S: Stories of Bertha and Homer Leisy's Family and Grandma and Grandpa's Quilt Cleone Welty Davis 2012
FC: Stories of Bertha and Homer Leisy's Family and Grandma and Grandpa's Quilt by Cleone Welty Davis 2012
1: Stories of Bertha and Homer Leisy's Family and Grandma and Grandpa's Quilt by Cleone Welty Davis 2012
2: Sources of Information Family Trees Elsie and Neil Beutler on Roth History Computer research on Leisy genealogy Signers of the Quilt Gladys and Grover Welty Sylvia Roth and Carolyn Simmons Black Book at Emmanuel Church Picture directories from Emmanuel Bible Church Stories Articles written by Ernest Leisy for Mennonite Weekly Homer Leisy Photo Albums Juhnke, James C Vision, Doctrine War: Mennonite Identity and Organization in America, 1890-1930 Leisy Book Compilation of memories by the Emil Leisy children and grandchildren 1985 (Thank you Doryce and Wayne Steffen) I copied much of the book into the narrative. Notes by Leona Leisy Welty Research on computer about Spanish Influenza and World War I and II Church History Kuenzi, Lynn “Swiss Mennonites in Pratum as of 6/24/2011” Centennial book from Emmanuel Bible Church 1989 Vern Heinrichs Descendants Information from the extended Welty and Knight families Thanks for reading. This is a work in progress. Some information is different because of a variety of sources. I went with what seemed most reasonable to me. It is a work of fiction because there is no way to know the exact conversations and thoughts of people, and in some places, the sequence of events. I had to use my imagination. I tried to stay in congruence with the information available to me. If you have comments, corrections or additions you can contact me at: email@example.com Cleone Welty Davis December 2012 Published December 2013, 2017 If you want a copy of this book, it can be ordered at Mixbook.com
3: Table of Contents Family Trees Leisy Roth Stories About Bertha and Homer Leisy Descendants of Bertha and Homer Leisy Grandpa and Grandma's Quilt Signers of Bertha and Homer's Quilt Family Trees Church History
4: Abraham Leisy 1755 Elizabeth Risser 1760 Abraham Leisy 1802 Friedelsheim/Pfalz 1855 US Katarina Rohrer 1805 Eptein/Pfalz Johannes Rohrer 1777 Pfalz Maria Lehmann 1783 Pfalz Abraham Leisy farmer 1834-1917 Pfalz Barbara (Babette) Schowalter 1835-1877 Johannes Schowalter 1760-1840 Barbara Neff 1761-1838 Christian Schowalter Pastor Magdalene Bahr Emil Leisy Farmer 1860-1918 Donnellson,IA Homer Carl Leisy 7/21/1894-6/10/1948 Magdalena Krebill Farmer's wife Moundridge, KS 1864-1939 Donnellson, Iowa Samuel Grehbiel Flour Mill Agnes Wurtz Friedrich Krebill Farmer 1788 Germany Anna Risser 1794 Germany 1833 US Peter Krebill 1827-1910 Germany Magdalena Fuchs 1833-1908 Germany Franz Christoph Fuchs 1805 Eva Katharina Gentner 1803 | Leisy Family Tree | Emil and Magdalena | Emil and Magdalena Family Ernest/Elva Krehbiel Leisy 1887-1968 Olga Leisy/Ruben Luginbill 1889-1976 Edward/Alma Roth Leisy 1891-1974 Harvey/Luella Kundert Libby Leisy 1892-1968 Homer/Bertha Roth Leisy 1894-1948 Milton died at 1 year Linda Leisy/Dan Steffen 1897-1991 Walter/Zora Leisy 1900- Elmer/Ruth Ball Leisy 1902 Elsie Leisy/Bill Bartell 1903 Weldon/Ronnie Leisy 1906 Helen Leisy/Robert Warren 1909
5: Mother | Adele Griessen 1865-12/28/1937 Lock,Switerland | Bertha Elvina Roth 3/18/1896-2/22/1951 Pratum, OR | William Roth 1855-12/1947 Chaud de Fond Switerland | Johannes (John) Roth d10/21/1894 | Anna Ramseyer b 1836 d 3/6/1908 | William and Adele | Roth Family Tree | Family of William and Adele Roth Mary Roth died at 10 days 1888-1888 William/Mary Gerig Roth 1889-1981 Ida Roth/Elvin Herr 1890-1959 John/Zina Lambert Roth 1893-1980 Alma Roth/Ed Leisy 1894-1975 Bertha Roth/Homer Leisy 1896-1951 Henry/Verna Loganbill Roth 1898-1968 Ernest/Alma Loganbill Roth 1900-1963 Alice Roth/Verle Gower 1902-1951 son born dead son born dead Hulda Roth/ Robert Elfstrom 1908-1991
6: The Vow Autumn 1910 Sixteen year old Homer Leisy was working with the thrashers, harvesting wheat in his father’s fields, in Kansas. He had the job on the straw pile where the stacking was done. Acrid coal exhaust from running the machinery and the chaff from the wheat filled the air, making this the dustiest, dirtiest job of all. The smoke filled his lungs causing him to feel ill, and the dirt felt like sand grit in his mouth. He itched all over. Relentless heat caused him to be drenched with sweat. Oh how he hated it all! Come to think of it, he was sick and tired of farming in general. Almost year round he, his father and his brothers had to be up before six to share in the morning chores of milking the ten cows, feeding and harnessing the horses, and slopping the hogs. After a hearty breakfast, they were in the fields by seven. Depending on the season there was plowing, harrowing, sowing and harvesting with odd jobs like trimming hedge, fixing fence, hauling grain or animals to market, butchering, cutting weeds and collecting firewood to fill slack times. There were evening chores to do once they got home. During the summer, lunch was brought to the fields at ten and again at four by the younger siblings and the men usually worked until dark. During the winter, children and young people could attend school when there weren’t farming chores. Homer looked forward to that welcome reprieve. “There must be some easier way to earn a living,” Homer muttered to himself. “Something where I could be clean, wear a suit and tie and talk to people!” The physical work on the farm was hard, but it did allow him time to think. He looked forward to the evening. Since it was Saturday, they would quit the fields earlier than usual. He planned on calling the neighbors on the phone. All he needed to do was ring three extra long rings on the party line and say, “Swimming at the Leisy pond tonight”. Everyone would come, but even if they didn’t, his ten brothers and sisters would make it a party! It was an easy way to take a bath. In the winter the pond would freeze over. All the children were excellent skaters. One favorite game was crack- the-whip with the last in line traveling at breakneck speed. He was glad that the next day was Sunday. It was their only day of rest. On that day, they would go to church, cleaned and dressed in their best clothing. They would sing. Oh how the Mennonites could sing. Then they would listen to sermons. Homer was so interested in learning. Some of the farmers were tired from a week of hard work and would fall asleep, but Homer could stay awake. This was the place where he could thrive. After church, he would visit with others and catch up on local news. Yes, Sunday was a day to which he looked forward. Tomorrow my great uncle and aunt, JJ Krehbiel and Anna, are coming over for dinner, Homer thought. He is a businessman and might help me figure out what I can do. I will not spend my life farming! he vowed.
7: by Walter Leisy
8: JJ and Anna Krehbiel’s Visit Autumn 1910 It was always a special occasion when Father Emil’s aunt came to visit. She and her husband, JJ Krehbiel had come to Kansas in 1879. He was a skilled wagon maker and wheel-wright for the Union Army in the Civil War. In Kansas, he started a carriage factory, helped to found Bethel College, and he and Anna raised seven children. After a sumptuous Sunday dinner, the adults and older children retired to the parlor where Father played some hymns on the pump organ. Homer joined on the mandolin, Harvey on the violin and Ed on the Cello. They sang with Harvey high tenor, Homer lead and Ed bass. The others joined in. No music time was complete without sister Olga playing, "The Midnight Fire Alarm" on the organ. When the younger kids went outside and played games such as any-over, dare-base, run-sheep-run, drop the handkerchief, the others settled into visiting. “Uncle JJ,” Ed asked, “What exactly do Mennonites believe?” “Mennonites are a group of protestants who believe in the Bible as God’s Word to man. We join the church as adults when we publicly acknowledge that we believe in Jesus and want to live according to his teachings.” “How is that different from what others believe?” questioned Walter. “What distinguishes us from the Roman Catholics and from other protestants is our insistence that baptism be made on our own confession of faith, rather than baptizing infants. We also believe in the separation of church and state, and we are determined not to bear arms.” “Have our ancestors always been farmers?” asked Homer. “During the 1500-1600’s our ancestors were severely persecuted for these beliefs.” answered Aunt Anna. “Many were killed. Persecution caused them to stay isolated from others and to establish farming as the way of life. When the persecution became unbearable, they fled from Switzerland to Germany. “Your great-great-great grandparents, Abraham and Elizabeth Leisy, were Mennonite farmers in Germany. They had few freedoms. They couldn’t meet in groups of more than twenty nor could they have their own church building. In 1802, a group of Mennonites from Germany emigrated to Russia for more freedoms, but our family stayed in Germany. “In 1855, when the government started drafting young men into the military, your great-grandparents, my parents, Abraham and Katharina Leisy with us children immigrated to the United States. We settled in a Mennonite community in Donnellson, Iowa and continued to farm there.” “Five of their eleven children” continued Uncle JJ, “learned the art of brewing beer and eventually owned three of the leading Mennonite breweries in the United States. They moved to the cities of Keokuk, Iowa, Cleveland, Ohio and Peoria, Illinois, leaving the rural life. Their lives contrast considerably from us non-brewing Leisys.”
9: “Why is that?” questioned Ernest. “Brewing has a way of changing lifestyle. They moved to the big cities. They became assimilated into society. They earned a lot of money. They became involved in politics. They became at odds with the Mennonite Church.” Father Emil continued. “My father was another child of Abraham and Katharina. His name was also Abraham. He opposed the production of beer. He continued to farm in the Donnellson area. Seeds were being sown then that eventually split the family.” “Did anyone else in the family do something other than farming or brewing,” questioned Homer. “Well, let me see, I think one of your uncles was a furniture salesman.” replied Father. Another seed was sown. This one would come to bear fruit later in Homer's life.
10: Mother Lena’s Story Early 1911 Mother was alone singing in the kitchen: “Gather ye roses while ye may, Old time is still a-flying, And the rose that blooms today, Tomorrow may be dying.” She wasn’t known for her singing voice, but to Homer she sounded like an angel. His mother was one of those rare people who always seemed to be smiling with her big, brown eyes dancing merrily. She had a way of eliminating a grief without hurting. She trusted others and so it was easy to trust her. Homer wanted to talk to her alone, which was difficult in their large family with ten other children. This seemed like the perfect opportunity. “Mother,” he asked, “You always seem so happy and positive. Have you ever done anything in your life of which you were ashamed?” “Yes, I have...” she answered sadly. “It was a long time ago when I was a girl, but I will never forget it, nor what happened afterward.” “Would you be willing to tell me?” Homer asked. “As I said, I was young. I quarreled with my sister. I don’t remember what it was about, but I was very, very angry with her. So I went to the shed and got a big, broken bottle and hid it in the grass so my sister couldn’t see it. Then I enticed her to come out and play barefooted. I knew to stay away from that bottle, but my sister stepped on it and cut her foot terribly. I had to run to the house to get help, and then to stay with my sister while the doctor was fetched. She bled and bled and the doctor sewed the wound up with many stitches. “My sister was sick for many days, and hobbled around for what seemed like months. When she finally recovered and the wound healed, she had this terrible, ugly scar. I knew I was guilty and felt ashamed.” “So what happened afterward?” asked Homer. “Everyone thought it was an accident, and I kept my part in it a secret. But I was miserable. This little voice in me kept saying, ‘You are guilty, You are guilty.’ Nothing was enjoyable any more. I quit smiling. After awhile my family noticed that my whole personality had changed. “One day my mom gently asked me what was wrong. With relief I poured out the whole story because I could not hold it any longer. Of course, my mother was sad and upset because of my action and the lies I covered it with.
11: “She explained to me that what I had done is what God calls sin, and that all people in the world are broken, have sinned and that separates them from God. She then shared how Jesus came and died so He could take my sin. She said that if I asked Jesus, He would forgive my sin and make me clean inside. “That day I told Jesus that I was sorry for my sin and accepted His payment. My mom was right. I was forgiven, clean and again felt joy bubbling up inside of me. “She then told me that I needed to go to my sister and tell her what I had done and ask her forgiveness. That was the hardest thing I ever had to do!” “What did your sister do?” “She was very upset, but finally she forgave me. Later, when I was fourteen, I made public my faith in Jesus and was baptized by Christian Schowalter, Emil’s grandfather. “I never wanted to treat someone unkindly again, nor to tell a lie. I knew how much it would hurt me. I don’t want to be that miserable again!!” “Mother, people say that you are so kind to everyone, even to those who are unkind to you. How can you do that?” “I hope and pray that what they say is true. I am so aware of the unkindness I know I’m capable of and the mercy God showed me, I can only pass that mercy on to others.” “You grew up in Donnellson, Iowa didn’t you? Was father from there too? “Yes, he was. I was 19 when he left Iowa and went to work on the farm of his cousin, Hugo Leisy, near Wisner, Nebraska. He spent 4 years there working from sunup to sundown learning the farming business. His sister had made him many shirts to take. He would catch rats in the barn where he slept and turn them in for a bounty. He used that money to buy stamps to send me letters. At the end of the four years he had earned enough to buy a team of horses and a wagon. He returned to Iowa, and our upcoming marriage was announced at church for three Sundays. Then I, Magdalena Amelia Krebill married Emil Abraham Leisy on January 30, 1887.” “Yes!” said Homer. “Then almost immediately you moved the 450 miles here to Kansas. Was the town called Christian then?” “It was. They changed it to Moundridge many years later.” “Did I hear that The Atchison, Topeka and Santa Fe Railway (AT&SF) had something to with your coming here?” asked Homer. “The railroad opened up acres of fertile grasslands for us settlers. Thousands of Mennonites liked the idea of living productive and contented lives in Kansas. We could live according to our own beliefs without the influence of outsiders. The AT&SF gave us settlers three months of free travel, extended us credit, hauled personal belongings and equipment free or at reduced rates, and guaranteed us other assistance.”
12: “When did the first Mennonites come to this area?” The first group of about 5000 Mennonites came to Kansas in 1874 from the Russian Steepes. These were solid, industrious people that had transformed the Russian land. Most were farmers, but some were blacksmiths, weavers and carpenters. It was a peaceful life in Russia, but in the 1870’s, the revolutionary turmoil began to limit freedoms and to draft the young men into the military. They looked for a new place to live. Kansas reminded them of home, so they came. “Christian Krehbiel, a relative of ours, signed an agreement on behalf of the Mennonites that priced land at 50% of its assessed value of $2.50-$7.75 an acre and allowed the buyers five years to pay. “Then in the 1880’s, 5,000 more settlers moved to Kansas. Some from the Donnellson, Iowa area. We were among this group and have been here ever since.” “It looks like this land has been good for you. There were two of you who came and now you have eleven children!” stated Homer. “Twelve, don’t forget Milton! He died when he was a year old. You were two and a half. “We’ve been here almost 24 years! We haven’t made it rich, but we’ve gotten by. Your father is a penny pincher. He only buys what is absolutely necessary. Remember how you kids would beg him to buy candy when he went to town. It was a rare day when he would bring some home. The hail storms have ruined many of the crops for years so even with his saving ways, I’m not sure how long we can hold out.” responded mother. “Some people have already sold and are moving.” replied Homer thoughtfully. “I remember that our pastor, Rev. Baumgartner, sold his farm and answered a call to pastor a church in Oregon. I believe it is called the Emmanuel Mennonite Church of Pratum.” “Father has heard such glowing stories of the Willamette Valley in Oregon that he is thinking about going out on a scouting trip to see if it would be a good place for us.” “Really,” whooped Homer. “If he goes, I hope he will take me too!”
14: West to Oregon 1911-1915 By 1911, the Leisy family had seen seven years of crop failure due to hail. Father Emil decided that it was time to move on. He took Ed and Homer on an exploration trip to Oregon in the summer of 1911, and found that the rumors of fertile farmland and a thriving Mennonite church were true. They returned to Moundridge, Kansas and on Friday, March 8, 1912 the family had a public sale of their farm. Soon after, Father Emil returned to the Pratum area to look for a farm to buy. He wrote glowing letters extolling the wonders of Oregon--the green grass in Spring, the fruit trees in bloom etc. etc. Meanwhile Mother Magdalena packed up the house and the children for the move. They bought immigrant settler train tickets and on April 11, 1912, Mother and the eight youngest children embarked on the Union Pacific Train for the journey west. Fortified with copious amounts of homemade bread, hard boiled eggs and bologna, the family endured the rigorous 5-day journey to the “Promised Land”. Homer, at 17, was the eldest child traveling with them, so was given the responsibility of taking care of the family bankroll, which was sewn into his underwear. This peace loving Mennonite young man traveled the whole trip with an open pocket knife in case someone tried to rob him. Helen, the youngest at 3, cried much of the way. The conductor was so tired of hearing her he said he would throw her out. She stopped crying. Their arrival in Portland, Oregon coincided with the news of the sinking of the Titanic on April 15, 1912. In Portland they changed trains. Father met them in Salem, a town of about 15,000, with the horses and wagon for them and their many trunks. An eight mile journey east on an unpaved road, brought them to the community of Pratum and home. April 16, 1912, Emil Leisy signed the papers, buying a farm from Jacob Haury, who was moving to Reedley, California. This farm, located about a mile north of Pratum on Howell Prairie Road, included a home, 55 acres, implements, stock and some household goods. They paid $11,600.
15: The younger children attended school in the local two room school house. They had been told that schools here were much more difficult than in Kansas, so they repeated two grades. Then the work was too easy. Homer worked on the farm. Homer, his father or brothers, used up to six horses plowing, harrowing, sowing and harvesting grains and potatoes. Threshing on the farm was a great, big event. The neighbors converged, helping until all crops had been harvested. The men would fill their wagons with shocks of grain and feed them into the threshing machine. When the sacks were filled with grain, the sack sewers took 2-3 big stitches with a large needle and twine, then tied a knot on the corners, leaving “ears” sticking out on both ends. The women fed the crew. They would spend days baking and cooking for the harvesters. Long tables were set up out in the yard for the food. Wash pans, soap and towels were set out so the men could wash up. The tables were groaning with food, and each farmer’s wife tried to outdo the other. The farm also had many fruit trees, cattle, pigs and chickens. This kept Homer busy, but he found time to do other things. He built a tennis court, started a band, took numerous trips to the coast visiting Nye Beach and Newport, explored the Columbia River Gorge, cut and stacked cords of wood, and planted a large garden. He also became the Sunday School Superintendent of Emmanuel Mennonite Church.
16: The people of the church loved him. He was a promising young man, very outgoing and gregarious. One young couple, EJ and Clara Welty, named their firstborn son, Homer, after him on August 24, 1913. Life was good. But Homer still didn’t know what he wanted to do with his life. He only knew he did not want to spend his life farming. He began dating Bertha Roth and his older brother, Ed, dated Bertha’s older sister, Alma. In the fall of 1914, Homer decided to attend Bethel College in Kansas This was the Mennonite school where his oldest brother, Ernest, was a professor. There he sang in the choir and in a quartet and played his mandolin in the orchestra. He started singing high tenor in the quartet and ended the year singing bass. He was interested in football, baseball and basketball, and may have played on the teams. Homer enjoyed traveling and made the most of the opportunities. He traveled with the quartet in Kansas and Colorado. The train took him from Pratum to and from Kansas for $25 each way. He stopped in Colorado to visit his sister and husband on the farm in Cheraw. He saw the Mormon Tabernacle in Salt Lake City, the Exposition Grounds in San Francisco, and the Mennonite community in Reedly, California. He loved people, and people loved him. He never forgot a face or a name.
