Mr. and Mrs. William Oelke
OELKE, BEST, PETERS, WILLRUTH, SCHMALFELDT, MAHLES, HEUSER, HEESCH, SCHOELLERMAN, KREGEL, SPLIES
Posted By: Judy Moyna (email)
Date: 2/8/2011 at 17:44:24
WILLIAM OELKE and ELIZABETH WILLRUTH
(By Judy Bender Moyna)
William Oelke, the son of William and Elizabeth (Best or Peters?), b. 26 Feb 1817 in Sumte, Hanover, Germany, and his wife Elizabeth Willruth, the daughter of Heinrich Willruth, b. 5 Oct 1816 in Hanover, Germany, came to Iowa in 1851 with their sons William and Henry. They spent eleven weeks on their journey from Hamburg to New Orleans; from there they took a steamboat to Guttenberg, a trip of about three weeks, landing there about 15 July 1851. The final leg of their journey was by ox team to a farm near Clayton Center where they and the William Schmalfeldt family were taken in by a family, probably the Mahles, who could speak German.
From there the Oelke family moved to a log house east of Clayton Center where they lived for two years while William worked as a carpenter saving enough money to rent a small farm. In addition to the two sons born in Germany, two children were born to the Oelkes in Clayton County, Iowa: Ernst August, b. 14 Nov 1852 and Dorothea Elizabeth Bertha, b. 12 Jan 1854.
William Oelke, b. 25 Jan 1840 in Vietlubbe, Hanover, Germany, married Caroline Schmalfeldt, the daughter of William and Marie (Heuser) Schmalfeldt. Henry Oelke, b. 10 Sept 1844 in Vietlubbe or Neuhaus, Hanover, Germany, married Elsabe Dorothea Heesch Schoellerman. August Oelke married Amelia Kregel, and Bertha married Fred J. Splies.
William Oelke, who became a successful farmer in the Garnavillo and Farmersburg areas, retired and left the farming to his sons. He died 15 Aug 1888 in Garnavillo; his wife Elizabeth the 13 Nov 1907 in Farmersburg. Both are buried in the city cemetery in Garnavillo, Iowa. Two of his brothers, John and Franz, and a sister Dorothea also came to Clayton County from Germany in the early 1850s.
~This information has been collected by Judy and Jerry Moyna, Elkader, Iowa, from various records. Contact Judy Moyna for more information
Clayton Biographies maintained by Sharyl Ferrall.
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