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.
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".
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!