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Christiany, Peter 1821-1898 & Maria Kapgen Family


Posted By: Wilma J. Vande Berg - volunteer (email)
Date: 10/18/2022 at 22:13:44

Christiany, Peter 1821-1898 and Maria Kapgen 1830-1904

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 great historical accounts of the area. The “1908 Sioux County Atlas” also has historical accounts of the various townships of Sioux County.

No prepared biography was found to use in preparation of this BIOS for the Peter Christiany family. The content was compiled by Wilma J. Vande Berg of the Greater Sioux Count Genealogical Society and taken from various identified sources.

Few selected items:
Page 13 – Relates information from the Libbe Dyke family as they traveled to Hospers Station in 1872, noticed a short distance east that a store building was under construction. This store building was being built by Peter and John Christiany.
Page 14- Peter and John Christiany were successful bidders to build schoolhouses at Hospers and nearby area.
Page 15 – The Hospers school was 16 x24 feet and was built in 1874 by Peter and John Chrisitiany. The building was also used for elections, social events, church services, and other meetings.
Page 16 - Peter and John Christiany were charter members of St. Anthony’s church in Hospers.
Page 26 – Peter Chrisitany was contracted to build a bigger two story school in 1884.
Page 37 – As the congregation of St. Anthonys’ grew a new school building was erected in 1890. The carpenter was Peter Christiany. He used much of the old lumber from the old church to construct the 36 x 36 two story building.
Page 71-72 – Article on John Christiany (son of Peter) , now living in Sheldon died suddenly of a heart attack. He and his father, Peter, were pioneer settlers of Hospers, the two having built the first store here. John as the town’s first postmaster, was a member of the Floyd township Board of Trustees and of the Floyd Township school board and later a member of the Hospers Independent school board. John and his father built a number of the first stores and homes in the towns, John was a leader here in all civic and social affairs. He moved to Sanborn about 1888 and after five years moved to Sheldon where he set up a greenhouse west of the railroad tracks. He was buried in the family plot in St. Anthony’s Cemetery Hospers IA.

page 127 Hospers and Newkirk
The first settlers to make their home in Hospers were John and Peter Christiany, who were born in the Canton of Strimsel, Luxembourg. They were carpenters and built a two story combination store – saloon, using the upper floor for living quarters. Assisting them in this enterprise was Andrew M. Duus, who became the town’s first postmaster.

1870 LUXEMBOURG IMMIGRANTS come to Sioux County
From the 1908 SIOUX CONTY ATLAS Part III Section 2 page 13
Reminiscence by Peter Hansen. The Luxembourg Wagon Train 1870
Through the influence of Peter Gehlen, at that time a resident of Jackson County, seventeen men, some single and some married, left Jackson County on the 2nd day of May, 1870, with eighteen prairie schooners; drawn by oxen. It took eighteen days to cover that distance, thus landing in Sioux County May 19th, 1870. We came via Waterloo, Fort Dodge, Storm Lake and Cherokee. The names of this original colony and as near as I can remember, where they settled, are as follows. Franz Hansen homesteaded on section 18, East Orange. P. and N. Ginsbach on section 34, Nassau. Peter and Henry Frantzen, section 26, Nassau. Michael Konz and Mike Biever, section 24, Nassau. Peter Wagner, Peter Gehlen, Theo. Gehlen, Nic Nemmers and Frank Arens on section 5, East Orange. Math Harens, section 26, Floyd. Peter Ney, John Perlot, Henry Remacle and Peter and John Christiany all settled in Floyd Township.
The above were all Luxembourgers and had the zeal of the early Christians, so were not slow in providing a place of worship. (See Very Rev. Brunes' sketch of early Catholic settlements in Sioux County in sketch of St. Mary's congregation of Alton, Iowa.)
Other early settlers in the German Catholic Colony were Nic and Matt Probst, who homesteaded on section 18, East Orange. Nicholas Kellen, father of Math, John, Peter and Camellus Kellen, now prominent settlers In this community. Joe Krebs, Jacob, Theodore and Nicholas Klein, John and Nicholas Schneider, H. and P. Goebel, J. and G. Gerst, N. and P. Schaul, N. and J. Henrich, M. Streff, M. Schroeder, N. Koob, Michael Haupert, Joe Budde and others the writer cannot remember.
Homesteads were all gone in and around Alton in 1871. Railroad land, while the homesteads lasted, sold at $1.25 per acre.
The grasshopper raid came in 1873 and they were with us for several seasons. Some years all the crop was destroyed, others only a part. These were truly years of discouragement. All of us, no doubt, would have left if we had had enough means to get away, but as it was we had to stay, which after all proved a blessing to us all as this has surely become a garden spot. East Orange and Nassau were originally one township called Nassau, but in 1875 East Orange became a separate organization by an act of the Board of Supervisors in 1875. When organized there were only enough voters, so every one could get an office.

