Mom's Story

by Esther Livingston

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The author, Esther Livingston and her husband, David, are among Washington, Iowans, whose families first arrived in what was then "Slaughter County", in covered wagons in the mid-1800's. Mom's Story provides an intimate glimpse into one of these old families. Taken from 300 pages of a handwritten manuscript by the author's mother and dozens of scribbled notes, a story emerges that weaves its characters through history, adding authentic homespun details about weddings and funerals, learning the facts of life, courtship in a buggy, and deathbed scenes. These   folk were among the "unknowns" - rarely   mentioned in newspapers, except, perhaps, the "Wellman Shootist"!

  The story continues with Naomi telling about losing her mother at an early age   and much of the time fending for herself. After an up-and-down courtship, she   becomes a farmer's wife and part of a German family, whose only experience   is with "old Country" customs. She tells about her first threshing, raising   chickens, the Great Depression, and times of sorrow - all put together with a   mixture of sadness and humor.

Mom and Dad of Mom's Story

  Her daughter, the author, then takes us back to Germany of the mid-1800's,   and with remarkable detail picks up the story of a Platt Deutsch family who   eventually emigrate to America. The last section is written with nostalgia and humor about life on the Iowa farm, from the early 1930's to the end of   W.W.II. She concludes with the closing of the era of small farms, the passing   of "old Iowa" and finally, the sale of "Spread Eagle Homestead".

Spread Eagle farm in Washington, Iowa in 1875 - home of Mom and Dad

  The struggles of these two extremely different people - "Mom", descended from early Americans, and "Dad", the son of German immigrants - is what our   mid-west culture is all about. Come, read, and get acquainted with some of   Washington, Iowa's early inhabitants!

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©2003 - 2015    Esther Livingston