Kienow Family History and Heritage

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Grandpa's Story

Since I was very young when my parents came to the USA and since my close relatives had also immigrated, we did not keep contact with people in Germany. When World War I started we had become citizens of the U.S. or were in the process of doing so. Some German immigrants were treated badly because of their heritage. This anti-German sentiment caused many to abandon using German and becoming more Americanized.

By 1926 our family had grown to 12 children, 9 boys and 3 girls. The older boys were able to find work in places like the King Flour Mill, the Shaft-Pierce Shoe Factory and Nutting Truck and Caster Company. The Great Depression that began in 1929 and lasted into the 1930’s was hard for everyone. However there was still a need for the products of these companies so people had some work even if it was not full time. The farm became even more important for the raising of food for the family. We usually had a surplus of sweet corn and other vegetables that we could sell plus eggs and milk. Barney, our horse, and I would often plow the gardens for other people and could earn extra cash. My wife, Mary, was a genius at keeping everything organized and seeing that we were all well fed. In addition she sold Watkins Products and was active at church.

During World War II four of our sons were in the Armed Forces. George was in the Air Force, Leonard and Harlan in the Army, and Ray in the Navy. We had a banner in our front window with 4 stars, one for each son. For some families the star was gold indicating that their son had been killed in the war. We were indeed thankful that our sons came back alive after the war and that our family could continue to enjoy the blessings of this country. For that we give thanks to Almighty God.

During my life I saw many amazing inventions such as the first automobiles, the first airplanes, the first radios, refrigerators and a host of other new products. It was an unbelievable journey!

Last modified on 2006/8/22 by skenow
 

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