17: Bethel College Newton, Kansas | Quartet from Bethel on tour | Bertha in Salem | Orchestra at Bethel
18: Elmer, Father Emil, Ernest Ed, Harvey, Linda, Homer Mother Magdalena Elsie, Weldon Helen The Leisy Home on Howell Prairie Road about a mile north of the church | Leisy Family
19: Winds of War June 1915 Mother Leisy hummed as she prepared dinner. Linda and Elsie were helping. It was good to have her girls working in the kitchen with her again. All but one of her children would be at dinner. That was unusual these days, so she was happy to have her brood together. Her eleven children were spreading their wings. Mother was concerned about the war in Europe. So far the United States had not entered, but if they would, four of her sons were of fighting age. Dinner was announced and they all gathered in the dining room. “Wow,” said Ernest, I had forgotten what a spread you put on, Mother. I don’t usually eat this well!” The four who had moved away from home, wholeheartedly agreed. Mother proudly looked around the table. Ernest, 28, was visiting from Kansas. He was an English professor at Bethel College, a Mennonite institute of higher learning; Ed, 24, was down from Portland, Oregon, where he worked at a paint and building supply store; Harvey, 23, was studying engineering at Oregon State College in Corvallis, Oregon; Homer, 21, was home from Bethel for the summer; Linda, 18, had just finished a Home Economics course at Oregon State College, and Walter, 15, was working in a sawmill in Mill City, Oregon. The younger children, Elmer, 13, Elsie, 12, Weldon, 9 and Helen, 6 were still at home. Her husband, Emil, 54, was at the head of the table. The only one missing was Olga, their oldest daughter, 26, who was with her husband, Ruben, 29, on their farm in Colorado. After a short prayer thanking God for his provision, the family quickly passed the food, heaping their plates with roast beef, mashed potatoes and gravy, fresh vegetables from the garden and a green salad. For dessert there would be apple and berry pies. “Did you hear about the package we got from our relatives in Cleveland?” asked Elsie. “A large prepaid package came to the train station for us. We were sure that it must be for some other Leisy family in Salem. After checking, the man at the train station said, no, it was for us. Father took us down with the wagon to pick it up.”
20: “It was huge!” interrupted Elmer, “The size of the fireplace but very thin. “It looked like it could be a picture.” “It was just a picture of a bunch of old buildings!” said Weldon disgustedly. “Why would anyone want us to have a picture of buildings!” “Aunt Christine, your dad’s great uncle Isaac’s wife, sent this picture of her husband’s brewery! He was very proud of his success with Leisy Beer. He died in 1892 at fifty-four. His son, Otto, took over the business” explained mother. “We had no idea of what to do with the picture, so we put it in a closet upstairs.” “Oh,” said Homer. “Christine Leisy is the one who just gave $4000 to Bethel college for a new residence hall. There was quite the controversy about taking the money, since it was beer money.” “I hear that Christine made a requirement for accepting the money,” continued Ernest, “The college cannot teach prohibition for twenty years! And the income from the rental of the living space is to be used for the maintenance of the German department.” “Issac’s sister is my aunt Anna,” said father. “Her husband is JJ Krehbiel, who is one of the founders of the college. He persuaded the school to accept the money. The cost for the building went over budget, so she gave an additional $750. The lively conversations continued with each person sharing humorous happenings in his life. Soon dinner was over and the younger children asked to be excused from the table to go play. The rest lingered. | The Leisy house at Bethel College | The Leisy brewery in Cleveland,Ohio
21: The conversation turned to the escalating war in Europe. “How did the war start?” asked Walter. “That’s a good question,” answered Father, “There are many theories. It seemed that the countries in Europe were getting ready for war. Then a Serbian national assassinated Franz Ferdinand, heir to the throne of Austria, and his wife. It gave Austria a reason to declare war on Serbia. Soon every country in Europe was brought into the mess. That happened about a year ago.” “Russia, a friend of Austria, came to help and brought France,” continued Ed. “So Germany declared war on Russia and France. Britain declared war on Germany bringing Canada with them. Then Japan declared war on Germany and the Ottoman Empire entered the war to help Germany.” "Will America join the war?” asked Walter. "I hope not,” said Father, “But German U-boats sank the English passenger ship, Lusitania, on May 7th of this year. They killed 1,924 including 128 Americans. That made it tense for a few days, but President Wilson was able to keep us out of the war for now. I’m afraid that it may only be a matter of time before we join.”
22: “Mennonites were able to avoid fighting in the past. How were they able to do that?” asked Ernest. “That has been a problem for centuries,” responded Father. When our ancestors lived in Switzerland, they were persecuted and some were even killed because they refused to fight. Finally, they moved to Germany where they had more freedoms.” “Didn’t some of our relatives come to the United States because of the draft in Germany?” questioned Homer. “Yes, that was your great-grandparents Abraham and Katharina Leisy. When their son was drafted into the German army in 1855, they paid to have him released and then immigrated to America.” answered Father. “Some of my friends in Kansas were from Mennonite families in Russia." commented Harvey, "Their ancestors moved to Russia in the late 1700’s when Catherine the Great was queen. She gave them many freedoms. When she died, the Russians started drafting the young men, and the families moved to America.” “It looks like our ancestors kept moving from country to country because of their belief in pursuing peace instead of war,” interjected Ed, “So what do we do? Do we move to another place? Where could we go? America is our home! I don’t want to leave!” “Ernest, what is Bethel College saying about all of this?” asked Father. “They have not made an official statement about what people should do. However, I think that if I joined the army, I would have to resign and would not be hired to teach at any Mennonite school. Father looked at his offspring, “There are some tough decisions we are going to have to make in the near future. I cannot tell you what to do. The Bible says to try to do what makes peace and helps others, but it also talks about being a good soldier of Jesus Christ.” "How will we know what to do?” questioned Walter. “What do you think?” Father asked. “Well, we could talk to our friends,” ventured Homer. “Everybody seems to have an opinion about it. Maybe talk to the pastor at the church and some of the older people.
23: Elmer, Ernest Ed, Homer, Walter, Harvey Weldon Emmanuel Mennonite Church Pratum, Oregon Corner of Howell Prairie Road and Sunnyview Road
24: “That’s a good idea,” responded Father. “Any other ideas?” “We’ve always been told that the Bible has answers to our questions.” said Ed, “Maybe if we ask God to show us the way and read the Bible, He would show us something.” “I’m sure that God would give you wisdom if you seek Him.” “At school we are told to look at different viewpoints; find out the different sides to the issue.” said Ernest. “It sounds like you all have some good ideas. As you do these things, you will become settled in your heart as to what you need to do. Your decision may be different from your friends or even your brothers and that is OK. Whatever your decision, I will support you in it.” “Thanks Father,” they answered. “Well, let’s go churn some ice cream for our pie and continue our discussion. You have been living in different places, and I am very interested in what you have been hearing about this war. “Great idea, Father.” Ernest said for them all.
25: A Moment to Remember July 1915 “Look,” said nineteen year old Bertha pulling the dress off of the ironing board, “It’s finished!” Alma and Mary came over to examine her creation. “I think this is the finest outfit you have ever made,” said Alma, Bertha’s older sister. All of those tucks and ruffles take a lot of work and can be tricky to sew! I should know!” Alma and Bertha had both taken sewing classes after completing eighth grade and were proficient seamstresses. “Do you think Homer will be impressed?” questioned Mary Gerig, Bertha’s bosom friend. “I sure hope so,” Bertha replied. “He and Ed are coming over soon. We’ll find out. He said he had something important to talk to me about...” she giggled mischievously, “I wonder what it could be?” Bertha and Alma were two of the Roth sisters. They were close in age, looked alike, and many thought they were twins. Several years before when they were in the choir loft at church, a man they had never seen came in with his two teenaged sons. Alma leaned over to Bertha and said, “I will take the one on the right.” Bertha replied, “And I will take the one on the left!” Now they were dating those two young men. Bertha slipped on the dress. It fit her thin frame perfectly, just as she knew it would. She took silent pride in the fact that she looked like her stately, lithe father rather than her pleasantly plump mother. Twirling around she felt like a princess. Alma left to go get ready for the evening. Mary and Bertha went outdoors. Bertha leaned against the fence and looked across the farmland at a house about a mile distant. “Oh Mary,” she said, “I think I am in love! Don’t you think that Homer is the most wonderful man alive? Oh, I’m in love, I’m in love, I’m in love!” “I don’t think you want me to think that about Homer,” Mary teased, “But there is a man around here that is just as wonderful! Your brother Bill!” Bertha’s laughed, “Ohhh, I guess you are right. If you marry Bill, we will be sisters as well as best friends. Wouldn’t that be great?”
26: Bertha again looked across the field, “I wonder what is keeping them? I can’t see that they have left yet. You know how Homer likes to be on time! Maybe they had to work late in the fields.” Homer’s promptness was legendary. He hated to be late or for other people to be late. Bur right now he had no choice. The work in the fields was taking longer than expected, and they needed to make the most of the warm July evening. Finally, his father said, “Homer and Ed, I know you are eager to be off. I can finish from here.” Those two young men took off like lightning before their father could change his mind. They quickly cleaned up and were in the buggy heading out. Those horses were so well trained that they automatically turned in to the Roth's place. Mother and Father Leisy would joke that even when they went to town, the horses would turn in at the Roth’s. “Wow,” said Homer when he saw Bertha, “What a beautiful frock you have. The color brings out your eyes! Your eyes are sparkling so!” “I just finished it this afternoon, I’m glad you like it.” Bertha replied shyly. Bill joined them, and the three couples sat down in the parlor to visit and to enjoy each other’s company for awhile. It didn’t really matter what they did; they just liked to be together. Homer seemed distracted, and they teased him mercilessly. The younger sisters, Alice and Hulda, were spying on them. Hurried footsteps and muffled giggles gave them away. Brothers Ernest and Henry were gone. They were attending the youth group at church. Bertha thought they were eyeing the Loganbill girls and were thankful for the opportunity to be near them. Later the couples headed into town for a concert. When they got back, Homer asked Bertha to go for a walk. They went over to the fence, and he lifted her up easily and set her on top of the post. The sun was just setting, coloring the sky with vibrant hues. A light breeze was blowing across the fragrant farmland lightly touching their skin, “Remember how I said I had something important to talk to you about?” Homer began as he took her hand. “Oh, Yes, I have been ever so curious.” she answered. “Well, in September I will not be going back to Bethel." he said Bertha's heart skipped a beat. She thought, He is going to stay here! "But I am going back to Newton, Kansas," he continued, "The Sprinker Furniture Company there has offered me a job,and I want to take an interior decorating course there." The sparkle left Bertha’s eyes and she struggled to compose herself. The disappointment was great. “But... I won’t see you for ever so long! You’ll probably find some girl there and marry her!” she blurted.
27: “Oh Bertha, Bertha,” he cooed, “What I want to say is, with a job as a salesman in a good company, I'll be making a steady income and can settle down. I will never love anyone else as much as I love you." he paused, “Will YOU marry me?” “Do I want to marry you?” she asked. Relief washed over her like a flood. “I won’t let you down off of this post until you say yes!” he threatened. “Well, I don’t want to sit on top of this post forever, so I guess my answer is yes. Oh my darling, YES! YES! YES! A thousand times YES!!! ”He took her in his arms and sealed the moment with a kiss. “I asked your father the other day if I could ask you, and he said that it was fine with him as long as you agree! I think he knew that you would.” “I don’t think he had a doubt in his mind what my answer would be,” Bertha said. When shall we get married?’ “I was thinking next year sometime after I get back from Newton.” Homer replied. “That seems so far away! But you will write me all the time, and I know you are mine! How wonderful that sounds!" “Yes, it is a long time, and I will write. You have a wedding to plan, so the time will go by quickly. Let’s go and tell the others.” “Oh yes, let’s tell them! What fun!” Bertha exclaimed. Homer lifted her gently from the post, tucked her hand through his arm and they walked slowly toward the house, savoring the moment.
28: The Draft 1915-1918 In September 1915, Homer took the job at the Sprinker Furniture Company in Newton, Kansas. He worked efficiently and well for them, and in April, 1916, was hired at the large Pegues -Wright Dry Goods Company (PWDG Co) in Hutchinson, Kansas. He worked in the rug, carpet and drapery departments. The postman was kept busy delivering the many letters back and forth. Homer’s were plentifully dotted with apropos sketches. The long, lonesome year went by. As promised, when summer came, Homer returned to Pratum and on July 16, 1916 Homer Carl Leisy married Bertha Elvina Roth in a ceremony at the Emmanuel Mennonite Church at Pratum. Rev SS Baumgartner officiated. Soon after, the newlyweds boarded the train, and headed for their new life in Hutchinson, Kansas. Bertha was scared to death of the lightning storms. Her new husband didn’t help much by switching the lights on and off! They enjoyed their new home and decorated it in the latest fashion - complete with custom draperies. 1917 In June of 1917, the Conscription Act passed. This draft raised manpower for World War I. Exemptions were allowed for dependency, essential occupations and religious convictions. These included the Amish, Quakers and Church of the Brethren only. All others, including Mennonites and political objectors were forced to take part. 64,700 men claimed conscientious objector status. 21,000 of them were inducted into the army anyway. 80% of these decided to abandon their objection and take up arms, but 3,989 refused to serve. If they refused to wear uniforms, bear arms, perform basic duties or submit to military authority, they were court martialed, and if convicted, were given twenty year sentences in Fort Leavenworth. At first the draft included all males who were not exempted between twenty-one and thirty-one years, but later it was expanded to include those eighteen to forty-five years. It prohibited all forms of bounties, substitutions, or purchase of exemptions. Draft calls were in order of numbers drawn in a national lottery. Less than a year after they were married, on July 6, 1917, Leona Adele Leisy was born at home. She was the first grandchild on both the Roth and the Leisy sides of the family. When Leona was two months old, the family moved back to Oregon, settling in Portland. They came by train via San Francisco and Leona cried the whole way. Homer got a job at the Edwards Furniture Store. It was good to be back with family. They loved showing off the new baby.
29: 1918 The war brought both agony and challenge to all pacifists and German-speaking people in America. They were viewed suspiciously because they believed in something that frightened people. They believed that a Christian should live a life of peace. They believed that a Christian should not bear arms, should not go to war. Scornfully, they were called “slackers.” Citizens went forth to make the world safe for democracy. Religious pacifists were vulnerable--and all the more so if their accents were German. Americans came to see the German as a spiked-helmeted beast and the Allies as noble champions of liberty. “Slackers”--anyone who shrank from the crusade--became the scum of the earth. Of course Mennonites were among the “slackers.” Even worse, they were “slackers” in a popular crusade to secure the very quality of freedom which had brought the Mennonites themselves to America. Mennonites in World War I became the most abused of any German culture group in the United States. Community hostility against them increased during the war. During the war there were several dozen mob actions against Mennonites. Some were “tarred and feathered” which almost became lynchings, yet no Mennonite was killed in his or her home community. At least two Mennonite church buildings were burned to the ground. The main building at Tabor College (a Mennonite school) was burned. Most of the patriotic mobs stopped at smearing yellow paint, planting American flags, or leaving threatening notes. Bernhard W. Harder was a Mennonite farmer in Butler County, Kansas, and pastor of the Emmaus Mennonite Church. During the war a mob in about twenty-five cars from the town of Whitewater came to his home to force him to nail the American flag on his farmhouse. Bernhard nailed it there and then led everyone in the song, “The Star Spangled Banner.” As he started to sing, everybody sang along, but he went on and sang all of the verses. The crowd was embarrassed because they didn’t know them all. They backed up and left. Some came by later and apologized for their actions. People were encouraged, even required, to purchase war bonds as their patriotic duty. Some members of the Mennonite churches refused. Some pastors purchased some, and counseled church members to do so. Some were frightened into purchasing them. There were threats of social ostracism. Public “slacker boards” listed people who had not purchased their assigned quotas. Also, signs in town demanded the use of English, and schools or colleges had to stop teaching German. The pressures delivered a major shock to Mennonite identity. Many young men from Mennonite families did accept regular military service and joined the war crusade. Yet almost all Mennonites agreed that in doing so they betrayed their heritage and were less than true Mennonites. | Soldiers Leaving Hutchinson, Kansas
30: In 1918 Ernest had to register for the draft. President Kliewer at Bethel asked him what could happen if he were called. Ernest resigned, was called to Fort Leavenworth, and returned in three days, rejected because of flat feet! We had to live with my parents as he had no job. Ernest wrote to 50 colleges, applying for work. Meanwhile, he worked for the Santa Fe Railroad, handling freight. Hard work! Then came an offer to teach at the University of Illinois at Urbana at almost twice the salary he was getting at Bethel. Elva | Ed, age 27 Alma and I were married and living in Portland. I was able to get an exception because I had a wife. | Olga, age 29 Our family was unchanged by World War I. Ruben was 32 by 1918--too old for service; the children were too young. | Memories of the War Years Written by the Leisy children | Harvey, age 26 No record left
31: Homer, age 25 We were living in Hutchinson, Kansas when the Conscription Act was passed. Since I was married and expecting a child, I was granted a exemption for dependents. | Walter, age 18 Late in 1917, the US got into World War I which had been going in Europe since 1914. Proclaimed by President Woodrow Wilson as the “war to end all wars”. All of a sudden patriotism broke out all over the place. Everyone jumped up and saluted when our Flag was shown at the movies. Posters blared sternly: “UNCLE SAM WANTS YOU”. I can see them yet! Liberty bonds and stamps were sold and woe be unto you if you didn’t subscribe for them. World champion boxer, Jack Dempsey was branded a “slacker” as were those who tried to dodge some type of war service. Women rolled bandages; everyone got involved. In Portland and Vancouver, shipyards sprang up to build ships to carry supplies to our allies England, France and Russia. Larger cities all had a National Guard company with lots of fellows joining, thinking to escape going overseas. These, however, were among the first to be called. I was in the huge crowd at the depot seeing the Salem boys off; a sad parting. I went to Portland, lived with Ed and Alma, and worked with a riveting gun building ships. Ships rolled off the ways at a record pace. | Elmer, age 16 I worked at Willamette Iron and Steel as night shift machinist helper at $4.95 per shift. I lived with Ed and Alma in Portland. On Armistice Day the whole night shift got fired as the war ended.
32: Father Emil and Mother Magdalena Leisy Homer's parents
33: Father Leisy March 29, 1918 Good Friday Homer walked into his Portland, Oregon home ashen white. Bertha could sense that he was trembling. Her strong, confident husband was visibly upset. “What happened?” asked Bertha. “My sister Linda sent a telegram to the furniture store to tell me that Father died today!” “What? Are you sure? That just can’t be! He is only 58!” Bertha responded. “Linda said he died of consumption,” Homer replied. “She didn’t give any details. You can’t say much in a telegram." He thought for a minute. "Remember the newspaper extra a few weeks ago about the influenza that broke out in Kansas at Fort Riley?” “Yes, hundreds had fallen ill within a week, and the latest report was that the influenza was spreading quickly. I read about troops moving because of the war in Europe and soldiers were carrying the influenza with them. But, Pratum is far from people going to war...how can that be?” Bertha questioned. “Mennonites from Kansas have been coming to Pratum, Oregon, by train.” Homer replied wearily, “Some must have been on the same train that picked up soldiers from Fort Riley and took them to Los Angeles. I’m sure the Mennonites were exposed to the influenza from the soldiers.” “Oh, yes, we were on that train route six months ago when we came back here from Hutchinson, Kansas.” Bertha observed. “ We had to change trains to come up to Portland.” “That’s true,” said Homer taking her in his arms. Reality began to set in. “Oh how I am going to miss Father!!” He exclaimed, tears streaming down his face. “He has been my rock, my encourager! I could talk things over with him. He was such a good listener!“ Bertha and Homer stood holding each other for a while in grief. Then Homer’s business mind kicked in. “I need to go and get some train tickets for us, for Alma and Ed, and for Elmer and Walter to go to the funeral tomorrow. I’ll be back soon.” When he left, Bertha picked her daughter, Leona, up out of the playpen, buried her head in her hair and cried. Though Leona was only eight months old, she seemed to sense what her mom needed and put her arms around her neck. Bertha held her tightly, rocking back and forth in grief. She sat on the couch and sobbed deep soul wrenching sobs. | Homer and Bertha's home in Portland
34: “He is too young to die!” She wailed, “There are four children still at home! Helen, the youngest, is only 9, Weldon 12, Elsie 15, and Linda 20. Four of the boys are here in Portland, and the oldest two children are in Kansas and Colorado. Harvey is in Corvallis. We can’t lose Father Leisy yet! We need him!” Finally, she composed herself and got busy packing for the fifty mile train trip to Pratum where her in-laws lived. The next day, nine of the eleven brothers and sisters, along with their mother met together at Emmanuel Mennonite Church to say good-bye to their father, and husband. Many friends came too. Emil Abraham Leisy was buried in the Pratum Cemetery a couple of miles from the church. After the funeral, the family gathered in the Leisy home, a mile north of the church. “What happened?” asked Homer. “We think Father has had tuberculosis since he worked on that farm in Nebraska before he and I were married,” began Mother. “In the last couple of years the cough came back, so I had him go to the doctor. The doctor confirmed it was T.B, but was not yet a severe case.” “Four days ago, Father got worse. This illness started like a normal flu, with a cough and a headache.” continued Linda. “You know how father is,” interrupted Weldon, “He felt that he had to get the chores done, so he wouldn’t go in and go to bed.” “Then he got these intense chills. He was shaking. His teeth were chattering,” added Elsie. “We finally got him into bed and gave him some hot tea,” Mother continued. “We piled blankets on him. Later, his temperature shot up to 104 degrees, and we could not get it down.” “Near the end, he called each of us in to talk to alone. One thing he asked me to do was to be good and to help Mother all that I could,” said Weldon.
