by Elizabeth M. Debes
The subject of this article was born on Dec. 23, 1843,
in West Pregnitz, Germany.
She, her husband and one daughter came to America in May,
1868, it taking them two weeks to cross the ocean,
arriving in New York, from there they came by train to
Iowa, making their home with her husband's uncle, who
lived at Cedar Creek, until the spring, when they moved
on a farm east of St. Olaf. Her they lived five years,
after which they purchased a farm west of Farmersburg,
living there for 31 years and later moving northeast of
Farmerburg, where she now has spent 26 years.
She is the mother of eight children, six of them living.
Her husband died, Feb. 18, 1907, since then her son has
lived with her.
Her health the last several years has not been the best,
although she does most of the housework, with the
exception of washing, and the weekly cleaning which is
done by her daughters.
Mrs. Baade worked hard during her youth, she relates of
times when in Germany, she received the small amount of
wages of $1.50 a week, and then paid her own board. She
bought butter at 3 lbs for $1.00. She also remembers the
time when she carried eggs and butter to market at
Bismark, receiving 5 cents a dozen for eggs and 6 cents a
lb for butter. They sold hogs at 2½ cents a lb, and oats
at 15 cents a bushel.
Mrs. Baade is a great lover of flowers and has many
different varities in her garden. She has lived 87 years,
they have been useful years, and she has tried to the
best of her ability to make them profitable ones.
~The Clayton County Register, January 15, 1931
Note: Mrs. Baade died in 1933 and is buried in the
Farmersburg-Wagner cemetery. I was not able to find an
Isabell (Morley) Barnhart
by Mrs. Fred Larson
Mr. and Mrs. Albert Barnhart are the oldest couple in
the town of Osterdock. Mr. Barnhart was born in Iowa Jan.
26, 1854, and Isabell Morley Barnhart was born near
Pittsburgh, Pa., Aug. 10, 1852.
This couple has been married 53 years and were
sucessfully engaged in farming near Osterdock for 40
years. They retired from the farm 16 years ago, and built
a fine new home in Osterdock where they are now residing,
and enjoying fairly good health.
Their farm is located about three miles from Osterdock
and they still enjoy going to the farm and helping with
the work. Their only son, Fred, now lives on the farm.
Besides this one son they have six daughters. One of
which lives in Cedar Rapids and Mr. and Mrs. Barnhart
quite often make an auto trip to Cedar Rapids for a
visit. Although Mr. Barnhart is 76 and Mrs. Barnhart is
77 they enjoy automobile riding and spend quite a bit of
time in this recreation. Mr. Barnhart does all of his own
At the time that the Barnhart's moved to Osterdock
sixteen years ago there was one saloon, run by a Mr.
Sullivan, in the building now occupied by Morley's store.
The town also boasted of two general stores run by John
Moser and J.C. Kickbush.
Until just recently Mrs. Barnhart has been doing all of
her own house work, but at the present time their
granddaughter is helping her. Mr. Barnhart takes great
pride in his garden which he plants and takes care of
~The Clayton County Register, May 1, 1930
Albert Barnhart Obituary
Isabell (Morley) Barnhart Death notice
Rebecca 'Jane' (Dempster)
by Mrs. C.E. Lovett
The subject of this article was born April 15, 1849,
in Michigan, on the banks of the Huron river. Her parents
left Scotland in 1841 coming to America in a sailing
vessel. They had five children when they left Scotland
and a son, John, was born six weeks after they reached
Michigan. On the way over a baby took sick on the ship
and a shark followed them for days. When the baby died it
was buried in the sea and the shark got the body.
Her parents left Michigan in 1852 when she was three
years old and came to Iowa. They crossed the Mississippi
river at Dunleith, now East Dubuque, in a rowboat. The
first night they were unable to find a house to sleep in
and were forced to spend the night in a coal shed, her
father holding her in his arms all night.
They then came to Taylorville, where her father built a
log house for them to live in. She can remember one day
when a drove of deer came right into their door yard. The
following summer there was a big yellow rattle snake
close to the cabin and her father shot it, which was not
unusual, as snakes were quite plentiful in those days.
Mrs. Bissell worked hard during her youth, driving the
team, helping to get the crops in and harvested. She did
not do any house work and never went to school after she
was fourteen years old. That schooling she had was in the
winter, as she worked on the farm as long as the weather
She was united in marriage in 1865 to James Bissell and
has kept house for sixty-five years and says that she has
never seen the time when she could not find something to
do. She is the mother of nine children, five of them
living. Her husband died July 15, 1925. Since then she
has lived alone, doing all of her own work.
She has done a great deal of fancy work and delights in
piecing quilts. Just recently she has crocheted a rug,
and can do anything that is to be done with anything from
a needle to a pitchfork. She is a great lover of flowers
and has many different varieties in her garden, which is
an exceptionally fine one. She is a member of the
Methodist church and attends church and prayer meeting
when able. She is very cheerful and it does one good to
visit with her.
