"Favorite Family Memories"
gathered for the August 1998 Reunion at Breda by Russ Bierl
as told by the Pat and Della (Wittry)
Pat Nieland: I
drove a horse and buggy to school, so during the winter
Mom put hot bricks in the bottom of the buggy to keep my
feet warm. I was glad when the horse died, because then
Dad took us to school in the car.
Craig Nieland: Dan
and I arrived at Grandpa and Grandma's and saw their lawn
needed mowing. We didn't want Grandpa to have to work that
hard pushing his push mower (the old kind without a motor),
so we went to work mowing. We came in the house when we
finished and proudly told Grandpa what we'd done. He was
surprised because he hadn't heard the riding mower running.
We all had a good laugh over that. I also remember never
going home without having a red hot dog and Grandpa trying
to get us to try his horse radish mustard.
Sharon (Nieland) Johnson:
I have many wonderful memories of coming to Breda. Playing
school down the basement at Grandpa and Grandma's with my
cousins, Grandma's great lunches and a cousin (I don't remember
who) telling me, "Grandpa laughed so hard at a joke
his glass eye popped out". I also spent part of my
summer with Ann. One hot summer day we filled their claw
bathtub as full as we could with water and then slid down
the back into the water, laughing and splashing. We had
a great time until Barb discovered our mischief. I also
remember going to John and Joe's and having a great time.
Trish (Nieland) Wetzel:
The first thing that comes to mind is
Grandma's lunches. I loved her Jell-O and sweet pickles. But
my favorite memory was going to Cyril and Barb's to play with
Ann and Brenda. We explored a lot. One Sunday we were getting
ready to leave and we couldn't find Sharon's shoes. After
much prodding, Brenda admitted she'd thrown them into the
as told by the Cyril and Barb (Reis)
Ann Nieland (Bond):
One time when Pat and Della were
over, we kids were outside playing with the horse and cart.
The older kids were driving it and Sharon and I were running
beside it and sometimes running across in front of it. Unfortunately,
I didn't make it across one time and the horse and cart ran
over me. The day of visiting came to an end, as my folks took
me to the hospital.
as told by the Robert and Florence
(Nieland) Evers Family
Don Evers: My
favorite memory involves going with Grandpa and Grandma Nieland
to Sioux City to watch Professional wrestling. To watch Grandpa
yelling at the wrestlers and Grandma telling Ben "Be
quiet!" only to have Grandma yelling at the wrestlers
as told by the Paul and Connie (Leiting)
Kathy (Nieland) Tassler: Sunday
afternoons at Grandpa and Grandma's -- playing school in
their basement with the blackboard and the little square
swivel table. Also playing hide and seek in Grandpa and
Grandma's grove and rock pile.
Nancy (Nieland) Mueggenberg:
Spending part of some summer vacations
at St. Benedict. Mary and Marge had the neatest and best "Barbie"
dolls and clothes. Also driving around in Grandpa Nieland's
car and trying to read the funny papers that laid on the floor,
to protect it from getting dirty, along with the very hot
vinyl seat covers. What a treat!
Karen (Nieland) Grundmeier:
My favorite memory is of Grandma
and Grandpa driving the yellow car out to the farm and helping
them work in their garden.
Ken Nieland: Family reunions
in Breda. It was held in the Legion Hall and I also think
we had a Mass. Fr. Yetmar was still there.
as told by the Bill and Jolene (Nieland)
Vickie (Jensen) Bunting: Playing
with our cousins and going to the park at Lake View.
Valerie (Jensen) Miller: Staying
on the farm and playing with cousins. Also getting to eat
that great sweet corn and luscious strawberries.
Curt Jensen: Going
to Black Hawk at Lakeview to swim and picnic.
Getting rides on Uncle Paul's tractor
John: Riding on the tractor with Uncle Paul.
as told by the Ken and
Charlotte (Nieland) Haberl family
Mark Haberl: Grandpa
and Great Uncle Norbert took me fishing. It was my first
time in a boat. Grandpa made a big deal about me catching
the biggest fish all day. I also got sunburned very badly.
I think I was around 7 or 8 years old at the time.
Mary Lou (Haberl) Gander: Going
out and working with Grandma in the garden. Then going back
to the house and making little dolls from hollyhock flowers
Terry (Haberl) Hoefing:
Staying with Grandma and Grandpa.
Going fishing with them and using real long cane poles. Riding
in the yellow Buick. Grandma wearing a big floppy hat and
cotton flowered dress.
Gail (Haberl) Burger: Playing
Old Maid with Grandpa and when he had the old maid, he would
put the card higher than the rest, so you'd take that card
when it was your turn. Then he'd laugh and make a joke of
Luke Haberl: Sitting
on Grandpa's lap playing cards and winning.
