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Probst, Mathias 1834-1915 and Kathryn Ignatz Family


Posted By: Wilma J. Vande Berg - volunteer (email)
Date: 8/29/2022 at 04:44:45

Probst, Mathias 1834 -1915 & Kathryn Ignatz Family

This BIOS for the Mathias Probst family was compiled by Wilma J. Vande Berg of the Greater Sioux County Genealogical Society. The life and times of Sioux County pioneers can be read about in several Sioux County books. “The Story of Sioux County” by Charles Dyk gives a very colorful account of pioneer life with its joys and hardships. The book “Siouxland A History of Sioux County” by Nelson Nieuwenhuis gives a great historical accounts of the area. The “1908 Sioux County Atlas” also has historical accounts of the various townships of Sioux County. Also reference the Alton Centennial book 1883-1983 and the St. Mary’s Church book.

From the Alton St. Mary’s Church Book which has a family story on Mathias and Kathryn Probst family on page 204 and 205.

Mathias Probst was born June 17, 1834 in Michelbouch, Luxembourg. He came to the Untied States by boat in 1854. Little is known of his whereabouts for the next sixteen years, but in 1869 he was joined by his brother, Nicholas.

In the spring of 1870, the brothers joined a wagon train from Jackson County, Iowa crossing the state of Iowa in a prairie schooner pulled by oxen, reaching Sioux County about May 20th. A homestead was established in East Orange Township and the virgin sod was broken with a walking plow and oxen. Their house was made of strips of sod stacked on top of each other and the roof was made of bundles of prairie grass. The prairie grass was so tall that the oxen had to be kept tied up, less they would wander off and become lost.

A small stream ran through the farm making game plentiful, especially elk and deer,. In the next seven years, Mathias broke 166.2 acres of prairie. The ground remains in the Probst family today.

In 1877 Mathias married Kathryn Ignaz. She was born September 1862 and came to this country from Germany. Thirteen children were born to the couple, nine boys and four girls. They were Nicholas, John, Peter, Frank, Mary, Mathias, Richard, Gerhard, Clara, Amelia, Joe, Bernard and Kathryn.

In the early 1880’s, a wooden frame house was built. It had only two rooms and a loft, but as the family grew, more rooms were added. This house was used until 1960, when it was torn down and replaced with a new home that is there today.

In 1881, Mathias donated eight acres of land from the southwest corner of the farm, on which was built a frame church. A violent storm in May of that year destroyed the building, but it was immediately rebuilt and on September 12, 1881, St. Donatus Church was dedicated by Father Meis. The church remained in service until 1894 when it was torn down in favor of a new church in Alton. In 1964 a statue of Our Lady of the Prairie was erected on the site of the 1st church and dedicated to the settlers.

Most of Mathias and Kathryn’s children moved away. Nicolas settled in Owatonna MN, Richard married Ida Fisch of Granville and moved to Chippewa Falls, Wisconsin, Frank married Emma Fisch of Granville and moved to Bismark North Dakota, Joe joined Frank in Bismark in the 1930s, Gerhard married Susan Gengler of Oyens and farmed four miles southeast of the homestead for twenty one and one half years before moving to Le Mars. John remained on the homestead until he died in 1960. Gerhard bought the farm and has since passed it on to one of his daughters, Agnes Miller of Cordova, Alaska, It was designated a Century farm in 1978.

Mathias died in October of 1915 at the age of 81, Kathryn moved to Alton in her later years and died in 1945 at the age of 83.

A brief entry for a Mathias Probst as an immigrant 1854 arriving in Baltimore was found on Ancestry.com.
1860 and 1870 census records were scoured by the compiler for evidence of Mathias but none was found. It could be that as he went to Chicago to marry Kathryn Ignaz in 1877 as he had probably lived there at sometime prior, although it was stated that he came with his brother Nicholas from Jackson County Iowa in 1870. There was a different Mathias Probst living in Chicago during that period but it was determined not to be him.

