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"The third from the oldest in a family of eight. Started working for her room, board, and clothing (no wages) in the spring before she was 8 in September for Christopher Luken. Worked there three years. Was given her first pair of leather shoes for her birthday when she was either 10 or 11 years old. Had worn wooden shoes until that time. Was required at that time to help load barley and oats which was hauled on oxen-drawn carts and to help thresh same with a flail."

Annette (Helmerichs) Clark, her daughter

This is Mary Leiner (Helmerichs) on the left and my great grandmother, Anka Maria Margaretha Leiner (Helmerichs) on the right. My great grandmother was born September 9, 1879. The two girls came to America from Weisbaden, Germany in 1898 aboard a ship named, "Friedrich der Grosse".








This is my great grandmother with a child named Robert Lewis, who, later in life, became a doctor. She took care of him for several years.








This is Gretha Leiner, my great great grandmother. She and Diedrich Leiner, her husband, came to America after my great grandmother. They resided in the Springfield, Illinois area.









Great Grandma always liked to cut and make greens. I can never remember eating them myself. She was of a short and rotund stature, and I can remember many times seeing her in my mother's strawberry patch bent over and picking berries. This is the last picture I can remember of my great grandmother. Her eyes speak volumes. A little German girl in wooden shoes working for her existence took on the world in her own way. With determination and hard work, she made her mark; not the kind of mark that rewrites history, but the foothold that others use as an inspiration to continue on. Unfortunately, I cannot say I knew her well, but I do have an admiration for her courage and her capabilities to raise a fine family.