Sophia Karen Jensen Osher

Honored by:Helen Howe
Brick location:B:23  map

My grandmother immigrated to the United States from Denmark at the age of 16. She was born in a crossroads community just outside Ringsted, Denmark, on October 29, 1867, to Hans and Carrie Larsen Jensen. She settled near Ringsted, Iowa, in northern Iowa. She married Herman Osher in 1887. That same year, her husband started a grain and mercantile business, building a store a year later.

For 12 years, the young couple lived in the back rooms of the store before building a large house up the hill. Nine children were born to the couple. Only five survived past the age of five.

Grandmother was a patient person with a deep faith who endured her suffering quietly. As a young woman, she faced the death of five of her children and at 54 was widowed. Varicose veins and deafness kept her confined to her home most of the time.

I remember Grandmother as being one who enjoyed watching birds feeding outside her window and as one who you wanted to just hug. She was of the generation where home and family demanded all her time and energy and she willingly filled that role. She could look in one's eyes and know what was going on with you. I remember visiting her room shortly after I became pregnant and having to leave the room suddenly. When I returned I explained why I was ill. She answered "Oh, I knew that. You can't have had nine children and not know the symptoms. I could see it in your eyes."

Grandmother Osher died in 1953. She is often thought of with fondness when one of us makes meatballs using her receipt or gets out the berry spoon she owned. She had a sweet smile and much kindness in her face.

Grandmother Osher, by her example, taught her children and grandchildren to appreciate the beauty around them and in the people they met. She taught us patience, kindness, and how to enjoy life. I don't recall ever seeing her without a smile on her face. She loved all of us and we will always remember her with love.

Submitted on 11/22/94