Mylo is 100% German from Russia. His ancestors are Germans who fled Germany and went to the Ukraine, just north of the Black Sea, during the Napoleonic wars. Germans from Russia make up the largest ethnic group in North Dakota (sorry, all you Norwegians).
In Mylo’s own words, in the spring of 1910, Mylo’s greatgrandparents “came to this country on a boat, went to the Statue of Liberty and got made natural, then got on another boat and sailed up the Mississippi River to St. Louis, where he bought a covered wagon and went north with the other Germans in the group. They went as far as they could, and when the weather turned that fall, that’s where they stopped and stayed. They turned the wagon upside-down, heaped dirt up around it for insulation (because fiberglass doesn’t grow in North Dakota), cut a hole in the floor for the stovepipe, and that was their home their first winter in North Dakota. When spring came, they built a home and started their farm, east of what is now Strasburg, ND.
“The family farm used to be farther north than it is now, up north of Linton about a mile, but you know how the wind is in North Dakota; it blows all the time, and over the years it blew the farm south, little by little, until it got to where it is now.”
Mylo is a fourth-generation farmer, the second of five children born to Reinhold and Alma Hatzenbuhler. His sister is named June, and his brothers are Miles (“Mama’s time to have him came while the folks were on a trip, and they were still two miles from the hospital when he was born, so they named him Miles. It’s a good thing the trip wasn’t to Canada, or his name would be Kilometers.”), Darryl, and the youngest, 6 & 7/8 Hatzenbuhler (“Papa couldn’t decide on a name for him, so they drew his name out of a hat.”).