WOOD CO WISCONSIN BIOGRAPHY
As submitted by Linda Krause
Minna Radke Kuehl
Back in 1981,
my mother wrote the following about your g-grandmother, and it
was published in "The Moravian".
A PSALM OF A LIFE --- Mrs. Minna Radtke Kuehl (1867-1973)
"The Lord is my Shepherd, I shall not want" may well
have been the creed of a devout Christian and loyal Moravian of
the Wisconsin Rapids area who many of us remember as Grandma
"This also is a history of the Christmas cactus that we have
enjoyed blooming in the sanctuary during the Advent Season. It
was one of the two originally owned by Grandma Kuehl, who was an
avid gardener and flower lover.
"In the early 1950's, Mrs. Kuehl, already in her 84th year
of life, moved from her old home on 13th Ave. N. into a room at
her son William's residence on 2nd St. South. She gave me one of
the cactus plants at that time and I placed it in the window of a
Sunday School room of the then new educational building of our
present Moravian Church. The plant flourished and soon sent out
scores of buds. When it was in full bloom we proudly showed it to
Grandma Kuehl, thinking to please her. Instead, she was
disappointed, for hers had not bloomed. So we traded plants, but
as soon as the second cactus found itself in the bright sunny
Sunday School room, it also budded and bore a halo of beautiful
blossoms, a ritual it has repeated nearly every Advent Season
"Grandma Kuehl, at the age of 90, walked from her home to
Riverview Hospital to visit me and see my new baby. Can you
imagine having only three diapers for your baby? And those made
of worn out shirt tails? This was told to me by that dear woman
as a simple fact. Yet she raised not only her two sons but four
step-children in those "good old days" before plumbing
"One step-son, Henry Kuehl, became a Moravian minister
serving most of his pastorate in the Eastern states. (See
June-July 1980 Moravian for obituary). A step-daughter, Eleanor
Kuehl Shearier, was a life-long member of the Wisconsin Rapids
Moravian Church as is her daughter Fay Shearier Henriksen. Allen
Bergman presently pastor of the Moravian Church in South
Edmonton, Alberta, Canada, is a descendant on the Radtke side of
the family, from Watertown, Wisconsin.
"Grandma Kuehl, a feisty, determined, courageous, German
pioneer lived life as it had to be lived, not as a saint, but as
a servant. Knowing her God and being known by Him.
"What more fitting memorial could be given this brave soul
than the joyful blooming, each Advent Season, of her Christmas
cactus -- personifying the promise of everlasting life that
surely she never doubted.
"Thus the Psalm closes: "and I shall dwell in the house
of the Lord forever."
Wisconsin Rapids, Wood Co, WI
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