Tag Archives: Uelmen

Life in Ladysmith

Prior to marriage Rose had worked for several years as a teacher.  George had worked as a farm hand and a grocery clerk before becoming a cheese maker and buying a cheese factory near Cascade, WI.  About this time he also met my grandmother, Rosalia Anna Uelmen at a dance at one of the nearby lakes.  When he asked her to marry, she agreed but informed him she would not live in a house that was an annex to a cheese factory. He had a childhood friend who had bought a farm in Ladysmith, WI a few years earlier. Hearing it was good place to farm, George sold his cheese factory and bought a farm in Ladysmith, WI, some 250 miles away.

Religion was another obstacle to the marriage. But George didn’t see much difference between his Lutheran religion and Rose’s Catholic religion, so he willingly converted. His mother a staunch Lutheran wasn’t happy  and because of this friction their wedding was small and quiet.  They did, however, take a two week wedding trip to New York City and Niagara Falls. They told the family about this trip many times.  George in particular loved to tell about seeing the Flat Iron building, one of few skyscrapers in the city at that time.

After the trip they picked up their household goods and wedding presents and headed for their new life in Ladysmith. At that time cars still didn’t travel well over large distances, so they went by train. George must have taken his horses and wagons up in an earlier trip.

Imagine my grandmother’s dismay when she gazed upon her first home and found it in a state of total disrepair.  This was probably their first big argument.  Why did he think she would move her precious household goods into such a place?  And to top it off she’d found bedbugs in the bedding already there.  He didn’t think she was going to bring her lovely new down pillows into a place like that did he?

All of my Grandpa’s promises to fix the place up fell on deaf ears.  She wasn’t moving in.  He ended up taking his bride to his married friend’s home where they stayed until the house was fixed up enough for Rose. Still, by Dec. of 1915 they had decided the Ladysmith wasn’t  for them, sold the farm and moved back to Cascade.

Over the years this story was told over and over. Evidently they had great fun while staying with the friends and with each retelling of the story they laughed all the more. Time had allowed them to see the humor in what must have been a bitter disappointment to the start of their marriage.

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This photo is of the wood being hauled on their property in Ladysmith.

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Another photo from Ladysmith.

Marriage of George Meyer and Rose Uelmen as reported by the Sheboygan Press

                                                 Ullman-Meyer Wedding 

At 9 0’clock Monday morning the marriage of Miss Rose Ullman and George Meyer was solemnized at the Catholic Church in New Prospect. After the ceremony the bridal party repaired to the home of the bride near New Prospect where a fine dinner was served to immediate relatives of the contracting parties.  The table was prettily decorated with cut flowers of smilax.

Mr. and Mrs. George Meyer left on the afternoon train for Chicago and the will go to New York City for and extended wedding trip.  On their return they will be “at home on a farm near Ladysmith which the groom recently purchased.

The bride is an attractive young lady and has many friends here.  The groom was born and raised in the village of Cascade and is the son of John Meyer and Mrs. John Meyer.  Hosts of friends in the community join in wishing Mr. and Mrs. George H. Meyer abundant happiness and prosperity.

The House That Peter Built

I thought I’d make my first post about the house featured in my header. Yes, I know a house is not an ancestor but it was home to 3 generations of my maternal line. It deserves its own post.

The House Peter BuiltThe House Peter Built

Built around 1900 this house was home to my maternal great grandparents, maternal grandparents, my mother and her siblings and a source of fond memories for many members of the fourth generation.

Built around 1900, it was of the square design popular in that era. It sat down a dead-end lane almost a mile from the village of New Prospect, Wisconsin. Out past the front yard, across the neighbors field, ran a branch of the Milwaukee River.  On the first floor was a large living room, dining room, kitchen and wash room.  The wash room contained a sink and a hand pump in which water was drawn from a cistern.  A bedroom tucked behind the living room completed the first floor.  Upstairs were five more bedrooms and a large hallway.

Peter and his wife Maria needed all those bedrooms. By 1901 they had 13 children.  The oldest two may have already left home by the time the house was finished but there was still plenty of family to fill those upstairs bedrooms. The children’s ages  ranged from 0-22. My Grandma Rose was their eighth child and would have been 9 or 10 years old when they moved into this house.

Peter and Maria stayed in the house until 1915.  When their daughter Rose and new son-in-law, George Herbert Meyer returned from their ill-fated adventure as farm owners in Ladysmith, WI. Peter negotiated a deal with my Grandfather to buy the 200 acre farm for 12,000 dollars. I am sure my Grandfather was anxious to provide a new home for his bride and soon to arrive first baby when he made this purchase.  Unfortunately I’m told he didn’t consult Rose first.  I can imagine the words exchanged the day he came home with the deed to the farm and learned she had no desire to live in her childhood home.

Despite her misgivings  about the purchase they would live there for the next 60 years, The house sheltered them through the Great Depression, WWII and so much more.

Along the way they added long enclosed front porch where the family enjoyed cool breezes coming through the screened windows on hot summer evenings.  A summer kitchen with a kerosene stove was added off the wash room for cooking and canning in the hot summer heat.  Still later a bathroom was added off the dining room to replace the little house out back.

The land this house sat on had been shaped by glaciers long ago in Fond Du Lac county, Wisconsin.  When the state wanted to buy the farm for a future ice age  park my Grandfather sold it with the stipulation they could remain living there until they either died or wanted to leave.  When they made the decision to move into town in the 1970’s the house itself was sold and moved. Hopefully it is still standing providing a new generations of children and their parents a  happy sheltering place to live as it did during the first century oThe House Peter Builtf its life.

 
The House Peter Built