From a family report posted on public members pages on ancestry.com by other family members, information not verified by the compiler of this narrative.

Mathias Probst was born 17 Jun 1834 Michelbouch, Redange, Diekirch, Luxembourg, and he died 8 Oct 1915 at Alton IA. (see his obit at the end of this narrative) He was the son of Jean ‘John’ Probst 1801-1891 and Anne Catherine Schadecker 1797-1848. He married Kathryn Ignatz

Kathryn, aks Katherine Ignatz was born 7 Nov 1859 in Prussia/Germany, she married Mathias Probst 6 Nov 1877 Evanstan, Cook County, Illinois. Her parents were not noted. (see a bit more about her early life in her obit as the end of this narrative) In a search on Ancestry.com an indication was that her father was Nick Igantz born 1829. In some of the children’s information Kathryn’s surname is listed as Iglehart/Ingelhart.

CHILDREN of Mathias Probst and Kathryn Ignatz

1. Nicholas Probst Nicholas Dominich Probst born Oct 4, 1878 died 21 Feb 1950 Owatonna, Steele MN He married Mary Molitor 1877-1969 They had children Anna, Leo, Susanna, Roszalla, Celvina, Elvina, Lawrance, Aloysius, and Anthony. Nicholas was of Rockham SD in 1915

2. John J. Probst born 1881-1960 Source: Alton Democrat (6-2-1960) Born: May 8, 1881
Funeral services were held Tuesday, May 31st for John Probst, 79, life long resident of the Alton vicinity. Mr. Probst died Saturday night at the Le Mars Hospital where he was a patient since March 2nd. He had been in ill health for several years and March 23rd under west surgery. The immediate cause if his death was a cerebral hemorrhage, from which he was unconscious for a week before his death. Solemn Requiem Mass at St. Mary’s Church was held Tuesday morning with Monsignor Theobald of Hospers and Reverend Becker of Granville. John was the son of Mathias and Katherine (Ingelhart) Probst was born in Alton on May 18, 1881, Mr. Probst had farmed the home place since 1915 when his father died, and was widely known as a successful farmer and livestock man. In recent years he was crippled by illness and obliged to curtail his activities. Surviving are three brothers and two sisters, namely Joe Probst of Phoenix, Arizona; Frank of Hereford, Texas; Milly of Minneapolis; Gerrit G. and Kathryn of Le Mars. Two brothers Richard and Nick and a sister, Mrs. Clara Wagoner, preceded him in death.

3. Peter Probst born 1882-1892 died young From the Alton Democrat of Jul 23, 1892
A son of matt Probst died Wednesday of diphtheria.
(From the Sioux County Cemetery Index, Peter Probst was born 18 May 1882 died 20 Jul 1892 buried at St. Mary's Alton. Parents Mary and Mathias Probst, however the mother's first name was also Kathryn)

4. Frank Probst born 4 Jan 1883 Alton Iowa lived at Douglas ND at father’s death. He died 23 Aug 1965 Bismarck, ND. He married Emma Fisch 1885-1950 Sioux County IA. In the census of Pershall, Mountrail, ND in 1940 Frank F. Probst was 57, his wife Emma was 54, and Frank’s brother Joseph Probst 43, was living with them. Frank was the manager of a Gasoline Service Station.

5. Mary Probst born 1884 – 1887 died young Probst, Mary born 20 Mar 1884 died 26 Jul 1887 on same headstone as Peter and Mathias buried in St. Mary’s Cemetery Alton IA. No death notice was readily found in the papers.
Find a Grave lists Mary Probst as born 20 March 1884 Alton IA died 26 Jul 1887 Alton IA buried in St. Mary’s Cemetery. Her parents were Mathias Probst and wife Katherine.

