About the Funeral Photograph





The photograph displayed on the home page of this website was taken on Wednesday, April 28, 1920, at the Wolf family farm several miles north of Turtle Lake in McLean County, North Dakota. The picture was most likely taken before the funeral service that was conducted by two pastors, one in German and the other in English.

In it are some of the relatives of Jacob and Beata Wolf along with some of their close friends and neighbors. Emma Wolf, the eight-month-old survivor, is the baby in white just to the right of the second coffin from the left. She is being held by her aunt, Christina Hofer, her mother's older sister.


The picture was chosen for the website's home page after careful consideration and with concern for the surviving relatives these ninety years later.  In the end, it was selected because no other visual image available conveys as well as this photo does the utter horror of what actually happened on that fateful day in April of 1920.


This particular funeral picture helps us realize the horrible and unbelievable fact that an entire family and their hired boy were brutally murdered, and that the murders included innocent small children whose lives were cut short long before their time.  It also shows us the expressions of family and friends who were left to survive this terrible tragedy as they prepared to bury their dead and then to get on with their lives and the work of carving out a life on the barren prairies of central North Dakota.