1870 Census of Tete Des Morts, Jackson County IA Peter Christiani 57, a carpenter, born Luxembourg, wife Maria 45, Children were John 21, Jospehine18, Matthew 16, Mary 14, Laura 11, Sophia 8 and Victoria 6.
1880 Census of Sioux County, Peter was 59 born in Luxembourg, wife Mary was 56 born in Luxembourg and they had one daughter Catherine age 16 born in Luxembourg living with them. 
1885 census for Floyd Twp Sioux county Peter Christiany was 65 born in Germany, wife Mary was 57 (wife Maria's maiden name is Kapgen).

FAMILY RESEARCH from a Public Family Trees on Ancestry.com that were submitted by family members and not verified by the submitter of this narrative. Use as secondary sources.

Peter Christiany was born Jan 9, 1821 Steinsel, Luxembourg, Luxembourg and died 7 Aug 1891 Hospers, Sioux County IA. He was buried in St. Anthony’s Cemetery. He was the son of John Christiany 1783 and Elisabeth Theis 1788. He married Maria Kapgen 10 Jun 1848 at Steinsel Luxembourg.

Maria Kapgen was born 6 Aug 1830 Luxembourg and died 26 Mar 1904 Hospers, Sioux County IA, buired in St. Anthony’s Cemetery. She was the daughter of Jean Baptiste Kapgen 1805 and Anne Marie Ahnen 1803-1882.

CHILDREN of Peter Christiany and Maria Kapgen
Taken from several sources on ancestry.com and this website www.iagenweb.org/sioux.

1 . John Christiany 1849-1910 Sioux County Herald March 23, 1910 Hospers News
(Listed in The Sioux County cemetery index as buried at St Anthony's cemetery at Hospers) On Tuesday of this week the burial of John Christiany of Sheldon, took place at the Catholic cemetery in this place Mr. Christiany was sixty-one years old. Death was caused by heart failure, we are informed, his body having been found in the green house of which he was proprietor. He was one of the early settlers of Hospers, having been proprietor of a hotel in what is now the Sicker building, next to the bank. He moved with his family to Sheldon fifteen or twenty years ago. (John Christiany was born 29 Jan 1849 Luxembourg, death 11 Mar 1910 Sheldon, O'Brien, Iowa, Marriage: 1876; Spouse: Katherina/ Catherine Koens./ Catherine Kones 1856–1915 born Mar 1856 Germany; Death 20 JAN 1915 Sheldon, O'Brien, Iowa, United States John and Katherine’s Children named – Peter 1878-1940, Henry 1879 , Joseph 1882-1910, William 1884-1959 Mary 1888-1965, Frank 1889-1949, Edward 1891-1964, Rose 1893, Lucille 1896-1985 and Robert Christiany.)

2. Maria ‘Jospehine’ Christiany born Apr 1851 Steinsel Luxembourg died 1880 Hospers Iowa USA. She married Henry Frantzen 1842 – aft 1891. See the separate BOIS of this family on this web site. Children - Peter 1871- 1930, John 1873 1938, Mary 1875-1883, Leona 1877-1899 and Sophia 1878-1957

3. Mathias Christiany born 2 Mar 1853 Steinsel Luxembourg died 1923 Iowa He married Sophia Glick on 21 Apr 1881 Plymouth County IA. Of Sheldon 1904 at Mother’s death. In 1900 Matt Christiana was living in Gilman, Osceola IA Wife Sophie born Dec 1852 Germany, married in 1882, no children listed. At time of his mother’s death he was living in Sheldon.

