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Christian Kruger


Posted By: JoanTroe
Date: 6/22/2013 at 23:45:56

Christian Kruger and Neone Soorholz were married in Ostfriesland, Germany. Seven children were born in Germany. Lottie, Tillie, Klaus, Albert, John, and Christina. They came to America in 1855 and settled at Freeport, Illinois, where Jessie was born in 1857. John Soorholz, Neone's brother, came to America with them. He jokingly called Christina his "Little American".

In Germany, Christian was a sheep herder in the summer time and would whistle as he went down the street and all the goats and sheep followed him as their owners turned them out. In the winter, he would cut peat from the peat bogs for the fire places in the homes. The manner in which Christian got his money for his passage to America was interesting. Seemingly, there was money on the Kruger side of the family and the older boys for land or other holdings. But, Christian's aunt Lottie, kept his share for him. When he was ready to come to America, she got all the money in currency so they would not have to pay tax and duty on it. To keep the officials from learning that she has this money, she sewed it into a beautiful black, rustily taffeta petticoat. Needles to say, Lottie was more than a little impressed when she saw the petticoat ripped apart and the money peeled out, which was used to but their passage to America. They spent hours preparing wool for spinning and linen for cloth and thread. How would they ever get through customs with so much more than they were allowed? Neone proved herself to be a real smuggler, for what officer would ever think of going beneath a pile of dirty diapers. They would really close that pail in a hurry! They were on the ocean three months in the sail boat. They did have peat in the hold to stoke a steam engine in case the weather was too calm or stormy.

Christian hired out to work for Mr. Didden. He built a one-room house for them with a lean-to on the west side that housed a cow, pig and some chickens. These were given to them by Mr. Didden. The house also has a lean-to on the south side for extra clothes and cookware. They also had the use of three acres of land for garden and feed for their livestock. Christian worked there for a year and a half, them passed away in 1857. He was buried in Freeport, Illinois.

Neone moved to Freeport and in 1864 was married to Henry Lindeman. Henry was a widower who had one married son, Folkert. Henry Lindeman also hired out to work for Mr. Didden. After working a year and a half, he passed away in 1865.

Henry's son, Folkert, and wife had three children. They lived in Grundy Center, Iowa over the Creamery. They were very poor.

Neone passed away in 1866 at Freeport, Illinois.

Neone always had to walk to town for groceries unless she could catch a ride with someone going past. Her first ride to town was with Mr. Oko Tjaden, who one horse and one cow hitched to a wagon, and was taking some wheat to get it ground. They lived 10 miles Northwest of Freeport. Also, they had to walk that distance to church. One Sunday coming home from church, a big rain storm came up. Being all prairie, there was no place to go for shelter. Jessie, her youngest, was with her. When it started to rain so very hard, she put the child on the ground in front of her for protection. Then she wrapped her long gathered skirt around her and they stood there until the rain was over. By the time they got home, their clothes were nearly dry.

Fredericka continued living at Forreston, Illinois. Lottie settled near May City, Iowa. Tille farmed near Ashton, Iowa and later retired in Sheldon, Iowa. Klaus went to central Iowa in Grundy County, Iowa. Albert farmed near Steen, Minnesota. John came to Lake Park, Iowa. Christina never married. She made her home with Frederika and family. Jessie lived on a farm near May City, Iowa and then resided in Ocheydan, Iowa. Her husband, Fred Berends was an implement dealer.


Grundy Biographies maintained by Tammy D. Mount.
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