Ferdinand and Victoria Kuhn
Fred was very young when he began working in the Gust Lillyblad
grocery store. He later was employed at the Clausen Dry Goods store
and the Boxrud Company. He was a traveling salesman for thirty-five
years representing a butcher supply company and also a cigar
company. The name of one of the companies was Koehler and
Heindricks. Much of his territory included towns in Wisconsin along
the Mississippi River.
Fred was a director of the Red Wing Basketball Association. He
was noted for his enthusiastic support of the Red Wing basketball
team. He ruined more that one hat during the basketball season.
Fred would become so excited, he would strike his hat on the wooden
fencing which separated the basketball playing floor from the front
row seats. He always had a front row seat. Fred became so excited
and upset with officiating in one game that he broke down the wooden
fencing in front of him. He was so boisterous they removed him from
Fred and Victoria’s son, Arthur, owner of Kuhn's Drug Store in
Red Wing, purchased a farm near Hager City, Wisconsin in 1921 for
his parents. Fred and Victoria moved to the farm and lived there
for twelve years. They had a horse, cow, several hogs and a large
number of chickens including several big roosters. Buildings on the
farm included a six room, two story house, a large adjoining storage
shed, an out house, a large brooder house for young chicks, a large
hen house and a small barn, maybe thirty by forty feet.
A garden area, approximately 150 feet by 200 feet, was used for
small vegetables and berries. The garden had strawberries,
raspberries, gooseberries, blackberries and currants. Nearby was an
acre of land for corn, melons, cantaloupe, and squash. My brother,
Art, and I stayed on the farm one summer. It was fun and a great
experience. We assisted our grandfather with the planting, hoeing,
cultivating and harvesting. We planted melon, cucumber and squash
on mounds. We would dig a shallow hole, place fertilizer (manure)
in the hole and then form a mound about three inches high and
fifteen inches in diameter. About eight seeds were planted in a
mound. We used a hand planter for planting the corn.
Grandpa always milked the cow. Art and I did not have
satisfactory results. The milk was brought into the house and put
through a separator. My grandparents always had a supply of milk
and cream. The hogs were fed some of the separated milk. There
were always a large number of eggs to be collected every day. I
enjoyed that task also. My grandma always had fresh baked fruit
My grandpa took Art and me fishing a number of times on the back
channel of the Mississippi River. The channel flowed right next to
the farm property. On one of those fishing outings, we caught
twenty-three pike. That was great fun. My grandparents sold their
produce and eggs in Red Wing.
Telephones in those days were large and mounted on the wall.
They had a large cupped mouthpiece. There was a crank on the side
of the phone to wind in order to get the operator. It was a party
line, which meant several other area residents used the same line.
If Grandma was talking to someone on the phone, another party on the
line, could lift their receiver and listen in on the conversation.
It was a great source of information if someone on that line loved
About fifty percent of the land farm
had timber. There were no thickets or brush in the woods so
it was an interesting place to walk. Several times during the
summer, my brother and I went into the woods to cut down a few dead
trees for firewood. The wood was stored in the large shed next to
the house. My grandpa also stored tools in the shed. The horse
liked to come into the barn for his daily ration of oats. Grandpa
milked the cow in the barn. The horse and cow also used the barn
for protection from the elements.
My grandfather, Fred Kuhn, as I knew him, was 5' 10" and of
medium build, probably about 150 lbs. He had a slightly rounded
face, a trimmed heavy mustache and only sufficient hair to cover his
scalp. Whenever I saw him, he would be smoking a cigar. He wore
gold-rimmed glasses. When I asked him one day about his teeth, he
replied, "I never go to a dentist. If I have a bad tooth, I cut it
out with my pocket knife."
grandmother, Victoria, was about 5' 4" and small build, around 125
lbs. She had blue eyes, gray hair and always wore a long dress. She
had a hunched back caused by osteoporosis.