Her health the past two years has not been the best and a
graddaughter stays with her while attending school. She
has lived 82 years and hopes that they have been useful
years. She has tried to make them profitable ones. Her
father was 82 when he passed away, her mother, was 90 and
she has a brother who is 90 years old, living in Tindle,
~The Clayton County Register, November 20, 1930
Rebecca Jane Bissell Obituary
Mina (Hart) Bolsinger
by Marga Bolsinger
The three living sisters, left-right: Mary, Mrs. Mina
Bolsinger and Amanda
Mrs. Mina Bolsinger is the oldest woman
in this neighborhood. She was born in Star County, Oio,
October 22, 1850. Sometime in the 40's a family by the
name of Gizleman migrated from Star County, Ohio, to
Clayton county, Iowa, and settled near Osterdock. They
wrote to friends in Ohio of the wonderful opportunity to
secure good farms along the Big Turkey. Harts, Nolans and
Spanglers were thus induced to leave the east and try
frontier experiences in this new and sparsely settled
Mr. John and Mrs. Leah Hart, parents of this sketch, came
in 1852 by team, bringing what household goods they could
and a family of six children, five girls and one boy. One
boy remained in the east to learn the saddler's trade.
Mina was the youngest at this time.
The Harts settled near Osterdock and lived there the rest
of their lives, exceept for two years they lived at
Harden, north of Ellkader. They moved there in 1866 and
in 1868, August 9th, Mina was married to Jackson
Bolsinger, and returned to a farm in Millville township.
Mr. Bolsinger died Feb. 28, 1921, and since then she has
lived alone, raising chickens and tending her garden and
She is located near the school house and often boards the
teacher. In the flood of 1925 she met with a great loss.
Her house was swept from the foundation and wrecked. The
goods in the lower story were a complete loss, and if she
had not carried rugs, chairs and other articles of
furniture she was able to move to the upstairs, before
she left the house at ten o'clock at night, she would
have had nothing to start anew with at the age of 75. She
escaped then by wading water to the bridge and crossing
to the hill on the opposite side. The bridge was swept
away and she was left across the river from her home till
the flood subsided. The next day she watched neighbors
trying to care for her goods, but could not cross to
help. The shock was almost more than she was able to
stand, for she had a lovely home, well furnished, but
gradually the memory of it faded and she recovered much
of her former hopefulness and forward spirit.
All of her life except from the spring of 1871 to the
fall of 1873 has been near here. Those three years were
spent in Dakota, where Bolsinger had a homestead of 160
acres. Grasshoppers and hard times caused them to return
to their old home. Two children, Nora and Norman were
born in Dakota, and Florence, George, Rhoda and Oscar, in
Iowa. All are living, and two of her sisters, Mary and
Amanda are all, except Mina, that is left of a large
She can recall when deer and other game and wild turkeys
were plentiful and luxuries unknown. When everybody lived
in houses made of logs, and the upstairs was a loft. When
in Dakota she lived in a sod house.
Always active and busy [illegible] thing, ever ready to
help in sickness, and ready to lend a helping hand, so
you will find Grandma Bolsinger in her little home north
of Graham, Iowa.
~The Clayton County Register, July 24, 1930
Note: Mrs. Bolsinger died July 3, 1938. I
was not able to find an obituary.
by Mrs. Kate Randall
Wm. Duwe has been a resident of Clayton County since
he was a lad of about ten years, and he has maintained
his home in the county for more than seventy-four years.
During which time he has won for himself distinctive
independence and prosperity, shown himself loyal and
upright in all things and thus gaining an invaluable
place in the popular confidencee and good will of the
community. He is now living virtually retired in the
village of Clayton.
Mr. Duwe was born in Germany on the 28th of March, 1843,
and is a son of George and Fredericka Duwe, who
immigrated to America in 1853, and established their home
in the pioneer German colony at Guttenberg. The mother
lived only three weeks after the arrival of the family in
America, and of her nine children, five are now living.
The father eventually became one of the representative
farmers of Clayton county and here his death occurred in
the year of 1875.
Wm. Duwe gained his rudimentary education in his native
land, and after the coming of the family to America he
attended the pioneer schools of this county. He continued
to assist his father in the work on the home farm until
he had arrived at his legal majority and he then rented a
farm for one year. The next year he purchased a farm,
residing on the same for about one year. He then traded
it for a house and lot in the village of Guttenberg,
where he established his residence in 1865.
He remained in Guttenberg until 1873 when he sold his
property and moved to Clayton where he conducted a hotel
and retail liquor business for many years with marked
He retired from active business in 1897 and they since
continued to live in their attractive home in Clayton.
Mr. Duwe is a staunch advocate of the principles and
policies of the Democratic party, was for a number of
years a member of the school board and has served several
terms as township trustee of Clayton township. He gives a
liberal support to the Catholic church of which his wife
is a devoted communicant.
In the year of 1863 was solemnized the marriage of Mr.
Duwe to Miss Mary Ann Osterdock, who was born in the
state of Indiana and moved to this county when she was
but a child. Her parents spent the remainder of their
lives on a farm here.
Mr. Duwe in his declining years, is living alone, his
wife having passed away in August, 1929. Their five
children preceeded their mother in death, namely: George
L.; Amelia L., Mrs. Christ Beckman; Anna M., Mrs. E.J.
Crawford; Elizabeth E., Mrs. Floyd Duff, and William H.
Mr. Duwe is getting very feeble and celebrated his 87th
birthday on March 28th, but he is still able to come up
town for his mail and do his own shopping.
