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The letter below was written by Mayme Martens in 1979, detailing family history of her 11 siblings, parents, grandparents and how they came to Cass County. The contributor has included an index of names (click link below) to assist researchers with surname spelling variations and nicknames. All four grandparents, Maria Wilner, Adam Abhau, Hans Frederick Martens and Anna Hinz, are buried in the Weirich Cemetery.


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Dike, Iowa
Jan. 14, 1979

Dear Jim,

I hope you can make out what I've written down. Maybe someday you will come and see us, and we can go further in nephew's cousins and all - we seem to be spread out all over the continent. Its been real winter here, had a big blizzard yesterday, I'm sitting here in snowbanks as high as the house, sure hope we get a Jan. thaw soon - makes it hard to get around - I'm slowly getting organized to move into Daisy's home, and will hope to sell mine, but seems the loan co are hard to get money from and interest, and interest rates are so high, one couple came the other day and looked at my home, they liked it so well and would like to have it, but they can't see their way clear to buy it and I don't want to wait the rest of my life for the cash.

I heard from Alameda and they are having bitter cold weather too, but nothing stop's them from going to the rink to curl! and watch Hockey games. Do you have interest in that too? I hear you like to ski and have gone around to do that - when I visited Germany in 1957 and went up the Alps seen lot of that going on.

Hope your Mom is doing fine, she seems fine, she seems interested in the town folks activities so I'm sure she'll do well by joining them.

Hope to hear from you, and also hope you will get all the information you need on the Blair side of the family and the Clellands. So for now will close and wish you the best of everything, and that we will meet someday.

Love to you
Aunt Mayme

History of the Martens Clan.

My great, great Grandfather Hans Frederick Martens was born on Aug. 20th 1825 in Schleswig Holstein, Germany. His wife's name is unknown, and they had a son Hans Frederick, who was nine years old when his father died and left he and his mother to take care of the small farm. When he was 20 yr's old he was drafted to serve in the army, when Schleswig Holstein rebelled against the Danish rule and spent 3 years from (1841-1844) and when he returned from the war, he married Katherine Magdalena Baar, and to this union 6 children were born as follows: Hans Frederick, Margaretta, Anna, Detlef, Johanna, one infant died in infancy. In 1860, his wife died and in 1861, he married Anna Hinz to which one son Peter Herman was born. In the spring of 1883 they left at Hamburg, Germany on April 19th and landed in New York on May 6th. They came on west to Des Moines Iowa, and spent some time there working in a brick yard, and then on to Cass County, where they all resided near Atlantic, Iowa, and took up farming in 1887 and stayed on the same farm, until his death in 1904. His wife Anna was blind in her later years and lived on with her son Peter Herman. Now some

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of the relatives, who followed later came to Iowa, and settled some of Des Moines and now there is a town there under the name of Martensdale, Iowa.

My (Dad) your great-Grandfather married my mother Mary Abhau Blazer, she had been a widow several years and had 2 daughters Anna & Josephine, Josie as we called her, was born 3 months after her father Joe Blazer died in Jan.

Anna married John Lechner, and had five children - John Died in 1946 - Their family names are John, Wilner, Durward, Robert, Geraldine, she lives in Cedar Falls, Iowa. The rest of the family live south of Oxbow Sask. (Durward is deceased) Anna is 93 years old. Josie married Dirk Wohlenhaus and he died in the 60's and Josie is a patient in the nursing home in Trimont, Minn. at the age of 91 years. They had 7 children, Leola, Joe, Aaron, David, Dorothy & Evelyn & Charlotte. Joe & Charlotte are (deceased).

Now here comes Dad & Mom's family.

John AdamTwins.Born Sept 4th
Frederich Hans both deceased, 1948, 1972
Fredericka JohannaBorn Apr. 14th, deceased 1971
Peter HermanBorn Dec. 21st     living Alameda.
Amelia SophiaBorn Sept. 5th deceased 1956
Otto BismarkBorn Apr. 1st, deceased 1954
Frank Henery [sic Henry]Born Dec. 1st deceased 1978
Maria MagdalenaBorn May 31st living Dike, Ia.
Daisy MargaretBorn May 21st living at N. Home.
Benhardt WilnerBorn Feb. 11th, deceased 1951

I believe all of us were born about 2 yrs. apart (Me in 1900)

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Brother Fred (notice how the name Frederick went down through the years. Dad had a brother Frederick and they had a son Frederick) and so brother Fred had a son called Harlan Frederick, and he died in 1959, at the age of 35 years. Fred's wife's name was Freda and she died when Harlan was about 2 yrs. old, so my mother raised him. Brother John, married Bertha Frank and they had 4 children, Bernita, Freeman, Lawerence, Luella, they all live in Texas, Arizona and New Mexico - Bertha died in Jan. 1977.

