An article published in a Minnesota newspaper in early 1979.
Mrs. Alice Krumm to Note 100th Birthday Feb. 10th
By Burr F. Griswold
Minnesota's sub-zero temperatures don't keep Mrs. Alice Krumm, 100, from taking her daily walks. A resident of Green Lea Manor nursing home in Mabel for the past eight years, Mrs. Krumm bundles up against the elements and takes her daily exercise, whatever the weather might be.
A petite lady with snow white hair, and a mind as clear as a crystal ball, she happily related some of her experiences in the past 100 years to this reporter, while seated in the lobby of the nursing home.
She was born Feb. 10, 1879 in the town of Idaho, Ia., during the administration of Rutherford B. Hayes. Since that time, 19 other men have occupied the White House. They include: Garfield, Arthur, Cleveland, Benjamin Harrison, McKinley, Theo. Roosevelt, Taft, Wilson, Harding, Coolidge, Hoover, Franklin Roosevelt, Truman, Eisenhower, Kennedy, Lyndon Johnson, Nixon, Ford and Carter. Three of these men, Garfield, McKinley and Kennedy were assassinated during her life.
Allie, as her friends call her, has seen a lot of history during these 100 years. For instance, the telephone, which was invented three years before her birth, gave way to a new communication system. She was a girl of 10 when the great flood occurred at Johnstown, Pa. She has lived through two depressions, the first in 1893 and the other of the 30's. She was a young lady of 27 when the disastrous earthquake leveled San Francisco in 1906, and she remembers the sinking of the Titanic in 1912.
The modes of transportation today are a far cry from the horse and buggy days, when she accompanied her father, as he made his calls upon the sick. To derisive cries of "Get a Horse" and a popular song, "Get Out and Get Under," the horseless carriage began to appear more frequently on the nation's crude highways as 1908 approached when the automobile began a new means of travel. Practical aviation started Dec. 17, 1903, when the Wright Bros. Made their first flight at Kitty Hawk, N.C. Alice has had the opportunity to fly on commercial airlines and enjoyed it immensely. The electric light, radio, T are among inventions that have been given to the world during her life. She has lived in the Atomic Age and saw man land on the moon. She has witnessed America's participation in the Spanish American War, World War I, World War II, the Korean War and the Vietnam War.
She remembers the passage of the Nineteenth Amendment in 1920, which allowed women to vote in the presidential election that year. Seven years later Lindbergh made his historic transatlantic flight.
Alice was the daughter of Dr. Philip Slack, a medical doctor and a minister in the Society of Friends. Her mother was the former Mary Ellen Page, a native of Galena, Ill. She started school in Hubbard, Ia. Two of her schoolmates were Arthur and Lillie Hoover, cousins of President Herbert Hoover.
At the age of 10, she moved with her family from Hubbard, Ia., to Friendswood, Wis., where her father served a Quaker congregation. She relates that her father, who was a native of New Providence, Ia., kept up his practice as a medical doctor after becoming a minister. He made about $2,000 a year from his medical practice, but often he took a pig, a sack of grain or some poultry from those too poor to pay in cash.
When she was 16, her father accepted a call to the Friends church in Hesper, Ia., moving there from Valton Wis. Here she attended the public school and then went to Oskaloosa, Ia., to attend Penn College. For a period of 5 years she taught rural schools in Iowa.
On April 10, 1901, she became the bride of Louis Krumm. They started farming near Cresco, Ia. "We were plagued by hardships and setbacks during those first years," she said. Finally they decided to buy a place of their own. Securing a government loan they bought a 176-acre farm near Burr Oak, Ia. She takes pride that she paid the tuition for the education of her two sons, Kenneth and Roger at Luther College, Decorah, Ia., by raising chickens and selling eggs. She wrote for the Decorah Public Opinion for a number of years on various topics. She still likes to write and submits bits of news to local papers. She is also a great reader, keeping abreast of current events, by reading the daily papers, magazines and books. She likes music and even today when there is no one to play the piano at the nursing home, she sits down and tickles the ivory of the keyboard, whether it be for a church service or a social event. She plays from memory and doesn't use notes or eyeglasses to accomplish this feat. Alice is interested in people, whether they are young or old. She is rated high among the residents at the nursing home, also with the young people of the community who flock to her room to visit.
She has two sons, Kenneth, Winona, Minn., and Roger, Gainesville, Fla., and a daughter, Mrs. Daniel Price, who resides on the home farm in Burr Oak township in Winneshiek County., Ia. Her oldest daughter, Mrs. Bernard Nash, who was an accomplished writer and pianist, is dead. She has 13 grandchildren and three great-grandchildren.
Alice is the last of her family, all of her sisters and brothers are dead.
Alice Krumm lived to age 108. Read her memoirs in the links below.
Introduction | Personal Memories | Quotes and Notes | Letters | Newspaper Articles | Unfinished Stories
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