~The Clayton County Register, April 17, 1930
William E. Duwe Obituary
by Lorene Kurdelmeyer
Miss Helen Clementine Fonda was born ninety-five years
ago in West Troy, New York, on the twenty-seventh day of
July, 1835. In October of 1855 she with her parents,
brothers and sisters, came west, settling in Monona. It
was in this vicinity that she taught school for many
years. Later she went to Dakota, where she had a claim,
and also taught school while there. She returned in 1883
and has made her home in Monona ever since.
"Aunt Clem", as she is better known to everyone
in Monona, is the last living member of a family of
twelve children. Nine of these children grew to manhood
and womanhood and each and every one lived to a ripe old
age. The average age of these nine children was
"Aunt Clem" has been a faithful member of the
Pilgrim's Evangelical church and always attended its
services regularly as long as she was able. She often
apologized to her pastor for not being able to attend
services more regularly in the later years, but she was
always told that she had done her best and most of us
would all do well if we, like her, could attend services
until our ninetieth year.
A year ago this August, "Aunt Clem" suffered a
fall, which fractured her hip, and as a result of this
has been bedfast ever since, but she is receiving the
best care that loving hands can give by her niece, Miss
G. Helen Fonda, with whom she has made her home for many,
~The Clayton County Register, October 23, 1930
Helen Clementine Fonda Obituary
by Bernadine Roggman
On April 29th, 1851, Mr. Wollweaver, with 300
followers left Germany to establish a colony, to be known
as the "Liberty Colony," in the United States
of America. These people fled to America because of a
revolution in Germany, due to the uprising of the common
people against their rulers, demanding more rights.
Among this group of followers was a family by the name of
Jonchinn Busacker, and their daughter, Marie Busacker,
our sketch. Marie, then a child, now in her 85th year,
but with a wonderful clear mind, loves to tell of this
journey across the ocean on the Hamburg Line Steamship.
There were on the water ten weeks and three days, and
landed at Guttenberg on July 10.
They spent their first night in Fleck's warehouse, there
being only five houses in Guttenberg at that time; no
school and no church. On steamboat went up the river once
a week to bring mail.
The next morning after landing, Mr. Wollweaver came with
two wagons and ox teams to take the colonists to their
destination, which was a tract of 900 acres of land,
located about three miles from Elkport, part of which is
now known as the Aug. Lundt farm. Just before they
started on their journey, the oxen being very warm,
regardless of their drivers, walked into the river,
wagons and all, to get a drink. There being no roads or
bridges at that time, they had to make their was as best
they could. The forded the Turkey river just above its
junction with the Volga.
"Liberty Colony," however, was short lived and
after nine weeks all came to an end. John Thoms, who was
considered wealthy and had brought money from Germany,
bought the land and returned each member of the colony
their $40 membership fee. The colonists scattered, and
the only living member remaining, to Mrs. Hamann's
knowledge, besides herself, if Fritz Schroeder of
Mrs. Hamann was born Sept. 20, 1845, in
Ludwigslust-Mecklenberg Schwerin, Germany. She never
enjoyed the privilege of going to school, the only
schooling she had was while she went to confirmation
school under Rev. Adam. she was confirmed in the St.
John's Lutheran church at Guttenberg, the same year the
church was built.
Although her school days were few, one engaged in
conversation with her would never know it. She is well
posted on all current events, reads the papers, and has
read many good books. Low German is her native tongue,
but she speaks very good high German, and does very well
with the English language.
She keeps house for herself and her son John, baking her
own bread, and doing practicall all her own sewing. The
other morning when I went to call on her at 6:30 she was
sitting at the sewing machine hemming towels.
She was married to Henry Hamann, Dec 16, 1862. This union
was blessed with four children. Henry Hamann of Chicago,
Supt. of the American Express the past forty years; John
at home, Bertha Baxter of Ames, Iowa, and Amanda,
In 1875 the Hamann's bought the Samuel Murdock farm, one
mile south of Garnavillo. At the time of the purchase
Murdock told them it was "the Paradise of
Iowa." This place has been her home ever since. Mrs.
Hamann has enjoyed good health all through her long life.
~The Clayton County Register, July 17, 1930
Note: Mrs. Hamann died in 1933. I was not able to find
L. 'Tobe' Hansel
by Dorothy Gull
Mr. John L. Hansel, better known in this community as
"Tobe," was born in Green county, Pennsylvania
in 1844. In 1850 his folks brought their family to Iowa.
The trip was made by steamboat down the Ohio to the
Mississippi and then up that river to Dubuque. It took
them about five weeks to make the trip, which was filled
with many hardships and sufferings.
When the Hansel's arrived at Dubuque there were only a
few shacks along the river bank and one of the men who
lived there was induced to bring the Hansel family to
Colesburg with an ox team. Colesburg at that time was
known as Potts Settlement and was a thriving little place
with only two houses.
For the next two or three years they had no stoves and
were forced to do all of their cooking in a bake oven.
During these years they lived on a diet made up chiefly
of corn-meal and mush, as they had to go to Dubuque and
sometimes to McGregor for their groceries. During the
first few years that the Hansel's lived in this vicinity
they raised mostly small grain and some livestock. It was
a great deal of work to raise wheat at that time, as th
eonly means of threshing it was with a flail.
