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1943: Diamond Club member Anna Varah continues her life story

The following article is part of the Diamond Club Member group that began in the January 7, 1943, issue of the Rock County Star Herald. Members of this group consist of persons of age 75 and older.
The following appeared in The Rock County Herald on October 14, 1943.
(Hardwick resident Mrs. Anna Varah continues her story from last week.)
The Ostreich family lived in Clayton county nine years and from there moved to Delaware county, Iowa, where they lived until 1885 when they came to Rock county, settling in Clinton township, just north of the Iowa line.
On September 28, 1887, she was married to James E. Varah, by a justice of the peace in Lyon county, Iowa. According to Mrs. Varah, Mr. Varah at that time was not permitted to be married in Minnesota because an Iowa law at that time forbade its residents from marrying outside the state.
They lived in Lyon county the first winter, and there experienced the famous blizzard of 1888. They had plenty of snow, Mrs. Varah declared, and it was extremely cold.
The next spring, they moved to a farm east of Ashcreek, where they lived for five years. From there, they moved to Murray county where they farmed until 1898 when they moved to a farm in Battle Plain township, five miles east of Hardwick. While operating a corn picker one day in the fall of 1914, Mr. Varah lost his hand and the following spring they moved to Hardwick.
They had no children of their own, but they took Truby De Vinney as a boy, and reared him.
One remarkable fact about her family, Mrs. Varah stated, is that there are still nine children living out of a family of 12. Her brothers and sisters include Mrs. E. S. Barker, Willmar; Mrs. Charles Mc Gowan, Pipestone; Mrs. Martha Raymond, Delaware county, Ia.; Mrs. Howard Adams, Suffolk, Mont.; Herman Ostreich, Leboth, S.D.; Paul Ostreich, Cromwell, Minn., and Henry Ostreich, Pennock, Minn.
Mrs. Varah is still very active. She kept a big garden this summer, and did considerable canning. She also raises a few chickens. One of her favorite pastimes is crocheting dish towels for her friends, and she also pieces quilts for others. During the last war, she did considerable sewing and knitting for the Red Cross, but thus far, she has not done any of that type of work during this war, she stated.
         Donations to the Rock County Historical Society can be sent to the Rock County Historical Society, 312 E. Main Street, Luverne, MN 56156.
Mann welcomes correspondence sent to

1943: Varah's start to life was helped by maple sugar water

The following article is part of the Diamond Club Member group that began in the January 7, 1943, issue of the Rock County Star Herald. Members of this group consist of persons of age 75 and older.
The following appeared in The Rock County Herald on October 14, 1943.
This may sound funny, but Mrs. Anna Varah, Hardwick, swears it’s the truth. She owes her life to maple syrup water.
Born in Clayton county, Iowa, Dec. 25, 1869, the daughter of William and Rosella Ostreich, she was a mere baby when she became very ill. The physician from Elkader, who was called to care for her, prescribed maple syrup water as her only medicine. She eventually recovered, after she had once been considered dead. She was so ill that she lay motionless and cold, and was given up by the family. However, when they began to bathe her with warm water, she began showing signs of life, and she is still lively to this day. Because of her illness, she was unable to walk until she was three years old.
Her family lived on the Big Turkey river, in Clayton county, and she recalls that the river often provided them with fish for the family table. One catfish her father landed, she relates, touched the ground and he was carrying it over his shoulder.
She attended public school but little, because she was third oldest of a family of 12, and her help was required at home. “I got some schooling,” she states, “but I forgot about everything I did learn, which wasn’t much.”
As a girl she helped her father with the farm work. When he cut the small grain with a “cradle,” her brother raked it together, her mother bound it into bundles, and she would gather the bundles together and would set them in a shock.
She had planted corn, dropping three kernels at a time by hand. In those days, no one thought of using a cultivator, she states. All the corn was kept clean with a hoe, and a hoe was also used in planting and covering the corn.
Their farm was a clearing in a wooded area. The settlers had no money to buy wire fencing so they made rail fences from the available timber, to keep the cattle from going into the fields. “Sometimes the cows would get smart,” said Mrs. Varah, “and they’d learn the crotches in the posts. Then they’d get into the fields, and we’d have a lot of trouble.”
One cow in each herd, she added, would always have a bell so that the cattle could be located in the timber land where they were pastured.
Local sugar shortages are considered a joke by Mrs. Varah. “Why, we’d go a year at a time, and even more, without seeing a grain of white sugar,” she stated. “Father raised sorghum, and we’d tap the maple trees in the spring and get maple sugar and that’s all.”
Farmers raised a few hogs, and in the early days, they butchered them out during the winter time. She recalls neighbors would have “regular slaughtering bees” at which time, several farmers worked together killing several head of hogs. These would be stored in huge coolers for some time, until they were frozen solid, and then would be hauled like cordwood to town from where they were shipped to the market.
Later, when more hogs were being raised, the farmers would get together and drive them to the stockyard in their town from where they would be shipped to the packers. Mrs. Varah remembers how much trouble the men often had in driving them across the bridge across the Big Turkey river. Many times, they would have to make them swim across, when they would start across the plank flooring of the bridge. Mrs. Varah pointed out that making a hog swim is dangerous, as they are naturally poor swimmers, and often cut their own throats with the hooves on their front feet.

