Edna Hoft Williams, a native of Pottowatamie County, celebrates her 90th birthday Sept. 15.
She was raised by her grandparents on a farm near Wheaton. Her grandmother taught her how to cook, can and use the treadle sewing machine, inspiring her love of learning.
Edna advanced through her local 4-H club winning state and national merits, including a trip to 4-H Congress in Chicago in 1951. Edna worked at Farmers State Bank of Westmoreland as a bookkeeper until she married in 1952 and moved to Manhattan. She used her bookkeeping skills to help her husband, Alvin (Deak) Williams, with his various businesses and focused on being a stay-at-home mom to their three children: Kay, Stuart and Vincent.
Edna loves to travel and has visited all 48 continental states and Canada. It was during her travels that she began to love history, sparking her second career as a curator of the Wolfe House Museum (630 Fremont St.) for 32 years. Being an avid antique collector, the museum allowed Edna to use her vast knowledge of all things old, and teach younger generations to appreciate the customs and ways of the past. She retired from the Wolfe house in 2014 with the title of curator emeritus.
She was married 64 years, until Deak passed away in fall 2016. Edna enjoys a quieter life now. She loves sunny days and tending to her flower garden, and looks forward to news of the historical society and updates from her growing family. She has four grandchildren, four great-grandchildren, and two grandkitties.
Friends and acquaintances of Edna are invited to help celebrate her birthday at an open reception from 2-4 p.m. Sept. 15 at the Manhattan Train Depot.