Winifred Amacher Johnson -- Oral History Interview
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Oral History Interview with Winifred Amacher Johnson in 1987
CHARLES REDD CENTER FOR WESTERN STUDIES
BRIGHAM YOUNG UNIVERSITY
GERMAN-SPEAKING IMMIGRANTS ORAL HISTORY PROJECT
INTERVIEWEE: WINIFRED JOHNSON
INTERVIEWER: Jessie L. Embry
DATE: January 21, 1987
PLACE: Logan, Utah
SUBJECT: Life in the Logan Tenth Ward
JE: This is an interview with Winifred Johnson for the Charles Redd Center for Western Studies at Brigham Young University. The interview is being conducted on January 21, 1987. My name is Jessie Embry. Winifred's sister, Leah Holmstead, is also present.
Tell me about your early family life.
WJ: We lived in a very small house that is still standing on Tenth North. I remember my childhood as being very happy. The neighborhood children would always get together and play games at night. I assume we were all poor, but we didn't realize it because we were all in the same boat. We would make up little plays and perform them. We had to rely on our own resources and creativity for all of our activities.
My father worked at the university all the time. His hours were very regular. Our meal times were always very regular.
The European people were very industrious, and they always raised big gardens. They always had a cow and chickens. They provided for all of their needs. They made their own butter and always had their own milk. My mother and father always sold milk to the neighbors, and I can remember delivering that milk.
My mother and father were Swiss, and they were always extremely clean and tidy. They were always very careful with the milk and strained it carefully. The cows were always so well cared for, as they still are in Switzerland. They were very clean. They would sell eggs. That was one source of income for them on the side.
A lot of the people my age went through the Depression, and they remember that with a great deal of despair. I don't remember that at all, because my father always had work. His income was never very much, but we always had a steady income.
Our parents were very interested in education and very interested in music. My mother and father were both musical. We all took music lessons. I am sure that was a great expense for my parents. It was always very important that we do well in school. We all went to college. My father and mother, I am sure, didn't have any education past the eighth grade, as most people with a European background had at that time.
My father trained to be a tailor in Switzerland. Then when he came here, he just didn't enjoy working indoors all the time, so he got a job at the university in the poultry department taking care of the chickens. That is where he worked all the time, and he enjoyed that.
Both of my parents were immigrants from Switzerland. I was talking to a lady just the other day who came on the same boat as my mother. Mother came with her oldest sister, who had introduced them to the gospel in Switzerland. She, her husband, her two daughters and a grandson came. My mother was more the age of the daughters of her oldest sister. They were all musical too. They immigrated through Canada. I am not really sure about the year. This lady told me that they all were extremely seasick. It must have been but a few years after the Titanic sank because she said when they came to the area where it sank the ship practically stood still for two days because there were icebergs and they were so apprehensive. She said that made them even more seasick because the ship seemed to toss and roll more. My mother remembered how terribly seasick she was in that journey, too.
My mother had a crippled foot. They very often turned people who had physical deformities back at the Port of Entry, and she was worried that she might not be allowed to enter. They didn't even question it. She limped quite badly, but the dresses were long and the people didn't notice that she had a certain limp. She always had to have her shoes hand made to fit her feet.
When she came, she lived with this sister and her husband. They built a home very near the university. She lived with them for quite a while.
I don't remember so much about my father. I am sure he came with his sister because she talked about them coming together. There was an old Brother Schwartz who had been on a mission in Switzerland. I guess he took in all the Swiss immigrants when they came. I don't know whether my mother did, but I know my father lived with the Schwartz's for a while. Brother Schwartz must have been a wonderful man because he helped all these Swiss immigrants. I think maybe he was the main reason why so many Swiss people came to this area.
Most of the German-speaking people in the Tenth Ward were not German. They were Swiss.
My mother told us that my oldest brother, who died when he was only seven, started school shortly after the First World War. There was a lot of anti-German feeling, and he got an awful lot of teasing about this in school. He came home and told Mother and Dad that he did not want them speaking German to him any more. As he grew up as a little child, he learned both languages--the Swiss and the English together. But we didn't because they didn't talk it as much after he told them that. We still learned to understand it because they spoke it enough, but we didn't learn to speak it like my oldest brother did. I really felt sorry about that, especially since we were called on a German mission. It would have helped so much.
When we went to grade school at the old Webster School, there were so many people with Swiss descent that I don't remember any teasing or animosity. When we went to junior high and high school, they always referred to us as people from Little Berlin. Even now I hear some of the older people in Logan talk about the children from Little Berlin like they weren't worth quite as much as the others because they came from humble parentage. Some of that feeling still exists among the older people.
A lot of those children from that parentage went on to get good educations and did very well with their lives, even though they had very humble beginnings.
JE: Did you celebrate Swiss holidays in your home?
WJ: Our Christmas was always celebrated the way they celebrated it in Switzerland. My father and mother always decorated the tree on Christmas Eve. I don't know whether he cut it down. We had the candles on it. We always opened our presents on Christmas Eve the way they do in the German-speaking countries in Europe. We learned to sing Christmas carols in German.
Our food was very Swiss or European. We always had our big meal at noon and a very light supper the way they do. Fruit and bread and milk very often was our supper. Our cooked meal was always at noon, which is customary in Europe. They have a cold meal for breakfast and supper, and their cooked meal is at noon.
New Year's was a big event in the Swiss tradition, too. That is always a special day. We always celebrated that. I remember I had an aunt, my father's sister, who lived not too far from us. It seemed like a long way then, but now it is only a matter of eight blocks. We would always go down there for New Year's Eve. We would always have traditional Swiss food: sauerkraut, wurst and potatoes. We would play games.
When we were very small, my father built a box on the sled. We never owned a car until my brother was grown and he bought one. My sister and I would be put in the sled and as many children as would fit on the sled, and my father would pull us.
I remember we had such a good time in winter because the hills were so good around here for sleigh riding. There wasn't the traffic with cars, and they were so safe. We could get up on what we call college hill on 8th East. It was a steeper hill then. They have leveled it off. We would go up on the top of that and go clear out to North Logan. That was a great deal of sport for us.
The University always had a little ice skating pond up near where the Union Building is now, and we could go up there and ice skate. I don't know whether the city did that or the university. The people from the university were part of our ward including the college president, the Hills, and those people who lived up there.
JE: What were some of the other German foods that you would eat?
WJ: At Christmastime we would always have "Zopfe" which means braid. That is the braided bread. On New Year's Eve it was a tradition that they had "Fastnachtkuchlie." We call them knee patches in America. They would make this dough with lots of eggs. We would stretch it just as thin as we possibly could, deep-fat-fry it, and put cinnamon and sugar on it. It is an extremely fragile thing, but very delicious. We ate very simply with very few desserts. The Europeans don't care for sweet desserts. We would have dessert maybe on Sunday.
My father always made sauerkraut. I can still remember that crock. We always had a root cellar that was filled with things from the garden. We wrapped the apples in paper, so that if they rotted they wouldn't spoil all the apples. We always had a bin with carrots that was filled with sand and a bin with potatoes. They were always very careful and not wasteful which I am sure came from the fact that they were poor and European.
They took very good care of their belongings. They repaired anything quickly. They were very careful. Our wardrobes were very limited because they didn't have closets. I can still remember the little wardrobe that stood in the living room that held all of our clothes. I remember the wood-burning stove and the little round potbellied stove we had in the living room. My father and mother brought hot water bottles from Europe, and we took those to bed with us. We still have those. We still have the butter churn.
JE: Did you do anything special at Easter?
WJ: No, I don't remember Easter. But the choir always prepared a very special Easter program.
Music was important in the lives of the Swiss people, and Brother Glauser was the choir leader for years. It always had to go fast and be loud, and then it was great. My father was the organist for twenty-five years. I just remember that he made that little reed organ sound so good. Now it probably wouldn't sound that good to me, but he played the music with such feeling. I can still see him nodding his head to the music. Music was very important to him.
Maybe some of the other people have told you about the little German meetinghouse they had down on 5th North. I can remember we went to that a great many times. They always had a dance on New Year's Eve. This may have been when we were very small that we went to my aunt and uncle's and as we got older we would go down to the church. But then I am sure my mother and father didn't go to that all the time because they didn't dance because of my mother's foot. We didn't always go to the dances, but I can remember going to some. Oh, they danced with such vigor, too!
We went to those German meetings that they had very often because my father played the organ, my sister played the flute, my brother played the flute, and I played the violin. My father arranged to have us play for German meetings a lot.
JE: How often did the German branch meet?
WJ: I can't remember. I am sure they didn't meet every Sunday. At least I would assume that they didn't. They made very good use of that little church house. I hated to see that torn down. It had so many pleasant memories for us.
LH: During the Second World War, they wouldn't let the Germans meet in that little meetinghouse because of the feelings, so they made them close it down and they had to get rid of everything. Louella Seeholzer was trying to find out where the old sacrament trays went because Mr. Berge was her uncle and he had paid for those silver trays.
Somebody else told me that the old piano that was in there went into one of the wards in that area, the Fourth or the Ninth Ward. They didn't know where the other things that were in that house went.
I guess the Church told them that they couldn't hold the meetings or maybe the civic people told them that they couldn't hold that meeting any more because of the animosity.
E: Did you feel any of that antagonism during World War II?
WJ: I don't remember feeling that at all. My older brother did after the First World War. I was in college during the Second World War.
E: Tell me what you remember about the Logan Tenth Ward.
J: They were noted for their dances. They would have the Mendon orchestra come over. People came from all over the valley to come to those dances. I don't know how often they had them.
They always had old folks' parties and made a big thing about that. My sister and I have played at many an old folks' party. I don't know how they tolerated our music because we just weren't that good. But at that time they didn't have many people who were musical. I guess that is why we played at so many things.
That was during the days when one man was a bishop for a long time. Bishop Schaub was a bishop for years, and Bishop Webber was the bishop for years. My father always had to work on Sunday until not too many years before he died. He always just played the organ. He was able to come to church, but he didn't ever have too many positions. He was superintendent of the Sunday School when he was finally able to quit work on Sundays. My mother always worked in the Primary and the Relief Society, and they always had a choir.
I remember they tried a genealogy class for young people. My father sent my brother and I down to that. My father was very interested in genealogy. I wasn't very old. When we went into the church, I could see that there was no one as young as I there, so my brother went into the class and I sat on the cement steps and waited for him. I apparently went to sleep. He came out and thought I had gone home. They locked the church. That was my only unhappy memory of the Tenth Ward because I woke up and was so frightened to find myself locked in that church.
