May 11, 2010

Celebrating 175 years: The road called Emmertsen

By Gerald L. Karwowski,

We drive cars, ride bikes, jog, walk dogs, dodge pot holes and park on our roads without a thought. However, sometimes while waiting for a traffic light to change or in a line of cars to move we glance up at the sign that bears the roads name and wonder how it came to be. Emmertsen Road was one that I questioned Racine’s long term County Executive Dennis Kornwolf about while we were going to lunch one afternoon before he passed away. Kornwolf said he didn’t know either. But he thought there might be an easy way for me to find out. He recommended that I contact and talk to Myrtle Emmertsen Jacobsen to get the answer.

After tracking down the former Trautwein and Mygatt’s Corners school teacher, I found an interesting 89 year old who said she didn’t have a clue either on why the road bore her family’s name. However, Myrtle suspected because there were only a few houses on the road at the time, her family may have been more popular because of the girls living there.

We may never know the exact reason why the road was named after the Emmertsen family, but at least the family and their home are not lost in time. The photos are still around to give us a glimpse into this part of Mt. Pleasant’s history. Myrtle, who had no children, was thrilled that someone had a interest in her family and preserving their part in our local history.

Emmertsen Homestead, 504 Emmertsen Road. The house still stands today, but all the out buildings have been razed. 

Emmertsen Family: Front from left - Grandma – Emma Emmertsen , granddaughter- Cathryn and Grandpa Hans Emmertsen. Back, granddaughter - Myrtle, Son- Emmert his wife Olga and granddaughter Florence

Hans Emmertsen’s granddaughters at left Cathryn, Florence and Myrtle

Priceless 1921 photo of Florence and Myrtle Emmertsen in a basket.

Update: Moreau MacCaughey writes in to add:
Florence Emmertsen taught kindergarten at Jerstad Agerholm for many years. She lived in the family homestead until her nephew married and moved into the house; she was so pleased to have it continue in the family. The nephew died in an accident at a very young age, and to my knowledge, his widow probably still lives there. Florence sang in the Racine Chorale until her health no longer permitted her to continue. She had many friends around the community.  

1 comment:

  1. Keith.Deschler5/11/2010 11:14 PM

    Thanks for the insight, having grown up on the next street over ( Meadow la.) it's nice to see not much has changed, miss the good ole days.