Wise, Daniel and Alma (Hover)
(Lillian Wise Brandenburg)
Daniel and Alma Hover with their children Wilbur, Daniel and Lillian.
Daniel Elijah Wise was born 7 Jun 1882 in Sec. 16, Pleasant Twp., Winneshiek Co. He was the 8th of 15 children of Samuel and Catherine (Baird) Wise. Daniel was named for his uncles Daniel and Elijah Wise who served in Company D, Third Regiment, Iowa Infantry from Winneshiek Co. during the Civil War. Alma Henrietta Hover was born 11 May 1889 in Sec. 5, Pleasant Twp., Winneshiek Co. She was the youngest of 9 children of Edwin and Bertha (Christian) Hover. Daniel and Alma first dated when he was 23 and she was only 15. He had a handicapped sister and brother at home he could not leave. His sister Elizabeth suffered from severe rheumatoid arthritis and his brother Isaiah was what we today would term “mentally challenged.” When Daniel’s youngest brother Sylvester married, Sylvester and his wife took over the home place plus the care of Elizabeth and Isaiah. This left Daniel free to also marry.
Daniel and Alma were married 17 Mar 1920 at the home of Bud and Flora (Wise) Bucknell (Daniel’s sister and brother-in-law) in Decorah. Daniel was 38 and Alma 30 when they married.
After elementary school Alma took a Normal Training Course (teacher training course) at Valder’s Academy, Decorah. She later completed a 2 year degree at Upper Iowa University, Fayette, IA. Alma taught school for 13 years before she was married and for 2 years after she was married.
When Daniel and Alma were married, they purchased Alma’s home place in Sec. 5, Pleasant Twp. This farm had been settled by Alma’s grandfather Hover Evanson (Hoyme) in 1851.
Daniel and Alma wanted children very much, but it was 6 years before their first child was born. They were overjoyed when they were blessed with a daughter Lillian Bernice. Alma was 37 when Lillian was born. They had a son Wilbur Hover. This was followed by the birth of another son Daniel Floyd. All the children were born in the Smith Memorial Hospital, Decorah. Daniel and Alma were kind, gentle, and soft-spoken parents.
Alma's sister Alice Lodahi and Alice’s daughter Aletta lived with Alma and Daniel. Alice was widowed. Alice and Aletta were a big help with both the housework and farm work. There was no running water, no electricity, and no central heat - modern conveniences we take for granted today. Much of the farm work was done by hand - this included milking the cows twice a day by hand. The family had a large garden and grew their own vegetables. Alma also raised chickens. Baby chicks were hatched by hens setting on eggs.
When their oldest child was only 8, Daniel died at St. Marys Hospital, Rochester, MN. He developed polyneuritis after having the shingles and had to be placed in an “iron lung” to breath. Today this would be known as a “respirator.” Daniel died 11 Feb 1935. He is buried in the Phelps Cemetery, Decorah.
At the time of Daniel’s death, the farm was paid for. Although Alma did not have experience farming, she continued to operate the farm by employing hired men to do the farm work. The farming advice of her neighbor and former schoolmate, Ed Dehning, was invaluable. Ed stopped almost daily. He both educated and advised Alma about farming techniques and made sure her hired men did not “shirk” their duties. Alma proved to be both an excellent farm manager and money manager. All the buildings on the farm were old and in poor condition. Alma hired carpenters to build all new farm buildings. She also put all her children through school.
Alma’s son Wilbur was married in 1956 and took over the family farm. Alma then moved to Decorah. She died 18 Jan 1959 of a heart attack. Alma is buried along side her husband in the Phelps Cemetery.
Wise, David and Jean (Sloan)
David Wilbur Wise is the son of Wilbur and Madelyn (Willson) Wise. He grew up on the family farm east of Locust in Pleasant Twp. While growing up David was active in 4-H and served on the 4-H Council. He graduated from Decorah High School in 1976 one week after his father died and immediately took over the operation of the family farm. David played football in high school.
David married Jean Sloan on 18 Jun 1988 at St. Benedict’s Catholic Church, Decorah. Jean is the daughter of Neal and Joan Sloan of Decorah. David and Jean continue to live on David’s farm east of Locust. They have 2 sons: Ethan David and Jared Sloan. Jean is manager at Maurice's in Decorah.
David continues to be engaged in farming. He has
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this page was last updated on Tuesday, 30 March 2021