By Harold Ratzburg
My Grandma’s history goes back almost 130 years ago when she was born in Germany (1885) and somewhat later immigrated to the USA. My records on Grandma are somewhat sketchy but we do know that she married Grandpa (William Ratzburg the Second) in 1901 when she was only 16 years old. Grandpa was 17 years older, so it seems that they did things differently for match making back in the good old days.
They lived on the Ratzburg farm, out on Highway G, south of Marion, WI, where Tim Nolan now has his horse farm. At first, they lived in a log house, where old family stories tell that Grandma had to take a broom to make sure that there were no snakes crawling around on the dirt floor at bedtime. A frame house, with six bedrooms, was built in 1906 and things got a little easier for Grandma and the family.
Grandma had a difficult married life. Grandpa was of the old German belief in that HE was the head of the house and whatever HE said goes. He kept Grandma pregnant a lot of the time. They had 12 babies born to them, of which 3 died in early childhood. That time amounted to 22 years of child bearing, of which Grandma was pregnant for 108 months, or, 9 years total. Talk about study German stock.
Harold Ratzburg was born at the start of the Great Depression and raised on a Dairy Farm in Wisconsin. He served four years in the US Air Force in the 50's and was stationed in Germany, where he met his wife Anneliese, who helped get him through College to become a Civil Engineer. After a time as a Highway Engineer and College Instructor, he wound up as a City Engineer of a small town in New Jersey. Twenty four years later he retired to become an old geezer telling old stories on his new fangled computer.