Although her parents still have a strong German accent, Ella and her siblings speak with an accent that hints slightly at their heritage.
Traits & Characteristics
Strengths and Weaknesses (depending on the situation)
Rational and practical
Able to improvise and focus on the present
Working with her parents on their family farm.
Since her family are primarily sheep herders, she is an expert at wool spinning and making knitted/crocheted clothing out of the yarn (e.g. shawls, scarfs, gloves) to sell to stores.
Aliases / Nicknames
1848 - March 1876
Family farm south of Missoula, Montana
March 1876 - Present
Family farm near Smith Lake (situated south of Kalispell)
Kith & Kin
Father: Wilhelm (Born in Germany in September 1826)
Mother: Hilda (Born in Germany in April 1828)
Brother: Kurt (Born in May 1846)
Brother: Bernhard (Born in February 1850)
Brother: Paul (Born in October 1853)
Brother: Hugo (Born in July 1855)
Sister: Anna (Born in June 1857)
Sister-in-Law: Inge (married to Paul - born in January 1854)
1848 - March 1876
Ella was born on the family farm located south of Missoula in 1848. Her parents Wilhelm and Hilda emigrated to the USA shortly after the birth of their oldest son Kurt in 1846. Wilhelm had a older brother already in the USA and together they buy a farm in the east.
Ella grows up learning how to spin and make clothes from the wool produced on the farm. She also learns to read and write, as do all her brothers and sister.
In 1867, Wilhelm takes his family and along with one of his brother's sons move to an area south of Missoula (Mills) to try and raise sheep and crops. After a few years, Wilhelm sells his share of the farm to his nephew and the family move to Missoula.
March - May 1876
Late in 1875, a group of businessmen from the more prosperous town of Helena come to visit Wilhelm. They see the potential of a viable sheep industry and are interested in starting small herds in various parts of the territory. Wilhelm is offered a parcel of land south of Smith Lake near the town of Kalispell. He makes a deal with them for 60% of any profits made from the farm.
Not knowing if the land can sustain a large herd or not, Wilhelm takes small herd of about 150 sheep to the area. The family also decide to plant crops to help bring in an income.
Soon after the snows melt, the Albrecht family move to their new farm, where they quickly build a home, barn and storage facilities. They have also planted wheat and some vegetable crops. So far their presence has gone relatively unnoticed but that can change at any moment.
It took a few more minutes for Ella to work out the particulars of her deal with Pettigrew. When she was done she went back into the store and selected some fabric. Since the salesgirl was busy with Lenora, Pettigrew served her.
After purchasing the fabric, she went up to Leonora, "I'm ready to go back to my brothers. If you wish to stay longer, that's fine. However, I would like to thank you for bringing me here just in case we're gone by the time you get back."
Ella frowned as she hadn't counted on gifting any of her stock in order to get orders. Whoever this Miss Orr was, if she had the power to entice other young women to buy a shawl or something else then it might be worthwhile. She would have to explain things to her family but if she knew the reasons why, then they would be agreeable.
"All right, I can give her this one," she picked the most stylish shawl she could out of the three she had bought in, "however, I will reserve the right to ask for the item back if this doesn't work. Even used a good shawl like this can still sell."
He was looking at the mittens again. "Hmm, yes, very fine work." his watery old eyes looked up at her sparking young hazel orbs. "Where do you get your supply of wool from?" he asked with professional interest.
"Ahh...we get our wool from a number of suppliers. You know people back east who we've meet over the years," Ella said in a matter-of-fact way.
Turning back to the point of all this, she continued, "I'm glad you like them. It takes a while to make things so we like to get an early start in order to have things ready to sell by late fall when people are starting to need them."
She waited for his response and hopefully it would be one that was good.
"Miss Ella Albrecht," she answered as she stepped forward and placed her parcel on the counter. "I do wish to buy some cloth but I was also wondering if you were interested in purchasing some items I have."
As she opened the parcel, she smiled at Pettigrew, "I hope you don't mind me approaching you in this way. My family are new to the area, and we've been looking for somewhere to sell some of the goods we make."
After opening the parcel, she picked up crochet shawl to the show the owner. She then pointed to the other items, "There's a scarf and some mittens as well. We make a variety of woollen garments. This is just an example of some of them."
"It does seem to have a lot of things," Ella replied in a wistful tone.
Looking at the young girl who was serving at the counter, Ella surmised that she must be either an employee or related to the owner in some way she smiled reassuringly before turning back to Leonora, "I think that you may be right...this looks like the best place in town."
Placing the package she had bought with her on the counter, Ella looked at the girl, "I would like to speak to the owner if he or she is here."
Ella was mildly surprised that it was Bern who was the first to make an impression with one of the ladies in town. She considered Bern to be the more quieter one of her brothers...well that was at least until Kurt had returned home. Kurt was more serious than he used to be and she wondered why. Whatever he did all those years he was away had a profound effect on him.
