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Born in the 19th century


Sun, Nov 19th, 2000
Posted in

Monday, November 13, 2000

In 1895, Grover Cleveland was President of the United States, Stephan Crane published The Red Badge of Courage, and a six-dollar railroad trip from Minneapolis to California took four days. It was also the year that Erna (Friemann) Boelter was born on a farm near Spring Valley.

Erna, who now lives at the Good Samaritan Center in Preston, turned 105 last Thursday, an age which just might make her the oldest resident of Fillmore County.

Her long life has been a very full and gracious one according to her adopted son, John Boelter, of Rochester. "Her family and her religious life have always meant an awful lot to her," John said last week. "I would say thats her secret to such a long life."

Ernas father, Otto Friemann, was born in Germany in 1866, as was her mother Agnes, in 1872. Otto and Agnes were childhood sweethearts and arrived by boat in New York City in 1893. Later that year they were married in Baltimore and then headed west to Minnesota, where Otto worked as a farm laborer near Spring Valley. A few years later, the by-then growing Friemann family bought a farm in Section 15 of Carimona Township.

The day I visited Erna at the Good Samaritan Center she said that she was feeling pretty tired and so I wasnt able to talk with her very much. She sat up in her wheelchair and smiled though when she showed me a letter from President Bill Clinton, which congratulated her on the event of her 105th birthday.

I decided to do a little research and find out what was going on in Fillmore County that second week of November, 105 years ago when Erna was born. I discovered that several of the news items bore a striking and uncanny similarity to the events of today.

Noting that the grain prices were at extremely low levels, the editor of the Spring Valley Mercury wrote: "Many farmers do not wish to sell grain at the present low prices, and not having room to store it on their farms have it stored in elevators and warehouses." The editor argued that this would have an even further depressing effect on the market prices as the grain was "in sight" and he encouraged farmers to keep their grain stored at home.

Around the Spring Valley area that week, various residents were reported to be recovering from typhoid fever and rheumatism. And a farmer named George Leonard got his hand caught in a corn-husking machine and lost several of his fingers.

A notice out o .....
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Heating Season

Sun, Nov 19th, 2000
Posted in

Monday, November 20, 2000

It has become a family mission to see how far into the fall we can get without using any LP gas for heat. As I begin this writing, it is the first of November and we have not turned on our furnace since last April. Th ..... 
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*Political Asterisks*

Sun, Nov 19th, 2000
Posted in

Monday, November 20, 2000

The asterisk is a wonderful punctuation mark. The star-like figure is used to indicate omissions, footnotes, references, exceptions, etc. In the hands of a grammar-deficient writer like me, the uses become nearly infi ..... 
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Sun, Nov 19th, 2000
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Monday, November 20, 2000

Sun, Nov 19th, 2000
Posted in

To the Editor,

Each day, more than 3,000 young people become daily smokers. If current tobacco use patterns persist, an estimated 5 million people who were younger than 18 years old in 1995 will die prematurely from smoking-related illn ..... 
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Walter "Fish" Ward, Sr.

Sun, Nov 19th, 2000
Posted in

Walter "Fish" Ward, Sr., 98, formerly of the Mabel and Burr Oak areas, died Tuesday, September 19, 2000 at the Harmony Health Care Center where he had resided seven years.

He was born June 21, 1902, in Henrytown and attended school there. On ..... 
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