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Streff, Mathias 1846-1912 & Susan Frantzen Family


Posted By: Wilma J. Vande Berg - volunteer (email)
Date: 10/30/2022 at 15:10:57

Streff, Mathias 1846 – 1912 and Susan Frantzen Family

This biography was compiled by Wilma J. Vande Berg of the Greater Sioux County Genealogical Society and taken from various identified sources. Purpose is to find as much about the Mathias Streff family as is available in local sources. When family information is taken from various sources it is often found that the information varies from one source to another. Often birth places and dates are listed differently by family reports. The information in this biography was stated as found in the source addressed.

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 and the Alton Centennial Book 1883-1983 gives history of Alton. Also, the ‘Sioux County Iowa digital archives’ can be googled as such can be searched for your ancestors names and lead to more items of interest in their daily life.

STORY of Alton 1883-1983 pages 7 and 70.
The beginning of the settlement of East Orange (later Alton) dates back to the year 1870. Early in that year eighteen ‘prairie schooners’ left Jackson County, Iowa, to cross the plains and sloughs of the Hawkeye state and establish new homes in the ‘wild west.’ May 20th Sioux County was reached. Among the first Catholic settlers of this year and the next few years were – numerous names including M. Streff….
Heading Churches page 70. On May 20, 1870 a band of ‘prairie schooners’ arrived in eastern Sioux County from Jackson County, Iowa. The members of this band of hardy Germans and Luxembourgers were the nucleus of what later became St. Mary’s Roman Catholic Parish of Alton. Names of the group listed included Streff. In 1870 the nearest settlement and church was at Le Mars, which was twenty miles away and Mass was attended only a few time a year. In an account given by Sister Euphrasia Hansen, we learn that at Christmas these hardy souls drove their oxen to Le Mars, leaving at midnight so as to arrive in time for services. (The article goes on to include the history of the church)

ST. MARY”S CHURCH BOOK page 219-220 Author unknown.
Matthias Streff Family - Mathias Streff was born May 12, 1864 (typo 1846) in Paris, France (see different birth place in the Research section following with the parents information) and Susan Frantzen was born Jan 18, 1864 (typo 1846) in Koelen, Luxembourg. They homesteaded south of Alton in May of 1871, coming here with Peter Frantzen, Sr. Their eldest son, Peter was about 1 year old when the Streff family came to Sioux County.
Mathias and Susan had seven children, the eldest being born in St. Donatus, Iowa, before their trek across Iowa to homestead and the rest being born in Alton. Peter was born Nov. 1, 1870 at St Donathus and died Oct 22, 1933. Michael’s birth date is unknown (stated later in this narrative) he died July 12, 1912. Joseph’s birth date is also unknown (stated later in this narrative) he died Sep 12, 1933. Martin was born Sep 4, 1877 and died Jan 10, 1964. Mary was born June 2, 1880 and died Aug 20, 1959. Felix was born June 25, 1883 and died Oct 8, 1970. Al was born on Sep 5, 1884 and died on Dec 3, 1976.

RESEARCH From a family report on public member trees on ancestry.com (submitted by Frantzen family member)
Mathias Streff was born 12 May 1845 Wellenstein, Remich, Grevenmacher, Luxembourg and died 22 Nov 1912 Alton Sioux Iowa. He was the son of Nicolaus Streff Sr. born 25 Apr 1805 Ellange, Remich, Grevenmacher, Luxembourg and died 27 May 1899 at Mosalem, Dubuque IA and Margaret Adams born 12 Mar 1812 Welenstein, Remich, Grevenmacher, Luxembourg and died 28 Jan 1897 Mosalem, Dubuque IA. Mathias Streff arrived in the USA 7 Aug 1846 New York on ship Gladiator from London England at 10 months of age with his parents family.

Mathais married 14 Jun 1870 at Mosalem Dubuque IA to Susan Frantzen born 12 Jan 1846 Kehlen, Capellen, Luxembourg and died 27 Oct 1894 Alton Sioux Iowa. She was the daughter of Peter Frantzen Sr. born 28 Oct 1812 Kehlen, Capellen, Luxembourg and died 6 Aug 1877 Dubuque Iowa and Susan Rodius born 18 Oct 1814 Kehlen, Capellen, Luxembourg and died 9 Dec 1897 Dubuque Iowa.
Susan Frantzen arrived in the USA on 8 Jun 1861 on Ship Vanguara from LeHarve France.

CHILDREN of Mathias Streff and Susan Frantzen Information from obituaries and other available sources.

