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Holmes City homebodies

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Not much has changed for Lola and Dave Anderson over the years. And they wouldn't want it any other way.

Residents of Holmes City, Dave and Lola live only about a mile from where they each grew up.

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Lola's grandparents, who came from Sweden, homesteaded one mile south of Holmes City in the late 1800s. Her father was born on that farm, and so was Lola in 1941. When Lola married her childhood sweetheart, Dave, in 1961, her name didn't even change. Her maiden name was Anderson.

Dave's grandparents were also Holmes City residents. His dad was born by Pocket Lake and his mother was also born in Holmes City Township. Dave was born on a farm about a quarter mile south of where he and Lola now live - and have their entire married lives.

The Holmes City connections for the Andersons are endless. Lola and Dave are both 100 percent Swedish. They were born about a mile apart. And Lola's mother was born one-half mile from where Dave's mother was born.

"Our families were friends," Lola said. "We have always known each other."

"We played together as children," added Dave, a quiet man of few words, as his wife explained their history.

Lola went to school in Holmes City through 6th grade and in 7th grade went to Central Junior High in Alexandria.

"We were the first class that got to go to Alex in 7th grade," she said, adding that hers was also the first class to graduate from the new Jefferson High School in 1959.

Two years older than his wife, Dave went to Pocket Lake Country School and in 9th grade attended Central High School. He graduated in 1957.

The bright lights and hustle and bustle of a big city didn't entice either one of the Andersons. While he was still in high school, Dave rented a farm that neighbored his parents'. Always sure that he wanted to be a farmer, Dave stayed put after high school and worked on both farms.

Lola didn't have any desire to leave either. She stayed in Holmes City and worked at the co-op, and then worked for awhile in Brandon.

"Then we got married," she said matter-of-factly, trying to remember if she and Dave dated in high school.

"I guess so," she surmised. "It was so long ago. It will soon be 50 years. It was nothing big and fabulous."

After their marriage the two Holmes City natives bought the farm that Dave was renting. Later, they bought Dave's parents' farm, and property on Lake Rachel, which is across the road. Today, the couple owns 270 acres in Holmes City Township.

Although much has stayed the same for the Andersons, there have been a few changes. They had a son and a daughter and are now the proud grandparents of two.

And in 2003, the couple moved into a new home they built on their farm - further cementing their desire to stay put in the community they have always called home.

"After you built the whole place, it's home," Dave said, referring not only to the new house, but the land, family and friends they have acquired.

"Why go someplace where there are thousands of people and traffic?" Lola questioned. "It's so peaceful and pretty here. Where else would a person want to live?"

And with a quiet nod, Dave agreed as he pondered, "Why go anywhere else? We know this is home."

Editor's note: The Andersons will join with other area residents to celebrate Holmes City's Sesquicentennial on Saturday, June 21. For more information on the celebration, refer to the printed version of the Friday, June 13 edition of the Echo Press.

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