Irma Prien
Interview by Jayden Vetick

Irma Prien

Irma Hansen Prien was born on March 3rd, 1919 on her family farm southwest of Herman, Nebraska. This specific area was known as Hill Creek. Irma had two younger brothers and one younger sister. A few years later her family moved to Tekamah, Nebraska. She attended a country school called Bell Center located west of Herman, Nebraska, but Irma was not very fond of her grade school teacher.

Throughout her childhood, Irma would help her mother with household duties and anything else that her mom needed assistance with. She also would go outside and help her father in the fields. Her main job was to get the fields ready for corn or oats by harrowing.

Irma then attended high school but ended up quitting after two weeks. Irma and her family had to overcome the Great Depression and she states, “This is one of my main hardships in life.” Irma was not needed on the family farm anymore, so she moved to Herman, Nebraska and lived with her grandparents. Her grandmother ran a rooming house which only had two rooms. Irma helped her grandmother run the rooming house.

In addition, she worked as a maid for the local hairstylist and at Farmers Union Coop. People would stop by the Coop with a list of items that they needed. It was Irma’s job to gather the items and have them ready for pick up when they came back to the Coop.

In 1937, Irma ended up finding the love of her life. A man named Virgil Prien rented one of the two rooms at the rooming house. Irma’s grandmother really wanted Irma married at the Lutheran Parsonage Church in Tekamah, Nebraska. They were blessed with five children two girls and three boys. They moved to Virgil’s grandmother’s farm in November of 1940 to help take care of her mother-in-law. After taking care of her for a year, they decided to take her to town to receive care.

Virgil and Irma resided on the farm until 1945 when they moved to a farm northwest of Oakland, Nebraska. They resided here until 1959 and then moved to Lyons, Nebraska and bought a house in town. Irma provided for her family by working at McMonies Grocery Store in Lyons, Nebraska for 150 dollars a month. Following her grocery store experience, she then worked as a Secretary at International and she would also deliver farm equipment to Pender, Nebraska. Irma stated, “Working out in the public at McMonies and International had the most impact on my life.” Irma also attended to the house and helped milk the Cows, feed the hogs, and chickens on their farm.

Virgil drove a transport truck for Tyson-Long Company. Years later Virgil and Irma became grandparents and now have nine grandchildren. Irma has resided in Lyons, Nebraska since 1959, totaling 56 years. Nowadays, Irma enjoys embroidering, doing needlework, gardening, and quilting. Her greatest accomplishment in life was raising her children and raising them the right way along with being blessed with a wonderful life. Irma’s advice to younger people is, “Get an education and go to college.”







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