The Hancock-Henderson Quill, Inc.

Meet Your Neighbor

by Deb Olson, The Quill

Meet your neighbor Robert Cratsenberg who was born and has lived his life in and around La Harpe.

Robert is the son of Harvey and Catherine "Kate" Schroeder Cratsenberg. Harvey was a farmer during the depression. He started with 40 acres that he got from his dad, then added another 120 acres on which he built a house and barn. Then in 1933, he lost it all. The family moved north of La Harpe where they existed on 50 acres.

Robert is the youngest of Harvey and Kate's 5 children, He has two brothers, Roland and Fred and two sisters, Helen and Lucille. Robert's brothers and sisters are all now deceased.

Robert attended La Harpe High School graduating in 1940.

When he was a junior in high school, he got a job on Saturdays working at the Kroger Store in La Harpe. Robert didn't have time for extracurricular school activities because he lived in the country and walked the 1.5 miles to school and back each day. After graduation he began working steadily at Kroger. At 20 years of age he became the manager of the store.

During World War 2, in 1942 Robert went to Peoria for a physical to join the army but he was rejected and was sent home to La Harpe.

He and his brother Roland bought and operated Cratsenberg grocery for several years. Then he opened a Brown, Lynch and Scott Associate Store which he ran for 20 years. He also farmed part time until he retired from Brown, Lynch and Scott and began farming full time.

In 1947, Robert married Jean Little. He and Jean waited to get married because Robert who had grown up poor didn't want to marry until he could provide for his wife.

Robert attended several different churches before becoming a member of the Agape Fellowship.

Jean had attended secretarial school and worked at Camp Ellis, in Carthage for Manifold and at Sheaffer Pen.

After Jean developed severe back pain, Robert took her to doctors in Burlington IA. The doctors told her she had a bad disc in her back. Since surgery could be risky she was told she would just have to live with the pain.

At this time Robert was invited to bring Jean to a Full Gospel Businessmen's meeting at the La Harpe Clubhouse.

There during the service she was asked to come forward. Robert was asked "would you like to see a miracle?" It was at that time that Jean was healed.

Robert and Jean had three daughters, Jan who lives in Northern Iowa, and Kathy and Becky who both live in La Harpe All three girls became school teachers.

The Cratensenberg's also have 4 grandchildren.

Jean passed away 2 years ago.

Robert said that "since seeing the miracle of Jean's healing my life has been dedicated to Jesus who has greatly blessed me."

Robert truly believes as the Bible says that you must give to receive.