cession of 1873 must have affected the family. Michael sold the 111 acre parcel in Section 1 in 1874. Abbie was in poor health for some time with consumption. After “Sim’s" birth she became progressively weaker. She passed away after Christmas 1875. Her estate included some town lots in Decorah that Michael sold in 1877.

Two years after Abbie’s death Michael married Kate Kroft who had been housekeeper during Abbie’s long illness. He also purchased the 100 acre Kroft farm at a sheriffs sale. A family photograph taken at this time shows that Michael was much thinner. He looks tired and worn. His jacket seems to hang loosely on his shoulders. In Dec 1877 Michael and one of his sons were so ill that a relative of Michael’s brother Jacob was called to assist in lifting and bathing them. Finally on 4 Jan 1878 Michael passed away. His son recovered. Michael was buried in Russell Cemetery beside Abbie and the infant children. He left no will. His estate provided some income for the children. Clara Viola went to live with her uncle Dr. Simeon Drake in Fayette, IA. John Michael also lived with the Drakes before leaving for Chicago, IL for his medical studies. Simeon Hugh was adopted by his Uncle Jacob and Aunt Elizabeth (Kniss) Womeldorf.

Womeidorf, Minnie, Ella and Emma

(Frances M. Jeffers)

The three daughters of L. Nelson and Aasine (Anderson) Womeldorf who grew to adulthood were Minnie (b. 24 Sep 1893), Ella (b. 16 Jul 1896) and Emma (b. 3 Mar 1898).

Minnie Delia had just reached her 21 st birthday in Sep of 1914. The following 21 Feb 1915 Minnie attended a basket social at the Drake School. She was riding home with Albert Lien and as they were crossing the Stewart Bridge about a mile north of the schoolhouse, the horse stumbled on the approach and fell over the side. The horse and cutter struck bottom. In the fall Minnie was thrown 10 or 12 feet landing on a large piling 5'-6' high - a large iron spike in the center of it. "Is the horse hurt?’ she asked. ‘Are you hurt?” “No, I’m all right,” she answered. When she suddenly realized the seriousness of her injury, she cried, “It can’t end like this. I can't died here.” Mr. Lien was also thrown from the cutter, but was uninjured. Finding his flashlight, he signaled for help from others leaving the social. Minnie was taken to the Bert Stewart home, but died about 15 minutes after the accident. The iron spike had pierced her side puncturing her lungs; the fall had crushed her ribs. Minnie's funeral services were from the Freeport Church with Rev. Otto Schmidt officiating. Burial in the Freeport Cemetery. Ella Emilie Aanete married George V. Marti (b. 11 Oct 1897 in Lansing, IA) in LaCrosse, Wl on 15 Jun 1921. After graduating from Decorah High School Ella taught at the Drake School north of Freeport. After her marriage to George they lived in LaCrosse for a time before moving to Denver, CO. The Martis had been married 9 1/2 years when George died of carbon monoxide poisoning. Ella discovered she was expecting a child just days before his death. George was buried in Oak Hill Cemetery, Lansing. After her daughter

Ann Elizabeth was born in Denver Elia and Ann returned to Decorah. Ella lived with her parents L. Nelson and Sena Womeldorf for a time. Eventually she and Ann had their own apartment. Ella worked at the Abstract Office for many years. Ann graduated from Decorah High School and Iowa State College, Ames, majoring in Institutional Management. Ann married Roderick Dale Zachary 26 Dec 1953. They were parents of 3 children: Mark Allen, Marilou Marie and Eric Arthur. Ann died of cancer 30 Nov 1988 at her home in Barron, WI. Her mother Ella Marti had died in Barron only 4 years earlier (1984) and was buried beside her husband in the Lansing Cemetery. Ann's husband Roderick has since retired from his work as a veterinarian and lives in Chetek, Wl. Emma Lilian attended rural school and Decorah High School, Valders College and Upper Iowa University. She taught in Ridgeway and Cresco. Emma went out to ND to live with her Aunt Lena Wold and her husband Filmore. There she met Narve T. Narveson, a young farmer from Zahl. Narve and Emma were married 24 Oct 1923 in Williston at the First Lutheran parsonage. The young couple didn’t have their fine home furnished and established when Emma took sick and died 7 Mar 1924. She was in the early weeks of a pregnancy when the “angel of death" came. Emma was buried in the Bethel Cemetery outside of Zahl where her husband was also buried 37 years later. He never remarried.

Womeldorf, Roger and Joyce (Lauffer)

(Lilly Womeldorf)

Bio Photo

Joyce and Roger P Womeldorf June 5, 1982
Washington Prairie Lutheran Church

Roger Paul Womeldorf is the first child of Erlin and Lilly (Hamre) Womeldorf. He was born in West Union, IA while his parents were living in Fayette, IA at the time his father was attending Upper Iowa University. After his father graduated from Upper Iowa University in 1956 he moved with his family to Calamus, IA


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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