6. Probst, Mathias born 12 Apr 1885 died 22 Apr 1885 ss Peter and Mary (children of Matt and Kathryn) buried in St Mary’s cemetery Alton IA. No death notice was readily found in the papers.
Find a Grave list Mathias Probst born 12 Apr 1885 Alton IA died 22 Apr 1885 Alton IA parents were Mathias and Katherine Probst. See the obit of Mathias Probst 1834-1915 and Kate Mrs. Matt Probst 1859-1944 He is one of the children of Mathias Probst and Katherine Ignatz, as he is listed on same headstones ad Mary and Peter also children of Mathias and Katherine

7. Richard Dominic Probst 1886-1948 He was born 10 Sep 1886 Alton IA died 12 May 1948 Chippewa Falls, Wisconsin. He married Ida Mae Fisch 1889-1966. Their children were Albert J. Probst 1908-2003, Howard M. Probst 1911-1996, Marlin Joseph Probst 1913-1986, Adelaide E. Probst 1916, Robert James 1922-1944, Lucille Catharine Probst 1923-1985, Maxine M. 1924-2009, Duane Thomas Probst 1928-2001 and one other.

8. Gerhard Felix Probst 1888-1968 Find A Grave list Gerhard G. Probst born 14, Apr 1888 at Alton Iowa, died 16 Apr 1968 Sioux City buried in Calvery Cemetery LeMars Iowa. Their is a family story in the St. Mary’s church book page 204. They were married February 6, 1912. The first few years they struggled at farm near Redfield SD, then moved back to Plymouth County Iowa renting farms near Remsen and Oyens, and last owned a farm west of LeMars. They had children – Helen, Rosemary, Agens, Gerald, Rita and Louise. Susan died April 30, 1964, and Gerhard died Apr 16, 1968 at age of 80.

9. Clara Cecilia 23 Mar 1890 She married Orey Frank Wagner 1889
Source: Alton Democrat (12-18-1931) Born: 1890
Died: 1931 Funeral services for Mrs. Clara Wagoner of Sioux City were held in Alton at St. Mary’s Church Saturday morning at nine o’clock, with Reverend M. A. Schemel officiating. Mrs. Wagoner was 40 years of age at the time of her death, which occurred after 7 months of serious illness. Mrs. Wagoner, who was born in Alton, is the daughter of Mrs. Kate Probst and of the late Math Probst, one of Sioux County’s pioneer farmers. Since her marriage she lived in Sioux City. She is survived by her husband, Orey Wagoner, and two children, Francis and Margaret, of Sioux City; of Sioux City; by her mother, Mrs. Kate Probst; by six brothers, Frank and Joe of Douglas, North Dakota; Richard of Chippewa Falls, Wisconsin; Nick of Owatonna, Minnesota; Gerrit and John of Alton, and by two sisters, Amelia and Cathryn, the latter of Minneapolis. Miss Kathryn left Monday for Minneapolis after attending the services, Mr. Nick Probst left Tuesday, Frank and Joe started for Alton in the night but were obliged to turn back on account of a severe snowstorm, so could not reach here for the services.

10. Amelia Probst born 22 Jun 1893 East Orange Tsp, Sioux County, Iowa.

11. Joseph Oliver Probst born 7 Feb 1900 Alton, Iowa, of Douglas ND in 1915. He died 26 Oct 1961 in Phoenix Arizona. His wife was Veronica Magdalene Butler 1900-1992. they were married Feb 7, 1947

12. Bernard Probst This child must have died early in life as not reference to him in either parents obituraries. His name is mentioned in the St. Mary’s church book as one of the thirteen children born to Mathias and Kathryn Probst.

13. Katherine Probst In her birth record she was Catherine Ann Probst born 25, Jun 1902 Alton IA Sioux County IA . In her mother’s obit in 1944, she was listed as Lt. Kathryn Probst, Naval Air Primary Training Command, Fairfax Airport, Kansas City. Find a Grave has Kathryn A. Probst born 25 Jun 1902 Alton IA died 11 Feb 1969 Rochester MN buried in St. Mary’s Cemetery Alton IA.