Most of our activities were centered around that church. Primary was such an important part of our childhood. Brother and Sister Windsor were such an important part of our ward and our youth because they were such kind people and so good to us younger children who didn't have as many benefits. I can remember her as our Primary leader and how very special she was to us. One time I was very ill, and they had a special program for the children down at the Tabernacle. She was a Snow and was raised in the Mexican colonies, and so she spoke Spanish. She had taught her class how to sing a song in Spanish and we were to sing that song in Spanish at this special program. I still wasn't feeling too well, but I remember Dr. Windsor came and picked me up at home and drove me to the Tabernacle which was a real occasion to ride in the car because we always had to take the buses or walk if we went any place. We went down and sang that song in Spanish at the Tabernacle.
So did the Hills. They were so good to all of us, too. I think Sister Hill and Dr. Hill, too, always had a very soft spot in their heart for the Swiss people. They were always extremely good to us and very kind.
E: Describe Bishop Webber and Bishop Schaub.
J: Bishop Schaub was an architect and a very well-educated man. He was the bishop when I was younger. I don't remember too much about him. My family always felt that he was an extremely good bishop. Brother Webber was too. Brother Webber was a bishop for a long time.
I remember Brother Bell was one of his counselors and Brother Datwyler. Brother Datwyler must have Swiss heritage, too, with a name like that. I can still remember what a sense of humor he had. If anyone said anything funny during the services, he would sit up on the stand and chuckle.
In those days we just never thought of missing church. It was always at night. That was just always part of our heritage that we always went to church on Sunday. Those people were such devoted members of the Church. The Church was the very most important thing in their lives.
I can remember that I felt a little neglected sometimes when we were young because our mother and father would never miss a meeting. Sometimes we were afraid to stay home alone, but they would go to choir practice. They didn't ever neglect us because we were old enough that we could stay home alone. But the Church came first in their lives. They were just so devoted to it.
They had such integrity. Tithing always came first out of my father's check. He would never have thought of cheating anyone out of a nickel. They had such a good name that they were able to borrow money when a lot of people were not because the banks knew that they would always be paid back. He would never have cheated anyone. He would never have thought of speaking unkindly about anyone. Their lives were just Church-centered.
E: Did you perform in the Tenth Ward?
J: Yes, at every funeral practically. We sometimes thought those people were probably glad they were dead and didn't have to listen to us any more. The children these days play so well when they are young, but we were very amateurish. A flute sounds lovely, but a violin is different. I have a good musical ear but not a great deal of musical talent for playing. I know that it wasn't very good, but they had us play for everything because there just wasn't that much music available.
There were certain people who performed almost regularly because there were so few. I remember Brother Jaggi, another Swiss man, and Opal Fosberg sang together at a great many of the occasions. The choir performed a lot. The choir was an important part. Brother Heri and his sister yodeled the way they do in Switzerland, and I remember they were very good. They sang a lot for the special occasions. There were enough Swiss people that the Swiss music was done a lot on those special occasions by especially Brother Heri, Brother Jaggi, and I think their sisters. They were very good.
E: Did they sing in German?
J: A lot of times they would, especially when they would sing the yodeling songs. Some of the older people who never learned the language very well bore their testimonies in German. They all had very pronounced accents. Some were a generation older in this country than we were. Their parents did not speak with an accent. They were born and raised here. Brother Datwyler did not have an accent. I am sure his parents must have come long before ours, and they were probably all born here. The Huppis were some other Swiss people. I am amazed now that I think about it how many have stayed around this area.
E: When someone bore their testimony in German, did anyone translate?
No, no one bothered to translate. I guess they just assumed that a lot of people would understand.
E: Tell me about religious activities in your home like family prayer.
J: We always had family prayer. When we would come to breakfast, we would always turn our chairs with the backs towards the table and kneel by them. I remember my father praying; he felt such a close relationship to our Heavenly Father that when he prayed it was just like he was speaking to him. I can remember opening my eyes lots of times to look at him while he was praying because he was so sincere in his prayers. But we never missed family prayer, morning and night. I am sure that is the way most of the families were raised.
E: Did you have scripture reading or anything like a home evening?
J: No, I don't remember that. We sang together as a family a lot because my father had a little reed organ. My mother gave lessons on the organ to a lot of the children. We always had an organ, and we practiced. My father and mother were both very insistent that we practice, so we had a lot of music in our home. If my father or mother told us stories, they were always religious stories.
At that time we were baptized in the temple. My father didn't baptize us. We were confirmed immediately, too. We were baptized, and then we climbed up in the chair and were confirmed, just like they do baptisms for the dead now.
When we went to stake conference, we would walk down in the morning. Then we would walk home at noon, have dinner and walk back down. That was always a great occasion because we always had an apostle or one of the visiting authorities there.
I remember getting my patriarchal blessing when I was only about eight years old. That was different, too. We had them when we were much younger then. I think shortly after we were baptized we were encouraged to get our patriarchal blessings. My brother and I walked over to Brother Sessions and had our patriarchal blessings together, so he would have been three years older than I.
We built tree houses in all the trees. My brother and his friends had very fancy tree houses with rope ladders that they let down, and girls were not allowed up in them.
E: How did the people in the area feel about being called Little Berlin, especially since many of them were Swiss?
J. I think most of them did not like it because the Swiss people and the German people are not friendly. I think the Swiss people did not appreciate being called German. They were always thought of as Germans. Especially during the war the German and the American people were enemies, and the Swiss people were always neutral. Yet we were always considered German. I am sure that did not sit very well with the Swiss people, especially knowing now how the German people feel about the Swiss and the Swiss people feel about the German.
They do not like one another even now. I was so surprised when I was over in Germany on my mission. That was just last year. The German people said, "Oh, the Swiss people are so stubborn.' When we went to Switzerland, they would say, 'The German people are so bullheaded." I could tell there are a lot of feelings between the two countries even now.
I am sure the Swiss people did not appreciate that. I don't remember that too well. I remember I didn't like being called Little Berliners. I don't remember whether it was because it was it meant that we were German or because we were self-conscious about the fact that our parents spoke with an accent.
E: Did the people who came to the German-speaking branch come from all over the city?
J: Yes, it wasn't just from the Tenth Ward. I have talked to the people from Providence, and they said they had another place where they met. It must have just been mostly the Logan people who came, or from this end of the valley. I think this woman who came across on the same boat as my mother told me that they met in a different area.
E: Did your parents keep contact with their relatives in Switzerland?
They didn't correspond with them too much. There wasn't that close of a relationship because their brothers and sisters who stayed there did not belong to the Church. My mother and father both came from very large families which I think was typical then of European families, but is not typical now. My mother came from a family of sixteen and my father from a family of thirteen. My mother remembers her childhood as being extremely poor.
When my brother was stationed in Munich after the war, he wanted very much for her to come over. She still had sisters living, and my father had a sister and brothers living. We encouraged her to go, and we almost had to push her on the airplane because she had no desire to go back. Once she went she was very happy because it was nice for her to see it and it was an entirely different thing for her. She was so glad to be in America all of her life. It was a very happy thing for her. After seeing Switzerland, our daughters said, "Oh, they must have loved the church very much to have left that beautiful country to come to America." It is such a beautiful country. They kept in touch a lot with the Swiss people in Bear Lake because they had relatives there.
E: What were your feelings about the coming of World War II and Hitler?
J: I had a very good friend whose brother was on a mission in Germany. I must have been about a sophomore or junior in high school, and she went over with her parents to pick him up. She came back with such glowing reports about Hitler and what he was accomplishing for Germany. At that time Hitler was still looked at quite favorably, I think, because he had done a great deal for the German economy and he hadn't started his program of aggression.
Since our heritage was Swiss, I just don't remember that we had any other feelings other than the way the American people felt about war. I remember we didn't want to get involved in it. It is too bad that after all these years of supposed civilization we still resort to that as a method of solving our difficulties. But the Swiss people are certainly very emphatic about protection for themselves. In order to build a house in Switzerland now, you have to build a bomb shelter. They realize they are vulnerable even if they are neutral.
E: Did you have callings in the Tenth Ward?
J: Yes. I worked in the Primary when I was a teenager.
My mother was in the Primary presidency for years and she was the chorister for the Relief Society for years. They were so faithful about their visiting teaching and their home teaching. As I can remember, I thought we all went to church on Sunday night. They say the percentage of attendance of sacrament meeting in those days was only about 19 to 20 percent. I would be very interested to see if it was that way in the Tenth Ward because we just felt like everybody went to church on Sunday night.
E: Going back to Germany on a mission, were there things you remembered?
I really wanted to be there for a Christmas because of the warm feeling I have about our Christmases when we were little. We weren't there long enough. When we were young, we didn't get very many gifts. We always got fruit and nuts in our stockings and maybe one gift. But I still had such a warm feeling about Christmas, and the way we celebrated it. It was interesting to me to discover that "Silent Night" is considered such a sacred hymn that they sing it only on Christmas Eve in German speaking countries.
I was just very happy to be called there because of my Swiss background. I was able to understand some of the language. I was surprised at how much I had forgotten. I really thought that I understood almost all Swiss, but when I got over there I realized that it was just the everyday Swiss that I understood. I didn't understand the gospel in Swiss and German. Those gospel terms I wasn't familiar with and it was difficult. But some words I remembered. Very often they would say a word that I hadn't heard for maybe thirty years, but I could remember what it was. It was a great pleasure for me to be called to a German-speaking mission. For my husband it wasn't. The language was very difficult for him.
E: Tell me about your courtship and marriage.
J: I met my husband up at the institute just after he returned from a mission. He got his mission call before Pearl Harbor and they were still letting missionaries go out, but by the time he got back in 1943 there was a lot of animosity about missionaries not being in the service. The feeling was entirely different. We went together quite a bit until he had to go into the Navy. He got into the V-12 program, and he was later sent to dental school back in Cleveland. I went to graduate school back at Merrill Palmer in Detroit. We were close enough so we saw one another occasionally. Then I went to teach at Oklahoma State, and we didn't see one another except in the summertime. I taught up at Utah State.
We were married when he came home from Christmas vacation in his senior year. We had planned to marry after he graduated from dental school, but he thought it would be nicer if we got married at Christmas. I had to finish out my contract at Utah State, so when he finished dental school, I went back and we had our honeymoon. We only had two weeks at Christmas when he was home. We were married in the Logan Temple, and I went back for his graduation. We traveled around the East a little, and visited my brother in Baltimore who was still in the service. The war was over then.
It has been a happy time for us. We had a big family, eight children who are all college graduates. That emphasis on education has carried through. Five of them have master's, two more working on master's, and two working on doctor's degrees right now. I don't remember that we talked about education that much. We didn't insist that any of them go to college, but I guess they just realized that it was important in our lives and it has just carried through to our children, too. I think that is part of that European heritage of mine.
