Ruth Louise Houghtaling: Birth: 18 MAR 1910 in Foxhome, Wilkin Co., MN. Death: 9 MAR 2002 in Lake Region Hosp., Fergus Falls, Otter Tail Co., MN
Note: There were several people from Iowa that came here to settle; one of these was Anna Rose Mussman, who with her parents Mr. and Mrs. August Mussman had moved from Dysart, Iowa. On December 10, 1902, Bill and Anna Mussman were united in marriage in Breckenridge, Minnesota. Their attendants were her sister Elizabeth (Mrs. Ed McGinn) and her brother, William Mussman. After their marriage, they continued to live on several different farms in this locality. Six children were born to them; Sherman, Joseph, Alice, Ruth, Alta and Wilma. They were living on the farm south of town, that is owned now by James Hasbargen, when the mother passed away on August 27, 1916 from cancer; leaving her husband and six children - the oldest son thirteen years old and the youngest daughter only two years of age. Although he had numerous hospital and doctor bills, the funeral expenses to meet, and the worry of food and clothing to face, he refused to let the children be separated. That fall he threshed only thirty bushels of oats; as the whole country was so very wet. The bankers here in town were very kind and helped him that winter and eventually he was able to pay off all his debts. That first winter, after the death of his wife, Mr. and Mrs. Newel Wetzel and daughter Florence, who were very dear friends, came to live with him and his family. The winter was terribly cold, with lots of snow; several times while trying to get his children and Florence to school, he got his team of horses down in the snow drifts, was unable to get them to school. Wetzels helped in every way possible that winter; and after they had moved to a farm south of Fergus Falls. They continued to do everything they could to assist him in raising his family. In 1917 he moved the family to the farm, which Kempfer's now own, east of town, as it would be closer to school. Then in 1918 he traded some horses and cattle for the house in town, and this has been home for the family ever since. Raising a family of six children was no easy task; but through depression and drought, good years and bad ones, he continued to keep the family together until they were old enough to marry and make their own homes. When his first grandson, Robert Shannon was born in 1929, he brought him home from the hospital and cared for him as his very own. He enjoyed Bob's company so very much, and taught him how to make whistles from willow branches in the spring; how to make kites that would fly - in fact he and Bob were always very close. In latter years they would sit on the back porch in the late afternoon, "Gramps" whittling and telling Bob about all the horses that he had ever owned - he could describe each horse and knew each one by name --of the horses, that he had owned that were racers in his day; of the ball games which he pitched when he was known as "Spit Ball Houghtaling"; of all the horse traders he had known; of all the trades which he had made, some good, some not so good; of the wells which he had drilled in the village; of the horses, cattle and dogs which he had treated, as he had learned some veterinary work from treating his own animals; of all the hunting dogs (and others) which he had owned; of all the good shots he had made with his twelve gauge shotgun, which he had bought the same year in which Bob's mother, Ruth, was born. All these stories and many more were related, as he and Bob enjoyed life together. Since his death in 1952 one daughter, Alta, passed away on August 26, 1955. Sherman, never married and is living in the home place in town; Joe married Hazel Miller of Fargo; he lives in Foxhome, has the road patrol job and has two daughters, Patricia and Carol, and one son Kent. Alice is married to Thomas Willemssen and they live with Sherman in the home place. Ruth is married to William Henderson; one son, Robert Shannon is married to Helen Connor they have five children, Glenda, Glen, Nancy, Roberta and Michael another son, Weldon is married to Ruth Olson and they have one son, Gregory, and a daughter DeEtte; a daughter, Joyce is married to Robert E. Lee, they have one daughter Elizabeth; another daughter Leatrice is married to Alvin Mohs, they have a son Bradley and a daughter, Rebecca; a son Ronald is married to Norma Jensen; and the other son, Bernard. Alta was survived by her husband, Carl Glander and five children, Carl III, Nancy, Betty, and Paul & Philip (twins). Wilma is married to Harvey Sanborn and has two daughters, Anna Marie and Barbara.
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