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1943: Luverne's Christina Juhl still active Diamond Club member at 81

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 June 3, 1943.
A person no older than he thinks he is, and if he takes an interest in life, gets plenty of exercise, and has something to do to keep him busy, he’ll stay young longer, is the opinion of Mrs. Christina Juhl, Luverne, who is 81 years of age, and still does her own sewing on a sewing machine. Despite her years, and the fact that she has worked hard ever since she was 14, Mrs. Juhl is still active. Her hobby is doing fancywork; she crochets, pieces quilts, and does other sewing by hand and by sewing machine. In the summer she has her garden, which not only gives her fresh vegetables and flowers, but gives her an opportunity to do some work out-of-doors to “keep from getting old.”
Mrs. Juhl was born in Schleswig province in northern Germany, the eldest daughter of Peter and Maria Engelhardt Carlson, on June 20, 1862. Her parents owned a little farm, the income from which was sufficient to keep the family of 10 children well fed and well clothed. All were given an opportunity to attend school, and Mrs. Juhl completed her common school education there. She was confirmed in the Lutheran faith in 1876.
Immediately thereafter, she left home to begin working for others, in the nearby farming community. It being the custom for the women to do the milking, Mrs. Juhl was given plenty of that work to do. It was also customary to carry the milk a long distance, and she recalls that many times, she has carried two full pails—about twice as big as the ordinary milk pail—suspended from a yoke over her shoulders.
Women would also tend the garden and do other work in addition to helping with the housework. The hours were long, and the wages small (she was earning $25 a year at the age of 18), but they were generally happy with their lot.
However, when friends who had gone to America wrote back of the many advantages that they enjoyed after coming here, many of the younger people of the community, especially those who naturally had a love for adventure, began to wonder if they, too, couldn’t profit by leaving their homeland.
It was in 1884 that she, and several other young men and women decided to leave home and come to America. “It was kind of hard to leave our families,” Mrs. Juhl states, “but we knew and they knew that our chances to get ahead would be better in this country.”
They were on the sea 14 days, and with the exception of one day, the weather was excellent. She states it was thrilling to see land again, but recalls how she and the others in her group “were kind of lost” because they couldn’t speak English. However, because of the fact that there were 10 in the group, they shared this difficulty without any trouble, and finally arrived by train at Rock Island, Ill., where they all had friends.
“We didn’t have any trouble getting work,” Mrs. Juhl states. “I got a job right away for $2 a week, and I didn’t have to do any work outside. Later I got a raise to $2.50 and then to $3 a week, and then I thought I was really making big money.”
It was while she was living there that she met Claus Juhl, who was born at Flensburg, Schleswig, in 1855. He was employed at Davenport, Iowa, at the time, and on April 25, 1886, they were married.
They lived first in Davenport, where Mr. Juhl had a feed barn and Mrs. Juhl operated a boarding house. After six years, they sold their business, and Mr. Juhl worked in the packing plant and the Glucose Sugar Factory the next nine years.
About that time, many from Davenport were moving to West Liberty where there was considerable farm land available. They operated a farm there until 1906, and then went to Dana, Ia. In 1911, they came to Rock county and bought a farm southwest of Luverne which is the northeast quarter of section 24, Beaver Creek township.
On April 16, 1916, Mr. Juhl died, and Mrs. Juhl continued to live there until 12 years ago when she moved to Luverne which has since been her home.
At the present time, she keeps her own apartment on West Lincoln street, does her own shopping and her own housework. She reads the newspapers, and thereby keeps abreast of modern times. She attends church at Immanuel Lutheran here.
Mrs. Juhl has four sons William, of West Liberty, Iowa, and Ernest, Rudolph and Hugo of Luverne, and has 12 grandchildren.
Of the seven girls in her father’s family, she is the only one living at the present time. The last she knew, however, she had three brothers living in Germany.
         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

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