BioA: Smith, Mr./Mrs. Bergen O. (Golden - 1973)

Contact: Dolores (Mohr) Kenyon

Surnames: Smith, Hyland, Straube, Parrett, Breitung, Czarnik

----Source: Clark County Press (Neillsville, Clark Co., WI) /1973

Smith, Mr./Mrs. Bergen O. (Golden - 22 October 1973)

It may not be written in that famous book of records, but Mr. and Mrs. Bergen O. Smith of Neillsville, who are observing their Golden wedding anniversary Saturday, is an exceptional couple. Now that’s in the past, the Smiths can recall with a joint sigh of relief the days when their various offspring attended schools of one sort or another for 40 continuous years!

It is the Smith children who have planned an open house honoring their parents from 3 to 4 p.m. Satruday at the Wildcat Inn, followed by an evening of dancing at the Silver Dome. For the convenience of friends and relatives who will not be able to share in the Saturday observance, the couple will be at home at their residence on Second St. the afternoon and evening of Monday, October 22, which is their actual wedding anniversary date.

Bergen O’Pliene Smith, born the son of Mr. and Mrs. Seven A. Douglas (SAD) Smith of Dancy, northeast of Marshfield, and the daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Abe Hyland of Little Suamico, north of Green Bay, exchanged wedding vows in a civil ceremony October 22, 1923, in Menominee, Mi. The bride had grown up in the little Suamico community and attended schools in the town of Brookside.

Her husband, on the other hand, while named after the town of Bergen in which he was born, and for the nearby Eau Plaine River, moved to Kaukauna as a child and received his education in schools there. He was employed in the local papermill up to the time of their marriage.

The newlyweds’ lived in Sturgeon Bay for two years before coming to Neillsville. They farmed in the area for several years before moving to the city, where Mr. Smith worked at the Fullerton Lumber Company for many years. He has been employed as a sales man for Urban Sales and Service for the past 11 years.

In addition to the tasks of raising a large family, Mrs. Smith has held several part and full time jobs outside her home. Most recently, she worked for two years at the Shopper in a full time capacity and has been retired from that position for the past five years. Previously, she worked at Becker’s Café, at the Gluch Shoe Store for nearly 15 years, and as a nurses’ aid at the old nursing home and at Memorial Home.

While the Smiths find that their weekdays are busy enough without hobbies, they do enjoy a Saturday night of dancing regularly and Mrs. Smith also enjoys reading.

The Bergen Smiths are parents of 13 children. Their oldest, Everett, would have been 48 in July; he succumbed to an infection arising from appendicitis 28 years ago, in the days before penicillin. (They lost another child, the twin to their daughter, Bonnie.) Their youngest is a 21-year-old daughter, Etta Mae.

The other children are, in order of age, Ralph of Detroit, Marie of St. Louis, Mo., Herbert of Milwaukee, Oakley of Rockford, Il., Arlo of Colorado Springs, Co., Mrs. Charles (Bonnie) Straube of Milwaukee, Mrs. Gladys Parrett of West Allis, Mrs. James (Nancy) Breitung of Neillsville, Duane of Racine, Darwin of Eau Claire and Mrs. Robert (Etta Mae) Czarnik of Chicago, Il.

There are also 23 grandchildren and three great-grandchildren, offspring of two of Ralph Smith’s daughters.

All eleven children, except for Marie, and most of the grandchildren and great-grandchildren, plan to be present for the Smiths’ anniversary observance this weekend.



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