4. Maria Christiany born 15 Mar 1857 Steinsel Luxembourg died Iowa. In 1870 census of Jackson County IA Maria was 14 living with her parents Peter and Maria Christiany (no further information was readily found on this Maria. If anyone has more data on Maria, contact our page coordinator. )

5. Anna Leone Christiany born 7 Jul or 29 July 1858 Steinsel Luxembourg died 12 Dec 1948 Sheldon, Iowa She married John Peter Glesener 1855-died 26 Jan 1921 Granville IA Children Mary 1881-1962, Nicholas 1883-1918, Viktoria 1885-1885, Theresa 1887-1895, Josephine 1889-1982 and John Glesener 1892-1941. See her obit in the Alton Democrat of Dec 23, 1948.

6. Anna Sophia Christiany born 7 Sep 1860 Steinsel Luxembourg died Sioux City IA husband Peter Zahnen 1854. Their children – Mary Zahnen 1882-1933, Peter Zahnen 1883-1928, John Zahnen 1885, Victoria 1887, Nicholas 1889-1925, Joseph 1894-1972, Frank 1898-1975, Infant son 1901-1901 and Michael Zahnen.

7. Victoria Christiany born26 Nov 1863 Steinsel Luxembourg died 1944 Sioux City IA husband John P. Kunnen 1856-1934 Their children – Peter 1883-1939, John 1887, Mary Ann 1889, Kate 1893, Henry 1899-1957, Jospehine 1899-1998, Sophia 1900, Tony 1901 and Joseph 1904-1980.

8. Cathrina Christiany born 1864. Possibly a Mrs. Hart of Cherokee mentioned in Mother’s obit 1904. (No further information was readily found on Cathrina. She was 16 in the 1880 census living with her parents at Hospers IA. No mention of her in the 1870 census of the family in Jackson County IA. If anyone has more data on Cathrina contact our page coordinator.)

OBITUARY of Peter Christiany 1821-1891

From an obituary form a Luxembourg Gazette, found on ancestry.com on the family report on Public Member trees.
Mr. Peter Christiany died at his home in Hospers Sioux County age of 71 years and 7 months. He was born in Steinsel, Grand Duchy of Luxembourg, came to America 24 years ago and settled in St Donatus Jackson County Iowa. In 1870 he came with his family to Hospers Sioux County. At this time the area was a barren wilderness. Orange City had 2 houses. The year after the Sioux City St Paul line was measured. Mr Christiany was a construction carpenter and built the first church of Le Mars as well as other houses. He was a gentile funny man what everybody appreciated. He was a true man of honor. We already met him 18 years ago and saw different sides of him and we can confirm. He was a man of honor. He was never sick until 23 June since he had to lie in bed. He must have known that the End would come and prepared his funeral and prepared his will. He felt asleep for a week. When he woke up he had pain until the day of his death 6 August, exactly 14 days after he felt bad. He died after getting sacraments from catholic church he belonged to. He leaves a widow and 5 children, 2 sons and 3 daughters, all married. One daughter Mrs Peter Franzen, preceded him in death a few years ago.

From the Alton Democrat of Aug 15, 1891 Hospers Happenings Peter Christiana (Christiany) one of the oldest settlers in Sioux County died last Friday. The funeral occurred Sunday afternoon from the Catholic Church and was the largest ever held in town. A large number of people from LeMars, Granville and Alton attended.

OBITUARY of Maria Kapgen Mrs. Peter Christiany
Alton Democrat of April 2, 1904
Notice of Mrs. Christiany's death was received too late for publication in the Hospers news last week. She died Wednesday evening. She was born in Germany seventy three years ago and had lived in Hospers almost since the founding of the town. About two weeks ago she went to Ashton to visit her daughter and while there was taken sick. She returned home last Tuesday and took to her bed at once. General debility due to age was probable the principal cause. She was a kind motherly woman know and respected by a large circle. She leaves six children John and Mat of Sheldon and Mesdames Glessner of Granville, Hart of Cherokee, Zaanen of Nebraska and Kuhnen of Ashton. Her grandson Attorney Frantzen of Dubuque was present at the funeral which was held at St. Anthony's church in Hospers.

(Peter Christiany was born 6 Jan 1821 Kanton Gutzenburg, Luxembourg died 1 Aug 1891, Maria Kapgen was born 7 May 1838 and died 23 May 1904 Hospers. Both are buried in St. Anthony's cemetery.)


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