35: “He asked us the same thing," Linda, Elsie and Helen chimed in. “Father was such a kind man,” Helen said, “He kept things so neat, in good repair and well-painted. I am going to miss him!” “We all will! ...Mother, why didn’t you call us to come and help?” questioned Harvey. “There was no way to let you know what was happening. We needed everyone here to take care of the farm and to care for Father. We couldn’t spare anyone to ride the horse into Salem to send a telegram.” Mother answered. “Besides we thought it was just the three-day fever that was going around, but he developed pneumonia and then he died!” They talked for a while about what Mother and the four children still at home would do. “So that is what you want?” Ed summarized. “For now, do you want to stay on the farm and see if someone will rent the land for the summer?” “Yes,” Mother answered. “We need to take time before we make a big change.” Soon it was time to catch the train back home. Homer walked over to his mother, put his arms around her and held her tightly. “I am so sorry Mother. We’ll miss Father so much. He’s been our rock. We’ll be down this summer to help you out. A week later, Homer came stumbling home from work at the furniture store with a cough and a severe headache, just like his father had. Bertha was beside herself with worry ...for her husband, and for her child. She did not even think of herself. She worked tirelessly taking care of Homer, and made sure that Leona didn’t go near him. Unlike his father, Homer did not get pneumonia and in a few days, he was somewhat better. However, he walked around his home in an energy-sapped stupor. He felt as though he had been beaten over and over with a club. It took a month before he felt completely well. The worst was over, or so they thought.
36: The Second Wave of the Influenza Pandemic of 1918 October 1918 During the summer of 1918, fewer people were getting the influenza, and the epidemic seemed to be over. Bertha busied herself in making some new clothes. She loved beautiful things, and as a seamstress could sew almost anything she wanted. Homer was doing well in sales at Edward’s furniture store in Portland, Oregon. Alma and Ed, Bertha’s sister and Homer’s brother had married and were living in the Woodlawn District in Portland. Other brothers, eighteen year old Walter, and sixteen year old Elmer were living with them. When Bertha and Homer moved back from Hutchinson, Kansas, they decided to settle near them. The siblings enjoyed spending time together. Homer and Bertha’s daughter, Leona, was the first niece in the family. The men enjoyed spoiling her. She was their princess. Bertha dressed her in the latest fashion and curled her hair to perfection. As a one year old, Leona lapped up the attention. Life was good. Several times during the summer the family had gone to Pratum for the weekend to help their mother. After many discussions about what to do with the farm, it was decided to put it up for sale. Mother Lena and the four children planned to move eight miles to Salem, Oregon. There Walter and Linda could go to high school and finish their education. Education was very important to the Leisy family. The war in Europe continued, but the Allies were beginning to experience victories. People were cautiously optimistic that the war would soon be over. Beginning in September, disturbing reports filtered in on an epidemic of influenza from Spain called the “Spanish Influenza.” This disease was far more severe than the one in the spring and was spreading rapidly around the world. However, it seemed that those, like Homer, who already had the influenza were immune to this new strain. | \
37: Daily headlines announced frightening news: Homer and Bertha read these reports with mounting concern. They had already lost Homer’s father. Now the disease was even more deadly. One beautiful, crisp October day Homer’s boss sent him home. The disease had become so prevalent there was no reason to keep the furniture store open. “No one is going to buy furniture these days,” he told Homer. “Go home until this blows over.” Leaves were turning. Birch trees looked like flames of yellow. Oaks were reds and oranges. Douglas Fir and hemlock were green. The sky was periwinkle blue. The air was crisp. It was the kind of day that usually made Homer feel alive. But, something was wrong. Public gatherings had been banned. Any place where people congregated like churches, movie theaters, and schools were closed. The few people he saw were intent on what they were doing. No one made eye contact, as if doing so would cause the disease to spread. Here and there he saw a quarantine sign nailed to a home indicating the occupants were ill, and people needed to stay away for fear of catching the influenza. Just two days ago all homes that had a case of influenza were required to post the sign. The beautiful day was wrapped in impending doom. | Influenza: A New Name-Old Familiar Disease | Shipyards Struck by Epidemic Bright Young Life Ended Influenza Gains Ground | Homes Quarantined Death Toll Passes 100,000 Mark Outdoor Gatherings Banned | Thousands Dead From Influenza | Influenza Spreads with Breath-Taking Speed | Young Adults Hit Hard in Pandemic
38: “I’m home,” Homer called as he walked in the house. Bertha was nowhere around. Leona was in the playpen in the living room. ‘Daddy, Daddy!! ” she cried. Homer picked her up. Her diaper was soaking wet. Bertha heard him come in and called to him, “I think I have the influenza! I’m feeling achy and weak, my throat is sore, and my head is killing me.” When he opened the bedroom door, she almost screamed at him, “Don’t let Leona in here! Take her to Alma and Ed’s house! You will need to take diapers, clothes, and food for her!” Homer’s heart was torn within him. His beloved needed him, but so did his child. He saw the wisdom in what Bertha said. “OK darling,” he said, “but what can I do for you?” “Just get Leona out of here. I don’t want her to get this disease!” Bertha answered as she collapsed back on the bed. She had used her energy to make sure Leona was OK. Homer fumbled as he tried to work hurriedly. He changed Leona and gathered the things she would need. As he rode the streetcar to Ed and Alma’s home on N.E. Junior Street, his heart was heavy. Ed was still at work at the Fisher-Thorson Paint and Supply Company, but Alma was at home. “I’m so glad you are here,” Homer said, “Bertha is sick and we don’t want Leona to get it. Would you be willing to take care of Leona until Bertha is better?” “Does Bertha have the influenza?” Alma asked hesitantly. “Yes,” answered Homer. “I haven’t talked to her much since she was so intent that I get Leona out of there. I don’t know how long this will be....” His voice trailed off. “We will take care of Leona as if she were our own,” Alma replied. “ And I’ll have Ed bring over something for your dinner. Remember, if you are going to be able to take good care of my sister, you need to keep up your strength. Take care of yourself!” Homer gave Leona a hug good-bye. “Daddy loves you, princess,” he said. “Mama?” asked Leona. “Mama is very sick. You need to stay with Aunt Alma and Uncle Ed until she gets better. You’ll be a good girl for them, won’t you?”
39: “Yes,” answered Leona, allowing Alma to pick her up. As he hurried back to the house, despair began to take a hold of Homer. He shook himself. “I will not be any good to Bertha if I let this overwhelm me,” he told himself. When he entered the house, Bertha was shaking with chills. Homer covered her with blankets to get her warm. She thrashed about moaning, “Oh my head, my head!! I feel so dizzy!” He sat with her until she fell into a fitful sleep. Homer called Dr Swartz and he confirmed that she had the influenza. He gave Homer a quarantine sign. Sadly Homer nailed it to their home. | Quarantine Sign
40: Valley of the Shadow of Death October, 1918 Bertha lay in bed gasping for air. The influenza seemed to be sucking the life out of her, and Homer felt that there was little he could do to help. He encouraged her to drink fluids and helped her to go to the bathroom. He fluffed up the pillows, so she could rest while sitting up. In the evening, Homer’s brother, Ed, came over with soup as Alma had promised. “How is she doing?” Ed asked in muted tones. He stood outside of the door, not daring to come in lest he also become exposed. “Not very well,” Homer replied. “She is very restless and moans a lot, complaining of her head hurting. She has difficulty breathing. I am concerned that she might get pneumonia. That is often the killer.” “I wonder if there is something that would help her breathe easier?” asked Ed. “Maybe Vapor Rub would help,” said Homer. Would you be willing to go to the store and pick up some, and pick up a paper for me?” “I’ll be back in a jiffy,” responded Ed, glad for something positive to do to help. Homer tried feeding Bertha some of the broth from the soup. “Here Honey maybe this will help you to feel better.” Bertha tried eating a little, but went into a fit of coughing. Homer held her, patting her on the back until the coughing was over. She lay back on the pillows drained. “I’m so sorry,” she said hoarsely. “You took care of me while I had this a few months ago, and now it is time for me to take care of you. You know Leona is in good hands with Ed and Alma, as long as they don’t come down with this too!” Homer said. “Ed is back, you rest while I talk to him.” Ed handed him a jar of Vapor Rub. “The druggist said that there has been quite a run on this. He is almost out. I was fortunate to get this jar.” He gave Homer the paper.
41: The headlines screamed at him: “I was thinking about taking Bertha to the hospital,” said Homer, “But it doesn’t look like that is a good idea.” “It would probably only make her worse,” replied Ed. “Besides, here she will have you to give her care. That is more than she would have there. Tell her that Leona is doing OK. She asks about her mama, but seems to understand that she is sick and needs rest to get better. It is nice that Leona knows Alma and me well.” “We appreciate you two so much! I don’t know what we would do without you...” Homer hesitated, choking up. “Well, we’re glad we could be here to help. We will keep Bertha in our prayers. I guess I’d better go now,” said Ed. “I’ll return tomorrow night with another paper and more food.” Homer rubbed Vapor Rub on Bertha’s chest, and that seemed to help the coughing. That night Bertha got worse. When he held her through her coughing fits, Homer could feel the heat from her body, and her heart was racing. “I need to get her fever down,” he thought. He brought her some cool water to drink. He could tell her temperature was high--probably over 102 degrees. He used wet towels to try to cool her body. Finally, the long night was over, and in the morning Bertha seemed to do better. Both she and Homer were able to get some sleep. | Hospitals Full to Overflowing | Doctors Say Drink Liquids and Rest | Death Toll Climbs to Hundreds of Thousands Worldwide | Shortages of Doctors
42: He could tell her temperature was high--probably over 102 degrees. He used wet towels to try to cool her body. Finally, the long night was over, and in the morning Bertha seemed to do better. Both she and Homer were able to get some sleep. Throughout the next few days, Bertha fought for her life. She would eat little and often had coughing fits. Her fever continued to rise. Then came the nosebleeds. They were terrible and almost impossible to stop. On the fourth day, dark brown spots appeared on her cheeks, and her face began to have a bluish tinge. This was a indication that the blood was not getting enough oxygen. Homer was sure that he would lose his wife. “Please God,” he prayed, “don’t let her die! I need her! Leona needs her!” The papers offered little comfort. The world was in a panic. Many MILLIONS of the WORLD had died from the disease. Most of the victims had been healthy young adults. The majority of deaths were from bacterial pneumonia, a secondary infection caused by influenza. Homer realized how important it was that Bertha NOT get pneumonia. He worked to keep her lungs clear. He would hit her on the back to cause her to cough up the fluid. He hated doing it, but it was something he HAD to do. The papers reported up to twenty-five percent of the patients in the hospitals were dying every night. He was glad he had not taken Bertha there. On the fifth day, the fever broke. She began to improve, but was not out of the woods. She still ate little, and her weight dropped at an alarming rate. Bertha lay on the bed. She was so thin. Homer noticed that her eyes, which always delighted him with their sparkle and fun, were sunken and looked dead. She wasn’t interested in anything, but would just lie there. She wouldn’t even try to feed herself. Homer patiently fed her, but after a couple of bites, she would be finished. Ed and Alma continued to take care of Leona, and daily Ed would stop by to bring food, the paper and to help out in other ways. He was their connection with the outside world. | Throughout the next few days, Bertha fought for her life. She would eat little and often had coughing fits. Her fever continued to rise. Then came the nosebleeds. They were terrible and almost impossible to stop. On the fourth day, dark brown spots appeared on her cheeks, and her face began to have a bluish tinge. This was a indication that the blood was not getting enough oxygen. Homer was sure that he would lose his wife. “Please God,” he prayed, “Don’t let her die! I need her! Leona needs her!” The papers offered little comfort. The world was in a panic. Many MILLIONS of the WORLD had died from the disease. Most of the victims had been healthy young adults. The majority of deaths were from bacterial pneumonia, a secondary infection caused by influenza. Homer realized how important it was that Bertha NOT get pneumonia. He worked to keep her lungs clear. He would hit her on the back to cause her to cough up the fluid. He hated doing it, but it was something he HAD to do. The papers reported up to twenty-five percent of the patients in the hospitals were dying every night. He was glad he had not taken Bertha there. On the fifth day, the fever broke. She began to improve, but was not out of the woods. She still ate little, and her weight dropped at an alarming rate. Bertha lay on the bed. She was so thin. Homer noticed that her eyes, which always delighted him with their sparkle and fun, were sunken and looked dead. She wasn’t interested in anything, but would just lie there. She wouldn’t even try to feed herself. Homer patiently fed her, but after a couple of bites, she would be finished. Ed and Alma continued to take care of Leona, and daily Ed would stop by to bring food, the paper and to help out in other ways. He was their connection with the outside world.
43: The Great War Ends November 12, 1918 Homer felt like a caged animal. His home was quarantined. That meant it was illegal for him to appear out of doors and even out of his home. It had been 18 days since he nailed the quarantine sign to the side of his home. His brothers, Ed, Elmer and Walter would take turns and come to the house for a few minutes each day. They brought food, the newspaper, and best of all, information about the outside world. Ed told him last night that the doctor said he would drop by today and check Bertha. Maybe, hopefully, the quarantine sign could be taken down. This morning, he cleaned the house from top to bottom. He washed and changed the sheets, and dressed Bertha in fresh clothes. He could easily lift her, because she weighed less than one hundred pounds! She sat on the couch for only twenty minutes, staring through empty eyes. Homer scanned yesterday’s paper. The headlines brought encouraging news. | WAR OVER GERMANS SIGN TRUCE "My Fellow Countrymen: The armistice was signed this morning. Everything for which America fought has been accomplished. It will now be our fortunate duty to assist by example, by sober, friendly council and by material aid in the establishment of just democracy throughout the world." -Woodrow Wilson ARMISTICE SIGNED “at the eleventh hour of the eleventh day of the eleventh month” NO NEW FLU CASES REPORTED IN CITY
44: Homer saw the doctor come up on the porch and opened the door before he could knock. “Hello, Dr Swartz. It is so good to see you! You are looking a bit tired!” “These past couple of months have been draining, Homer, but I think the worst is over. How is Bertha doing?” “Better, but she doesn’t seem to be getting her strength back. She coughs a lot and is listless.” “I’ll take a look.” He went into the bedroom and did a thorough examination. “Well, I have some encouraging news for you,” started Dr Swartz, “I don’t see any sign of the flu or of pneumonia. You did a good job Homer. The house looks good and smells fresh. You can take that quarantine sign down!” “Oh my is that ever great news!” Responded Homer jubilantly. | American Troops in northeast France Cheer after hearing that the armistice has been signed.
45: “However,” continued the doctor sadly, “Her bronchial tubes have narrowed and are scarred. She has a severe case of asthma. It may never go away.” Quick tears rose unbidden to Homer’s eyes, but he pushed them away. “What does that mean?” “The symptoms are wheezing, coughing, shortness of breath and chest tightening. At times she may not notice them at all, and at other times they will be severe. This depends on many things. She might live a full, normal life with asthma just being an inconvenience.” “I’ll hope and pray that is the case for her.” Homer replied. “I’m also concerned that she is so tired. She has lost all enthusiasm for life.” “That may take awhile. Remember when you had the flu? It took over a month before you felt good. Bertha’s body has been through a great trauma and needs time to heal. She’s also lost a considerable amount of weight...” “I know, doctor! She just won’t eat! I try to feed her, but after a couple of bites she starts to cough and doesn’t want any more. She says she is not hungry.” “Well, keep trying to feed her. She needs nourishment. How is Leona doing? “She is staying with Ed and Alma and my two other brothers. I think she is having the time of her life. They all dote on her! I’m afraid Leona won’t want to come back home!” “If they are willing to keep her for a while longer, that would be good. Bertha isn’t well enough to take care of her right now. See how she is doing in another few weeks. Maybe a visit would cheer her up.” “Thanks doctor, I am so glad that you came. I hope you will be able to get some rest too!” Homer paid him $1.50 and the doctor left. ____________________________
46: That evening Elmer and Walter came over and were invited in! They were bursting at the seams, ready to tell of their “celebration stories.” Eighteen year old, Walter, worked as a riveter in the shipyards. He excitedly related what happened. “When we heard that the war was over, all of us in the shipyard dropped whatever we were doing and headed for the city center. We were yelling like Comanches! We climbed on the street cars. Nobody paid any fare and we had the wildest celebration I have ever seen. People were yelling and screaming, dancing around, drinking and carrying on. We were partying until this morning.” “My story is not so much fun,” cut in sixteen year old, Elmer, who worked the night shift at Willamette Iron and Steel as a machinist helper, “Our boss came in and told us that we were out of a job! The whole shift got fired as the war ended, because our job was war related!” “Oh, Oh!” replied Walter. “My job also helps in the war effort. I wonder if I will also be out of a job?” The brothers talked adamantly for a while about what the end of the war might mean for them. “I have my own war celebration story,” said Homer. “The doctor says that Bertha no longer has the flu! It looks like our great war against influenza has also been won!” “Wow! That is great news” said Walter and Elmer. As he bid his brothers good night, Homer sadly thought, The Great Wars might be over, but life will never go back to the way it was. | Hospital treating people with influenza
47: New Hope for the Future December 1918 Homer sat with his head in his hands; the bills spread out in front of him. He wasn’t sure what he should do, since he hadn’t been employed in over a month, and wouldn’t get a paycheck for a couple more months. No matter how he worked it, there was not enough money to cover the expenses. Fifteen months before, he and his family arrived in Portland with little except the clothes on their backs. Edwards Furniture hired him as a salesman in the drapery department almost immediately. He and Bertha had rented this house and gotten furniture on the strength of that job. However, 1918 had not been kind to them. In April, he missed a month of work because of sickness. Due to his father’s death, the family made several trips to Pratum. There were doctor’s bills from when he, and now Bertha, were ill. Their savings was almost gone. He tallied his expenses in his mind. Rent was $10; food about $5; trolley fees $3; utilities $2; doctor’s fees $3. Wood for the furnace was already stacked in the basement, so at least they could keep warm. They would need to eliminate all non-essentials, no more newspapers at two cents a copy, and no more steak at fifteen cents a pound! He could walk instead of riding the trolley. That would save a little more. He wasn’t sure how he could pay his bills in the meantime. Alma and Ed had been very generous in taking care of Leona and bringing them food from time to time. He hated to ask them for more help. Maybe he could talk to his landlord... These had been tough times for everyone. Maybe his landlord would understand. Maybe he could borrow some money from either Walter or Elmer. It would only be for a couple of months. He decided to talk to his landlord and to his brothers. Satisfied that he had a plan of action, Homer turned his thoughts to the recent war. The Great War had spanned four years and involved thirty-five countries. Many European dynasties were destroyed. An estimated 16 to 20 MILLION soldiers had died. Had anything positive really been accomplished? Would the non-combatant stance that his Mennonite heritage encouraged be a better way? Then there was the Influenza Pandemic. By November, it had “ceased to exist officially.” The outbreaks were gradually ending. So far, estimates said that one in four people were infected and one in thirty died. Influenza killed over 50 MILLION people. That was over 3% of the population world wide. More people had died from it than from any other illness in recorded history, including the “black plague.” Homer wondered how many people, like Bertha, survived, but who would bear the scars of the disease for the rest of their lives. In one year, the average life expectancy in the United States dropped by 12 years. ________________________________________________
48: Thanksgiving passed uneventfully and Christmas was quickly approaching. Bertha lay on the bed. It hurt to breathe. The cough started and she couldn’t stop it. The spasm lasted a long time, deep, wracking, rattling. She fell limp, gasping for breath. “I don’t have the strength,” she thought, “I could stop breathing and not even care. It would be so easy.” She didn’t know what day it was. Nor what month for that matter. She could not remember a time when she felt good--when she felt free from this constant coughing. Most of the time she just sat--staring. Conversations went on around her, but she usually could not comprehend what was being said. Each morning, Homer got her up and dressed. She sat for a while on the couch. Homer tried to feed her, to encourage her to take at least a couple of bites. At times she attempted to eat, but coughed so much she threw it up. It was much easier not to eat. She felt so sad. Alma had brought Leona over several times to visit. Leona had seemed shy and scared to come near her, her own mother! “Would it always be like this?” Bertha wondered, “Will I always be so weak and tired and unable to take care of my daughter?” This morning, she only weighed 86 pounds! As she rinsed her face with cool water, she saw her reflection in the mirror. “Who was this gaunt, pale ghost staring back at her?” She studied the sharp angles, the pallor, the shadows beneath her hazel eyes, the lackluster brown color of her hair. “I’m dying, Lord, aren’t I?” she thought, “Oh God, I love Homer so much. And sweet little Leona. I don’t want to die!” She lay down again on her bed, exhausted. ________________________________________________ On Christmas morning Bertha woke up early. She felt that everything had changed. A little spark flared inside of her. She turned and woke Homer. “Honey,” she said. “I’m not going to die.” “Oh, that is the best Christmas present ever!” exclaimed Homer. He gently hugged her, fearful that she would break. She was so fragile. _________________________________________________ During the next week, Bertha gained in strength and weight. She could eat, and her coughing spells declined. Alma and Leona came over almost every day. Leona gradually lost her fear of her mother. On New Year’s Day Leona patted Bertha on the cheek and said, “Mama sick.”
