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Mr. & Mrs. George Karl Meyer


Bette Giffen


As other men and women came to America Mr. George KarlMeyer boarded his boat for the United States he began to think of the lifehe had before.

In Germany he had been an apprentice shoe maker. In Germanyit was expected of the German boys to learn a trade. This is the tradethat he chose. After he earned enough money in East Freizen, Germany hewanted to leave because he was afraid of being taken by the German army. He was 20 years old at this time. When he reached the United States hewent to Ackley, Iowa. This was about 1883. He got a job on a farm in anEnglish speaking community so this is where he learned his first English. Four years later he was working in Hampton, Iowa. At this time one sisterand brother joined him over here in America. While the rest of his familywhich consisted of a brother and a sister and his parents were in Germany. And which he never saw again. They all farmed for a living.

There was a girl who came from Germany also but a differentpart. Her name was Miss Thelka Blau. Miss Blau was born in Bonderkley,Germany on November 11, 1866. In her family she had 4 brothers, and 2 sisters.One brother, William Blau, came to Iowa in 1881. After a year he sent forthe rest of the family. They moved from Hampton to Alexandria, Iowa. Shehad worked in Hampton for a wealthy family. She worked as a maid. Shehad to serve the families food. Sometimes she would have to make a certainkind of pudding. This pudding was just plain but you would have to pourbrandy over it. She was always afraid to do this because she thought thatthe fire would go out before she got to the table. This is the place shelearned to speak English in. She learned very fast too.

Mr. Meyer met Miss Blau in Hampton, Iowa. They were marriedSeptember 18. When she moved to Alexandria he followed and after they weremarried they lived there too. While they lived in Alexandria, Mr. Meyerand some other men started out to Texas to a homestead. While they weredown in Texas they heard of some land up north. To them it meant KittsonCounty, Minnesota. They moved in 1914. The land they rented is now ownedby Gordon and Stanley Johnson. The land they later bought that was locatedacross the road from them is now owned by Mark Baldwin.

The seven children starting from oldest to youngest are:Gertie, and a boy born in 1891 who died at the age of eight months, George,Daniel, Theodore, Sam and Esther.

In Kittson County they lived in a grainery. But laterthey bought a three room house Their son, Theodore, with his family, movedin with them. The house consisted of a living room, dining, a screenedin porch, entry and kitchen which were downstairs. The upstairs had threebedrooms which were occupied by all these people. The rooms, as Mrs. DonGiffen remembers them, were big enough to hold all these people and more.(1)

At first their only transportation to school was horseand buggy. Later on Mr. Meyer or also called Opa (which means Grandpa inlow German almost Dutch language) drove an old wooden school bus. Theydid have a use for the horses though. They were used for tilling, and breakingup the soil in the fields. The only other job besides farming was to getup early in the morning and milk cows. He then sold this milk to the creamery.

These people weren't the only ones to come here. Many otherscame here. They came here to find land to homestead. The land was verycheap and they got more money from their crops. All of this is what drewall these people to the United States of America.


Giffen, Mrs. Don - interviewed at home February 11, 1969 St. Vincent, Minnesota, Mrs. Meyer is her Grandfather.

Meyer, George and Cassie interviewed by letter correspondence.February 25, 1969, Minneapolis, Minnesota

Meyer, Minnie - interviewed by phone February 11, 1969Minneapolis,