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Memories of Dad (Jeffery Herman Rasmusson) by Janet Rasmusson Larson (`58)

Janet Rasmusson Larson 1958
"Dad grew up on a farm six miles north of Nevada, Iowa; therefore, he attended a one-room schoolhouse located one mile east of the family home. He remembers walking to school each day with his lunch bucket (jelly and peanut butter sandwich and a cookie) to a building which held one teacher and 17-18 students. Subjects taught were spelling, arithmetic, geography, and history; however, spelling and arithmetic were Jeff's favorites.

"The family home always had electricity. His father (Lewis Rasmusson) remodeled the home in 1919, putting in a bathroom and running water. They were the envy of all their neighbors. And Lewis had the first grain elevator in the area-- people would come from miles around to see this elevator. His father had the best horses in the neighborhood. Father Lewis was very progressive-- purchased the farm and tiled it. Jeff helped his father build the hog house. And Jeff remembers his father drove Buick cars.

"Jeff's sister Fern, who was two years younger than Jeff, drowned in the livestock tank at the age of five. The Rasmusson children would play on the livestock tank which had a lid; However, this particular day Fern went down to the tank by herself and accidentally fell in.

"When Jeff was five or six years old, he remembers eating so much watermelon that he became ill. And to this day, he doesn't like watermelon.

"Jeff's father (Lewis Rasmusson) and mother (Bertha Hall Rasmusson) along with one daughter Myrtle (who died later) traveled by boat to Norway to visit relatives. They left the remainder of the family with two hired men and one hired girl to care for the farm and home.

"Dad remembers playing house in their crib. They made pies and cakes from mud.

"Dad feels he was deprived-- forgotten from time to time. His father (Lewis Rasmusson) died when Jeff was eight years old. Jeff drove cars for his mother, did chores, milked ten cows and fed twelve horses. When Jeff was fifteen years old, his mother remarried and he then had a step-father.

"Jeff has very few memories about Christmas and never remembers a Christmas tree. His mother was so busy with all the children. She would bake ten to twelve loaves of bread at a time. When one of Jeff's sisters needed a new dress, He remembers his mother would stay up all night to sew the dress.

"Jeff doesn't remember anything special about birthdays. Nor does he remember much about the Fourth of July holidays.

"Jeff attended church at Salem Lutheran Church in Roland, Iowa. He attended Sunday School there also. He remembers going to his Grandpa Rasmusson's home while his parents were at church and Jeff would play his grandfather's flute, which had been hand-crafted by his grandfather.

Ruth Warren as County 4-H President in 1953
Left to Right: Ruth Warren `54 of Milford Twp, Amy Jensen of Gilbert, Bonnie Lein of Slater, Ilene Shaul of Huxley, and Jo Ann Nelson of Fernald.
The Milford Hustlers had 7 County Presidents and the Merry Maids had 3. See page 239.
Jurine Borton says that one of the things she is most proud of in her 4-H career was being the campaign speaker for both Ruth Warren and her bother Art who were both elected Story County 4-H Presidents. See page 210.

"His confirmation class of twenty-six was special. Confirmation was a two-hour service along with catechizing. Prior to this, Jeff had always worn short pants; however, on Confirmation Day. Jeff wore long pants, a suit coat, and a tie for the first time. After the service, relatives come to the Rasmusson home for a big dinner. And that evening, the confirmands returned to Salem for first communion.

"The Rasmusson family went to Nevada each Saturday night. Jeff and his good friend Francis Donaldson each had a quarter to spend. Since everything was a nickel, Jeff and Francis were each able to purchase five items. Jeff would always purchase a bottle of strawberry pop.

"Jeff attended high school at Milford Township Consolidated School (located about eight miles northwest of Nevada) and graduated at the age of seventeen. Jeff purchased his own cloths and bought his first car. He remembers a high school graduation gift from a brother-- a new pair of shoes-- so he had a new suit, shirt, tie, and shoes for graduation.

"Following graduation from high school, Jeff worked as a farmhand, two years at home and four year away from home, until his marriage to Edith Hanson. At this time, he and Edith started farming."

Edit: Janet Rasmusson'58, on the first of June 1957, was elected to serve at President of the Story County Girls 4-H Clubs. See other 4-H photos on pages 254+, 265, 275, 279+, 300, 319 and story on page 238+.

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© 2012 Mark Christian
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