by Delores Miller
So after the Second World War and life returned to normal, 4-H clubs sprang up in Waupaca County. All students over the age of ten years were invited to an organizational meeting at the school house on November 17, 1948. E. L. Niedermeier was the Home Agent, with Richard Halback the Club Agent. Sunrise's charter with 24 members was signed January 1, 1949. This was one of about 50 clubs in the county, today in 2013 there are 18. 90% were students with farming backgrounds.
Volunteer leaders were Laura Niemuth, Louella Genskow and Milton and Lucinda Hintz. Projects were chosen, Foods and Nutrition, Sewing, Gardening and of course dairy. I had little talent in any of these projects, but blundered my way through as shown by my record books from 64 years ago.
Monthly meetings at the school house, dues were a nickel, lunch was served by members on a rotating basis, favorite was ground baloney sandwiches with dill pickles, chocolate cake and of course chocolate milk. Entertainment followed by trashing and making a mess in the school house. Summer picnic at Little Falls.
The summer club tour to members homes to view the projects. Dress review, judging food and sewing. Monthly demonstrations. I showed how to make a grated carrot and peanut butter sandwich, it was terrible.
4-H float in the Marion Homecoming parade. The first year's theme was 'Cook, Sew and Catch a Beau'. On a flat rack hay wagon, a wooden cookstove, a hand treadle sewing machine with Adelaide Fischer in a bridesmaid dress. Milton Hintz pulled the wagon in the parade with his new Ferguson 30 tractor.
Finale in early September was the Waupaca County Fair at Weyauwega. Entries from all projects, and the hope of a Blue Ribbon. Big excitement, with the carnival atmosphere. It usually rained on our parade.
I pledge my Head to clearer thinking,
My Heart to greater loyalty,
My Hands to Larger service,
My Health to better living,
For my club, my community,
and my country.
Today in 2014 the Sunrise 4-H club is still going strong with the same values as in 1949.
copyright 2014 by Russell and Delores Miller
Delores Miller lives with husband Russell in Hortonville, Wisconsin. In the summer of 2007 they celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary with a party hosted by their five children and ten grandchildren. It’s been a long road. Dairy farming until retirement in 1993, they continued to 'work' the land, making a subdivision of 39 new homes on their former hay fields.