Etta and Ohmer

EttaEtta and OhmerAt the end of November 1918, at the age of 20, Etta married Ohmer William Gust. Ohmer was the handsome second-generation descendent of German immigrants. After her marriage, Etta moved to Ohmer's boyhood home, located on one of two adjacent farms owned by Ohmer's father. The farms were in Guckeen, which is southwest of Blue Earth, Minnesota (the seat of Faribault County).



Etta with John's horsesIn the photo at right, Etta is holding John Gust's two work horses outside his substantial brick barn. John is in the background, adjusting his hat against the morning sun. The shadow of the unknown photographer splashes on Etta's skirt. Every time Genevieve sees this image, she comments, "I'm in that picture." It was shot in late winter, 1920, about six months before Gen was born.

John Albert GustOhmer's father, John Albert Gust, was born in Champaign, Illinois, where his parents landed from Germany. The immigrant Gusts, William Gust and Hannah Zierskae, had nine children. William and Hannah and their children settled in Blue Earth in 1887.

John met his maker at age 76 a few days after he stuck a pitchfork into a moving thresher belt, trying to dislodge straw, while working on Ohmer's farm. The fork got away from him and struck him in the chest. Sounds like a cardiac contusion or hemothorax caused by broken ribs, doesn't it? John's claims to fame were a fondness for Postum and his habit of wearing his shoes on the wrong feet, to balance the wear. His comfort with his shoes on the wrong feet explains why he wasn't concerned about Gen's complaints that her shoes didn't fit.