Neighbors Then and Now

Last year after Christmas neighbor Edie gave me a special Shiny Brite ornament.

It had a bit of a story.  Carl (Edie’s husband) went to a neighbors(Norman and Minnie Zauche’s) auction sale and purchased some Christmas ornaments.  She asked me to write something about them.  Edie is originally from Park Rapids and all the information Carl could share was “Minnie was a teacher.”

Well I knew a tad more than that.  I called my Mother to fill in some blanks.   Some things she could remember and some things she couldn’t.

Carl and Edie’s sons got some of those auction sale Shiny Brites this past Christmas and some history as I recalled it and some facts which I researched online.

Minnie S. Flugner (Fliegner) Zauche was born in Idaho in 1906.  She lived in Wyoming and is found in the US Census as a boarder in 1930, more than likely a teacher.    She married Norman O Zauche on June 1, 1944 in Washington DC.  Norman was a Iowa boy that moved to Minnesota, Lake of the Woods County and is found there in the 1930 Census with his family.
They had one adopted daughter.  Becky Joan born in 1945.
Norman  was a Forest Ranger and he and Minnie made their home in the cabins at the Smoky Hills Ranger Station.  Later they built a new home on what was formerly Dezelle’s Lake/Chilton’s Lake,  which became known to neighborhood kids as Zauche’s Lake ( Lady Slipper Bed and Breakfast is located there now.)
Mrs. Zauche was the second grade teacher at the Osage Elementary School.  Her first teaching  year there was 1958.  She was my second grade teacher that same year.    She was a wonderful teacher, patient and kind to all the students.  She would remain known to me as Mrs. Zauche all of her life.


Being a neighborhood kid with a bike, we were always welcome at the Zauche house.   Mrs. Zauche would go out on the small lake and holler “fishy fishy” and throw bread crumbs to the sunfish.  She always had cookies or something freshly baked for a treat for visitors.  She would often hold an impromptu class in her flower garden, telling me the name of all the flowers.  She and Norman had huge flower beds, most of which were landscaped and raised with really good dirt and edged with rock.  They grew dahlias, roses and many other perennials.  On the north east side of their property they had an orchard.  I often wonder how many of those trees have survived.   A small creek ran out of the small lake and through a culvert under their driveway, where the creek became swamp in the woods was where the Lady Slippers grew.   Norman would monitor the water levels flowing from Chilton Lake into Zauche’s Lake, there was a ditch that connected the two lakes and there were wood boards that kept the water at whatever level he wanted it.  There was a very narrow path along the north side of Zauche’s Lake that led to Chilton’s Lake.


The Zauche’s donated the land for the building of  St. Pauls Lutheran Church.  They are both buried in the cemetery there.

Norman and Minnie were well respected members of the community.  They went Square Dancing in Detroit Lakes.  Soon they began a square dancing club in Osage called The Friendly  Squares.  Norman did the calling.
Minnie was older than Norman but she would never reveal her age.  She was born in 1906 and he was born in 1913.
When Mrs. Zauche retired from teaching, the PTA had a going away party for her.  Each class she taught would present her with a rose.  I was last in line that day in the kitchen waiting to go into the gym to present her with a red rose and a hug.  She was a truly wonderful lady who touched many young lives.   I cannot remember what year that was…most likely 1970 or 1971.


In late 1974 and early 1975 Norman became very ill, he doctored in Fargo.   Minnie was very concerned, right after she learned he would be okay she died on February 20 1975, she was 69 years old.   Norman would follow her eleven months later, he died on January 12, 1976 at the age of 62.

I will always remember them fondly,
Connie    November 15, 2013

Their daughter Becky was one of my favorite babysitters.  I have lost touch with her, I heard through the grapevine that she was recovering from Breast Cancer…I cannot help but think of her and her parents this holiday season.

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One Response to Neighbors Then and Now

  1. Phyllis Pritchard says:

    What a wonderful look back at two very special people and their history. I will remember them as very faithful church members.