Four generations of grandmothers have lived on Lone Tree Farm and each one has had a favorite tree. Ironically, the two grandmothers who were organized and intellectual women liked wild trees. The two who were more spontaneous and fun-loving liked domesticated trees
Great-grandma Hannah Cackett Shurr was born in Wales, raised in upstate New York, and came to the farm as a homesteader in the early 1870s. The family legend is that when they arrived with their young family, the house that was supposed to be waiting for them was not built. Great-grandpa John was deeply disturbed and wanted to turn around and go back to Waseca, MN, where they had farmed for several years. But, Hannah would have none of that. They stayed and set up housekeeping in a dugout near the Lone Tree. Her tree is the cottonwood.
Grandma Daisy Walker Shurr was born on a farm north of Ellsworth. She was 100% Irish and when her parents moved to town, they sold the farm to the man who would eventually become Grammy Margaret’s great-grandfather. There’s a family tradition that when Daisy came to Lone Tree Farm as Grandpa George’s bride in 1904, she planted several lines of lilacs. Her new father-in-law was convinced that they wouldn’t grow, but Daisy carried water to them. The bushes survived and are still vibrant after more than a century. Her iconic tree is the lilac.
Grandma Bernita Bell Shurr was born “on the backs of Plum Creek” near Walnut Grove, MN. She married Grandpa John and moved to the banks of Kanaranzi Creek in 1940. She loved Nature and the family story goes that she would sneak down to the Creek to sit on at the top of a steep bank and watch her two boys playing in the water. Her sons never knew that she watched over them. Her symbolic tree is the wild plum.
Grammy Margaret Siemer Shurr was born on a farm north of Ellsworth. She is 100% German and married Papa George in part because she was related to all of the other boys in her neighborhood. When they lived in St. Cloud, MN, Grammy planted many different kinds of trees and she planted a lot of them. Although she continued to plant trees after they moved to Lone Tree Farm in 1998, there is one type that she particularly likes. Grammy’s favorite tree is the evergreen.
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