Marie Ehrhardt Dunn

Honored by:Gerald Dunn
Brick location:C:9  map

Marie Dunn was born March 6, 1912 to Elizabeth Elson Erhardt and George Erhardt in Marshalltown, Iowa. The youngest child in a family of three (a brother Merlewas 6 years older and a sister Bernadine was 4 years older) she experienced the loss of her sister to a heart condition in 1917. Her mother died when she was 8 years old and she went to live with an aunt in Pekin, Illinois where she completed her grade school years.

Marie returned to Marshalltown and her father's home when she entered Marshalltown High School. She graduated in 1930 and shortly there after married Donald Joseph Dunn (b. St. Anthony lowa1907) February 17, 1931 and began life as an Iowa farm wife. Donald and Marie first lived on a farm near St. Anthony. Donald was the grandson of Irish immigrants who settled in the area known as the Dunn Settlement because of the number of descendants of the 5 immigrant Dunn brothers and two Dunn cousins who settled near St. Anthony.

Donald farmed and Marie learned of the duties of a farm wife. She gardened, cared for the poultry and worked in the fields; when called upon in addition to her household duties. She honed her cooking skills and practiced recipes learned from her aunt. Soon a son Gerald was born (9/11/32) followed the next year by a second son George (9/29/33). In 1934 the young family moved to a farm 1 mile north of Ogden Iowa.

Donald continued to farm able to farm 120 acres now with improvements in farming methods and machines. Marie cooked for hired hands and at harvest time for "threshers" sometimes as many as 15-20 hungry men as well as her family now expanded with the birth of a third son Donald L. (2/3/38).

During World War II years Donald and Marie coped with shortages of gasoline sugar meat clothing (particularly shoes) and made-do as best they could. Marie canned and cooked and became known around Ogden as one of the town's best cooks. When the War ended and prosperity returned to the farmland Donald and Marie built a new farmhouse and equipped it with electricity and running water quite an improvement over former conditions. This house remained their home for the next 25 years until operation of the family farm was turned over to Don L. and Marie and Donald "retired" to town.

They built a house across the street from the future site St. John's Catholic Church so that they would be close to their religious home. They wintered in Arizona for several years until Donald's health no longer allowed them to travel. When Donald died in 1990 Marie continued to live in town until her health no longer permitted her to do so. She moved to the Eastern Star Home in Boone, January 1994 where she still resides at this writing.

Marie is known as a good neighbor gracious hostess and most of all for her cooking skills. She was a typical Iowa farm wife of her time.