Three Families Receive 100-Year Farm Awards

Since the 1950s, the Aksarben Foundation has been celebrating Nebraskan farm families with its tradition of awarding Pioneer and Heritage Farm Family Awards. The Nebraska Pioneer Farm Award is presented to farm families who have had continuous family ownership of a parcel of land for 100 years.

This year, three Pierce County families were honored with the Pioneer Award for 100 years of
continuous family ownership: The Hoffmann Family, Shermer Family, and Petersen Family.
To commemorate the milestone, families are presented an engraved plaque and gatepost.
marker at their respective county fairs. The following family descriptions were read during the presentation of the awards on Friday, July 28, at the Pierce County Fair.

Hoffmann Family Farm Charles Hoffmann was six years old when he immigrated
to America from Austria with his parents, Casper and Johanna Hoffmann, and his two brothers
and sister. The family homesteaded southeast of Pierce in 1871. On Oct. 8, 1909, Charles Hoffmann acquired 160 acres of land southwest of Pierce. This was the beginning of the Hoffmann Family Farm.

On April 16, 1936, Charles and his wife, Frances, sold the land to their son, Andrew, and wife,
Joan. Andrew and Joan, along with their children Donald, Kathleen and Marianne, made
this their home. On April 19, 1969, Andrew and Joan sold the land to their son, Donald, and his wife, Louise. This became the home of Donald, Louise and their children Nancy, Joanne, David, MaryBeth and Marilyn. On March 30, 2007, Don and Louise sold the land to their son, David, and his wife, Donna. That makes David, the great-grandson of Charles and Frances Hoffmann, the fourth generation of Hoffmanns to own the land. The Hoffmann Family Farm is currently owned by David and Donna and their sons. Today, the farm produces corn, soybeans, alfalfa and prairie hay and includes a cow-calf operation. We would like to think that now, 114 years later, Charles Hoffmann would be very proud of the legacy he left behind.

Shermer Family Farm The Shermer Family Farm of 160 acres was established in 1923 by George Shermer. It was acquired by James and Diann Goetz (granddaughter of George Shermer) in 1980. Corn and soybeans are currently raised on the farm. Petersen Family Farm Hans J. and Helena Petersen and their 11 children immigrated from Germany. Peter E. Petersen was born September 19, 1867, in Davenport, IA. He attended school in Iowa and Pierce County. In 1881, the family moved by rail car to the Osmond area. Hans purchased 160 acres of prairie land for $9 per acre. In 1895, he erected a set of buildings. Peter married Anna C. Goetsch on January 26, 1896. They lived on the southwest quarter of section 23-28-3, which was owned by his father. In the spring of 1923, Peter and Anna purchased a farm west of Osmond. They had five children: Selma (Mrs. Leo Folkers), Hans J., Ella (Mrs. Joe Theisen), Henry who died at age 16, and Elmer. Peter and Anna lived on that farm until they moved into Osmond in 1949. Elmer Petersen and his wife Helen lived with Peter and Anna. Elmer and Helen had two children, Robert J. and Ruth. Elmer passed away in 1956 when Robert was 14. With the help of his maternal grandfather, Robert farmed and took care of his mother and sister. In 1959, an irrigation well was dug on the property, using tow lines until 1973 when a pivot system was installed. Robert raised cattle, hogs and chickens. He was a seed dealer. He married Barbara Kumm in 1968. They have five children: Nila (Mike Wanke), Gary, Judy DeKoning, Ivan (Karen), and Ross (Nora), and 13 grandchildren.

Barbara operated a florist and ceramic shop out of their home from 1970 until 1990 when they built a  grocery store and florist shop in Osmond. They also did custom catering. Their grandson, Marshall, son of Ivan and Karen, lives in the house and is in his third year of farming and raising sheep.