Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Ethel Hymers Glewwe - In her own words

Ethel wrote her memories down when her daughter, Lois started working on a family history book back in the 1990's.  What follows are some excerpts from her writings.

Caroline Nascher
      "My father's parents, John and Rozella, attended school, grew up in the same neighborhood and it was quite natural that my grandmother should be courted by the neighbor's son who was my grandmother's stepmother's brother, or my grandmother's step-uncle.  And so they were married and moved to St. Paul, Minnesota.  My grandfather, John was a fireman on St. Paul's west side and was in charge of the horse drawn wagon.  The family lived at 50 W. Belvidere and my father, Frank, was born on December 6, 1885.  During his school years he worked as a lamplighter along the Mississippi River, and after graduating from Humboldt High School, began working for the Ferguson Gordon Cap Company.  At the same factory was a young girl who sewed caps, named Caroline Nascher.

        In 1905 he married my mother and in 1906 my brother Lloyd was born.  In 1908 twin boys were born prematurely and lived only a few hours, and on June 7, 1910, I was born. 

        In 1908 my grandfather was urged to join his sister Sarah and her husband Jim in Saskatchewan, Canada, where parcels of land were being opened up for homesteading and there seemed to be a great future in wheat farming.  Two of John's daughters, Bertha and Maymie, were married and living in St. Paul.  Ethel, Cora, and a young son, Allen, were still at home.  His years of service in the fire department were beginning to weigh on him and horses were on their way out as power for fire vehicles, so he retired from the department, left his family in St. Paul, and went to Canada.  With his nephews he staked out land some hundred miles south of his sister's spread and returned to St. Paul.  He convinced my father of the wonderful opportunity to be in on a great future, breaking and cultivating virgin prairie for growing hard kernel wheat.  Employment in St. Paul was not that secure and it was a chance to better one's circumstances, so my father decided to join his cousins.

        Grandpa and Papa left in October, 1909, and laid a claim by living on the land in a sod, one-room shack, dug out of a bank and bordering a creek, for six months.  They then returned to St. Paul to tell the family and buy supplies.  My brother, Lloyd, then 4 years old, was a strong healthy boy and my father's pride and hope in the future.  Our father, after much preparation, left in August, 1910, to return to Canada for the winter and build a house for us.  We would come in the spring after he had planted the wheat on the newly turned sod with the help of his cousins and father. 

In those months while Grandpa and Papa were gone, my mother, brother, and I lived with Grandma Rozella and Papa's sisters and brother until the spring of 1911.  Communication with Papa was difficult, almost impossible.  Our spread was seventy miles from a town and railway, a four to five day trip by oxen and wagon."

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