Johanna Silseth

My name is Johanna Iva (Aaron) Silseth, born in Oneida, WI.  My parents were Cornelius Aaron and Vera Seifert. The first eight years of my life I lived in Oneida where my father was a Lutheran minister.  I was the second born, my brother Cornelius Jr. was born two and half years before me.  My father left the ministry and went into the Department of Interior - Indian Affairs at which time we moved to a small community in the Fort Berthold Reservation in North Dakota where dad taught in a one room schoolhouse.  The rest of my elementary school years were spent there.  At that time Dad asked to be transferred to a place where my brother and I could go to high school and stay at home as my brother already was staying about 100 miles away from home.  We then moved to Nevada where we graduated high school.  I went to work for the Federal Government as a secretary after graduating and then after one year we moved to Oregon where Dad became boys' counselor in a dormitory at Chemawa Indian School.  I got a job working for the State of Oregon as a secretary and worked there for about 26 1/2 years until I met my husband and married.  We have been married 35 years.  Since I married late in life I never had any children, but my husband has two so I have two stepchildren, two step-grandchildren and two step-great grandchildren. 

My husband and I love to fish.  We go to the coast on one of the rivers each Fall and fish for salmon.  Also, we like to travel places with our motor home, we used to go south each winter but that got to be boring after a while.  Now we just go for short jaunts to places of interest. 

The thing I appreciate most during my life is having such loving parents, but they weren't with me for long.  They both taught me and my brothers how to love people. 

One of the things I like to reminisce about is when we lived in Wisconsin and visited with our cousins in Red Springs.  Steve and Irene Vele had a large family and I and my brother loved to visit and play with them.  I remember one time we went to visit, Steve and Irene took their family and my brother and I and went out picking beans and when we were finished Steve and Irene insisted on us taking the money for what we picked.  I think that was the most money I ever had in my life at that time. To the younger generation I say love your neighbors and be proud of your ancestry.