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Anna Neddenrief Dressler

At a glance:

Born: January 14, 1898 
Died: March 28, 1987
Maiden Name: Neddenriep
Race/nationality/ethnic background:  Caucasian (German)
Married: Fred H. Dressler
Children: Two (one daughter, one son)
Primary city and county of residence and work: Carson Valley (Douglas)
Major fields of work: civic affairs, ranching, women's clubs
Other role identities: wife, mother 

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Biography: Dressler image

Anna Engel Dorathea Neddenriep was born January 14, 1898, the fifth of nine children (five girls, four boys) born to Anna Dreier and Christian Friedrich "Fritz" Neddenriep. Both her parents had been born in Germany, but came to Carson Valley with their parents and were married in 1888 at Fredericksburg, Alpine County CA.

Anna's grandparents, Claus Friedrich Neddenriep and Anna Engel were both born in Nordcampen, Germany. Claus had come to Carson Valley in June of 1872 and was met at the train by August Dressler, then traveled by hay wagon to Carson Valley and settled on property in Alpine County, CA. 

Grandmother Anna was well known in Carson Valley and Alpine County as a midwife, having delivered hundreds of babies, 25 of which where her own grandchildren.

Anna Neddenriep's early education was at the Fredericksburg School, walking the one mile to and from each school day. She attended the Douglas County High School where she became acquainted with Fred H. Dressler (grandson of August) and their strong friendship led to a marriage of 60+ years. 

Anna did not graduate from high school because her oldest sister got married and moved to Oakland, CA and Mother, having a small baby, needed Anna at home to help prepare food for large hay crews, sew, can fruits and vegetables and, no doubt, baby-sit her youngest brother, Fritz.

After her marriage, Anna moved to the Dressler Ranch, just three miles down the road from her home. She and Fred had two children, Luetta and Frederick. As the wife of a rancher, she put all the skills learned at home to good use. There was much to do in preserving and preparing food, baking breads and cakes for the large working crews that it took to run the Dressler Ranch operation. During peak seasons, there were household and cooking assistants available to help.

When Fred started a purebred Hereford herd, it was Anna who took charge of the tedious record keeping. Her knowledge of ranch operations and the cattle business led her to help organize the Western Nevada CowBelles, whose purpose was to promote the beef industry. In 1956, she was elected President of the American National CowBelles at their New Orleans convention. 

On October 8, 1958, forty-four women met in Elko to organize a State CowBelle group and chose Anna Dressler as their first President. They became affiliated with the American National CowBelles in 1959. (Their name "CowBelles" was later changed to "Cattlewomen.") In 1982, at the age of 84, Anna was welcomed into the Hereford Heritage Hall of Fame. Her picture was seen in numerous newspaper and magazine features, often shown with fellow beef industry promoters, state governors, and other well-known dignitaries.

Anna was instrumental in organizing many other civic groups. In addition to her love for playing bridge, she organized a Mother's Club for mothers of students attending the Minden Grammar School. Her expertise in sewing was displayed in the many costumes she made for the school plays. 

Along with Grace Dangberg, Anna was involved in organizing the Carson Valley Historical Society and was elected to serve as its first President. A favorite project was the restoration of the Genoa Courthouse into a museum.

Anna and Fred were active members of the Republican Party and hosted many parties "for the good of the Party."

Anna Dressler died March 28, 1987, and is buried in the Mottsville Cemetery in Carson Valley at the foot of the Sierra Nevada Mountains that she loved.

Biography compiled by Jean Ford from notes provided by Marlena Neddenriep Hellwinkel

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Sources of Information:

Interview with Luetta Dressler Bergevin, Anna's daughter, 1997.

Neddenriep Family Scrapbook, privately held.

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