THE CITY REBORN FROM THE ASHES OF AMERICA'S MOST DISASTROUS FOREST FIRE
Ralph Seewald Given Century Farm Award
Issue Date: September 26, 2019
The Seewald family came to America from Germany and settled in the Coleman area. Herman Seewald and his wife, Bertha started their dairy farm in the 1890s, grew all their own crops and raised six children. One of the son's, Jesse Seewald and wife, Elsie had a son, Melvin. After she died, he married Amelia and had children Lorraine and Ralph. Ralph took over the farm in 1950. He married Joyce Lesperance and they inherited the farm.
Besides farming Ralph had a milk route with Elm Dairy Cheese Factory for 12 years. Ralph and Joyce worked with their neighbor August Schroeder on each other's farm and he played a major role in their lives. Brother and sister, Edgar and Hulda Seewald's farm was directly across from Ralph's farm and they worked together.
The first tractor on the farm was a VAC Case driven home from a dealership in Peshtigo. Ralph also worked at Chadwick's Furniture Manufacturing Co. in Coleman and at Oconto Woodworking. Joyce worked at the Coleman Canning Factory and Bond Pickle Company in Oconto.
In the beginning of their marriage, she traveled back and forth to Mirro Manufacturing in Two Rivers until starting their family. Joyce had several vegetable gardens and sold produce from them. She also sold fresh eggs from the over 100 chickens they raised which were free range birds.
For years, the family put up numerous quarts of canned goods. She also was a great baker of bread that everyone would fight over the crust for. She would make five loaves of bread at a time and then leave one in longer just for her husband, so he would have more crust. Unfortunately, Joyce died two weeks before they were to receive their Century Farm Award. They have 14 grandchildren and 12 great-grandchildren along with their six children.