Family remembers ‘The Honey Lady’

The Booth family featured in an early photograph. Photo provided

The Booth family featured in an early photograph.
Photo provided

Anna Booth was not one to give up what mattered to her, regardless of her age.

“Very strong, no nonsense,” granddaughter Jenny Bishop said.

Anna (Bustad) Booth, who was known as “The Honey Lady,” passed away Aug. 1, 2014, at the Adams Health Care Center. She was 102. Many people knew Anna and her late husband, Glenn, for selling honey and raspberries in Austin for several years. The couple started bee-keeping and raising raspberries in their 70s and 80s. Anna continued her honey and raspberry businesses until 2005, when she was 93.

The children of Anna Booth share stories. They are, from left, Daryle Booth, David Booth and Gladys Morgan.  Eric Johnson/photodesk@austindailyherald.com

The children of Anna Booth share stories. They are, from left, Daryle Booth, David Booth and Gladys Morgan. Eric Johnson/photodesk@austindailyherald.com

Anna didn’t stop the businesses when Glenn passed away in 1995, even though she was 82. She continued to sell honey, raspberries and homemade jam. After a few years, Anna sold the beehives, but she still bought and bottled honey, providing it to stores and fighting for her shelf space.

Anna grew up near Taopi and LeRoy before she married Glenn in September of 1931. The couple had six children and moved several times throughout their lives.

They lived near Albert Lea, Clarks Grove and Arizona before they moved to White Bear Lake, Minnesota, where Anna worked as a cook and Glenn worked as a gardener for employer Mrs. Hardenberg for more than 20 years.

Anna’s family remembered how good her cooking was. Bishop recalled many of her grandmother’s recipes were made up as she went.

“I learned I had to be there when she made it, to know how to make it,” Bishop said.

The couple moved to Austin in 1986.

After visiting their son, Daryle, and daughter-in-law, Carole Booth, in Texas, who also kept bees, Anna and Glenn were inspired to start their own hives.

Bishop recalled the first time her grandparents showed her their bee-keeper’s outfits.

Anna Booth and her husband  Glenn. Photo provided

Anna Booth and her husband Glenn. Photo provided

“I remember the first time she came out in her bee costume,”Jenny said. “I’m thinking, ‘What are you doing?’ She and grandpa both had these bee costumes on.”

At one point, the couple owned about 45 hives and bottled and marketed up to 40 tons of honey. They kept one beehive in their garage in town, to pollinate their own garden, while the other hives bounced from farm to farm, pollinating apple orchards, fields and pastures. They stocked several stores around town with honey, including Hy-Vee and Superfresh, and also sold honey at the farmers markets for about ten years.

Grandson Russell Morgan recalled getting put to work when he visited his grandparents.

“I remember carrying the five gallon pails down the steps,” Russell said.

His brother, David Morgan, also recalled working for his grandparents.

“I got mostly put to work, picking raspberries and strawberries and a lot of honey,” David said. “I helped them out a lot with the honeybees.”

Anna used the bees for more than just making honey. She had arthritis, and her family remembered her letting bees sting her where the arthritis was acting up.

“That was her remedy for her arthritis,” Bishop said.

Anna’s family remembered her finding a use for everything. They recalled her making candles from the beeswax she collected.

“Nothing went to waste,” Russell said.

Anna entered her honey into the Mower County Fair and won blue ribbons for several years.

“She was really proud of that,” Gladys said.

When she moved to the Adams Health Care Center after a stroke, she continued to stay busy. Gladys recalled one nurse telling her, “We didn’t put Anna on our schedule, she put us on her schedule.”

“She was very busy down there, she either had a dust cloth or something else in her hand working,” Gladys said. “They were so good to her down there.”

 

Education

AHS celebrates the Class of 2024 with Friday night commencement

Education

‘… I like to help people’

Mower County

Congolese Musician Siama headlines 6th annual Fourth Avenue Fest in Austin

Agriculture

Five years of data reveal higher profitability for farms that are ag water quality certified

Education

CRC awards $12K in scholarships to local graduates

Education

In Your Community: Fire Department welcomes fire poster honorable mention

Mower County

In Your Community: Duplicate Bridge

Education

Education Briefs

News

Lab-grown meat isn’t on store shelves yet, but some states have already banned it

News

At 100, this vet says the ‘greatest generation’ moniker fits ‘because we saved the world’

Crime, Courts & Emergencies

Convictions: May 20-27

News

Barred from combat, women working as codebreakers, cartographers and coxswains helped D-Day succeed

Crime, Courts & Emergencies

Minneapolis police officer dies in ambush shooting that killed 2 others including suspected gunman

News

Guilty: Trump becomes first former U.S. president convicted of felony crimes

Business

Hormel Foods welcomes largest-ever class of inspired summer interns

Mower County

2024 Summer SURE Internship begins at The Hormel Institute

Mower County

Major archaeological survey is underway in Mower County

Education

Photos: Back to where it began. AHS seniors walk through Woodson Kindergarten

Agriculture

Farmers must kill 4.2 million chickens after bird flu hits Iowa egg farm

News

Jury deliberations begin in Donald Trump’s hush money criminal case

Mower County

Commissioners approve resolution using federal funds to replace county bridges

Mower County

Evolve wraps up successful season

Mower County

Young Eagles Flight Rally scheduled for June 8

Mower County

Mayo Clinic Ambulance Service offers paid training program