1943: Welzenbach continues his life story

By Betty Mann, Rock County Historian
The following article is part of the Diamond Club Member group that began in the January 7, 1943, issue of the Rock County Star Herald. Members of this group consist of persons of age 75 and older.
The following appeared in The Rock County Herald on October 14, 1943.
John Welzenbach, Luverne…was Early Day Cigar Maker (continued)
He liked Luverne the minute he stepped off the train, he stated. Causing him to have a favorable impression on the community from the start was the fact that there were at that time numerous bird dogs in the city. Being a lover of the out of doors, and enjoying hunting and fishing, he knew that Luverne could not be a backward western town if its residents were lovers of fine dogs.
         Mr. Welzenbach lived on the farm for 29 years before retiring and moving to Luverne. While on the farm, he served as treasurer for school district 50 for 26 years, and as treasurer of Mound township for 24 years. For the past 12 years, he has been treasurer for the Beaver Creek Mutual Fire Insurance company, a position he still holds.
         Since boyhood, Mr. Welzenbach stated, he had two ambitions. One was to see the source of the Mississippi, and the other to see his birthplace in Germany. Both aspirations became reality.
Visits Birthplace
         It was in 1928 that he and his brother made the trip back to Bavaria. Hausen, the village in which he was born, had added but three houses since they had left there 60 years previous. With plenty of time to travel, Mr. Welzenbach and his brother visited all the villages in that area, traveling from one to the other with horse and buggy.
         “Germany was getting along nicely at that time,” Mr. Welzenbach said, “and if the people had just been left alone to work things out for themselves, they’d have been all right today.”
         Mr. Welzenbach’s father had been a miller in Germany, and while visiting there, they saw the mill which their father had operated six decades previous.
         “Because father was a business man, he was lucky enough to obtain a hunting license, a privilege few villagers had,” Mr. Welzenbach explained. “For that reason, people back in father’s time called the mill “’Hunter’s Mill’, and that name was still used when we visited there.”
Visited Main Cities
       During their stay, they visited 12 of Germany’s principal cities, and also went to Paris. They also made a trip on the river Rhine from Mainz to Cologne. River banks were terraced and were planted to grapes and hops. “That was one of the most beautiful sights I have ever seen,” Mr. Welzenbach said.
         Mr. Welzenbach was married in Davenport, Iowa, to Lizzie Kuehl, on October 29, 1896. They became the parents of six children, five of whom are living. They are William, Wolf Point, Mont.; Arnold, Mound township; Mrs. John (Alice) Steffen, Hardwick; Mrs. Herman (Edna) Thorson, Luverne, and Pvt. Harvey Welzenbach, Camp Crowder, Mo. They also have 13 grandchildren and three great grandchildren.
         Mr. Welzenbach has one half-brother and a sister living. They are Joe Welzenbach, Omaha, and Mrs. Mary Miller, Davenport, Iowa.
         Donations to the Rock County Historical Society can be sent to the Rock County Historical Society, 312 E. Main Street, Luverne, MN 56156.
Mann welcomes correspondence sent to