Deer and wolves were plentiful near their farm and many
wild turkeys filled the woods, these were hunted for
food. The country was overrun by Indians but they never
caused any great trouble.
Mr. Hansel can remember when they used to dress pork and
haul it to the McGregor market, where it brought the
enourmous price of 23½ cents a pound.
The first threshing machines that were used in this
community were hauled here from McGregor by horses. Mr.
Hansel brought two here in this manner. He has been
interested in threshing machines ever since they were
first made and at the present time owns a machine and
does the threshing for his neighboring farmers, going
with the machine from place to place - but of course does
not run it on account of his advanced age.
Mr. Hansel has lived on the place where he is now for
sixty-one or two years. He is a man of eighty-six winters
and summers and is still enjoying good health.
~The Clayton County Register, October 16, 1930
John L. Hansel Obituary
by Elizabeth Christen
The oldest person in this section of Marion township
is Thomas Hanson, who was born at Christianna, Oslo,
Norway, on January 23, 1848. He remained in Norway until
August, 1869, when at 21 years of age he and his mother,
who was 74 years old at the time, started from Norway to
America, going to Hull from Christianna in a packet boat.
When going through the Christianna Fjord they ran into a
sail ship, sinking it in the Fjord.
The voyage across the ocean from Hull to Quebec required
eleven days. From Quebec they went to Grand Haven,
Michigan. Here Mr. Hanson was offered a job to help load
a ship at fifty cents an hour. This was a very high wage
rate to him, who had been accustomed to working for very
poor wages in Norway. He took the job, but in order to
get the fifty cents an hour he was compelled to work for
23 hours without a rest.
From Grand Haven he and his mother came to McGregor and
then to Highland township, where for a time they made
their home with Jim Paulson. Mr. Hanson worked in this
vicinity for 5 years and in 1852 was united in marriage
to Eliza Baumgartner.
In 1876 they moved to a farm in Plymouth county, Iowa,
near Le Mars. The following four years were known as the
grasshopper years, as each year the grasshoppers became
more numerous, totally destroying the crops in 1880.
In 1884 Mr. Hanson and family returned to Clayton county
to the farm which he now owns. So he has resided on this
farm continuously for 46 years with the exception of a
couple of trips to Texas where he purchased some land.
His wife passed away on September 8, 1923, and his
youngest son, Henry, on April 11, 1926. The remaining
sons and daughters are Mrs. Ernest Meyer of West Union;
Mrs. Martha Chapman, Fred, Edwin, Adolph and Ellen, all
of Elgin, and Theodore, who makes his home at La Grange,
In spite of his 82 years, Mr. Hanson is still active,
having helped with the farm work all this summer. Reading
is his favorite hobby and he spends many hours in
reading, especially during the winter.
Most of Mr. Hanson's relatives have reached the age of 80
or more before they passed away. His mother died at the
age of 94, a sister at 86, a brother at 90 and he has a
sister living in Norway who is now 90 years of age. They
are the only surviving members of a family of nine
~The Clayton County Register, January 22, 1931
Thomas Hanson Obituary
Harriet (Brown) Hyde
by Dorothy Gull
Mrs. Harriet Brown Hyde was born in Pennsylvania in
1847. Her folks came to Iowa when she was five years old.
Her father died the first year they were here, so her
mother went around among the neighbors and patched for
them to earn enough to keep the family together.
They came to Dubuque by a steamboat, which was a long and
hard journey and made the trip from Dubuque to what is
now Colesburg with an oxen team. Mrs. Hyde never went to
school very much because her folks were poor and the
children had to help make the living for the family. The
school that Mrs. Hyde did attend was called "Bushes'
School". Mrs. Hyde was one of the early members of
the congregation of Pott's church. This is now what is
known as the Fairview church.
Mrs. Hyde has fifty grandchildren and eighteen
great-grandchildren. She has pieced a quilt for each
grand-child and some of her great-grandchildren. Mrs.
Hyde has pieced quilts all her life. She estimates that
she has pieced nearly a thousand quilts during her
lifetime. She does not use glasses while she is quilting
and does all of her stitching by hand.
Mrs. Hyde has lived on the farm where she is now living
for over fifty years. She remembers of her folks having a
barrel of honey at one time. This had been gathered from
bee trees which they found in the woods. She can also
remember of a deer being killed just a short distance
from their back door. Mrs. Hyde tells of a very
interesting incident about a rattlesnake. She and her
brothers and sisters always slept on the floor and one
morning when they awoke there was a rattlesnake coming
from a rat hole. When it was killed it was found to have
Mrs. Hyde says she can't remember of a summer being as
dry as this past summer has been. A few years ago her
brother killed a lynx a short distance from their home.
Evidence of the fact that Indians once infested this
section is proven by the finding of a tomahawk on her
Mrs. Hyde sweeps the floor, washes dishes and makes the
beds. She is still enjoying life in good health.
~The Clayton County Register, November 13, 1930
Harriet (Brown) Hyde Obituary
Joseph M. Jennings
Mr. Jennings was born in Warren County, Illinois, Nov.
