Arthur Carl Melford Kuhn and
Aurora Cecelia Lundquist
Arthur M. Kuhn.; and Aurora C.
Lundquist.; were married
married April 22, 1913, in Red
Wing, Minnesota. The ceremony was performed at 2:30 P.M. in the
parlor of Central Hotel, owned by the bride’s parents. The couple
was unattended and only relatives were present. Following the
ceremony, a sumptuous seven course wedding dinner was served in the
hotel dining room. They enjoyed a short honeymoon in Sparta,
Wisconsin where Arthur's brother, William, and wife Katherine
Art and Ora, as they were then called, settled in their new home
at 743 West Avenue after June 15, 1913. As an example of food
prices during that period, a statement from a butcher shop in 1914
revealed that Art and Ora had paid fifteen cents for two steaks and
fifteen cents for two pork chops.
On July 23, 1915, Art, Ora, and daughter Mildred, moved to their
new bungalow home at 1009 Central Avenue. It was a bungalow
consisting of two bedrooms, bath, living room, dining room, kitchen,
and a pantry. When I was about six years old (1923), a second floor
was added to the house. A crew of men proceeded with this major
project by cutting off the roof and jacking It up sufficiently high
to add a second story. The front bedroom was made into a front entry
and stairway. The front entry door was moved from the center to the
right so you entered in what used to be the front bedroom. The front
entrance hall had an open banistered stairway leading to the second
story. The second story consisted of four bedrooms, a bath, and a
large storage room at the rear. A rear stairway was built from the
storage room to the kitchen.
There was a large porch across the front of the house and a
slightly smaller porch on the back of the house. The icebox was
located on the back porch over a hole in the floor for the water
runoff from the melting Ice. There was a large expandable table on the
back porch. Long benches were along both sides of the table, with
chairs available for the ends of the table. The front porch had a
couch on both ends for seating and sleeping. The couches had
drop-sides that could be raised, enabling two people to sleep on
each couch. On warm nights, some of us would sleep out on the porch.
Both front and back porches were screened-in.
There was a stairway from the kitchen to a full basement. About
four steps down there was a landing and a doorway to the outside. There was a coal
bin on the driveway side of the basement. A truck would deliver the
coal; the driver would remove the window to the coal bin; and place a
chute from the truck through the window opening to the coal bin. He
would then shovel the coal onto the chute where It would slide down
into the coal bin. In the center of the basement was a large hot-air
furnace that burned both wood and coal. Burning coal always formed
clinkers that had to be removed from the furnace. They were removed
with a long Iron rod that was bent on the far end to remove the
Beyond the furnace, my father had a workbench and a trunk filled
with his tools. Wood was needed to start the fire in the furnace. My
father would order a cord or more of wood in the fall. The wood,
when delivered, would be about four feet in length and would be
piled along side the driveway. A farmer would come with a saw on a
flatbed and cut the pieces into three sections. He would then toss
them next to the house. When my brothers and I came home from school
we would remove two basement windows and toss the wood into the
basement. Then we would go into the basement and stack the wood
against the wall in one or two rows, depending upon the quantity of
wood. In the basement there was also a chopping block and axe to
split some of the wood into smaller pieces.
On the far end of the basement was shelving to store various
items. Clotheslines were strung on the other side of the basement to
hang the washing. Laundry facilities included a Maytag washing
machine that had a wringer to remove water from the clothes. Hot
water for the washing machine was heated in a large copper boiler on
a two-burner gas plate. There was also a tub for rinsing the
clothes. On nice days clothes were hung on clotheslines in the back
In the 1920s and 1930s when our family was growing up we had milk
delivery every day. The milkman also had cream, whipping cream, and
butter available. Deliveries were usually made very early in the
morning by our milkman using a horse-drawn wagon. On sub-zero
mornings the milk or cream would expand after freezing, pushing the
paper cap an inch or more above the bottle opening. During snowy
periods of the winter, the milk wagon had runners instead of wheels.
One Saturday we heard a terrible noise and ran to the front door.
Coming down the street was a run-away horse pulling an overturned
milk wagon equipped with runners for winter use. In later years
small trucks replaced the milk wagons. During those years we also
enjoyed twice a day mail delivery; morning and afternoon.
In August, 1915, one month after buying their new house, Art and
Ora boarded the packet steamboat “Morning Star” and enjoyed a
several-day round trip cruise on the Mississippi River to Davenport,
In the early years of their marriage, Art was the proud owner of
a large launch. He stored it in his own boathouse at the Red Wing
Bay marina. Each dock at the marina had wooden boat houses anchored
on either side of the dock. The docks and boat houses floated on
large drums. These were held in position by long tree poles
imbedded in the bottom of the bay. Large metal rings fastened to
the docks and boathouses encircled the poles. This enabled the
docks and boathouses to rise and fall with the level of the river.
Art and Ora enjoyed many outings on the Mississippi River with their
My father was an outdoor enthusiast and enjoyed hunting and
fishing in addition to the outings on the river. He fished for
trout in creeks and small streams mostly in Wisconsin, not far from
Red Wing. When he desired larger game fish, he would fish in nearby
He enjoyed hunting ducks, pheasants, squirrels, rabbits, and
other small game. One of his thrills while hunting occurred in 1919
when he shot a pure white snow goose. My father had a chilly
experience on February 22, 1923, when he went ice fishing at Clear
Lake. He fell through the ice and was drenched to the skin. He
made it to shore and built a big fire. He cuddled up to the fire
and gradually dried his clothes. He then ventured out on the ice
again, chopping a hole in the ice and before long had caught a nice
string of sunfish.
My parents had many friends and entertained at card parties and
costume parties. Their favorite card game was duplicate whist.
They enjoyed playing the game with Charlie and Anna Johnson and
sometimes with Charlie and Frieda Barnhart. At the costume parties,
my father would masquerade as a woman wearing a wig, a large hat,
and a long dress.
My father was very interested in wild flowers. Over a period of
several years, he developed a beautiful and interesting wild flower
garden on the north side of the house. Dad and a close friend, Dr.
A. W. Jones, were interested in identifying plant life. When one of
them brought in a specimen from an outing, they would meet in rear
of the drug store and attempt to identify it. My father had a
three-volume set of "Illustrated Flora of the United States and
Canada" which proved very valuable to them.
My father compounded and packaged several preparations to sell to
the store customers. One of the favorites was a hand lotion "Kuhn's
Witch Hazel Cream". Another was Kuhn's "Carbolic Salve."
Many prescriptions in those days required compounding, cough
syrups, liniments, ointments, and lotions. Drug powders sometimes
required mixing and were dispensed in folded papers. Empty gelatin
capsules were filled with drug powders. On occasion, a drug was
dispensed in suppository form. Cocoa butter would be used to make
the suppository and forming them in molds.
summer, our family would vacation with the Johnson's-Charlie, Anna
and their two boys, Kenny and Don. A week or two would be spent at
Butternut Lodge near Balsam Lake, Wisconsin. The clean, sandy
beaches were an invitation for us to go wading. Unfortunately, none
of us could swim; the fishing was good so everyone enjoyed our fish
dinner once or twice a week. We had fun on a swing which was
suspended with a heavy rope from a high limb of a very tall tree.
The swing seat was a grain sack partially filled with sand. With
someone giving us a good push, we could swing quite high. We were
quite concerned on day when Mildred fell from the swing but was not
seriously injured. Balsam Lake was only about 80 miles form Red
Wing, Minnesota. However, it was a long trip in those days, because
vehicles did not go fast.