1943: Welzenbach used to work as cigar maker in Iowa

The following article is part of the Diamond Club Member group that began in the January 7, 1943, issue of the Rock County Star Herald. Members of this group consist of persons of age 75 and older.
The following appeared in The Rock County Herald on October 14, 1943.
John Welzenbach, Luverne…was Early Day Cigar Maker
         Old time cigar smokers well remember the famous “Brown Beauty” and “Speckled Trout” cigars, but it may be a surprise to many of them to know that a Luverne man, John Welzenbach, once helped make them in a Davenport, Iowa, cigar factory.
         A carpenter’s son, Mr. Welzenbach had little choice but to learn a trade of some kind. As there was an opening in the cigar factory, he served his apprenticeship, and continued in that line of work for 15 years. Then, his health was endangered so he quit and moved to Rock county where he started farming.
         Mr. Welzenbach was born in Bavaria, Germany, October 18, 1868, the son of Anton and Barbara Welzenbach. At the age of three, he came with them to the United States and grew to young manhood in Davenoort, Iowa. He attended the public schools, but because he belonged to what he terms the “proletariat,” he had to begin earning his own money early in life.
Weeded Onions
         One of his first salary jobs as a boy was weeding onions in the big onion fields near Davenport. He was about 12 or 13 years old at the time. Anyone who has done any weed pulling at all can well imagine how difficult a task he had. “We’d work on our hands and knees 10 hours a day for 25 cents a day,” Mr. Welzenbach states, “and man, would the backs of our ears be sunburned and blistered!” Later, he was promoted from weed pulling to “topping” the onions. This was a more specialized job, and carried with it a salary increase of 75 cents a day, boosting his total earnings to $1.00 a day.
         One summer, he hired out to a farmer to herd cows, and if he had his way about it, he’d have been a farmer from the start, because he always liked working in the open so well. But at the insistence of his parents, he began learning the cigar making trade, and although he didn’t make it his life’s work, it did provide him with experience that he perhaps never would have had otherwise.
         For instance, in the fall of 1895, when the work was slack, he together with his brother and a friend pooled their resources and bought a cabin boat and travelled down the Mississippi river from Davenport to St. Louis. “We had all the comforts of home,” Mr. Welzenbach states, “and as long as we were not pressed for time, we were in no hurry to reach our destination. The current of the river and the wind was all the power we had. All we had to do was to guide the boat to keep it in the center of the channel. Once in a while, we’d use our sweeps (a form of an oar) to go to shore where we would do a little hunting, we’d anchor occasionally if the weather was rough. It took us six weeks to get to St. Louis, and we really had a dandy trip. After we got there, we sold our boat and came back by train, just in time to go back to work again.”
Came Here in 1900
         When he was advised to get out of the cigar factory to protect his health, he immediately decided to begin farming. Being unable to rent a place in Iowa, he came to Minnesota, where his brother-in-law lived. Here, he found, he was able to buy a farm out of his savings, so he made a deal for the purchase of the southwest quarter of section 14 in Mound township. He moved there in March, 1900, and since then, has been a Rock county resident.
(Welzenbach's story continues next week.)