E: Thank you.
Adolph Amacher Short Autobiography
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Adolph Amacher - Personal History
In the fall of 1896, I started first grade school at Wilderswil, Bern, Switzerland. At the age of seven, I had to stay out of school for three months due to weak eyes which was caused on account of lack of butter. I must have been about twelve years of age when I tasted the first creamery or homemade butter. My father always had god work as a carpenter, but on account of his big family, he could not always buy all the necessary things that would have been good for his children. Beside going to school, we boys spent our time gathering wood and all kinds of berries which our dear mother would cook for jelly or preserve. No doubt these berries helped us poor children out what we lacked in our regular meals.
After nine years of grade school, father sent me in another town to learn the tailor trade. However, I failed to state that my dear mother died on the eighth of May 1905 on childbirth giving birth to the 13th child of hers. During the three years that I learned the trade, I attended trade school two or three times a week also night school where we were taught and prepared for the army. At the age of 19, I graduated from trade school with good marks.
Sometime in the spring of 1907, my friend Gottfried Seiler joined the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. Naturally, he tried very hard to convert me to Mormonism. To my knowledge, I never attended a Mormon meeting till about a year after, when I went on my own account. The first missionaries that I met there where Alfred Blaser of Montpelier, Idaho and a Brother Montagnau of Idaho. Well I do remember those spirited meetings, but it wasn't long after that my boss found and forbid me to go to other meetings. In the fall of the year 1909, I left Matten by Interlaken and moved about Winterthur, Zurich, Switzerland where I attended LDS meetings regularly.
While living in Interlaken, I was a member of that fine brass band and with that band I attended the National Band Contest where about 65 fine bands took part. While in Winterthur, I joined that fine city band. In January of 1910, I asked for baptism into the LDS Church, and well do I remember the storm that broke loose among my earlier friends. They said that I have gone plum cuckoo. No doubt Satan knew that there was a man who would do a big work. In the fall of 1910 I went to the city of Lausame in the western part of Switzerland and learned quite a few things about my trade also the French language. In January 1911, I returned back to Winterthur where I stayed till spring 1914, when I emigrated to Utah.
It was rather hard to leave the many good friends behind. I left Switzerland on the 24th of April and took the Steamer Kroonland at Antwerpen, Belgium April 25th 1914. On the 5th of May we arrived at New York Harbor. Who would have thought that only three months later the worst war would rage along the very way we came between Basel and Antwerp. Across the States, especially through the plain states and over the Rocky Mountains the easy way the emigrants travel compared to the pioneers that came by ox teams and handcarts, the hardships they endured. On the 9th of May we arrived in that beautiful city of Salt Lake. After a week's stay with friends, we came to the fair Temple city of Logan where we-myself and sister Bertha-found many new friends. Only a day or two after arriving on the 15th of May, 1914, I found work in the greenhouse and lawn of the Utah State Agricultural College, and have been working for that school ever since except about one year when I worked in the American steam laundry, janitor in Rasmussen Grocerie store and with brother Fred Datwyler as plasterer. For almost 20 years in Sept. 1938, I have been working in the Poultry Dept. of the AC College under Prof. Byron Alder. On June 27, 1916, our first boy which we blessed as Enoch Adolph. On Oct 8th, 1919, our second son was born on 748 East 10th North. Second of January 1922, my dear wife gave birth to a baby girl which we named Winifred.
The above was transcribed from the handwritten copy of Adolph Amacher's personal history.
Adolph Amacher -- Man of Integrity
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Adolph Amacher - Man of Integrity
My impression of him is that he was full in integrity. There was never a more sincere man. He lived for the church. He came to America so he could work in the temple, and that is what he spent his life doing. (Bertha Hollenweger Stahle as told to Kathleen Johnson Thatcher)
If there is anything about my father that stands out in my mind, it would be his integrity. He was a man of integrity. (Winifred Amacher Johnson)
Dad would tell me about bobsledding in Switzerland. How it was so fast. I think he did some bobsledding. He used to say it was such a fascinating sport you know. (Leah Amacher Holmstead)
Maria, Adolph's sister, said he would go down to the big hotels in Interlaken and play the piano for the tourists. Later, Amalie taught him how to read music, and she said he passed her up so fast in his musical ability. (Amalie or Maria Amacher as told to Ilean W. Amacher)
Dad didn't like the confinement of being indoors all of the time, so he didn't do any tailoring over here. Mother did say that he made a little suit for Enoch. I am sure they (the Amachers) were not as poverty stricken as the Hollenwegers, because I never remember my father feeling as terrible about his childhood like my mother did. So he must not have felt so deprived. (Winifred Amacher Johnson)
Daddy met mother over there. (Winifred Amacher Johnson). Amalie wrote to her sister Bertha and told her she had met a nice young man. Bertha was concerned that Amalie would marry someone she shouldn't and was upset at the news. Then Bertha met Adolph and said, "Amalie married better than any of them." Adolph was very tender with Amalie. (Bertha Hollenweger Stahle as told to Kathy Johnson Thatcher)
When Amalie was visiting her sister Rosa to help after the birth of a baby, she got a letter from Adolph. It was a love letter. Adolph told of how he missed her and of his feelings for her. After she had finished reading, she let Rosa read it. With tears in her eyes, Rosa said, "I never got a letter like that." (Amalie or Maria Amacher as told to Ilean W. Amacher)
When Adolph bought face cream and powder for Amalie, it was an overwhelming experience for her. It was the first she ever had, and all she could think of was what a sacrifice it was for Adolph to buy it for her. (Amalie as told to Daphne Amacher Jenkins)
Neither of Adolph's sisters wanted Adolph to marry Amalie because she was a cripple. (Amalie or Maria Amacher as told to Ilean W. Amacher) Adolph built a special board sidewalk to the barn and chicken coop because it was so hard for his wife to walk on the uneven ground. (Amalie as told to Daphne Amacher Jenkins)
When the dress styles shortened, Adolph told his children that this would be a difficult adjustment for their mother. The leg was too deformed to be shown, so Amalie continued to wear long skirts. He ask them not to ever embarrass their mother because of her crippled leg. (Amalie or Maria Amacher as told to Ilean W. Amacher)
I remember Aunt Bertha immigrated with father. Aunt Bertha just thought my father was the best brother anyone ever had. Apparently he took very good care of her when they were immigrating and always watched out for her. She just thought he was the dearest brother anyone could have. (Winifred Amacher Johnson)
Maria said that "Adolph as the nicest, the finest of all my brothers." (Amalie or Maria Amacher as told to Ilean W. Amacher)
I think my father was a very bright man. He was very interested in education and very anxious for all of us to get a good education. That was of primary importance to my father, to get an education and take music lessons. I think that is true of many people who immigrated. (Winifred Amacher Johnson)
Adolph must have been a gospel scholar. (Bertha Hollenweger Stahle as told to Kathy Johnson Thatcher)
My father had very good posture. My mother said that the first time she remembered seeing him in Switzerland was one time at district conference. She remembers she thought he was quite arrogant, and he would have given that impression because he dressed so nicely and was always very erect and walked very briskly.
He was musical. He played the keyboard chimes in Old Main tower. He was the ward organist for 25 years, and I have never heard anyone play an organ with more feeling than my father did. He was very anxious that we all learn music. Of course, we all took lessons. My father was so proud of us when we played out some place. He used to arrange for us to play a lot of places. Like they used to have a little German meeting down on 5th North between Main street and 1st East. It was a little frame church that the German-speaking saints owned and they used to have German meeting there on Sunday afternoons, and the people who spoke German would go there and have a service in their native tongue. The meetings were discontinued when the Second World War broke out. Very often he arranged for us to play there. He played the organ there a lot, and I remember we would go and play and Dad would be so proud when we would perform.
My father was a very immaculate man. On Saturday night he always polished all of our shoes so we would look nice for Sunday, and that whole family was like that, my aunt Margaret, his youngest sister, her house was always immaculate. They were poor, but her children were always dressed neatly and everything was mended and their clothes were always well taken care of. It must have been a family characteristic, because they were all like that. My mother was not much that way, but it was my father who was meticulous about the way he looked.
My father was an even-tempered man. I very seldom ever remember him being angry. I remember our home on 7th East started on fire one time. I saw my Dad coming home from work and I ran over to meet him. He was very calm about it. He said something like, "Looks like you had a little excitement." He didn't go to pieces with things. His bosses just thought he was the greatest man there was. He was so dependable. My father was a man of great character. If he said he would do something, you were sure he would do it, and would do it the very best he knew how.
I think the highest salary he ever had was $125.00 a month from the university. But he never had trouble going to the bank and borrowing money when he needed it, because they new he would pay it back. I never remember him saying anything bad about anybody or using any bad language at all. (Winifred Amacher Johnson)
I only remember my Dad getting mad twice. I always used to much salt, and when my dog tore up the newspaper. My dog had 11 or 12 pups, all different colors and my Dad didn't think that was too funny. My Dad and Mother gave milk and food to so many people you can't believe it. (Leah Amacher Holmstead)
"Only on of the aliens-Mr. Amacher- possessed a certificate of graduation from your class....After the usual jurisdiction questions, I asked him a question or two on Civil government...and his answers...indicated very plainly to the court and to myself that he was well posted. I immediately concluded that a further examination of civil government would serve as a good example to those aliens present....His very prompt and intelligent answers would not help but to have been an inspiration to the other aliens present...The judge and myself have conducted examinations of aliens...who were exceptionally well qualified, for inspirational examples to the other candidates, just as was done in Amacher's case." (Frederick Emmerich -US naturalization examiner in a letter)
They lived in a little tiny home on 7th East between and 8th and 9th North. Then they moved up to 748 E. 10th North. When I was 12, Daddy bought the house on 975 North 7th East, and rented that little house. The renters got so annoyed with the pigs on the land up above, that Daddy eventually bought that piece too for $1500.00 when it came up for taxes. (Leah Amacher Holmstead)
Daddy was an awfully hard worker. Daddy and Mother both. So often I remember them both out in the chicken coop trying to keep the baby chicks from smothering. Baby chicks all pile up on each other if they get cold or frightened. They always had a cow and always had a big garden, and always worked very hard. Daddy kept his animals and garden very clean. He sold eggs and always sold milk. Mother and Daddy had it so clean, everybody wanted to buy milk.
Mother started taking boarders when Ralph Stahle came down to stay with us before he
went on his mission. When he came back from his mission, this was while we were still in that little tiny house (746 E. 10th North) I can't imagine how we all fit in there because there was only one little bedroom. But I can remember when aunt Leah had scarlet fever-they thought it was so contagious-Ralph and Aaron slept in the barn, Daddy and I slept in the washhouse, and Mother and Leah were in the house. So I'm sure a great many of us must have slept in the living room. George Allen Carpenter, and Dan Ludlow were some of the boarders and they all thought Dad and Mother were so wonderful.
