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Trimborn Farm Questionnaire



[1] Letter from Milwaukee County Historical Society to Mrs. Anne C. Leahy

6 AUGUST 1982
Mrs. Anne C. Leahy
5716 Seward Street
Omaha, NE 68104

Dear Mrs. Leahy:

Thank you for replying so promptly with your kind offer of assistance on the Trimborn Farm Project. We appreciate the willingness of people such as yourself to help in the research project.

Enclosed is a list of questions we have developed for interviews. I am enclosing the entire list of questions since we are not aware of your exact relationship to the farm; thus, some may not be relevant to your experiences. Also, these questions do not cover the entire spectrum of our interests in the Trimborn family and property but are merely starting points. If you have any other information on the farm or family, please include it. Even the small and seemingly insignificant details have importance.

Please respond to the questions by a method with which you feel comfortable. Any method is agreeable to us.

Also, do you have any photos, articles or artifacts about the farm or the family? We would like to arrange to borrow them in order to have them photocopied. The photocopy process would take a maximum of two weeks and would not at all damage the photos. If an arrangement is agreeable to you, the Postal Service recommends sending any such items registered mail. We would reimburse you for the costs of sending anything to Milwaukee by registered mail and we would return the items to you as soon as possible, again by registered mail.

If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to call me collect at 414-273-8288, from 9:00 to 5:00, Monday through Friday.

Again, thank you very much for your help.

Sincerely yours,

Susan A. Anderson
Trimborn Farm Project.



[2] Trimborn Farm Interview Questions and answers of Mrs. Anne C. Leahy

[Note: Original questions are in black. Answers given by Anne C. Leahy are in italic blue. Anne C. Leahy's answers were hand-written.]

1-What is your full name?

Anne Cecely1 Leahy

2-Who were your parents?

Helen Trimborn Spellman and James M. Spellman

3-What is your relationship to Werner Trimborn?

Werner Trimborn was my great grandfather

4-Do you have any information on Werner, Leonard, or August Trimborn or any other Trimborns who worked on the farm?

Information on Werner Trimborn: born Oct. 18, 1802-died July 30, 1879. See enclosed article.2

Information on Leonard Trimborn: born Geich, Germany (Prussia), April 11, 1834-died Milwaukee, WI, Aug. 7, 1905. (Leonard) moved with his father, Werner Trimborn, to Milwaukee (from Sunnyside Farm) to run the office end of the lime kiln business. (August stayed on the farm and took care of that part of the business. In later years, Leonard was president of the Columbia Publishing Company, publishers of the oldest German Catholic weekly in the state (of WI). He represented the first ward in the common council from 1869 to 1881 and was a member of the board of health.

I have no information on August Trimborn.

5-Did you ever live on the Trimborn Farm in Greendale, Wisconsin? If so, when (and for how long)? If not, did you visit the farm on a regular basis?

I was born on the Trimborn Farm on March 21, 1891. My birth is registered in Hales Corner. My brother, Leonard Spellman, was also born on the farm. We moved from the farm when I was about 4 years old.

6-Were you acquainted with or do you know anything about any of the other owners of the farm other than the Trimborns?


7-Enclosed is a copy of a lithograph of the farm and limekilns taken from the 1876 Atlas (lithograph not present in saved papers of Anne C. Leahy). The buildings that are colored red no longer exist. The blue shapes represent buildings currently on the property. Do you have any recollections and/or information (about) past and/or present buildings on the farm?

See enclosed article.2

8-How was the house heated?

I do not know. I am enclosing a name and address (see q. 23) of a person who may have information on the heating.

9-Did either the house or barn have electricity?

I do not know.

10-Did the house have indoor plumbing?

I do not know.

11-Do you know what sanitary facilities existed?

(No answer is given for this item.)

12-Do you have any information concerning the lime business, dairy farming, or general farming that went on at the farm?

See enclosed article.2

13-Do you know when the lime burning operation ended?

In 1882, they began to rent the use of certain kilns and the quarry to Schultz and Bond. My parents left the farm in 1894.

14-Do you remember or (did you) hear of any hired help in the house or on the farm?


15-Do you know anything about the animals, machinery or equipment on the farm?

See enclosed article.2

16-What kind of furnishings were in the house? Do you know the whereabouts of any furniture that once stood in the brick house?

I was only about 4 years old when we left the Trimborn Farm. About all I remember is having coffeecake around a large table. It was probably in the kitchen--a typical kitchen with one end used for dining. I do not know anything about the furniture.

17-One of the tenants who lived on the farm during the 1920's described to us a frame structure that was attached to the south end of the house. It has since been torn down and replaced. Do you remember this structure?


18-Why did the Trimborns relinquish ownership of the farm and the surrounding acreage?

I do not know.

19-Do you know any of the people who lived at the farm after the Trimborns?

James and Helen Spellman--my parents; Anna, Werner Trimborn and daughter Della.

20-What language did you speak at home/on the farm?

German was the language spoken. I was only about 4 when we left the farm, but I probably spoke German.

21-The incorporation legends of Milwaukee County reveal that in 1894 Joseph Trimborn along with James and John Shoenecker incorporated the Trimborn Lime Company. In 1895, the name was changed to the Shoenecker Lime Company. Do you have any information about this business?


22-The boyhood home of Jeremiah Curtin is east of the Trimborn Farm on Grange Avenue. Do you remember anything about this structure or the people who lived there?

(See next item; Anne C. Leahy answered these two items together.)

23-Do you know of any other people who might be able to provide us with information and/or photos?

(Combined answers for 22 and 23.)

Mrs. Dorothy Giroulx

1063 N. 2nd Ave

Park Falls, WI 54552

Her mother grew up on the Curtin Farm. She was born Sept. 1, 1888, in the Curtin house. Her mother's name was Henseleit.

I am certain Mrs. Giroulx can give you some information about the Curtin and Trimborn farms. You would have to contact her by phone or go to Park Falls to see her as she is arthritic and has a hard time writing.

24-Do you have any photos, articles or artifacts relating to the farm or the people associated with it?

I lost many photos when I moved to Omaha.3


1Cecely was Anne C. Leahy's choice of middle name when she replied to these questions. According to her birth certificate, her middle name was Cecilia. Her grandson, Robert M. Leahy recalls her telling him that her middle name was Catherine. It is probably fair to say she didn't like her middle name.

2The article mentioned in Anne C. Leahy's answer can be found by clicking here.

3The two pictures of Sunnyside Farm are the only pictures found in the scrapbooks of Anne C. Leahy that have anything to do with the farm. There are no pictures of the Werner Trimborns nor of the Leonard Trimborns.



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These materials take from "Trimborn Family Scrapbook"
containing material collected by Anne C. Leahy
made available through the courtesy of Jody L. Filipi.