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Donald and Hanna Keller Oral History


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Biographical Information:

Donald Keller was born on July 28, 1900, and Hanna Keller (formerly Skuza) was born on February 8, 1901. Donald and Hanna each lived in a variety of locations throughout the United States and worked in a variety of different professions during their youth, but did not become a couple until August 27, 1939 (after Hanna’s first husband passed away in 1936). After marrying, the couple permanently resided in Sauk Rapids, where Hanna worked as a homemaker and bartender while Donald worked as the manager of the Municipal Liquor Store until 1962. Donald passed away on December 18, 1987, and Hanna passed away on December 30, 1994. They were survived by Hanna’s daughters Genevieve and Audrey, 10 grandchildren, and 22 great-grandchildren.

Transcript Summary:

In an interview conducted on August 6, 1973, Donald and Hanna Keller discuss various details pertaining to their lives, as well as some of the broader history of the Sauk Rapids area. Much of the interview contrasted the couple’s relatively difficult living situations in the early 1900s with those of Americans in the 1970s, in which they noted that (even prior to beginning of The Great Depression in 1929) economic conditions in Sauk Rapids were largely lackluster. It was not until World War II that revitalized the area’s fortunes. The couple also provided commentary on events like World War I and World War II, the former of which Donald was drafted into in 1918 (although the war ended before he arrived in Europe). Hanna’s son Arnold served in World War II where he was killed in action in October 1944. Additionally, both Donald and Hanna also spoke extensively about the different professions that they worked in throughout their lives - restaurant owner and liquor store owner for Hanna, along with iron miner, bartender, and farmer for Donald, among others.

Interview conducted by Thomas Raiche


Image ID: 15732

See additional files below for full transcript.

15732_transcript.pdf (90 kB)
Donald and Hanna Keller oral history interview transcript

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