1943: Boisen owned Luverne's first 'juke' box

Christian Boisen, Luverne, Owned Luverne’s First “Juke” Box
      Although there is no sworn statement on file, it is believed that Chris Boisen, Luverne, had Luverne’s first “juke” box. Before going any farther, it might be well to explain that the “nickelodeon” brought here by Mr. Boisen could hardly be compared with the gaily colored coin phonographs of today, but it cost as much, perhaps, and proved just as popular as the modern machine.
         Mr. Boisen had purchased an Edison phonograph, one of the earliest models, and was in Rock Rapids when an acquaintance induced him to come here to display his machine. It was a crude affair, but a money maker. Fifteen rubber tubes emanated from the sound chamber. By putting the tubes into their ears, eight customers with one tube in each ear could listen to their favorite recording at one time. The 15th tube was used by the operator of the machine so that he could tell if the record was playing properly or not. Boisen charged his patrons five cents to listen to one record, or they could hear three for a dime. He did quite a business at those prices, he recalls.
         The equipment represented considerable investment. The machine itself cost $360 and the records cost $2.00 each.
         The experience with the phonograph, however, is but one of many interesting experiences in Mr. Boisen’s life. He was born Sept. 18, 1868, near Flensburg, Germany, a seaport city of 150,000 located on the Baltic Sea and bordering Denmark at the north edge of the city. His father was a blacksmith by trade, and during the Danish war, he shod horses for the army. He was a skilled workman, and specialized in fine work such as cutlery, etc. His parents died when he was a boy, and at the age of six, he went to live with his sister. At that time, he was able to speak the Danish language, but as the law forbade the speaking of Danish in the city where his sister lived, he soon forgot most of it. He can still say a few words in Danish, however, but he speaks both high and low German, in addition to English.
         In 1879 he came to Brooklyn, New York, on a ship which had been built in his home town. As a matter of fact, he was in the ship when it first went down the scaffold. At that time, the piers of the great Brooklyn bridge were just being completed, and he recalls driving a team onto a ferry boat, crossing the river, loading the wagon with supplies at a market, and then coming back, when he worked for a short time for a storekeeper.
         He went out one night with a fisherman friend with whom he stayed to get oysters, and states that he was really frightened when the man pulled in a giant sea turtle about three feet in diameter. The oysters, too, were extra large, and while in Brooklyn he learned to eat oysters prepared in many different ways, “I’ve eaten them in soup; I’ve eaten them chopped fine and put on pancakes and I’ve eaten them fried. I’ll tell you, those were real oysters,” he declared.
         He spent several hectic hours in Brooklyn one Decoration day, he recalls. He loved music, and when the band paraded in the street, he began following it until he became lost. He didn’t know what to do for some time, so he kept following it until it again passed the place where he had first seen it. He had enough band music, for that day, he relates, so he went home.
         His brother, who lived at Luzerne, Iowa, insisted that he come to live with him, so he reluctantly left Brooklyn. After coming to Iowa, he attended school, and later was confirmed there.
                  The first winter he was in Iowa was one of the most severe he ever experienced. Under normal conditions, 56 trains passed through the town of Luzerne in 24 hours. After the blizzard struck, there wasn’t a train in the town for a whole week. There were no snow plows in those days, and the only thing that could be done was to shovel cut the cuts, and try to force the locomotive through the snow banks by sheer force of power. Mr. Boisen recalls how two locomotives had a “running start” of two miles, and then hit a snow filled pass. Another locomotive had come up from the rear and pulled them back by a cable.

