b. 17 Nov 1891 Walnut, Shelby Co., IA
m. 26 Oct 1925 Cedar Falls, Black Hawk Co., IA

Teacher, Principal
Reading, history, public speaking, advocate of education

Attended: Peru College, Peru, NE
Baptist Missionary Training School in Chicago for 2 yrs.
Grad of Iowa State Teachers College, Cedar Falls, IA (3 generations graduated from there -Esther, Ruth Kenney-Randolph and Jerry Kenney.)


b. 22 March 1890 Rippey, Greene Co., IA
d. 11 Oct 1982 Perry, IA
Buried in Rippey, IA

baseball, music- piano, trees and outdoors

Active in Methodist Church, in choir


Esther's remembrances as recorded by Ruth Kenney-Randolph in 1987

I attended country school near Walnut (Cuppy's Grove). Lydia was my 8th grade teacher, and she was an excellent one. She told wonderful stories, made school interesting, played with the children during the noon hour, and was well liked by the other students. Thanks to Lydia's preparation, I passed the 8th grade exam and was the only one in the whole township (9 schools) to do so. I was supposed to speak at the last day of school picnic, and Lydia helped me prepare a speech. When I looked up at the "sea of faces" that day, I was so terrified I ran off in the woods! It was then I was determined to speak without notes, and learn my material ahead until I felt confident. Father couldn't afford to send me to high school in Harlan so I attended another year at the same school. My parents bought a farm near Allen, Nebraska and there was a small high school there. Papa found me a place to board and I went ahead of the family and stayed with them for 6 months till they could move. I was thrilled I could attend high school, but being away from home and family for the first time was a devastating experience. The family were very good to me, but when my family came, I was ecstatic. This was a good experience, however, for it made me more independent, and I learned to manage money and meet strangers. I finished the high school here, which just went through the 10th grade. This time when I made a speech, as each of the 6-8 graduates did, I got through it. Mine was about Teddy Roosevelt, whom I greatly admired.

I took the teaching exam at Ponca, passed it, and at 16 started to teach at a country school near Newcastle. I hated it, for I was away from family and friends, had virtually no materials to work with, and the country school hadn't had any attention since school closed the previous spring. I received $45 a month and paid $10 a month for board and room. I bought manilla paper and wrote letters and words on it to teach the children to read. I did have a girl who graduated from 8th grade, so I felt I must have taught her something. To entertain myself, I took long walks, and I crossed each day off the calendar to get me through the year. I studied at Peru for a semester, spent some time at home helping Mother care for a new baby, and then taught another year at the country school near Newcastle.

In 1912 I went to a Baptist Missionary Training School in Chicago. I so admired my sister, Lydia that I wanted to follow her footsteps, received a scholarship and attended this girl's school. This was a very broadening experience for I met girls from all over the country and learned to get around in a city. There was a huge library to borrow books from, and I was so excited going to the theater the first time. I spent the summer at a resort north of Chicago waiting tables. It was here in Chicago that I voted for the first time. After two years, I went to south Omaha to be an assistant pastor at a Baptist church. I finally determined that this was not the life I desired, that I had been too influenced by Lydia, and with the help of a bank loan, I went back to Peru and finished my course there. Mother had an operation and I went back to help at home. My parents moved to Cedar Falls and I took training there to prepare me for high school teaching, graduating with a B.A. I taught English and history 2 years at Rock Falls, Iowa. I went to Rippey, Iowa in 1922, taught English, and was principal of the high school. I really enjoyed my high school teaching, and found what I had been searching for for some time.

One of the most interesting summers of my life was spent at the YMCA Camp of the Rockies at Estes Park, Colorado between school terms at Rippey. I met Lawrence Grow while teaching at Rippey, was married, and spent most of the rest of my life on a farm nearby raising four children. Lawrence and I moved to Perry when John returned from Korea, and he took over the farm.

From Mary Louise Grow-Rice

What excitement we kids felt when we all climbed into the green 1929 Chevy and started for Grandma and Grandpa Christensen's home near Allen, Nebraska. Ruth and I sat in the front because we didn't fight very much and Mother sat between Lucile and John in the back to keep the peace. Ruth and I would sing, "Three in the front and three in the back" until everyone was pretty sick of it but us. We looked forward to the stop we always made in the park in Dennison, Iowa, where we played and ate a picnic lunch. I'm not certain who needed the stop more—the kids or our folks who were getting tired of all the noise. Once after we had been especially trying, a gas station attendant looked in and said "You've got a cute bunch of kids there!" and Mother and Dad just looked at each other wearily.

