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Moments in Time: Sherry Anderegg
Sherry Anderegg (Times photo: Marissa Weiher)

Moments in Time

Moments in Time is a weekly series featuring recollections of area residents. To suggest someone to feature in Moments in Time, please contact Mary Jane Grenzow, editor, at

MONROE - When genealogy and local history are your passions, your work is never finished.

Monroe's Sherry Anderegg is happy to spend her free time working on endless projects, ongoing books and collecting memorabilia all for the sake of preserving history, learning about her past and helping others uncover their own legacy.

Anderegg was born in Monroe and raised on a farm before the family moved outside of Monticello where she recalls gathering and washing the eggs from the chickens.

Eventually, the family moved to the country but no longer farmed. Attending the Green County Teachers College grade school was quite the shock from country school: The teachers were right out of high school, and they would have a new teacher every six weeks in every class. Anderegg attended with her siblings and said it was a wonderful experience despite the change, and they all did well.

She attended Monroe High School and graduated in 1963. Although she had considered going to college, she already had a job she enjoyed as the secretary at the Pauly Cheese Factory. She met her husband, John, and the couple was soon married.

They lived in Brodhead for a while, but ended up back in Monroe around 1970 and she stayed home with her children, always doing a little something on the side. She soon worked at the Sears store in town and later worked as a medical secretary at Monroe Clinic. She was trained on the job and she loved the clinic experience. When Moore Business formed, she was hired there as a production planner and then later moved to the plant secretary. She worked there for more than 27 years until they downsized.

Anderegg ended her career back at the hospital where she worked as the volunteer coordinator and the administrative assistant to the foundation director for more than 11 years before retiring three years ago.

"I loved it and I loved my volunteers," she said.

Anderegg spent a lot of time with her granddaughter, sometimes having her for several months, while her daughter served in the Air Force. She has always kept busy with St. John's Church as well.

"I never worried about being busy after retirement," Anderegg said.

In 1985, Anderegg went with a friend for the first time to Switzerland.

She didn't have to do much looking to learn that her mother's side had Swiss roots and she quickly realized the importance of our past. When she returned from her trip to Switzerland, she decided to join the Swiss Singers group - she had always loved to sing - and now she's been a member for more than 30 years.

"When I went to Switzerland, we were doing the same things they were, and just as well," she said. "It really hit home for me that we live in a little Switzerland."

The singing group's home is Turner Hall and it wasn't long before Anderegg was asked to sit on its board of directors, where she spent nine years.

Soon Anderegg was named historian for both Cheese Days and Turner Hall.

A good friend had an idea to start a book of Turner Hall and all of its history, and Anderegg jumped on board to help. The book has items dating from 1867 to present day, and Anderegg spends her free time clipping articles and copying items from the special Monroe landmark. She also helps with Turner Hall fundraisers and said it's important to keep up with the historic building. She wants very badly to see the building thrive and continue on in Monroe.

"It's just so important to keep these little pieces of history together," she said.

She said she hopes anyone with any pieces of history from Cheese Days or Turner Hall will pass them along to the group's members instead of throwing them away. One day, organizers hope to exhibit some of the memorabilia and make it fun and interesting for people who come to Monroe to learn about Cheese Days at a time they can't experience it.

Whatever she finds, puts together and keeps will all be donated to their rightful places one day, she said. She's also given several speeches on the history of both Cheese Days and Turner Hall and, although it brings nerves, she enjoys it greatly.

Her hobby of collecting local history eventually dovetailed into her interest in genealogy, which she described as an addicting hobby that takes up lots of time. In 2001, Anderegg joined the Green County Genealogical Society. She wanted to look into her family history, but didn't know where to start. Today, she's so happy to be a part of such a group that has connected her to her roots in ways she never imagined. She now serves as the treasurer and volunteers on Tuesdays to help others in the library.

"When you meet someone who wants to know more about their relative (and you know) and their eyes light up," she said. "It's part of their legacy."

With connections she's made along the way, Anderegg now has a huge binder of her family history straight from Switzerland from a historian there who was willing to share with her after she shared some of her research with him.

Anderegg has been to Switzerland six times and shares a database of Glarner people. She loves feeling close to her family history and helping others find theirs.

"The feeling to know that you're standing on the ground where your great-grandmother went to school as a little girl is amazing," she said. "The stories are what make genealogy fun - not the dates."

Anderegg is also a member of the Green County Historical Society board and of Questers.

She has two daughters and three grandchildren, and family all over. Anderegg loves to travel and often visits family when she isn't headed to Switzerland. But she said she loves coming home to Monroe just as much as traveling.

When Anderegg retired three years ago, she was convinced she had a guardian angel after taking a vacation and becoming severely injured before a blood clot was found in her leg.

She was given a small chance of survival and today she's convinced that she's here because she has more to learn.

"I say thank you to the Lord each day for another day," she said.