1943: Herbert continues his Diamond Club Story

The following article is part of the Diamond Club Member group that began in the January 7, 1943, issue of the Rock County Star Herald. Members of this group consist of persons of age 75 and older.
The following appeared in The Rock County Herald on September 23, 1943.
(Continued from last week, where Herbert recounted his 1888 blizzard experience.)
With the clotheslines to follow, the neighbor was able to bring his family to the Herbert home.
Worked in Harness Shop
Here he worked as foreman in the shop for Burley and Kennicott. After three years, Kennicott was in full charge of the business and he was employed by him for 10 years. He was a shop mate of the late Ed Lynch for 12 years, and later worked for him in his own shop. He went to Alden, Minn., where he remained one year working at his trade, then he came back and worked 12 years for Steve Kennedy and three years for John Albert. On March 1, 1919, he opened his own shoe repair shop in the rear of what then was the Handy grocery, and what now is the Schlader jewelry building. This he operated until going to California in February, 1928. He opened a shop in San Fernando, and after his wife’s death on May 15, 1929, he moved to North Hollywood where he is still proprietor of “Dad Herbert’s” shoe repair shop.
Racing was one of Mr. Herbert’s favorite sports in his younger days. When he was a boy of nine, he rode on the first half mile race track at the Minnesota state fair. For three seasons, he rode for a horse owner named Dilley, and when the latter was ruled from further competition from the track, Mr. Herbert’s horse racing days were over.
Won But Lost
The account of the last race as related by Mr. Herbert is interesting. Seven horses were entered in a seven heat race. His horse, a buckskin mustang, won three of the races, and a spotted horse, ridden by a Negro boy, also had won three. The other horse dropped out, leaving the two of them to finish the last race alone.
“That crazy horse I was riding got Mr. Dilley ruled off the race track,” Mr. Herbert relates. “It was one of the fastest horses I’ve ever been on, and also one of the most unpredictable. It would just as soon run right through a crowd as go around a curve at the end of the track. In this particular race, I was about three lengths ahead of the other horse. Just a few feet from the finish line, the buckskin came to a dead stop. It happened so fast that I went right over its head, and landed on the other side of the finish line ahead of the other horse, but my horse still hadn’t crossed the line. The owners of the two horses, and the judges had quite a discussion about the whole thing, and finally, the victory was awarded my horse, but only on condition that Mr. Dilley would never race another horse on that track.”
On Fire Hose Team
Foot racing was also a favorite sport of Mr. Herbert, who said that one time he would just as soon have run a foot race as to go fishing. After coming to Luverne, he joined the Luverne fire department, and was a member of the hose cart team that won the world’s championship in a tournament in Pipestone in 1895, by running 200 yards, laying 150 feet of hose and making the coupling in 26 and one-fifth seconds. Mr. Herbert was not one of the runners, but served as one of two “bracers” as they were called; men who braced the wheels just as the race was about to begin. Only a few of those men are living at the present time, he said, among whom are Al Angell and Jim Wiggins of Luverne, Jean Barck, Spokane, and Ed Bronson, who lives in Idaho. Mr. Herbert served as a member of the fire department for about 20 years.
Mr. Herbert became the father of four children, three of whom are living at the present time. They are Mrs. A. B. Cowan, Luverne; Mrs. Maude M. Smith, North Hollywood, and Horace G. Herbert, also of North Hollywood.
Nicknamed “Waxie”
He explained that his son, Horace, was known more generally by the nickname, “Waxie”. After his second son, Horace grew older, it developed that he acquired the name “Little Waxie,” his brother became “Big Waxie,” and Mr. Herbert himself became “Old Waxie”.
On Nov. 11, 1939, Mr. Herbert remarried, his wife being Anna Mattison. She is here with him at the present time, and they expect to leave today for their home in North Hollywood.
In addition to his children, his direct descendants include five grandsons and two great granddaughters. He has three brothers and one sister living; Charley Herbert and John Herbert, both of Sioux Falls, Cort Herbert, Galesburg, Wis. and Mrs. Fletcher Alger, of Sioux Falls.
He attributes his long life to hard work and having lots of fun. Always a lover of sports, his hobbies until later years have been hunting and fishing. His health is still good, he says, as a recent medical examination revealed that he was as “fit” as a fiddle.”
He was never greatly interested in politics, and has never held a public office. He is affiliated with the AOUW lodge, of which he has been a member for 35 years.
         Donations to the Rock County Historical Society can be sent to the Rock County Historical Society, 312 E. Main Street, Luverne, MN 56156.
Mann welcomes correspondence sent to