1. PETER STREFF 1870-1933 Source: Alton Democrat (10-27-1933)
Born: November 1, 1870 Died: October 22, 1933 Peter Streff was a pioneer of this county and a respected citizen who lived here 62 years. Although it was known that he was probably fatally ill with blood poisoning, it was with shock and a feeling of great regret that Alton people learned Sunday afternoon of the passing of Mr. Peter Streff. Just a week previously Mr. Streff had stepped on a rusty nail. Blood poisoning developed from the infection in the wound, causing lockjaw which is always fatal. He had come to town each day to have the wound dressed and was last seen here Thursday afternoon when he walked briskly enough, but with limp favoring the injured foot. Serum was administered Friday, but too late to check the tetanus and he became steadily worse, passing away shortly afternoon Sunday, almost exactly a week after the nail penetrated his foot, and a month following the death of his brother, Joe Streff, in Sioux City.

Peter Streff was the eldest child of Mathias and Susan (Frantzen) Streff family, Sioux County pioneer settlers. He was born at St. Catherine in Jackson County, Iowa on November 1, 1870, accompanying his parents here in May, 1871, before he was a year old. He was preceded in death by his brothers, Mike and Joe, a baby sister also dying in infancy, but is survived by three brothers and a sister, as follows: Martin of Alton; Mary (Mrs. Joe Beheim) of James, Iowa; Felix and Al, both of Alton.
On January 17, 1904, Mr. Streff married Miss Magdalene Hastert at David City, Nebraska. After touring the west they settled on the farm near Alton which he owned at the time of his marriage. Four children came to bless this union, but the youngest, Elmer, died nine years ago. The three children who survive their father are Mrs. Matt Klein of Granville, Miss Irene Streff of Sioux City and Oscar at home; also their mother, his devoted helpmate.
A charter member of the Farmers Mutual Co-op Company of Alton and Carnes, Mr. Streff was a member of the board of directors until last year, and also served on the board of directors of the Alton Savings Bank until last year. He was president of the bank for one year. Mr. Streff was democratic member of the board of Nassau Township trustees, for many years. Although without particular ambition for this job his colleagues on the board appointed him to fill the vacancy when one occurred, thus drafting his experience and sound judgment into service. He was invariably appointed election judge for the Nassau precinct and election officials in the future will miss his genial and accommodating personality. Those who have visited Mr. Streff at his beautiful farm home four miles south of Alton were impressed and keenly delighted with his accurate descriptions of this prairie before its settlement, his vivid recollections bringing those days clearly before bearer. We were impressed with his description of some of the wild game birds of the early days here, particularly one bird which he named that flew at the hunter like a cannonball, veering sharply off just as he got ready to duck. He knew the names of all the bids common in that day, many of the species now extinct.
Mr. Streff “grew up with Sioux County” but was widely traveled and his extensive knowledge not only of the early days here but of other parts of the country, made his personality especially attractive, while his sound judgment gave his opinions on current matters much weight. Although frequently urged to run for public office he had no ambition along that line.
Solemn Requiem High Mass was held Wednesday morning at St. Mary’s Catholic Church at Alton of which he was a lifelong devoted member. Burial was at St. Mary’s Cemetery. The sympathy of the community goes out to the devoted family in their great loss.

2. MICHAEL STREFF born 31 Mar 1873 and died 12 Jul 1912 No local obit found.
Find A Grave lists Michael C. Streff born 31 Mar 1873 Sioux County IA died 8 Jul 1912 at White Rock Roberts County SD. Marriage record lists Michael C. Streff married 6 Mar 1899 at Plymouth County IA to Agnes Meiners.
Children: Ada Meria Streff 1899, Adale G. Streff 1902-1999, Selinda Streff 1903-1991, Lelula Streff 1906, Agnes Streff 1909 and Marcella Streff 1910-1986

3. JOSEPH NICHOLAS STREFF born 1 Mar 1876 and died 22 Oct 1933 Sioux City IA buried Alton IA. Joseph was noted to have lived several different places among them besides Sioux county IA, 1910 at Ellensburg Washington and in 1917-1918 Custer County Montana
Joseph Niclolas Streff born 1 Mar 1876 Alton IA died 20 Sep 1933 Sioux City IA. No reported wife or children.

4. MARTIN MATTHEW STREFF 1877-1964 There is a family story in the St. Mary’s Church book on page 220 that can be referenced. Mentioned in the story is where they lived and some accomplishments. A daughter Judith Marie, born July 13, 1921. She attended St. Mary’s Academy, graduating in 1939. She was married to Joseph J. Hansen.