Corey Haberl: Grandma
giving me the red wagon.
as told by the Virgil and Irene (Nieland)
Russell and Ron Bierl:
My favorite memories of Grandma
and Grandpa Mary and Ben Nieland were the weeks I spend there
in the summer. Russ and Ron visited them every summer for
two weeks after school was out. At that time our sisters were
too young to spend time away from home. Sometimes Don and
Ed Evers or Vicki and Valerie Jensen would also be there when
we were. Before Charlotte was married, Grandma would sometimes
make her play with us.
We enjoyed helping on the farm with
feeding the livestock, driving the tractors, combining oats,
and bailing straw and hay. Grandpa had a New Holland bailer
he pulled with a "B" John Deere tractor and Uncle
Paul Nieland would custom bail for people. It was fun to
help with corn shelling because there were lots of mice
to kill and the dog would grab them when they came through
the cracks of the corncrib. Grandma always had lots of chickens
and had to gather the eggs twice a day. The eggs were then
brought to the basement and washed before putting them in
crates to be taken to town. Grandpa always had lots of hogs
and we helped feed them. We learned how to cut pigs and
got real tired of holding them for Grandpa. The one task
we did not like to do was clean the manure out of the chicken
house. It was a big treat when we sold the hogs and went
to Breda to pick up the check. The hog buyer would buy Grandpa
and Paul a beer and Ron and Russ a soda pop at the tavern.
One time the bull was going to take Grandpa in the cattle
lot and the dog-named Jinks took after the bull. The dog
was a real hero that day.
We always went to Mass at St. Bernard's
Catholic Church on Sunday. We also went to Breda on Monday
nights for the big $100 Silver Dollar Drawing. The Breda merchants
gave you a ticket stub for each $1 you spent at their business
and you had a chance in the drawing, but you had to be present
One of our favorite things was to go
to Black Hawk Lake. We traveled there in Grandpa's 1958
yellow Buick Special. It was a beautiful car and Grandma
was very proud of having it to replace his 1950 brown Chevrolet.
We went swimming at the lake and Grandma always brought
a picnic basket with sandwiches and cool aid. Some times
we went fishing at the lake with Grandpa. Grandma and Grandpa
Nieland liked to play cards with us children. Their favorite
games were Old Maid and Crazy Eight. Ben also played checkers
with the children.
Holiday visits were special
at Grandma and Grandpa's house. When all the cousins were
there we had a great time playing in the grove or the basement
of the house. We built tree houses in the grove and played
cowboys and Indians or hide and seek. The farm had a very
large cotton wood tree in the grove that us children played
around. Grandma liked fire crackers and always had some for
us. They took us to Omaha to a wrestling match one time to
see Vern Gaunhia.
Grandma had a very large garden on the
North side of the grove. She had wonderful strawberries,
raspberries and sweet corn as well as watermelons. Ben and
Mary would spend many hours tending the garden. Grandpa
had a beehive under the walnut tree at the West end of the
garden. The garden was fenced to keep the animals out. Grandpa
had to put a kerosene lantern in the garden at night to
keep the raccoons from eating the sweet corn.
We always helped butcher chickens when
we were there for the summer. It was impressive how Grandma
killed them by stepping on their head and pulling it off.
After they were dead we scalded the chickens and picked
their feathers. Everyone helped. They raised spring chickens
in the white brooder house at the West end of the grove.
Grandma purchased her groceries
at Determan's Store in Breda. The meat market at the store
had the best natural casing hot dogs I have ever had. For
lunch we often ate hot dogs, summer sausage, white bread with
real butter, Jell-O, pickled yellow wax beans and green sweet
pickles. To this day I could make a meal of these items. We
still make sweet lime green pickles just about a good as grandma's.
Grandpa walked down the lane every day
to get the mail and the Carroll Daily Times Harold newspaper.
My parents would also get the same newspaper for over 30
years after they moved away from Carroll County. Grandpa
was a serious reader but Grandma did not read much. Some
times, when they wanted to say something secret in front
of us children, they would speak in German.Grandpa spoke
in High German and Grandma Low German. They would say something
and then laugh real hard.
Visiting Grandma Mary and Grandpa Ben's
farm was always a special treat. The love and warmth demonstrated
by the Nieland family was something special to be part of.
Hopefully this is something we have all carried on with
our own families today.
Mary (Beirl) Gorhman
and Marge (Bierl) Bowman: We always
looked forward to and enjoyed our visits to our grandparents.
The adults would stay in the house and talk while us kids
would play outside or in the basement. We liked to play among
the rocks in the grove with our cousins Kathy, Nancy and Shirley.
I remember a problem we would have during
the summer when we ran around outside barefoot. At that
time the chickens ran lose and we would sometimes step in
the chicken poop. Grandma would help us wash our feet off
at the well pump outside the house. One thing I remember
well was when we played dress up at Kathy and Nancy Nieland's
house. I could not get my feet in their mother's shoes because
her size was smaller than mine.
Von (Yvonne) Bierl:
I used to tell Grandpa elephant
jokes and he would always laugh really hard.
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