Anna Ludescher Ochsner

Anna Ludescher Ochsner, Age 74, 1940
Anna Ludescher Ochsner
Charlie and Crystal Ochsner collection
  • January 3, 1866 - Born Anna Ludescher in Kadelburg, Baden-Würrtemberg, Germany.
  • October 8, 1890 - Married Heinrich Ochsner in Zurich, Switzerland.
  • 1891 - Son John died at birth.
  • July 6, 1892 - Daughter Annie born.
  • 1893 - Left Zurich to join Henry in America.
  • May 20, 1893 - Arrived in the United States (age 27).
  • 1894 - Son John Henry born in Joliet, Illinois.
  • 1896 - Son Rudy born.
  • 1898 - Son Charlie born.
  • 1900 - Son Henry ("Hankie") born.
  • 1904 - Son John Henry died.
  • 1907 - Moved to Oklahoma.
  • April 2, 1907 - Purchased Oklahoma farm.
  • 1910 - Received notification of her mother's death in Germany.
  • January 30, 1911 - Widowed (age 45).
  • 1930 - Moved to Chattanooga.
  • 1940 - Registered as a permanent resident alien.
  • July 12, 1955 - Son Henry died.
  • April 20, 1960 - Died at Grandfield Nursing Home (age 94).
  • Buried in Chattanooga Cemetery.

In 1940, the U.S. Congress passed the Alien Registration Act. It required all non-U.S.-citizens age 14 and older living in the United States to register with the federal government. Prior to 1940, the U.S. government did not keep track of immigrants living in the country. With Europe at war, however, and the U.S. being pressured to choose sides, Congress began to view immigration as a national security issue.

Anna had been living in America almost 50 years when this law was enacted. She promptly went to the post office in Lawton to register, along with many of her neighbors. A clerk asked her some questions, and typed her answers on a typewriter. She gave her occupation as "housekeeper". When asked whether she belonged to any clubs, organizations, or societies, she answered, "I don't belong to anything." When asked if she had ever been arrested for or indicted or convicted of any offenses, she answered, adamantly, "No! I have not! I obey the law!" A few months later, she received a small green card in the mail, indicating that she was a lawful permanent resident of the United States of America.

Read the book excerpts for more of Anna's story.

Book Exceprts

Germany and Switzerland
Journey to America
Joliet, Illinois
Tillman County, Oklahoma

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