Newest barn quilt honors barbers with its pattern


Photo by Jim Leuenberger Shown with Shawano County’s 339th barn quilt are, seated, Dave and Alice Laux; standing from left, Linda and Jim Laux, Jenny Ballwahn, Jim and Kathy Cummings, and their children, Courtney, Brendan and Christa.

Shawano County’s 339th barn quilt is now on display on a barn at N4143 State Highway 22, a few miles south of Shawano. The farm is owned by Jim Laux. The quilt was sponsored by Full House Realty of Shawano.

The quilt pattern the Laux family selected is called Barber Pole in recognition of Jim’s mother, Alice Laux, who has been a hairdresser for 45 years; his sister, Kathy Cummings, who is also a hairdresser; and his dad, Dave Laux, who was a barber for 59 years.

Julius Piehl, Jim’s great-grandfather, came to the United States from Frankfurt, Germany, arriving in New York with $21 in his pocket. He had friends in Plymouth, Wisconsin, where he worked to save money to buy a farm and eventually to bring his wife, Bertha, to be with him in America. They had six children — Augusta, Anna, Gustav and Tillie, along with two others who died in infancy.

Julius died at age 70 and Bertha at 47. So Alice’s dad, Gustav Piehl, took over the farm in 1903, doing all the farm field work using horses to plow the fields. Julius and his dad had built all the buildings on the farm, including a new house in 1958. He married Elsie Froh in 1936. Alice, their only child, married David Laux in 1960. Their son, Jim Laux, is married to Linda and has two children — Melissa (Laux) Mueller and Steven Laux. Daughter Kathy is married to Jim Cummings, and they have three children, Courtney, Brendan and Christa.

The farm was always operated as a dairy farm with a herd of about 40 milking Holsteins. Jim dispersed the herd in 2005 and now works at Steinberg Manufacturing in Clintonville.

Jenny Ballwahn, broker and owner of Full House Realty, said she is proud to support the Shawano community and the barn quilt project.

“Jim Leuenberger’s amazing talent and willingness to give of his time in the painting of these beautiful barn quilts for the betterment of Shawano County is truly remarkable,” Ballwahn said.

Full House Realty has been in business in Shawano for 10 years and makes customer service its first priority. They have grown each year as more clients share their extraordinary experiences in working with their brokerage.

The Laux barn quilt was painted by the Shawano County barn quilt committee and was put on display by LeRoy Raddant and Brekken Kleinschmidt of Raddant Electric in Shawano.