(Lillian (Wise) Brandenburg)

Lillian Bernice Wise was born in the Smith Memorial Hospital, Decorah. She was the oldest of the 3 children of Daniel and Alma (Hover) Wise.

Lillian grew up on the family farm in Sec. 5, Pleasant Twp., Winneshiek Co. She graduated from Decorah High School in 1943 at the age of 16. Although her mother preferred Lillian become a teacher, ever since she was a young girl Lillian wanted to be a nurse. Because she was only 16, Lillian was too young to enter nursing school. So Lillian attended Luther College until she was old enough to enter nursing school. She graduated from the Rochester Methodist Kahler School of Nursing May 1947. Lillian then returned to Decorah with the intention of completing her degree at Luther. While in nurses’ training Lillian was a cadet in the Navy. The cadets were committed to staying in the service for the duration of World War II and for 6 months afterwards. The war was over August 1945 and Lillian was discharged February 1946.

Although Lillian planned to finish her degree at Luther, her plans changed when she met Carl L. Brandenburg. Carl was born on a farm near Waverly, IA. He was the son of Rudolph and Bertha (Thiemann) Brandenburg. Carl served in the Navy during World War II. After the war he attended barber's school in Cedar Rapids, IA. Carl was working as a barber in Decorah when he and Lillian met and married. Carl and Lillian were married 14 Nov 1948 at the Methodist Church in Decorah by Rev. Floyd Weed. They moved to Waverly where they farmed on the Brandenburg family farm.

Carl and Lillian's oldest child Carla Lee was born in the Smith Memorial Hospital, Decorah after a difficult pregnancy. While in nursing school Lillian developed severe allergies because of her continual exposure to various medications. When Carla was 9 months old, Lillian had a complete thyroidectomy at St. Marys Hospital for thyroiditis caused by the allergies. On  Bruce Carlton was born in the Waverly Hospital. This was followed by the birth of Charles Lynn 25 Aug 1952 at the Smith Memorial Hospital. He was born by Caesarean section and lived only 8 hours. The doctor said because of Lillian’s asthma, Charles had not gotten the oxygen he needed in the womb. Charles is buried in Phelps Cemetery in Decorah along side his grandparents Daniel and Alma Wise. About this time Carl and Lillian moved to a farm in northern Winneshiek Co. The farm was on the lowa-Minnesota border, but in Iowa. The nearest town was Spring Grove, MN. Six weeks after Charles died, Bruce was diagnosed with polio. He was hospitalized at the University of Iowa Hospital, Iowa City. Because Lillian was a registered nurse, the hospital hired her to work on the ward. This was a very difficult time. There were 100 patients in an area designed for 50 patients. In the early 1950’s many children and adults died or were crippled by polio. Parents throughout the country rejoiced when a vaccine for polio was developed in 1955.

Bruce did not walk for several weeks after coming home. One day he came walking out of the bedroom in high heels. His mother sat down and cried with joy when she saw this.

Bio Photo

Carl and Lillian Brandenburg

In 1953 Lillian went back to work. She worked nights in the Obstetrics Department at the Smith Memorial Hospital. Lillian quit when she became pregnant again.

Beth Louise was born  by emergency Caesarean section. Lillian was hospitalized at St. Marys Hospital for 3 months before Beth was born. Charlene Bernice was born  by Caesarean section at Methodist Hospital. Charlene developed hyaline membrane disease. The odds were against her surviving. Carl and Lillian considered it a miracle when they were able to bring her home from the hospital.

Shortly after Charlene came home, Beth got into some mouse poison. Carl and Lillian were afraid she had eaten some, so they took her to the doctor in Mabel, MN. The doctor said she would have vomited if she had eaten any of the poison. She did not vomit. Beth was always into something!

In Aug 1958 Carl, Lillian, and the children moved to the new house they had built at 308 North St., Decorah. About the same time Lillian’s mother moved to Decorah. Her mother babysat while Lillian worked as a nursing supervisor at the County Home in Freeport. When her mother died of a heart attack in Jan 1959, Lillian was left without a babysitter and was forced to quit her job. She did not work for a couple years in order to stay home with their children. Lillian later worked a year as a office nurse for Dr. Lester Larson. She then worked as a geriatric nurse

Partial OCR transcription, some sensitive personal information such as birth dates of people that maybe living was not transcribed. See the associated scan to compare with the published information.

Please, contact the County Coordinator to submit additions or corrections.

Winneshiek IAGenWeb Home

Copyright statement

Please read the IAGenWeb Terms, Conditions & Disclaimer
~all of which applies to the Winneshiek Co. website. ~
this page was last updated on Sunday, 28 March 2021