Ida Christina
      Christ & Ingeborg Hansen Families  





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by Ida Hansen Eschenbaum

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       Ida Christina (Hansen) Eschenbaum


Ida Christina was born on March 02, 1896 on her parents farm in Faulk Co., So. Dak. to Christ and Ingeborg Hansen.  She is the 6th child and 4th daughter born to the immigrant couple from Norway who only stepped on Ellis Island 11 years before. 

She married William H. Eschenbaum in 1916 and together they had 7 children.  Relland, twin brother to Rolland died shortly after birth.  They raised their remaining 6 children on a farm west of Faulkton, So. Dak.

William Eschenbaum died in 1956 from leukemia and Ida died in 1988.  Both are buried in the Faulkton cemetery with their sons Relland, Melvin and daughter-in-law Mary, first wife of Melvin's. 

Note from grandson John Melvin:  Grandma once told me how she and Grandpa met.  The postal address of Tenis, S. D. was basically a farm with a building for the mail.  This farm was owned by John Staufer.  It was somewhere midpoint between the Eschenbaum and Hansen farms west of Orient, So. Dak.  She would see him in the post office and thus their romance began. 



Children of "Bill" & Ida

1. Melvin/ Mary G. Bauhs  died 1969

           /  Clara Marie Backman

2. Kenneth/ Dorothy Horning

3. Evelyn/ Delmar Morrow

4.  Esther/ Myron Hagenlock

5. Marjorie/ Vernon Bellack

6. Rolland/ Rosella Pfeiffer

7. Relland...died 1 hour after birth 1929

                          View Descendant list of Ida and Bill

                                    Ida & Bill's family photo album


                                                                            Ida C. with all of her grandchildren    August of 1963

                             Back: Linda & Kay Hagenlock....Kathy & Delynn Morrow...Dale Eschenbaum..Myra Hagenlock...Arnold & Marlene Bellack
                                         James & John Eschenbaum

                            Center: Daniel Eschenbaum..Richard Morrow..Virginia Eschenbaum..Ida C...Judy & Diane Eschenbaum....Vicki Hagenlock
                                                                                                                                                          Richard (Larry) Eschenbaum

                            Front:                     Jeffrey & Jane Eschenbaum

Remembering Grandma

  Amazingly, I was 8 years and 8 months old when my first real memory of Grandma happens. 
The reason I can be so exact is that is when my grandfather died, March of 1956.   I am foggy
about how I found out and whether I knew before or if it were grandma who told me.  What I do
remember is she sitting at our kitchen table and me feeling bad for her about grandpa’s death. 
Though I had no remorse over his death, I felt bad for grandma.  I went to her and said…
“Grandma, I am sorry about grandpa’s dying.”  She smiled and gave me a hug.   Backtracking,
my parent’s farm was next door to his folks.  I do recall riding my tricycle to my grandparent’s
farm taking the gravel road making a U shaped trip.  I vaguely recall doing this but have no
recollection of being with my grandma when I got to the farm.  My father had built a horse
carriage and sled.  I do remember when my parent’s would take the sleigh in the winter over to
the farm spending the evening.  One night, as it was late for toddlers, the folks putting my sister
and me in the back of the sleigh and covered us up.  I remember waking up and seeing the full
moon and stars of a clear South Dakota night as Dad took the back way to his farm.  Strangely,
again I have no memory of my grandparents from that time.  
I do remember being on the farm
when a horrific incident occurred with my sister and grandpa’s dog.  My sister’s memories….”
I think I was about 4 I remember bits and pieces of it. There yard was fenced in and I was poking
my finger or a stick through the fence at the dog. I then seen Dad and grandpa walking across
the yard and I wanted to go with them. When I opened the gate and starting running to them the
dog jumped on me and bit the back of my head. I remember them holding me down at the hospital
 for the stitches and to get rabies shots; 3 of them and they decided the dog was ok. That is what
happens when you tease a dog!”
However, Grandpa immediately took the dog away and shot it.   

After grandpa’s death, grandma would come to our home in Faulkton to visit.  My Uncle Bill
farmed the land for a couple of years and then later my Uncle Kenny farmed it till it was decided
to sell.   
Grandma asked and Dad and Mom agreed to have her move into our house.  The second
floor of the house was unfinished and she agreed to pay for giving her two rooms and put in a bathroom. 
We kids had the other two rooms. 
But, as kids are, loud, rambunctious, and mouthy we chased her out.   I think the final straw from
Grandma’s view as she later told me was…….   One night she was calling out to us late at night to
be quiet and go to sleep.  My sister, Jane’s memory of that incident……”
The incident with grandma
we were goofing off and grandma yelled at us and told us to be quiet and me with my big mouth told
grandma this was our house not hers and we could do what we wanted. She moved shortly after that.
She reminded me often that I had told her that, but said I was right and that it was time for her to
move. We laughed many times about that but I always felt a little guilty for saying it.”
  Dad did not
want her to have a house trailer in his backyard so she asked Uncle Bill and he agreed to let her live
there in her own house trailer.  ( Photo of Ida, Elizabeth Kinsley & Ethel Hall in 1967) Grandma was 60 years
old when grandpa died.  Her only security was that of the farm.  So, in order to make a social security
history she went to work as a housekeeper/attendant  for Lucille Dienslake's father.  Lucille and Bob
owned the Red Owl grocery store in Faulkton.  ( This was confirmed by Rosie "Hanson" Eschenbaum,
Rolland's wife.  June,  2007)  He lived on the second floor of a grand house across from Faulkton Memorial
Hospital.  (I think it was George Fillbach's house.) 