Sister Rica as we called her, was married to Jacob Frank, he died in 1942 they had 3 sons - Merton, Bernard & Roland, all living in Iowa.

Peter Herman still living is at Alameda, Sask., age 86 years, his wife's name is Alma Wiedner, and they had 3 sons - Robert, Earl & Floyd. Robert lives in Des Moines, Iowa, the other two at Alameda on the home farms.

Amelia Sophia (your grandma) married Herbert Blow in 1919 - and had 2 children - Sidney & Mary Ann.

Otto Bismark was never married and lived on the home farm until his death 1954.

Frank Henry married Margaret Scoby in Estevan, they have 2 sons Donald & David.

Maria Magdalena (Mayme) Single lives at Dike Iowa.

Daisy Margaret married George Cinker Jr. in 1945 - no children, he died in 1974. Daisy is a patient at care center in Cedar Falls Ia.

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Benhardt Wilner - never married, lived at Peoria, Ill's, died in 1951.

So that makes 10 Martens and 2 half sister's (Blazer's) in all, and leaves 5 of us remaining. My mother died in 1953 on March 21st and Dad died on Jan. 31st 1946.

Now this is on my mother's side of the family - Her folks came from German. Grandfather was a stowaway on the ship to America. Grandma Maria Wilner was married to William Lindeman first time when they came from Germany and they had 3 sons - William, George, & Henry, and the father died, and Grandma married Adam Abhau, and they lived at Hazelton Penn. and had 3 children Lizabeth, Adam, & Mary (my mother, then they all came by covered wagon to Iowa, and homesteaded on farms near Atlantic - My Mother was 7 yrs old at that time. So you see there was 2 family's there (names - Lindeman & Abhau).

By all our Aunt & Uncles and family's, there wer ecousin's by the 100's so every year the Martens clan had reunions in June, and the Lindeman Abhou had it in Aug.

My mother came down to Minn. with sister Anna in 1952, and left mother at Josie's home, while she came on to her daughter Geraldine in Cedar Falls, Ia. By spring Mother took sick and died, in 1953, and I took her by train back to Alameda, for burial. Your grandparents

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lived in Estevan at that time. We were fortunate to be with both our parents when they died, and I also was there when your Grandma Molly died in 1956. I'll have to tell you, that when we moved to Canada in 1913 - John & Fred went with the stock, furniture etc. in 2 box cars by train, and Herman & Molly went to-gether, and Dad & Mom and rest of the family followed 2 weeks later, so Herman & Molly had to stay at the hotel until they got things moved out to the farm, and your granpa Herbert Blow was working at the hotel and carried her baggage to her room, and he fell in love with her at sight, although she was engaged to be married the next summer to a fellow in Iowa. He came up to see her and the whole deal was off - so your grandma & Granpa were married on Oct. 1st, 1919, and I was bridesmaid, and brother Otto was best man. I have a snapshot of you when you were small, Grandma was holding you out by the gate at their home in Estevan. - Your great, great grandpa had a wonderful sense of humor, and he could get a chuckle out of anyone. He was known to be the best gardener in the country and it was beautiful & he worked hard in it, but gave most of it away when anyone came. Your great great Grandma was a wonderful cook, no one ever came but

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always was set up to the table, in fact most of the country use to assemble at our home for Sunday dinners. She was a beautiful woman in her day, with pretty curly hair and jolly and known through her years to be quite a popular "gal." I hope you could come someday and go through the pictures of her teen age years. Everybody thinks Daisy and I look so much alike and could pass for twins,I'm 5 ft 11" like my Dad and Daisy is 5 ft. 10". Rica & Otto were the shortest of the family.

I was up to Sid's & Alice's home a few years ago at Tisdale, & they've been back to Alameda also, when I've been there, and we always have such fun to-gether - Sid gave Johnny, Laura's accordian when we were there and last year when I was home, Johnny sent it home with me, and I'm trying to play it - took it along to a New Year's party and there's lots of music in it yet - guess Laura lost interest in it, better she turned out as a musician as I hear her marriage didn't last long.

Well this history of the Martens is about as far as I can go without going into all the Martens offsprings, that would take in so very very many,

(Mayme Martens)

Contributed by James Cleland, January, 2019

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