11, 1848. In 1847 his parents came to Iowa and located at
Iowa City, later moving to Delaware county and bought a
farm located in Sperry township where they came to make
When Mr. Jennings was 18 years old he enlisted in Company
A of the Thirty-Fifth Iowa Infantry*. During his time in
the service he spent one year in Texas and saw action in
many of the southern battles of the Civil War among them
that of Vicksburg. He served 3 years, returning home in
On March 25, 1866 he was married to Ellen Crane, who was
born in Winnebago county, Illinois, September 18, 1843.
They had five children, Joseph Henry, James S., Walter
E., Samuel O., and Hester Ellen.
Mr. Jennings has ever been active in Sabbath School work.
He is a licensed minister in the United Brethern church
and is an earnest worker in all which tend to promote the
moral welfare and happiness of his fellow beings.
In March 1908 he left the farm and moved to Volga City
and on June 25, 1908, Mrs. Jennings passed away. After
her death he went to Clarksville, Iowa, where he took a
charge and preached until 1912 when he returned to Volga
City, where on June 25, 1912, he was united in marriage
to Mrs. Martha Beavers of Strawberry Point.
He has lived in Volga City ever since, and is the last
soldier of the Civil War living in Sperry township. He
attended Sunday School and church as long as he was able,
and taught a Sunday School class until his health became
so bad that he had to resign. He is becoming so feeble
now that he cannot leave the house. He has a great many
callers which hs is always pleased to see. He has six
grandchildren and six great grandchildren.
~The Clayton County Register, March 27, 1930
Note: pension records show that he served in the 34th
IA Inf. and 38th IA Inf., not the 35th
Joseph M. Jenning Obituary
by Martha Jordan
Bartholmew Krauss was born in Bavaria, Germany, and
with Mrs. Krauss and their 9-year-old son, they came to
this country in 1867. They came by rail as far as
Manchester and from there the three walked to Arlington,
to the home of Adam Linder, who came to this country six
The next year Mr. Krauss began farming, which occupation
he followed until he moved to Strawberry Point, 43 years
ago. Mrs. Krauss, formerly Miss Anna Margaret Wesender,
died Nov. 4, 1919. Mr. Krauss has one son and three
daughters; John, of Kirby, Oregon; Mrs. Jake Falk of
Cresco, Ia.; Mrs. Minnie Schug and Miss Elizabeth Krauss
of Strawberry Point; four grandchildren, and five great
A few years ago Mr. Krauss lost his eyesight and since
that time remains at home. Aside from this affliction he
enjoys good health. His daughters, Mrs. Minnie Schug and
Miss Elizabeth Krauss, live with him and give him the
best of care.
He is the oldest living member of the Immanuel
Evangelical Lutheran church of Strawberry Point, having
joined a short time after the church was organized, Oct.
Wednesday, Jan. 22, Mr. Krauss quietly celebrated his
ninety-second birthday by receiving his many friends who
called to pay their respects. When dinner was served a
prettily decorated birthday cake adorned the table.
~The Clayton County Register, April 10, 1930
Bartholomew Kraus Obituary
(Hyde) Morley Davidson Lewis
by Dolores Hall
Mrs. John Lewis and four of her great grandchildren, from
left to right:
Opal, Gladys and June Lighty, New York City, and Esther
Fritz of Littleport.
Mrs. John Lewis, nee Margaret Hyde, daughter of John and
Hannah Hyde, was born Feb. 18, 1845, in Green county,
Pennsylvania. She had six sisters and three brothers. All
are dead except her youngest brother, George Hyde, who is
living in Guttenberg. She was the sixth child of the
In 1850 she came to Iowa with her parents. They made the
trip in a covered wagon, bringing with them only a very
few household goods, the trip took them nearly three
weeks. When they arrived at Colesburg there were only
three houses in that town. Her parents located on a farm
in Mallory township and when they had any produce to sell
they had to take it to Guttenberg to be shipped out on
In June, 1865, she was united in marriage to Brooks
Morley. To this union three children were born, namely:
Ben Morley of Guttenberg, Mrs. Hannah Marty of Dubuque,
and Margaret, who has passed away. They engaged in
farming near Colesburg for seven years and then moved to
Colesburg where they operated a hotel. The year following
Mr. Morley died.
She later married John Davidson. They had one child, now
Mrs. Ruth Willman of Elkport. They continued at the hotel
business for several years, when Mr. Davidson went to
visit relatives in Missouri and died while there. She
then sold her hotel and went to live with her parents on
Wayman in Elk township.
In March, 1880, she was married to John Lewis. They had
one son, George Lewis, who is now living in Minnesota.
They also engaged in farming and lived in Osterdock for
one year. They then moved onto a farm in Jefferson
township where they lived for nearly ten years. After
this they moved to Guttenberg where they managed a hotel
for two years. They sold this business and moved to
In September, 1927, Mr. Lewis died at Elkport. For the
next two years her son, Ben Morley lived with her, but at
the present time she is making her home with her
daughter, Mrs. Ruth Willman.
Mrs. Lewis has twenty-seven grandchildren and twenty-two
great grandchildren. She celebrated her eighty-fifth
birthday February 18, when a number of ladies had dinner
with her. Mrs. Lewis has fairly good health and a great
many visitors whom she is always glad to see.