The long hills near Allen were so fascinating to us since we lived on flat Iowa land. We could hardly wait to get out and climb all the way to the top of the hill near our grandparents' house and then run all the way down. We just couldn't believe that the adults did not want to join in all this fun. Now that I am middle-aged, it is easy for me to see why they did not want to climb the hills just to be able to run down. Uncle Ray used to like to tease us and we enjoyed kidding around with him. We also remember visiting at Aunt Petra's house and stopping to see Uncle Ez and Aunt Alta who lived near Allen, also.

When it was very hot in the summer, we would occasionally paddle around in the stock tank to cool off. One day a former minister came by to visit the folks and he wanted to see the kids before he left. Mother brought him out back and when we noticed the visitor, we leaped out of the tank and ran stark naked around the corner of the nearest building. Mother said at that moment she would have been glad to have the ground open up and swallow her, but anyway, the minister really "saw" her kids.

Dad very seldom lost his temper and I can never remember hearing him swear. One day he was tried to the limit by our dog, Brownie, who was barking furiously while he was trying to get a cow in the barn. Every time the cow would get near the door, Brownie would bark louder and the cow would dash past him. After many trips around the barn and much exasperation he finally succeeded in getting the cow headed in the door. He gave it a jab in the rump with a pitchfork and exclaimed, "Gosh-blamed thing!"

Mother always had an interest in new places and experiences. Once when she and Dad were out East to visit (she was in her late 70's), we planned to go into New York to the Metropolitan Museum of Art. Mother expressed an interest in riding the New York Subway since she had never done that. After our lurching ride, she smiled and said, "Well, now I've ridden the subway in New York."


by Lucile and Ruth for their parents 50th Wedding Anniversary-1975

The celebration was held at the home farm near Rippey, where Lawrence and Esther spent most of their married life.

A son, Lawrence was born to Abram Lawrence and Hannah Martin Grow March 22, 1890 at a farm near Rippey, Iowa. The following year on another farm near Walnut, Iowa on November 17 a daughter, Esther was born to Andrew and Mary Petersen Christensen. Both spent their childhood on the farm, although Esther took several routes after that time before reaching the farm at Rippey. When she took the job as teacher and principal, there was an eligible farmer bachelor who later persuaded her to change her occupation. They were married on October 26, 1925 at her parent's home in Cedar Falls, Iowa. As they journeyed to Rippey, a storm made their trip hazardous. This day has added significance, as it was Lawrence's mother's birthday and most years it was her birthday that was celebrated, so today 1975 it is fitting that Lawrence and Esther are duly honored on the 50th Anniversary of that day.

Four children completed the family circle- Ethel Lucile, 1927; John Max, 1929; Ruth Jean, 1930; and Mary Louise, 1932. Raising a family in those uncertain times was no easy task, but adversity can be a challenge and they met that challenge with love, a Christian spirit, and a determination that their children should have an opportunity to develop their potential.

When John came home from the service to farm, the folks moved to their present home in Perry, Iowa.

We owe a debt of gratitude to Mother and Dad for the background they provided for us, the love they expressed in a multitude of ways, for making it possible for all of us to graduate from college, for helping each of us at a crucial point, yet not interfering or advising without request. Their delight and interest in each of the grandchildren, to mention only a few items of a lengthy list.

I speak for all the family when I say a special "thank you" to John, Midge and their family for their generous and gracious hospitality in hosting this memorable day, and to the honored couple for letting us celebrate this special day with them.


