Since we were all the sons and daughters of this pioneer family, all eleven of us reached adulthood knowing hard work and hardships with no money and very few opportunities. These circumstances played a large part in developing our characters, the quality of determination that has stayed so prominently in our lives. Early in our lives each had to learn to do what was necessary in order to survive. It was only after the "Great Depression" that our economics improved and each of us moved on to good opportunities and successful lives.
Joseph J., the oldest of the living children, worked with his father on the farm and attended the parish school. At age 18, he enlisted in the Navy and served duty on board ship. He returned home when the Armistice was signed after World War I. He then continued to work on the farm with his father as well as his own newly acquired farm. When the field work was finished, he and his brothers found other jobs to do in the sugar-beet factory. On September 22, 1925, Joseph J. married Rose Paul at Marienthal, Kansas. They had four sons and one daughter. They farmed North of Offerle for a few years, then bought a farm North of Garden City. The family grew up there and got their education close by. Joseph J. was a lovable man with many friends. He was a hard-working man and a good provider. His health became poor the last year or so of his life. He died December 12, 1953 and was laid to rest with military honors in the cemetery at Garden City.
Andrew F., next in age in the Naab family, was born enroute to America. He grew up helping his father on the farm. He was a kind and generous person who was loved by everyone. One incident tells a lot about his personality. During the "flu epidemic of 1918", the entire family was sick except Andrew. He took on the household duties, took care of the outside chores (milked cows, fed the livestock, etc.), made trips to town for supplies and medicine. He also found time to do the same for the neighbors who were down with the flu. In May, 1922, he married Annie Ackermann at the Church in Windhorst, Kansas. Their home was on the farm North of Offerle, Kansas where their four children (2 boys and 2 girls) were born. Andrew died at the early age of 29 in a traffic accident. The loss to all of us was beyond telling. All hearts went out to the widow who had to struggle with the management of the farm while trying to raise four children, six years and under. After three years, Annie married Louis Peintner who was also a widower left with small children. All of them have families of their own now except Virginia Naab who is a Registered Nurse and has made a lifetime profession of her nursing. She lives and works in Wichita, Kansas.
John, the third in age, grew up helping his father on the farm. When he reached adult age, he farmed on his own and married Emma Paul (who is a sister of Rose Paul, Joe's widow). Most of their lives were spent in Marienthal, Kansas. They raised five boys. John managed a grain elevator in Marienthal for many years until he had a stroke. This made it necessary to go to a nursing home to get the care he needed. He died on August 7, 1979 and is laid to rest in the Catholic Cemetery at Marienthal. The widow is in poor health and lives in Garden City, Kansas.
Edmund W., the next in age, was different. He was often labeled the scholar of the family. Books were his chief interest. After graduation from the eighth grade, he went to the seminary for his high school studies. After two years, it was decided his vocation lay elsewhere. So he went West to find work in Colorado and later in Wyoming. Arrangements were soon made to study at the University of Wyoming at Laramie. He worked his own way through college and became a lawyer. He married Lucille Signarelli and they made their home at Rock Springs, Wyoming where he practiced law and engaged in local politics. They had one son, Dennis. Lucille died in 1973. The last few years of his life, Edmund was in poor health, but continued to work for a title and escrow firm until retirement at the age of 75. He died soon after and is laid to rest at Rock Springs, Wyoming.
Elizabeth N., the first girl in the family, became our mother's assistant at an early age. Learning the skills of food preparation and housekeeping were part of her growing up. To this day, in her old age, she is still an excellent cook and a great homemaker. In her teens and early twenties, she was loved by everyone. She was a beautiful girl with lovely golden hair, perfectly groomed. Her friendly cheerful personality made her the sweetheart of every party. The City of Wichita and Dodge City provided opportunities for employment away from home. It was on the job in Dodge City, Elizabeth met her future husband, George Culbertson. They were married at a double-wedding ceremony on August 17, 1931, with her sister, Bridget, and James Jensen as the other partners. After several years of life in Pittsburgh, PA, Elizabeth and George made their home in California. They raised and educated a boy, Paul, and a girl, Maryann, who were adopted. In their later years, they made their home in Sun City, California (a city for retired people). After forty-nine years of marriage, George died and is laid to rest in the Community Cemetery near Sun City. Life without George was a traumatic experience for Elizabeth. Time and much effort and that characteristic determination helped her to adjust to her new life. She is living happily in her home in Sun City.
Agnes, next in age grew up assisting in the household duties and care of the younger children. When her older sister went to the city to find employment, Agnes became Mother's chief assistant. All the children received their grade-school education at the District School near by until the Sisters started teaching the parish school. Seven miles by horse and buggy was the program that first year. After that a Model T Ford came to the rescue. After finishing the eighth grade, there was no opportunity for high school in that area, so she continued to share the responsibilities of the household with her mother. At age 19, Agnes joined the Sisters of St. Joseph of Wichita, Kansas and received the Habit under the name of Sister Mary Clement on March 19, 1928. She made her perpetual vows, August 15, 1933. Twelve years of her work was spent with the Sisters teaching school, the remaining years were mostly in the health care ministry. Agnes received her Bachelor of Science Degree at Marymount College in Salina and became a Registered Dietician. She remains on active duty at Halstead, Kansas. She celebrated her Golden Jubilee in 1978.
