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Dakota Diary - Etta Erdmann

Etta Erdmann and Chuck Allen ... pose by their hanging flowerpot that Chuck constructed.

Etta Erdmann has lived in Haakon County nearly her entire life and is glad this is the place she calls home.

Etta has four children, Gene lives in Minneapolis, Minn., Paula and her husband, Johnny Stone, live in Lubbock, Tex., Mitzi Houska lives in Moscow, Idaho, and Rose Curtis lives in Gillette, Wyo. Etta has three grandsons, three granddaughters and one great-grandson.

Etta Griesel was born September 28, 1931, on her family's farm 28 miles north of Philip. Her grandfather homesteaded their farm in the Hilland area, when he moved to the United States from Germany when he was only 12 years old. Both Etta's mother and father grew up in Philip, and were farmers/ranchers. Etta grew up with four sisters and two brothers. When she was old enough to start grade school, Etta attended the Marietta country school. When Etta was growing up, there was a small grocery store and post office in Hartley, near the Griesel's farm. It was helpful to have a grocery store nearby, so her family did not have to travel the long distance into Philip to get groceries.

When Etta was in seventh grade, she and two of her sisters decided to move into Philip and rent a house. It was much easier for the Griesel sisters to live in town, so they would not have to travel so far to school each day. Throughout high school, Etta worked every day at the Senechal Hotel in Philip. Her work included cleaning rooms and working at the front desk checking visitors in.

While in high school, Etta used her horse for transportation around Philip. Etta mentioned that she loved to dance and they used to play records in the old auditorium where Ingram's Hardware is now located. Once in a while, bands played in the auditorium and Etta and her friends loved to go there and dance. "Philip is smaller now than it was when I was growing up, there are less businesses, and people, but Philip still has all the essentials."

She graduated from Philip High School in May 1949. Etta married Oliver Erdmann in October 1949 in Philip. The couple and their four children later moved to California, where they resided for six years. While living in California, Etta stayed home with the children, and her husband worked as a lather.

After their West Coast adventure, the family moved back to small town Philip. Etta got a job at Hanson's SuperValu and worked there for eight years.

When she was working at the store, Homer Morgan convinced her to start working as the deputy assessor at the Haakon County Courthouse. Etta agreed and worked as deputy for two years. In 1970, she took over as Director of Equalization (assessor) and remained in that position for 28 and a half years.

When she hit the age of 65, Etta retired from the assessor position. She has been fully retired for 13 years.

Etta currently lives with Chuck Allen. The couple was brought together by some of their friends that insisted they get to know each other. After some time, Etta agreed to go on a motorcycle ride with Chuck. Etta and Chuck have been together since 1993.

"Philip is home to me. A lot of my friends are still living here.  I got acquainted with lots of people when I was working at the courthouse. Philip is a quiet and friendly place to live. I wouldn't want to live anywhere else," Etta added.

Etta takes pleasure in golfing once in a while, and helping Chuck with gardening and wood working.

Etta enjoyed growing up and raising her children in Philip and is still pleased with the quiet, friendly town.