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Boeckmann Stories

Dee Boeckmann Athlete-Coach (Inducted 1976) Born November 9, 1904, St Louis MO. Died April 25, 1989

The Boeckmann's orginated in Mecklemburg, Germany. They are ancestors to Teutonic orgin whom first appeared in medieval records in Mecklemburg.

A pioneer in U.S. women's track and field, Delores "Dee" Boeckmann was on the first women's Olympic team in 1928, running in the 800 meters in Amsterdam but failing to reach the finals. She was also the first U.S Olympic women's coach, taking the team to the 1936 Games in Berlin. A holder of numerous track records from the 50-yard dash to the one mile during the 1920s. Dee was a pioneer for women's participation in other sports as well, particularly basketball. A teacher and government worker, she was with the Red Cross in China during World War II.

Written by Marcella Regina Boeckmann-Schwartze

The following is just a few of the things I can remember from the 1940s and 1950s.

In early 1940s Dad had a well drilled close to the house. We had a long slendor bucket, about 4 feet long, which we lowered into the well with a rope and when it was full, would pull it up. This is how we got our drinking water. It sure was good water, free of all chemicals they add now.

In June 1952, we got electricity. Some of the first things we bought were a refrigerator and a fan. Before we got the fridge, we kept the milk, butter, and eggs in a cool corner of the basement. This corner was cool enough to set jello. Before we got the electric iron, we used a gas iron. This used white gas which we bought in a small pint size bottle. On the radio we listened to stories on a Sunday afternoon, such as The Lone Ranger, Our Miss Brooks, Innersanctum ( The squeaky door ) etc. until we bought the TV.

Mom and dad always did a lot of canning enough to last all through the winter and spring until the next batch of vegetables came in. They used a kraut cutter to shred cabbage and pressed this in stone jars. When they used it, it was called "saurkraut". I remember one year they canned 300 quarts of peaches. This lasted several years. They also made blackberry jelly, gooseberry jam and tomato preserves. This is just a few of the things they canned. They also baked all of their bread, we thought it was a treat when we could buy "bakers" bread. We had a pretty farm to live on, green rolling hills, the fields were flat to plant crops on. They always had two gardens the larger one was called a "truck patch".

In the winter they would butcher meat. They trimmed the pork hams and shoulders, put salt all over them and then hung them in the smokehouse to cure. The trimmings were used to make sausage. They made regular sausage and liver sausage. The beef meat was cooked, cubed and put in stone jars. They sure made everything taste good. They also canned some beef in quart jars.

After milking the cows, they immediately put the milk through a machine called the "cream separator". When they collected enough cream, they would take this to town along with some eggs and sell this to the MFA exchange. We had a hand turned ice cream maker. When Dad was in town, he would buy a block of ice. Some of this melted before he got home but the ice cream they made, sure was good. It was hard for us little kids to sit and wait until the ice cream thickened.

They always kept the house warm in the winter with a wood stove. All of the wood was cut with a 6 ft. crosscut saw, one would get on each end to saw the logs. In the kitchen they had a wood stove to cook on. On one end was a resovoir. Mom would get the stove going early enough to warm the water before we got up. She also knew just how much wood to use to bake the tall angelfood cakes that she made.

In 1925 even tho Mom and Dad, Henry and Theresa Boeckmann, were not wealthy and had 5 kids of their own, they offered to take in Theresa's nephew, Cletus Dubbert, an infant and raised him as their own for 6 years. His mother died in childbirth. When it was time for Cletus to go to school, he went back to live with his father, who died 8 years later in 1939.

In 1933, Dad lost the "island" farm due to being flooded 4 straight years. When the Bagnall Dam had excessive water, they opened the flood gates and this is why the farm was flooded.

Henry and Theresa were both wonderful parents, kind and generous.

Thank You, Great-Aunt Marcella, for sharing your memories with us.

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