~The Clayton County Register, June 5, 1930
Margaret (Hyde) Lewis Obituary
by Mrs. Kate Randall
Caroline Venus Liers, daughter of Joseph and Christine
Klein Venus, was born at the Colony Communia, Clayton
county, Iowa, Feb. 24, 1854. She lived in the old
community house where she was born until at the age of
four her father built the house where Clem Whittle now
lives, which is still the old landmark.
The old community house, where she was born, was built in
the early forties and has long since been torn down.
February 4th, 1874, she was united in marriage to Frank
H. Liers of Elkader. To this union seven children were
born, five sons and two daughters, all were born in
In 1886 Frank sold his property in Elkader and moved to
Clayton, with the exception of eleven years in Dubuque
and two years in Texas, they have resided in Clayton ever
Mrs. Liers received her common school education in the
little colony school house, which is still standing
there. Only all of the surrounding timber has been cut
and the country looks quite different than it did seventy
years ago when she had her first English lesson there.
There were twelve children in the Venus family, three of
whom are living. Mrs. Liers is the third youngest.
In those early days that Mrs. Liers spent at the Colony,
all of the neighbors hauled their farm produce to Clayton
or McGregor. It was always a two day trip. During the
busy season of the year, when the horses had to be worked
in the fields, Mrs. Liers and her sister Emma used to
walk to Elkader, six miles, with a basket of eggs. They
had private customers here and received 5 cents a dozen
for eggs and 10 cents a pound for the butter. They
considered themselves quite fortunate to have private
customers from whom they received cash for their produce.
January 4th, 1925, Mr. and Mrs. Liers celebrated their
Golden Wedding anniversary. On March 12th, 1926, Mr.
Liers died. Mrs. Liers is now living on Singing Water
farm, near Clayton, with her youngest daughter, Louise
Marie Liers. Josephine, another daughter, is a missionary
~The Clayton County Register, July 3, 1930
Caroline (Venus) Liers Obituary
'Eliza' (Dempstor) Lowe
by Mrs. C.E. Lovett
Eliza Lowe is the daughter of John and Margaret
Dempstor. Her parents came to this country from Scotland
in 1841. The trip was made in a sailing vessel and
required three months' time. After arriving in America
they went to Michigan where Eliza was born in Wayne
county on Sept. 8, 1846, one of a family of thirteen
She came with her parents from Michigan to Dubuque in
1846 with an ox team. They crossed the Mississippi at
this point and came on to Taylorville, where her father
built a log house. Her father just had $500.00 when they
got to Taylorville. When they passed through Volga City
on their way to their new home, this city had only two
She was united in marriage to David Lowe, Dec. 12, 1866,
by the Rev. N.R. George, U.B. minister. Her sister Jane
and James Bissell were married at the same time, both
with the same ceremony, at the James Bissell home. An
oyster supper was served after the wedding.
Mr. and Mrs. Lowe live on a farm just west of Volga City
until 1910, when they bought a residence in town and have
since lived here. Mr. Lowe passed away Feb 17, 1920.
Mrs. Lowe has always been a hard working woman. She does
her own housework and always has a fine garden and lots
of flowers. She made and cared for her garden the past
year in spite of her 84 years. She raises a few chickens
every year besides her other duties. Mrs. Lowe has
enjoyed good health and at the present time her grandson,
Roy Boleyn, lives with her to keep her company.
She is the mother of five children, two now living. she
has eight great-grandchildren living, the oldest is
Her marriage certificate was written on a sheet of
writing paper. She has her father's first naturalization
papers, which were taken out in 1852. She has a very keep
memory and can relate many of the hardships of pioneer
life, is very interesting to talk to and has had a number
of very interesting experiences.
~The Clayton County Register, December 11, 1930
Eliza (Dempster) Lowe Obituary
Barbara Meier (nee Zier) was born at Leuteshien,
Baden, Germany, Dec. 24, 1836, and came to this country
in the spring of 1858, being 57 days crossing the ocean
on a sailboat, and landing in St. Louis. She came to
Clayton, Ia., by boat and from there to Giard township.
She was married June 13, 1858, to Michael Meier. To this
union four children were born, three daughters and one
son. One daughter died in 1879, and her husband in 1904.
In the spring of 1859 they started farming in Giard
township and after renting nine years moved to their farm
in Farmersburg township now occupied by her son J.D.
Meier, where Mrs. Meier is still living.
Mrs. Meier has been an invalid for the last sixteen
months and is confined to her bed. She is the oldest
living charter member of the Prairie Evangelical church.
~The Clayton County Register, May 8, 1930
Barbara (Zier) Meier Obituary
by Mrs. A.A. Purvis
W.J. Nading of Littleport, Cox Creek township, was
born in Edwards County, Ill., May 5, 1848, and came to
Iowa with his parents when he was four months old. He
stayed with his parents on the farm until about 20 years
February 13, 1868, he was married to Corintha Metcalf,
and to this union were born eleven boys and two girls.
Mrs. Nading passed away July 26, 1897.
Since her death he has lived with his children, but at
the present time he is living on a part of the old
homestead that his father settled on when coming to Iowa.
