Sunday, June 6, 2021

my family's brief residence in Fort Atkinson IA

Above online version of article in The Iowa Source


In an essay / memoir in the current issue (June 2021) of The Iowa Source magazine (Fairfield IA), I recall the story of the death of my paternal grandfather, Diedrich Joseph Behrens, an Iowa farmer, in 1918, in a harvesting machinery accident. My father, who was 17 that year, was the oldest of seven children. It was the third in a series of crop failures, and my grandmother was penniless. She could no longer lease the farm, and she and her children survived for the next year and a half by living in the ruins of an old US Army outpost, known as Fort Atkinson in northeast Iowa.