Kienow Family History and Heritage

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Albert Kenow and Mary Smetana

Mary and Albert Albert Friedrich August KIENOW was born to Wilhelm KIENOW and Henrietta STARK KIENOW on 22 April 1877 in Meesow, Kreis Regenwalde, Pommern (which is now Miesczewo, Poland) Albert came to America with his family in 1883, landing in Baltimore, Maryland on 18 April arriving on the ship SS Hohenzollern. Arriving with him was his father, Wilhelm, his mother, Henrietta, his brothers, Herman and Robert, and his sisters, Ernestine (Albertina) and Anna. After arriving in the U.S., they settled in Faribault, Minnesota, remaining there throughout their lives.

Albert and his family attended Trinity Lutheran Church  (the German Lutheran Church), where he went to school and was confirmed on 22 March 1891.

Mary SMETANA was born to Joseph SMETANA and Anna Maria SOUKUP, in Montgomery, Minnesota on 27 February 1882. The U.S. Census for 1900 lists Mary 'SMITTANNA' as a servant at the Hotel Arlington on Central Avenue in Faribault, along with her sisters Anna and Tina.

Albert and Mary were married on 1 October 1901 by Rev. Henry J. Schulz at Trinity Lutheran Church in Faribault. They first lived in a house on the northwest corner of First Street and Irving Avenue. In 1914, they purchased a home and seven acres of property on Prairie Avenue. They built a barn and other buildings and purchased and an additional eight acres in the years following. It was here that the family would expand to 12 children - 9 boys and 3 girls. The family was able to raise much of the food needed by the growing family. In addition to fruits and vegetables, they raised chickens, geese, ducks, pigs, and dairy cattle for milk and to butcher. The family horse, Barney, was used to plow and cultivate the land. The property was sold in 1957 for a new technical college. To clear the land for the college, the homes of Albert and Mary Kenow and Pat and Alma Kenow were moved to the west side of Prairie Avenue. The barn and other buildings were demolished. In 1957, Mary Kenow purchased a home at 710 West Division Street, where she lived until her death in 1959. (Taken from 'From Pommern to Minnesota: Albert Friedrich August Kienow' by Harold Kenow, 2001)

Albert made his Declaration of Intention to become a citizen on 28 May 1910, renouncing his allegiance to William II, then German Emperor. His Petition for Naturalization was signed on 16 July 1912, and accepted on 11 November 1912. By this time, 5 of his 12 children had been born and were listed along with Mary on his petition (Myron "Pat", Harold, Albert, Edgar, and Martin).

Albert performed many jobs during his lifetime, working as a spinner at the woolen mill, working in the Nutting foundry and doing work for the Nutting family, and also working at the Sheffield-King mill. Albert and Mary were able to celebrate their 50 years of marriage before Albert succumbed to the throat cancer he had been fighting for some time.

The following stories were submitted by various family members for the 100th Anniversary Reunion, held in Faribault in 2001

From Arline 'Spike' Kenow

One of many memories I have of Grandma Kenow was when I came home from the hospital with Chuck, Feb. 1947. Ray had me moved up to Prairie Avenue. I remember how happy I was when Chuck cried that first night and Grandma got up and took care of him. Next morning she helped me give him a bath on the kitchen table by the old cook stove.

I also remember Grandma tying a dish towel real tight around my "boobs" when I just decided not to nurse anymore. Finally went to Dr. Rumpf - thank God for those "little red pills."

In 1953 when our house by Simpsons was being built we lived there. Grandma always liked to have me wash and hang her curtains - and she loved for me to French braid her hair.

Since Grandpa was at work all day, I don't have too many memories of him, but I remember I made them their first potato pancakes and that he really liked those.

From Ray Kenow

When we lived in Faribo West side by Simpsons Ma had been fishing one day. She drove in our driveway - half on the grass and you could hardly see her in the car. So when she left I followed her home. I know she had a guardian angel riding with her.

I remember going with Pa and our horse, Barney, when Pa plowed the gardens for the people in "Southern Heights." Also remember him giving me a "runty pig" that he was going to get rid of and fed it some Castor oil and babied it along and it got to be a prize winning pig. I sold it, don't remember how much I got for it, but I'm sure to me it was like a million dollars.

From Charles Kenow

100 Year Anniversary Memories of Grandpa and Grandma's Farm

According to the Faribault Daily News, 50 years ago at Grandma and Grandpa Kenow's 50th Wedding Anniversary, a four year, seven month old kid named "Chuckie" recited a poem. I don't remember it today, but it must have been pretty good to make the papers! Fortunately, my Mom recorded it in my "baby book"...

We couldn't find a poem,
We couldn't find a verse,
But I had to do something for this big anniverse...
So all I want to say is...
I'm glad this is Grandma and Grandpa's Golden Wedding Day!

Well, at least it rhymed. Oh, by the way, the emcee for that event was my Dad, Ray. He was 25.

Grandpa died that same year and I was 12 when Grandma died. I do remember a few things about visits to "the Farm." I remember lots of cats to play with and feed. A hay mound in the barn and a neat place off the side of the house with a hill to slide in the winter, right into a frozen slough. I remember curved, narrow steep steps leading to the upper floors with rooms that were fun to play in and hide. I also remember a big wood stove in the kitchen that Grandma cooked on (and according to Mother, heated my bath water!) Then there was a big living room/dining room where we all ate a Sunday dinner. There were lots of people and big heavy bowls to pass with potatoes, sauerkraut, and rutabagas that I didn't like. What I remember is not a fancy place, but a big homey place. A place that once displayed 4 starts, symbols of 4 sons serving in World War II at the same time. Thank God, they all returned.

