Big Bend Country: A Journey of Good Times, Hard Times, and Hope
It's hard to imagine what it took to eke out a living in rural North Dakota in the early 20th century. It is but a century ago in years, but eons in terms of the everyday life experiences of today. The memories of his mother, Lorraine Guenthner Kruckenberg, enable author Larry Lee Kruckenberg to bring the travails of a working prairie farm into sharp focus. It was a good life, but a hard life, filled with work and family. Through his mother's words, Kruckenberg details every aspect of what it was like to grow up in a remote part of Mercer County, and upon reaching adulthood, raising a family under very difficult circumstances. It is a chronicle of life, hardship, and sometimes tragedy, that underscores the strength of our forebears, and renews appreciation for those who came before us. It is one person's remarkable journey, grounded in personal sacrifice, faith, and hope of the times.
Winner of the 2022 IPPY Bronze Medal Award in the category of Midwest - Best Regional Non-Fiction
No One Dare Call Her A Liar: The Untold Story of Alma Kruckenberg's 1938 Murder
One of the most notorious crimes in North Dakota history has reverberated through several generations of Larry Lee Kruckenberg’s family. The brutal murder of 16-year- old Alma Luise Kruckenberg at the hands of her minister on August 16, 1938, was shocking enough. The subsequent confession, trial, and sentencing of her murderer took place with astonishing speed, leaving Alma’s family and friends barely time to process the horrifying event. Lurid details of the crime have been passed down from one generation to the next, becoming distorted with every telling.
In a meticulously researched retelling, the nephew Alma never knew provides a painstaking account of murder and motive, uncovering some secrets along the way. More than 80 years after the crime, the author sheds new light on what transpired, finally laying to rest a tragedy that has haunted his family for decades. Through official court transcripts, archived newspaper articles, writings from the murderer, conversations with elders who still remember, and traces of Alma’s diary that have been lost to time, Larry Kruckenberg tells the complete story of a crime that once captivated attention around the world, finally giving voice to the victim.
On Fertile Ground: Frontier Challenges and Early Settlement 1873-1899
Travel back in time to what was once known as Big Bend Country in southwestern North Dakota and experience firsthand the challenges and triumphs of pioneers from 1873 to 1899.
In his latest work, On Fertile Ground, author Larry Lee Kruckenberg reimagines their lives, based on real historical accounts. Kruckenberg’s personal connection to the region is evident in the authentic and vivid details that populate these tales. From conflicts involving Native Americans to the struggles of homesteading to the arrival of European immigrants, these stories capture the spirit of the era and the resilience of the people who lived it.
This unique collection of stories is a must-read for anyone interested in the history of the northern Great Plains – particularly Dakota Territory – and is a testament to the power of storytelling to keep the past alive. Kruckenberg’s previous books, which delve into his own family history, have been widely praised for their insight and empathy, and this collection is sure to be no exception.
Book Reviews & Testimonials
Amazing true story that is as spellbinding as any fiction mystery book. Read it in one sitting couldn't put it down. Recommend it to everyone I visit with.
5-star praise for "No One Dare Call Her A Liar"