- In the 1900 U. S. Federal Census, Selma Lange is a seven year old, white, single female. She was born in Wisconsin in June of 1892 of parents who were both born in Germany - Posen, Prussia. She is at school and has been for probably the previous six months. She speaks, reads, writes, and speaks English. She lives with her parents, Herman and Anna, and eight siblings (Clara, Kuno, Robert, Hattie, Annie, Max, Minnie, Ruth) in Cleveland Township, Jackson County, Wisconsin. [HFL 07.]
In the 1905 Wisconsin State Census, Selma is a 13 year old, white single, female. She was born in Wisconsin of parents who were both born in Germany. She lives with her parents, Herman and Anna, and six siblings: Clara, Max, Anna, Wilhelmine or Minnie, Ruth, and Lydia. The family lives in Cleveland Township, Jackson County, Wisconsin. [HFL 14.]
See an honorarium written about Selma which talks about her faithfulness, her children, and grandchildren, as well as her contributions to students at the University of Wisconsin and her church. She would have been a very wonderful person to have know. [SLL 02.] It was most likely published in Madison, Wisconsin, by the Immanuel Lutheran Church. It reads as follows:
"To look at her, no one would ever guess that Mrs. Rosenau was 79 years old on June 3 (1971?). [See picture, SLL 02.] She has been a faithful member of Immanuel for 41 years. Interviewing her was a marvelous experience, as her positive, cheerful Christian attitude is reflected in everything she says.
Mrs. Rosenau's oldest child, the Rev. Robert Rosenau, is pastor of "The Lutheran Church of the Triune God" in Minneapolis. Her son, Denver is Director of Buildings and Grounds at the University in Eau Claire. He daughter, Ruth -- Mrs. William Platt -- is well known in our church family for her many years of solo work and choir membership. She has been singing "ever since she was a baby!" John, the youngest son, has recently been transferred to the Giddings & Lewis Company in Appleton.
Mrs. Rosenau has 17 grandchildren and 2 great-grandchildren. She has a charm bracelet and a charm for each grandchild and great-grandchild. Fourteen years ago she retired from CUNA where she was the Cafeteria Manager, serving approximately 100 people for lunch daily. Since her retirement, she worked part time as Night Hostess at Carroll Hall.
She is a member of the Woman's Guild, Martha Circle and Altar Guild. She also attends the Adult Club. Mrs. Rosenau has crocheted many rugs in her "spare time." She also enjoys playing cards. She is eagerly planning to do some traveling this winter, visiting relatives as far away as California. We wish her a safe and pleasant journey! [SLL 02.]
An undocumented obituary, probably printed in a Madison, Wisconsin, newspaper reads as follows:
Rosenau, Selma L. (Sally)
Madison/Monona -- Selma L. (Sally) Rosenau, age 94, of 353 Owen Road, died on Monday, March 14, 1987, in a local nursing home. She was born in June 3, 1892, at Fairchild, Wisconsin, and had lived in Madison since 1929. Mrs. Rosenau had cooked at several of the University of Wisconsin fraternity and sorority houses and later she managed the lunchroom at the first National Bank Building and also at the CUNA-Feline House Building on Sherman Avenue. She retired in the early 1960s. She was a member of Immanuel Lutheran Church. Survivors include two sons, Denver (Alma) Rosenau of Eau Claire, and John (Elaine) Rosenau of Madison; a son-in-law, William Platt of Monona; and a daughter-in-law, Mary Rosenau of Eau Claire; 17 grandchildren; 23 great-grandchildren; and numerous nieces and nephews. She was preceded in death by her husband, Herman, in 1961; a daughter, Ruth Platt, in 1982; and a son, Reverend Robert Rosenau, in 1984. Funeral services will be held at the Immanuel Lutheran Church, 1021 Spaight Street at 1 p.m. on Wednesday, March 18, with Reverend David Susan Officiating. Burial will be in Roselawn Memorial Park. Friends may call after 11:30 a.m. on Wednesday at the church. In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to the Immanuel Lutheran Church Altar Guild. The Gunderson Funeral Home, 5203 Monona Drive, is in charge of arrangements. [SLL 01.]
From Selma L. Rosenau's life, the following excerpt is taken:
Herman Ferdenant Lange, December 18, 1889 - July 14, 1924 (64)
Anna Elizabeth Belter Lange October 5, 1857 - April 24, 1908(50)
Anna died of heart leakage at 50 years of age.
