Tony, Lillian and family








This story begins with Joseph Nigg and his wife Nothburga Hassler Nigg who came to America from Liechtenstein in 1881.They were brave and hardy pioneers who were not afraid of work and endured many hardships during their first years in Roberts County.Two daughters from Joseph's first marriage came with them to the new country. Their names were Christine and Katherine.

Before the family settled in Roberts County they spent several years in Iowa after arriving. Then about 1888 they moved the family to Ramona, SD and took up a farm. It was here that they got started in livestock. Joseph rented the farm and cared for a number of cattle for the owner. He was to get half the increase and all the milk produced for his work and feed. In that way he began to build a herd of his own. They stayed in this area until the drought of 1893. There were no crops and and no hay to feed the cattle and horses. Joseph heard of some good grassland on an Indian reservation to the north. So after checking it out he found that it was true and that there was land to rent . Then with the help of friends he managed to make a dugout on the edge of the hill and shelters for the animals. Before winter set in he returned for the family and their belongings were loaded in two wagons. Of course the cattle had to be driven The family spent the winter living in the dugout in primitive conditions

Eventually the Niggs became settled in the Browns Valley-Peever area where some of their children remained to farm the land for many years.

The plat map of Easter Township of 1910 shows land listed in sections 14,15,27,28,33, and 34 to Joseph Nigg.

The children that were born to Joseph and Nothburga were:

Felix, Regina,(Allen), Albertina, (Fonder), Louis, Anthony, Joseph, Blanch,(died as an infant) and Barbara,(Ness).


But this story focuses mainly on the Tony Nigg family so we will continue with the children born to Anthony and Lillian Johnson Nigg.

Raymond Anthony "Ray" was born Sept. 30, 1912. He died in Aberdeen, SD Oct. 8, 1972.

Merville Jerrome "Merf" was born Dec. 13, 1913. Merville passed away in Browns Valley, MN Feb. 3. 1993.

Bernice Elizabeth "Girley" (Gronaski) was born May 26, 1916.

Laverne Alouis "Buddy" born June 22, 1918. Buddy died tragically at Pearl Harbor Dec. 7, 1941.

Kenneth Henry "Kenny" is the only one not born in Roberts County. He was born in Graceville, MN on August 14, 1920.

Agnes Mary "Sis" Torgeson born April 20,1923.

Leo Joseph born July 24, 1925. Leo died from injuries received in a car crash June 12, 1972.

Bernard Anthony was born Sept. 24, 1927 and died Nov. 17, 1928.

Delores Frances "Worry Wort" (Schwagerl) born Sept. 13, 1929.

Glenn Francis "Glenny" Nigg born Oct. 23, 1931. Glen died in 2003.

Donavon Anton (Donnie) Born August 13, 1934.

Gerald Ambrose "Jerry" Nigg born July 23, 1936.



Leo, Merville, Donavon, Delores, Gerald, Raymond, Kenneth

Agnes, Lillian, Tony, Bernice.


In the Peever Pilot of January 2000 you can find an article submitted by Sis Torgeson honoring her brother Laverne and the other Nigg boys who were in the service at the same time. She also gave a report on the USS Oklahoma Memorial that was held on November 11, 1998. If anyone needs a copy of that Pilot we still have issues on hand.


You will find more about the Joseph Niggs and also the Louis Nigg branch of the family in the July 1999 Pilot. This was written and submitted by MaryEllen Nigg Carlson. Please feel free to email Char from the website to ask for copies if you would like them.