Keep in mind, as is so typical there are discrepancies in the information found that have been passed down through the decades. The St. Mary’s story states Mathias came in 1854 but in the obit it states he came in 1864. One source indicates he came to Sioux County in 1870 and another in 1871.

OBITUARY of Mathias Probst 1834-1915
Source: Alton Democrat (10-16-1915) Born: June 17, 1834 Died: October 8, 1915 Mathias Probst, a pioneer, died on October 8th, at St. Bernard’s Hospital in Council Bluffs. He was 51 years of age. The immediate cause of death was hardening of the arteries. Mr. Probst was born in Michelbuch, Luxemburg, Germany on June 17, 1834. He came to the United States during the civil war in 1864 and was among the first to settle permanently in Sioux County, coming here in 1871 and for many years until sickness overtook him in the dwelling on the original homestead southeast of town.
He was married in 1872 to Miss Catherine Ignaiz in Evanston, Illinois. He leaves his widow to mourn him. Thirteen children were born to them, nine of whom are living: Frank Probst of Douglas, North Dakota, Mrs. O.F. Wagner of Borup, Minnesota, Joseph Probst of Douglas, North Dakota, Nic Probst of Rockham, South Dakota, John Probst, who is on the home place near Alton, Gerald, who is engaged in farming southeast of Alton, Richard of Granville and Amelia and Catherine, who, with their mother, live here in Alton. He leaves one brother, Nicholas Probst of Alton.
The funeral was held from St. Mary’s Church here on Monday. Interment taking place at St. Mary’s Cemetery. Reverend Father F.J. Bruns officiated.
Those present at the funeral from away were Mr. and Mrs. Frank Probst and Joseph Probst of Douglas, North Dakota, Mrs. O.F. Wagner of Borup, Minnesota and Mr. and Mrs. Richard Probst of Granville.
For a time Mr. Probst was engaged in the telephone business in this vicinity. The first Catholic Church erected in this vicinity was built on his homestead and to this day old settlers remember the old land site.

OBIUARY of Kathryn ‘Kate’ (Mrs. Matt) 1859-1944 Born: November 7, 1859 Prussia Died: April 11, 1944 Alton, Iowa
Mrs. Matthew Probst passed on at her home in Alton at 12:30 Tuesday morning April 11th after an illness of seven years. Mrs. Probst was 84 years of age and one of the early settlers of this vicinity.
Kate Ignatz was born in Prussia Nov. 7 1859 and came to the United States at the age of 15 with a party of friends including the late Nick Klein and Mrs. Klein of Granville. She lived two years at Evanston, IL. and after her marriage Mr. Probst the couple came to Sioux county settling on a farm 2 1/2 miles southeast of Alton. Mr. Probst died in 1915 after which the family moved to Alton.
Surviving are six sons and two daughters namely Nick, Owatonna MN.; John, Alton; Frank and Joe, Parshall N.D.' Gerrit, Le Mars; Richard of Chippewa Falls, WIS.; Milly, who has cared for her mother in recent years, Lt. Kathryn Probst, Naval Air Primary Training Command, Fairfax Airport, Kansas City; One daughter. Mrs. Clark Waggoner, died in 1931 and the latter's daughter Margaret, American Red Cross Station Hospital at Fairmont, NE, has been here often for her grandmother. 24 grandchildren, Mrs. Probst only living sister in this country, Mrs. P. Janowski residing in Superior, WIS.
Mrs. Probst was a devoted wife, and mother and faithful member of St. Mary's church and Rosary Society. Funeral services will be held at St. Mary's church Thursday morning at nine o'clock, the very Rev. J. M. Neppel officiating at solemn high mass.
Nick Probst of Owatonna, and Richard of Chippewa are expected for the services, but sons in N.D. may not be able to make railroad reservations at this time, Lt. Probst who had spent previously with his mother, was reached at Kansas City and arrived before her mother's death traveling part way by by plane. Margaret Waggoner was also here a week ago.
Source: Alton Democrat 4/13/1944


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