Both parents came to American from Germany though Herman arrived before Anna. (Anna had a sister who also came to American before her.) Herman left Anna in Germany with the promise that he would send for her as soon as he could earn money to pay her fare. Meanwhile, Anna saved enough money of her own to come to the United States because she was afraid some American girl would "take him" as Sally said. Anna arrived in Chicago, but without sufficient money to travel on to Augusta, Wisconsin, where Herman was farming. Anna worked as a maid for some wealthy people while in Chicago so she could save money to go on to be with Herman in Augusta.
Anna had not sent word to Herman that she had left Germany. Herman was hard at work in the fields with a team of horses when Anna arrived at the farm. Anna slowly walked out into the field toward Herman. When he realized it was Anna, he threw the reins aside and ran frantically to meet his beloved Anna. They were married shortly thereafter. "What a love story; how romantic," Sally said.
Sally had six sisters and four brothers. A baby brother named George died soon after birth. Due to an extremely cold winter and an abundance of snow, the baby was buried on the farm under an apple tree. The baby's birth was never officially recorded.
[The brothers and sisters are listed as follows: DLL]
Clara January 13, 1885 - April 2, 1949(64)
Kuno (Coonie)March 5, 1886?
Robert June 4, 1887 - January 21, 1970(82)
Hattie December 19,1888 - February 22, 1960(71)
Max March 19, 1890 - November 11, 1945 (55)
Selma (Sally) June 3, 1892 - March 16, 1987(94)
Anna (Ona)October 19, 1893 - September, 1977(83)
Minnie September 20, 1895 - May, 1979(83)
Ruth September 22, 1897 - January 8, 1919(21)
Leda October, 1901? 1971 ?(70?)
George Sometime after 1902; Died shortly after birth
1) Clara, the eldest, died at age 64 of a car accident.
2) Kuno, called "Coonie," had four children.
3) Robert had 13 children, Twelve girls and one boy. Robert died at approximately 82 years of age.
4) Hattie died at 71 of heart trouble.
5) Max had a stroke and died at 55 years of age.
6) Selma, called "Sally," was child number six and had four children.
7) Anna Elizabeth was named after her mother, but later had her name changed to Ona. Ona died at 83.
8) Minnie had two children; she died at her son's home in California at 83 years of age.
9) Ruth was a young lady of 21 when she died of flu.
10) Leda, the youngest sister, died at approximately 70 in a nursing home in northern Wisconsin.
11) George, a baby brother died within a few days of his birth.
The family left Augusta and moved to Fairchild, Wisconsin. Fairchild had a midwife called Grandma Hoffman who helped deliver most of the babies born in the area. Only one of the eleven babies born to Sally's mother was delivered by a doctor.
Whenever Anna and Herman went visiting or to a party, Anna would come home and tell the girls in her German dialect, "Your father was the handsomest man there!"
The Prodigal Son
Sally's family had a prodigal son; Robert took his money from the farm, moved away, sowed his oats, and "spent all." When Robert came to his senses and realized what he had left behind, he returned home and asked his father to forgive him. Pa was grateful to have Robert back on the farm. Robert worked very hard after that and saved his money to buy a farm of his own where he lived and raised a family of thirteen children. Robert's Children were very good to Uncle Coonie and visited him often.
One horse was allowed as a pet and Queenie was the prettiest brown horse in all of Fairchild. The family was so proud of her and she was "kept shining." Queenie did not do hard work like the rest of the horses; she only did "lady's" work such as shopping or taking milk to the creamery. All the horses, however had the day off on Sundays. Sally's father believed they should have a day of rest as well as anyone else.
At the early age of six or seven each child was appointed four cows to care for and milk every day. By Six o'clock in the morning, everyone was in the barn milking cows before going to school. when Sally was ill, her sisters and brothers would have to milk her cows. Sally's cows had learned her touch and they knew her voice so, of course, they were not very friendly when someone other than Sally tired to milk them. Many a time the milk pail would fly across the barnroom floor.
Max loved horses and it was his responsibility to take care of them. At one time, when Max was gone for several weeks, Sally tended the horses for him. When Max returned from his trip, he went directly to the barn to check on the horses. Sally recalls hiding in the barn listening to Max talk to the horses, while he lovingly brushed and groomed them. Sally remembered that conversation well. "Did they feed you your oats on time? Were they good to you?" Yes, Max loved his horses.