However, Kurt was not the person Leonora had asked about. It was Bern and so Ella obliged her with an answer, "He can be very engaging with the right people and when the topic of conversation interests him. Like most people with our background, he can be a little wary at first but once he takes to you, he's the most congenial person you'll ever meet."
Stopping for a moment, she took a good look at Lenora and nodded, "For someone who has been bedridden for a long time, you look remarkably well. I know Bern would have noticed that."
Soon they were at Pettigrews and Ella noticed the long name of the store on the sign. "What a mouthful," she murmured.
After following Leonora into the store, Ella took a moment to look around. It was full of a lot of things but since it was summer, she couldn't see any shawls or scarves...maybe they were out the back in storage. Hopefully, the owner was the type to order in advance.
After introducing Miss Lutz to his sister, Bern made his excuses. He needed to find out from Kurt how much of their order could be fulfilled at this store and if they had to go elsewhere. Besides the ladies had started talking about fabrics, a subject he had no particular interest in.
Ella smiled again as she responded to Lenora's question, "Yes it's Miss Albrecht."
"Nice, isn't it?" she asked rhetorically and then glanced up to make sure the store keeper wasn't listening "But they have some finer over at Pettigrew's, and about the same price, too." Well, she needn't feel guilty about losing the Storekeeper a sale, after he'd hiked the price on flour!
"Does this Pettigrew have a large range? I'm looking for something to suit my sister and my mother as well as myself."
She paused for a moment as she wondered if this Pettigrew would be interested in buying some of their woollen items, "Now that I think about it, maybe a visit to this Pettigrew might be worthwhile. Would you mind showing me the way?"
Ella was looking at bolt of blue cloth when Bern approached her. She was deciding whether or not to buy some of the fabric for her younger sister, Anna who had tried to come on this trip but instead had been forced to stay at home. The blue cloth could be made into a pretty dress which would please Anna and make her forget her disappointment at not being able to go into town.
Bern tapped her on the shoulder and she turned to see what he wanted. To her surprise, he was accompanied by the woman who had come in with the disgruntled old woman. The woman looked a bit apprehensive, so Ella gave her a reassuring smile.
"Ella I would like to introduce you to Miss Leonora Lutz. Miss Lutz, this is my sister, Ella Albrecht," Bern said in a pleasant tone.
Holding out her hand, Ella nodded her slightly, "It's a pleasure to meet you, Miss Lutz."
Mature Content: No
With: Ella Albrecht, her brothers Kurt and Bernhard plus anyone else who wants to join in Location: Various places on the main street When: Friday 23 June 1876 Time of Day: Afternoon
After her older brother Kurt had helped her out of the wagon, Ella took a good look around. Kalispell wasn't a big town but it wasn't small either. There were a number of stores including a large store that seemed to be a dressmaker of some sort. She couldn't quite tell from in front of Wilson's General Store where they had stopped. It would be probably the first of many places they would do business with, in the town. There were much needed supplies to get as well as deals to make to sell their wares.
She went to the back of the wagon to pull her bundle out from amongst the camping equipment they had in the wagon. The trip from the family farm had taken most of the day and they would have to spend the night out in the open. Thankfully at this time of year it wasn't that bad sleeping under the stars. At least she could sleep in the wagon, while her brothers Kurt and Bernhard would be sleeping on the ground. On their way in they had seen a suitable field where they could hopefully camp providing no-one objected.
Ella smiled at thought of people objecting. For this first visit to Kalispell she expected no problems. The three of them knew how to keep their mouths shut concerning what they were really doing on the farm. For now, they would partially tell the truth and tell people that they were growing only wheat. She knew about the troubles that came with raising sheep in cattle country and the longer they could keep it quiet, the better.
The other problem was that her family were German. Even though she and all her siblings except for Kurt were born here in America, it didn't matter. They looked like Americans and spoke with virtually no accent, it was their names that betrayed their origins. If only Papa and Mama had given them all American sounding names instead of just her brother Paul.
Kurt motioned for her to join them as he entered the general store. Now there was mystery. Shortly before his twentieth birthday Kurt had left home. He was gone for almost ten years, with only the occasional letter to let his family know that he was alive and well. Then just before they moved to the new farm near Smith Lake, he returned. Even though he was not good at farming or herding sheep, it was still good to have him around as they would need all the help they could get in the future.
For now, they had supplies to order. They would collect them in the morning before they left to go back home. Hopefully, before then she would get some time to see whatever sights Kalispell had to offer.
Sagas of the WIld West is a roleplaying game set in a fictionalized version of the town of Kalispell in Montana territory. Our stories begin in 1875 and are set against the backdrop of actual historical events.Sagas was inspired by the classic television and movie westerns. Our focus is on writing, storytelling and character development.
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