BioA: Thoma, Mr./Mrs. W. B. (Golden - 1941)
Contact:  Crystal Wendt

Surnames: Thoma, Hemp, Dudei, May, Schumann, Appleyard, Schelle, Hagedorn

----Sources: Clark County Press (Neillsville, Clark County, Wis.) Thurs., 6 Nov. 1941

Thoma, Mr./Mrs. W. B. (Golden - 1941)

Monday, November 3, marked the fiftieth wedding anniversary of Mr. and Mrs. W. B. Thoma of the town of Weston. Their attendants fifty years ago, Mr. and Mrs. Albert Hemp, of Neillsville, were again privileged to be with them on Monday. The invited guests, included relatives, close friends and neighbors numbered about a hundred.

Those who came from a distance were: Mrs. Mary Dudei, New London; Mrs. William May and son, Clifford, St. Paul; and Arthur Thoma and two sons, Donald and Asa, Berlin. The Rev. A. Schuamann gave a splendid talk, the balance of the day being spent in visiting, singing and other entertainment. Melvin, eldest son of Mr. and Mrs. Fred Appleyard, played a cornet solo, "Silver Threads Among the Gold."

The rooms of the Thoma home were beautifully decorated in gold and white streamers, a large white wedding bell, chrysanthemums and yellow roses. The wedding cake, backed by their daughter, Mrs. Fred Appleyard, was decorated with yellow roses.

Mr. Thoma was born at Helenville, Jefferson County, Wisconsin, March 5, 1867. His father died when he was 16 years old. He worked on a farm at Rock Prairie, Wis., for two years and at the home farm for a like number of years, before coming to Clark County in 1888 where he bought 40 acres of land in the town of Weston, their present home. He had but fifty dollars to pay down on the land.

In 1891 he was married to Bertha Scheel, who was born in Brandenburg, Germany. Mrs. Thoma came to America, when she was nine years of age, her parents coming at once to the town of Weston. They bought the farm which now is the Richard Hagedorn home. Mrs. Thoma, being the eldest of thirteen children, had to work for her board on a farm for three years, later working in the city of Neillsville for a dollar a week. She and a sister, Mrs. Mary Dudei, also attended school here. They walked to Neillsville from their home in Weston, a distance of 8 miles every Monday morning, walking home again on Friday evening. During the week they worked for their board before and after school. Mrs. Thoma stated that she and her sister often walked to town with a basket of butter and eggs, returning with groceries. Butter brought ten cents per pound and eggs were poor so the children were allowed to keep only a very small portion of their meager wages for themselves. Life was lived simply, indeed. Most of the luxuries of today were unheard of, yet Mrs. Thoma believes that the young folks were far happier and more content than the youth of today.

Mr. and Mrs. Thoma have been splendid citizens throughout the years, doing their just share as homemakers and community builders. They have been active members and faithful workers in the Globe Lutheran Church for fifty years. Charitable and generous, no one has ever been turned away from their home hungry.

The Thoma’s increased their acreage from time to time as finances permitted. The children assisted their parents in clearing the land and in turn Mr. Thoma started his sons out on nice farms of their own.

Thousands of cords of wood have been cut by the men of the family and delivered to distant markets. The elder Thoma helped turnpike many of the roads in the town of Weston. Being a carpenter, he worked out whenever he could be spared from the farm. He erected most of the buildings on his farm and many others.

Five children, four boys and a girl, were born to them. One son, George, died at the age of seven. The surviving children are; Arthur, Town of Seif; at present located at Berlin; Frank, Weston; John, on the home farm, and Mrs. Fred Appleyard, Pine Valley. There are 15 grandchildren.



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