49: “Yes, mama was sick,” Bertha replied, “But I am getting stronger every day! Soon you will be able to come back home to stay!” “Good,” said Leona as she went back to playing with her toys. Bertha gave a sigh of relief. “When Homer goes back to work,” Alma began, “How would you like it if I would take care of Leona in the mornings so you can rest, and then bring her home for the afternoon. I could stay with you until Homer gets home.” “That sounds wonderful,” said Bertha. “I know I am not yet strong enough to handle her all by myself. Homer could drop her off at your place in the mornings before he goes to work. You are so good to me, Alma, I don’t know what we would have done without you!” “That’s what families are for!” Alma replied. Her eyes sparkled and she whispered, “I have some news! I don’t know if I should tell you yet!” “You do? Tell me!” demanded Bertha. “We are expecting a baby! He is due in August!” “Oh my, what a wonderful way to start 1919! Full of HOPE and PROMISE!” Bertha exclaimed with a twinkle in her eye. “We will have such fun together making things for your new baby!” | Leona Leisy
50: Back to Emmanuel Mennonite Church 1919-1925 Why is it that people who have been a part of a church all of their lives, one day stop going? It could be that they are at odds with someone in the church or with the church theology. I could be that the church split and they don’t want to take sides. It could be that they have moved and that they have not found a new church home. It could be that their health has deteriorated. Or it could be that they miss going for a week or two, and just get out of the habit, and drift away. So why is it that this young couple, Homer and Bertha Leisy, who were baptized as teenagers, who had strong Christian families, who had been in church all of their lives, and Homer served as Sunday School Superintendent, why did they quit going? Bertha was left very weak after her bout with the flu. She may have been too exhausted to go. The family had just moved to Portland and may not have found a church home there. (Brother Ed and Alma Leisy, Sister Elsie and Bill Bartell, and Mother Leisy were charter members of Alberta Community Church, a Mennonite church in Portland, established in 1928 and organized in 1931 with 11 charter members). So in 1917 there may not have been a church they wanted to attend. We may never really know all of the reasons. They, themselves may not have known. But the fact is that from 1917 to 1925 there is little evidence that they went anywhere to church. Around 1920, Bertha still suffered much with bronchial asthma and the family moved to Yakima, Washington to see if her problems would be improved in the drier climate. They decided to do short term work like picking apples at first. Then Homer opened a drapery and upholstery shop. Both Bertha and Homer were terribly turned around in that town. One day Homer took a bus and asked the driver to tell him which direction they were going each time he made a turn. After that he felt better oriented. Bertha never did like it in Yakima. Her asthma did not seem much better and she missed her family. Within a year, they moved back to Salem, where Homer took a job in the drapery department at Stiff Furniture Co at a salary of $52.50 per week. A second daughter, Dorothy Jean, was born on August 11, 1922. The family purchased property on top of Fairmount Hill in South Salem, and E.J. Welty built a house on part of it for them. A third daughter, Bette June, was born at home on April 18, 1925. However, even though they lived eight miles from Pratum and Emmanuel Mennonite Church where their families went, and even though the pastor was S.S. Baumgartner who had baptized Homer in Kansas, and married them in Oregon, the couple did not resume their church going ways. They still loved God, read their Bibles, and prayed. They did send eight year old Leona down the hill to attend Leslie Methodist Sunday School. In 1925, a new pastor, J.M. Franz, came to Emmanuel. He knew Homer from Kansas and decided to visit his friend. The men sat in front of a roaring fire and Bertha served tea and cookies. She then kept the three girls busy so the men could visit. After exchanging pleasantries, John said, “Homer, we miss having you at church. Why don’t you come back. We are now conducting the services in English.”
51: “We can worship God just as well at home,” replied Homer, “We read our Bibles and pray and we love to sing the hymns. Jesus is still a very important part of our lives.” “Well,” replied John while taking the tongs and removing a hot ember from the center of the glowing fire and setting it off to the side by itself, “That may be, but it is important to get together with other believers. We need each other.” Homer, changing the subject, “John, I hear you had a harrowing experience when you were ministering at the Bethlehem Mennonite Church in Montana. Tell me what happened.” “It was 1917 when we entered the Great War. I was teaching home Bible classes in German which was extremely unpopular with many patriots because we were at war with Germany. Because of pressure, I switched to English. But in April 1918 a crowd of patriots abducted me. They took me to the Montana badlands and talked to me. We were standing next to a tree with a noose, and I was not sure what was going to happen. “A group of parishioners from the Bethlehem church including Ben Johnson* were there to support me. “The local sheriff rescued me at the last moment. I guess he did not want lynch-mob blood on his hands. The mob took me to the jail at Glendive.” “How awful,” responded Homer. “What happened then?” “They tried me at a kangaroo court. The judges decided to release me on bond and good behavior but that all the German Bibles and German books from the church were to be turned in to the court, all services were to be conducted in English and I would have to report to the court quarterly.” “Did that satisfy them?” “They also wanted me to encourage the women to roll bandages and sew for the Red Cross and the men to buy war bonds.” “Did you do it?” “Yes,” he laughed, “I became so good at it that a Montana state senator noticed and intervened to have the kangaroo court bond lifted.” “I hope that we never have another war.” said Homer. “But if we do, the Mennonites need to have clearer guidelines on how we handle it. There are so many young men who are caught in the middle. I was fortunate to be married and have a child, so I was never called to serve.” “Yes, many had very difficult decisions to make.” The men continued to talk, sharing what had happened in their lives since they last met. * Frieda Johnson Heinrich's father (She is the mother of Vern Heinrichs, my brother-in-law)
52: Homer looked over at the separated ember. It had lost its red glow. He reached out to touch it. It was barely warm. He looked into the fire and saw others burning brightly. John got up. “It is time for me to go. It has been nice visiting with you Homer.” “The feeling is mutual.” said Homer, “And John,” he paused, “We will be in church on Sunday. Will I need to call you Rev. Franz now?” “Of course,” John laughed. | Inside Emmanuel Mennonite Church in Pratum.
53: Building Family and Career 1925-1939 Homer was as good as his word. The next Sunday the family was back at church, and warmly welcomed. After that they attended almost every service. Soon Homer was elected Sunday School Superintendent and served in that capacity for fourteen years. He was a cartoonist and became famous for cartoons which he drew with crayons on shades to illustrate each Sunday School lesson. Homer was a stickler for things being on time. The congregation was slow in gathering so he showed his cartoons at the beginning of the Sunday School opening and it only took a couple of weeks until nearly everyone was on time! He usually spent Sunday afternoons creating the cartoon for the following Sunday. Bertha would take the girls exploring on long drives so he could concentrate. Business was going well for him. A new furniture store started across the street from Stiff’s and offered the drapery and shade departments to Homer as his own business. The Imperial was at 467 Court St in Salem, Oregon. As his business expanded, he sold the shade department. Homer often took his cartoons and a quartet or special music of some kind and held services at Fairview Home for the disabled, McLaren School for Boys, Hillcrest School for Girls and the State Penitentiary. Before long he was traveling on evangelistic tours to other states, often presenting his messages through the medium of charts, cartoons and sketches. He became secretary of the Pacific District Conference of the Mennonite Church. Leona graduated from Salem High School and attended Salem Business College. When she completed her education, she joined her dad and mom in the drapery business doing the books and accompanying her dad on home consultations for custom work.
55: Dorothy, Leona, Bette Leisy | On Arpil 14, 1938 Leona married Homer Welty, the man who had been named for her father 25 years before! Adele JoAnn was born on March 18, 1939. | Mr and Mrs Homer Welty
56: I remember how dear was Grandmother Lena Leisy. When we would go to her house on 30th in Portland, she always had something special for us to do. She would always give us some money and let us walk to the end of the block to little grocery store where all the penny candy was lined up! It was fun hearing the street cars, and I remember her alarm clock ticking when I’d stay overnight. When eating at the table I thought it was very special because she would let me eat with a little tea spoon, a salad fork, and a butter knife! I remember the smell of the coal that she burned for heat. I enjoyed the old postcards she had saved. Bette | We had a car with spoke wheels which we would drive out the road from Salem to the Mennonite Church in Pratum. Just before we got there, there was a farmhouse on the side of the road where a goat was tied out by the road to eat the grass. Every time we would drive past, the goat would try to butt our car. Once he made contact with the wheel, and his horns got caught in the spokes, and we spun him around a few times before he came loose, stood up, shook his head -- and avoided us thereafter! Bette | Mom was a seamstress and made the custom curtains and draperies that were sold in daddy's shop. There was also another lady who worked as a seamstress, Mrs McElwain, who who worked for daddy in Kansas. When she moved to Oregon, daddy accidentally met her on the street and hired her on the spot. She worked there until her retirement, even after daddy had sold his business and became a pastor. Leona | Stories by Leona and Bette | Daddy did not like to do yard work and we had a gardener to do the flower beds. Leona | Mom enjoyed nice clothes and was able to have clothes from exclusive shops since daddy did draperies for them and she took it out in trade. Her favorite article of clothing was hats and she had beautiful ones. Good thing she lived in that generation! Leona
57: Another time we were going out to the Pratum area for a Sunday School picnic. The trunk of the car was a little box on the rear bumper -- and we had that full of chicken and other goodies for the pot luck dinner. On the side of that was tied a 50-pound block of ice, to be used in hand-churning home-made ice cream when we got to our destination. As we drove along and started down a rather steep grade, the ice came loose and fell onto the road in one piece, and as it slid along the roadway, it passed us up!! Bette | Mother and Daddy both were working in their store, and because Mother didn’t work as many hours as Daddy, they would take two cars to work. They would usually take two routes, sort of racing, for the fun of it. Daddy would drive one block away from home, and then when he would signal to Mother, they would both start down the hill on parallel roads, one block apart. At each intersection they would glance across to see if they could see the other. Once when Mother looked, there was Daddy -- unhurt, in his car, a block away -- but on its top, with the wheels spinning in the air! Bette | It was obvious that my dad loved his wife and family. There were never any unkind words spoken between husband and wife that I know of. There was a play night on most Friday nights when one of the things was that the girls ran across the living room floor to be caught by their dad and slammed onto the davenport! It was really fun. Leona | We had a housekeeper who lived in until I was 12. House dust would set off mom's asthma attacks. Leona | Mom loved her family. Even though she would come home from work, very tired, and soon after dinner, she would crawl into bed., she liked to have us kids come and climb on the bed and talk. Leona
58: Change in the Air 1939 It was Spring of 1939. Change was in the air and although the US would not join the war until 1941, news of it was on the air waves every day... Germany invades Poland Great Britain and France declare war on Germany The US and Belgium declare neutrality as World War II begins in Europe President FDR continues his fireside chats to attempt to bring calm to the people of the US... Yes, the winds of war reached even to the small farming communities of the Willamette Valley in Oregon. Homer and Bertha Leisy with their girls Dorothy and Bette had just spent the day at the meeting of the six Oregon Mennonite Churches in Dallas, Oregon. Homer and Bertha were uncharacteristically quiet as they sat down for a cup of tea after the girls had gone to bed. “What were the group of men from the Grace church at Dallas and you talking about so adamantly?” Bertha asked casually. “You spent most of the afternoon with them.” “Wellll,” Homer replied slowly, “You know that they wanted our pastor, Rev. Franz, to become the pastor of their church. The people at Emmanuel Mennonite did not want Rev. Franz to leave, so those men are on the search committee for a new pastor and wanted my input.” “Why did they want to talk to you?” “They know that I’ve been to Bible School in Newton, Kansas, and that for the past fouteen years I have been the Sunday School Superintendent at Emmanuel Mennonite Church,” he replied, “Remember how last week a family from there came to our church?”
59: “Yes, the Friesens, we know them from the conference.” “I guess they were sent to check me out! The committee knew that each Sunday I gave a talk from the Bible illustrated by a cartoon I created. They wanted some information.” “Whatever for? she questioned. Then the truth slowly dawned on her. “Are they asking you to candidate for the position?” “You hit the nail on the head! You are always so insightful. Of course, I told them it was out of the question. Our country is in the middle of a depression, but our drapery business is still going OK.” Bertha was quiet for a long moment, wrestling with a thought. “But this is what you always wanted. You have loved teaching the Bible in practical ways to the Sunday School, and to go to McClaren, Fairview, and Hillcrest to share the gospel. You’ve gone on Bible teaching tours to other churches, but to have your own church...” Homer interrupted, “Leona, our oldest, is married and on her own, but we still have to think of the other girls. Dorothy is still in high school, and Bette is only 14. This would be a big change! The girls would hate to be uprooted from their school, their church and their friends. You know how they are.” “Yes, I know how they are. Of course there would be all of those new boys they aren’t related to!” “You do have a point there...” “I think we need to make this a matter of prayer. What if God is calling you? What if He has been preparing you all these years for just a time like this? What if you would miss His best, and miss out on your heart’s desire?”
60: “I’m worried about you, too, sweetheart,” he replied tenderly, “Ever since you had the flu in 1918, you have not been well. Being a pastor’s wife is a big responsibility. Are you up to it?” “When God calls, He gives the power. Let’s pray about it. We can knock on this door and God can always shut it!” Homer got up, walked over, and put his arms around her. Kissing her on the top of her head, he murmured, “What a woman I married!” Together they bowed their heads to seek the guidance of their Heavenly Father. | Our Church By Homer Leisy 1940 It was requested that I write A little poem about this church Twas' built by a group of faithful men That on the job, did never shirk Some of the men were working In the planer shed or in the mill And in the evening, rushed to the place This little church to build You should have heard the hammer tap The nail right on the head And if the right nail they had missed, Well it would have been too bad But all the men did realize It was a paying job The house that they were building It was the house of God The ladies also did their part To build the house of God They served refreshments to the men While they were working hard. This group came together for to pray To the Lord to send a shepherd The Lord did hear and answer prayer And sent Brother Leisy as their Pastor This friendly church has steadily gown Saints have been blessed, some have been won With Jesus help we're going on 'Till He shall come to take us home One year from the day of dedication Has swiftly flown away We're here today for the celebration To sing and praise and also pray Now may this church a lighthouse be To light the way to Calvary That sinners Jesus Christ may see And be saved thru all eternity
61: The Pastorate 1939-1945 The Leisy's accepted the call. Reinholdt and Lewis bought the Homer Leisy drapery business, and Homer ended 24 years as a businessman. Eighteen of those years had been in Salem. Emmanuel Bible Church gave them a surprise farewell on June 4th. A banquet dinner was served cafeteria style, and a farewell program was given in the church auditorium. The pastor, Rev JM Franz gave a short message and presented a gift of a set of Dr Gaebelein's Annotated Bible reference books from the Sunday School. The Ladies Missionary Society gave them a friendship quilt with the names of 56 of the women lovingly embroidered on it. "So you will not forget who we are," they said. Bette was not happy. She told her friend, Gladys Dalke, that she did NOT want to move to that COW TOWN!!! It is not known how Dorothy felt. Grace Mennonite Church was only 23 miles away. The people at the church as well as the city of Dallas, Oregon, were happy to welcome these new workers on June 18, 1939 and to assure them of their hearty cooperation. The church of 52 members was in the middle of a building program when the Leisys came. It was a mission church which meant that the Conference was partially supporting it. When Homer was ordained and the new church was dedicated On October 15, 1939, an orchestra and a male chorus had already been created. Seven hundred people crowded into the church with an auditorium designed for 400. 45 new members were received that day. Within a few years the church had more than tripled in attendance, was self supporting and debt free! By 1944 membership was 245 which made it the 5th largest church in the District.
62: Trip to the 29th Session of the General Conference of the Mennonite Church of North America 1941 Homer and Bertha talked excitedly as they rode home from church. He had just been appointed as a delegate to the 29th session of the General Conference of the Mennonite church of North America to be held in Souderton, Pennsylvania near Philadelphia. “That is completely across the US from us,” said Bertha. “Yes!” Replied Homer,. “I’m going to look at the train schedule and see where I can stop on my way over and back.” “Oh, maybe you could stop in Kansas and see your family and friends from your childhood.” “I also want to stop by some of the churches along the way where I held meetings. See how the people are doing, and encourage them in their Christian walk.” “And,” added Bertha, you may be able to stop and see some of the Natural Wonders along the way. You always enjoy that! Take some pictures.” “I could do a slide show when I come back...” So Homer planned his route carefully.
