The Story of Amanda Lemke

by Edna Hathorne
Amanda Lemke
BIRTH:18 Jun 1892 - Wausau, Marathon, WI
DEATH:20 Jul 1981 - New London, Waupaca, WI
BURIAL:Jul 1981 - Mukwa, Waupaca, WI
Amanda, being the oldest of Carl and Anna’s children, had a busy time helping her mother and helping to take care of her three younger brothers. She later went to Chicago and worked as a maid for a few years. Also she worked up north at a lake resort in the summer. She met Alfred Tornow who was in the Plover township area working on the farm that belonged to his brother Bill.

Right:Below: Amanda Lemke, when she returned home after working in Chicago. About 1913.

Amanda was married 2 Sep 1914 in Birnamwood, Shawano, WI to:

Alfred Tornow
BIRTH:13 Nov 1890 - Bear Creek, Waupaca, WI
DEATH:22 Oct 1975 - Weyauwega, Waupaca, WI
BURIAL:Oct 1975 - Mukwa, Waupaca, WI
Right:Below: Alfred Tornow about the time he and Amanda got married.

Their tree, as published

Alfred and Amanda bought 160 acres that bordered on Carl and Anna’s land to the south. They built a three room house and a small barn and settled down. Later they built a large barn and added two rooms to the house. They also planted an apple orchard and so had apples for eating and cooking.


(dates of death added)
Children of Alfred and Amanda Tornow:

Anna(21 May 1915 - 05 Aug 2008)
Irene(11 Oct 1916 - 4 Apr 2016)
Gladys(09 Mar 1919 - 25 Jun 2003)
Edna(24 Mar 1925 - 4 May 2013)

Their first child was Anna Marie, named for her grandmother and great grandmother. Then came Irene, Gladys, and six years later – Edna. When Edna was one year old (1926), Carl and Anna Lemke decided to sell their farm and retire to Wausau. Somehow or other Alfred and Amanda managed to buy the bigger farm and moved to the larger house, renting out their little home.

It was a hard life on the farm with the depression and the drought in the 1930’s. Alfred’s health was not too good but they always managed somehow. At least there was food as on the farm there was meat, chickens, eggs and a big garden. There were lots of apples, and the kids had to go out and pick berries for jam and sauce.

Right:Below: Amanda Lemke and two aunts from Wausau picking berries beside the road that went by the farm. Anna, Irene and Gladys were helping? Must have been Sunday. Everyone is so dressed up. About 1923.

Alfred and Amanda stayed on the big farm until 1942, when they sold it to their third daughter Gladys and her husband Jack Schmitt. Then they moved back down to the little farm and the house they had started out in. They lived there for several years and then sold it and bought a house in Northport near New London, WI.

They were still not old enough to retire and so worked up at a resort in Land of Lakes for a couple summers. Then they took work in Milwaukee for a doctor doing cooking and gardening. When they retired, they came back to Northport and stayed there until they died. Alfred in 1975 and Amanda in 1981.

Picking berries

Last update: May 5, 2022