Gust Grieger, BiographyPorter County biographical sketches . . . .

Transcribed biography of Gust Grieger


When Gust H. Grieger, the son of Emil and Amelia (nee Krueger) Grieger was married to Gusta L. Mohlke, the daughter of August and Augusta (nee Schmidt) Mohlke of La Porte County on December 26, 1907, they bought the Massom farm in Morgan Township. They lived here all their lives and celebrated their 50th anniversary at the REMC hall in Wanatah in December of 1957. On November 22, 1958 Mr. Grieger passed away at the Porter Memorial Hospital. Mrs. Grieger remained on the farm until January 22, 1970 when she became ill and was taken to the Valparaiso hospital and later to Whispering Pines where she has been ever since.

During Mr. Grieger's lifetime he was a grain and dairy farmer. He was active in politics and was a staunch Republican. He served on the advisory board in Morgan Township several years. He also was on the board of directors many years for the South Wanatah Grain and Elevator Company. Many times he was called for jury duty. Therefore he led a busy and active life.

To this union was born a daughter, Melba, who later married Andrew Lenz of Hammond where they lived until 1972 when Mr. Lenz retired from Sinclair, now Arco Oil Company after 38 years of service. Mrs. Lenz was active in the Valparaiso University Guild, she served as president of that organization in Hammond. They later moved out to the old homestead with the Grieger's son, Elmer G. Grieger, and his wife, Helen Warren, of Medaryville. They have lived in Hammond, Indiana, Iowa and Wisconsin. He was retired from the Shell Oil Company in 1971 after 36 years of service. He was a baseball pitcher for the Valparaiso Pontiacs and for Shell in the Industrial League of Hammond. He later did play some professional baseball. At the present time the retirees are taking care of Mrs. Grieger's farm and living in the remodeled house that is about 75 years old.

In the early years the roads were all dirt roads -- now most of them are gravel but really need to be blacktopped as the dust does pollute the air just terrible. The Gust Griegers traveled by a horse driven surry to San Pierre, LaPorte, Valpo, Wanatah and Hanna. Even the school bus was pulled by horses. This had a little wood burning stove under the wagon with a chimney up the side of the bus. The children were bussed to the old Schroeder School. (This was later bought and torn down by Ernst Mohlke and he built the now Ford garage and living space in Wanatah from the lumber.) The children were later picked up by a motorized bus and taken to the Morgan school on Route 49 near Malden.

Mr. Grieger often told about when someone died years ago the corpse would be brought to the family home and a big wreath placed on the front door. Then each evening four or five men would sit up all night with the body. That was the custom in those times.

There were many warm friends and neighbors in this area and they often gathered in homes for quilting bees, feather stripping parties, dances and card parties. Later there were so many people who came to the dances that they went to the large barns for round and square dancing. Music was often furnished by Ed. Schultz with his violin, George Gloff of Clinton Township played the dulcimer and Mr. Dinse played the accordian. Everyone had a good time -- including a lunch.

In 1941 Mr. and Mrs. Gust Grieger were the first prize winners for the neatest farm of the Pure Milk Association and won a wonderful trip to Florida. They also held open house and people came from far and near. The first and very distinguished visitor was the late Governor Schricker, a resident of Knox. This was one of the biggest thrills of the Griegers' lives.

During the winter the men would cut trees down -- the good ones were sawed into lumber at a saw mill and the poor ones would be buzzed by a group of men to be used for wood during the cold days. The lumber in the Griegers' barn was of oak trees cut out of his woods. Of course the siding he bought. The barn is in good condition yet, it was built in 1928.

When the men had time and the first snow fell they would go fox and wolf hunting. Many of them also trapped along the creeks. This gave them extra money as they would skin and stretch the hides and sell them. These men often went fishing down to the Kankakee River and camped a couple of nights. They used to bring back tubs of fish, but now it doesn't seem so good.

Most of the farmers farmed 150 to 200 acres of land and with horse drawn implements. They made a good living then. Now they need to farm a lot more acres. One of the biggest jobs was thrashing. After the oats, wheat and rye were cut and tied into bundles by a binder and set into shocks by hand to dry then would come the thrashing. About 20 or 25 men would gather at one place to do the work and the women would get together and cook a big dinner. That was a job and you never saw so much food. Those men could really eat because they worked hard. Those were the good old days. Mrs. Grieger often speaks about these big meals that she cooked and helped cook. She enjoyed that as she enjoyed the many years on the farm. She always liked to have her grandsons and one grand-daughter spend a few days with her. She now has seven great grandchildren and two great-great grandchildren. They visit her frequently at Whispering Pines where she has been for over five years. All the girls working there have been so good to her and she has had excellent care. They have brought her out of many sick spells and she is in fairly good health yet. Thanks to them!

Source: American Revolution Bicentennial Committee of Porter County. 1976. A Biographical History of Porter County, Indiana. Valparaiso, Indiana: American Revolution Bicentennial Committee of Porter County, Inc. 180 p.
Page(s) in Source: 112-113

This biography has been transcribed exactly as it was originally published in the source. Please note that we do not provide photocopies or digital scans of biographies appearing on this website.

Biography transcribed by Steven R. Shook


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