Angeline Poser remembers the past 100 years

By Tina Snell, Staff Writer

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Angiline Poser turned 100 years old Monday. She has attended one party and there is one more to go.

Angeline Poser, seated, turned 100 years old Monday. She is pictured at her birthday party with her fellow Solo players. She said Solo is a German card game that is very difficult to learn, and there are not many left in Pierz who know how to play. Her card playing friends are (from left): Leo Perleberg, Edward Stangl, Herb Stumpf and Marvin Burggraff.

While Poser doesn’t move as fast as she once did, her mind, her hearing and her eyesight are in great shape. One would hardly believe she  is 100 years old.

Poser was born in Pierz in 1912 to Lawrence and Mary Poser. She was the fourth child of nine.

Poser said it was different that each daughter was born between two boys.

Her siblings were Ed, Ida, Leo, then Angeline, Phillip, Stella, Clement, Rita and Vic.Rita is the only other still living and she resides at Harmony House.

The children in the Poser home each went to school through the eighth grade. Poser said her parents kept one son and one daughter at home when they were finished with school to help with the farm and the house. When the next two children were finished with the eighth grade, they were kept at home and the elder two were allowed to leave to get a job.

“We lived on a farm on 320 acres. Father needed help with the animals and the land and mother needed help with the younger children, the gardens, the house and more,” she said.

The farm was worked to sustain the family of 11. The two gardens provided the vegetables and the animals provided the meat. The Posers did sell potatoes and eggs for extra money, but the rest was eaten right away or put up for the winter.

“The girls also helped outdoors,” Poser said. “We were expected to shuck the corn and pick the potatoes, too.”

Poser remembers the family got electricity in about 1919. She said she hardly remembers having to use lanterns for light.

“Father put up his own electric line to the house from the line which ran along the Little Falls road,” she said. “We were lucky to live close to the road, adding the electricity wasn’t too hard. But, the electric company bought our lines a few years later.”

Poser said the farm was one of the few in the area that also had running water.

German was spoken in most homes in Pierz when she grew up. In fact, it was spoken at school. Even though her parents were born in Pierz, they spoke mostly German, too. There was no need to learn English when everyone else spoke the same language.

When it was her turn to leave the home and go to work, she moved to St. Paul where she worked as a housekeeper. She stayed in St. Paul for 55 years.

The family she worked for when she first moved to St. Paul owned a grocery store off Lexington Avenue. When the husband passed away in 1927, she and another employee purchased the business. They ran it for 20 years.

“There were no supermarkets then. Our store sold candy, onions, sugar, potatoes and more by the pound. The food was in large bins and we would weigh it out for the customer,” she said.

When the owner of the building didn’t renew their lease in 1947, Poser moved on to work for Brown and Bigelow in its printing department. She remained there for 10 years before she retired.

“It was lucky that I got out of the grocery business,” she said. “Soon after I left several supermarkets opened in the area. My partner and I would have had a hard time.”

In 1979, Poser returned to Pierz and moved into Kamnic Apartments, where she still resides. She said she moved back home because her brothers, who stayed in the Pierz area to farm, were getting older and weren’t coming to St. Paul to visit any longer.

When asked what her secret was to living to 100 years, Poser said she was surprises herself that she lived this long.

“There was no special diet, no drinking, but I did smoke cigarettes a little,” she said. “I think a pack would last me several months.”

Poser said she got plenty of exercise on the farm, growing up, and plenty when she was a housekeeper and when she owned the store. But nothing more.

“I am not one to celebrate, I hardly leave my room on the weekends,” she said. “I’m glad all these parties are almost over with.”