1943: Diamond Club turns spotlight to Art Herbert

The following article is part of the Diamond Club Member group that began in the January 7, 1943, issue of the Rock County Star Herald. Members of this group consist of persons of age 75 and older.
The following appeared in The Rock County Herald on September 23, 1943.
Maybe you knew him as the “shoemaker in back of the Handy grocery.” Or maybe as the man who made harness for Burley and Kennicott. Perhaps you will recall him as one of the members of the Luverne fire hose team that won the world’s championship back in 1895. Or maybe as “Big Waxie” Herbert, the man with the inevitable cigar in his mouth.
Anyway, he’s been back in Luverne for the past two weeks, visiting his daughter, Mrs. A. B. Cowan and to those of his many old friends and acquaintances that didn’t get to see him, we’ll say, “here’s Art Herbert, cigar and all, and he missed seeing you, not because he wanted to, but because he didn’t have the time.”
Almost 80 Years Old
Mr. Herbert, who is lacking just three months of being 80 years old, decided he’d earned a vacation so he closed his shoe repair shop in North Hollywood, and he and his wife boarded a train for Luverne. “Sure, business was good,” he said, “but it will be good when I get back, too. The shop would stand if I was dead and gone, so it should be there if I get back. If it goes up in smoke in the meantime, that’s all right too. A fellow’s got to have a little fun once in a while.”
And fun he has been having since he’s been here, especially shaking hands with his former acquaintances. “Took me two hours to get from the Handy Grocery corner to Nelson’s store one day,” he declared. “After that trip, my wife told my daughter if she ever wanted to go up town to do some shopping she’d better not take me along if she was in any hurry.”
Lived Here 40 Years
Mr. Herbert was a Luverne resident for 40 years, having come here in 1888, and having left for California in 1928. He lived in various places before coming here as a young man. Born in Celk, Quebec, Canada, Dec. 22, 1863, the son of Samuel and Elizabeth Anderson Herbert, he came to the United States with his parents in 1865. His first home in this country was at Ft. Snelling, Minn. While living there, his father helped build the first bridge across the Mississippi river from Ft. Snelling to St. Paul. From Ft. Snelling, they moved to Lakeville, south of Minneapolis, and from there to Farmington, where they lived until 1878. Mr. Herbert’s father was a blacksmith.
With considerable land still open to homesteading in the area west of Sioux Falls, the Herberts left Farmington and moved to the vicinity of Wall Lake, S.D.
The trip was made by covered wagon, and from Mankato to Worthington, they travelled with a wagon train consisting of 36 wagons. All but the Herberts were bound for Nebraska. Some of the wagons were covered with blankets. At night, they would form a circle with the cattle on the inside to prevent their straying away. For a boy of 15, that was a great experience, Mr. Herbert recalls. Days were always filled with excitement, and the nights proved enjoyable because a man with a fiddle and another with an accordion provided music for the group.
Hauled Lumber 40 Miles
Lumber for their new home on their homestead was hauled from Beaver Creek, because the railroad had as yet come as far as Sioux Falls. Mr. Herbert’s father hauled two car loads of lumber and two carloads of machinery by wagon, a distance of 40 odd miles.
Until their new home was built, they lived in a tent. A heavy, wet snow fell in April, causing their tent to fall down on them while they slept one night. That was an experience that Mr. Herbert will never forget.
The days I spent on the Dakota prairie were the happiest days of my life,” states Mr. Herbert. “Lots of times I’d go for six months and never see another woman’s face except my mother’s and sisters. Occasionally we’d see Indians, and wild game was plentiful. Every once in a while, my brother and I’d go out and shoot an antelope in the hills. Fish, especially big bullheads and perch, filled Wall Lake so for a kid that loved the out-of-doors, that was real country.”
Began Learning Trade
In the spring of 1881, he went to Sioux Falls to learn a trade. He wanted to be a blacksmith, but there were openings for an apprentice at that time. There was an opening in a harness shop, owned and operated by John McGee, so he went to work. The first year, he earned $25 and received his board. The second year, his salary was increased to $75. He was to have received $100 his third year, but he figured he knew enough about the business then to go out and get a job for himself so he quit. He went to Parker where he worked as a journeyman for two years, and from there went to Hartford, where he lived about a year. There he met and married Minnie Schultz, on Dec. 12, 1885. From there he went to Sioux Falls, and remained there until coming to Luverne on July 15, 1888.
Mr. Herbert was helping shovel snow from the railroad track at Parker at the time the famous blizzard of January 12, 1888, struck. During the morning, the weather was so warm that the men were working in their shirt sleeves. At 1 p.m. the station agent at Parker told the crews that they shouldn’t go out that afternoon as a blizzard was reported at Mitchell. The storm struck at 2 p.m. and at 4 p.m. the temperature had dropped to 44 below zero.
He states that he started walking home a distance of 10 blocks, and he didn’t reach there for two hours. After reaching home, he heard his next door neighbor calling, and he found that the latter’s chimney had blown off his house. Both he and his neighbor tied their clotheslines to door knobs of their respective homes and then fumbled their way through the blinding snow until they reached a clothesline post between the two places.
(Continues Next Week)