After a truly golden meal, the Grow children proceeded to bring to mind some of the more hilarious things that happened while they were growing up. No one child had a corner on mischief, it seemed. Mary had a special fear of Mother's wooden spoon, sometimes with good reason! Then there was the time when Lucile came solemnly in on a winter day to announce that the others had eaten the thermometer in the brooder house. A stomach pumping session ensued at the doctor's. Lucile herself served as a pacifier for John, by putting her thumb in his mouth when he was crying, according to Aunt Ethel. She also tried to feed him popcorn once during his infancy. She went on to culinary heights by attempting to cook canna bulbs for parsnips for a family meal. She recalled the 50th anniversary celebration of the Christensen grandparents at Allen, Nebraska. Several girl cousins, at a "slumber-less" party at Uncle Ez's, shone a flashlight down at a gang of boy cousins at the pump. It being a hot evening, they were very scantily attired. They retaliated by climbing a ladder up to the girls' bedroom and throwing green apples in on them.

Ruth mentioned the time Mother and the girls went down to Terrill's for an errand after dark, and saw Otis sitting in his chair with a lamp on, looking up something in a book, wearing only his glasses! The vacation trips to Nebraska were recounted, remembering the stops which became an unvarying ritual each time—the Denison park, Sioux City ice cream store, etc. The street car ride in Sioux City one time was an extra adventure. On one long ride home, Ruth broke the tedium by tossing her shoe out the window.

Swimming was enjoyed whenever possible. Once Don Bissingers were visiting and Mother took them outside to see the children. They saw them all right—they had been playing in the horsetank in the buff, and panicked when they realized company was at hand. They jumped out and ran around the corner of the box car. You might say they were the original streakers. Another time Mother looked out and discovered everyone wading in deep ponds, even little Mary, whose older siblings were dragging her along by each hand. Another time much later in years, the Grow's were swimming at the strip pit with Perry along, before he became an in-law to the family. Perry was outfitted with some very stretchy bathing trunks which nearly parted company on the first plunge. He held them with one toe, treading water desperately until he managed to pull them back up.

Our dad was ordinarily very patient with his boisterous offspring and did not often deal out punishment. One exception was when we had been climbing the windmill. As we approached the ground, we were paddled one by one in the spot intended for this purpose.

John was a venturesome boy. He and Lucile were sitting on a fence at Terrill's, overlooking a hog wallow. He overbalanced and fell in! Midge's comment when hearing about this was, "Sometimes he still gets covered with the stuff!" Then there was the time he was "lost" in Perry as a youngster, went to the police station (mostly out of curiosity), and a newspaper reporter got hold of him and made a feature story of the incident.

Much enjoyed were the frequent walks in the timber, though occasionally the children climbed trees to escape the allegedly fierce pigs in Hastings' pasture. The old miner's dugout cabin was a historical landmark. We did develop an appreciation for nature during our childhood which we all still retain.

Shopping trips to Perry were far from weekly expeditions. When it was deemed absolutely necessary to go there, the 1929 Chevy came home piled with children, shopping bags, boxes, and groceries, since there was no trunk in the car. Mother concocted a hurried mid-afternoon lunch of hot dogs and beans, which was a great favorite with us.

Another big-city adventure came in Fort Dodge. While Mother was finishing her shopping in the Boston Store, the younger generation discovered the store elevators and were happily riding up and down, much to the disgust of the operator, an older man who didn't like children very well.

The one real family vacation we took was at Clear Lake for a week. The cost was minimal, and Mother brought great supplies of food from the farm. I can remember a bucket of eggs packed in oats. Brownie, our beloved dog, was tied at Terrill's during the time we were gone, and when he heard us return home, he tore up his stake and came running down the road to welcome us.

Other pets were Mary's cats "Tuffy" and "Butterball". Ish Kabibble, the crippled goose, was with us for a while but was served up as New Year's Day dinner, which Mary refused to eat.

It was exciting for the children to ride in the corn wagon, pulled by the horses Molly and Nancy. When Dad came down the road past the house on his way to the crib at Grandma's we all came running, clamoring to get on, go to Grandma's and watch the elevator run. Sometimes when Dad was in a hurry, he would urge the horses to a good run near the house, but he did not often get past us.

This is not intended to be a complete history of the life and times of the family. We prefer to accentuate the positive, remembering the funny things and the pleasant days. As each one of the Grow "kids" reads this he will add memories of his own.

