Tuesday, October 25th is Grandma Louise’s 122 birthday. Grandma was not one to celebrate birthdays or mention her age. Part of this was probably because of the fact that Otto was so much younger than she was and possibly because she was was also an older mother, her first child coming at age 31(not so unusual today, but not near the norm at the time). However that all changed once she became became 70 and then she was proud of her age. she had a big celebration for her 80th birthday. It is my understanding that that event was the last time prior to her death 2 years later that all the Brueggeman siblings were together. I know that it was the last time that all of her children were together. Ernie and family had been in Florida for some time and Russell and family had moved to Arizona just over a year before. I think it was one of the first time that there were 4 generations of the Otto Krauseman family as the first 2 of Louise’s great-grandchildren had been born in the spring that year.
Grandma Louise was always a gentle person, however she could be assertive and take action when needed. All five of their children were born in Akron, Ohio. They were living in Akron and there was a lot of family around. However, in the midst of the depression in 1935 Otto, a bookbinder, found himself unemployed. It was not an unusual occurrence. However, Otto was hired by the Library of Congress. This was a great opportunity but it meant moving the family to Washington, D.C. After making the move Otto worked for about 4 months and then received his layoff notice. Otto seemed to take it in stride but Louise was upset. Otto went looking for another job in D.C. but Louise did something else. She wrote directly to President Roosevelt and told him how she thought that it was grossly unfair to offer someone a job and have them move their family to a new city with no other family around and then take the job away. She asked FDR to look into it. Otto got his job back and everyone felt that she had a lot of moxie to write the letter. She said she just did what she had to do for her family.
The extended family came to visit them often and this continued for some time as not only siblings but nieces and nephews came. Some of Louise’s nieces and nephews came to visit with their children and by the time I was 9-10 years old I often was the family’s official tour guide because of my love of history and knowledge of the sites. I saw the Lincoln Memorial and the Washington Monument, Mount Vernon and the Smithsonian at least once a year in school and at times 2-3 times in the summer with family visitors. Louise was always looked forward to visits by family.
Thanks David for sharing this!