My father also got to work for Aaron up at the poultry dept. They kept track of every chicken and who laid the eggs, etc. My father did all of that so he had to keep accurate records. My father was a very precise man. With his genealogy too, it had to be very accurate. He worked on Sunday almost all of his life. Chickens don't stop laying on Sunday. And, oh, that was difficult for him, he just really didn't like that. Finally not too long before he became ill he began to get Sundays off, and then they made him Sunday School Superintendent.
He was one of the Presidents of Seventy too. My father never went on Sunday morning without having some thought prepared in case one of the two and one-half minute talks didn't show up. That is just how dependable he was. He was always very thorough and well prepared. (Winifred Amacher Johnson)
I remember my father coming home with frost-bitten toes. I often have thought how nice our boots and coats and gloves are now, and how he could have used a good pair of insulated boots. (Leah Amacher Holmstead)
Adolph went to his department head and ask about getting a university degree. He spoke three languages and was very interested in education. But the professor discouraged him. (Amalie or Maria Amacher as told to Ilean W. Amacher)
He and mother were really converts to the church. The church came first in their lives, it was the most important thing, and they were so thankful for it, because it was such a blessing to them. They wanted at least six sons to go on missions to repay the Lord. (Winifred Amacher Johnson)
The always went to the temple very faithfully. They always walked and went once or twice a week. George Raymond, the Temple president, said that to his knowledge Adolph and Amalie did more temple and genealogy work than anyone else that he knew of. (Amalie as told to Daphne Amacher Jenkins) This was a real sacrifice for them. They went without a lot of things in order to pay the Swiss researcher (Julius Billeter) for that genealogy. (Winifred Amacher Johnson) When they were first married Amalie said, "Well, Adolph, I guess we should find a place to live." And he answered, "First I have to get some more records from Switzerland, and then we will." (Amalie as told to Daphne Amacher Jenkins) So right then Amalie knew how important that work was to him. She also said that Adolph had studied genealogy in Switzerland and brought some records with him. There are 11,300 names in the Temple records he left to the family. H really did a lot of genealogy and was very interested in it. (Winifred Amacher Johnson)
I would write out genealogy sheets. Dad was head of the ward genealogy department. They had regular meetings like an auxiliary. Dad wanted me to take a genealogy class, that is when he wrote his life story. I also did many baptisms at this time. (Leah Amacher Holmstead)
He was very upset about his not having been on a mission when he found out that he was terminally ill. The fact that he had not been able to go on a mission, and here he knew he was dying. He ask Brother Stettler one time about this, and Brother Stettler told him that this is not the only place where we serve missions. That seemed to console my father a lot.
Adolph would take his children down to a little drug store on main street. That was so unusual for us to get a treat like that because we just could not afford it. I remember one of the things we used to get was either an ice cream soda or something that they called an American girl. It had three dips of ice cream different flavors which must have been something like a Sunday, but that was such a treat for us to get to do that. Sometimes we would go to a movie at the old Gem theater and then get to go and have one of these. We walked everywhere, or rode the bus, we never had a car until Aaron went on his mission and brought that model A home. My father never learned to drive, or had horses. On New Year's eve especially or during the Christmas Holiday sometime, the German-speaking saints would have a big dance there; we would all go down as a family. Of course, my mother and father never danced because of my mother's leg, and I never remember my father dancing with anyone else, but we would all go and watch the others dance and each of us would have a good time. Those Swiss people just really hop around. It was fun. Most usually one New Year's Eve, we would go down to Aunt Margaret's place. Daddy used to have a box on a sleigh. Mother would put blankets around Leah and I and we would sit in that little box and Daddy would pull us down to Aunt Margaret's. I guess maybe Aaron would sit on the side or something. (Winifred Amacher Johnson)
On the last day of the old year, the Swiss people get pans and lids and go to the last member of the family who is still in bed and make lots of noise. It was called "neft bogel" and means literally "nest bird" but translated means last one up. Then that family member was called a "neft bogel" for the rest of the day. We had several traditions, one that was kind of cute was that on New Year's Eve, we always went down to Aunt Margaret's and ate and played games and made Swiss cookies. Even when I was twelve, we had little candle holders that looked like clothes pins and candles on the Christmas tree. You had to be so careful so you didn't burn your tree down. My mother had Santa Claus come one night and talk to us and he came in and said, "Ho, Ho, Ho," and all this stuff, and Aaron said, "You can't fool me, you are Mark!" and that's who it was! (Leah Amacher Holmstead)
My Dad never went fishing or hunting. My Dad once said, "I watched a few football games and I never saw anything so silly in my whole life." (Leah Amacher Holmstead)
Dad wanted the best for his children and bought a Haynes flute for Aaron. That was another thing about my father. He did not believe in buying cheap things. My father and mother would never have thought of taking anything that they didn't earn. (Winifred Amacher Johnson)
Amalie said that Enoch told her that he was going on a mission, and she said, "No. Enoch, you must wait till you grow up." And he replied, "No, I am going with Uncle." This was shortly before he died. Amalie said it was a blow to them when he died, but that Enoch evidently knew he would die and this helped Amalie accept his death. Enoch had also brought home from primary that his teacher had let him pick out. It was of a farmer going home after a day's work at sunset. This was shortly before he died. Amalie believed that the picture was significant and that Enoch knew his life's work was done. (Amalie as told to Daphne Amacher Jenkins)
It was a real blow to Dad and Mother when they lost Enoch. He as a real bright little boy and from his pictures he looks like a very handsome little boy too. He did so well in school and I think he was a real sharp little kid. Mother said that Dad felt so bad about ever having scolded that little boy, that may have been one of the reasons why Dad never got after any of us much. I am sure knowing my father's temperament, he never did get after him very much, but even so it bothered him. One thing about my father when he did the work in the garden it had to be done right, but I don't remember my father being cantankerous about it, but we were taught to do things right. (Winifred Amacher Johnson)
As far a language was concerned, my mother talked Swiss or English, she would go along in a sentence and switch from Swiss to English, and we would answer in English, but we understood both. If mother wanted to correct us in front of someone, she spoke in Swiss, like, "Don't say that." Or, "There isn't any more cake."
As children, we always had good musical instruments and lessons and lots of church books. We always did a lot of playing out. Some of our relatives were put out because we had music lessons and books, but they had the cars and radios and we didn't. So that was the difference. My Dad always raised a beef and had chickens and a pork usually. We had a locker downtown and all our vegetables from the garden. We didn't have many deserts which was good, really. We bottled all of our own fruit. We started picking when the strawberries came on and never stopped until after the apples were gone. We were always busy herding cows. We would sit and read a book and watch the cows along the side of the road. We weren't pressured very much as children. We weren't signed up for every kind of class there is in the world, with the whole summer regimented like so many parents do nowadays. We had a lot of fun. We pitched hay and we made it into piles and we would play hide and seek at night behind those piles. (Leah Amacher Holmstead)
I can never remember my Dad being sick except his cold feet until the last illness. When my mother was over getting Aaron from his mission in 1941, my Dad complained about not feeling well, when she was gone and said, "Oh well, it is you girls' cooking that is making me sick." Another thing my Dad always did when Mom was away was we had cherries because he liked those so well. We got so tired of cherries and sandwiches. When mother was away we ate the same thing over and over again. My mother was a very peculiar cook, but never did much sewing. (Leah Amacher Holmstead)
My father was so uncritical, I made a pie once and put salt in instead of sugar. He even tried eating that. (Winifred Amacher Johnson)
He said, "Oh, we must not discourage her." I thought that was going a little too far. (Leah Amacher Holmstead)
When Aaron came home then they went to a specialist and he had cancer in the last stages. He had to be operated on. It was right around Christmas. I took a week off of school because he wanted me to come down and stay with him while he was in the hospital in Salt Lake City. I stayed at twenty-third South and rode the bus into Holy Cross hospital and stayed from eight in the morning to about nine in the evening. He didn't feel good and just wanted somebody there and mother had all of the boarders. He thought the Nuns were so good to him. When he came home he always felt like he could gt back to work, but he never did. He never got back to playing the organ, he just felt too rotten. They didn't have radiation therapy at the time, but believed that carrot juice helped cancer. He drank so much he said, "I would rather die than have to drink this much carrot juice." He looked good until the week before he died, then his face got thin. He used to lay on a mattress in the sun after he got sick. He said it made him feel good. It is the only time he didn't work, work, work, get the hay in, get this done, get that done. When Dad died, he paid off all the bills with the little insurance they had. But there was no money. Mother had boarders, both boys and girls. (Leah Amacher Holmstead)
Amalia Hollenweger Amacher Life Story -- Told to Veoma Stahle
Colaborador: ajkalb Created: 1 year ago Updated: 1 year ago
Life Story of Amalie Hollenweger Amacher
Recorded by Veoma Stahle
I, Amalia Hollenweger, was born in Danikon, Canton Zurich, Switzerland, on May 18, 1886. My father's name was Felix Hollenweger, and my mother's name was Anna Luise Haller Hollenweger. I was the twelfth child in a family of sixteen children.
Five of us girls and three boys grew up together, as my older sisters were already grown up and gone away from home, and they were almost strangers to us. I can't remember that I really enjoyed my older sisters because I never was acquainted with them, and when they came home they were bossy. I remember that my parents were very strict. When I was a little girl I am sorry to say that I was afraid of my father. I would hide when I saw him. They could just say, "Father is coming," and I would run and hide. My father could never find out why I was afraid of him, and neither could my mother, because I could not tell them why. None of the others were afraid of him, only me. Something must have happened in my childhood that gave me a shock or something.
My mother was very strict too. She had to be because there were so many children, and she had to run the little farm with all those children. She never went to college, but I think she had to use psychology so much in her life with her children. She kept us busy from morning until night. When we wanted to play a little bit we had to sneak out after dark and play hide and seek.
My father worked in a factory. He started working when he was fourteen years old, and he was in the same factory for forty years. There was a lot of noise in the factory. Children never realize or understand things like that until they get older, but Father never wanted any noise when he came home. We had to be quiet and go very early to bed, no matter if company came or not, we were just all hurried to bed. It didn't matter how big we were. Father wanted to have peace and quiet at all times, except on Saturday nights when he came home a little later. I will always remember those hours because I enjoyed them so much. I loved music, and so did my father. He would teach his children, the five girls, to sing for him, and he taught us to sing in three part harmony. My sister, Bertha, was a very good soprano, and we were so proud of her because she could sing so well. She had to sing for Mother many times when she felt low. I guess she felt low sometimes because we were so poor, and Bertha would sing for her. The youngest sister, Emma, was a soprano also, and she used to sing too. I remember those very fine hours, and I remember that sometimes the neighbors would say they enjoyed hearing us sing.
