Hulda Mae Bollheimer was the first-born child of John Anton Bollheimer and Anna Margaret Luckman. Hulda was born in Minster, Auglaize County, Ohio on July 12, 1897. She was named after Anna's friend, Hulda Hilsenbeck. Hulda was to be pronounced (hall-da), but everyone always seemed to say (hole-da). Later, her daughter Lois' children and their neighborhood children called her Hoey (hoe-e). A relative, Rose Bollheimer Kleier, named her daughter Hulda. She decided to go by her middle name, Serena.
Hulda's childhood must have been different from girls at that time. She had a camera and a complete darkroom for developing and printing her own photographs. She was actually hired by an insurance company. They wanted her to take photographs of any fires in the area in which that insurance company was involved.
Hulda had a good laugh when her daughter pointed out that she had seen no "normal" photographs of Hulda. Hulda was always standing on a porch rail, on a tree stump, or something of that type. Hulda was an artist who worked in pastels, and was also very adept at crochet and embroidery.
After Rall M. Ayers opened the drugstore in Minster, Hulda went to work for him as a clerk. In 1923, Hulda and Rall were married. It was the first mixed-religion marriage in Minster. The next year, there were quite a few others.
Rall said he always admired how Hulda was able to laugh at herself. Hulda believed that if it were funny if it happened to someone else, then it was funny if it happened to her. Rall told the story about an early morning walk Hulda took to the drugstore to bring him something he had forgotten. It was very early in the morning, and a light snowfall was on the sidewalk. No one else had walked there yet. Hulda put on the type of boots worn at the time. They were very pointed at the toe, and it was obvious which was the left and which was the right boot. When Hulda left the drugstore to return home, she noticed the tracks on the sidewalk. She said they looked so weird. In her haste, she had put the boots on the wrong feet. She thoroughly enjoyed the thought of what the next person down that sidewalk would think when he saw the crazy tracks.
When Hulda was still in school, she and a group of friends organized a club they named TMTM. It stood for, "The more the merrier." They met at least once every summer throughout their later years. The club was still meeting with the few remaining members when Hulda died at the age of 88. Hulda died May 18, 1986 in Dayton, Montgomery County, Ohio.
This page belongs to The Völker Haus
Created: 11 Apr 2001
Copyright © 2001, Jennifer Volker