Fred H. Keller | Retrospect
Cheryl Opsahl Maas, fifth generation of Lisbon pioneers
Recently, Cheryl Genevieve (nee Opsahl) Maas donated to the Sussex Lisbon Area Historical Society a pile of the Lisbon Rankin family history. Cheryl's mother, Genevieve, was a Rankin. The Rankin family is a pioneer family of 1843, and homesteaded an 80-acre plot of land on the north side of Plainview road between Hillside Road and Highway 164. It remained in the family name until about 1980, when it was sold to a gravel pit business, Payne & Dolan. By 1980, this original plat of land had grown to 140 acres.
There were a series of Rankin generations on this original land claim and additional land. Meanwhile, the Rank offspring would also acquire land (farms) in Lisbon, at one time well over 375 acres, all basically in the central core of the Town of Lisbon.
The family became active in Lisbon and school district politics over the years.
The story of the Rankin Family is so large that it can only be told in pieces.
Cheryl Opsahl Maas is part of the fifth generation of Rankins. She attended Sussex Main Street School, graduating from eighth grade in June 1958, at the age of 13. Born the first child of father John Opsahl, on Oct. 19, 1944, during World War II, one of the photos she gave to the historical society was her second grade class at the Sussex Main Street School.
She is sort of a central figure, as she stands right next to a beloved Main Street teacher, Mrs. Claude Kaderbeck, wife of the former fire chief. When viewing the picture, Cheryl commented, "I was the teacher's pet, and that is why I am standing next to her."
Cheryl was only 17 when she graduated from high school and immediately started post-high school business classes in Milwaukee, getting a nice office job. However, she met the man of her life, Jerome, "Jerry" Maas, and she was married at age 18 at the Lisbon Presbyterian Church on July 27, 1963. They have now been married 50 years.
She picked up some medical-dental schooling so in 1973, doctors Dave Foley and Eugene Goetsch, Sussex Family Practice, had her start there, and she has been there for 40 years now.
Meanwhile Cheryl and Jerry had two children: Jeff and Trisha.
Soon after Cheryl was born (age 4) her father John Opsahl bought an 85-acre farm in Lisbon in 1946 on Hillside Road, right across the street from the Lisbon Presbyterian Church. Marrying into the Rankin family, and already his wife a lifetime member, Cheryl had a second home across the street. And her sisters, Fayette and Angeline followed her.
When John's daughter decided that she wanted to have a home with Jerry, John gave her an adjacent acre of land. Husband Jerry was handy with construction and a variety of other trades, and for outlay of $17,900 they had a full fledged home, garage and an outbuilding, immediately north of the parents home. Cheryl, husband Jerry and the two children lived there from 1969 to 1997 when they sold it and moved to Hartford. The sale price in 1997, before the big uptick in the following decade was $68,000.
Meanwhile, daughter Trish lives in the Colgate area. Jeff lives in Florida, thus necessitating Cheryl and Jerry having to travel to Florida to visit him.
Now the collection of Rankin (and Opsahl) family has been sifted by the historical society and the majority went into a three ring binder with the photos annotated and the genealogy in written form and newspaper clippings all arranged so that they are readily accessible for family history, land history and just how a family can have roots in Lisbon for 1980.
- Retrospect 12/04/2013
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- 'Pepper' Steffen: 85-year Lisbon-Sussex resident
- Isabelle "Issy" Mielke, turns 100
- Plainview School Classes 1946-1950 1947-1948 1948 1949-1950
- Brotherly love: Humphrey Rankin, 1840-1901
- Corp. William Rankin's letter, 1863
- James and Mary Rankin, early Lisbon pioneers
- Fifth-sixth grade school 1941-42
- The Rifle Club, also known as the Sussex Gun Club
- Belles of Sussex, 1945
- Sussex columns, ads show unique history
- Maude Kraetsch, 'Mrs. Scratch,' reported on Sussex-Lisbon
- Are there still any hops in Lisbon-Sussex?
- Jeremiah Smith's scrap book
- History of the Hardiman family
- Willow Springs School, class of 1948
- Sussex High School building saved in 1988
- Main Street School now Village Hall
- Sussex High School building saved 25 years ago
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