When Fred L. Aichele of Milton-Freewater died Jan. 20, 1964, it was revealed that though he, his father and his grandfather were all born in the same house, they were each born in a different country.
Mr. Aichele’s grandfather was born a citizen of Germany. The land where the family home existed later became part of the Principality of Moldavia, part of the Ottoman Empire, and was named the Governate of Bessarabia, after a name previously used in the southern areas of the confluence of the Dniester and Prut rivers. Aichele’s father was born during this period, and was a citizen of Turkey. In the aftermath of the Russo-Turkish War in 1812, parts of the principality was ceded to Imperial Russia. Aichele, born April 25, 1888, was a citizen of Russia.
Many Bessarabian people, including the Aichele family, were unhappy with Russian rule, and emigrated to the United States. They settled in Hurdsfield, N.D., where they homesteaded. Mr. Aichele later owned and operated a dray line, and still later raised livestock and grain. He moved to the Milton-Freewater area in 1920, where he farmed and raised fruit.
And Bessarabia? The land changed hands again following the Russian Revolution in 1917, when it became an autonomous republic of the federative Russian state. It joined with the Kingdom of Romania in 1918, but was integrated into the Soviet Union when the Romanian army was forced out in 1940. The area is now divided between present-day Moldova and Ukraine, independent states as of 1991.