Marian: Growing Up in Antigo, Wisconsin

Marian lived her entire girlhood in the Antigo area, first living on a small farm just outside Antigo and attending a country school. The farm had some livestock, including horses as well as a garden.

Kreie country home at northeast edge of Antigo, Wisconsin

Kreie country home at northeast edge of Antigo, Wisconsin

Country School across road from Kreie country home

Country School across road from Kreie country home

Her family moved into the town of Antigo when she was young. There she lived in the same house at 1225 2nd Street until she graduated from high school. However, the family did stay for a brief period of time in Wausau, Wisconsin.

Kreie home, 1225 2d St., Antigo, Wisconsin

Kreie home, 1225 2d St., Antigo, Wisconsin

1920 United States Federal Census, Antigo, Langlade Co., WI:
Last name:    First name:    Relation:    Sex Age:       Born:
Kreie William C Head M 42 Wisconsin
Elida Wife F 40 Wisconsin
Edward Son M 13 Wisconsin
Clarence Son M 12 Wisconsin
Ruth Daughter F 9 Wisconsin
Marion Daughter F 2-9/12 Wisconsin
Mildred Daughter F 0-5/12 Wisconsin

Clarence Robert Kreie was not a natural son in actuality, and his real name was Lester Manford Kiefert. His father had abandoned his mother and him, and the mother had released the child to the Children's Home Society in Rusk Co., Wisconsin. William and Elida claimed the child in about 1908 and raised him with the other children. Although he lived with the family, he was never formally adopted. The reasons why Clarence came to be made part of the family are not known. Marian never thought of him as a brother, but more as a member of the extended family. At this time, William's occupation is listed as being a farmer.

1930 United States Federal Census, Antigo, Langlade Co., WI:
Last name:    First name:    Relation:    Sex: Age: Born:
Krise William Head M 52 Wisconsin
Elida Wife F 51 Wisconsin
Marian Daughter F 13 Wisconsin
Mildred Daughter F 10 Wisconsin
William's occupation was an engineer on a steam railroad.
The value of their home was listed as $2,500.

Marian participated in the Girl Scouts and recalled taking long walks on the highway leading west from town to earn merit badges.

She enjoyed riding the trains that were a common mode of transportation when she was growing up. Because her father was a steam locomotive engineer, Marian was able to ride free, thanks to a "rail pass". Antigo was rail center in the area and at one point had a roundhouse near the station. The town had several rail lines running through it with a large rail yard adjacent to the downtown area, all of which have long since disappeared.

Her brother Edward, who was nearly eleven years older than Marian, graduated from Antigo High School in 1924 and went on to Marquette College in Milwaukee where he took courses in pharmacy. He eventually became a pharmacist. He married in 1929, but died four years later in 1933 as a result of brain tumor. Edward was the only son of William and Elida and was affectionately known as 'Eddie' to Marian. Perhaps he is the reason that Marian developed an interest in nursing.

Marian's sister Ruth was 6 1/2 years older than Marian and was a 1929 graduate from Antigo High. Ruth married a few months after her high school graduation and had left home when Marian was twelve years old. In the short time before Ruth died in 1986, Marian traveled to Ruth's home in East Greenbush, New York, and helped take care of her.

Marian was closest in age and relationship with her younger sister Mildred who was two years younger than she was. Millie would have remained at home when Marian graduated from high school, attended Theda Clark Training School for Nurses, and returned to Antigo following graduation. Mildred also remained in Antigo for most of her adult life after marrying Don Janasak in 1943. Don was also a native of Antigo and a World War II and Korean War veteran. He died in a house fire in 1977, just 5 days before Christmas.

An older sister Blanche was born in 1912 but lived less than six months so Marian would never have known her.

Marian's brother and sisters:

  • Edward George Kreie, b. 18 Apr 1906, d. 21 Apr 1933
  • Ruth Elida Kreie, b. 21Oct1910, d. 7 Jan 1986
  • Blanche Esther Kreie, b. 26 Aug 1912, d. 13 Feb 1913
  • Mildred Elvena Kreie, b. 4 Aug 1919