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The Sleepy Eye Herald Dispatch - Sleepy Eye, MN
  • Divine Providence will celebrate a century with two residents in January

  • Eleanor Fischer and Margaret Bertrand will both celebrate 100 years at Divine Providence Community Home
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  • The staff and residents at Divine Providence Community home have plenty of reason to celebrate in 2013.
    Two residents, Eleanor Fischer and Margaret Bertrand will both be turning a century old next month.
    Eleanor Fischer was born Jan. 8, 1913, at a rural home in Sleepy Eye. Eleanor was the middle child of six siblings.
    She attended school at a one room school house through grade eight. She later went on to become a teacher for students in grades two through six, she said. While she did that for many more years, Eleanor said it was a profession more out of necessity.
    "The children were good. They were mischievous like children are, but for the most part they were good," Eleanor said of her years as a teacher.
    Eleanor's parents were farmers and she remembers fondly her chores were to gather the eggs and help with the milking.
    "We milked the cows by hand and then I would carry the milk up to the milk machine that separated the cream from the milk," Eleanor said.
    It wasn't for many years that Eleanor would eventually marry her husband, Henry in October of 1969. She said she knew him for many years before they began to date.
    "He had red hair and blue eyes and I thought he was quite attractive," Eleanor said with a sparkle in her eyes.
    For 10 years, Eleanor said she and Henry farmed land before moving to town.
    For her 100-year-birthday celebration, Eleanor said if it was up to her she wouldn't do anything special.
    "I don't believe in birthday parties and I don't go to them unless I have to," Eleanor said.
    Margaret Bertrand was born Jan. 30, 1930, at a home in Granville, Iowa as the second oldest child of five brothers and five sisters.
    In 1922, Margaret said her father had the opportunity to purchase a farm in Sleepy Eye rather than renting the farm like they had in Iowa so the family moved. Margaret said she was 10 years old when she moved with her family to a farm three miles northwest of Sleepy Eye.
    Margaret remembers her chores on the farm included helping cultivate the corn and milking the cows.
    "It was a chore every morning and every night," Margaret recalled.
    She said she met her husband, Ambrose, when she was still in school.
    "We had to drive the horse and buggy to school and we kept the horse in the same stall as Ambrose's horse," Margaret said.
    They were married June 11, 1935 at St. Mary's Church. She recalled that it was the first warm day that spring. The couple had a wedding party of eight attendants and held a reception at home with a dance at the Patter Foot, which was located on the corner where the furniture store now is.
    Page 2 of 2 - Margaret and her husband farmed together until his death in 1976.
    Ambrose and Margaret had five children.
    Two of her children still reside in Minnesota. Eugene Bertrand resides in Sleepy Eye and her daughter resides in Monticello. Her two sons both live in Ohio and Washington and one child died at birth.
    On the day of her birthday Margaret said she doesn't plan on doing anything out of the ordinary.
    Divine Providence Community Home will plan a special celebration for the both of them in January.

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