When school started we had to go to school in the morning at 7:00 o'clock in the summer and stayed until 10:00, and then in the afternoon from 1:00 until 4:00. In the winter we went from 8:00 until 11:00 and from 1:00 to 4:00. When we came from school Mother always had a piece of paper on the table from each one, telling us what to do. We learned in our very early childhood that obedience is Heaven's first law. She surely taught us to be obedient and do what we were told.
Vacation time was not very much enjoyed like it is now. Children now think that vacation are for their fun and nothing else. We had vacations when the harvest was on, any kind of harvest, wheat, or hay, or grapes, which we raised on the farm for our living. We all had to help with the harvest. If it rained we had to go to school again until the sun was shining and we could go on with the harvest.
During the summer we had to go out into the woods and gather all the dry wood that we could find so that we could have fire in the winter to cook with. There was no coal, nothing but wood. It took a lot of wood to cook and keep the house warm. In the winter the boys had to go and cut trees down in the woods and chop them up for the big oven. The winters out there were sometimes very sever, and being so poor and having such a large family, we never had boots or galoshes. I never had a pair until I was grown up and could buy them for myself. We each had one pair of shoes, and the shoemaker had to come to the house and measure our feat and then make the shoe. In the summer when school was out we had to go barefooted. We had to glean out in the wheat field with bare feet. At first it felt very very bad, but we got used to it by fall.
I was a very healthy, stocky child. My mother always thought because I was the heaviest set that I should do extra work, and I remember when I was about ten and eleven she used to tell me sometimes on Saturday to go with the boys out in the woods where it was icy and cold to help get the wood. It was very cold, and I nearly froze.
My mother told me that when I finished the sixth grade I would have to quit school and go to work, and she kept her word. As soon as I was out of the sixth grade they sent me to Zurich to work. Zurich was a large city. I can't describe how I felt when I first saw that big city. Coming from a farm and a small community where everybody knew each other, then to go to a place with rows and rows of houses just alike, I wondered how the little children could know which door they were supposed to go into. However, though I was very confused, I lost my way only twice.
I learned my way around very fast. I worked in a butcher shop, belonging to my cousin and her husband, and I had to deliver meat to the people every morning. First I had to go around and ask the people what they needed; then I had to bring it to them. Because I was so young I also had to go to school two more years. I had to get up in the morning at 5:00 o'clock so that I could be in the store by 5:30 to clean it up. Then I had to go on the route before breakfast, and then hurry to school. After school I came home and swept the store, then ate dinner and went back to school. In the evening I had to work in the store until it closed at 9:00 o'clock, and if I had lessons they had to be done after that. I had to really hurry if I had lessons because they would not let me keep the light on for long. I had a hard time to get my lessons done. I was thirteen years old at this time.
When I came to the city to work I had just one dress, the one which I had on, which had been my Sunday dress. It was very plain. When I opened my suitcase the next morning to get my work dress out there was no dress there, so I had to keep the same one on. My mother sent the other dress later, and you can believe it or not, but it had both elbows out. That's the way I had to start working in a city where people were dressed up so nice and every child was dressed up so pretty.
The relatives I lived with and worked for had only one daughter. Their only son had died. The girl was just younger than I. She thought she was better than I because they had more money. When our report cards came I had better grades than she had, she didn't like it very well. Neither did her father. I guess because I was so poor they didn't think I would be as far in school, but we always had very fine teachers in our school. WE had six grades in our room, and we learned very young to concentrate. The teacher would talk to one class while the others were doing arithmetic or some other lesson, and she went from one class to another. We got so used to it that it didn't bother us at all. WE just did the work we had to do and paid no attention to what the other classes were doing.
The second year I worked here I enjoyed it. I thought it was nice to be in the store and serve the people. After I finished the eighth grade I could not go anymore because those who went beyond the eighth grade had to buy their own books, and my father couldn't buy them. He believed that only people who were too lazy to work went to school after the eighth grade. But then, just when I was enjoying my work, my Father died, and I had to go home and help on the farm again.
We worked on the farm in the summer time, and then in the winter I had to find another place to work. There was a neighbor who had the post office, and I went to work there. This was very interesting work for me. On both of these jobs I used to get some tips, but when my father died he was in debt, and under the law all the children who were under twenty and still at home had to give every cent they made for the payment of the debts. So I even had to give the tips which people gave me to my brother, who was running the farm, to pay the debts of my father. The lady who ran this post office was a very fine lady. She was very religious, kind and considerate, and I never heard a quarrel in their home. They only had two children, and I enjoyed working there very much. But when spring came again, I had to quit that job and go to work on the farm. When I was fifteen I was taught to mow hay, and I worked right with the men from 4:00 o'clock in the morning on in the summertime. We used the scythe, and I still use it, so I am glad that I was taught to use it.
I started to grow about this time. I had always been short in stature until that time. One morning when I was seventeen I was so weak I couldn't get up. My brother was very unhappy with me, but he had to let me go to a doctor. The doctor said that I was so anemic that If I didn't get certain food to eat that I would not live. During that summer I rested, and they brought me honey to eat. I was supposed to eat meat, but we never ate much meat. In the fall I was better, but all at one on my left leg, down at the ankle, a bone started to ache. I stood it and didn't say anything about it to anyone, but when the pain got so intense I guess I frowned. I had gone back to work in the store, and the lady I worked for saw me from and said, "Child, you have to smile at the customers at all times." But I couldn't because I had such terrible pain, so I told her why.
She sent me to a foot specialist. He was an old fashioned, rough doctor. He said, "This is a long drawn out sickness. You go to the hospital, and they will tend to it." But I was always afraid to go to a hospital, so he said, "Well, if you don't want to go to a hospital, shall I cut it open?" I said, "Yes." He operated on it, and it felt better right away. The pain left, but he told me that I must not walk on it. I said I had to walk on it because I had to make a living. My father was dead, and I had to work, so bandaged it up and I went back to work.
The next week I had one of the abscesses on my left cheek bone. I went to the doctor and he operated again, and he told me I was very lucky he didn't have to saw out a piece of the bone. Then I had one under my chin, and he operated on it too. Of course with all the bandages on my face I couldn't be in the store any longer, so I had to back home to the farm.
Every week I had to go to the doctor, and he lived quite a few miles away. I had to go over a mountain and down on the other side. It was a long walk, and of course I had to walk because there was no other way to go. While I had worked I had given everything I made to the family, so I felt that now that I couldn't work it was only fair that they pay the doctor, but when I asked my mother for some money, she said, "If I have to give you the money then I will never have any." I was very sensitive, so I went out in the woods and gathered berries and sold them, and that's the way I paid the doctor.
My foot got better and looked like it was healed up, so I went back to the butcher shop to work again. I hadn't been there very long when the foot started to hurt again, so I thought maybe I should take another job. I took a job with a family doing house work. I enjoyed it very much. The people were the swellest people I ever knew. They had two little girls, and the work was not hard. I didn't have to work very much in the afternoon. But, like every time n my life that I enjoyed, it was broken up. All at once my foot felt like something snapped in it and I couldn't walk. My brother had to come get me, and my sister, Marie, took my job.
Soon after I went home my mother went to St. Gallen to help my sister, Bertha, with a grocery store she had leased. I was there alone to do the work for my two brothers for several months, and my foot got steadily worse. At Christmas time my sister, Rosina, came home for a visit, and I am sure God was behind her coming home. My blood was terribly low, and I nearly froze at night and could not sleep. Rosina wrote to Mother and told her that she was needed much worse at home that where she was. Mother came home, and in a few weeks I was so low I couldn't even hold my head up. They go another doctor, and he came and looked at me. I was nineteen at that time. The sores had come up on my left leg, and I was in terrible pain. I thought he would to something to relieve the pain, but he just looked at me and then went out of the room to talk to Mother. When she came back into the room I asked her what he said. She said he had told her that I should go to the hospital, and both legs would have to be taken off. He also told her that in three weeks I would have tuberculosis in my lungs and wouldn't live any longer.
In a few days the Priest came. He said, "Amalie, you will have to be prepared to meet your Maker." Then he started to preach to me and read a prayer out of the book. But I did not have a good feeling toward this Priest. He had done something to me when I was confirmed that had destroyed my respect for him. We were never allowed to go to a dance until after we were confirmed. One time after my sister, Bertha, had been home for a visit I walked part way back with her and then turned around and walked back home. This was just a short time before I was to be confirmed. Someone form the village saw me walking through the woods and told the Priest that I had been to a dance, and he believed it. He threatened not to confirm me. Because he believed this lie about me I could never respect him again. He kept coming for a few weeks, and everyone was surprised that I didn't die. Then he quit coming.
One day when the sun was shining nice and bright I asked my brother in law, Christian Scherer, to carry me out into the yard and put me under a tree in front of the house. He carried me out, and I enjoyed the sunshine very much because I was always cold. Every day he carried me out, but I couldn't go to get water or anything to eat because I couldn't walk. My left foot was all out of shape after I had been in bed for several months. The bones were soft like a sponge, and when I touched my foot to the floor it felt like an electric shock. My foot was big and swollen. But by the end of the summer I was a little better form spending so much time out in the sunshine. I asked my family to go to the village and get some crutches. I took me quite a while to get so I could use them, but finally I got so I could walk on the crutches and go to the village and visit my sister in law. I enjoyed this very much. During all this time I had a boy friend who was very nice to me. He brought me books and special things to eat, and sometimes I think this helped me to get better. Some of the neighbors also brought me eggs and other things to eat.
When winter came I became discouraged. The evenings were so long, and there was no doctor to come to help me. I couldn't do anything to help on the farm, and I felt terrible. Then all at one I remembered that one day while I was working in the city my sister, Bertha, had brought a missionary to see me, and he had given me some leaflets to read. He was a Mormon missionary, and I had never heard anything good about them, so I but them in my trunk. My oldest sister, Elise, had also joined this Church, but she had always gone from one Church to another, and I had often heard my parents say she was crazy. When she joined the Mormon Church I thought she surely must be crazy. I remember when she was an officer in the Salvation Army. she used to go into restaurants and preach. She was so enthused with that religion, but soon she started to find fault with it. Then one day on of the workers who worked with her in the silk factory asked here to come with her to church the next Sunday. This was the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, or Mormon Church as it was called. My sister was very enthusiastic about it and soon was baptized, and she stayed in that Church the rest of her life.
