Old Spinning Wheel, Resting 40 Years,
Put Back Into Use by Original Owner

Submitted by Regina

Dorothea RASCH KROST

Old spinning wheel back in hands of original owner, Mrs.
Dorothea Rosch Krost, after forty years of rest from spinning.

A SPINNING WHEEL that has rested from its labor for forty years, in a modern Indiana home, where it was regarded as a favorite family heirloom, was recently returned to its first owner, Mrs. Dorothea RASCH KROST of St. Elmo, Ill., who, after the celebration of her eighty-sixth birthday, has put it to work again.

For forty years after her marriage in 1869. Mrs. KROST had spun on this wheel all the yarn for all the stockings and all the mittens which she knitted for herself and her husband and nine children.

Recently while visiting her daughter, Mrs. Harry B. THOMAS of Bloomington, Ind., she found great pleasure in showing her grandchildren how to spin and expressed a desire to take the wheel home with her.

Spins to Please Son.

Now she is happily engaged in spinning the yarn for a supply of winter socks for a son who prefers his mother's homespun to any machine-made hosiery he has ever found.

Mrs. KROST was 2 years old, in 1852, when her father, Ernest RASCH, brought his wife and ten children from Germany and settled on a farm in St. Clair County, Illinois. [Note from Regina: There were 7 children &  three more born here.] She remembers when her father walked a round trip of forty miles and carried his farm produce through the roadless timber to St. Louis, the nearest market town.

He felled the trees for foot logs across the streams that his children might attend the little school three miles away. But the six-mile daily walk through woods and wind and weather, the short terms, and the hardships at home after the early death of their mother prevented the RASCH children from having much schooling.

Educated His Children.

However, they were not uneducated. Their father taught them to read and write in German, he told them the legends and folk tales of his native land; and, to the accompaniment of the accordion, he sang with them the much loved songs from German opera. A great reader himself, he made reading with his children a part of every day's routine.

The primitive conditions which made it necessary for every pioneer child to work offered another source of education. A never-to-be-forgotten lesson was learned that day when the white baby clothes were boiled in the same kettle with the red flannel petticoats and hung on the fence with the desperate hope that a hard freeze would correct the fatal error.

Mother of Eleven Children.

Mrs. KROST is the mother of eleven children, nine of whom are still living; she has known the hardships of many droughts and many depressions; she has experienced the disappointment of hard work that brings little reward; but at 86 she is still very much interested in life, still eager to learn. Recently her daughter found her with pen and paper intent on perfecting her English penmanship.

When driving with another daughter, she exclaimed with delight "Esther, I'd give a nickle if I could drive a car as you do!"

After she was 76 years old she learned to embroider and has made a number of bed spreads, pillow covers, dresser scarves, pincushions, and quilts. Now at 86 she spins and knits.

"But," she apologizes, "If Martha and I had a automobile we wouldn't be found at home all the time either."

Last modified: 03 November 2011