Lydia Weber Gust

Ohmer's mother was Lydia Amelia Weber, whose parents settled in Blue Earth by way of Wisconsin, where they landed after their own immigration from Germany.

Lydia's mother, Wilhelmina Doege (known to the family as "Little Grandma") lived in this interesting house, which was located on a corner of what is today the Blue Earth city park.

Little Grandma

Wilhelmina married one Henry C. Weber, who came with his parents from Germany in 1850. According to a history written by Ohmer's sister, Elvira, Henry "served in Co. K. 1st Minn. mounted rangers in the war of the Rebellion of the Indians; he later enlisted in the Minn. Inf. of the Civil War. He served as Faribault County treasurer for two terms ... and was a jolly, lovable granddad." By the time Genevieve came along, her family was well-established and respected in Blue Earth and its environs, but seems to have lost some of the jolliness among its men.

Following Etta's death and in spite of her instructions to keep her newborn daughter out of Clara's hands, Genevieve was given first to Clara, Etta's mother, whose new husband did not take kindly to "that squalling kid." Gen was then handed over to Lydia, Ohmer's mother. Apparently Lydia doted on the baby girl. Early photographs of Genevieve show a pretty blondie with nice clothes and her hair cut in the coolest bob. It looks like (ill-fitting shoes notwithstanding), Genevieve was loved and appreciated. (Gen's favorite relative was her cousin, Hazel Gesche, the enraptured girl with whom she's swinging in the picture below at far right.) Gen's half-sisters remember that their grandparents doted on Gen and regarded her as their own daughter.

Gen Gen Gen Gen and Hazel

When I asked Gen how Lydia celebrated Gen's birthday. Gen said Lydia made a sour-cream chocolate cake, frosted white, and decorated with flowers cut from gum drops.

Gen remembers Lydia's habit of sitting quietly at days' end, watching the light fade. Lydia didn't light the oil lamps until it was completely dark outside. Even after the farm was electrified, Lydia still waited until dark to turn on the lights.