Esther - my Aunt - by Rowenna Erbach

The first memory I have of my aunt Esther was of course that my sister was named for her. Mother spoke of her as a teacher and a school principal. I was thrilled when I found she was coming to visit us. I found something of my school work that I didn't understand and took it home. Aunt Esther explained it so patiently and well, making me do my own thinking that I was sure from then on that she must be the world's best teacher. Later after she was married and Uncle Lawrence came into our family he was rather quiet, always amiable and supportive. Their children were beautiful and lively. It was some years later before I realized what a wonderful story teller she is. Story telling comes easily to the Christensen's and she is one of the best. It is a joy to talk to her in her mid-nineties she still is able to share so much. She is certainly one of our family's great blessings.




b. Rippey, Green Co., IA
m. 28 Dec 1948 Woodward, Dallas Co., IA Methodist Church

Secretary, Computer Operator
piano, gardening, ceramics

Grad Iowa State University- in Institution Management, Home Economics
Member United Methodist Church, active in women's group
Work in the family business (as secretary and computer operator).


b. West Point, Cuming Co., NE

Real Estate Broker
photography, licensed pilot, W. W. II

Grad Iowa State University- Ag Education
Served in South Pacific in World War II


Was farm manager for Farmers National Company in Iowa, Branch Manager for Walnut Grove Feeds in Nebraska

Vice President & Trust Officer, York State Bank Real Estate Broker licensed in 10 states.



b. Des Moines, Polk Co., IA

Consulting Actuary
genealogy, birdwatching, reading computer, photography


b. Des Moines, Polk Co., IA

Computer Programmer
photography, licensed pilot

Computer programmer and system operator
B.A, in Business Administration Uni of NE
Licensed Real Estate Broker in 10 states



b. Rippey, Greene Co., IA
m. 22 Dec 1951 Rippey, Greene Co., IA

attends Sprint Car races, TV football, travel

B Sc in Farm operation from Iowa State College
Served 2 yrs in U.S. Army-was in Korea
Belongs to Methodist Church in Rippey and is on the Board


b. LaPorte City, Black Hawk Co., IA

Secretary, church pianist, organist
gardening, cooking, travel

Attended Northern Iowa College 2 yrs
Was State pianist for Rebekah Assembly of Iowa
Has composed some marches.
Active in community & church activities



b. Des Moines, Polk Co., IA
m. 18 Aug 1973 Rippey, Greene Co., IA

Medicare Review Coordinat.
Reading, softball, sports, playing piano, guitar & singing

H. S.- sang in All-State chorus and was in National Honor Society
B.Sc. in Nursing and M.S. in Nursing Administration-Graceland College
Is now Medicare Aid Review Coordinator for Blue Cross, Blue Shield in Des Moines.
Belongs to Methodist Church in Perry.


b. Jefferson, Greene Co., IA

Jr. High teacher/ Athletic dir
all sports

Was on all conference football team as sr. in H. S.
B.Sc. Physical Education from Buena Vista College in Storm Lake, IA
Teaches Jr. High and is assistant football coach



b. Lexington, Lexington Co., MO

reading, sports, animals, piano

Belongs to 4-H


b. Perry, Dallas Co., IA


Won a trophy in free throw contest last year.
Belongs to Brownies




b. Des Moines, Polk Co., IA
m. 28 Aug 1976 Guthrie Center, IA



b. Guthrie Center, Guthrie Co., IA

Dental Assistant




b. Jefferson, Greene Co., IA


b. Jefferson, Greene Co., IA



b. Perry, Dallas Co., IA
m. 9 May 1981 Rippey, Dallas Co., IA Methodist Church

Hog Farmer
gardening, fishing, hunting

Attended United Electronics School in Des Moines then worked for Western Electric Telephone Co. before beginning Hog Operation with his dad.

Belongs to Methodist Church in Rippey


b. Boone, Boone Co., IA

bowling, chickens & animals, children

Belongs to Methodist Church in Rippey




b. Ames, Story Co., IA


b. Ames, Story Co., IA




b. Rippey, Greene Co., IA
m. (1) 8 Aug 1953
(2) 17 June 1984

P. E. teacher
music, reading, traveling, tennis, swimming, jogging, biking

B.A. Iowa State Teachers College
Westminster U. P. Church affiliation
Likes music, singing, playing piano and pump organ
Volunteer with Widowed Persons Service

