Photo, Daum Hall, U of Iowa

Photo, Daum Hall, U of Iowa, c. 1963
Photo, Daum Hall, U of Iowa, c. 1963

My father's family emigrated from Germany in the late 19th Century, settling in eastern Nebraska to farm. My grandparents migrated to Tiffin, Iowa, in the 1950s to be closer to the University of Iowa hospitals to have access to treatment for their eldest son, who suffered from Cerebral Palsy. My grandfather worked as a laborer and then a foreman in an Iowa City construction firm. My father followed initially him into construction before securing a job at the University of Iowa, where my mom also worked. They put me through college – the first in my family line. When my eldest son matriculated to the U of Iowa in 2015, he was assigned to Daum Hall. When I told my father, he shared with me that he and my grandfather had been on the crew that built that dormitory in 1963. I searched the U of Iowa archives and was able to identify my father in a construction photo, standing to the left of a crane, helping the crane operator place his load. I was able to give a copy of the photo to my dad and to my son. It is a constant reminder to me of the sacrifices people make in the hopes of making the lives of their children better. In 1963, my grandfather and my father, decedents of immigrant German farmers, unknowingly made a place – figuratively and literally – for my son to build his own future.

Place(s): Germany,Nebraska,Iowa
Year: 1871

– David Alden Janssen

Relationship:  Great-grandchild of im/migrant or more Great-grandchild of im/migrant or more