His principal occupation in all these years has been
buying timber land and cutting off the timber. Cordwood
was made of most of the timber, although some barn
frames, logs, and walnut lumber was marketed, all of the
sales being made in and around Littleport. At that time
he practically gave walnut lumber away, there being so
much of it that it was not considered valuable.
At the present time Mr. Nading has a shrubbery patch on
which grapes, strawberries, raspberries, plums, and black
beries are raised. He does all of the work in caring for
this 1½ acre plot alone except in berry picking time,
when he employs extra help.
Mr. Nading is in excellent health and has never had to
call a doctor or be under a doctor's care. Mrs. Nading
was an invalid for a long time before her death and he
devoted all of his time during that period to caring for
~The Clayton County Register, June 26, 1930
William J. Nading Obituary
Lena (Schmalfeldt) Oelke
by Mina Dahlstrom
Mr. and Mrs. Wm. H. Oelke came to this country from
Germany in 1851. Mr. Oelke was born in Hanover, Jan. 25,
1840. Mrs. Oelke, nee Lena Smalfeldt, was born in
Mecklenberg Schwerin, Sept. 19, 1847.
Both came to America with their parents, who were on the
same sailing vessel. Eleven weeks and three days were
required for the boat to reach New Orleans. At New
Orleans they boarded a steamboat for the trip up the
Father of Waters to Guttenberg. At Guttenberg they hired
a team for the trip to their new home, which was known in
those days as the Malle farm. They were the only Germans
in this section and were forced to learn the English
From here they moved to a place near Clayton Center.
After living there a while his father bought the place
which is now known as the Vogt farm near Clayton Center.
Mr. Oelke's father worked at the capenter trade and his
mother car.. [illegible sentence] .. the produce from the
farm in McGregor, the trip being made by driving either
horses or mules. Practically all of their trading was
done there too.
Mr. Oelke worked for his father until 21 years of age.
The next six months he worked for Judge Crary, after
which about fifteen boys including himself, with Mr. and
Mrs. Read as chaperons, decided to go to California. The
trip was made in a covered wagon, following the tril of
the Gold Rush in 1849. They met with many hadships in
dodging the Indians and in four months' time they had
reached Nevada, where Mr. Oelke left the group.
After remaining in Nevada for some time he continued on
to California, arriving there about Christmas time. He
spent three years in that state doing odd jobs, such as
wood cutting, farm work and carpenter work. He then
enlisted in the army, at Aurora, Nevada, and served two
years, before returning home. This trip was made by stage
to Quincy, Ill., and from there by boat to McGregor.
On Oct. 26, 1866, he was married to Lena Smalfeldt in
Garnavillo and settled on a farm one mile east of
Farmersburg, where they lived until 1900, when they
retired from the farm and moved to Farmersburg. To this
union were born nine children, on dying in infancy,
William C. of Nodoway, Iowa; Helmuth A. of Farmersburg,
Arthur of Pierce, Nebr., Emil of Wheaton, Ill., Adele at
home, Elfrieda near Garnavillo, Ewald of Alexandria, S.
Dak., Hugo at home; also seventeen grandchildren and
seven great grandchildren.
Both are enjoying fairly good health and are still
active. Mr. Oelke daily feeds his chickens and both enjoy
their daily paper. Mr. Oelke has a fine memory and can
tell many interesting tales, having watched the
development of transportation from the time of the ox
team to the airplane.
~The Clayton County Register, November 27, 1930
Note: much nicer photos of this couple can be seen in
William Henry Oelke Obituary
Caroline Louise 'Lena' (Schmalfeldt) Oelke
by Dorothy Gull
Mr. Omar B. Oldham, his son, Mr. Doyle Oldham, his
grandson, Mr. Ralph Oldham and his great-grandson,
Fairview - Mr. Omar B. Oldham was born in Bedford
county, Pennsylvania, eighty six years ago. Mr. Oldham
came here in 1855, with his mother and father and two
sisters and two brothers. Mr. Oldham's mother and one of
his sisters died the first winter they were here.
The first five years that Mr. Oldham's folks were here
were five of suffering and sorrow. The second year they
lost the only cow they had, and so more hardships than
When Mr. Oldham's folks came to this country they were
holding church in a schoolhouse about eight or ten rods
southwest of the present site of the Fairview church. In
1856 the present Fairview church was organized, but no
church was built until seven years later. Mr. Oldham's
sister was one of the charter members of the church. At
this time there were quite a number of Methodists in the
community. It was some distance to the Methodist church
in what is now Colesburg, so they held services in the
United Brethren church every other Sunday afternoon.
After a while the Methodists built a church but most of
the members left the community, and so the United
Brethren people bought it and it is now known as Emerson
Mr. Oldham can remember when a four-horse stage-coach
went from Dyersville to Elkader. This coach carried mail
and passengers. It stopped at a place called
"News-Stand," which was just a few rods east of
what is now the Jesse Walters residence. Later on
News-Stand had a store and saw-mill and was then called
Uppergraff. While it was still called News Stand the
first postmaster was discharged because he go the mail so
badly mixed up.
Mr. Oldham relates one of his experiences that was very
interesting. One day while attending school in a school
house just southwest of the Fairview church, a band of
Indians came along. Of course all of the children had to
see them, so they all went running out of the schoolroom.
