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Benton County, Iowa ~ Biography and Family Information

Heinrich (Henry) Sparrenberger
They first appear about 1223 in the Bielefeid North Rhine-Westghalia as a rich Catholic family with friendship links to the Ravensberg family who ran the city. (This validates the relation to the Sparrenberg castle, built about 1250 in the town.) During the 30 year war, Heinrich Sparrenberger moved 212 miles South to Uffhofen Alzey Hesse, for freedom of religion. The family in Uffhofen were poor. Feudalism was the economic, political and social system. The people were called servants of feudal lords. They were not slaves but almost slaves. They lived in the service of others, who did not pay for their work. Three days a week they worked for their boss and three days a week for their own interest. Sunday they would go to church. You can see quite well why stories of freedom and the ability to own your own land sparked their imagination and fueled their courage to embark across the unknown waters. Heinrich died in 1675, Uffhofen, but was the father of grandchildren who ended up in Brazil, Indiana, Alabama, New York and Iowa.

Johann W. Sparrenberger was born May 31, 1809, Uffhofen Rhenish, Hesse, and died May 19, 1887 in Benton Co.

Heinrich (Henry) Sparrenberger was born September 3, 1834 to Johann Sparrenberger and Catherine Hetterick in Uffhofen, Hesse, Germany.

They arrived in New York on December 10, 1853 on the ship, Connecticut. They left Harve, France November 7 with merchandise and 600 passengers. There were 20 deaths from Nov. 15, to Dec 1. The Connecticut was a three decked ship, 1600 tons, built in 1849 at Essex, Connecticut.

His siblings were: Elizabeth b. 1831; Catherine Elizabeth b. 1833; Elizabeth b. 1836; Christina b. 1839 and Johann b. 1841.

Henry married Sophia Preusser in Manhattan, NY in 1864 His father followed him to Benton County, Iowa. John bought land in Eldorado Twp, 83 North and 10 West. Henry bought land near Atkins.

Henry and Sophia's children were: Kathrina b. 1866 NY; Christion b. 1867 NY; Gertrude b. 1869 Iowa; Henry b. 1871 Iowa; Nancy b. 1872; Lottie b. 1874; Charles b. 1875; Ella b. 1878; Hellen b. 1880 and Margaret b. 1882.

Henry's father, John (William) died December 19, 1887 in Fremont Twp. His mother, Catherine who stayed in Manhattan, died April 29, 1897.

Henry died November 11, 1913. Sophia died April 16, 1925.

Submitted by Brian Erland December 22, 2005, updated May 15, 2022

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