died in 1913. Harold lived with his maternal aunt Alice Crimmons and her family until 1915. Then Harold and his brother, Earl, brought a team and wagon from Flandreau to Burr Oak, IA. The brothers lived with their paternal uncle Lawrance Steele and his family for a time.

Harold began to work for others at an early age. He traveled with a circus for a few months, worked at day labor: as a painter and a farm hand. He wanted to be an author but educational opportunities were limited. The 1925 census states Harold had a 7th grade education. He was about 5 foot, 11 inches tall, of slender build, with a dimple in his chin and dark brown hair.

Bio Photo

Back, left to right: Norma, Amanda, Harold and Raymond. Middle, left to right: Harriet, Harold Arthur and Lillian.

In front, left to right: Juanita and LaVerne.

About 1925 Harold met a Norwegian lady named Amanda Regina Stegen. She had light brown hair, blue eyes and loved poetry. On 21 Feb 1927 they were married in Decorah, IA. Their 7 children were all born in Winneshiek Co.: Melvin Raymond, Norma Arretta, Lillian Arelda, Harriet Ernestine, Harold Arthur, LaVerne Delores and Juanita Ardell.

Harold, Amanda and children lived on various rented farms in Winneshiek Co. During the Depression of the 1930's the family struggled to make a living, as most people did. At that time Harold worked on farms and also for the WPA. Harold’s health began to fail. Health problems plagued him for the rest of his life. He died in 1985.

Summer time was busy. The garden was a lot of work but provided lettuce, radishes and onions — welcome additions to late springtime meals. Other vegetables were corn, green beans, tomatoes, potatoes, carrots, beets, cabbage, cucumbers, squash and pumpkins. Many vegetables were eaten fresh, but canned tomatoes, field corn, beets and green beans supplemented winter meals. Many “cans," quart and two-quart glass jars, were filled, heated to seal and stored in the cellar. Everyone helped in the canning — a hot summertime chore.

Amanda would dig small “new" potatoes, boil them with their “skins on” and cream them with fresh garden peas. This made a tasty meal. Sometimes she would dice green onion tops into home churned butter to spread onto her homemade bread. Bread was baked every few days. Amanda often used warm potato water to “set the yeast” (meaning to activate it). Flour was purchased in 50 and 100 pound sacks. The sacks of printed cloth, where chosen with care. Amanda would sew school dresses on the treadle sewing machine, often sewing by kerosene lamplight as the family had no electricity until about 1951. Perishable foods, i.e. butter and milk were kept in spring water, cool water tanks or in the cellar. When berries were ripe, family members picked wild blackberries, raspberries and gooseberries, always watching not to encounter rattlesnakes as they often would be under the bushes. Berries were eaten fresh, canned or taken to town to sell. Chickens were raised for their eggs and meat. Apples were picked in the fall, dried, canned or stored in the cellar.

Renters moved to different farms March 1st, before field work began. In the 30's and 40’s, teams and wagons were used to move. Harold, Amanda and family were members of, and their children were all confirmed at Glenwood and Canoe Ridge Lutheran Churches.

Amanda died 4 Oct 1989. Both she and Harold are buried at East Glenwood Cemetery. In 1995 only their son, Raymond still lived in Winneshiek Co. in Decorah Twp.

Steele, Harold Arthur

(Harriet Steele Fayne)

Harold Arthur Steele is the son of Harold E. and Amanda R. (Stegen) Steele. He was born in Glenwood Twp., Winneshiek Co, IA. As a child Harold Arthur was mischievous. He loved to sneak up behind his mom and untie her apron.

When he was quite young (about 7), Harold Arthur injured his elbow when he fell in the barn and an abscess developed. Several surgeries were performed; however, his arm remains slightly bent. He played football for Decorah High School.

Bio Photo

Photo taken in 1984 at wedding of Harold's daughter Sue Ellen. Pictured left to right: Sue Steele, son Jimmy Paul, Sue Ellen (bride), Harold Arthur and daughter Tracy.

Harold Arthur moved to Cedar Rapids after completing high school in 1955. He worked for Firestone and later as a mechanic. He married Sue Stimmel. Their 3 children are Sue Ellen, Jimmy Paul and Tracy. Harold is divorced.

His 3 children are married and all live near Cedar Rapids. Harold continues to work as a mechanic in Cedar Rapids were he owned a shop for several years.


Partial OCR transcription, some sensitive personal information such as birth dates of people that maybe living is not included.

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 Monday, 29 March 2021