולד בשנת תרכ"ט לפ"ק תהי נפשו צרירה בצריר החיים
(Here is buried Reb Yitzchkak ben Reb Alexander Grossman. Died on Sunday, 21 days in the month of Shevat 5678. Born in the year 5629. May his soul be bound up in the bond of everlasting life)
- Grossman, Yehudah Leb. ♠
(Here is buried Reb Yehuda Leib ben Reb Alexander Grossman Died on Tuesday 9 days in the month of Cheshvan 5672. Born in the year 5623. May his soul be bound up in the bond of everlasting life)
- Grossman, Chaim Yosef (Joseph). ♠
(Here is buried the esteemed young man Mr. Chaim Yosef ben Reb Yitzchak Grossman. Died on Tuesday 14 days in the month of Cheshvan 5670. Born in the year 5621. May his soul be bound up in the bond of everlasting life)
- Jampolsky [Jampolsky, Yehiel Hayyim]. d. 1918 [7 November 1918] ♠ ♠
- Ourach [Ourach, David]. [d. 5 March 1924] age 13 (Son of Getzel & Gossia Ourach, brother of Philip Ourach; farmers; lived in Lehr, ND) ♠
- Parkansky, Mrs. d. 8 October 1918 ♠ ♠
- Raich, Frieda. 13 June 1916 – 27 October 1918 ♠
- Raich, Joseph G. d. 10 June 1918, age 41 ♠
- Reuben, Benjeman B. 10 October 1910 – 11 November 1918 (=Benjamin B. Reuben, son of Yehuda Lev Rabyn & Mirel Chaplik) ♠ ♠
- Ruebin, Mrs. 08 March 1870 – 29 July 1913 (=Mirel Chaplik Reuben) ♠ ♠
פ״נ אשה חשובה מרת מירל ראבין בת משה נולדה תרכט ונפטרה י״א תמוז תרעג תנצבה
(Here lies the esteemed woman Mrs. Mirel Rabyn daughter of Moshe born 5629 [1869/1870] and died 11 Tamuz 5673  May her soul be bound in the bond of life)
Note: The civil date on the monumentJuly 29, 1913is according to the Julian calendar. The date 11 Tamuz 5673 corresponds with 16 July 1913 on the modern calendar.
- Silverleib, Fayga. d. 20 May 1916, age 32 ♠
פנ / האשה הצניעה / פייגה / בת ר מרדכי סילווערלייב / [?] [?] [?]פ[?] יז אייר תרעו / May 20, 1916 / [?] [?] [?] [?] / [?] [?] [?] [?] YRS. 32. Old / תנצבה
(Here is buried the modest woman Fayga daughter of Reb Mordechai Silberleib. Died Iyar 5676 [= 20 May 1916]. 32 Years Old.)
May 20, 1916. Yrs. 30. Old.
- Silverleib, Nochem. d. 7 April 1918 ♠ ♠
איש תם וישר מר נחום בר פינחס סילװערלײבּ נפטר בּיום א׳ כה׳ ניסנ [sic] שנת תרעח תּ׳נ׳ע[sic]׳בּ׳הח[sic]
([Here lies] the honest and decent man Mr. Nahum son of Pinhas Silberleib died Sunday 25 Nisan 5678 May his soul be bound up in the bond of life)
- Smilowitz, Isador. 11 January 1903 – 11 December 1919 ♠ ♠
- Weil, Jacob. 1932 ♠
- Unknown children
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