Jeannette Romania Eickhoff Retter

Author: Retter Hofbesitzer / Labels: ,

Jeannette - Nettie to everyone who knew her - was one of six children from the union of Herman Henry Eickhoff and Barbara Daler Eickhoff.  She was the youngest of their 3 daughters.  Nettie came to the farm early in her life to be a housekeeper for Russell Retter who was then a bachelor.  Russell had inherited the farm from his mother.  The earliest record of Nettie living at the farm is from a custom post card sent to her at the rural New Carlisle address in 1908.  Nettie would have turned 18 in that year having been born on February 25, 1990.

Nettie lived at Retter Farm for the remainder of her life having married Russell Retter on December 31, 1914 at Tadmor, Butler Township, Montgomery County, Ohio by Simeon Frantz.  This union yielded four children - Carrie Catherine in 1917, Kenneth Eugene (stillborn) in 1919, Pauline Lavina in 1920, and Mildred May in 1922.

Nettie was an active member of the Brandt Lutheran Church and a longtime member of Bethel Grange.  She and Russell actively worked the farm and often took fresh fruits and vegetables to Dayton for sale at the farmers' market there.  She was skilled in all household crafts such as sewing, cooking and making butter from milk that she took from the small herd of dairy cattle.  During her early married life Nettie cared for her brother, Harry, who had been gravely wounded in France during WWI.

In later life Nettie suffered from what was then called "shaking palsy," what we now know as Parkinson's Disease.  Her Bible rarely left her side during her years at the farm.  She died November 17, 1956, a beloved family and community member.