70 Years of Togetherness
Schwartzenberger, Terry. "70 Years of Togetherness." Napoleon Homestead, 9 August 2006, 1-3.
Harry and Leah Wolf
just celebrated their 70th wedding anniversary.
Think back to 1936. And if you aren’t old enough to remember,
just imagine how things were. No money, no rain and no crops. "It
was hot and very dry, not much of a crop and much worse than it
is now," said Leah Wolff, bride of 70 years to her husband
The Wolff’s, Leah 88 and Harry 90 just celebrated their 70th
anniversary on Sunday, Aug. 6. Their actual wedding date is Aug.
due to when family and friends could gather to best celebrate this
milestone the event was celebrated on Sun., Aug. 6 in Streeter.
not known for sure, but according to Wolff’s daughter, Dyeanne
it is believed that her parents have set a record for a couple in
Streeter area being married the longest at 70 years. Harry is the
second oldest Streeter resident. Second only to his step brother,
Freddie Schulz, Streeter, who is three months older.
How It All Started
It was back in 1934 when Harry and Leah met. When asked if Harry
her (Leah) off her feet, Leah says, "Not really." Harry
would come by
on horse back and take care of some of the farm chores on Leah’s
uncle’s farm, that of Anton Ruff. After a two year courtship
were married at the Hope Evangelical Church, rural Streeter, near
Flat area. Leah is quick to point out, "The church is no longer
but there is a nice cemetery there."
The couple remembers the day was celebrated with family and a few
friends and Rev. Goehring was the pastor. They both said there was
money and no rings were exchanged, because they couldn’t afford
Harry says, "We didn’t have anything. Everyone was poor."
service Leah’s mother served a lunch to those who attended
The Wolffs have lived their entire lives in the Streeter area. Harry,
the son of Gottlieb and Rosa (Zeeb) Wolff was born in Blackfoot,
while Leah, the daughter of Fred and Margaret (Enzminger) Ruff was
in the Streeter area.
When they married, Harry was 21 and Leah 18. For a short time the
couple lived with Harry’s sister, the late Edwin and Lydia
about 5 miles south of Streeter. After living with the Enzmingers
year it was time for Harry and Leah to get a place of their own.
moved to a farm about three miles west of Streeter where they rented
quarter of land. Times were tough. Harry said, "We’d
cut thistles as
feed for the cattle, just to get by. Money was very scarce and you
didn’t borrow any money. If you couldn’t buy it with
cash you went
Helping them get started there was Leah’s Grandpa Ruff who
couple 5 cows, 2 pigs and a couple clucks and chickens, laughs Leah
she tells the story. At that time Harry said the couple bought a
drill for $8.50; a 5-ft. mower for $6.50, a 2-bottom plow for $4.50
drags for $2.50. Harry said, "We bought these items with the
cash we saved and to make matters worse the bank closed and we lost
portion of that money too." As far as farm chores, Harry said
always helped out. She even helped with binding and shocking at
time as well as with making hay.
After living west of Streeter for three or four years the couple
three miles east of Streeter where they lived and farmed for 48
Harry said all that was there was the house which they remodeled,
they added all the other buildings. Wolff’s sold the farm
Vandeberghe and it was in 1990 that Harry and Leah built a home
Streeter and have been living there ever since. Harry says, “I
moved off the farm, but everything about farming still stays in
This is the first year for the Wolff’s that they didn’t
plant a big
garden since they moved to town. When they had their large gardens
they’d eat what they could and the rest they’d give
to neighbors and
friends. Now this year the Wolff’s say, "We’re
getting back four-fold
of what we gave away. The friends and townspeople have been really
Harry, the oldest in the family, lost his father when he was three
years old. His mother remarried and he comes from a family of 9.
is the fourth oldest in her family and she has 10 brothers and sisters.
Harry and Leah have four children, three sons and a daughter: Clayton
who is a parts manager of Westward Production in Jamestown; LeRoy
is retired from the Montana Department of Transportation as a surveyor
and lives in Missoula, MT; Dr. Darold who is retired from Wartburg
College in Waverly, IA as a biology teacher and Dyeanne Flowers
Detona, FL where she was a bible teacher in the public schools and
home health care worker, but is semi-retired. Wolff’s also
grandchildren, 6 girls and two boys and 16 great grandchildren,
and one girl, with one boy who died at birth.
Both Leah and Harry have been active in church and community activities
over the years. Leah was a Sunday school teacher for 35-40 years
well as a choir member. Harry was a church trustee and usher and
couple has attended what is now known as the Ebenezer United Methodist
Church their entire married life. "I enjoy working with the
women," said Leah.
Both Harry and Leah are in good health. Harry had open heart surgery
the age of 85 and says, "The steam is not quite there,"
but he is still
Leah remembers the days when she’d make all types of German
kuchen and pastries to her specialty vegetable soup. In fact as
talking she has her daughter, Dyeanne, place two loaves of frozen
dough in the oven so the family will have fresh bread for lunch.
the years the Wolffs have witnessed many changes from horse-drawn
implements to tractors and from coal and wood burning stoves to
microwaves. Back in their earlier years Harry would pick up cow
out in the pasture and then mix them with straw. He’d hitch
up his four
horses and compact the mixture and then with a homemade sod cutter
make squares that they’d use to burn to keep warm.
They both remember getting their first radio, which was pretty
size and which had a big battery to operate it. In fact it was in
of 1937 when they started listening to the Rev. McCoy radio show,
because it was the same day their son Clayton was born. And to this
the Wolffs continue to listen to the show which airs at 9:00 a.m.
day on KSJB.
The couple used to be busy making quilts and they provided their
grandchildren and great grandchildren each with one. Harry is also
self-taught barber, and has given his kids, grandkids and the
neighborhood all hair cuts. "The first job was to make them
Harry also has a hidden talent of embroidering. "I enjoy it,"
Harry. In fact at the recent Ruff reunion 6 of his embroidered dish
towels garnered $132 at auction.
"They’ve never been idol," says daughter Dyeanne
Flowers. Flowers says
her mother was always ready for relatives with an oven full of food
they headed off to church. When they returned home the food would
nice and warm and ready to eat.
Success To A Long Marriage
According to the Wolff’s the success to their 70 years of
help each other out and we cooperate."
"Leah has always helped me out when I needed her," said
Reprinted with permission of the Napoleon Homestead.