Bio: Auman, Frank & Angela (Immigrated from Jugoslavia)


Surnames: Auman, Frankel, Dergance, Panyan, Hoffman, Gabrovic, Slemec, Zager

----Source: Family Scrapbook

Frank Auman was born in the village of Dvorje, parish of Cerklje, area of Dolenskem, Jugoslavia on July 7, 1885.

Frank came to the United States in 1905 and settled in Oregon City, Oregon. He returned to his native homeland and served there with the Austrian Army for several years before returning to the United States in 1912.

He had his passport for sailing on the Titanic, but there was some mistake on his visa, so he could not leave at this time. He left Jugoslavia April 18, 1912.

This time when he arrived he settled in Ely, Minnesota. He at once went to work in the mines. Later in the year he sent money to Angela, his bride-to-be, so that she could come to this country.

Angela Frankel was born in Cesnjoga Urha, parish of Cerklje, area of Dolenskem on October 26, 1890. Angela arrived in this county in September of 1912. They were married on October 26, 1912 in Ely, Minnesota. To this union eight children were born. Frank Jr. was born in Ely. He now resides in Greenwood, Wisconsin. All the rest of the children were born on the farm in Willard. Victor, resides
now in Moline, Illinois, Antonia (Panyan) is a resident of Duluth Minnesota, Felix lived all his years in Willard, until his death in 1977. Mary (Dergance) resides in the village of Willard, Ann (Hoffman) resides in Reno, Nevada, Steffie) Gabrovic) now resides on a farm that adjoins the home place where she was born and raised.

While serving in the military in Austria, Frank had injured his leg, so it was that he came to this country as a crippled man. The mines were damp and cold, so this was rough on his condition. His ailment was constantly growing worse. After struggling with this for over a period of time he was no longer able to tolerate the pains. He had to give up his job at the mines. A living had to be earned some way, so Angela cooked and cleaned for boarders that she took in, they too were all miners. This was their only means of income for over a year.

There was some improvement in Frank’s condition, but the doctor had advised him that the mines were no match for him, and that he should try to find some other means of providing for his wife and baby son.

Frank Contacted his friend Joe Slemec in Willard. He asked Joe to find him a parcel of land, if possible, somewhere near to his property. Joe found him an 80 acre piece of land that was covered with hardwood trees. It was located near his property. It was located two miles west of the village of Willard.

In the year 1915, Frank and Angela and Frank Jr. left Ely for their new life on the farm. Frank and his family lived with Joe Slemec and with the Peter Zager family while waiting for their new home to be built. When the home was built, they at once moved into their little house. They started to clear the land for a garden and some acreage so they could pasture two cows. This work was slow and hard, as this was all done with hand tools. At once the clear , fresh air brought on a change in Frank’s condition, he was feeling stronger than he had in a long time. His crippled leg was gaining new strength.

In the years to come their income earned by cutting down the timber and it was hauled to the railroad station in the Village of Willard. There was a big demand for the cordwood. The land was then slowly cleared in preparation for plowing and working the soil. There was a great need for crops to be planted. They also used the timber to start erecting their much needed buildings on their farm. The work was slow and very much labor was involved.

In looking back the family can well recall the hard times. We can all remember how every spare penny that was available was saved and put into a large green truck that they had in their bedroom. This went on for months on end. This was being saved for the taxes that were coming due. When the time arrived the tax had to be paid, they were still short of the sum they had to meet, and so one cow had to be sold to pay the sum of $67.00.

They were strong and nothing stood in their way. They were never ready to give up. The following spring they would just plant a larger bean field, and life would go on. There would be a few more hogs raised and come winter time there would be food aplenty. In the winter time the old smoke shed was filled with smoked meat hanging from the poles with an aroma that could excite a millionaire. The holidays were spent with their friends and neighbors. They gathered together and had parties in each other’s homes. There was home brew and homemade wine. The ladies made potica and homemade donuts. There was boiled ham and homemade sausage. An old button key accordion was played by Frank Jr. All the young people dance all night long, but the older folks first got to dancing after the wine and brew stated working. The hard times were all forgotten, at least for the time being. Their motto was, “Yesterday’s can be forgotten and tomorrow will surely be better than today.”

The English language didn’t come off too well, as everyone around them spoke with the native tongue there was no big need to learn the English language. A very funny story was told by Angela about the time that she and Frank went to get their citizenship papers; they asked of Angela what year she arrived in this county. Angela said she was so nervous that she answered everything incorrectly that was asked of her. Her mind went blank and she very politely blundered out 19, 20, 50. She said the man asked no more questions of them and just wrote out their papers.

When the children were all grown and left the home place, Frank and Angela were getting up in years. They needed a rest from all the hard work and worries of running a farm. They decided to build a home in the village of Willard and retired. In 1947 they sold the old home farm to their oldest son Frank Jr. and Moved to the village of Willard.

Frank Auman passed away October 7, 1949.

Angela Auman left her home in Willard in 1968 and went to live in the nursing home in Neillsville, and spent her last seven years there. She passed away on January 21, 1975.



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