I'm glad my Dad and Mom took me there to visit and also my Uncle Pat and Alma next door. Maybe that's where my Dad got his farming "roots" and interest in starting a new crop...grapes? Maybe that's how he and I learned to plant trees and why I wanted to be a forester? Maybe that's why I've had 6 dogs, 8 cats, a chicken and a rabbit? Maybe that's why I don't like rutabagas?

From Dave Kenow

There are some things that really bring back memories for me and they are: the pond in the back at the old homestead. I can remember Grandma and Grandpa hollering at us if we threw rocks (or anything) at the ducks swimming in the pond. In the wintertime, I can remember shoveling an area of the pond and then going ice skating on it.

Sliding down the hill on the southside of the house in the wintertime. There was the old driveway that circled around in back of the house and if you got down the hill and over the driveway, then you could slide out into the field. Or course, at that time and age, the hill seemed as steep as a mountain and the run was for miles.

I can remember Grandpa Kenow's big old leather chair in the living room, I think it was black or dark brown. It seemed like when Grandpa was not around, the chair was fair game for the first one who could get to it. It seemed like it was so big that you could get lost just sitting in it. Of course, when Grandpa was around, it was known that no one but he could sit in it. One of the best memories I have is when Grandpa Kenow would let me sit on his lap when he was sitting in his chair smoking his pipe. He never said much, but you sure knew that while you were there, no one or nothing was going to get you as you were safe there.

From Helen Kenow Wichman

Grandma loved to fish. I can remember seeing her driving her car out to the Mill with a cane pole strapped to the side of the car. A few times Dad and I would go out by the Mill and sure enough she was there.

Grandma had a green thumb. If she saw a plant she liked, she would take a slip from the plant, bring it home, put it in water and soon she was the proud owner of a new plant.

Grandma loved to play cards. She would play all night if you let her. Her favorites were 500 and Buck Euchre.

Grandma was always busy. When she did sit down she was busy darning sox, or tearing up rags for rugs or making rugs. She always seemed to have a fresh apple pie she had made from her apple tree.

From Lorraine Kenow Delesha

First of all, they were wonderful grandparents, raising 12 children, no complaints, always happy-go-lucky. Grampa was a quiet person, but Gram took care of the rest. When my folks were married they lived with them, cause they were building a house next door - so I was born at their house. When the day came for me to come, Gram said to the Doctor, I want that baby born before the kids get home from school - I was - 4 p.m.

Gram was always busy, papering, sewing, canning and making big meals. Very good cook!

She had a lot of family that kept coming and she enjoyed every one of us. At Christmas time she bought everyone gifts, including in-laws. How she did it - I don't know. She would wrap gifts in her bedroom on the bed and there was a register up above and the kids would look down on what she was doing and she never knew.

I enjoyed going to their house, loved being with all my aunts and uncles. Very nice people, every one of them.

Grandpa would make home made beer and would taste it once in a while and add a glass of water so no one would notice. Grandpa worked hard on the railroad, had farming to do - with a horse - also had cows, chickens, pigs, etc. Used to hang them on the clothes line, don't see that anymore.

When Grandpa died, Gram bought a little house on Division Street, which she really liked. she waited patiently for her first great-grandchild, my Sandy, but passed away shortly before.

Wish there were more people like them in this world today.

From Leona Kenow Riach

My mother had the best disposition and was called sunshine by many people, including my father-in-law, which didn't set very well with his wife. She was always pleasant, wore a smile on her face and was more than willing to help others.

She was the world's best cook. How I loved watching her make bread!! With her arms and hands in perpetual motion, she'd knead the bread until it popped - just like a balloon. When we were there on bread-baking days, Bico would always grab a chunk, usually the heel, as soon as it came out of the oven. The bread had a wonderful texture and it was absolutely delicious.

She wasn't very tall and I always got a chuckle when she drove the car. She could hardly see over the steering wheel - what a sight to see.

She loved gardening and was good at it, too. Any type of flower she could grow, but glads were her specialty and favorite. She wasn't afraid of snakes or lizards and there were plenty of each!

Mother never worked outside the home and she was always there when we got home from school. We were given a treat and were expected to do farm and housework before supper. Nothing to iron 35 shirts a week for the boys.

My dad loved his beer! Sometimes Ma would really get mad at him. Her punishment to him would be the silent treatment for 2 - 3 days. This would get him so upset, he would say "I wish you would just give me hell and get it over with."

He was a very hard working man. He worked on the railroad installing ties and would come home with tar up to his elbows and so tired out - then had to do farm work before sunset.

They had a vegetable garden that provided food for them and the 12 kids. Sweet corn was the best! They also sold vegetables by hitching up Barney, the horse, with a cart and traveled to nearby neighbors. People also stopped at their house to buy their goods.

It was so much fun when they had dances in the basement with friends, family and neighbors. Dad played the harmonica and someone else played the accordion. Ma and Pa were great dancers. They really enjoyed dancing. Dad would turn over in his grave if he heard today's music. He loved bed time music.

They were just 2 great people.

Last modified on 2010/9/23 by skenow
 

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