m. 8 Feb 1894
Facts and Events
Alvin Hitzeman was the oldest of seven children born to Fred and Sophia Hitzemann. He was drafted into the army in 1918, training at Camp Funston, Kansas, but the war was over before he could be sent to Europe. He began farming in Thayer County, Nebraska after the war, where he met and married Minnie Thiemann. The couple moved to Day County, South Dakota to join Alvin's brother Edwin who was farming there, but when Edwin's wife died and he moved back to Indiana, Alvin and Minnie returned to Nebraska, where they rented the old Ketcham farm. By 1932, they had three sons and two daughters.
In 1936, during the height of the Dust Bowl Era and Great Depression, their farm failed, and like many others at that time, the family was forced to leave Nebraska and become migrant workers. Alvin bought a used Diamond-T flatbed truck, built a small house on the back, and drove west. The family followed the annual crop cycle through Arizona, California, and Idaho, living part of the time in the truck. In 1939 or 1940, oldest son Edgar contracted polio, and the family settled down in California's San Joaquin Valley so that he could be hospitalized. During World War II they bought a house in Modesto, where they lived the rest of their lives.