Bridget was her mother's chief baby-sitter for the four children younger than herself. When the older girls left home, Bridget proved herself as mother's assistant with the household responsibilities. It was during the "Great Depression" and there was not any money and no opportunity for jobs, but these young people knew how to make friends and entertain themselves within their own neighborhood. Bridget married her school-day sweetheart, James Jensen at the double-wedding ceremony on August 17, 1933, with her sister Elizabeth and George as the other couple. They made their home on the farm near their former homes. They have a daughter, Dorothy Lee, and a son, Jerry (Jerome). Another daughter died in infancy. Both have their own families now. Bridget and Jim worked hard and prospered on the farm. Since they lived only a few miles from our parents, their watchful eyes and helping hands will always be remembered with gratitude by the rest of the family. Those deeds can never be adequately put into words. In 1970, they sold the farm and retired to their lovely home in Kinsley, where they are enjoying their neighbors, their children, and their grandchildren. Both are in fairly good health and find many interesting ways to occupy the time of their retirement.
Leo was the first of the younger set of boys in the family. the older boys, having established their own homes by now, placed Leo as the chief helper of his father on the farm. However, the Great Depression was still hanging over the nation affecting everyone. So when the field work was done and the crops were planted, there was nothing left to do and no way of earning any money. At an early age, it became necessary for Leo to leave home and look for a job. He married Irene Cook and they had two boys, Jerry and Gail. While the children were still small, family problems made it necessary for that marriage to end in divorce. He worked at various jobs developing many skills. It has often been said of his performance that he did his work with exquisite perfection. Much later in life, he married Marian who had a family of her own. they lived in San Jose, California for many years and later moved to Modesto. His son, Jerry, who was a career Navy man for many years now lives in Modesto providing much joy and companionship to his father and to Marian.
Clemence W. was now the only one remaining on the farm to work with his father. In addition to this, he did some farming of his own. He married Rose Faulke and they raised five children (3 boys and two girls). Life on the farm was difficult during those years. The "Dust Bowl" years produced only meager crops and other work was not available. Shortly after the parents retired and moved to Kinsley, Clem and his family found it was time to find other work to support themselves. They acquired a home and adjoining acreage in Nickerson, Kansas and found whatever work was available. He spent some time in the CCC camp and worked for the railroad, then later went into law enforcement work. He was Chief of Police for nine years at Nickerson, then transferred to work at the Reformatory in Hutchinson, where he worked until retirement. On the acreage adjoining his home, Clem and Rose became well known for their gardens. What may have started as food for the table, soon developed into an interesting hobby, then into a small business. It is strictly a family project as they do all the work themselves. They may well be proud of those gardens as well as the canning and freezing that goes with it. Both have retired now, but continue to work their gardens.
Benedict R., the youngest of the boys in the family, proved to be his mother's best handyman about the house and farm. Always willing and energetic, he was loved by everyone. He was well known for his freckles and light curly hair. After finishing the eighth grade in school, there was no opportunity for high school in the area and jobs were not available. This presented a problem, but with the characteristic determination of the Naab family, he left home at an early age looking for work. He developed many skills as opportunities presented themselves in Colorado, Wyoming and Washington State. Among the various doors that opened for him was work in Health Care Facilities. He started as handy man, orderly, assistant in First Side Stations, then later advanced to Assistant in X-Ray departments and Laboratory. As his hospital experience grew, he was later asked to be administrator of a small hospital in Ritzville and still later in California. While working in the First Aide Station at the construction site of the Grand Coulee Dam in Washington, Ben met and married Margaret Bogovich. They raised and educated seven children (4 girls and 3 boys). Later they also served as foster parents for troubled girls. They made their home in Moses Lake, Washington until the eruption of Mt. Saint Helen which covered them with so much volcanic ash, it caused respiratory problems. It was then decided to move their home to La Grande, Oregon, out of range of the volcanic dust.
Mary M., the youngest of the family, was the pride and joy of all. Her gentle lovable disposition, coupled with her beautiful blond hair, made her a charming little girl. The eighth grade education was completed in the parish school and since there was no opportunity for high school studies, Mary soon became her mother's chief assistant in the home. As work became available, she took advantage of some outside employment. The "Great Depression" hit the country at the time Mary and her brother, Ben, were in their teens. It was at this most critical time of their development that the needed opportunities and jobs were non-existent. It became necessary for both of them to leave home at an early age to find employment. Such a door opened when her older sister and husband invited Mary to go to Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania with them in the hope of finding something there. A limited amount of work and study opened up for her. However, her first real break came when she was accepted into the training school for nurses at Mt. Carmel Hospital in Pittsburg, Kansas. In addition to the nursing studies, there was some high school credits to be up-dated. This meant hard work for several years, but with the characteristic determination of the Naab family, she graduated as a professional nurse with a high rating of efficiency. She joined the Army Nurse Corps, serving several years. While in this service, she met Eugene E. Ross (an injured service man), who later became her husband. When the military duties were over, they married and made their home in Pittsburg, Kansas where Mary returned to nursing duties at the hospital and Eugene enrolled in the State college. They raised and educated four boys and a girl. While the children were still small, they moved to California where they established their home. Eugene worked for years at the State-House in Sacramento, California, while Mary continued her professional career as a nurse. Since retirement, Mary has pursued the many interests she never had time for while working as a nurse. To mention only a few -- flower-gardening, sewing, organ lessons, painting lessons and stained-glass art. A surprising talent came to light when Mary painted her pictures. She is a true artist. Mary and Eugene make their home in Rancho Cordova, California, where they enjoy their children and grandchildren.
NOTE: In writing these short narratives about the members of the Naab Family, most of the emphasis was placed on the statistical data so as to provide facts and figures for other descendents who may be interested in pursuing later genealogy studies. It would require a sizeable book to include the many human interest stories which could be written about this family.