Clara Prange Bertram

Honored by:Edna P. Wiser
Brick location:A:19  map

1884 - 1975

Clara Prange was born near Ft. Wayne, Indiana in 1884. She grew up in Seward, NE. While living there, she met and married Fred A. Bertram in 1906. They lived for awhile in Staplehurst, NE where Fred was employed by the Farmers Union Store. He was transferred to Yorktown, IA in 1920.

They became the proud parents of 3 boys and 5 girls. The first 6 were born near Seward. The last 2 were born in Yorktown, IA. Their next-to-last child was Reuben, and I met him at the University of Iowa at Iowa City in the fall of 1942 when we were both students there.

World War II had started and Reuben, along with all other able bodied men, were called into service. We became engaged in the fall of 1943 and he took me to Shenandoah, IA to meet his familv. We were married in November 1944 in New York City. After only 2 weeks together he had to sail out for his service duties. He returned from the war safely and we finished college and moved to LaCrosse, WI where he started his first job.

We planned to be there to rear our little family. At this time we had 2 children and expecting another. We made trips back to Iowa when we could so we could share the joy of our children with both sets of grandparents.

When I met Clara Bertram, who became my first mother-in-law, I found her easy to get to know and to love. She was a lovely person, a devoted Christian woman who lovingly reared her children with Fred's sturdy help. She was quiet, but with a nice sense of humor, her large brood kept her very busy but she always had time to do what she could for her neighbors and for her church.

Rueben's sudden death in July of 1950 was a shock to all and especially hard for his mother, Clara. Parents don't expect their children to die before they do. When Reuben had returned safely from service they were greatly relieved, so his sudden death was very hard on them. They had looked forward to sharing the joys of watching his family grow with him.

Grandma Clara did share in Reuben's children's lives until her death. She and Grandpa Bertram were important parts of the children's heritage. I am pleased to honor this dear mother-in-law with a brick in the Plaza of Heroines.