63: August 4th-8th Travel Homer left from Portland, by rail. At the train station he saw Mr and Mrs DJ Unruh from the Pratum Church who were also delegates and they traveled together to American Falls where Homer got off the train for a couple of days meeting with old and new friends and speaking at the Mennonite Church in Aberdeen. Back on the train, he traveled to Denver where he took a side trip to Colorado Springs. He passed many strange rock formations that looked like castles, toadstools and spires colored with rust, cream and red. From there he took the cog railway to the observatory on the top of Pike’s Peak. The day was VERY WARM! Reboading the train, he headed east to Salina, Kansas where he took a bus to his home town, Moundridge, Kansas. There he was given a 1939 Ford Coup by the Roth Motor Company to use while in Kansas. They even included a full tank of gas! Homer found it very convenient for looking up all the old places of his BOYHOOD DAYS. August 8th-15th Moundridge As Homer explored the home place, he noted how things had changed. The orchard was gone, the cedar trees had grown a lot, the initials were still carved on the barn door castings. The bell at the house caused the roof to leak, so it was now placed on a post in the back yard. The garden house was gone and a new garage was in its place. A walk past the little pond took him to the hay field where the haystack was in the same place. As he drove from his old home past the Ewy and Baumgartners old places to the church, he counted 8 oil wells. The church was much the same, except a basement had been dug and an outside stairway was added on the South. He visited brother Milton’s grave. A flat marble slab placed flat on the ground marked the place. The next few days were busy seeing old friends and family, making new friends and bringing a Bible message to at least four churches filled with attentive audiences. The names of the people he visited along the way sound like a who’s who in Mennonite families: Ruth, Dettweiler, Zimmerman, Vogt, Ediger, Claasen, Regier, Thiessen, Kaufmann, Janzen, Richerts, Bartel, Dyck, Dirks, Kaufman, Leisy, Kliewer, Harmes, Wenger, Wedel, Dalke, and Funk. One day he took two boys and followed the destructive June tornado through the Mennonite settlement. Some of the damage he noted was:
64: Lewis Claasan home was wrecked and a baby had been snatched out if its mother’s arms, but only scratched. At Otto Penner’s home, a 19 year old girl was killed. At Jac Regier (Rev Wilbert (Bill) Regier’s parent’s home) buildings were wrecked and Mrs Regier’s back was hurt. John Thiessen’s family was buried in debris. One of the girl’s back was broken. | August 15th-17th Travel Homer went to Newton and met up with Ruth (Welty) and Wilbert Regier, AJ Dirks, Willard Claasen, and others to continue on to the conference. They took the Streamliner train to Chicago. On the 16th, the group went to Niagra Falls and spent the day. A marvelous sight! They took the elevator below then over the bridge to Goat Island. They saw the whirl pool 2 miles north of the falls, and a dive bomber demonstration overhead. On Sunday the 17th, they arrived in Lansdale where he spoke at the Mennonite Church. Lunch was with missionary Etta Davis and then they went to hear the cantata, “Holy City” by the combined choirs with 175 voices of the Eastern District of the Mennonite Church. August 18th-22nd Conference The Conference began in the evening with PA Penner, missionary to India as the first keynote speaker. When he and his wife first went to India, there was no Christian witness in the area. Now there are around 4,000 Christians. There is also a Bible school and a leper home which has had 3,300 patients to date. 65% have become Christians. All the work is Christ-centered. The purpose is to win souls. His challenge was for more UNITY among the Mennonites, not necessarily UNIFORMITY and to be a greater POWER for Christ in India. Pray that the doors be not closed. Then David Toews spoke on John 11:52, “And not for that nation only, but that also he should gather together in one the children of God that were scattered abroad.”
65: The next day was the official opening of the conference. Homer Leisy and Willard Classen were selected as assistant secretaries. The sermon by CE Krehbiel, President was from John 11:39, “Take Ye Away the Stone.” 139 churches were represented. 9 new churches admitted, 1 in Mexico An excellent message was given by Ted Claasen, Newton, Kansas who was a relief worker in Europe. He told about his trip into the war zone. In Paris 2,000 refugees came per day—on bicycles, carts, walking. He experienced black outs with the roar of guns in the distance. Sailed from France to England in a zig zag fashion. The boat was made for 600, but 1600 took it. Fields were littered with cement blocks and cut up with ditches so planes could not land. Signs in windows of businesses proclaimed, “Bombed out - Blasted out - but business as usual.” “Hitler came in the window-U can come in the door like a man-open for business.” Bibles were given to British prisoners in Germany, and German Prisoners in England. The bomb shelters had a bench on either side with a narrow aisle in the center. Some housed 200. Clothing shipments all arrived safely except for 15 bales destroyed by ENEMY ACTION in Liverpool. Planes were full of refugees. There was much discussion about the war and the Mennonite involvement in it. The conference reiterated the faith of the church which began in 1525 in Switzerland and 1533 in Holland. From A Statement of the Position of the General Conference of Mennonites of North America, we read in part: | “Our peace principles are rooted in Christ and His Word, and in His strength alone do we hope to live a life of peace and love toward all men.” “As members of a historic peace church, we love our country and sincerely work for its highest welfare. True love for our country does not mean hatred of others.” “Insofar as our convictions are based on religious principles, in which we hold that war is contrary to the spirit, life and teachings of Christ, who renounced the weapons of worldly passion and used methods of love and self-sacrifice in their place, we therefore express our willingness that as a substitute for carnal warfare at all times to aid in the relief of those who are in need, distress or suffering, regardless of the danger in which we may be placed in bringing such relief, or of the cost which may be involved in the same. We are also willing to render such service as housing, road making, farming, forestry, hospitalization, and recreational work during time of peace as well as during time of war. Whenever we render such service it shall always be our purpose to spread the Gospel of Christ by word as well as deed.” | At the time, over 300 young men were in the Mennonite civilian public service camps who were doing constructive work in lieu of army training.
66: It was Homer Leisy’s privilege to address the conference. Sadly, we do not know what he said, or even the topic. So the conference continued. With reports of foreign mission: America, India, China etc. From Homer’s church in Dallas, Oregon was the report, “Another cooperative effort with the Pacific District, Rev and Mrs Homer Leisy are the leaders. The Grace Church grew from 52 members to the present number in 2 years. The new building was dedicated on October 15th, 1939, having largely been built out of the material from a former delapidated place of worship. On the same day, Brother Leisy was ordained as Elder and 45 new members were added to the church. At this time it is almost completely paid for and many improvements have been added.” Relief reports included work in Canada, China, Mexico, Russia, Germany, Spain, Paraguay and Europe. It was concluded a good work was being done. Reports were also given on the youth and on the women’s missionary societies. On August 22nd the conference was concluded with a session of prayer. | After the conference, Homer visited Philadelphia and brought a message in the 1st Mennonite Church in America at Germantown. In New York he visited many places which included a 50 mile boat trip around Manhattan Island from the Aquarium, saw the Statue of Liberty and took the train under the Hudson River to Newark, New Jersey and on to Washington DC. On the way home he stopped in Chicago for a day trip and then on to Portland, Oregon. While Homer enjoyed every bit of the trip, the pastor was very happy to back in Oregon again with his family as well as the fine church family whom he represented at the conference. | Pastor Homer was troubled. He knew the official peace stance of the Mennonite Church of which he was a pastor, but he remembered vividly how on the train when he was 17 he held an open knife in his pocket in case anyone tried to rob him of his family's money. He recalled how difficult it was for family and friends during the First World War, and he could feel it in his bones that another war was coming. He had talked often and vehemently with others on the trip and earned the reputation of "disagreeing without being disagreeable," but now he needed some answers from God as to how he should support his flock in the dark days ahead.
67: World War II With another world war pending, Homer had to come to grips with how to support recruits in military service. Pacific District Minister-at-Large Brother JH Langenwalter confirmed Homer's beliefs when telling him, "The General Conference is among the more liberal of the Mennonites, and adopts the religious belief similar to other conservative Protestant denominations. Their members are free to take oaths or enter military service according to their individual consciences." | The General Conference Mennonites believed "each believer stood before God Himself in faith as a free individual, uncoerced by other believers. Each individual soul, created in the image of God, was competent and responsible to deal directly with God through Christ, without intervention of parent, priest, sacrament, church, or state. This personal responsibility to God was the basis for freedom of conscience." And "It was considered important to believe right, but this faith must also issue in living and doing right. This living right goes deeper and means more than conforming to any outward rules and regulations. Not that one can earn anything in God's sight by living right, but it is an expression of gratitude for salvation through Christ Jesus. He is not only our Savior, but also the Lord of everyday decisions and ordinary living." So Homer was an avid supporter of the troops. At one time he had a list of 35 active and 7 honorably discharged young men on the church prayer list. All of them survived the war. The women of the church actively worked sewing for the Red Cross and rolling bandages.
68: Beacon Bible School | Homer joined the staff of Beacon Bible College in Dallas as a part time teacher. He taught Dispensational Truths and Teacher Training. This school was started by a cooperative effort of the three Mennonite churches in Dallas in 1936. By the 1940-41 school year, 36 students were enrolled, Dorothy among them. They met in an old grade school in North Dallas which they purchased. Meanwhile, at Kingwood Bible Church in West Salem a similar school, Salem Bible Institute, was started. In 1945 these two schools merged to form the Salem College and Academy which later became Salem Academy where I attended. | Letters Periodically Homer and Bertha would send a letter to the people of their congregation. They would begin with, "Dear Children" and sign them, "Pa and Ma." These were filled with newsy tidbits of what was happening in the church, with church members or reports on evangelistic trips. Often he would include sketches. This letter at the left is full of interesting information on a recent evangelistic trip, District Conferences, Future messages for the church, Church growth, Servicemen, and family news. It is really a cross section of what Homer did. He always gives God the glory!
69: Dorothy Jean Leisy was united in marriage to Edward Toews of Dallas, Oregon on February 22, 1946. | Bette Jo Leisy and Vernon (Bud) Dyck were married on February 9,1945 | Missions | The church became involved with missionary work in China, India, and the Cheyenne Indians in the United States. Homer corresponded frequently with the missionaries and would have them speak at church and stay in his home when they were in the area. | Marriages | Life Continues | In 1944 Homer was unanimously called to serve Grace Mennonite Church for five more years. They gave him four Sundays a year to be gone for evangelistic work. After Dorothy graduated with a music degree from Northwest Nazarene College, she went with her dad on his evangelistic tours and lead the music. Homer was also the President of the Pacific District Conference and the Dallas Ministerial Association.
70: Homer Welty Family | Adele 3/18/1939 Ann 6/10/1941 Don 5/30/1943-5/31/1943 Cleone 8/24/1945 Marilyn 7/19/1947 Ron 6/19/1949 | Cleone Ann Ron Adele Marilyn | They moved to Portland where Homer Welty worked in the shipyards (an occupation essential to the war effort. The family grew.
71: July 30, 1946 Before her wedding Dorothy "Dot" asked Leona to feel her stomach. It was as hard as a rock! She was afraid that something was wrong, and it was. Soon she was diagnosed with leukemia and in less than six months she was gone! What a shock it was to the whole family. Dorothy's husband, Ed Toews, became an itinerant preacher and the Leisys kept a room for him to stay when he came to the area. He also inherited many of Homer Leisy's charts and cartoons. Dorothy Jean Toews 1922-1946 from the Mennonite Weekly Review Dorothy Jean Toews, wife of Edward Toews, was born August 11, 1922, at Salem, Oregon. It pleased the Lord to call her Home at 2:45 o'clock Tuesday morning, July 30, after a lingering illness. She spent the early part of her life in Salem, Oregon, coming to Dallas with her parents in 1939. Early in life she accepted the Lord Jesus as her personal Saviour, was baptized and united with the Emmanuel Mennonite church at Pratum, Oregon. She transferred her membership to the Grace Mennonite church of Dallas on October 15, 1939, where she was very active until her departure. She graduated from Dallas high school and the Beacon Bible school, and majored in music at the Northwest Nazarene College at Nampa, Idaho. She was united in marriage to Edward Toews on February 22, 1946, after which she resided at Albany. She is survived by her husband, Edward Toews; her parents, Rev. and Mrs. Homer Leisy; two sisters, Leona (Mrs. Homer Welty) of Portland, and Bette (Mrs. Vernon Dyck) of Corvallis; and many relatives and friends. We sorrow not as others who have no hope, for Dorothy had a childlike trust in her Redeemer that did not waver, even under extreme physical suffering. She had no fear of death and told us again and again that to depart and be with Christ is far better than the best the world can offer. Funeral services were held at the Dallas Grace Mennonite church on August 3. Rev. Wilbert A. Regier of Pratum, a close relative of the family, officiated. Two songs were sung by the young men's quartet of Pratum, consisting of Grover Welty, Henry Beutler, Ralph and Edgar Nafziger, Mrs. Wilbert Regier played the piano. Pall bearers were D. Diehn, Herman Fast, Herman Schrag, Ed Schierling and Oliver Linscheid. Interment was made in the Pratum Mennonite cemetery. | Death
72: Dorothy Bette Ann Adele | Homer Welty and Dorothy singing Leona Welty playing the piano | Homer Leisy with his rooster | Bertha and Leona with Adele and Ann picking up "Pa" at the train station | Adele with grandpa Leisy at the beach | The Leisy home on the highway entering Dallas
73: Grandpa Leisy Dies June 1948 | Tuesday Dearest Elva and Ernest, We saw Homer on Sunday. They could not, evidently, do more for him here, in fact the doctor here neglected him and they moved him to the Salem Hospital where he is a director. He is losing ground fast and they thought he might live a week. I am almost sorry I saw him on Sunday, he was so changed since I saw him on Good Friday, two days before he went home before. He was so lively, and gay and chipper and happy that he was going to be perfectly alright, and this happened and he changed so very fast. His face is drawn horribly with pain and it hurt me so much to see him, I've been praying ever since that he might be spared such pain. I thought you ought to know just how serious it really is and that there seems to be no hope of saving him now so you will be prepared. I am most rebellious about it...shouldn't be I guess. Bertha said Sunday she is now reconciled and willing that he should go if he isn't ever going to be well, because of course she can't stand seeing him suffer so. She told us that two weeks ago on Sunday night he had the most beautiful service she had ever heard or seen him present. He had colored sketches and as he described a beautiful spot in the United States, to which he had been at some time, the choir would give a response from the balcony. She | said there was one candle on a table and it reflected in his eyes and his face was pale and she said she suddenly became conscious that everything he was saying so beautifully and forcefully to his congregation was a farewell sermon. She said she was never so awed before and as she listened she just kept saying to herself, Why he is saying good-bye to them, as tho this were his last sermon. On Tuesday, because he had a little pain and disturbance they telephoned for a check up here at the hospital and came in. He steadily grew worse and they gave him a blood transfusion on Saturday. The doctor didn't see him till Saturday either for which negligence we are all very irked. Then he seemed to steadily get worse and they moved him on Friday. He has a lovely large room and of course the best of care, but nothing they do will completely alleviate the pain. I hope this gets to you in time before we have to send further word, as I did want you both to have a little preparation. I must close now, Sincerely, Luella (Homer's sister-in-law, married to Harvey) | It was thought that Homer was having kidney stone problems as he had a lot of pain. In 1948, in January he had special meetings in a church in Montana. It was a hard trip for him. Soon after, he had surgery at a hospital in Portland. It was discovered that the problem was cancer of the bladder. He underwent radiation treatments and, within three weeks, he was back in the pulpit. Three weeks later, the situation worsened and in another three weeks, he passed away. | Homer Leisy died on June 10, 1948, on his granddaughter Ann’s 7th birthday.
74: Rev Homer Leisy, Church and Civic Leader, Succumbs (Salem Newspaper) Rev Homer Carl Leisy, 53, nationally known leader in his church denomination and highly respected resident of Dallas, died last Thursday in Salem Memorial hospital. Funeral Services were held Saturday at 3 pm in the Grace Mennonite church and interment followed in the Pratum cemetery. Arrangements were under the direction of the Clough-Barrick Company of Salem. Rev Leisy had been pastor of the Grace Church here for nearly nine years, having come to Dallas in October, 1939, soon after being ordained an elder in the church. He had served as president of the Pacific district conference of his denomination for two terms and was vice president of the general conference of the Grace Mennonite church for the term ending in 1947. Rev Leisy was a past president of the Dallas ministerial association and has held several other offices in the organization. He was a member of the Salem Memorial hospital board for many years. Homer underwent a major operation in Portland on March 3 of this year. After an apparently remarkable recovery he resumed preaching on April 6. Shortly afterwards, however, he was forced to leave his pulpit again and on May 4 returned to Portland for examination. Two weeks later he was transferred to the Salem hospital where he died. Genial, kind and active in local affairs, the minister was liked and admired by all with whom he came in contact. He was consecrated to his work and even during his suffering his church and his people were constantly on his mind. The son of Emil and Magdalena Leisy, he was born in the Moundridge, Kansas, on July 21,1894. After graduation from the Moundridge high school in Kansas he moved with his family to a farm near Pratum, Oregon, in 1912. Later he attended Bethel college at Newton, Kansas. On July 26, 1916, he was married to Bertha Roth of Pratum. Following their marriage they lived for more than a year to Hutchinson, Kansas where he finished a course in interior decorating. In 1917 they moved to Portland where he was the head of the drapery department at Edwards Furniture Co. Later he was in charge of the drapery department at the HL Stiff Furniture Co in Salem, and in 1929 he established his own drapery department in the Imperial Furniture Co. He had been a member of the Mennonite church near Moundridge until the family moved to Oregon, at which time he transferred to the Emmanuel Mennonite church at Pratum. He was Sunday School superintendent there at two different times, once at the age of 19 and the last time for 12 successive years. While he held this office he accepted the call to the Grace Mennonite church at Dallas. During his pastorate here, 280 members were added to the church. He spent all of his free time, including his vacation time, preaching in other states. His hobby was making charts and drawing religious cartoons, and he was well known for the work he produced. Surviving are the widow, Mrs Bertha Leisy; two daughters, Mrs Homer Welty of Salem and Mrs Vernon Dyck of Dallas; four granddaughters. Adele, Ann, Cleone and Marilyn Welty; four sisters, Mrs Reuben Luginbill, Mrs Wm Bartel and Mrs Robert Warren, all of Portland, and Mrs Dan Steffen of Silverton, and six brothers, Harvey, Edward, Elmer and Weldon, all of Portland, Walter of Silverton and EE Leisy of Dallas, Texas.
75: Memories | My dad was easy to talk to. He was an intelligent man and had lots of good ideas. He was a good preacher, a beloved pastor. He was helpful to others. He took his spiritual responsibilities seriously. He really enjoyed people. I doubt that he ever met a stranger! He seemed to know everyone by name. When he walked the streets of Salem, he was constantly greeting people by name. Leona | What was Bertha Leisy like? she was a very thoughtful and kind person. She had determined that she would have a peaceful home when she got married, contrary to her parent's home. She was able, with the help of daddy, to achieve this goal. I do not remember ever hearing any unkind word between them. Leona | Mom had a good sense of humor and got so tickled about things. I call her a NUT in the very best sense of the word. Leona | Mom was always trying to get a suntan, but all that she succeeded in doing was to get a sunburned nose! Leona | After we got a radio in 1929, daddy was fascinated with how far away he could find a station. Leona | One time when Homer was ministering in Montana, he took fresh apples from Oregon. I was one who received an apple. Later he became my grandfather-in-law. Small world! Vern Heinrichs | All of the Children in Bertha's family were given first names, and allowed to choose their own middle name, when they got older. My mother chose "Elvina" after a cousin whom she greatly admired. Sadly, this cousin committed suicide when she was about 16. Leona
76: Mom was a hospitable person and we had lots of dinner guests. In those days, the hostess did not sit with the guests, but waited on the table. She was an excellent pie baker. I remember one time she served pie to a missionary couple we had over for dinner. All at once she rushed back into the kitchen and said, "Give me a taste of that pie!"" She had seen the missionary take a bite and look at his wife in a funny way. Turned out she had used pancake flour instead of regular flour. She threw it out to the birds and the birds wouldn't even eat it! Leona | Mom enjoyed singing in the choir, as did daddy. She was not a soloist, but she and Mary Roth would frequently sing duets. Daddy was a good bass. Mom would yodel and we were awakened in the morning by either her yodeling, or daddy gobbling like a turkey! Leona | Rev Homer Leisy will be remembered long by us for his services which were given so graciously and so sacrificially in time and strength. His pleasing personality paved the way for attention and interest. His deep devotion impressed itself upon us. His convictions were expressed with a kindliness which demanded respect for the man. He challenged all of us to play our part, each in his or her own way, so long as it is for the honor of God and the good of somebody. | Grandma Leisy loved to sew beautiful matching dresses for us girls. I always loved getting the hand-me-downs from Adele and Ann. She also made beautiful wardrobes for our dolls! Cleone | Grandma Leisy would play "The Midnight Fire Alarm" on the piano. Granddaughters Adele and Ann would come running and jump on the couch before she got to a certain part. It was such fun! Cleone
77: Our most treasured family heirlooms are our sweet family memories. | Portland Mar 4 Dear Elva and Ernest: Bertha’s death was really a shock to us all and so sudden. She hasn’t really been entirely well for years. Asthma dogged her and it seemed to get more severe with the years. She had several really bad spells lately and her resistance was gradually and surely being broken down. Since Homer passed away life seemed to hold very little for her. Her will to carry on was very much undermined. The girls and Bud have been very good to her and have done everything possible. Also the grandchildren have been a source of great joy to her. She had nothing to worry about financially and Bette and Bud really put forth their best efforts, but her heart was not there. | Grandma Leisy Dies February 22, 1951 | Bertha decided to go to Boise, Idaho in 1951 for an extended visit to get some relief from her asthma in a drier climate. On February 21, 1951, Bette and Leona decided to go and bring her home since she had called and said she planned to come home on the train. They brought her home and she died of a cerebral hemorrhage on February 22, 1951. She was buried beside Homer in the Pratum Cemetery. Both of them were 54 at the time of their deaths.
