Kienow Family History and Heritage

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George Kenow and Ardella Winkel

The following is from a paper on family history written by Dave and Jan (Kenow) Magnussen's daughter, Ann, in December 1987, for her 10th grade World History and  English classes. The information was gathered from George and Ardella. Ardella passed away one month later, in January 1988, and George in May 1990. (The dates of living people have been omitted from the original.)

George Paul Frank Kenow was child number nine to Albert and Mary Kenow. He was born on October 10, 1918, in Faribault, MN. He had to do a lot of chores, like milking cows, but his many brothers and sisters helped him. He went to Trinity Lutheran School, which was a mile away. For entertainment, he ice skated and went to movies. When he was about 13 years old, he worked in a greenhouse and sold vegetables and fruit in a horse and buggy. He worked 10 hours a day, and only got 10 cents an hour. When he was 16 or 17 years old, he worked at a manufacturing plant called Nuttings, and got paid 35 cents an hour.

Ardella Emelia Winkel was born on December 15, 1920, in Faribault, MN. She went to Garfield School in Faribault from kindergarten through 6th grade. Then she went to the Faribault Junior and Senior High School. She was involved in choir, GAA (Girl's Athletic Association) and the Honor Society. She also took piano lessons for many years. She worked for one of her teachers during high school. She had to cut apart an article, word-for-word, and then count each word and how many times it was used in the article. She had to wear her cousin's hand-me-down clothes, and since they were mature and older-looking, she was teased a lot because of it. She graduated from high school on June 14, 1937. After graduating, she started looking around for jobs. She applied at S. S. Kresge's, but they wouldn't hire her because she was too short to reach across the counters. So, she started working for the Federal Government NYA (National Youth Association) Program in October, 1938. She got 37 cents and hour, but after that, she worked for the Faribault City Relief Office, where she got $75 a month.

Ardella was 14 when George Kenow followed her home from a football game one day. At the time, he was going with her sister, Adelaide. But, after a while, George started going with Ardella because Adelaide couldn't ice skate with them. At age 15 and 17, they started going steady. They continued dating until they were married on July 4, 1942 at noon. Then they traveled on the Rocket Train to St. Louis, Missouri, for a two week honeymoon.

George was inducted into the army and went to St. Louis for training. He was then transferred to Oklahoma City, Oklahoma until May 1943. During World War II, he was sent overseas and worked as an aircraft sheet metal worker. He was stationed in England, Belgium, and Germany. He got a rating of a Master Sergeant, which was a high honor. He had several men working under him. He got out of the service in November 1945.

While George was in the service, Ardella moved to Oklahoma City and worked as a secretary at the American Electric Company in 1943. After working there a year, she moved back to Faribault and lived with her parents. She started working for the Rice County Welfare Office there. Then, after George got out of the service, they moved into a rented house. They lived there until they built a house in Faribault in the fall of 1949. Then , they had their first child, Janet Marie. While George and Ardella worked, Ardella's parents took care of Janet.

George got a job at Stainless Steel Milk Tanks, so they moved to Minneapolis, MN on May 30, 1956. They had their second child, Kevin Paul, soon after. Ardella went back to the hospital in Faribault to deliver him because she knew the doctor there.

When Kevin was 2 years old, Ardella got a job at the Hub Shopping Mall. She clerked at the J. C. Penney store there part-time for 5 1/2 years. In 1964, she got a secretarial office job at their church, and worked there mornings. Then she got a job at the Hennepin County Welfare Department in the accounting section. She started there in August 1968, and worked there until she retired in January 1984.  She then did voluntary work filling out income tax reports for senior citizens and disabled people.

Last modified on 2005/10/1 by skenow

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