1943: Scotts make rural Hardwick their home in 1905

The following article is part of the Diamond Club Member group that began in the January 7, 1943, issue of the Rock County Star Herald. Members of this group consist of persons of age 75 and older.
The following appeared in The Rock County Herald on September 16, 1943.
(Continued from last week.)
Mr. and Mrs. Scott (Abraham and Lou) were married at Gettysburg, Pa., March 3, 1890, and then moved to Dixon, Ill., where they lived 16 years, seven of which they lived on a dairy farm owned by the Borden Company. They milked 36 cows by hand and when they were done, they had 11 ten-gallon cans filled to capacity. Their morning milking would be done by 6 a.m. and then Mr. Scott would load the cans into a wagon and drive to Dixon where the condensed milk factory was located.
“I really had some cold trips sometimes,” Mr. Scott recalls. “In the winter time, especially when the wind was cold, I really hated to cross the bridge there at Dixon, as that seemed to be colder than any other place in the country.”
Mr. and Mrs. Scott worked in partnership with I.B. Countryman in Illinois, and it was he who induced them to come to Minnesota to live. He had a farm near Hardwick, and in 1905, they moved there. They were almost ready to turn back after their first year, because it was such a change from what they were accustomed to in either Illinois or Pennsylvania. Their first corn crop turned out to produce nothing but husk, and the land was not as desirable as it later was because it had not been tiled. Conditions improved the following year, and they finally made up their minds to stay.
They farmed until 1920, and then moved to Hardwick, which has since been their home. It was there they observed their golden wedding anniversary three years ago.
Mr. and Mrs. Scott were the parents of four sons, only one of whom is now living. He is Byron J. Scott, of Hardwick. They have five grandchildren.
Mrs. Scott has two brothers living. They are Frank Manahan, of Dayton, Ohio. There were five in the family at one time. Mr. Scott has two sisters living. They are Mrs. Mary De Lapp, and Elizabeth Scott, both of Harrisburg, Pa. There were seven children in the Scott family.
         Donations to the Rock County Historical Society can be sent to the Rock County Historical Society, 312 E. Main Street, Luverne, MN 56156.
Mann welcomes correspondence sent to

1943: Lou, Abraham Scott both born near Gettysburg

The following article is part of the Diamond Club Member group that began in the January 7, 1943, issue of the Rock County Star Herald. Members of this group consist of persons of age 75 and older.
The following appeared in The Rock County Herald on September 16, 1943.
The Civil War to most of the residents of Rock county was another war fought in the south over the question of slavery. Only a scattered few have forefathers who were in uniform during the conflict, and only a small number, perhaps, have seen Civil War battlegrounds.
To Mr. and Mrs. Abraham Scott, Hardwick, however, the Civil War represents quite a bit more than a chapter from an American history book, as they were born and reared almost within seeing distance of where the final battle, the battle of Gettysburg, was fought. Both had relatives who fought in the war, and from them heard many eye-witness accounts of Civil War days.
Mr. Scott was born July 7, 1886, in Adams county, Pa., the son of Joseph R. and Susan Weikert Scott, while Mrs. Scott, who before her marriage was Lou Manahan, was born Feb. 10, 1869, at Westminister, Carroll county, Md., the daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Francis Manahan.
Both Mr. Scott’s father and Mrs. Scott’s father fought on the side of the Union army. Had they lived several miles farther south, they would have been in Confederate territory, for their homes were but a short way from the Mason-Dixon line that divided the slave states from the free states.
The present selective service system is marked advancement over the system used in Civil War days, Mrs. Scott points out. At that time, one of the commanding officers came to their home, took her father and two uncles out of bed, and placed them on active duty without a bit of training. Her father escaped unhurt, but her uncle was killed, and the other seriously wounded.
For years afterward, when Mr. and Mrs. Scott were children, the battle field near Gettysburg was left untouched. Later it was made into a memorial park and is now visited by thousands of people annually during normal times.
When Mrs. Scott was 13 years old, her father moved to a farm adjoining the one owned by Mr. Scott’s father. The land there was rolling, and orchards dotted the countryside. Wheat was the main cash crop, although some oats and corn was raised for feed.
Both Mr. and Mrs. Scott began working early in life. Mr. Scott spent much of the time on the farm, as also did Mrs. Scott. She states that she learned how to plant corn by hand, dropping three kernels in each hill. She went to work in a canning factory, and recalls that she earned two cents for each huge bowl full of corn she cut from the cob. She also skinned tomatoes, prepared beans, and did other tasks at similar low wages. Her father had a large fruit orchard, and peaches from it were sold at 50 cents a bushel. She has picked a whole bushel of blackberries for only a dollar. Other fruit raised there included apples and pears. One year, her father raised 300 bushels of the latter.
(Scott story continues next week.)

