Alice Brass Richtsmeier

Honored by:Herman and Dean Richtsmeier
Brick location:D:12  map

We are honoring our mother because we feel she certainly belongs in the Plaza of Heroines. Alice was born and has lived her entire life in north central Iowa in the Franklin County area. Born April 21, 1913, she grew up on the family farm. As was the case of most farm children of that day, she walked a good distance to school each day, regardless of the weather because she attended a rural country one room school.

As she grew up, she was expected to help at home as well as go to school. Being the oldest of five children, many of her tasks were to take care of her brothers and sisters and to do cleaning and cooking. However, she also had responsibilities outside the house assisting with feeding livestock and milking the cows, both before and after school. In the fall, there was corn to pick, by hand at that time, and Alice learned to do her share of that work.

She attended Sewing School after completing eighth grade but did not have an opportunity to attend high school. This did not set her back as she used those skills she had learned. Before getting married, she worked as a hired girl. She then married a young man who attended the same country church she attended. They then started their lives together as a farm couple.

Her life as a farm wife continued until she and her husband retired in the town of Hampton, Iowa. During those years she was always very busy in many ways. The church was always the center of her life, not only as a place to worship but as a social place. It was the place to meet the relatives, friends and neighbors on Sunday morning and at other times during the week. She was always one of the first to take part in a church activity which required someone to do the work and see that it got done. She continues, at the age of 81, to assist in serving meals at the church and is active in a Sewing Circle.

Her sewing skills did not go to waste. She made endless items of clothing for herself and her family during her lifetime. When time allowed, she would do sewing for others at a very reasonable rate. At the same time, she made quilts, always making sure a newborn in the family had a new quilt. Crocheting is another of her skills and many afghans for relatives and friends have been produced. Between times, she made craft items such as stuffed rabbits, dolls and things of that type.

During her days as a farm wife, she was a true partner in the farming operation. The days would be filled with cooking the meals, driving farm equipment as needed, running errands when repairs were needed for farm equipment, keeping her two sons out of trouble and doing farm chores. There were few farm activities she did not do. In the early days that meant sometimes cooking a noon meal for 15 to 20 men doing the thrashing during the harvesting of oats.

Although she did not lead a cause and become well known, there are few people in her world that would not tell you that she set an example everyone could follow. When necessary, she would go head to head with anyone if there was just cause. And yes, she had lots of good times through it all. She took part in endless activities with friends and family, an activity she still enjoys today.

As you can see, Alice Brass Richtsmeier was one of the people we most adored. If everyone were like her, the world would be a much better place today.

Written by her sons,
Herman and Dean Richtsmeier

Submitted on 6/30/94