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Sarah Olin Family

Sarah Gladys Olin “Sadie” was born February 27, 1880 in Dayton, Hennepin, Minnesota to Thomas Olin and Mary Cunningham. She died November 17, 1966 in Auburn, Washington and is buried at Grand Rapids, Itasca, Minnesota.

Sarah married November 19, 1894 at Staples, Todd, Minnesota to William Julius Sandretzky (see more about Will at the bottom of page). She was only 14 years old but very strong-willed and her family gave her a choice of going out to work or getting married. She chose marriage. She had blue eyes and light hair. They settled in Grand Rapids, Itasca, Minnesota and then Duluth, St. Louis, Minnesota finally settling at Stone Lake near Brimson, St. Louis, Minnesota in the 1930’s until Will’s death. At Stone Lake they built a small farm and later a few cabins and had boats for rent. Chauncey, Rellis, and Hubert moved with them to help build. She is buried next to her father in Grand Rapids, Itasca, Minnesota. After Will’s death Sadie moved back to Duluth and remarried to Barney Lemke. After his death, she moved to Auburn, Washington.

Will and Sadie’s children:

Merrill Richard Sandretzky

Merrill Richard Sandretzky was born December 10, 1896 in Grand Rapids, Itasca, Minnesota and died December 22, 1980 in Tampa, Hillsborough, Florida. He married Evelyn Marie “Mae” Wilcox (1899-1981). They had seven children.

Memories of Merrill

From Joyce Rothman: I remember my Dad as a hard-working man, but one who liked to have fun. He loved to dance and was a very good dancer. He also loved to figure skate and skated in many ice follies at the Curling Club in Duluth.

When we lived in Milwaukee, Wisconsin he owned his own plumbing shop. I was about six years old in the first grade. He took us to school and picked us up everyday. He also played the clarinet and mandolin and was in several bands. He had a lovely tenor voice and sang in quartets when we lived in Milwaukee. Then the depression came and he lost his business and home and we moved back to Duluth, to live with our grandparents.

He worked hard with the W.P.A. and walked in snow knee high so he could work and provide for his seven children. Later on he got a good plumbing job with a shop in Duluth, and we moved to our own home. He later bought a lovely home on London Road, in Duluth and after I graduated and got married he and Mom took a trip to Florida to visit my sister Kitty who was a W.A.C. in the Air Force. My Dad fell in love with Florida came home and sold our home and moved to Tampa. He found a plumbing job there for a real nice shop and worked there until he had to retire early because of headaches, which were probably due to the loss of my brother Bob in Korea. I saw a big change in my Dad then and ten years later my other younger brother Merrill, Jr. (Shorty) was killed in Jacksonville. Both hard to accept but he did. He volunteered at the Veterans Hospital until the day he died. He also helped make the paper every month for the American Legion Post 111 and was an Officer there for a few years. My Dad lived a full life and enjoyed it all. My happiest times were probably at our cabin on Stone Lake which he built. We always had company and relatives there and they were always welcome.

From Kitty Griffin: My Dad was a very social outgoing person. He liked people and was happiest when involved in civic affairs and fun social affairs. He was very active in three veterans organizations, especially Seminole Post 111 in Tampa where he held several offices over the years. For many years he was on the funeral detail where his duty was to handle and attend funerals for other veterans — many without any families. He felt his doing this was an important contribution to all veterans — he was a very patriotic person. He was born in Grand Rapids, Minnesota. I don’t know many details of his childhood, but I know he joined the Army when he was seventeen years old during World War I and spent his time in France. He had eighteen grandchildren who all adored him. They all liked to hang around with Grandpa. He was very good to all of them. All the holidays were very exciting when my parents were living. All our lives revolved around them — good times — sad times — close family ties. My parents lived about three blocks from me. I’d visit them almost every day. In his later years when he slowed down, my Dad spent lots of time puttering around his home which I called “The Plantation”. Sometimes we’d have “social hour” — cheese and crackers and maybe a beer. I still go by the “Plantation” almost every day and I must admit I still get a lonely feeling when I pass by. One of my nephews lives there now. By the way, my parents had seven children — all with red hair — believe it or not!! Oh my pleasant memories — how they linger!!!

From Beulah Allen: Merrill was a very nice but very independent man. He never lived with his parents during his earlier years because Sadie was very young when she had him. He lived with his father Will’s sister Beulah Williams. Beulah thinks that he may have moved to Chicago though when he was in Grand Rapids he bought a house from the Olins for $600.

