boxed for the trip were being loaded into it. The last item to be loaded was mother’s trusty vacuum cleaner. Mother had followed the movers from room to room using the vacuum to clean each room after it was emptied of its contents.

The necessary papers were signed. The huge doors of the van were tightly closed and locked. The kind driver assured the children that he would take good care of their toys. With a wave and a shout “See you in Castalia tomorrow morning I ” the man disappeared into the van and drove away. A last minute check of each room was made. Keys were surrendered to the church janitor. Then off we drove in our 1974 red two-door Pinto. We headed east and then north to the Zion Lutheran parsonage in Castalia. Our cat, tranquilized for the trip, slept peacefully in its pet tote between the children on the back seat of the car. The day turned from warm and sunny to cold, cloudy and snowy as we drove through Waverly, IA. We were happy to arrive at a relative’s home near Strawberry Point where we were to spend the night.

Early the next morning we left for Castalia. The day warmed, the roads became slushy, and we soon arrived safely at our destination. The children were relieved to see the big van was already unloading their precious belongings. Friendly faces and outstretched hands and arms greeted us warmly. Good smells of coffee and freshly baked rolls brought smiles and laughter. The names seemed so foreign. There were Koenigs, Szabos, Kneeskerns, Stees, Corletts, Scharas and many, many more. We were soon to be good friends. More food was eaten at noon and leftovers remained for our evening meal. The excitement of the big move overwhelmed us all. Weary bodies soon shuffled off to their newly claimed and noticeably re-decorated bedrooms. Soon the only noises to be heard were occasional cars and trucks passing on the highway outside. The big move was over.”

Howard and Dorothy's children are: William and Heidi 1968), both born in Pittsburgh, PA. William graduated from Postville High School, N.I.A.C., Mason City, IA and Mankato State University, Mankato, IA, Police Academy in Johnstown, IA and DARE Academy, Indianapolis, IN. He is employed by the Buchanan Co. Sheriff’s Department, Independence, IA. Heidi aradu-ated from Postville High School, N.E. Missouri State University, Kirksville, MO and the School of Veterinary Medicine in Ames, IA. She is employed by Abraham’s Veterinary Clinic, Cedar Rapids, IA. Heidi was married 1 Jan 1992 to Kelly Saathoff at Zion Lutheran Church, Castalia.

Womeldorf, Albert and Johanna (Johnson)

(Lilly Womeldorf)

Johanna Johnson was born 14 Aug 1886, the 6th child of Jan and Iverine (Jansen) Johnson. She was one of 5 children baptized at the dedication of Decorah Lutheran Church. Educated in Decorah, she attended Valder’s Normal School and taught school in the Decorah area and in South Dakota, where she took up a claim. She married Albert Womeldorf (b. 19 Apr 1890 to Nelson and Sena Womeldorf) on 4 Dec 1912 in Isabel, SD. They lived there for nearly a year where Johanna taught school and Albert worked on the railroad as a section hand and also in the coal mines. They returned to Decorah in 1913 and bought 80 acres in Glenwood Twp. and farmed there until 1917. They sold that farm and bought 90 acres in Decorah Twp., one-half mile south of Decorah, adjoining the Johnson home place. They put up a complete set of farm buildings and farmed there until 1948. Walter and Eleanor came to live on the home farm and bought it in 1955. Albert and Johanna then bought the Johnson family home farm by Siewers Spring from Walter and Eleanor.

Bio Photo  

Albert and Johanna (Johnson) Womeldorf December 4, 1912

Johanna was known as the worker of the Johnson family according to sister Pauline. Her father liked to have Jo working with him in the fields as she never shirked and she seemed to enjoy working outdoors. She continued to work hard at anything she did and was an excellent teacher. She loved to read and taught the value of reading to her 4 sons. She was active in Ladies Aid at Decorah Lutheran, at one time holding the office of president. Carry On Club and Farm Bureau Women’s Chorus were also attended regularly and enjoyed. The Hjelles and Beards were good friends and neighbors. Vacations were rare and a 1939 trip to Seattle to visit Johanna's cousin Bennie Johnson, pulling a one-wheel trailer and camping along the way, was a fun experience. Another memorable experience for Jo was when she, Albert and daughter-in-law Eleanor went to son Roger’s graduation from the Naval Academy at Annapolis, MD.

In addition to farming Albert was active in Farm Bureau activities. He sold DeKalb seed corn and was an assessor for Decorah Twp. for many years, along with Springfield Twp. in later years. He loved the land and was active in conservation efforts. He never tired of going for drives looking at the good Iowa farmland, whatever the season.

Johanna was not well the last few years of her life. She died 27 Aug 1956 of cancer at the Womeldorf home farm, cared for by Walter and Eleanor. Albert died 15 Aug 1965 following complications with pneumonia.


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.

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