Obituary Source: Alton Democrat (1-16-1964) Born: September 4, 1877 Died: January 10, 1964 Martin M. Streff, 86, retired farmer and life long resident of Alton and vicinity, died at his home Friday after a long illness.
Funeral Services were held Monday morning at 10:30 at St. Mary’s Catholic Church in Alton. Reverend Cecil Friedman of Whittemore, a nephew, officiated and burial was in the parish cemetery. Pallbearers were six nephews: Vincent Streff, Clarence Streff and Junior Streff, Gordon Schneider, Odilo Ahlers and Joe Friedmann.
Mr. Streff was born September 4, 1877, to Mathias and Susan (Frantzen) Streff, pioneers who settled 3 miles south of Alton. He was married April 8, 1918 to Anna T. Schneider at Alton. The couple resided on a farm 2 miles east of Alton until retiring 19 years ago, when they moved to Alton. Surviving are his widow and daughter, Mrs. Joe Hansen; six grandchildren; two brothers, Felix and Al, both of Alton. Mr. Streff was a successful farmer and respected citizen, devoted to his family and church, a kind neighbor and friend.

5. MARY AGNES STREFF 1880-1959 Source: Sioux County Capital (8-27-1959)
Born: June 2, 1880 Died: August 20, 1959 Funeral services for Mrs. Joseph Beheim were held at St. Joseph Church, Granville Saturday morning. Reverend N.J. Becker officiating in the Requiem Mass. Mrs. Beheim passed away at the Grossmann Hospital, Orange City, Thursday evening, August 20, following a lingering illness. She was 79 years old.
Mrs. Beheim, nee Mary Agnes Streff was born June 2, 1880 at Alton, Iowa, daughter of Mathew and Susan Streff, and was married February 11, 1924, to Joseph Beheim. In 1948 they moved to Granville and she was a faithful member of the St. Joseph Parish, also a member of the American Legion Auxiliary.
Burial was in St. Joseph Cemetery under the direction of Fisch Funeral Home of Remsen. Pallbearers were three nephews--Clarence, Arnold and Ervin Streff of Alton and Nick Didier, Lawrence Felier, and Leonard Howard of Granville.
Surviving are the widower, a daughter, Mrs. Alfred M. Hansen; four grandchildren, all of Granville, and three brothers--Martin, Felix, and Al Streff, all of Alton.

6. FELIX NICHOLAS STREFF 1883-1970 There is a family story in the St. Mary’ church book on page 219.
Felix Streff and Ann Pottebaum were the second couple married in the New Church. The lived all their lives at Alton, raising their large family on the farm. They retired in 1952. Felix Streff was born Jun 25, 1883 and died Oct 8, 1970. Ann was born april 26, 1888 and died Dec 7, 1970. Felix and Ann had twelve children, ten of whom still survive: (in 1983) Clarence, born April 25, 1912, married Phyliis Krier; Stella, born July 18, 1913 married Lawrence Frederes; Vincent, born June 23, 1915 married Hilda Fiedler; Callista, born May 23, 1916 married George Frederes; Robert, born Dec 21, 1917 married Phyllis Kalsbeek; Esther, born Jun 18, 1920 died in July of the same year; Clifford born Dec 24, 1921 married Mary Ann Hansen; Raymond, born Nov 27, 1924 married Darlene Mousel; Irvin, born Sep 21, 1926 married Marie Youngers; Charlene born Aug 4, 1928 married Ray Scheitler; Francis born Aug 30 1930 single; and Charles born Aug 17, 1933 died in 1934.

Obituary Source: Sioux Center News (10-15-1970) Digital newspaper archives for the week of Oct 15th for the Sioux County Capital are missing.
Born: June 25, 1883 Died: October 8, 1970 Funeral services were held at St. Mary Catholic Church in Alton October 10 for Felix N. Streff, 87, of Alton, who died October 8 at the Orange City Hospital. Services were conducted by the Reverend Norbert Boes and burial was made in the parish cemetery at Alton.
Mr. Streff was born June 25, 1883, the son of Mathias and Susan (Frantzen) Streff, at Alton. He married Anna Pottebaum June 26, 1911, at Alton. He farmed near Alton until his retirement. Survivors include the widow: three daughters, Mrs. Lawrence (Stella) Frederes of Alton, Mrs. George (Callista) Frederes of Remsen, Mrs. Ray (Charlene) Scheitler of Le Mars; seven sons, Clarence, Irvin and Francis of Alton, Vincent of Remsen, Robert of Sauk Centre, Minnesota, Clifford and Raymond of Slayton, Minnesota; a brother, Al, of Alton; 46 grandchildren; 11 great-grandchildren.
Additional information from family report on ancestry.com – There were actually 12 children born to Felix and Anna Streff. A daughter Esther Ann Streff born and died 1920 and a son Charles Vincent Streff born 1933 and died 1934.

