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.

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