Happy Birthday Sally



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Selma Cornelia Aschbrenner (1904-1983)

Happy Birthday Sally!

Selma Cornelia Aschbrenner was born on 07 May 1904 in Berlin, Marathon, Wisconsin, 112 years ago today. She was the first child of Frederick A Helmut Aschbrenner and Alice Rosalie Fehlhaber. She had one sibling, namely: Frederick Carl Aschbrenner. Sadly, Freddy died at age 27.

Sally (Selma) and her brother Freddy Aschbrenner, ca 1910.

She was called Sally.

Sally grew up on her parents’ farm in the Town of Berlin in rural Marathon County, Wisconsin. In order to attend high school, she left home to live with her Uncle Ed and aunt Laura Aschbrenner. She was the valedictorian of Wausau High School Class of 1922.

1922-Aschbrenner_Selma-Yearbook-Wausau_High_School (W)

After high school, Sally became a stenographer for the Curtis & Yale company in Wausau. She met another young professional who was also working in Wausau and began a very long courtship. Norman Krueger was in no hurry to marry. Sally got impatient with the lack of progress in their relationship. She applied and was hired for a job at the US Patent Office in Washington, DC. While there she was got transferred to the Chief Clerk’s Division.

Sally with her friend Pearl, in Washington, D.C.

Meanwhile, absence really did make the heart grow fonder. Her beau Norman wrote to her regularly and eventually convinced Sally to return to Wausau.

Finally, when Sally was 29, she married Norman Arthur August Krueger, son of Bernhard Richard R Krueger and Frieda H Lemke, on 11 Nov 1933 in Milwaukee, Milwaukee, Wisconsin. Her friends at the Patent Office sent her off with lots of advice for her marriage.

While we might not understand some of the seemingly inside jokes, the instructions paint a story of how Sally came to be a bride.

Rule 11 may indicate that the ladies in the patent office were tough?

One of many recipes shared with Sally.

The “sad but true” lesson may make us wives laugh more than our husbands, but perhaps applies today as well as then.

Another of the many recipes shared in this bridal booklet. 1933 humor!

An official memo from the patent office. I wonder what it meant to “take the first train to Reno?”

As a newlywed, Sally returned to work as an executive stenographer for a top executive with Curtis & Yale Lumber Company. Her typing skills began to deteriorate. She ended up at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota where she received a sad diagnosis. She had Parkinson’s disease. It was thought that the disease was likely caused by a severe case of encephalitis that Sally suffered during the worldwide epidemic of the disease in 1917.

Norman Arthur August Krueger and Selma Cornelia Aschbrenner had two sons:

  1. James Frederick Krueger was born in Wausau, Marathon, Wisconsin. He married Coralee Mae Phillips in Sandwich, De Kalb, Illinois.
  2. Charles Norman Krueger was born in Wausau, Marathon, Wisconsin. He married Phyllis Ann Williams  in Jefferson, Oregon.
1940ca-Krueger_Norman-and-Sally-family (W)

Norman, Sally, Jim and Chuck Krueger.

Parkinson’s affects the nerves and leads to a loss of mobility. Sally, no longer working, was able to care for her family until her oldest son was in kindergarten. The young Krueger family then moved in with Sally’s parents who had moved off the farm and into Wausau. In the multi-generational household, Sally was able to get help from her parents. But it was stressful for the elder Aschbrenners to have their tranquility disturbed by well-behaved, but growing boys. And, it was stressful for a young family to try to behave to accommodate grandparents.

1962-Aschbrenner-and-Krueger (W)

Alice Rosalie Fehlhaber and Frederick A Helmut Aschbrenner, Sadie Heise Aschbrenner Radke (widow of Freddy Aschbrenner), Chuck Krueger, Sally, Jim Krueger, and Norman Krueger.

Eventually Sally went into remission for a few years. This allowed Sally, Norman, and their boys, to move into their own house. Sally needed to have household help, Norman had to do things like the grocery shopping and help Sally dress, but they were able to live independently.

Throughout the years, both Sally and Norman were involved with the Presbyterian Church in Wausau and dedicated a lot of time to the Underwood Memorial Chapel, a free-standing Sunday School, in Wausau.

1977-Krueger_Norman-and-Sally-and-2-grandkids (W)

Sally and Norman with two of their grandchildren, Wendy and Brent.

After her husband passed away in 1980, Sally moved into a nursing home. She died on 15 May 1983 in Wausau, Marathon, Wisconsin at age 79. She and Norman are buried together in Pine Grove Cemetery at Wausau, Marathon County, Minnesota.

Norman and Sally Aschbrenner Krueger, 1980.

How Do I Learn More?

More details of Sally’s lineage can be found in The Aschbrenner Family.

The Aschbrenner Family

Sally’s Life and Descendants

More details of Sally’s life and information about her descendants can be found in The Krueger Family.

The Krueger Family

  • Publication date: June 2015
  • Pages: 244
  • Formats:
  • This book covers our Krueger ancestry. Johann and Augusta Krueger left their native Germany to settle in Wisconsin. The book traces four generations of descendants of the immigrants. The stories of the families of their son Bernhard and their grandson Norman are told in detail.

Where is she in the tree?


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