Instigator and Organizer of 1987 Christensen Reunion

(1) JAMES LESTER KENNEY (1929-1972)


b. 26 June 1929 Grand Junction, Greene Co., IA
d. 23 June 1971 Des Moines, Polk Co., IA in Auto Accident
Buried in Richaldn Cemetery, Jamaica, IA

Extension Service
agriculture, travel

B.Sc. Iowa State Uni in Animal Husbandry

Elevator, Grain merchandiser, Stock & Commodity Broker
Military service Korean War where he spent 1 1/2 yrs in Japan


b. Ankeny, Polk Co., IA

Agriculturalist, Broadcaster

B.Sc. Iowa State Uni
Farmed 10 yrs
Was Broadcaster in Chicago, Yankton, S. D. and Des Moines Iowa.
Executive Secretary of the American Soybean Association at its inception. Host of Market to Market Television program on Public T.V.
In market development internationally
Commodity Broker

His children are:

REED F. RANDOLPH b. Des Moines, IA




b. Des Moines, Polk Co., IA
m. 23 Dec 1984 Sarasota, Ringling Museum Rose Garden, FL



b. Cedar Rapids, Linn Co., IA



b. Cherokee, IA


B.Sc. Zoology Uni of Iowa 1981
Ph. D. 4/87 in Physiology at University of Pennsylvania
Fall '87 Moving to New Haven, CT to do post-doctoral fellowship at Yale


b. Grimsby, ENGLAND



b. Des Moines, Polk Co., IA
m. 22 Nov 1982 Princeton, New Jersey
(Married by Mayor Robert Cawley in Borough Hall)

Pol Science Professor
Women's Movement

B.A. Univ. of Iowa in Political Science
B.A. 1980 Magdalen College Oxford, England-Politics, Philosophy & Econ.
M.A. Princeton in Politics and Ph. D. expected 1987 Princeton

Made history while at Magdalen by becoming the first woman ever to become the President of the student organization.

Will begin teaching American Constitutional Law at Uni of Illinois in the Fall of 1987.


b. Belfast, Northern Ireland

Public Policy studies

B.A. '85 Engineering, Econ., Management-Magdalen Col, Oxford, England
Worked as business consultant for Shell International in London '85-86 and was active in the Liberal Party in Britain.
Currently pursuing a two-year public policy Master's course at the Kennedy School at Harvard.
Interested in transportation policy, particularly of airlines.



b. Rippey, Greene Co., IA
m. 18 June 1955 Perry, Dallas Co., IA (1st Methodist)

Home Ec. & Science Teacher
square dancing, sewing, bird watching, hiking, camping, tennis, swimming

Assoc. Deg. in Medical Lab Technology
B.Sc. Iowa State Uni
Travels mainly U. S. (not far west) and St. Croix and Bahamas
Has been Deacon and Elder in Presbyterian Church
Biggest thrill last year was being on a tugboat as part of the parade of tall ships for July 4th celebration of Statue of Liberty Centennial.


b. Rippey, Greene Co., IA

Jet Pilot USAF, Civil Engineer-Dredging Industry
square dancing, working on cars, woodworking, hiking, fishing

B.Sc. in Civil Engineering Iowa State Uni
Traveled extensively in job-Ecuador, Iran, Egypt, Bangladesh, Germany, Holland, So Africa, Caribbean.




b. Ames, Story Co., IA
m. 3 July 1983 Martinsville, Henry Co. VA (1st Presbyt)

Physical Therapist
reading, music (piano, violin, singing), needlecraft, sewing, hiking, camping, swimming, boating

B.Sc. Ithaca College, N. Y. State in Physical Therapy
Played with college orchestra in Ithaca.
Attends First Presbyterian Church in Martinsville and plays in Hand-Bell choir there.
Favorite memories come from wilderness canoe excursions in N. H. & Maine on lakes and in white water with Girl Scouts.


b. Warren, Trumbull Co., OH

Product Manager
woodworking, electronics photography, playing guitar, camping, short hikes, Jaycees

Electronic Engineering and Physics degrees from Loughborough Uni in England
Product Manager for Martin Processing (a thin film sputtering Co.)
Duane's mother is English.



b. Martinsville, Henry Co., VA

Discovering the world and likes to play with new golden retriever puppy, Sandy.



b. Port Arthur, TX


b. 11 July 1963 Baytown, TX