The Pastor's Daughter Takes Charge by Nana Rinehart


Frederikke was a courageous and determined young woman. In 1872, when she was eighteen years old, she left the rural town where she had been living with her father, a retired Lutheran pastor, to study music in Copenhagen. She supported herself as a piano teacher for seven years until she and her future husband, Gustaf Odencrantz emigrated to America. They taught music in Chicago, homesteaded in Nebraska, lived for a while in Texas, and eventually settled in New York City with their four children. In her later years, Frederikke recorded her childhood experience of the 1864 war between Denmark and Prussia, which was fought less than 40 miles from her village, and described in vivid and humorous detail the challenges that she and Gustaf faced trying to build a home and cultivate land on the prairie. This book contains her memoir of these two periods and describes her life between them and afterwards.  

NANA RINEHART, the great-grand-daughter of Frederikke’s brother, grew up in Denmark. She has lived in Washington D.C. since 1966, taught literature and writing, and worked in international education. She is the co-editor of Rockin’ in Red Square. Critical Approaches to International Education in the Age of Cyberculture and the author of Weaving Worlds Together. Growing Up in Denmark, Adopting America, Calling Both Home. Her biography of Frederikke’s daughter, Louise Odencrantz, A Woman Who Did Not Wait, is being published in 2021.