When I was so terribly sick and had the sores on my hand and arm and was in terrible pain, I remember all of my sisters came home to see me. One of them said, "Mother says you are so cross." My family never realized the pain I was in. Those terrible sores all started on the bone. I have deep holes now where the sores were, and I can show the scars to my grandchildren. When my sisters were home my oldest sister offered to let me come and live with her, but I refused because I thought she would make me to the Mormons.
Then one winter evening when I was very depressed I remembered the pamphlets which I had in my trunk, and I got them and started to read them. God gave me plenty of time to read them. The first one was about faith, repentance and baptism. Then there was one about the Priesthood. I came to one place where it said, "Through the power of the Priesthood, the man who holds it an heal the sick like Jesus did." Believe me I became interested in this Church, and God gave me a strong testimony right then and there, even before I became a member. My youngest sister read with me, and she gained a testimony also.
But how could I get up to St. Gallen where my sister lived? She was sick, and my mother had gone up there to help care for her. I started to pray. I had faith that there really was a God in Heaven who could help if we just pray in earnest. I prayed for weeks and weeks that I would have the means to go where my sisters, Bertha and Elise, were. One day I had the courage to say to my brother, "I want to go up to my sister Elise. Will you give me the money?" To my surprise he did. I went, and I never went back to the farm again. I traveled by train, and it took me all day to get there. I wish I had a picture of my sister Bertha to show her surprise when I came walking into her store on my crutches that Saturday night. She said, "What are you doing up here?"
I said, "I want the missionaries to administer to me, and I want to join the Church."
She said, "All right, tomorrow I will get the missionaries."
Two missionaries administered to me, and I got a little better. Then she took me to Elise's place. My mother was there. When I opened the door she said, "Am I glad you've come! I am going to leave tomorrow to go home. You can stay here." My sister was in the hospital, and her husband didn't like the idea of my staying. They hadn't written about her being in the hospital, so I didn't know about it, but I had prayed so hard to God that I would be able to come where the Church was, and I was determined to stay. There were never any missionaries in our little village of Danikon. The Priests worked very hard to keep any other church from coming in. I told my brother in law I would be glad to stay and help him with their two little girls. He hadn't been able to find anyone to help, and when Mother left he had no choice but to let me stay.
My sister was in the hospital for nine weeks. The night before she was to come home my brother in law told me I could go home the next day, but I knew my sister. She was a queen of a woman. I knew she wouldn't let me go home in my condition. She told me I could stay with her and she would teach me their trade, which was making embroidery. Sometimes the machines would leave something out, and I would look the lace over and fix any errors with small needles. I was so grateful to her because I wanted to join the Church.
I was baptized into the Church on July 1, 1906. On my baptism day there were many people there, and when I asked my sister why they had come she told me they thought a miracle would be performed. Two missionaries had to carry me into the water, and the people thought I would walk out. But I am sure I never had that faith. I didn't expect a miracle or have faith that I would walk after I was baptized, but I did know that I could be healed through the power of the Priesthood.
Our Father in Heaven has to try his people to see if they mean what they say. I never go impatient, but sometimes I was low in spirits because I knew my sister could hardly afford to have a larger apartment because of me, and I knew that I was a burden on them, but I wanted so to do something in the Church.
One day it rained, and I couldn't go to Church because my crutches would slip on the wet ground. My sister said, "I believe I will write your boss you used to work for and ask him help me to get you an organ so that you can learn to play." I was really thrilled. I was musical and had always loved music. So she helped me to get an organ, and I learned to play, and this was a real comfort to me. Those beautiful songs in the Church of Jesus Christ like "Oh, My Father," "Come, Come Ye Saints," and the others; I had learned them all by heart even before I was baptized. There was one song in the song book which was more comfort to me than any other. It was "Unanswered Yet." It always comforted me when I became discouraged.
I seemed to get a little better for a while, and then I would lose my appetite and would get very weak again. Then the missionaries would administer to me again and I would be a little better for a while, but it was always the same thing again. I got boils, some behind my ear where they were hard to tend, and so many on my legs an both arms, and it was very discouraging. Once I wanted to go to a big conference of all the Latter Day Saints. All the missionaries were to be there, and I wanted to see them and shake their hands, abut a week before the conference was to be held I had another boil come on my left foot, and it grew so fast I couldn't go. I was very downhearted, and I prayed to my Heavenly Father and talked to Him. I said, "I know you have men in Utah who have the gift of healing. Oh, please send one out here."
God heard my prayer, and he sent one to me. He was an old man, a Bishop Wheatly from Honeyville, Utah. Our Branch President was Brother Nebeker. When he had come to the branch he had told me, "Sister, before I leave this branch you shall be better." This was to be his last conference, and I wondered why he had told me such a thing. He was such an earnest missionary, and now I was so bad I couldn't even put my foot down.
In the middle of the next week Brother Nebeker came to the house and brought Bishop Wheatley with him. He came into the bedroom and said, "Sister, this is Brother Wheatley form Honeyville, a neighbor of mine. He came to our conference. He has been in Sweden visiting relatives, and he came here to attend conference and visit with the missionaries. When he saw me he asked if there was not some good he could do in this part of the mission." Then Brother Nebeker said, "Sister, here is the man." Brother Wheatley could not speak the language, but Brother Nebeker interpreted for him.
They put their hands on my head, and I want to tell you, to all my grandchildren, to anybody who can hear or read this, that there are no words in any language to describe the feeling that came over me when I was healed. I really could feel it from the top of my head to my feet, and from that time on I was healed. Never did I get another sore, and he promised me that as long as I am true and faithful in the Church that this sickness would never come back, and he rebuked it and promised me that I could come to America without any trouble at the border, and that I could fulfill my life's mission. What is was I don't know, but I had always wanted to get married and was fond of children and wanted children of my own so bad.
Just to show you how the Devil sometimes works, while I was sick the pain which I suffered from my illness was often not as bad as the inside pain I felt because I was not wanted. My sister was good to me, but I knew that my brother in law didn't like it that I stayed there, but I was not able to do anything on the farm, and besides I wanted to be near the Church. The pain inside was lots worse. No one wanted to be around anyone with so many sores. They were afraid they would get them. I used to think of Job in the Bible when he was told that he should curse God and die, but our Father in Heaven wanted him to be tested. Satan couldn't kill his body, and it was the same with me. It seemed the Destroyer was always trying to do something to take me away from the Church.
One day as I was working a fellow came up to me and said, "I have notice you here a lot. I see that you walk on crutches, but I want to marry you. I have plenty of money. You won't have to walk or do any work; I just want you for my wife." I felt that the Devil had sent him, but he wouldn't leave me alone. He wanted to give me a ring. So I told him to come to my church the next Sunday and told him where it was. When he found out I was a Mormon he left me alone, and I was very glad, I wanted to get married, but not with a man outside the Church. I was determined to marry someone who was converted to the Church and would feel just like I did, that we had a mission to perform upon this earth to raise a family and work in the Church. I would not care if he was very very poor. I would marry him anyway. Money has never bothered me, and I have never sought for riches.
In 1914 we emigrated to America, my sister, Elise, and her family, my youngest sister, Emma, and her son, and my Mother, who had also been converted to the Church. The promises made to me by Brother Wheatley were literally fulfilled when we entered the United States. In spite of my deformed foot, I never had a bit of trouble. My younger sister and I had to stay a whole week at the emigration hospital in Canada because my brother in law had sent our papers to New York instead of Montreal. I saw and talked with the doctor every day, and he never noticed a thing. of course long dresses were in style then, so it was just the right time.
My sister, Bertha, was the first to come to America. She married George Stahle, a young man she had met while he was on a mission in Switzerland. Then Rosina came over. She worked and saved money to help some of the rest of us to come over. My brother, Felix, who ran the farm died in 1910, and the farm was sold. This money from the sale of the farm was also used to pay our passage to America. We came to Logan, Utah, and I again lived with my oldest sister. I spent the first six weeks with my sister, Bertha, but Elise wrote and wanted me to come and live with her. We had become very close. WE had been through a lot together and had done a lot for each other, and I made my home with her until I was married.
After I got to Logan I met a young man whom I had met at the last conference which I attended in Zurich before I emigrated. he came to America two weeks before I did. His name was Adolph Amacher. We started to go together, and in 1915 we were married in the Logan Temple.
On June 27, 1916, our first son, Enoch was born, which made me very very happy. My husband had brought his genealogy with him. He had studied genealogy and understood it, which was something I had never had a chance to do while I was in the Old Country. We were always busy making a living. It is very had to make a living in Switzerland because there are so many people and not much land, although it is a very beautiful country.
In 1919 we had another son, Aaron. When he was nine months old the older son got whooping cough, and the doctors couldn't do anything for him. He had terrible coughing spells in the night. He was quite thin anyway and had a weak constitution. Aaron had whooping cough too, but he got over it just fine. But the older boy was never the same after that. We could never find out what was wrong. When he went to the first grade he used to get nose bleed, and it made him very nervous. He was so anxious to go to school. He was pale and thin and didn't have a good appetite, but the doctor didn't tell me there was anything wrong with him. He died five weeks before school was out. The doctor explained to my husband that when the boy had had whooping cough, the spleen had torn loose, and the white blood corpuscles overcame the red, and his blood became so thin that he had hemorrhages, and we couldn't stop them. After three of them, he passed away.
A week or so before he died he said to me, "What's on the 17th of May? Is that my birthday?" I said, "No, that's Aunt Elise's birthday." She was so fond of that boy. And on that day he died, on the 17th of May, 1923. It was our first big shock in our married life.
On January 2, 1922, we had our first daughter, Winifred, and she was a very lovely little girl. She really grew up to be a wonderful daughter. On October 29, 1924; we had another daughter, Leah, and she was the last one. Out of thankfulness for my being able to embrace the Gospel, and for the missionaries who came to Switzerland to bring it to us, I would have liked to have at least six sons to preach the gospel to the nations, but I only had one who could go on his mission. Aaron filled a mission and then came home and finished college.
When Aaron was released from his mission I went out and met him and came home with him. My sister, Rosa Trussell, who lived in Montpelier, Idaho, was very ill at that time, so we went to see her before coming home to Logan. She had cancer, and I was afraid it might be the last chance we would have to see her on this earth. When we got there some of her children who had been in Logan told us that my husband was sick. He had never been sick before, and I couldn't imagine what had happened to him. When I got home he seemed to be all right and was working again, but about a week later he had a spell, and I had the doctor. He gave him an injection and some pills to take, and he went back to work.
These spells would come about every three weeks. Before Christmas my husband, who was the ward organist, a position he had held of 25 years, was playing for the Christmas program. I could see that he was sweating while has was playing the organ, and he looked sick. As soon as the program was over I called the doctor. He wanted to take him to a hospital in Salt Lake City. While he was in the hospital the doctor told me the bad news that my husband had cancer in the last stage. He lived for about a year and three months, and then he passed away.
