Looking for BOESE and HILGER of Montana
My father died in 2002, and while he was ill my four brothers and I had wonderful opportunities to ask him questions about his past and his family. We learned so much, and the experience of just asking those questions made his passing easier and made us all closer. I do, however, regret the lost opportunities - there was so much more I could have learned, and so many more laughs we might have shared...
I don't want to make the same mistake with my 79 year old mother. I don't want to wait until my mother is sick or gone to learn more about her and her family, so this summer we are taking a trip to her birthplace, Claresholm, Alberta, Canada.
My mom's father was John Bernard Boese of Shelby, Montana. He emigrated to Claresholm in 1905 after he married Mary Hilger (also of Shelby, MT). He opened the 'American Cafe', later renamed the 'American Restaurant and Bakery.' He and my grandmother also had a boarding house above the restaurant. He was a fabulous chef (he learned the trade spending four years on a sailing ship that sailed around the southern tip of Africa), and was a very dignified and generous man. I'm sorry I never met him.
I am really excited about the trip to Claresholm as the city (population 3,500) is celebrating its centennial, and 1905 was the same year my grandparents settled there. I have already contacted the museum, and will be meeting with the curator. I cannot wait to share this with my mother.
Finding out more about my mom's family is secondary to finding more about my mom - thus, learning more about myself at the same time.