Kenneth & Mabel Wood


I feel my tribute would have to go to my parents.  They wouldn’t be called originals to Clark County but they were pioneers in a true sense of the word.


They were Married Aug. 26, 1929, when my mother was 16 and my father was 19.  I was born in Aug. 1930 and my brother was born Dec. 25, 1932.


Times were very tough due to the depression and they had nothing.  My father did commercial fishing on Lake Michigan out of Door County, but this did not supply enough income for his family.


In 1932 they decided to move to Clark County.  They got permission to move onto a piece of land owned by John Seif, which was located in nothing but woods.


My father cut enough wood and built a house.  It was 8 foot x 16 foot, and the brush stuck in the windows and the ferns grew through the floor, and occasionally a snake would find his way in through the floor.   In winter he banked it clear to the eves  with dirt, leaves and  cow manure.  (No there was no smell as it was well decomposed.)  We had a Kerosene lamp and a wood stove.  It was so nice when spring came and we could get rid of the banking and have our windows back.




Mabel Ottilea Braunsdorf and

Kenneth Delbert Wood Wedding


They were able to acquire 2 cows and dad built a shed for them.  They cut marsh grass and stacked it around the shed for the cows for winter.  All water had to be hand carried from a spring, which was in the woods about a half mile away.   They would lead the cows to that spring two times a day to drink, and carry back water for the house.    Mom would use water very sparingly, she would wash clothes or dishes , then she would scrub the floors, which were only 12 inch wide boards, after she finished that she would water the garden with the water, as soon as it was cool enough.  In the winter they had to chop through ice to get water and that too was used to water house plants after it was well used. 


Bath time was on Saturday night, taken in, a round wash tub, after the last person finished it too, went to water the garden.  They had a beautiful garden despite the drought years at that time.


Our food consisted of vegetables from the garden and venison.  My father would hunt deer when we needed food.  One time the game warden came down because he had a report of my dad poaching.  It was Christmas Day and he saw the meat on the table.  He took my dad outside and told him; that someone had reported him and he had to do his duty and investigate it.  But like he said, “I don’t have to report that I saw anything.”  He told my dad he would not do anything as long as he didn’t waste any or sell any of it.  He also said, if he got a report he would still have to check it out. And with that he left and wished my parents well.


My mother worked right along side of my dad hand digging a plot for a garden, clearing away brush or cutting trees and bringing hay from the swamp.  Yes, it had to be hand carried as they had no equipment other than a scythe  to  cut the hay, they also had a buck saw and a cross cut saw they used for clearing land.  One Christmas John Seif told my dad if he would allow him to have one cow, we would could have a clear deed to that farm.  John chose his cow; and it wasn’t the best one either; and gave my parents a clear title.  They hung it on the Christmas tree that year.

Submitted 2006

by Elaine Wood Greene/Jenson (daughter)


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