7. ALOYSIOUS LAWRENCE STREFF 1884-1976 There was a family story in the St. Mary’s church book on this family page 219 which basically is the same as the obit.
Obituary - Source: Alton Democrat (12-8-1976) Born: September 5, 1884 Died: December 3, 1976
Aloysius Streff, Sr. 92, Alton, died December 3, at the Orange City Municipal Hospital of a brief illness. Services were at 10:30 A.M. in St. Mary’s Catholic Church at Alton. The Reverend Mervin Hood officiated. Burial was in the parish cemetery under the direction of Fisch Funeral Home, Remsen. The Rosary will be recited at 3:30 and 8 P.M. December 5 in the Church.
Mr. Streff was born September 5, 1884, at Alton. He married Anna Wathier on September 4, 1917, at Alton. He lived and farmed in the Alton area all of his life. Survivors include the widow; three sons, Arnold M., Aloysius L. Jr. and Milo B. all of Alton; three daughters, Mrs. Barney (Evelyn) Bindner and Mrs. Bud (Clarice) Jonas, both of Alton and Mrs. Jack (Hazel) Schumacher of Sioux City; 22 grandchildren and 12 great-grandchildren. Pallbearers were Tom Streff, Steve Streff, Steve Schumacher, Roger Bindner, Bras Jonas, Tim Bindner. The deceased was preceded by his parents and five brothers.

OBITUARY of Mathias Streff Sr. 1845 – 1912 Source: Alton Democrat issue of 30 Nov 1912. Mathias Streff died at his home near Alton on Friday November 22nd 1912 of nephritis after a sickness of many weeks duration. the deceased was born in Wellinstein Luxemburg in 1845. In 1847 deceased came to this country with his parents who located at St. Donatus, Iowa. In 1870 at St. Catherine Iowa, Mathias Streff and Miss Susan Frantzen were united in marriage. This union was blessed with eight children, six of whom survive. In 1872 Mr. and Mrs. Streff came to Sioux county and went through the hardships of pioneering. In 1894 Mrs. Streff passed away. Mr. Streff was a successful farmer and he leaves a goodly estate. He was ever square and upright in his dealings with his neighbors and his neighbors were his friends. The funeral services were held on Monday Nov. 25th from St. Mary's Catholic church and were conducted by Very Rev. F. J. Brune. The funeral was largely attended, every town in this vicinity being represented. Joe Streff, a son who makes his home at Ellensburg, Wash., was delayed in coming, and did not reach Alton until after the funeral. Arrangements were made however to give him a last look at his father's remains. The surviving children are: Peter of Alton, Joe of Ellensburg, Wash., and Martin, Mary, Felix and Alfred of Alton. Six brothers and one sister also survive--N.F. Streff of Dubuque, Michael Streff of Salem Oregon, J.P. Streff of Cedar Rapids, Nebr., J.A. Streff of Denver, Colo., N.T. Streff of Junita, Nebr., Peter Streff of St. Donatus Iowa and Mrs. Susan Kraus of Dubuque. The following relatives were present from a distance to attend the funeral: Miss Susan Kraus of Dubuque, N.T. Streff of Juniata, Nebr., Joe and Math Streff of Ft. Dodge, Nick Frantzen of Dubuque, Joe Frantzen of Alta Vista Iowa, Mr. and Mrs. John Arens and James Arens of Remsen and Peter Frantzen and Miss Sophia Frantzen of Hospers Iowa.

OBITUARY of Susan Frantzen Mrs. Mathias Streff 1846-1894 From the Alton Democrat of Nov 3, 1894 Death of Mrs. Matt Streff.
The death of Mrs. Matt Streff occurred Saturday afternoon, October 27th at her home 3 miles south of Alton. Mrs. Streff was 47 years of age, the mother of seven children, who, with a husband survive her. About two weeks prior to her death, she was taken down with lung fever, which baffled the skill of the physician and the best nurses. The funeral occured at St. Mary's church in this city Tuesday morning and was very largely attended. Mr. and Mrs. Streff removed to Sioux County about sixteen years ago, coming from Dubuque county. She was a Christian woman, a kind mother, and dutiful wife and her friends were among all classes of people who sincerely mourn her untimely end. The sorrowing husband and children have the heartfelt sympathy of the entire community in this trying hour of their grief and we unite with Alton people in extending condolence to the bereaved family.
(From the Sioux County Cemetery Index and St. Mary's Alton church book - this is Susan Frantzen born Jan 18, 1846 Luxemburg and died 27 Oct 1894 buried in St. Mary's cemetery in Alton IA. Her husband Mathias Streff was born 12 May 1845 Paris France and died 22 Noc 1912. They had seven children - Peter, 1870, Michael d. 1912, Joseph d. 1933, Martin 1877, Mary 1880, Felix 1883, Al 1884.)
This picture was taken from the book Story of Sioux County by Charles Dyke page 22P.


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