Marie (Mary) Magelena Strecker Hummel was a widow at the age of 40, having been married only 12 short years. At the time of Gottlieb’s death in 1868, they had three living children ages 7, 5 and 2 years old with an unborn son who would be born 7 months after his father’s death.
Can you imagine what it was like to be raise your children single handily? And to not only raise your children, but be solely responsible for the cattle on the farm, that the fruit from the orchard was sold and dried, that cider and vinegar were made and sold for 20 cents a gallon, that the strawberries and other food that were grown in the garden were cared for and harvested? She must have felt an immense load on her shoulders. But this responsibility did not seem to affect her. A grandson, Arthur Hummel Sr. describes her in his life history as follows:
“I remember Grandmother Hummel very well during the first 12 years of my life. Most of all, I remember her distinct Schwabian accent characteristic of spoken German in the Stuttgart area. The Schwabians of Stuttgart have in their natures what Germans call gemietlichkeit – an easy going disposition, a freedom from too much care, marked by patience and cheerfulness. This easy going way of life my brother and I met when in the first eighteen years of my life we went on Saturdays and other days to the Hummel Farm in Truesdale, Missouri.”