1943: Emma Hamann continues her life story

The following article is part of the Diamond Club Member group that began in the January 7, 1943, issue of the Rock County Star Herald. Members of this group consist of persons of age 75 and older.
The following appeared in The Rock County Herald on Sept. 9, 1943.
(Continued from last week’s Star Herald.)
Emma Hamann worked hard for her salary, though, for her job meant getting up at 5 a.m. in the summer, milking seven or eight cows morning and night, as well as doing inside work. The weekly washing for eight or nine people was all done by hand on a wash board, and whenever she would bake bread, she would have to bake at least 10 loaves at the time.
After working for her uncle for about a year, she obtained employment as a dish washer in a hotel at Van Horn, Iowa, with an increase in salary of $1 a week. The hotel served many dinners as a rule, as trains would stop there so passengers could eat their meals. “I saw all kinds of people,” Mrs. Hamann recalls. “There were people there from all walks of life, from all parts of the country. It was interesting to see them.”
On June 30, 1885, she was married to August H. Hamann, at Vinton, Iowa, and immediately afterward they began housekeeping on Mr. Hamann’s farm near Remsen in Plymouth county, Ia. They lived there seven years, then a friend of theirs, Albert Ahrendt, induced them to come to Minnesota. Mr. Hamann bought a farm northwest of Luverne, and they lived there until they moved to Luverne in 1919.
During her early years on the farm, Mrs. Hamann often worked in the fields during harvest and corn picking. She did this in addition to her house work and to rearing her six children.
She never went away from home a great deal. For one thing, she didn’t have the time, and for another thing, traveling in those days was not easy. “When we went to town, it was just too bad if we forgot to buy something, because it usually meant that we would have to live without it for about two weeks, when we would go to town again.”
There was no German Lutheran church here then, and she recalls attending services in the county court house with Pastor Brinkman as the minister. Later, enough money was raised to build the school house near the present St. John’s Evangelical Lutheran Church, and finally the  church was built. Mrs. Hamann was one of the first members of ladies’ aid of the church, and was active in its function until later years. She is still able to attend church, however.
Direct descendants of Mrs. Hamann include six children, 21 grandchildren and seven great-grandchildren. Her children include: Rudolph A. Hamann, Clear Lake, S.D.; Mrs. Albert Priesz, Mrs. J. W. Ahrendt, August F. Hamann, Arthur Hamann and Herbert F. Hamann, all of Luverne.
Mrs. Hamann still maintains her own home, and although she has given up gardening on a big scale, she still raises a few vegetables for her own use, and has many beautiful flowers. She at one time did considerable sewing and fancy work but in later years, she has been unable to do so because of her poor eyesight. She is able to read somewhat, enough to “keep up with the times,” she says.
         Donations to the Rock County Historical Society can be sent to the Rock County Historical Society, 312 E. Main Street, Luverne, MN 56156.
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