All of my three children were in college, so it wasn't hard for me to make a living. I had always had a group of college students in our home for board and room to help make a living, and I continued to do this. When Leah was nineteen she was married to Earl Holmstead in the Logan Temple, so she didn't finish college. She has a lovely family and lives in Logan where her husband is a coach at the Logan High School.
Right after graduating from college my son, Aaron, had to go into military service. That same year, 1943, he married Ilean Woodbury in the Logan Temple before he went to war. It was very sad for me to see him go to war, but he came back safely to raise his family and has made the army his career. His wife, Ilean, is a lovely woman, and they have three sons and one daughter.
My oldest daughter, Winifred, graduated from college and earned her Master's Degree. On December 19, 1947, she was married to Vere Johnson in the Logan Temple. He is a dentist practicing in Logan, and they have six lovely children.
My prayer is that my children and grandchildren will all be true and faithful in the Church and do their duty, for I know that is the only thing that will bring them back to their Heavenly Father, which is the goal of all of us. I am 73 years old now, and I still hope to finish some genealogy. I feel that was my mission, to do the genealogy for my family. My mother joined the Church when she was 60 years old, and she was so pleased that the work for her folks was done. She used to ask my husband to please do the Haller family first in the Temple. She was faithful to the end and very happy that she could go to the Temple.
I hope this testimony will be read by my grandchildren and great grandchildren and that they will always be grateful that their grandparents found the true Church. If they want to be eternally happy they must stay active in the Church.
Note: I have considered it a privilege to write Aunt Molly's history for her. I have written it in her own words, just as she told it to me except for minor changes. She has been a second mother to my husband, and since marrying him I have come to love her as he does. I have never known anyone with a more perfect faith or more devotion to the Gospel than she has. In my opinion she is a true "saint." Aunt Molly's foot and leg are still deformed. She walks on the toes of her left foot with the aid of specially built shoes and wears long dresses to her ankles to cover the deformity. She has deep scars on her arms and other parts of her body from the sores she had as a girl. She is still extremely active and works hard helping her daughters with their children and picking and caring for her berries and other fruit. She is loved by everyone who knows her.
Veoma M. Stahle
To Honor Amalia Hollenweger Amacher by Vesta Schaub Moore
Colaborador: ajkalb Created: 1 year ago Updated: 1 year ago
TO HONOR AMALIA HOLLENWEGER AMACHER
by Vesta Schaub Moore
Amalia Hollenweger was Born in Danikon, Canton Zurich, Switzerland on May 18,1886. Her father's name was Felix Hollenweger and her mother's name was Anna Louise Haller Hollenweger. She was the 12th child in a family of 16 children.
Five girls and three boys grew up together. The older girls were grown up, and gone away from home, they were very bossy, so Amalie and the others didn't enjoy their visits. Sometime when Amalie was very little, some things happened, which gave her a dreaded fear of her father. None of the others were afraid of him, only her. She says, when the other children would say, "father is coming" she would run and hide. Now, I can understand why Sister Amacher has developed such a deep love and kindness to all children-she would hate to have any child hold a fear toward anyone. Her father and mother were very strict. Yes, this was necessary, with 16 children. It's necessary with just one child. Her father worked in a factory, where there was a lot of noise, and when he came home, all the children had to be quiet. After supper, they all had to go to bed, whether there was any company or not. But on Saturday night, he reserved this night for music. Wasn't that a wonderful thing for this family, because Amalie loved music so much and so did her father. He taught these 5 girls to sing 3 part music. They enjoyed hearing them sing. This became a very favorite time, and a happy time of the week for these 5 girls. Their love for one another grew, and their association was very strong, which has lasted through the years. Their names were: Bertha Stahle, who lived in Park City, UT. Bertha and her daughter Mildred Stahle chummed with my sister Myra. Emma Haltiner-her daughters Betty Gerber and Lois Moser live in our ward. Rosa Trussel-her daughter is Hulda Huppi. Amalie Amacher--her daughters, Winnie Johnson and Leah Holmstead, you all know, live in our ward. Maria, who is in Switzerland. Many of you remember her sister Elise, who was Mrs. Leo Serem. They lived in Hulda Huppi's home, just next door to my home. (Eugene Schaub's)
Amalie learned from her parents, right from the beginning that obedience is God's first law. The family had a small farm and it was the responsibility of the mother and 16 children to operate the farm. Every day, after school, her mother would have a piece of paper on the table, for each child telling what task he or she had to do. And they performed their tasks willingly and did their school lessons, before supper. Each child learned the value and the pleasure of work and play. Amalie is a very ambitious, and hard-working woman. She is never idle. She believes that idleness is the devil's workshop. If a child or teenager is busy, with your kind and loving direction, you need not worry about them. This busy, ambitious, spirit has been implanted. in all her children as well. God. bless this family that this wonderful heritage, of doing a fair days work, will continue down throughout the generations.
Amalie was a very healthy child, so her mother asked her to do extra work. When she was 10 or 11 years old, she had to go out into the woods with her brothers to gather wood on Saturdays. She remembers the cold, the very cold days, and how her hands, feet and face pained her with cold.
Her mother told her she would have to quit school after the 6th grade, and go to Zurich to get a job. Imagine sending a 12 year old girl into a big, strange city to find work and go on her own. She said she was terribly frightened. She had one good dress, which was her Sunday dress. This one she wore. Her mother packed her clothes into a suitcase, and she went to Zurich. She got work at her cousin's butcher shop and she lived at their home. The first morning, she hunted through the suitcase for another dress to wear to school and to work, but there was none. She had to wear her Sunday dress until her mother sent another one, and it had big holes in the elbows. This was her daily schedule: up at 5:00, at the store by 5:30 to clean it up. Then she had to go on the route to get meat orders for the day and then off to school. Then she worked in the store until 9:00 p.m. and it was really hard to get her lessons because they wouldn't let her keep the lights on very long.
These people had one daughter, who was pampered and didn't have to work in the store. When the report cards came out, Amalie's grades were better, so they were rather jealous. Here Amalie further learned responsibility, dependability and honesty--which went with her throughout her life. Here she learned to get along with other people, and she has always been so tolerant and understanding and has always gotten along with other people so well. When she was 13 years old, her father died, so the family called her home to help with the farm. When winter came she got a job at the post office, and this was very interesting work for her. She got some tips, but she had to give every cent to her brother to help pay debts that her father had left. The lady who ran the post office was very sweet and nice to her. She was kind and considerate and religious. This made a strong impression on Amalie. Later, she had a chance to go back to Zurich and work for a family. They were a wonderful family, and here she teamed further the value of sweetness and kindness. Yet, they were firm, and saw to it that the children obeyed. These ideals she kept in her heart, and applied them to her own children and grandchildren. They were a blessing to her and she dreamed that someday God would bless her with a nice, kind, sweet, lovable husband and children, to bless a home of her own.
When spring came, she had to quit her job and go help on the farm. At 15, she went out into the fields to mow hay with a scythe. She went right along with the men and cut hay all day. Started at 4:00 a.m. too, and learned the value of a full days work. And believe you me, cutting hay like that all day, is no snap. She still likes to cut grass with the scythe and she is an expert at
it too. Did. you ever try it?
Her teen years were very hard. She had to go into the forest, in the winter to gather wood, with her brothers. And many times she about froze. Then she started. to get abscesses on her arms and her face. Then Dr. would lance them. She had bandages on some part of her body all the time. When one or two would heal and leave her big scars, others would break out again. When she was 17, a terrible pain came in her foot and it swelled up. Lots of infection and pus was there, and the Dr. came and lanced it and it was a little better. But she still thought she had to help on the farm and didn't stay off of it, then it would get worse. It pained her constantly. Then it got so bad she couldn't walk on it anymore. It was swollen very big. Her days were filled with discouragement and depression. She prayed and prayed in her heart, that she would somehow get better. Then her mother called the Dr. one day. He looked her over, and she was praying that he would give her something to kill the pain. But he didn't. He went out in the kitchen and told her mother what he thought of her condition. When her mother came back into her room, she coaxed her mother to tell her what the Dr. said. She was honest with her. He said, she should go to the hospital and have the leg amputated. She was terribly anemic and in about 3 weeks she would have tuberculosis in her lungs and she would die. (Now personally, wasn't that just an awful thing to tell a pretty little dark-haired girl, who was already discouraged.) And here we see the fight she made, her determination that some way there was a way to better health. One day the sun was shining, so she asked her brother-in-law to carry her outdoors, and put her under a tree. This was the best thing that happened to her--the fresh air, the association with nature which she has loved so much all of her life. Then the neighbor children came and brought her good things to eat and she had a boy friend who brought books to her to read, and eggs, which she needed so badly, and more goodies.
Then one evening she remembered the pamphlets which she had in her trunk, which an LDS missionary had left. These are her words: "I got them and started to read. God gave me plenty of time to read them. The first one was about faith, repentance and baptism. Then there was one about the Priesthood. I came to one place where it said, 'Through the power of this priesthood, and the man who holds it, he can heal the sick like Jesus did' Believe me, I became interested in this Church, and God gave me a strong testimony right then and there, even before I became a member. I had a burning desire to go where the church was and I prayed and prayed to God that somehow the way would be opened to me. If I could just get up to St. Gallen, where Elise lived, she had joined the church and the missionaries were there."
She needed crutches, so she asked her family if they would go up town and find her a pair. They did and brought her the crutches. She prayed and prayed for days to her God in Heaven. She had faith, even through her long suffering, that she would have the courage to ask for the money to go to St. Gallen to her sisters, Bertha and Elise. So one day she asked for the money, and lo and behold, to her surprise, her brother was willing to give her the train fare. She arrived at Bertha's store on a Saturday night and they were very surprised to see her. Then she went out to Elise's to stay and the missionaries came and administered to her and gave her the gospel lessons. And she learned and remembered everything. On July 1, 1906 she was baptized and confirmed a member of the church. This was one of her most inspiring moments in her entire life. Then she had a greater desire to live, because she decided right then, she would dedicate her life in the service of the church. And a lot of wonderful service she has given, all through the years--always so willing to do everything she was ever asked to do.