78: She had gone to Boise, Idaho about two weeks ago to see if the higher altitude would benefit her condition and the girls heard from her every day. She didn’t seem to feel any better so decided to come home on the train. Leona and Bette drove up there so one of them could come back with her on the train if necessary. Instead she decided to come back with them in the car the next day. They arrived home about noon and she must have suffered a heart attack. They rushed her to the hospital at Dallas where she passed away at 7:30 that evening. There was a large funeral at Dallas on Saturday (around 3:50) and burial was at the Pratum Cemetery. Weather was terrible so they had to postpone the burial for a half hour on account of a snow and sleet squall. We’ll certainly miss her. She was always cheerful in spite of her trouble. When Dot was taken away, that was the first blow and when Homer was taken it was really more than she could take. Alma and Ed (Bertha’s sister and Homer’s brother) | So ends the lives of these two workers for the Lord. But their legacy lives on...
79: Four Generations | Leona Leisy Welty Adele Welty William Roth Bertha Roth Leisy
80: Bertha Roth and Homer Leisy Family Tree 2012 Leona Leisy and Homer Welty Dorothy Leisy and Ed Toews Adele Welty and Jim McCready Joan McCready and Tim Warburg Mary and Jason Gilky (grafted in) Betty Leisy and Vernon "Bud" Dyck Alana and Ashlyn Gilky Tony Dyck Knight and Linda Kalett and Joel Gilky (grafted in) Michael, Alison and Jessica Knight Kayla and Eliana Gilky Christina Adele Warburg Stephen Warburg Paul Warburg David McCready and Trisha Schmidt Caleb McCready Heather McCready and Marcus Kemmelmeier Aaron and Austin Gillespie Christoph, Lena and Leisel Kemmelmeier Ann Welty and Vern Heinrichs LeAnn Heinrichs and Doug Rodd Andrew and Amanda Rodd Karla Heinrichs and Greg Hoffman Jordan, Juline, Chad and Eric Hoffman Cleone Welty and Chester Davis Cruz Bryan (Chet's grandson) Marilyn Welty and Dale Phillips Amy Phillips and Andrew Ricabal Levi and Liliana Ricabal Ron Welty and Shirley Bahnson Jonathan Welty, died at birth Jeremy Welty and Lidia Coelho William and Helena Welty Ryan Welty and Margey Amelie Welty
81: The Descendants of Homer and Bertha Leisy | picture of the Leisy family | Leona, Homer, Bertha Dorothy, Bette
82: Leona (Leisy) and Homer Welty | picture of the Welty Family | firstborn | Ron, Adele, Cleone Homer, Marilyn Leona, Ann
83: Jim and Adele (Welty) McCready Sisters, Oregon Jim (03-27-38) Adele (03-18-1939 to 05-18-2012) 73 years Children: Joan Warburg, Dave McCready and Heather Kimmelmeier Live in Sisters, Oregon Attend Sisters Community Church Episcopal Church Adele Played organ and piano at church And for Community Choir Leader Women’s Bible Study Assemblage Senior activities Scrapbooking and quilting Jim Firewood Tech team video Worship team Grief Recovery Men’s Ministry Leader Men’s Bible Study Missions Committee Senior Activities Quilting Research Travel Two trips to Europe with choir Adele and Jim worked at HCJB Missionary Radio Station in Quito, Ecuador 1968-1974
84: Joan (McCready) and Tim Warburg Live in Moreno Valley, California Joan 2/23/1963 Photography, scrap booking reading, gardening, music Assistant Administrator of Instructional Improvement and Academic Coaching Tim 2/11/1962 Fishing, ties flies, reading, volunteers at fire tower, Backpacks, reserve deputy, volunteers stream patrol, runs marathons Retired Deputy Sheriff Attend Palm Canyon Community Church Worship team (Joan), Personal Spiritual Trainers (PST) Life Group Children: Mary 1/30/1978 Jason Gilky grafted in Alana Ashlyn Kalett 6/8/1979 Joel Gilky grafted in Kayla Eliana Christina Adele 5/20/1991 Photography, color guard, travel, hiking, National Parks Works at Grand Teton Lodge Company Senior History and Political Science: California Baptist University Stephen Edward 7/23/1993 Baseball, sports, fishing, hiking, camping, friends Works at in-and-out Sophomore Mechanical Engineering: California Baptist University Attends Sandals Church Paul James 5/5/1995 Running, physical fitness, shooting, marines Likes buying and selling on ebay Senior Woodcrest Christian Sunday School Teacher 1-5 | Christina, Joan, Tim, Stephen Mary, Paul, Kalett
85: David and Trisha (Schmidt) McCready Salem, Oregon David James born 11/16/1968 in Quito, Ecuador Fishing, travel, photography Works as an IT (Information Technology) Manager for businesses (computer systems) Trisha Kay born 5/19/1972 Scrapbooking, photography, travel Work at Willamette Education Service District as a Speech Pathologist Caleb David born 6/25/2002 Likes to go on drives, be outside, People, school, Sesame Street Attend Salem Alliance Church Couples Home Bible Studies Trisha started Mom's of Hope Group for mom's with kids with special needs leader for 4 years David was on the Board of Camp Attitude for 4 1/2 years They enjoyed going to Camp Attitude, a fully accessible camp for special needs children for a week each summer. They still get together with Caleb's "buddies" from the camp They enjoy a Couples Game Group that gets together regularly
86: Heather (McCready) and Markus Kemmelmeier Reno, Nevada Heather 1/24/1971 born in Quito, Ecuador Read, gym, travel Small business handcrafted items ebay Marcus 5/31/1967 Get togethers, movies, plays Professor of social psychology and sociology graduate students At University of Nevada Aaron Gillespie 12/6/1993 Read, TV, video games, draw, write, movies, computer, cooking Works at BBQ place Austin Gillespie 9/29/1996 Swim, water polo, read, computer Junior Claremont HS Christoph 7/17/2001 Creating alternative worlds, math, physics, reading, computer Dogs, cooking 7th grade Clayton Middle School Lena 11/26/2003 Reading, dogs, writing, computer, drawing, trampoline 3rd grade at Mamie Towles Elementary Liesel 11/26/2003 Dogs, dolls, reading, computer, math, home design, fashion 3rd grade at Mamie Towles Elementary
87: Ann (Welty) and Vern Heinrichs Live in Salem, Oregon Ann 6/10/1941 Accordion, reading, crossword puzzles, travel Retired from kindergarten teaching and teacher assistant Vern 10/1/1938 Computers, make movies on computer, hiking, biking Fishing, canoing, traveling Retired from custom homebuilding Live in Salem, Oregon Children: LeAnn Rodd and Karla Hoffman Attend Emmanuel Bible Church Vern Ushers Ann: Decorates SS classroom, Bible Studies Ann and Vern Heinrichs worked at Christiansen Academy in Rubio, Venezuela as Jr Girls and Jr Boys dorm parents 1973-1978
88: LeAnn (Heinrichs) and Doug Rodd | Live in Hastings, Michigan Douglas Michael Rodd born fall of 1959 Azusa Pacific University BA in Religion: Biblical Literature and Christian Ed Works at Barry County Road Commission Hunting, fishing, fly tying, trapping, reloading, reading Bible Study leader LeAnn Renae Rodd born summer of 1961 Christian Heritage College BA in Elementary Ed Azusa Pacific University Teaching Certificate Missionary at Christiansen Academy in Rubio, Venezuela 1 y\r Receptionist at Hastings Family Dental Care Reading, journaling, crafts, baking Andrew Douglas Rodd born summer of 1993 Works at Camp Michawana in Michigan Plans to work in Audio Technology AWANA, MOPS, sound booth Hunting, fishing, friends, baseball Amanda LeAnne Rodd born Spring of 1996 Senior at Hastings High School AWANA, Junior Church, Nursery Summer Missy Child Evangelism in 2011 Youth group Missions outreach 2011, 2012, 2013 Plans to work in Interior design/floor plans Writing, drawing people nature and houseplants, friends, music, hunting, fishing The family attends Hastings Baptist Church and are active there
89: Karla (Heinrichs) and Greg Hoffman | Salem, Oregon Family attends Emmanuel Bible Church in Pratum (EBC) Gregory Allan Hoffman 4-13-1961 Journeyman Electrician, works for AC&E Electric Bible Study, fixing vehicles, building, exercise, yard work, camping At EBC: teacher, elder, marriage counseling, officiates weddings Bible Study Fellowship (BSF) Children’s leader Karla Jean Hoffman 8/27/1963 Registered Nurse, employed at Salem Hospital in orthopedic dept. Piano, reading, cooking, sewing, exercising, cleaning At EBC: worship leader for k-3, piano, marriage counseling BSF: Children’s preschool leader Jordan Isaac Hoffman 9/2/1990 Construction worker, employed by Shetler Construction. Married Annie (Suanna Grace) Wallace 4/6/2013 Fixing vehicles, playing guitar, rock climbing, adventures At EBC: Leads worship, High School leadership, SS group Juline Renae Hoffman 7/14/1992 Student at Biola University in Nursing Program, will graduate in 2015 with BSN, and minor in Bible and maybe Spanish Studying, piano, music, biking hiking, camping EBC and Southlin Church in La Mirada: Helps with kids SS class Chad Allan Hoffman 11/6/1995 Senior at West Salem High School, graduates in 2014. Guitar, writing/creating music, scooters, skateboards, snowboards, lifts weights, video games and computer EBC: HS youth leadership, Teen in Ministry at Canyonview Camp Mission trips, adventures Erik Lee Hoffman 8/21/1998 Freshman at West Salem High School, will graduate in 2017 MineCraft games, reading, gadgets, music, movies EBC: HS Youth, helps in nursery | Juline Karla Jordon Chad Erik Greg 2009
90: Chet and Cleone (Welty) Davis Sisters, OR Chester Leon 9-28-1943 Cleone Ruth 8-24-1945 Cleone retired from teaching Elementary school Grades 3-6 Chet retired from Landscape Maintenance and selling cars Attend Sisters Community Church Chet Men’s Ministry Cleone Women’s Bible study leader Mom’s in Prayer City Prayer Walk Love to travel Chet collects coins and stamps, hunting, fishing Cleone does digital scrapbooking, reading and quilting Cleone Welty was at Christiansen Academy in Rubio Venezuela teaching 5-6 missionary children 1971-1973 Grandson: Cruz Michael Bryan 7-13-1990 Oregon National Guard (one tour Iraq in 2009-2010) WOU (Western Oregon University) Loves martial arts
91: Marilyn (Welty) and Dale Phillips | Brea, California (moved from Elk Grove) Dale 4/12/1950 Works as Associate Regional Director of ACSI (Association of Christian Schools International) Marilyn 7/19/1947 Works as Executive Assistant for ACSI (works with Dale) Dale likes photography, hunting, fishing, golfing, and travel Marilyn likes reading, stitchery, and scrapbooking and travel, and music (piano and singing) Attend Green Hills Baptist Church in La Habra came from Captital City Baptist Church in Elk Grove, CA Dale has taught SS, been a Deacon, Substitute pulpit fill preaching, Marilyn has taught SS, sang in choir, assistant church pianist, finance committee, Dale has traveled to many different countries Chairing Christian school accreditation visits and speaking at conferences. Japan, South Korea, Taiwan, Singapore, Phillipines and India (conferences) Marilyn Welty worked at Christiansen Academy in Rubio, Venezuela as a Jr Girls Dorm Parent and as secretary of the school from 1972-1975
92: Amy (Phillips) and Andrew Ricabal | Elk Grove, California Andres (Andrew) Ricabal - June 14, 1978 Works for ACSI Cooking, Photography, travel Amy Michelle Ricabal - May 25, 1978 Works for California Virtual Academies as a curriculum specialist Reading, photography, travel Levi Cade Ricabal - September 24, 2006 Animals and bike riding Liliana Lanelle Ricabal - February 22, 2012 Dolls Titus Cruz Ricabal - September 22, 2013 Attend Oak Tree Community Church in Elk Grove.
93: Ron and Shirlee (Bahnson) Welty Newport, Oregon Children: Jonathan (died at birth) Jeremy and Ryan Welty Ronald Homer 6/19/1949 Work: Quality Control Skyline Manufactured Housing Division at McMinnville Oregon Shirlee 8/28/1949 Work: Children Ministry Director at Central Coast Assembly of God Attend Central Coast Assembly of God Ron: Teaches preschool, drives van, assists Shirlee Shirlee: Wednesday program, Children’s Church, Outreach Program, Food Pantry, Bus Coordination, Boys and Girls Camp
94: Portland, OR Jeremy 8-01-1979 Senior manager in Landscape Design and sales. Kayaking, running, reading, hiking, cooking, history, photography, landscape and anything that grows outside :) Lidia 3-07-1980 Photography, cooking, Zumba, hiking, comedy movies, singing, and sharing the word! William 8-09-2007 Animal adventure shows, dinosaurs, running, singing and dancing, reading the Bible and memorizing verses with daddy. Helena 7-25-2010 Pink, princess like, sparkly and bright! She likes to run, swing, sing and swirl!!! Currently missions pastors at Resound church. Missionaries in the Azores with Assembly of God from October 2008 to August 2009. Plan to move in 2014 to the mountains of eastern Turkey. | Jeremy and Lidia (Coelho) Welty
95: Ryan and Margey Welty Salem, Oregon Ryan 9/11/1982 Art, Graphics, Cats Works at Church Art Works as a graphic designer Margey 9/15/1982 Dance, Reading Fine Arts Coordinator at the Kroc Center Expecting Amelie in February 2013 Attend Salem Alliance Church
96: 2nd daughter Dorothy (Leisy) and Ed Toews
97: 3rd daughter Bette (Leisy) and Vernon (Bud) Dyck
98: Tony and Linda Knight (Bette and Bud Dyck’s son) Live in Salem Oregon Tony 5/13/1968 Executive Director Church Art Works Computers, boating Linda 2/17/1968 Instructional Aide Bush Elementary Softball, volleyball, gardening, camping Mike 12/14/1989 Works at International Paper Lives in Salem, Oregon Alison 12/22/1994 Senior at South Salem HS Bowling, boating, volleyball Jessica 8/12/1997 Sophomore South Salem HS Volleyball, running, sports, quilting, baking Salem First Nazarene Church Ushering Computer technology team Youth support | Jessica and Alison 2015
99: Grandma and Grandpa's Quilt by Cleone Welty Davis 2012 | Grandma and Grandpa's Quilt by Cleone Welty Davis 2012
100: Christina Adele Warburg (great-great granddaughter) Adele Welty McCready (granddaughter) Joan Adele McCready Warburg (great-granddaughter) | Our Family History Grandma and Grandpa's Quilt by Cleone Davis 2011 | Three Generations
101: Ladies Missionary Society Emmanuel Mennonite Church Pratum, Oregon 1939 | In 1939, my grandparents, Homer and Bertha Leisy, left Emmanuel Mennonite Church in Pratum for Homer to take his first Pastorate in Dallas, Oregon. The ladies of the church made and hand quilted a quilt as a good-bye gift. The fabrics used and the embroidered signatures show the personality of each woman.
102: The Quilt I look at the quilt... The part of my inheritance From my mom I desired most! Memories wrap me Memories of being a little girl Home, Sick... Mom wrapped this quilt Around me We spent time Reading the signatures Recalling stories of people I knew A special time...Just the two of us Quite unusual in a family With five children “This block is signed Lena Steffen She was married three times Remember how you kids would recite Lena Steffen, Plunkett, Clark, Lee Like a tongue twister? Alma Stauffer is sister to Emma Hersch Lydia Hofstetter and Caroline Haury Their signatures are over here” So it went, Family history, church history All wrapped up together For the quilt contained the names Of the Ladies’ Missionary Society In Pratum’s Emmanuel Mennonite Church The church of my youth The church of my relatives “Paulina Steiner you don’t know For she died before you were born But you remember that old man That sits in the front On the right side of the Church? That’s her husband! He was the Sunday School Superintendent Just like my dad, your grandpa” | My grandpa, Homer Leisy He and his wife Bertha Roth Leisy Were my mom’s parents Each Sunday He would give a talk from the Bible, illustrated by a cartoon he created and drew On a window shade from his store For he was the drapery man in town He was well loved The Sunday School grew and grew One day a sister church, in Dallas, OR Called him to be their pastor Oh what a sad day for the people At Emmanuel Mennonite Church When they said good-bye To their beloved leader “Do you see this block? It has your grandmother’s signature Mrs EJ Welty, your dad’s mom She had a stroke when you were five You saw her in the nursing home She kept saying ‘my, my, my’. It scared you so! She was surprised at how you’d grown” Later in 1994, before my mom died She had a stroke, many strokes Each took away a bit Peripheral vision, speech, Use of her hands, her arms, her legs Memories of names, of events... She, too, became trapped In a body over which she had little control Now, in 2009, I bring the quilt out again Tenderly I lay it on the bed My fingers run over the signatures I am deep in thought Who were these ladies? These signers and creators What were their thoughts and dreams? Why did they create this masterpiece? | My curiosity is piqued I’m holding a piece of history I want to know MORE! Who can answer my questions?... Gladys and Grover Welty In their 80’s and sharp Spent their lives at that church I’ll start with them! | My aunt and uncle Dad's brother
103: Signers of Bertha and Homer Leisy’s Quilt 1939 Names *first Mennonite families in the area who weren’t charter members Names ** charter members Initial names are how they signed the quilt Children, grandchildren etc listed are the ones who went to the Emmanuel church. I don't have the time or room for complete lists **Paulina Steiner February 22, 1873 - September 24,1943 Lived to be 70. Worked on the quilt when 66 years years old. Died 4 years later. Paulina Gerber daughter of **John and **Anna Gerber **Dan Steiner Children: Elmer, Lilly, Florence, John, Pearl First couple married at the church on April 9, 1891 Selma Dalke July 13, 1902 - August 11, 1998 Lived to be 96. Worked on the quilt when 37 years old. Selma Schmidt Art Dalke carpenter Children: Norman, Aileen, Bruce Mrs Clarence Herr November 14, 1907 - November 2, 2000 Lived to be 92. Worked on the quilt when 32 years old. Christina Loganbill sister to Elma Roth and Verna Roth Clarence Herr mechanic Children: Vernetta, Dale, Gary Very musical; played the organ and sang Augusta Haury December 17, 1908 - September 25, 1986 Lived to be 77. Worked on the quilt when 31 years old. Augusta sister to Gilbert and Jake Haury Later married to Mr Baker and later Mr Combs Kathryn Simmons July 15, 1895 - October 10, 1985 Lived to be 90. Worked on the quilt when 44 years old. Kathryn Dougherty Clarence Simmons Sr farmer Children: Ruth Schar, Bob, Max, Clarence (Slim) and Phillip Grandchildren: Paula, Jan, Elaine, Bob Simmons Great grandchildren: kathryn and Jake Jones; Amie, Aaron and Emily Goerke; Joel, Jared, Brett, Jenny(adopted) Simmons Very active in women’s ministries; Good sense of humor | in the order they appear on the quilt left to right, top to bottom
104: Anna S Lehrman August 19, 1892 - December 26, 1956 Lived to be 64. One of the youngest to die. Worked on the quilt when 47 years old. Anna Dalke sister of Art Dalke John Lehrman farmer Children: Melvin and Bernice Lavina Wedel April 11, 1879 - April 24, 1971 Lived to be 92. Worked on the quilt when 60 years old. Lavina Gerber 2nd wife FB Wedels's Salem Hospital Administrator no Children Frank Wedel step-son Mary Ramsden February 10, 1892 - 1977 Lived to be 85 years old. Worked on the quilt when 47 years old. Mary Hersch sister to Fred Claude Ramsden warehouse at Pratum Children: Ruth, Nelson, Lucille and Alice Neighbor of EJ Welty’s in Pratum Mrs J Sutter January 26, 1865 - January 13, 1960 Lived to be 95. Worked on the quilt when 73 years old. *Magdalina Biery *Joshua Sutter Children: Ai, Elma, Leo, Etta Ellen Steffen March 6, 1903 - October 30, 1992 Lived to be 89. Worked on the quilt when 36 years old. Ellen Steffen sister to Dan, Lena and Oliver Later married to Rueben Eggiman farmer Mina Aubrey February 3, 1904 - May 20, 1995 Lived to be 91. Worked on the quilt when 35 years old. Mina Ray Aubrey Children: Louise and Leslie She was faithful in coming to church, but her husband never did
105: Emma Hersch February 26, 1905 - January 27, 1997 Lived to be 92. Worked on the quilt when 34. Emma Stauffer sister to Dan, Jake, Joe, Alma, Carolyn, Lydia Fred Hersch farmer Fred was church treasurer for a long time Lena Clark September 15, 1893 - June 9, 1978 Lived to be 85. Worked on the quilt when 46 years old. Lena Steffen sister to Dan, Ellen and Oliver ___Plunkett, ___Clark, ___Lee Children: Evelyn Plunket and Billy Clark Mrs J Stauffer March 16, 1872 - September 12, 1951 Lived to be 79. Worked on the quilt when 67 years old. **Josephine Gerig sister to **Nick, Val, **Joe and Jacob Gerig; Daughter to **Peter Gerig (Sr?) and **Rosie (Rose, Rosina, Rosan) Gerig? **Jacob Stauffer farmer Children: Lydia Hoffstetter, Caroline Haury, Emma Hersch, Alma Stauffer, Joe, Dan and Jake Stauffer Ruth Nelson August 12, 1917 - November 24, 2006 Lived to be 89. Worked on the quilt when 22 years old, the youngest signer. Ruth Ramsden daughter of Mary Ramsden 1st husband Bob Nelson Married later to Frank Henney farmer Very good friend of my aunt, Ruth Welty (dad’s sister) Mrs Otto Beutler January 10, 1889 - September 25, 1974 Lived to be 85. Worked on the quilt when 50 years old. Hulda Lardon Otto Beutler farmer Children: Lillian-never married, worked as missionary in NYC to the Jews with Carmen Lyon; Gretchen-never married, a very sweet lady, organist; Henry married Elsie Roth Hulda was a great prayer warrior Grandchildren: Neil, Ralph, Paul, Henry, Ruth, Beth, Mark Beutler Alma Stauffer February 6, 1907 - December 28, 2003 Lived to be 96. Worked on the quilt when 32 years old. Sister of Lydia, Caroline, Emma, Joe, Dan and Jacob Never married, seemed to be a contemporary with my grandmother, my mother, and me (Cleone). Taught at 4 Corners, Swegle and other schools, and worked at the Bible Book House. Loved children. Taught Sunday School classes at church. Didn’t like for people to know her age. At 95, was finally proud of it.