From Florence Erving: My first memories of Merrill were at a very early age. Our family and Merrill’s family use to spend time together. I remember these times as being full of fun. We would go to Wisconsin Dells, and picnics at Stone Lake (of course) where Merrill had a cabin. They always seemed to find room for our family. Our two families were about the same ages and head count. Merrill was always good natured and joyful. He cared for Evelyn and the children and was a good provider. I enjoyed them so much in my teens. I was always treated as one of the family. Merrill was well-respect by his friends and neighbors. He was retired as a plumber and was always active in something. He would let me drive their car and bought me my first drivers license. He was a good singer and could really harmonize. I was told he could really handle the banjo, but I can’t remember hearing him play. In later years, I would visit the family in Tampa, Florida and Merrill and Evelyn still treated me as one of the family, as were my husband and children. Merrill and Evelyn enriched my life tremendously.

From Fern Hughes: My Uncle Merrill and Auntie Evie had a cabin not far from Gramma and Grampa. Us kids would go over and play with our cousins sometimes. We lived close by each other in Lakewood and grew up together until we moved to Minneapolis. Cousins Kitty and Joyce were a bit older than us and so they got to make fudge. They made fudge at the cabin when I was there — oh maybe when I was 14-15 years old. Of course I wanted to taste it and put my finger in the hot fudge on the stove. I went around with my finger in a glass of water all day—I burnt it good. I remember once pulling taffy at their house and that was fun and good eating. Once or twice they said “if you bring 2 cups of sugar, we’ll make some fudge.” Like a flash we ran home asked Mom for the sugar and were back down there. Oh, they could make the best fudge in all the world. I remember once Donna tried to make fudge when Mom was gone. She put it in the vegetable store room in the basement it never did set up, we had to eat it with spoons. It was around that time when I found out vanilla didn’t taste the way it smelled.

Effern Eugene Sandretzky

Effern was born July 26, 1899, Staples, Todd, Minnesota and died December 28, 1976 in Tucson, Arizona. He married on December 4, 1925 in Lake, Minnesota to Pauline Miriam Moreau (1898-1998). They had four children.

Clifford Norris Sandretzky

Clifford was born August 9,1907 in Nashwauk, Itasca, Minnesota and died in September 14, 1977 in Falls Church, Fairfax, Virginia. He married October 31, 1933 in St. Louis County, Minnesota to Lillian Sofia Anderson (1907-1975). They had four children.

Chauncey Henry Sandretzky

Chauncey was born June 5, 1911 in Grand Rapids, Itasca, Minnesota and died March 23, 1983 in Gladstone, Clackamas, Oregon. He married in St. Louis County, Minnesota to July 2, 1935 to Mary Rauha Wallin (1909-1997). He was a cabinet maker and carpenter. They had three children.

Rellis Otis Sandretzky

Rellis “Buck” was born March 2, 1915 in Grand Rapids, Itasca, Minnesota and died January 8, 1994 in Park Rapids, Hubbard, Minnesota. He married on April 2, 1938 in St. Louis County, Minnesota to Lillian Esther Sandstedt (1920 -1980). They had one daughter. Rellis married January 2, 1962 in Kent, King, Washington to Ida Beal (1925-1966).

Memories of Rellis

From Linda Sandretzky Isaacson

My father, Rellis “Buck” Sandretzky was a master carpenter as well as a jack-of-all-trades. He was an accomplished accordionist. Over the years he played with many bands in the honky tonks. At one time they had a radio spot called “Stump The Players” and people would call in with their request. Lillian listened to the radio all day long and wrote the words to all the songs in shorthand. Buck is best remembered for his story telling of his many hunting and fishing trips and being a “Hippie” before his time.

From Fern Sandretzky Hughes, daughter of Effern E. Sandretzky
(most of these memories are from ages 8-16)

