Ed Gein, his older brother Henry, his father George and mother Augusta, lived together on their 160-acre farm a few miles outside Plainfield, Wisconsin. George was an alcoholic and Augusta was a demanding, over-bearing woman who had full control over her boys. From as far back as Ed could remember, Augusta was either delegating farm work for the boys to perform, or quoting the Gospel. She tried hard to teach Ed and Henry about sin, especially about the evils of sex and women.
In 1940 George died as a result of his alcoholism. Four years later Henry died while fighting a fire. Ed was now fully responsible for the welfare of his domineering mother. For two years he tended to her demands until her death in 1945. Ed, now alone, sealed off all but one room and the kitchen of the large farmhouse. He no longer worked the farm after the government began paying him as part of a soil conservation program. Doing local handyman jobs subsidize his income.