Remembering Andrew Henry Nieland 1913 - 2002
Letter from Ruth Nieland King to Kay Davis, September 2002
picture with the horse was taken at the William Nieland farm.
I think this is the Northeast corner of the house. Walter and
Teresa Nieland, who lived on the farm last, replaced the house
a number of years ago. Dad [Andrew Nieland] and Walter and Estella
used the horse to go to school in Mt. Carmel. Dad spoke about
the horse in an interview taped by my sister Alma when she was
in college in the 1970's. He said, "Oh that was Doll. That
was a nice little western horse. That was a black mare, medium-sized
horse, and the second fastest horse going to school there. She
could stop dead if she saw something on the road. She just - stopped.
If you were on that horse, you'd roll off. She could even hold
the buggy back. She was like that." He also told of coming
home from school as a tornado approached and racing with the horse
to a neighbor's place for shelter.
Photo: Andrew Nieland (left) with two of his
siblings, Walter and Estelle at William Nieland's farm.
Click image to enlarge
Andrew's willow baskets
picture with the baskets is about a hobby Dad took up in the 1980's.
He and his brother Walter were interested in the willow baskets
their grandfather Henry Nieland made, and they learned to make
such baskets themselves by studying Henry Nieland's baskets, of
which they each had one or more. Dad made some willow baskets,
but eventually it became hard to find suitable willow twigs, so
he experimented with commercial reeds and with grapevines, and
finally with corn husks. He made most of his baskets from corn
husks. He would gather husks that were in good condition, dry
them, and braid them as one might braid rags for rug making. Then
he coiled the braided material into shape and threaded it together
with heavy thread or cord. He created different styles and sizes,
some with handles and some without. He also made cornucopias.
He left some of the corn husks natural and dyed some to vary the
colors of the baskets. He used brown, black and reddish dyes and
made baskets of variegated colors, as you can see form the photos.
Dad made at least 340 baskets during his career. He gave some
of them away during his lifetime, and at his funeral, family and
friends were invited to take a basket with then as a remembrance
Photo at left: Andrew Nieland with grandson,
Brian Baumhover. Brian is holding a willow basket and Andrew
is holding a corn husk basket
Photo at right: Some of Andrew's baskets. The baskets are made
of willow, grapevine, corn husk (some dyed) and commercial reeds.
Click images to enlarge
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