Butterbettken 31.03.1858 - 04.06.1932
Elisabeth Anges Becker, called Butterbettken - or Butterbettchen, was a very special woman, born on March 31, 1858 in Hellefeld.
All her life she walked the long way from Hellefeld through the Arnsberg forest to Arnsberg as a trader, bringing eggs, butter and other agricultural products to the market in Arnsberg in all weathers. On the way back, she took medicines from the pharmacy for her village. Free of charge, mind you! In those days, when no one was mobile, this was a great help. And helpfulness was one of her most outstanding characteristics!
Butterbettken kept a diary all her life. She recorded each of her receipts and thus handed down one of the few testimonies of an everyday working-class life of her time.
On November 20, 1900, she bought a donkey named Hans to make her life a little easier. Hans, however, made it really hard for her. The "crutch" was stubborn for ten and once threw Butterbettken into the ditch along with her market goods. That was his last foolishness in her service. Butterbettken sold Hans in 1903 and walked back to Arnsberg with about 13 pounds of goods. At least Hans had managed to keep her from writing in her diary, because entries are missing for the entire year 1902.
Luxury was foreign to Butterbettken. When asked by a newlywed bride for her opinion of the beautiful gold bedposts of the marriage bed, she said succinctly, "They feel their abdominal pains in this bed just as in another."
That monuments would be erected to her, or that there would be a "Butterbed Walk" and a "Butterbed Bridge" ... she would probably have laughed and said "oh, go away." But it is for this modesty that she is still remembered today.
She died on June 4, 1932 after an accident and is buried in the Enkhausen cemetery, where President Lübke also found his final resting place. On her 150th birthday in March 2008, a delegation of honor visited her grave and commemorated the little market woman.
In 2007, the first Butterbettchen market was held in Arnsberg, where a lady dressed up in an egg basket mimed the market woman. Butterbettchen has since become a brand.
What would certainly have pleased her is her existence as a nativity scene figure in the home nativity scene of the St. Johannes parish in Sundern. Carved from lime wood, she has been standing there with her basket among the more or less prominent sons and daughters of the town since Advent 2002.