Mary Eickmeier Law

Mary Eickmeier Law

Written by orphan train rider Mary Law of Muscatine, Iowa, for her grandchildren: I was told I was born in Geneva, N.Y. June 1, 1925. The biological mother’s name was Ella Mae Roat. I’m not sure if that was the married name or if she was a single mother. We rode the orphan train [in the] early part of April 1928, with my three brothers, Frank age 8, Harry age 6, Charles age 3 ½. [I was] Rose Mary age 2 1/2. We were a group of 12 homeless children brought to Kearney, Nebraska from New York. The train made a stop at a Methodist church, there, we were lined up for viewing and folks were able to choose a child or two. Frank and Anna Eickmeier farmed in Kearney, Nebraska. They chose Charles and me. Frank Roat went to one couple, the Johnsons, but later ran away and was taken in by another couple, the Arnolds. Harry was placed with the Carlsons, neither [of the] boys were adopted, but took the last name of the folks who took them in. Harry started out taking Carlson as [his] last name – later changing to Roat. And while in service he was told his legal name was Davis. So that remains a mystery. This being depression time there wasn’t much money to spare and I kinda believe that’s why my folks gave up farming in Kearney and moved to Muscatine. My mother was originally from Muscatine. Her brother-in-law owned a dairy farm also many rental homes so we moved to a dairy farm on Mittman road. I believe we lived there maybe three years. Charles and I walked to Mittman School, a one room school. Not sure of how many students: 20 or more. One teacher taught all grades. Still bad times for a farmer with crop failures and low prices. I do remember our postal carrier delivered our mail by horse and a special enclosed buggy. Our next move was to town and there we rented from Mom’s brother-in-law, Charles Hagermann. A large two story house, corner of 4th and 6th (1612 E. 6th street), and I went to 1st grade at Jefferson School on Mulberry Avenue. I still have my little pink lunch box that I carried to country school. I lived at 616 E. 6th until I got married July 23, 1944. We even spent our wedding night there in my front bedroom upstairs. I graduated from High School in June of 1944. Our class was the last class called the Mid-term, We actually finished our senior year in January, but had to wait until June of ’44 to graduate. I had a birthday in June so had...

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