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1943: Emma Hamann wonders if she's dreaming

Bits By Betty
Lead Summary
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 Sept. 9, 1943.
Looking back over the past half century, Mrs. August Hamann, Luverne, wonders sometimes if some of her experiences in early day Rock county aren’t just dreams.
Now living in her own home in Luverne, she has conveniences she never even thought were possible when she and her husband came to live northwest of here in the spring of 1891. Instead of going to the well pumping a pail of water, and bringing it inside, all she has to do now is to turn a faucet in her kitchen, and water streams out. Instead of carrying in baskets of cobs and wood, and virtually choking the kitchen stove to keep her home warm, she merely has to turn a thermostat dial on the wall, and an oil burning furnace keeps her rooms at the temperature she desires. Instead of the almost daily task of filling lamps with kerosene for light at night, she merely has to press a button on the wall and pay an electric light bill once each month.
But all the conveniences she enjoys today she greatly appreciates, because she worked hard under difficult circumstances during her younger days, and experienced many a hardship.
She was born in Mecklenburg, Germany, Sept. 25, 1867, as Emma Wieckman, the daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Frederick Wieckman. Her father worked in the country, and at an early age she learned to do many of the common everyday tasks. She attended school and even before she had completed the prescribed course of study, she had begun working away from home. At first, she received only her board and room. After she finished school, however, she was paid a salary of $12 per year.
Fortunately, she said, she did not have to do much outdoor work. Most of her duties had to do with housekeeping, but helping with the cooking, washing and baking and tending to the children, kept her plenty busy.
Relatives who had moved to the United States induced her to come to this country in 1883. She and her sister boarded a ship in Germany and landed in New York 14 days later. Although the trip was uneventful, the sight of land was a pleasant one, Mrs. Hamann states. They came directly to Benton county, where Mrs. Hamann immediately began working for her uncle at $2 a week. Truly she thought, America must be the land of promise if she could earn as much in six weeks here as she could in Germany in 52 weeks.
Continued in the April 6, 2023, edition of the Star Herald

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