I am the first of thirteen children born to Peder and Kari Rodvold. I was born near Selbu, Norway, October 1, 1905 and was baptized Anlaug Margarette Rodvold October 21, 1905. I was six months old when with my parents we left Norway for America. Mama was seasick on the two week ocean voyage so papa had the privilege of my care. What a trip that must have been in those days. We came to Lake Preston, So. Dak. and I spent my growing up years in that vicinity.
I don't remember my early, early years but do know I was still a little norwegian when I started country school. I learned english fast and lost my norwegian accent but it always bothered me that I wasn't American-born like the rest until my high school english teacher told me I should be proud of it. I had a lovely teacher when I started country school. Her name was Mamie Weidenkof and she was really nice to me. She lived in town and drove a horse and a two-wheeled cart to school and many weekends invited me home with her. I went through the grades in country school except for the 7th and 8th grades, when we lived close enough to town that I went there. In those days country school consisted of all grades and many age groups. Younger ones went full time but about half the school year was attended by pupils who were up to 18 years of age. We had some roughnecks who sometimes made it miserable for younger ones.
As we always lived on a farm we kids made our own entertainment. The neighbor kids would come over and we would visit them. We would play house in the grove, swing in the trees, play with dolls and paper dolls. As I got older and being the oldest, I had to take on responsibilities, helping with the little ones and other chores. Remember one time mama had put cream in the wooden barrel chern and we were to turn it. Bern Ag and I took turns to see who could go the fastest. That was a disaster, as the lid flew off and the cream flew all over the cellar walls and floor. Guess there wasn't much butter from that batch of cream.
We had fun growing up even though there were many restrictions. But we managed to get around them if we wanted to go. Summers we had to work in the fields, which I wasn't too crazy about. Think I did everything except getting the fields ready and sowing the grain and planting the corn. I mowed hay, cultivated corn and run the binder from dawn til dark. Papa farmed lots of land so all hands on deck to get the work done. We girls disliked doing boy's work but we were the oldest. I always loved being around the horses, there were no tractors in those days, and none of the conveniences we have in these times.
When I started High School we lived seven miles from town so I drove a horse and buggy in the fall and spring. The winter months I stayed in town coming home weekends. My last two years we lived two and a half miles from town so I walked morning and night. Many times it was so cold that papa would take me but I had some cold morning walks too. I graduated from Lake Preston High School in May 1923 in a class of thirty-two, the largest class so far. I loved my school days and have many fond memories of them.
That same fall after graduation I taught country school south of Arlington, So. Dak. for one year. I had twenty-four pupils in grades 1 through the 8th. I stayed with a young farm couple, Clarence Madsen's who had a cute little girl, Lila, just starting school and we walked the mile and a half to school together. They were wonderful to me. Just like a home away from home with many happy memories of them.
I didn't go on teaching as I wanted to go to business college. So in January, 1925 I came to Sioux Falls and took a stenographic course. Coming to the big city was quite and experience for me. But there again I had a wonderful family to live with and I did get home once in awhile. After I finished my stenographic course I worked as a stenographer at Tuthill Lumber Company and Mutual Benefit Life Insurance Company where I was working when I got married. My sister Bernese had come to Sioux Falls and taken a stenographic course too and we had lots of friends and fun. There were not many cars so we walked wherever we wanted to go. Saturday night was our night and usually it was a dance. Oh, what fun.
I met Ludwig Moratzka in 1926. He was from Minnesota but worked in Sioux Falls. We were married in the parlor at home in Lake Preston on November 21st, 1928. It was a double wedding as Bern and Cliff were married at the same time. The depression was beginning and we had some rough times, you wouldn't believe $18.00 a week but it was the same for everyone, and we somehow managed.
We have two wonderful children, Beverly Ann and Timothy Dean, born fifteen years apart, five grandchildren and one great grandchild. Bev's husband, Wes Pederson, is manager for Northwestern Bell Telephone where they live. They have three boys, Michael, Douglas, and Randy and one grandchild, Amanda Marie, born to Douglas and Debbie on January 15, 1977 and our first great grandchild. Tim is an Attorney at Law and lives in Hastings, Minnesota with his wife, Lynn, and two children, Kari Ann and Andrew Paul.
The Lord has richly blessed us and we have so much to be thankful for, our health, loving thoughtful children and grandchildren. We are now enjoying retirement and family.
May God continue to bless each and everyone of us and may we all be thankful for our many blessings.
Ann Rodvold Moratzka