A Bio

by Mabel (Freese) Busdieker             RETURN to  Family Page

This is a short bio Mabel wrote for the church newsletter in 2004.

I was born on Christmas Day in 1927. My parents were Herman and Lydia Freese, farmers living near Foristell Road, then known as Howell’s Ferry Road. My baptism took place in the home but is recorded in St. John’s baptismal records just as my grandmother Wilhelmina Henrietta Paul’s -- the first name recorded in 1857. She was my baptismal sponsor so I became Mabel Wilhelmina.

When I was three we moved several miles east to live with her because of Grandpa Giessman’s death. That house was my home for the next 73 years. Eight years I walked a mile and a half to the one-room Doeblin School, then four years rode the bus to Wright City High School. A scholarship gave me an option to attend Northeast Missouri State Teacher’s College at Kirksville. In one suitcase I packed 24 pint jars filled with canned meat, vegetables, and fruit. That year letters were the only means of communicating with family because the local telephone lines were only from neighbor to neighbor. No long distance connections. I can still visualize a package of goodies from Mom, including a heart-shaped pound of butter with I Love You written with gold butter coloring. Kirksville had no church of my denomination so my religious horizon widened as I attended five different churches. Always St. Johannes Cappeln remained a special one to come home to.

After one year of college-there was a need for a teacher in the one-room Cappeln School on what is now Becker-Joerling Road. After passing the county teacher’s exam I was given a teaching certificate and accepted the challenge-Grades 1-8. One year neighboring Doeblin School could not find a teacher, so I was asked to pick those children up along the way and take them to school with me. My first passenger was a boy brought to my house with horse and buggy by his dad. So along Foristell Rd, Oberhelman, Sneak, Hwy T , D, etc. chugged the ’33 Plymouth with its precious cargo of 7 students and teacher. When roads were icy my dad would sometimes even put chains on all four wheels so I could safely make turns from Oberhellman to Sneak, Sneak to T, etc In addition to teaching a variety of subjects at various grade levels, for heat often wood or coal needed to be dumped into the tall stove. Once when opening the lid of the tall stove to fire up—a bat flew out needing an escort to find outdoor freedom. Those pupils and I shared many experiences, and it still warms my heart to be greeted with a friendly Hello by my former second and fourth grade students—now active St. John’s Church members.

Sunday afternoons were reserved for visiting neighbors but Sunday mornings always meant going to Sunday School and church. I learned many Bible verses in both English and German, but was confirmed in German.

Some years my cousins and I walked from our house straight south several miles through creeks, fields and woods to church for several weeks of all day summer Bible school. We were told that was the same route to church that our grandparents with their four children had traveled decades earlier with horse and sleigh in winter or buggy and surrey in summer. Sometimes women rode horseback with a sidesaddle.

In plays that our Youth Group performed and also in High School usually I was chosen to be the mother of the main character, either because of the many lines to memorize or because my rounded back made me appear older.

Mission Festival Sunday was always special in my childhood memory. With boards an outdoor stage was made under the trees and a missionary told about life in foreign lands.

While Lawrence Busdieker, my husband-to-be, was in the Marines I taught Grades 1-4 at Foristell north of I-70. When he arrived home we were married in St. John’s church and became full-time farmers. Later four children-Ruth, Leon, Loyd & Rosel-came along to also appreciate farm life. For several decades our time was filled with farm and family activities. In addition to 4-H on Saturdays I always taught Sunday School continuing both for over 40 years.. A half century of Women’s Fellowship activities also occupied many of my days.

When the need arose for a Learning Disabilities Teaching Assistant, I did that for 20 years—including several hours daily supervising the playground. There at Daniel Boone I saw grand children of my former Cappeln pupils.

During the year before Lawrence’s death we celebrated our fortieth anniversary and the birth of twin grandsons. That gave us a total of six grandchildren.

In order to escape the urban sprawl, our farm has been traded for one sixty miles northwest where a rural atmosphere still exists. Animals, machinery and furniture were relocated. My son Loyd and I live in the house where one room is filled with Memories of Yesteryear like my mother’s baby buggy and the crank-type wall telephone. Even the sleigh found a spot in a shed along with more modern machinery.

My roots are still at Cappeln even though just two miles from our house is the Laddonia Presbyterian Church where I feel welcomed as a friend at worship services and women’s activities, elected devotional leader and helping some learn quilting. I try to help where I can but truly our future is in God’s Hands.




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