Blueberries and other Memories
The blueberry season brought "BIG MONEY" for the family. A man named Joe Rivard bought the blueberries for ten cents a quart and Sally and her sisters and brothers earned "one penny" for each quart of their pickings. This was their spending money for the Fourth of July celebration.
Eating lunch in the fields was a good time for all. Sally remembers the "huge flat rocks" they sat on while eating. It was fun talking and laughing together with her sisters and brothers.
Sally thought the world had come to an end when her mother died. At sixteen, Sally had to learn to take care of the home, bake, and cook the meals. She says it was a "sad takeover."
Sally remembers kneeling in front of the oven and praying over her bread. And, she remembers Papa telling her brothers, "Boys, eat this bread; it is better this time!"
Sally tried so hard to keep the white-pine kitchen floor clean or "white" like Mama did. Her father was very supportive of all her efforts. He made the boys take their shoes off before coming into the house. Canning pickles was an experience Sally never forgot. She was SO PROUD of her pickles and they tasted SO GOOD. However, with Sally's lack of knowledge, she had allowed the pickles to cool before putting them into jars for storage. she was so disappointed and discouraged to find that the pickles had spoiled in the fruit cellar and the juice had run all over the floor. Sally said, "So much for canning pickles!"
When Sally was seventeen, she had a boyfriend named Fred. Fred had two shiny horses and he was not only popular, but he had money. Fred would hitch up his horses to the buggy and take Sally riding. One night during supper time, the telephone rang and a jealous party told Sally that Fred was out with other girls. Sally was so sad. Her father was able to convince her to tell him what the problem was. Well -- if anyone had an ailment, a problem, a sore foot, a headache or had been jilted, Papa would prescribe "Natures Remedy" and that is exactly what was given to Sally for her heartache.
Desire of an Education
Sally wanted to go to school; she had the desire to be a teacher, but money was scarce in such a big family. When she approach Papa about an education, he said there was not enough to do for the others so he could not send her. Sally was disappointed but she also understood Papa's decision. She managed to get many good books and educate herself by reading whenever she had time.
Working at the Newspaper and Decisions
Sally left the farm to work at the Osseo Newspaper where she earned a wage of two dollars a week. She did housework in exchange for her room and board. She was a "printer's devil" at first. Later, she became a reporter visiting various functions and meetings in Fairchild and the surrounding areas. Her boss, Mr. Gilpen, tried to persuade Sally to make the commitment not to marry for several years to stay with him at the newspaper. She quoted him as saying, "I will see that you get a to be a City Reporter." However, Sally had met Herman Rosenau and their romance blossomed into marriage.
Laura Lambreth, a friend of Sally's, worked at the newspaper in the nearby town of Augusta. Laura chose the opposite life from that chosen by Sally; Laura stayed with the Augusta newspaper through her entire life. Alone and sorry, years later, she shared with Sally that she wished she too had married and had a family.
Herman O. Rosenow February 22, 1882
Selma (Sally) L. Lange Rosenow June 3, 1892
Sally says she was a giddy young kid of twenty-one and Herman was a somber old man ten years her senior when they started their life together.
During the time Sally was employed at the Osseo Newspaper, she worked with a boy named George Rogers who held a position above Sally. Sally heard that George bought the Augusta Herald. Some years later, Sally, Herman, and their two boys decided to visit George. George had no teeth; they had all been pulled; Sally said Herman, "See! Now you saw your old boy friend; aren't you glad you saw him?"
One winter morning Pa came to the home for Sally; someone had to care for Clara who was seriously ill. Sally and her father found Clara lying on the kitchen floor in a pool of blood; Clara had had a miscarriage. Sally was a young mother and pregnant with her third child, Ruth. Denver and Robert were small children when Sally went to care for Clara.
Moving to Madison
Sally and Herman left Fairchild when their youngest son, Johnie, became seriously ill. Johnie needed intensive medical care and Sally found Dr. Gonse, the finest of doctors, to care for Johnie. Dr. Gonse had his practice in the Madison area, so Sally left Fairchild with Johnie and Herman stayed behind to sell the home and their belongings. Sally lived the remainder of her life in the city of Madison.
Blessed Assurance - Asleep in the Lord
Sally loved her Lord and she spoke openly and freely about Jesus. She is with Him now.