Annie’s parents were both born in Germany. German would have been her native tongue. She would have learned english in school. She was born on Christmas day (as was her mother) in 1882 on the Spilker family homestead in Johnson Minnesota. Annie was the second child baptized in the newly established german communitie’s recently built church. Annie was the oldest of 5 children. Her father died when she was 16. Annie was a fine seamstress and she cut hair for people in the area. She had an artistic flair. The photos she took of her flowers arrangements, vegetable harvests and of young daughter Caroline are well thought out compositions.
Remembering Annie Behrens:
Daughter Caroline Angland 10-19-93
Someone from Northfield wanted to pay her tuition for college – she declined.”
She worked for Dr. Olive in Graceville. She did housework and sewing. She also worked for Obrien in Graceville and was Richard Obrien’s nanny
Daughter Caroline Angland 1-20-2010
At 16, after her father died, she worked for wealthy people in Graceville. She would sew for them and she would live with them while she was fitting them and doing the sewing. She sewed all of Caro’s clothes. She cut hair for people.
Daughter Caroline Angland 04-30-2010
She did field work. She used to enjoy working in the garden and with trees and flowers. She used to enjoy growing things. I don’t recall her joining in on the fun with her sisters. Her sisters were more fun loving. Annie was always there to keep them out of trouble. On Sunday afternoons, she and Detlef would lie on the couch together. Also on Sunday afternoons Detlef would make up food in the kitchen for the animals and young Caro would look in and see her parents embracing.
Grandson Dennis Angland Junior May 28 2005 on trip to Johnson with mother Caroline
Denny remembers Annie taking him aside and telling him that he shouldn’t watch cowboys. She said this with such fervor you’d think you would go to hell for it.
Annie told him that she worked too hard when she was young and that was why she got so sickly when she was old.
Granddaughter Sheila Bergman’s memories May 2014
Annie and Detlev lived in an apartment in our basement. Annie was bedridden, thin and frail when I knew her. When I was no more than 5 she called me over to her bed and gave me a silver dollar saying she and Detlev wanted me to have it. I remember feeling very special and thinking that there must be more to the story. I have no memory of what happened to that dollar.
- Death Certificate Hennepin County, MN
- Caro’s hand written eulogy for her mother
- On the back of the eulogy is this list of Annie’s paul bearers:
- John Miners -lived next farm east of the Behren’s farm.
- Bill Andrews -aquaintance who lived just outside of Johnson, his wife was Johnny Norenberg’s sister
- Gust (Louie) Duin – bought Detlef’s farm.
- Melvin Demrow – went to church out there
- Bill Wilkie – went to church out there
- Ed Heuer – another family that lived out there.