106: **Rosa (Rosina) Steffen June 20, 1871 - died Worked on the quilt when 68 years old. **Rosina Lichty (Liechty) Daughter of Nickolas and Lena Liechty **Peter Steffen son of Nickolas and **Barbara Steffen farmer Children: Lena, Matilda, Dan, Oliver, Ellen Grandchildren: Wayne, Stan Great grandchildren: Randy, Lori, Richard, Carol (Wilson) Steffen; Evelyn Plunket, Billy Clark; Annette (Amen), David, Dale, Janie (Twede), Troy Steffen (2 more?) Great great grandchildren: Adam, Jana, Lucas Wilson; Lee, Tara Amen; Rachel, Josh, Sarah Steffen; Samuel, Leah, Kyle, Chloe Twede Ida Herr December 10, 1890 - August 4, 1959 Lived to be 68. Worked on the quilt when 49. Ida Roth sister to Bill, John, Alma Leisy, Bertha Leisy (grandma), Henry, Ernest, Alice Smith, and Hulda Elfstrom Elvin Herr farmer Children: Ralph, Elda Owens, Alice (died young ) Marjorie, Roy, Clarence (Pete) Grandchildren: Clifford, Loren Great grand children: Cheryl, Gregory, Janet, Stanley Sister Anna H Duerkson, nurse May 6, 1886 - July 27, 1972 Lived to be 86. Worked on the quilt when 55. Later married to Mr Hayward maintenance at hospital Instrumental in starting the Deaconess Hospital, which later became known as Salem Memorial Hospital. Frank Wedel was also involved and Homer Leisy (grandpa) was on the board of the hospital. Mrs Sarah Gerig August 27, 1882 - December 15, 1968 Lived to be 86. Worked on the quilt when 57. Sarah Mayer Jacob (Jake) Gerig farmer Children: Beulah, Roy, and Raymond (who married Shirley) Mrs Nellie Gerig February 26, 1888 - April 19, 1978 Lived to be 90. Worked on the quilt when 51 years old. Nellie Mae Lambert Daughter of David and Parcy Lambert 1st Cousin to Zina Lambert Roth Val (Valentine) Gerig Brother **Joe, **Nick, Jake farmer Children: Valda (Leore), Floid (Ernie) married Georgia Grandchildren: Jan Gerig, Mike Gerig married Ann Greatgrandchildren: Katie Gerig Gardner, Patty, Jim Gerig Great-great grandchildren: Alexander, Lindsey, Audrey, Lucy Gardner
107: Mrs F F Wedel July 9, 1886 - July 29, 1979 Lived to be 93. Worked on the quilt when 53 years old. Elizabeth Fast Frank Wedel Lavina’s stepson (Son of FB Wedel and 1st wife, Eva) involved in starting the Deaconess (Salem) Hospital became administrator of Deconess (Salem) hospital Children: Elmer, Irwin, Henry (adopted), Harold (Bud) Mrs Franz Pastor’s wife. September 17, 1887 - February 7, 1968 Lived to be 80. Worked on the quilt when 52 years old. Regina Hamm Rev John M Franz pastor Children: Rufus, Ewald, Arthur and Landy Neighbors of EJ Weltys (my grandparents) and Ramsden Children contemporaries of my parents Henrietta Roth January 7, 1865 - September 1949 Lived to be 84 years. Worked on the quilt when 74. Henrietta Wenker John Roth farmer (brother to William Roth, my great-grandfather) Children: Many, but none continued in the church Alma Wenger December 23, 1903 - March 6, 1991 Lived to be 87. Worked on the quilt when 36. My dad’s aunt. Sister to Clara (grandma), Nora, Elizabeth, Rob, Oscar, Bill, Ed, and Eldon. She was the next to the youngest, the last of her siblings to die. Rob, Bill Ed, Alma and Eldon never married. farmer They lived on the old homestead and Alma took care of the house. Clara (grandma) married EJ Welty and had Homer, Grover and Ruth (Regier); Nora married Rempel and had (one child); Oscar married Kathryn Hofstetter and had Lawrence, Clayton and John. Elizabeth married Fred Muller and had no children Mary Dalke August 27, 1894 - February 2, 1991 Lived to be 96. Worked on the quilt when 45 years old. Mary Warkentin Menno Dalke mill worker, bridge crew Children: Clora Mae Singer, Clayton (Army Lt Col), Gladys Welty (my aunt, nurse), John (teacher, assistant principal), Richard (Dick) Grandchildren: Stan, Kathy Hess, John
108: Ruth Haury March 8, 1868 - September 15, 1940 Lived to be 72. Worked on the quilt when she was 71 and died a year later. The first one of the group to die. Ruth Gerber Jacob (Jake) Haury Children: Gilbert, Elma Amstutz, Hubert, Edgar, Helen, Frieda, Jacob, Agusta Grandchildren: Dick (teacher, never married), Tom, Ed (married Ginny (Snyder) Great Grandchildren: Julie Haury, Jeff Haury Great Great Grandchildren: Carter, Annabelle, Hannah Haury Mrs Hans Palleson February 19, 1890 - died Worked on the quilt when she was 49. Sarah Duerkson sister to Sister Anna Hans Palleson farmer Children: Helen, Harry, Bertha, Anna Mae, and Joy Verna Roth May 10, 1904 - October 10, 1985 Lived to be 81. Worked on the quilt when she was 35. Verna Loganbill sister to Elma Roth and Christina Herr Henry Roth (mom’s uncle) farmer Children: Harold (and Jean), Doris, Alton (and Mertie), Raymond (and Rosalie), Joanne, Cecil (and Lois), Darlene and Diane. Friends as well as cousins of mine. Grandchildren: Judy, Linda, Rick, Randy, Cindy Roth; Chuck, Pat, Crystal, Tom, Kathy, Paul, Dennis Roth; Russ, Sally Roth; Lynette, Matt, Janelle Roth Great grandchildren: Jessica, Natalie, Michelle Roth; Delight, Grace, Kristiana, Jenny Silva; Ryan, Aaron Roth; Rachel, Levi, Esther, John Roth; Katelan, Stephanie, Benjamin Roth; Anne, Claire, Jane Roth; Kyle, Katie Zirschky; Preston, Caden, Dylan Roth 49 descendants have or are coming to the church. Very musical; sang in a trio and in the Choir Mrs Krahbel December 20, 1864 - died Worked on the quilt when she was 75. Christina E Mr Val J Krahbel Children: Della, Ruth, Leona, Carl, Hulda, Bertha, Adolf (had the store at Pratum 1914-1945 and he was postmaster.
109: Caroline Haury June 1, 1903 - January 20, 1993 Lived to be 89. Worked on the quilt when she was 36. Caroline Stauffer sister to Lydia, Emma, Alma, Dan, Jake, Joe Gilbert Haury farmer Children: Josephine, Adeline (went to Biola and brought VBS to church), Elmer (and Artie), Dan (and Charlene), Daryl (and Karen), Grandchildren: Mark, Sandy, Anita (Mayhugh) and Tracy Haury; Jody, Jon, Bret, Della (Stadeli), Darcey Haury; Warren, Eric, Ken, Lorica Haury Great grandchildren: Megan, Elizabeth, Gilbert and Toby Haury; Amos, Isaac, Ezra and Jonas Mayhugh; Stephanie, Jessica, Jordan, Bret Haury; Sophie, Tucker, Emma, Stadeli; Grace, Alexis, Gabriella Haury Mrs E. J. Welty July 19, 1886 - November 27, 1951 Lived to be 65. Worked on the quilt when she was 51. Clara Wenger (grandma) sister to Nora, Elizabeth, Rob, Oscar, Bill, Ed, Alma and Eldon Enoch J Welty (grandpa) builder Children: Homer (dad), Grover (uncle), Ruth Regier (aunt) Grandchildren: Adele McCready, Ann Heinrichs, Cleone Davis, Marilyn Phillips and Ron Welty; Stan Welty, Kathy Hess, John Welty; Richard Regier, Don Regier, Karen Harder, Doug Regier Great grandchildren still at church: Karla (and Greg Hoffman) Great great grandchildren at church: Jordan, Juline, Chad, Eric Mrs Schroeder November 12, 1873 - August 25, 1948 Lived to be 74. Worked on the quilt when 66. Elsie Hirschler Henry Schroeder Janitor at the church Children: Anna Funk, Elizabeth, Albert Emilina Gerig June 11, 1879 - July 24, 1960 Lived to be 81. Worked on the quilt when 60 years old. Emilina Koerner **Joe Gerig farmer Children: Clara Fisher, Albert, Alma, Harold, Lydia, Withem, Laura Ditchen, Henry Grandchildren: Lawrence Fisher, Helen (Drullinger), Evelyn (Selby) Lorraine (Hershberger), Betty (Schaap)
110: Olga Gerig January 24, 1888 - January 28, 1952 Lived to be 64. Worked on the quilt when she was 51. Olga Dallmann **Nick Gerig farmer Children: Bertha, David, Martha, Mina, Emma Gydeson, Sarah, Kathrine Bliven (Betty Welty’s mother), Lena, Goldie, Dorothy Grandchildren: Rick, Pat Scharer, Beverly, Bill Gydeson Great grandchildren: Darin Scharer Mrs Ernest Roth July 13, 1905 - April 23, 2001 Lived to be 95. Worked on the quilt when 34. Elma Loganbill Sister of Verna Roth and Christina Herr Ernest Roth (my great uncle) farmer Children: Shirley Nafziger (Edgar), Jerry Roth (Carolyn) Grandchildren: Jeff, Karen Martin, Steven, Douglas Great grandchildren: Taylor, Andrew, Davis, Jason Martin Anna Ramseyer March 18, 1867 - 1954 Lived to be 87. Worked on the quilt when 72. Anna Rich Daughter of Christian and Kathryn Rich (not related to charter member Rich) Joseph Ramseyer Martha Rutschman September 5, 1885 - (Switzerland) - March 1976 Lived to be 89. Worked on the quilt when 54. Martha Schirmer Will Rutschman farmer Children: Roy and Susan Leona Welty July 6, 1917 - September 2, 1994 Lived to be 77. One of the youngest to work on the quilt at 22. Leona Leisy daughter of Homer and Bertha Leisy and sister to Dorothy Toews and Bette Dyck Homer Welty builder, artist Children: Adele McCready (Jim), Ann Heinrichs (Vern), Cleone Davis (Chester), Marilyn Phillips (Dale), and Ron Welty (Shirlee) Grandchildren in Pratum church: Karla Hoffman (Greg) Great grandchildren in Pratum church Jordan, Juline, Chad, Eric Involved with Women’s Ministries and music
111: Elizabeth Muller April 28, 1893 - February 15, 1966 Lived to be 72. Worked on the quilt when 46 years old. Elizabeth Wenger. Fred Muller farmer son of **John Elrich Muller Married later in life, no children Anna E Steiner June 23, 1903 - December 25, 1982 Lived to be 79. Worked on the quilt when 36. Anna Hiebert John Steiner farmer son of **Dan Steiner and **Paulina Gerber No children Bertha Lichty March 4, 1883 - June 19, 1981 Lived to be 98. Worked on the quilt when 56. She lived to be the oldest of any who worked on the quilt. Bertha Meyer daughter of **Mattie Meyer? Will Lichty farmer son of *John Lichty (who first came with Chris Wenger to the area) and Elizabeth and brother to Bertha Krug, Henry, Lucy, Alex and Minni Welty, Children: Edith Herr (Ralph); helped raise Clarence Herr whose parents died in a flu epidemic Grandchildren: Clifford, Loren Herr Great grandchildren: Cheryl, Gregory, Janet, Stanley Emma Merryman March 16, 1884 - died Worked on the quilt when 55 years old. Emma Egle John Merryman Children: Florence, Wilbur, Harold, Jerold (Jerry) Minnie Welty June 7, 1876 - February 11, 1961 Lived to be 84. Worked on the quilt when 63 years old. Even though she came only sporadically, and her children and grandchildren didn’t attend, she is the only one who worked on the quilt to have a great, great, great grandchild attending the church in 2009. Minnie Lichty Daughter of **John and Elizabeth Lichty; Aunt to Grover Lichty And Edith Lichty Herr; Sister to Bertha Krug, Will Lichty and Alex Lichty Gideon Welty (Gid) farmer Brother to EJ Welty Children: Ted, George, Raleigh, Inez, Mike (Miles) Great grandchildren: Ron/Kathy Welty Great great grandchildren: Ryan, Marsha, Raymond, Jenny Shetler Great great great grandchildren: Joel Welty, Clara Shetler
112: Mary Roth January 17, 1896 - December 10, 1987 Lived to be 91. Worked on the quilt when 43 years old. Mary Gerig half sister to Hulda Gerig, Esther Bischoff, Paul Gerig William (Bill) Roth farmer Children: Lucille Beach, Bob, Leonard and Irwin Father was Peter Gerig Jr, one of the orginal members of the church. In 1894, he, a layman from the congregation was chosen as the second pastor of the church. He served for 15 years until his death in 1909. Mary’s mom was Anna Jaquet. She died in 1901. In 1903, Peter married Mary Kurtz and had three children: Paul (died in infancy), Esther Bischoff and Hulda Gerig (who never married). Grandchildren: Lisa Howell Groom, Julie Howell, Tim, David, Mark Roth; Alan, Richard (Dick), Jim Roth Great grandchildren: Stephanie Howell Mantie; Bruce, Steven, Ben Howell; Lindsey, Courtney Roth; Cambria, Miranda, Grant, Maggie Roth; Mary, Mike Roth Great great grandchildren: Cade, Ella, Davis Mantie Mary Shifferer July 24, 1890 (Pratum) - April 7, 1970 Lived to be 79. Worked on the quilt when 49. Mary Beutler Sister to Otto Beutler Daughter of **Sam and **Elizabeth Beutler John Shifferer Children: Margaret, Jack, Dorothy, Carlton and Bob Bertha Krug August 16, 1885 - May 7, 1970 Lived to be 69. Worked on the quilt when 54. Bertha Lichty Sister to Will Daughter to *John and Elizabeth Lichty Fred Krug farmer Children: Lyle Linda Steffen December 27, 1897 - May 20, 1991 Lived to be 93. Worked on the quilt when 42. Linda Leisy Sister to Homer Leisy (grandpa) Daughter of Emil and Lena Leisy Dan Steffen farmer Children: Don, Rita, Joyce, Phyllis, Ralph, Wayne, Carol (died), Stan Grandchildren: Randy, Lori, Richard, Carol Wilson; Annette Amen, David, Dale, Janie Twede, Troy Great grandchildren: Adam, Jana, Lucas Wilson; Lee, Tara Amen; Rachel, Josh, Sarah Steffen; Samuel, Leah, Kyle, Chloe Twede
113: Zina Roth April 1, 1899 - February 22, 1973 Lived to be 74. Worked on the quilt when 40. Zina Lambert 1st cousin to Nellie Gerig John Roth farmer Children: John Jr, Elsie Beutler, Carmen Krieck, David, Judy Adele (adopted). Lived in big house just west of the church. Her father-in-law, William, donated an acre of his property to the church for its first building. She led King’s Daughters group when I was in it. An annual mother-daughter banquet was started by this group. Grandchildren: Kim Miller, John Roth; Neil, Ralph, Paul, Henry, Ruth, Beth, Mark Beutler; Kevin, Kathleen Krick; Ellen, Aaron Roth Mrs Amos Amstutz May 30, 1894 - June 16, 1966 Lived to be 72. Worked on the quilt when 45. Elma Haury sister to Gilbert, Jake, Augusta Haury Amos Amstutz tinkerer Children: Arthur, Jacob, Waldo, Roy Amstutz Mary Gerig February 1, 1874 - February 18, 1962 Lived to be 88. Worked on the quilt when 65. Mary Kurtz Peter J Gerig 2nd pastor of church Children: Paul Gerig (died in infancy) Hulda Gerig and Esther Bischoff, step mother to Mary Roth Mary E Nafziger September 17, 1891- November 27, 1976 Lived to be 85. Worked on the quilt when 48. Mary Zehr Will Nafziger farmer Children: Edgar (married Shirley Roth), Emmaline and Evaline (twins), and Ralph Edith Herr November 22, 1908 - March 28, 2005 Lived to be 96. Worked on the quilt when 31. Edith Lichty Ralph Herr farmer Church treasurer for many years Children: Clifford and Loren Grandchildren: Cheryl, Gregory, Janet, Stanley Herr
114: Mrs A Zwieacher June 14, 1861 - May 11, 1955 Lived to be 94. Worked on the quilt when 78. She was the oldest one to work on the quilt. Sarah Schumacher Alfred Zwieacher (Swiss) Worked among the Indians in Darlington, Oklahoma Sarah Hofstetter Sarah Gerber Peter Hofstetter Children: Catherine (Mrs Oscar Wenger), Adam. Sherman (Laura) Grandchildren: John, Clayton, Lawrence Wenger Duane, Dale, Kenny Hofstetter
115: AUBREY Ray Aubrey/Mina Louise, Leslie BEUTLER **Sam Beutler/**Elizabeth Schaller (John, Otto, Walter, Albert, Arrmin, Mary Shifferer, Clara, Frank) Otto Beutler/Hulda Lardon Henry Beutler/Elsie Roth See John Roth Lillian Beutler Gretchen Beutler Mary Beutler/John Shifferer Margaret, Jack, Dorothy, Lori and Bob BEIRYS *John Bierys/*Elizabeth *Anna Bierys/John Beers *Magdalina Bierys/*Joshua Sutter Etta Sutter Leo Sutter/ Myrtle DALKE Anna Dalke/John Lehrman Melvin Lehrman Bernice Lehrman Art Dalke/ Selma Schmidt Norman Dalke Aileen Dalke Bruce Dalke Menno Dalke/Mary Warkentin Clora Mae Singer, Clayton, John, Gladys, Richard (Dick) Gladys Dalke/Grover Welty Stan Welty/Betty Blivens (Katherine Gerig is her mom) Kathy Welty/Dan Hess John Welty/Denise | Family Trees Signers of the quilt and their relationship to charter members and descendants still at Emmanuel church Signers of the quilt (underlined) *First people in area (not charter members) **Charter Members | Gladys and Grover Welty
