Anna A. Arnold (1916-2005): On her own terms


Anna A. Arnold (a.k.a., Ann) was the eldest child of Peter Ernest and Magdalena (Wehner) Arnold. Anna was born December 14, 1916,1 most likely in the sod hut that was the family’s first home following Peter and Magdalena’s marriage in November 1915.

The Peter Ernest & Magdalena (Wehner) Arnold family, approx. 1929

The Peter Ernest & Magdalena (Wehner) Arnold family, approx. 1929

The adults are Peter Ernest and Magdalena (Wehner) Arnold
Front row children (l-r) are William, Raymond, Walter, John, and Frank
Back row children (l-r) are Antone, Peter, Anne, and Ernest

This photograph is probably my favorite of all the family portraits Aunt Clarice has preserved for us.2 I’m always impressed by how nearly identical young Anna was to her mother, Magdalena. Since Magdalena died when she was only 33 years old, none of us had the privilege of knowing our family’s matriarch in her senior years. And yet, if we were lucky enough to know Ann, we might be able to imagine Magdalena’s appearance and demeanor in her senior years.

Emanuel Haman & Anna Arnold marriage record, 1937

Emanuel Haman & Anna Arnold marriage record, 1937

Anna attended country school for several years before she and her younger siblings enrolled in Gladstone’s public school. Anna left school when she was 13 years old3 because she was needed at home to help her father with her younger brothers after her mother’s death in 1930.

Anna married Emanuel Haman in Dickinson, North Dakota, on January 30, 1937.4 The couple parented four children—John, Donald, and twins Elaine and Dwaine. By 1940, the couple was living in Carbon County, Montana, likely near Emanuel’s parents who settled there after their immigration to the United States in 1906. According to the 1940 census,5 Emanuel worked at a rock quarry. Uncle Frank visited Anna during this period and relates that Anna and her husband were living in a two-room shack with their two small sons.6

Anna and Emanuel relocated to Great Falls, Montana, sometime before the mid-1950s. According to the 19567 and 19598 Great Falls city directories, Emanuel worked as a laborer and a janitor, respectively. Anna was employed during that time at Ideal Laundry, working there for a total of 21 years. She then worked in the housekeeping department at Deaconess Hospital for 17 years. The couple eventually separated and/or divorced. Ann remained in Great Falls; Emanuel returned to Fromberg, Carbon County, Montana,9 where he died on June 30, 1987.10

Ann died November 10, 2005.11 Her obituary reports her love of learning: despite having to quit school in eighth grade to help care for her younger brothers, she eventually earned her GED. She loved history, especially anything related to the Lewis and Clark explorations of Montana. She was an artist in her own right, embroidering and crocheting many fine linens.

Ann lived in Billings for several years before she died. She is buried at Calvary Cemetery in Billings, Montana.12

A personal memoir: Aunt Ann, as far as I am concerned, is a woman to be admired. She overcame many hardships throughout her life and yet, somehow, managed to view the world around her with her own unique combination of hope and humor. She worked long and hard (as far as I can tell from the various accounts I’ve seen, she worked until she was about 70 years old), enjoyed her children and grandchildren, and her Catholic faith. She was also generous—she opened her home to my parents, Bill and Irene Arnold, and their seven children when our family moved to Great Falls, Montana in the mid-1960s. You can read about an encounter I had with Aunt Ann that summer at Lasting Lessons.13

1 1882-1982 Gladstone Centennial. Dickinson, ND: Service Printers, 166.
2 Photograph obtained from album maintained by Clarice Arnold.
3 Ibid., 166.
4 Personal record: marriage license issued at Dickinson, Stark, North Dakota and certificate of marriage from St. Joseph’s Church, Dickinson, Stark, North Dakota.
5 1940 U.S. census, Warren, Carbon, Montana, population schedule, enumeration district 5-20, sheet 1A, dwelling 3, Emanuel Haman family; digital image, Ancestry .com ( : accessed 4 March 2015); citing NARA microfilm publication T627_2213.
6 Family record: Grandpa’s Memories of Growing Up: A Keepsake Memory Book (Eugene, OR: Harvest House Publishers, 2011), 27. Entries completed by Frank Arnold between 2012 and 2013.
7 Polk’s Great Falls City Directory, 1956, microfilm reprint, U.S. City Directories, 1821-1989 [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Operations, Inc., 2011, 235, Haman, Ann.
8 Polk’s Great Falls City Directory, 1959, microfilm reprint,, U.S. City Directories, 1821-1989 [database on-line]. Provo, UT USA: Operations, Inc., 2011, 161, Haman, Manuel P (Ann A).
9 1882-1982 Gladstone Centennial, previously discussed.
10 U.S. Find A Grave Index, 1600s-Current [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Operations, Inc., 2012.
11 “Anna A. Haman,” obituary, Billings (Montana) Gazette, 12 November 2005.
12 Anna A. Haman obituary, previously discussed.

4 thoughts on “Anna A. Arnold (1916-2005): On her own terms

  1. Pingback: William Henry Arnold (1925-2003): An everyday hero | Tidbits & Treasures

  2. Oh, she really does look like her mother in this photo. I remember that story about the baby bottle. My own family as I was growing up always warmed baby bottles in a pan on the stove, and we also saved water by using the same bath for several kids in a row! We did the same thing with the old wringer washer, too…first whites, then towels, then darks, all in the same water, just adding more as needed. I don’t remember that we were ever short of water, just conservative, I guess. My parents had grown up in the Depression and such things probably became ingrained then.

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