She would come by our house on Sundays in her black Chevrolet coup.  She came into the house and asked
if anyone would want to go with her as she drove around.  I agreed to join her and for a few years that became
our regular routine.   That is when our relationship strengthened and became a very tight bond till her death. 
I now wish I had made a diary of those times and wrote down the stories she told me.  That of her youth, growing
up, her parent’s coming over from Norway, her meeting my future grandfather, the life on the farm, and children. 
She would speak of each of her kids one by one and her memories of them growing up.  We would laugh and I
would ask questions.  We drove out to the old homesteads and she would tell me her memories.    She spoke of
her son Relland who died.  Her speaking of him was the only connection I had with him.

My father is now buried by him.  Though, my grandmother’s plans were to have Uncle Bill (Rolland)
to be buried by him.  But my mother died suddenly and in the grief period Dad asked her if he could
bury her there as grandma had 8 plots at the Faulkton cemetery. ( The sad thing about this is that grandma
had plenty of space.  Mom's burial spot was in the wrong spot taking up Bill and Rosie's planned area.
There was room on the side where grandpa was buried, having 8 spots.)   She later sold 2 of them to the
Allen’s.  Her plans got messed up for that idea.    During my high school years grandma would come
 over almost every Sunday for dinner.  She became a frequent visitor to our home.  Mom started
working and Grandma agreed to “baby-sit” Judy and Jeffrey till they could be alone.  I would walk
to her trailer and visit with her on many occasions just to be with her alone.    As my life progressed
hers continued living in the trailer behind Uncle Bill’s house.  I do not remember the exact year, but
soon she moved into the federally subsidized apartments built by the Faulkton elevator.   She was so
happy to finally have a brand new place and larger then her trailer.  She loved it and said it was the
first real new thing she had experienced.    As she aged she became frailer, but she listened to the radio
and kept up with the news.  She enjoyed listening to "Mim" Bachmayer’s morning Faulkton News time.    
I would return from Minneapolis and stay with her.  One time I took her out in my TR6 on a bright summer
day and did the rounds of when she I went out together in her black coup.  I have photos of that time and
she has this bright smile on her face.  She enjoyed it.  Family members told me that I was the one of the very
 few who could get her out.  She always seemed to go along with one of my ideas.  Dad use to speak of why
his brothers and sisters never asked her over for Sunday dinners.  To find out, she would wait till the last
minute till my Mom called and asked if she were doing anything and she would say “no.”  Thus, she
came over to our house for Sunday dinner.  She had this very strong attachment to us for some reason,
other then being her family also.    One day she was on a small step ladder to get to the top of her refrigerator,
 her hip gave out and she fell.  She lay for a few hours on the floor till found.  She ended up going to St. Luke’s
Hospital in Aberdeen and had her leg fixed.  I don’t know if it was her femur or her hip that was repaired.  But,
Dad thought we would loose her then.  She seemed to be fine in the mornings when they visited but became
disoriented in the afternoons.  It was finally discovered that she was given drugs while they were out
that made her that way.  The doctors stopped that and she recovered, went to the nursing home for
further recovery.  I would visit here there and she liked it.  Luckily for her, the government held her
apartment for six months before she had to decide on whether she would return.  She was thinking
about staying at the nursing home.  However, one of the other residents of the nursing home, Mrs.
Grau, mother to one of my classmates, Lyle talked her out of it.  At least that is what was told me.  Mrs.
Grau said that she should get out of there if she can.  It is far better for her to have her own space and
control then to remain in the nursing home.  Therefore, my grandmother returned to her apartment and
 lived there till the last years of her life.  She would later return for the very last  two years of her life  I
would travel to various places for my Navy Reserve duty.  I brought back mementos for her from the
Philippines, Japan and Spain.  She enjoyed these little gifts. 
I brought her back a gold dipped orchid broche that she wore and enjoyed.  Cloisonné jewelry and other
small items.  I gave her a calendar with a large photo of her and my father on it.  She kept that all the
rest of her life.  She cut off the calendar when the year passed and kept the photo on the wall.  After
her death, my dad took that photo and had it hanging on his bedroom wall till his death.  It still hangs

One of my most memorable memories is calling her on her birthday one year when I was in
San Diego.  I was with friends and we were cocktailing.  I was in a good mood and remembered it was
her birthday.  I called her and we had one of the best visits.  We laughed, I joked and she was in such
good humor.  I said to her, “Grandma, we always seem to have a good time with each other, why do you
think that is?”  She responded, “Because you make me feel young.”  I never spoke to her as if she
were an old lady.  I  questioned, I asked her opinions, I stated mine, I gave her positive comments about
her appearance….all sorts of small things.   I would tell her that she was a good looking woman and she
should fine a nice man.  During her last years in the Faulkton nursing home,  I wanted to let her know that
I still thought of her.  So, I made arrangements with the local floral shop to deliver a bouquet of flowers
every month to her.  I had written out cards ahead of time in my own writing to be included.  My Aunt Evelyn
told me once that no matter who gave her flowers, they always came from me!

She did well till the last few months.  My last visit with her I could tell she had given up.  She just
laid there on her bed.  She did not watch TV, she did not listen to the radio, and the spark in her voice
was dimmed.  It was hard to visit with her as she really did not have much to say.  I knew her time was
near and dreaded it.  Though, grandma had a hard life, it was rewarded well.   I filmed her once and asked
how she wanted to be remembered.  At the age of 92 she lived.  Oh, how did she want to be remembered…..?
"As a good mother.”  That was all she wanted.  I think she was that and also “a good grandmother.”    

                                                                        -John Melvin Eschenbaum - Grandson