She still kept having the abscesses and her foot was all swollen out of shape. She worked in a lace factory fixing the lace where the machine missed. One Sunday it rained, and she couldn't go to church because her crutches would slip. Her sister Elise, whom she dearly loved and they were so close, said to her, "I believe I will write to your boss, where you used to work and ask him to help me get you an organ so that you can learn to play." She was so talented musically and always loved music, and this was one of her greatest thrills--the day they rolled the organ into Elise's house. My, did she enjoy that organ and it was a real comfort to her. She loved to play the beautiful church hymns like: "Oh My Father" and "Come, Come Ye Saints" and "Unanswered Yet", and others. In later years, she and Brother "Amacher bought an organ, after they were married. The whole family has enjoyed the organ and Sister Amacher still gives organ lessons to little children. It is still up there in the little white house. She also played a zither and she used to come over to Serem's and Nelli Serem played a mandolin and they sang together and played their instruments. It was so beautiful and we loved to listen to them.
Now back to Switzerland and her miraculous healing. I must read her words: "Brother Nebeker brought Brother Wheatley, from Honeyville, to the house one day. We were introduced and Brother Nebeker said, 'Sister, here is the man that can help you.' They put their hands on my head, and I want to tell you, to all my grandchildren, to anyone who can read or hear this, that there are no words in any language to describe the feeling that came over me when I was healed. I really could feel it from the top of my head to the bottom of my feet, and from that time I was healed. Never did I get another sore, and he promised me that as long as I am true and faithful in the church, that this sickness would never come back. He rebuked it, and promised me that I could come to America without any trouble at the border, and that I could fulfill my life's mission. I always wanted to get married and was fond of children and wanted children of my own so badly." I'm sure we can all see what her life's mission was, by this time. Service and responsibility in the church, honoring the priesthood, which her husband holds, having four wonderful children of her own and now, loving, adoring and helping her grandchildren, helping many others, neighbors and relatives and friends, doing temple work, gathering her genealogy and last but not least--receiving joy and happiness in keeping the commandments of God.
The farm was sold and the money was used to immigrate to America. Her mother had joined the church by now, which made her very happy, and she enjoyed doing temple work here in Zion. In 1914, Elise and family, Emma and her son, and her mother came to America. Bertha and Rosa were already here. "The promises made to me by Brother Wheatley were literally fulfilled when we came. In spite of my deformed foot, I never had a bit of trouble. My younger sister and I had to stay a whole week at the immigration hospital in Canada, because our papers had been sent to New York. I saw and talked with the Dr. every day and he never seemed to notice my deformed foot."
She lived with Elise Serem, in the house that Hulda and Ernest Huppi has now. One evening, Brother Schwartz (father of Ephraim Schwartz) came to visit and he brought Adolph Amacher with him. A very courteous, clean, honest, happy fellow, who had a wonderful musical talent and played the organ beautifully. Amalie had met him at a conference in Zurich. He had immigrated just 2 weeks ahead of her. The courtship started, they had a wonderful time-so congenial and happy with one another as they planned their future, and expressed their aims and ideals. In one year they were married in the Logan Temple. Amalie's next inspiring moment, was when she said, "I do" and was sealed, for time and eternity to this choice spirit, for God had reserved him especially for her. Then her prayer in her heart was, "Please, God, let me have children."
They lived in Goldy Smiths house for four years. Had to go over to Rozella Barker's which was Gundersons--remember, and pump her water from a well and carry it home. She was used to hard work, and she didn't mind. Then she was pregnant, and the joy she had! I remember the day she came up to our house with all this flannel yardage. My mother laid it out, on the dining room table, and showed her how to cut the baby night-gowns, and taught her how to sew. I was 14 years old then and I remember how thrilled and happy Amalie was, and how very, very thankful she was that she was going to have a baby. On June 27, 1916 their first son, Enoch was Born. Three years later, October 8, 1919, Aaron was born. When Aaron was 9 months old, Enoch got whooping cough, and had terrible coughing spells, vomiting up everything he ate. He was quite thin anyway, and had a weak little body. Aaron had it too, but he got over it just fine. But Enoch just didn't seem to get strong after that, and we could never find out what was wrong. He went to the first grade and had terrible nose bleeds in school and would have to come home. He was nervous about going to school, because he was afraid of the nose bleeding. He got paler and weaker, and no appetite--and 5 weeks before school ended, he passed away. This was a terrible sadness to Brother and Sister Amacher, and especially to Elise, for she just loved and adored Enoch. And I remembered how the whole neighborhood mourned, all the children felt so badly, when little Enoch died. I remembered how cute he looked in his little white suit in his coffin. But through it all Adolph and Amalie were strong, for they knew that God had a plan and a purpose for calling Enoch home,
January 2, 1922, Winifred was Born and on October 29, 1924, Leah was Born. She said she wanted 6 sons, to go out and preach the gospel to the nations of the earth. Aaron filled a mission, came home and finished college. He has made the Army his career, and will soon be retired, and I'm sure his mother is looking forward to that time, and she can see him and his family oftener. They have 5 children. Winnie got a masters degree in her field, married Vere Johnson, who is a dentist in Logan and they have 8 children. Leah went to college too, and met Earl Holmstead, and was married at 19. He is a basketball coach at Logan High and they have 7 children. They are all very brilliant children, and they always have been good children too. Adolph and Amalie can be mighty proud of the wonderful success they had in raising their family--a home where the spirit of God was always present, with daily family prayers, and kindness and. love to guide them in their daily activities. They have 20 lovely, brilliant grandchildren, a posterity they will cherish through the eternities.
Now, back to Brother Amacher. He was stricken ill with cancer, which was a terrible shock and sadness to the whole family. Amalie and the children gave him tender care until the end. Bless his dear heart--he was such a wonderful, happy personality. It is just like yesterday to me, for I see him so real, and I know he lives so real in Amalie's heart every day. He was so sweet and good to his children, and they adored him too. Just look at Leah and you will see so much of the looks of Brother Amacher. He was ward organist and played for the choir for 25 years and he always went down to the church a little early on choir night so he could play and practice the songs and anthems. I used to slip along the first bench, where the altos sat, over far enough so I could watch him play. He would turn his head, and smile-his wonderful smile, and say, "Hello, there Westa, how are you tonight?" Then he would go on with his playing. A dear, devoted husband and father, who brought so much joy and contentment to this family. They honored the power of the priesthood which he held and I'm sure he used ifs power, in that home many times. He died on March 5, 1943. God bless his memory.
Sister Amacher has never stopped being active in the church. I'm sure you all enjoy her strong testimony, every time she bears it. She always strengthens me. She has been a visiting teach all of her married life, a primary officer or teacher for years, and has always taught a class in the Junior Sunday School. She has been president of the Junior Sunday School, a choir member and Singing Mothers member for years. She has done many, many endowments and sealings for the dead and is still working on her genealogy. She is a wonderful teacher. If you want your children to learn the gospel, just let them get into her class. She led the singing in the Relief Society for years and also in the Primary, and played the organ for many organizations.
One day I was talking to her and I said, "Sister Amacher, tell me something about your life" She said, "Oh, I must tell you how wonderful and good the Relief Society officers were to us when Adolph was sick. They came and put up my peaches and pears and canned my string beans. And that little Louisa Lehman came faithfully and took my ironing every week and did it so nicely and brought it back. And she did that for over a year. I am so thankful to everyone who helped has helped me, in my life. When Enoch was so sick, and when he died, all the neighbors were so kind and helpful and considerate of us.' I know her daughters have the same thankfulness in their hearts for all she has done for them. Leah says she is always so willing to come and tend the children and she and Winnie really do have a deep love for their mother.
Her generosity and spirit of charity is overwhelming. She helped lay out the dead for
years. She gave a poor 10th ward family their daily milk supply for years. She has given fruit and vegetables away to many needy families. Leah says she gives everything away, because she just loves to help others. Jane Niederhauser used to live in my house and she was a genuine mother to her. She came and took care of Jane with all of her babies. Jane says she was just simply wonderful to her because her mother died when she was a little girl, and she couldn't have had a better mother or loved anyone more dearly than Sister Amacher. She has the same love for her, that I have. There are many people who love her. She provided a home for all her nieces and nephews who came here to go to school. Hulda Huppi, whom you all know, was one. After Elise died, she sent many, many meals up to Brother Serem, and helped him so much during his last years. She was always thinking of others, to cheer someone in time of sickness or death, helping a neighbor, and tending other people's children while they went on vacations.
She used to have 10 boarders. They loved her cooking, because she is a wonderful cook. Did all the washing and ironing for her family and 10 boarders. Of course, her girls helped her, and so did Adolph. They took in welfare children, and when Brother Amacher was sick, they took care of a cute little Mecham girl and Brother Amacher got so much joy and happiness from this cute little girl. They loved her. They always had a large garden, all theirvegetables and fruit, had a pig--their own pork. Had chickens, their own eggs, killed a beef every fall. They had cows, and lots of milk and cream. Oh my! How many pounds of butter did she and the girls churn in their life? Would be interesting to know.
Sister Theresa Hill had a great influence on her life. Raised families at the same time. Help from Parents Magazine. Her children never said they didn't want to go to church. Why? They always went with them.
She loves the out-of-doors and when spring breaks, you'll see her out planting and working in the good ole earth. She gets so much pleasure seeing things grow, having beautiful flowers all around her little house. And she really has a green thumb--everything grows good for her. Why? She knows the value of good ole rotten manure, and she puts it around her plants. Having the cows, there was plenty to put on the garden spot and the fruit trees. They must have nitrogen to be green and grow well. And she has always had a raspberry patch, blackberries, and a few strawberries. And she still has some hens, just can't give them up. Oh, by the way, did you ever think to save your cottage cheese lids. She did, and bordered a pretty flower bed, using the gold side of the lid out. This kept the dirt back, and in place when the sprinkler was on.
She went to Munich, Germany in 1952. Aaron and Ilean and family were there for the Army. She was able to get some new shoes, and with Aaron's car they made two different trips down to Switzerland to visit her sisters and relatives and enjoy the beauty of her fatherland.
Her grandchildren respect and adore her. Leah says she has never seen her mother be unkind to a little child. She helped Leah raise hers, and I remember how Michelle loved grandma. She couldn't go to bed without her going up into the room with her every night. Lee and the twins also loved her so. Now that cute little Scottie of Winnie's is grandma's boy. He goes everywhere grandma goes--up stairs, down stairs, into the bathroom. When he's unhappy and cries, he clings to grandma's skirts, when he awakes from his nap he's in grandmas arms. He is 18 months old. Amalie gets an awful lot of pleasure from this. I don't think she would be happy living alone in the little white house. She told me she feels like she can help her girls with the children, and she is happiest when she is helping. We know that many of her prayers have been answered and many of her dreams have come true.
So now in final tribute to Amalie Amacher we all pray--that all people and all her family will hold deep gratitude and appreciation for all she has done, to follow the example she has set. God bless her always, that she may still enjoy and love, and find many more years of happiness with family and friends and in doing her part in the church. This is my humble prayer. In the name of Jesus Christ, Amen.