Claus Weleski

by

Kyle Levenhagen

 

6th Grade 1994, Tri-County School, Karlstad,MN

 

There was a terrible snow storm with a temperature at about30 below when my great grandpa had to fetch a midwife with a horse and hayrack. So, that cold night, on January 24, my grandpa was born. They namedhim Claus and he was welcomed by 1 older brother.

Great grandpa crossed the ocean when he was 5 years old. He married a woman from Canada, also of Ukrainian ancestry. That is whywhen grandpa started school he didn't know any English. They only spokeUkrainian at home.

When grandpa was supposed to start school, he had to havehis appendix removed. So, when he was well enough to walk the 2 and 1/2miles to school, he was 7 and 1/2 years old.

He attended a 1 room school with 1 teacher and grades from1 - 8. They brought their lunch to school every day and they all playedtogether at recess.

When he got a little older, they paid him 25 cents a weekto come to school a half an hour earlier and start a fire so the schoolwould be nice and warm when the rest of the children got there. The waterwould freeze in the winter so they paid him another 25 cents to bring waterto school every day. So, great-grandpa built him a special sled to haula cream can full of water to school. Grandpa was making good money in thosedays and bought lots of things that his family couldn't otherwise afford. He only went to eight years of school.

When he was 12, he would hunt rabbits with a 22. He wouldn'tonly hunt them for sport, but also for food. He also got his first deerwhen he was 12.

He helped around the farm for a while. Then in 1949, hejoined the Marines and fought in the Korean war. When he left the Marinesin 1954, he rented the farm.

The neighborhood would have a lot of barn dances, and theyattended many of those dances. That was also a time for socializing andvisiting with families from the surrounding farms.

On June 6, 1956, he married Betty Beck. First, they workedon a beef farm and lived in a house on the farm. They tried to buy thefarm but were unable to raise the money. They then started a dairy farma little ways father down the road.

They would sell the cream in town. They would also selleggs that were in a crate that held 144 eggs. They didn't get running wateruntil 1966. They also built a new dairy barn that year. Then, they boughta section of land (640 acres) for $3,900.

They continued milking until 1992 when they retired. Theyraised 1 daughter and 5 sons. Five of those are married, and he now has10 grandchildren. Now, when he is retired, he still likes to dance anddeer hunt.

I received my information from Claus Weleski.SIZE=+1>I received my information from Claus Weleski.