116: DUERKSON Sister Anna Duerkson Later married to Mr Hayward Sarah Duerkson/ Hans Palleson (Helen, Harry, Bertha, Anna May, Joy) FRANZ Rev Franz/Regina Hamm Rufus, Ewald, Arthur, Landy GERIG **Peter Gerig, Sr/ **Rosan Gerig? **Peter J Gerig Jr/Anna Jaquet Mary Gerig/William (Bill) Roth See William Roth Lucille Beach Bob Roth/Joyce Lisa Roth Howell Groom Stephanie Howell/Kurt Mantie Cade Mantie Ella Mantie Davis Mantie Julie Roth/Rick Howell Bruce Howell Steven Howell Ben Howell Tim Roth/Becky Lindsey Roth Courtney Roth David Roth Mark Roth/ Lisa Cambria Roth Miranda Roth Grant Roth Maggie Roth Leonard Roth/Sylvia Alan Roth/Pamela Richard (Dick)Roth/Sue Mary Roth Mike Roth Jim Roth/Jackie Johnson Irwin Roth **Peter J Gerig Jr/ 2nd wife **Mary Kurtz Esther Gerig/ Pete Bischoff Hulda Gerig Paul Gerig | Tim, Becky, Lindsey, Courtney Roth | Ste | Leonard and Sylvia Roth
117: Gilbert and Caroline (Stauffer) Haury Family | GERBER **John M Gerber/**Anna Geiger **Pauline Gerber/Dan Steiner (Elmer, Lilly, Florence, John, Pearl) John Steiner/Anna Hiebert no children David Gerber Lavina Gerber/FB Wedle Frank Wedle/Elizabeth Fast (Elmer, Irwin, Henry, Harold (Bud) Marianne Menas Gerber **Noah J Gerber **Mary Gerber Zurcher Sarah Gerber/Peter Hoffstetter Catherine Hoffstetter/Oscar Wenger John Wenger Clayton Wenger Lawrence Wenger Adam Hoffstetter/Lydia Stauffer no children Sherman Hoffstetter/Laura Duane Hoffstetter Dale Hoffstetter Kenny Hoffstetter **Christian Gerber/**Mary | Mark and Kim, Megan, Elizabeth, Gilbert, Toby Haury | Anita Haury | Della Haury
118: GERIG **Joe Gerig/Emilina Koerner (Clara ,Albert, Alma, Harold, Lydia, Withem, Laura Ditchen, (Henry) Clara Gerig/Carl Fisher Lawrence Helen Fisher/Dave Drullinger Evelyn Fisher/Selby Lorraine Fisher/Hershberger Betty Fisher/Schaap **Nick Gerig/Olga Dallman (Bertha, David, Martha, Mina, Emma, Sarah, Katherine, Lena, Goldie, Dorothy) Emma Gerig/Norman Gydeson Richard Gydeson Pat Gydeson/Jerol Sharer Darin Scharer Beverly Gydeson Bill Gydeson Jacob (Jake) Gerig/Sarah Mayer Beulah Gerig Roy Gerig Raymond Gerig/Shirley Roger Gerig adopted Phyllis Gerig adopted Dan Gerig adopted Val Gerig/Nellie Lambert Ernie Gerig/Georgia Lambert Jan Gerig Mike Gerig/Ann Katie Gerig/Tim Gardner Alexander Gardner Lindsey Gardner Audrey Gardner Lucy Gardner Patti Gerig Jim Gerig
119: HAURY Jacob (Jake) Haury/Ruth Gerber Gilbert Haury/Caroline Stauffer See Stauffer Elma Haury/Amos Amstutz (Arthur, Jacob, Waldo, Roy Amstutz) Hubert Edgar Helen Frieda Jacob (Jake) Haury/ Thelma Richard Haury Tom Haury Ed Haury/Ginny Snyder Julie Haury Jeff Haury/Heather Carter Haury Annabelle Haury Hannah Haury Augusta Haury later married Mr Baker HERSCH Mary Hersch/Claude Ramsden Ruth Ramsden Nelson Nelson Ramsden Lucille Ramsden Allice Ramsden Fred Hersch/Emma Stauffer no children HOFSTETTER Pete Hofstetter/Sarah Gerber Catherine Hofstetter/Oscar Wenger See Oscar Wenger Adam Hofstetter/Lydia Stauffer Sherman Hofstetter/Laura Duane Hofstetter Dale Hofstetter Kenny Hofstetter KRAHBEL Mr Krahbel/Mrs Krahbel (Della, Ruth, Leona, Carl, Hulda, Bertha, Adolf)
120: LEISY Emil Leisy/Magdelina (Lena) Krebill (Ernest, Olga, Edward/Alma Leisy, Harvey, Homer/Bertha Leisy, Milton, Linda/Dan Steffen, Walter, Elmer, Elsie/Bill Bartell, Weldon, Helen) Linda Leisy/Dan Steffen Wayne Steffen /Doryce deVries See Peter/Rosa Steffen Stan Steffen /Ruth deVries See Peter/Rosa Steffen Homer Leisy/Bertha Roth See William/Adele Roth Leona Leisy Welty Dorothy Leisy Toews Bette Leisy Dyck | Bertha Roth and Homer Leisy Who this book is about!
121: LICHTY John Lichty/Elizabeth Bertha Lichty/Fred Krug Lyle Krug Will Lichty/Bertha Meyer Edith Lichty/Ralph Herr Clifford Herr/Norma Cheryl Gregory Janet Stanley Loren Herr/Janet Alex Lichty Grover Lichty/Helen Barbara Lichty/ Kay Lichty/ Ron Lichty/Ginger Tammy Ann Marie Ryan Andrew Minnie Lichty/Gideon Welty See Welty Henry Lichty? Lucy Lichty? LOGANBILL Christina Loganbill/Clarence Herr Vernetta Herr Dale Herr Gary Herr Elma Loganbill/Ernest Roth See Ernest Roth Verna Loganbill /Henry Roth See Henry Roth MERRYMAN John Merryman/Emma Egle (Florence, Wilbur, Harold, Jerold (Jerry) MULLER **John Ulrich Muller Fred Muller/Elizabeth Wenger no children NAFZIGER Will Nafziger/Mary Zehr Edgar Nafziger/Shirley Roth Emmaline Evaline Ralph | Ron and Ginger Lichty Andrew | Ryan and Mellisa Lichty Alexis
122: RAMSEYER Joseph Ramseyer/Anna Rich ROTH John Roth/Henrietta Wenker William Roth/ Adele Grissen Bill Roth/Mary Gerig See Peter J Gerig Jr Ida Roth/Elvin Herr Ralph Herr/Edith Lichty See Will Lichty John Roth /Zina Lambert John Jr Roth/Ivy Kim Roth Gelan/Miller John Roth Elsie Roth/Henry Beutler Neil Beutler/Kathy Ralph Beutler/Mary Paul Beutler/Patti Daniel Seth Jason Henry II Beutler/Carolyn Ruth Beutler Beth Beutler Mark Beutler Carmen Roth/Howard Krick Kevin Krick Kathleen Krick David Roth/Penny Ellen Roth Aaron David Roth Judy Adele Roth (adopted--Alice’s daughter) Alma Roth/Ed Leisy | Kathy and Neil Beutler | Carolyn and Henry Beutler | Patti and Paul Beutler Jason, Seth, Daniel
123: Henry Roth Family | Mike and Crystal Silva, Delight, Grace, Kristiana, Jenny | Kathy and Paul Roth Rachel, Levi Esther John
124: *** Bertha Elvina Roth/Homer Leisy Leona Leisy/Homer Welty Adele Welty/Jim McCready Joan McCready/Tim Warburg Mary and Jason Gilky (grafted in) Alana and Ashlyn Gilky Kalett and Joel Gilky (grafted in) Kayla and Eliana Gilky Christina Warburg Stephen Warburg Paul Warburg David McCready/Trisha Schmidt Caleb McCready Heather McCready Gillespie/Marcus Kemmelmeier Aaron Gillespie Austin Gillespie Christoph Kemmelmeier Liesel Kemmelmeier Lena Kemmelmeier Ann Welty/Vern Heinrichs LeAnn Heinrichs/Doug Rodd Andrew Rodd Amanda Rodd Karla Heinrichs/Greg Hoffman Jordan Hoffman Juline Hoffman Chad Hoffman Eric Hoffman Cleone Welty/Chet Davis Cruz Bryan (Chet's grandson) Marilyn Welty/Dale Phillips Amy Phillips/Andre Ricabal Levi Ricabal Liliana Ricabal Ron Welty/Shirlee Bahnsen Jeremy Welty/Lidia William Welty Helena Welty Ryan Welty/Margie Dorothy Leisy/Ed Toews Bette Leisy/Vernon (Bud) Dyck Tony Dyck Knight/Linda Michael Knight Jessica Knight Alison Knight *** I've deviated from only having current people in the church since these are my grandparents. The Heinrichs and Hoffman families are the only ones on this page still at Emmanuel Bible church. | Karla Eric Jordan Greg Chad Juline
125: Henry Roth/Verna Loganbill Harold Roth/Jean Judy, Linda, Rick, Randy, Cindy Raymond Roth/Rosalie Chuck Roth/Anita Jessica Roth Natalie Roth Michelle Roth Pat Roth Crystal Roth/Mike Silva Jenny Silva Delight Silva Grace Silva Kristiana Silva Tom Roth/Julie Ryan Roth Aaron Roth Kathy Roth Paul Roth/Kathy Rachel Roth Levi Roth Esther Roth John Roth Dennis Roth/Lori Dettwyler Katelan Roth Stephanie Roth Benjamin Roth(adopted) Doris Roth Johnson Alton Roth/Mertie Russ Roth/Denise Anne Roth Claire Roth Jane Roth Sally Roth/Bob Zirschky Kyle Zirschky Katie Zirschky Joanne Roth Cecil Roth/Lois deVries Lynette Roth Matt Roth/Jaimee Preston Roth Caden Roth Dylan Roth Janelle Roth Darlene Roth Gardner/Noel Gardner Diane Roth Couey | Katie, Sally, Bob, Kyle Zirschky, | Lois and Cecil Roth
126: Ernest Roth/Elma Loganbill Jerry Roth/Carolyn Roth Jeff Roth KarenRoth/Brian Martin Taylor Martin Andrew Martin Davis Martin Jason Martin Steven Roth Douglas Roth Shirley Roth/Edgar Nafziger Alice Roth Smith Judy Adele (later adopted by John and Zina) Hulda Roth Elfstrom RUTSCHMAN Will Rutschman/Martha Schirmer Roy, Susan SCHROEDER Henry Schroeder/Elsie Hirschler Anna Funk, Elizabeth, Albert SIMMONS Clarence Simmons Sr/ Kathryn Dougherty Slim Simmons/Carolyn Kaufman Paula Simmons/Wen Jones Kathryn Jones Jake Jones/Lauren Jan Simmons/Rudy Goeke Amie Goerke Aaron Goerke Emily Goerke Elaine Simmons/Marvel Bob Simmons/Nancy Joel Simmons died Jared Simmons Brett Simmons Jenny Simmons adopted | Brian and Karen Martin Taylor, Andrew, Davis, Jason
127: STAUFFER **Jacob Stauffer/**Josephine Gerig Lydia Stauffer/Adam Hofstetter no children Caroline Stauffer/ Gilbert Haury Josephine Haury Adeline Haury Elmer Haury/Artie Mark Haury /Kim Megan Haury Elizabeth Haury Gilbert Haury Toby Haury Sandra Haury Anita Haury/Rex Mayhugh Amos Mayhugh Isaac Mayhugh Ezra Mayhugh Jonas Mayhugh Tracy Haury Dan Haury/Charlene Scharer Jody Haury Jon Haury Bret Haury/Caryn Stephanie Haury Jessica Haury Jordan Haury Bret Haury Della Haury/Robert Stadeli Sophie Stadeli Tucker Stadeli Emma Stadeli Darcey Haury Daryl Haury/Karen Horst Warren Haury/Jody Grace Haury Alexis Haury Gabriella Haury Eric Haury Ken Haury Lorica Haury Alma Stauffer no children Dan Stauffer/ Violet no children Emma Stauffer/Fred Hersch no children
128: STEFFEN Nickolaus Steffen/**Barbara **Peter Steffen/Rosa **(Rosina) Lichty Dan Steffen/Linda Leisy Wayne Steffen/Doryce deVries Randy Steffen Lori Steffen Richard Steffen/Alice Carol Steffen/Greg Wilson Adam Wilson Jana Wilson Lucas Wilson Stan Steffen/Ruth de Vries Annette Steffen/Tom Amen Lee Amen Tara Amen David Steffen/Becky Bruns Rachel Steffen Josh Steffen Sarah Steffen Dale Steffen Janie Steffen/Pat Twede Samuel Twede Leah Twede Kyle Twede Chloe Twede Troy Steffen Oliver Steffen Ellen Steffen Eggiman Lena Steffen Plunket Clark Lee Evelyn Plunket ___Clark | Annette and Tom Amen Lee, Tara | Becky and David Steffen Rachel, Josh | Carol and Greg Wilson Adam, Jana, Lucas
129: STEINER **Dan Steiner/**Paulina Gerber (Elmer, Lilly, Florence, John, Pearl Steiner) John Steiner/Anna Hiebert no children WEDEL F B Wedel/Lavina Gerber Frank Wedel/Elizabeth Fast (Elmer, Irwin, Henry (adopted), Harold (Bud) Marianne (adopted?) WELTY Gideon Welty/Minnie Lichty Ted Welty Roger Welty Ron Welty/Kathy Ryan Welty Marsha Welty Raymond Welty/Brittany Joel Welty Jenny Welty/Peter Shetlar Clara Shetler EJ Welty/Clara Wenger See Clara Wenger Homer Welty See Bertha Roth Grover Welty See Menno Dalke Ruth Welty Regier See Clara Wenger WENGER Clara Wenger/EJ Welty Homer Welty/Leona Leisy See Bertha Roth Grover Welty/Gladys Dalke See Menno Dalke Ruth Welty/Bill Regier Richard Regier/Florence Christine Regier Randall Regier Samuel Regier Don Regier/Jan Harder Karen Regier/Dave Harder Doug Regier/Raleigh Nora Wenger Elizabeth Wenger/Fred Muller no children Rob Wenger
130: WENGER Oscar Wenger/Catharine Hofstetter Lawrence Wenger/Marie Verburg Carol Wenger/Greg Ditchen Jessica Ditchen Justin Ditchen Craig/Mary Wenger Alisha Wenger Brianna Wenger Joseph Wenger Malia Wenger Casey Wenger Clayton Wenger/Marion Giese John Wenger/Lee (Norma Leona Strode) Bill Wenger Ed Wenger Alma Wenger Eldon Wenger ZWIEACHER Alfred Zwieacher/Sarah Schumacher
131: Swiss Mennonites in Pratum Adapted from article by Lynn Kuenzi Affordable land seemed to be the primary factor in the migration of early pioneers. In the spring of 1875 Christian C. Wenger left his home in Wayne County, Ohio, and traveled to Oregon to scout out the area. On March 14, 1876, he and his wife, Magdalena, and young son, David, along with John and Elizabeth Lichty, and Peter and Barbara Steffen traveled to Oregon. They boarded the train at Orrville, Ohio, and traveled through Chicago, Council Bluffs, Omaha, Ogden, to Sacramento City, California. There they boarded a steamboat and traveled down the river and bay to San Francisco. From there they took a steamship to Portland, Oregon, and we assume at Portland they boarded another steamboat for Salem, Oregon, where they arrived on April 6, 1876. Other families came in 1877—Geiger, Geiser, Neuenschwander, Lichty, Steffen (all from Wayne County, Ohio). Within 10 years—Mueller, Beutler, Biery, Beer, Beugli, Dapp, Amstutz, Blosser, Gerber, Sutter, and Steiners joined them. In 1889-1890—Ramseyer, Rich, Wenger, Martins, Roth, and a large Gerig family arrived. Soon after 1900—Herr, Sommers, Hofstetter, Kauffman, Moser, Meyers, and Weltys came. The first years must have been difficult for these families as they tried to establish homes and provide for themselves materially. Spiritually, they also must have had difficulties with no minister to lead them in their Mennonite faith. It appears that two groups formed for worship services—the conservative C. B. Steiner group (referred to as the C. B. Steiner Church) and the more progressive John Rich group (which later became Emmanuel Mennonite Church). For a short period of time (around 1889) these two groups used a German Reformed building in Pratum as their meeting house on alternating Sundays but did not worship together. In 1904 the John Rich group built a church on the southwest corner of Sunnyview and Howell Prairie Road, Pratum, Oregon. At that time they took the name Emmanuel Mennonite Church. The church was remodeled in 1930 and 1940. The present classrooms and fellowship hall were built in 1966. A new sanctuary was completed in 1970. In the late 70's or early 80's the congregation left the Mennonite Conference and took the name of Emmanuel Bible Church. In 2005-06 a new building which consists of five Sunday School rooms and two bathrooms was built.
132: First Mennonites in the Area and the Formation of Emmanuel Mennonite Church Late 1870’s Probably by train *Chris Wenger *John Lichty Soon after Rev CB Dave Boeglis John Heyerly Chris Geiger Gottlieb Sommers Peter Neuenschwander Christian Neunschwander Peter Geiser John Ulrich Beers Married Anna Bierys John Gerber Bierys Anna Bierys married John Beers Magdalina Bierys married Joshua Sutter Daughter of John & Elizabeth Biery *Joshua Sutter *Peter Herr *Steffens 1889 John Rich - began Church services 1890 Emmanuel Mennonite Church Formed -- services held in German language * names still in the church today
133: 32 Charter Members Rev John Rich Sarah Rich Mary Rich Mattie Meyer Sam Beutler Lizzie Beutler John Gerber Anna Gerber Noah J Gerber Mary Gerber Pauline Gerber Christian Gerber Mary Gerber Peter Steffen Barbara Steffen Louise Herr Peter Herr Katie Sommer Rose Amstutz Dan J Steiner Ephriam Steiner Martha Steiner Jacob Stauffer Josephine Stauffer John Ulrich Muller Rosina Lichty (Liechty)? Peter J Gerig, Jr Peter Gerig, Sr Rosan Gerig Nicholas Gerig Joe Gerig Mary Gerig First Church Board Jacob Stauffer Peter Steffen Robert Wenger Sunday School Superintendent Dan J Steiner one year Peter Steffen twenty-five years Homer Leisy to 1939 (15 years?)
134: John M and Anna Gerber Family l to r Pauline Gerber (Steiner); David Gerber; Mrs Anna Geiger Gerber (seated); Lavina Gerber (Wedle); Menas Gerber; Noah J Gerber; Mary Gerber Zurcher; John M Gerber; Sarah Gerber (Hoffstetter) | Christian and Mary Gerber Family? Taken in front of what later became the Clarence (Slim) and Carolyn (Kaufman) Simmon's home on Howell Prairie Road
135: The Pratum Store This store was by the railroad tracks near the school. We would walk by it on our way to or from school. I enjoyed looking at all of the penny candy in the bins, and every once in awhile could buy a piece. | Pratum School Homer Welty is in 7th grade. About 1926
136: Emmanuel Mennonite Church