Uncle Buck (Rellis) and Auntie Lil were my favorites. They spent a lot of time with our family. I love them dearly for all those wonderful memories. I always thought Uncle Buck was so handsome and Auntie Lil so pretty. I remember their wedding dance at Indian Lake dance hall. Auntie Lil had bought 1/2″ pink satin ribbon and had a stamp made up with Buck and Lillian then stamped it on the ribbon then cut it at an angle. As we came into the dance hall someone fastened the ribbon on with a straight pin. Oh how I felt so extra special. I treasurer that ribbon for years until it got lost. Oh what fun we all had celebrating their wedding. The music was lively and I remember my Dad (Effern) played his mouth organ (harmonica) and the “bones”. His bones he made out of cows ribs–cutting them to the right size, staining and varnishing them. He held 3 ribs per hand between his fingers then shook and rattled them in perfect time to the music. Took the place of the drums. There was a talent to shaking them. Wasn’t as easy as writing about it. Uncle Buck played his accordion. The other members of the band I can’t remember but that was 1938 and I was only 9. The coffee perked away on the big woodstoves and smelled so good. The cooks (wives) would add eggs and the shell to the pot while it was brewing. One got hungry dancing the night away doing the two-step, waltzes, square dances, shoddishes and mazurkas. The last three being my favorites. I loved to watch my Mom and Dad glide across the dance floor to the music of an old fashion waltz. They were so smooth, oh what special memories. Pretty soon that coffee aroma got you thinking “let’s bring on the food.” There were sandwiches, cakes and cookies, oh it was sooo good. I remember also all the good foods we had when visiting at Stone Lake. I remember Gramma, Mom (Pauline), Auntie Lil and other in the kitchen fixin’ up the “grub”. Uncle Buck and Uncle Hubert too would go in separate boats to bring back fish for dinner. Everyone always said Uncle Buck could catch fish with a “piece of old newspaper.” He was a true outdoorsy kinda guy. There were big, big northerns and walleye pike in Stone Lake and Uncle Buck knew where they were. We’d help clean the fish down by the water then bring them up to the kitchen where all the ladies were busy peeling potatoes to boil making gravy and us kids would go with Gramma to the “root cellar” for peas, carrots, corn, green and wax beans that Gramma had canned form her big garden — there was homemade bread and butter, maybe a big batch of bisquits and whenever Gramma saw company drive up, there were no phones for calling, out came the big navy blue enamel roaster. She’d fill it with beans, water, molasses and brown sugar and maybe some salt pork and oh them beans were so good. After we ate all the ladies would clean up the mess. Gee, when did they get to relax and enjoy the visit? Uncle Buck might get out his “squeeze box” and I remember Donna, me and Auntie Lil would sing to his music. My favorite was “Harbor Lights”. I venture to say that was their favorite too! Sometimes we’d sit in Gramma’s special little sitting room. Other times we would sit on a swing that had been built between two birch trees. We three would swing and sing. You can see a picture in this history of Uncle Buck sitting on a chair with his accordion near where the swing was.

Hubert Arthur Sandretzky

Hubert Arthur Sandretzky was born May 14, 1917 in Arbo Township, Itasca, Minnesota and died July 26, 1992 in Menagha, Wadena, Minnesota. He married first on February 28, 1942 to Jacqueline Schwartz. He married again on January 2, 1947 at King, Polk, Minnesota to Ida Marie Niemi (1920-1994). Hubert and Ida had four children.

Hubert served in the Armed Forces during WWII from 1942-45 traveling from North Africa to Anjio, Italy. He was awarded the Purple Heart for injuries received during that war. He then worked on the Pacific Railroad as a fireman and retired in 1969. On his days off he worked on the Washington Ferry and his children have wonderful memories of those times. He was a seaman in the Coast Guard 1940-42 and worked on the Alaska Ferry in Ketchikan, Alaska. He received his private pilots license in 1947 at Renton, Washington. He was also an MP in the National Guard in 1948 at Renton, Washington.

Memories of Hubert Sandretzky

From Janet Sandretzky Johnson

Dad was many things — good hearted, jolly, kind, a joker, a teaser, an occasional truth stretcher, generous even though he didn’t have a pot to “you-know-what-in”. He was creative in that he could form many plans and ideas but did not have the necessary skills or talent to carry them out. Therefore, he loved to remodel his home but it still looked a fright. Family was important to Dad — he loved talking to and get-togethers with the Sandretzkys and Olins. Something left over from those Stone Lake days I believe. I am so pleased he was able to attend that Olin family reunion in 1992, as he would die one month later.

Dad was not afraid to work and as you know was a jack-of-all-trades. He was always lecturing his “so-called” lazy teenage children. But he never realized that he really had taught us to be ambitious by his example you see. I guess we all wish we could do a few things differently in our lives, and have had more somehow. But the one true thing Dad had going for him was that he had come from a wonderfully strong family and history and he knew this.

Baby Daughter Sandretzky

Sadie wanted so badly to have a girl after all the boys and was terribly upset that this baby girl died at birth in October 1902. She is buried in Sandretzky family plot in Grand Rapids, Itasca, Minnesota.

William Julius Sandretzky

William born May 20, 1872 in Waseca, Minnesota and died August 20, 1946 at Ault, Stone Lake, St. Louis, Minnesota. He is buried at the Itasca Cemetery in Grand Rapids, Itasca, Minnesota. Will married Sarah Gladys Olin on November 19, 1894 at Staples, Minnesota. In July 1900 they moved to Grand Rapids according to his obituary. (William is listed in the book Logging Town-The Story of Grand Rapids, Minnesota 1941, as being a resident as of 1894.) Will and Sadie moved to Nashwauk, Itasca, Minnesota in 1903 being among the earliest settlers there. Will was a carpenter by trade and did contract work and helped build the first buildings in Nashwauk. In 1908 they moved back to Grand Rapids, leaving there in 1918 and then traveling in the South until the fall of 1918 when they returned to Minnesota and lived in Duluth until 1934 where they ran a laundry and a merry-go-round at Lester Park (Charlie Sandretzky helped him run it). Then they moved to Brimson, St. Louis, Minnesota where Will lived out his remaining years. Will had a large sense of humor. Read more about the Sandretzky family>>>

Last Updated on May 29, 2021 by rootie

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