BioA: Edens, Mr. and Mrs. William H. (Golden - 1940)


Contact: Dolores Mohr Kenyon


Surnames: Edens, Kier, VandeBerg, Corbett, Benedict, Turner, Mortimer, Smith, Drescher, Dean, Zwich, Korth, Voight, Garvin, Garbisch 

----Source: Clark County Press (Neillsville, Clark Co., WI.) January 13, 2010 

Edens, Mr. and Mrs. William H. (Golden - 7 January 1940) 

From the Good Old Days, January 1940 news compiled by Dee Zimmerman in the January 13, 2010 issue -  

The Town of York, in which Mr. and Mrs. William H. Edens celebrated their golden wedding anniversary, last Sunday, was a far different community from the York in which they settled 40 years ago, come May 10. 

Woodlands have been transformed into pastures and fields by sweat of the brow and bite of the axe.  The industry of the countryside has changed in the 40 years that passed, from that of lumbering to farming. 

Yet, somehow, the spirit of hardy early settlers of Clark County, the spirit, which was typified by pioneer Americans, was not lost on the anniversary celebration. 

While scores of friends and neighbors joined the children and grandchildren of Mr. and Mrs. Edens for the occasion, the old couple looked back on their early trials in a new country.  And they were able to smile on their recollections. 

Nearly all of York was woodland when the Edens settled there with their children, in 1900.  They moved from Plymouth, where Mr. Edens had been a shipping clerk.  With typical pioneering spirit, they had traded their Plymouth home for three, almost virgin, York 40s.  And there was a peculiar thing about the trade, as Mr. Edens recalled it: 

The land came to a war veteran, a Mr. Corbett, who had a cork leg and taught Mr. Eden’s Sunday school class.  He acquired the land through a gambling debt. 

When Edens arrived, they found their 40 acres in woods, with the exception of an area of about three acres, which had been stumped.  That spring Mr. Edens had furrows plowed between the stumps, and planted corn.  The yield was 79 bushels. 

Working, side by side, Mr. and Mrs. Edens started clearing their land.  And whenever it came to using a two-handled saw, Mrs. Edens was there, doing her share of the pulling and pushing. 

"I don’t recall which end she used," Mr. Edens remarked; "but it doesn’t make much difference.  One end pulled as hard as the other." 

The children, too, came in for their share of labor in building up the farm and the home.  Like all children of early Clark County families, they learned to work and they worked hard. 

At that time York Center consisted of a post office operated in connection with a country store, by A. Benedict.  The post office-store was located on the site of the present Abbie Turner service station.  Besides the post office, the Edens had six nearby neighbors.  They were: Mrs. Stella Mortimer, whose place her son, George now works; Clyde Smith on the farm now owned by Mrs. Julius Drescher; Mr. and Mrs. Walter Dean, who later went to Oregon; Mr. and Mrs. Fred Zwich, now the Emil Korth farm; Mr. and Mrs. Julius Voight, who lived on the place now operated by their son Hank; and Mr. and Mrs. Al Garvin, who lived where Elmer Garbisch now resides. 

The golden anniversary of Mr. and Mrs. Edens was held at the home of a daughter and son-in-law, Mr. and Mrs. Ervin VandeBerg, about a mile from the Edens’ home.  In this manner, it was possible for the observance to come as a complete surprise for the couple. 

The anniversary date is January 7; but the earlier observance was held so that all the children and grandchildren could be present, five children and 13 grandchildren.  And throughout the day and evening the VandeBerg home was filled with long-time friends and neighbors who gathered to congratulate the couple on their 50 years of married harmony, and to wish them another 50 years of happiness together. 

Mr. and Mrs. Edens were married January 7, 1890, in a church in the Town of Rhine, Sheboygan County.  Their children are: William G. Edens of Hardwood, Mich.; Miss Erna Edens of Milwaukee; Mrs. Donald Kier of Nasonville; Mrs. Ervin VandeBerg of York; and Hans J. Edens of Rockford, Ill. 

The 13 grandchildren are: Dorothy, Donald, Douglas, Delbert and Duane Edens of Hardwood; Virginia Mae and Joyce VandeBerg; and Everett, Bernard, Milton, Alice, Norbert and Muriel Kier of Nasonville. 



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