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Ludwig Draeger

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Ludwig Draeger decided to buy a farm in 1883. Over a century later, the farm is still in my family and represents the most influential object we have that has been passed down from each generation.

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0:03:19

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This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License. Please contact Immigration History Research Center staff for permissions not covered by this Creative Commons license.

Transcription

Coming to America from Germany isn't easy for anyone, but my great-great-great grandpa Ludwig Draeger had a dream of farming in America. He decided to buy a farm in 1883. Over a century later, the farm is still in my family and represents the most influential object we have that has been passed down from each generation. My family is about hard work, and this farm represents the hard-working culture my family has had for generations. For all of us, this work ethic comes from our ancestor Ludwig.

The farm is located in Penn township in Brownton, Minnesota. Ludwig bought all the land around the farm so he could build mini farms for all of his kids to live on. Dairy cows and pigs are the two kinds of animals it had. It is so important because my ancestors went through the complications of coming to America on a boat and no money, just to get this farm.

Ownership of the farm has been passed among members of my mom’s side of the family. After Ludwig Draeger died, it was passed down to his son Robert Draeger who lived at the farm with his family. Lastly, it was owned by my great-grandpa Charles Draeger. In 1976, he hosted an auction that brought people from all over Minnesota to. It sold all different kinds of equipment and animals.

Charles received an award for the farm in 1983 from Rudy Perpich who was the Governor of Minnesota. The letter praised the family for more than 100 years of “service and contributions to the community, state, nation, and world.” It provided my family with jobs and labor when they did not have lots of money. The farm got more modernized with newer equipment over the years, but the main building is still there. Today, it is rented out to a local farmer from Brownton, but it is still under our family name.

Century Farm is more significant to my grandpa because he has been to the farm lots throughout his life, compared to me. He can relate to this farm with memories of living and growing up there, where now for me, it is only stories that I can remember it by.

It has been an honor to have lived in a family that cares so deeply about a single piece of land, and I will try to keep this farm in the family as I continue to grow up.