Dirks Family

History and Genealogy

Marjorie Dirks

Marjorie Dirks was born July 13, 1931 to Dick & Gertie Ahrens Dirks, 39 and 37 years old. Born on a farm 1/2 mile south of Fonda, Iowa. Dr. Patterson delivered me some time around midnight. My Dad was a farmer, my Mother was a housewife. I was the 10th child. I had 9 brothers and sisters, who’s names were: Harold, Leona, Violet, Fritz, LeRoy, Verneeda, Eva, Edward, and Marcella. There were four children born later Johnny, Eileen, Richard, and Roland.

The farm that we lived on south of Fonda was known as the Jordon Farm. I remember spending a lot of time playing in the grove of trees north of the house. There were two graves on the river bank and we as kids all imagined that the ghost would come out and scare us. We heard lots of stories about who was buried in them. But in one of the Fonda centennial books it said that during a flood two children’s bodies had washed ashore and they just buried them.

The days were from sun up until sun down. We had kerosene lamps for light at night and most of the time we were in bed before it got dark. The house was just a square house, four rooms downstairs and four rooms upstairs. With doors from the kitchen, dinning room, bedroom, spare bedroom. No running water, water had to be carried in buckets for drinking from a well. We had what was called soft water that was collected from the roof of the house and stored in a cistern. That water was used for washing our clothes and us. I remember my mom and older sisters washing baby clothes on a scrub board. Of course the clothes had to be hung outside for the wind and sun to dry. In the wintertime they would freeze and then they would bring them in the basement and hang on a drying rack. A cook stove in the kitchen supplied the heat in the house, and heating stove in the living room. The fuel for the kitchen stove was usually corn cobs and the heating stove was wood or coal.

Most of our clothes were hand me downs since there were so many older sisters. My mom or my older sisters did all the sewing of our dresses and underwear or bloomers as they were called then. We had very few clothes, usually a couple of school dresses, a Sunday dress and old dress to work and play in.

The week schedule was pretty much like a song we used to sing. Monday was wash the clothes, Tuesday was ironing day, Wednesday was mending, Saturday was clean house and bake cakes or pies for Sunday. In our house since there were 10 of us, bread was baked every other day and at least 6 loaves of bread at a time. We never appreciated the homemade bread and always wanted store bought bread. Now it is the other way around, how wonderful the smell of that fresh bread when you opened the door to go into the house. Sunday we went to Sunday school at the Presbyterian Church in Fonda.

When I was five years old I started first grade. I attended the Fonda Public School. The first day of school was very scary. I only knew one boy in the class. My teacher’s name was Miss Spendler. I went to the Fonda school until March 1943 when we moved to Varina. Then I attended the Varina Consolidated School until I948 I graduated from the 12 grade. Then I went for 9 months at the Commercial Extension School in Omaha, Nebraska which was a business school. I took courses for bookkeeping, secretary and stenographer training. My first job in Omaha was general off-ice working at a Chemical Mfg. Co. Then I got a job in the accounting department for United Benefit Life, which is part of Mutual of Omaha, in November 1949 calculating salesmen commissions.

I met Ronald Nelson through a friend Donna Pallet, who worked at United Benefit Life with me. The company was having a company dance at Peony Park. I asked him to take me to the dance. We dated for 2 years and October of 1955 we became engaged. We got married on June 3, 1956 at the Presbyterian Church in Fonda, IA We both worked at Mutual of Omaha until June of 1957 when we decided to move to California.

When we first came to California, we had an apartment for about four months in Monrovia, Calif. Was it hot living out there, I wasn't too sure I would like living in Calif. Ronald got a job at Douglas Aircraft in Santa Monica. We found a one-room apartment on Wagner Street in Culver City. It was so much cooler living about 3 miles from the ocean. We decided to look for a house as we were expecting a baby in January. We found a two-bedroom house that we could afford. It was at 11937 Aneta Street in Culver City. We moved into our house in October 1957 and we still are living at the same place.

Ronald Lee Nelson was born on February 14,1929 to Frank William Nelson and Helen Mildred Carpenter ages 32 and 21. Born at Clarkson Hospital Omaha, Nebraska Dr. Olga Stanton. His Dad was an electrician and his mother a housewife. They lived at 5824 Dorcas Street.

Roger William Nelson, born January 4, 1958. Saturday 9.45 PM. weighing 7 lbs. 6 oz., length 21 inches.

Sandra Kaye Nelson, born on January 25, 1960. Monday 1: 19 PM, weighing 9 lbs. 4 oz., Length 20 inches.
Linda Lee Nelson, born December 4, 1962, Tuesday 8:16 AM, weighing 8 lbs. 6 1/2 oz and 20 inches long.

In the year of 1931.

The Empire State building formally opened.
Thomas Edison passed away at the age of 84
Iowa, Nebraska and South Dakota over run with grasshoppers.


As Time goes By,
I Surrender Dear,
Love Letters in the Sand,
Dancing in the Dark
Movie. Cimarron
President. Herbert Hoover
Vice Pre. Charles Curtis


Income $1,858.
New car $640.
House $6796.
Bread. .08.
Gallon of gas .10.
Gallon of Milk .50