All of a sudden they noticed the old chief in the back of
the band was loading his gun, then - did they run back
into the school room!
These same Indians camped in a weeds near Colesburg and
when Mr. Oldham's father was going to town one day he
stopped in to get warm by their fire. He laid his gloves
down -- he went on to Colesburg without any gloves.
Mr. Oldham said he could remember taking a sack of corn
to town on a home-made hand sled and having it ground.
Then they would live on Johnny-bread, corn-bread and
Mr. Oldham is in good health and has a stature that is
straight and erect. He carries himself like many men of
forty do. He has seen the country grow from a wilderness
to prosperous farms and from an ox-cart age to an
~The Clayton County Register, September 25, 1930
Omar Benjamin Oldham Obituary
by Thov. K. Thompson
Mrs. Harriet Orvis was born near Elgin, Kain County,
Ill., June 28, 1840, and she was united in marriage in
her early twenties to Waitstill Miller Orvis. To this
union five children were born, namely: Harry, Frank,
Fred, Herburt and Charles.
They came to Delaware county and purchased a farm near
Manchester, Iowa, in the year of 1865. The trip was made
in a covered wagon and required about ten days to
complete the journey from the home in Illinois. About
three years later they returned to their farm in
Illinois, on account of times being so hard that it was
considered desirable to discontinue the attempt to make a
success in Iowa at that early date. However the Iowa home
was retained, with the intentions that at some future
date they would return, when conditions became more
This time appeared to be in the year of 1880, when a
second trip was made by the covered wagon route. The
party consisted of themselves and three sons, and
immediately on arriving in Delaware county they settled
upon a farm.
It may be well to state that there were no idle hands in
this household and that all then learned the lessons of
frugality and industry, which served them so well in
later life. In these early years farm products sold at
low prices and the subject of this article well remembers
selling eggs at 6 cents per dozen and butter at 10 cents
Having a desire to retire from farming they purchased a
home in Manchester in 1902. Two years later the husband
and father died, on Oct. 23, 1904, and about one year
later it was decided by Mrs. Orvis with her son Herburt
to move to St. Olaf, Iowa, where she made her home with
her son Herburt until the time of his death, which
occurred about two years later.
Since that time she has made her home with her son Fred
Orvis and with whom she now resides. Only two of her
children are living. Her other son, Frank C. Orvis of
Nelson, Nebraska, with his wife and his son Charles, made
her a visit early this fall which pleased her very much.
At this time Mrs. Orvis is enjoying good health,
considering her age of better than 90 years.
~The Clayton County Register, November 6, 1930
Harriet (Baker) Orvis Obituary
by Mrs. Arthur H. Berg
Christoph H. Overbeck, eldest son of the
seven children of Adam and Louise (Wagman) Overbeck, was
born in the Province of Hanover, Germany, on June 9,
1843. He attended school only one year and at the age of
eight, he, with his his parents, sister and brothers,
immigrated to America. The trip from their home to the
sea port, Bremen, took them all one day. That night they
slept on beds of straw in an old barn. The next morning
they left Bremen in a sailboat for America. Six weeks and
three days later they landed at Baltimore, Maryland. From
here they went through a tunnel to a river where they got
onto a flatboat, pulled by one horse with the help of
When they reached Pittsburg, Penn., a one-year-old
brother died. He was buried at the foot of the Allegheny
mountains where a number of others who had died of
cholera were being buried. Plain wooden boxes were made
to put the bodies in before burial.
They then took a boat down the Ohio River to Cincinnati,
Ohio, where they stayed two weeks. Their journey was then
continued down the Ohio to Indiana, where they were to
make their way into the interior to Holland, Indiana, the
home of his uncle. This settlement was thirty miles from
the river and the distance had to be covered on foot,
with only marked trees to guide their route. After
arriving in Holland, they took quarters in an old shack.
Here they just barely existed for several months as they
had no butter, milk or flour and lived on a menu of corn
bread for months.
[sentence illegible] ... invited them in to live with him
the rest of the winter. In the spring they started for
Iowa. They drove a team of oxen the thirty miles to
Evansville, Ind., where they boarded an Ohio river boat.
They spent one night in Evansville, but did not have
enough money to stay at a hotel and Mr. Overbeck was put
to bed on a pile of iron, with just some of their clothes
to lay on.
The next day their trip was continued down the Ohio
river, onto the Mississippi to St. Louis, Mo., where they
changed boats for Guttenberg, Iowa. The trip up the
Mississippi river was uneventful. After arriving in
Guttenberg, he worked for his board a while, until his
parents obtained a tract of government land and
instituted the development of a 40 acre farm in Jefferson
township, Section 21, on Little Cedar Creek, in 1854.
When 13 years old he had a severe attack of rheumatism,
which ailment had been bothering him some since he was 9
years old. His mother cured the rheumatism with a simple
home remedy and he hasn't been bothered with it since. At
the age of 14 he walked eight miles to Guttenberg, where
he attended confirmation school and was confirmed March
28, 1858, by Rev. Adams. In 1879 his father and two
sisters died of typhoid fever. All were buried at Ceres.
On July 3, 1874, he was united im marriage to Miss
Caroline Bierbaum, daughter of Gerhard and Caroline
(Walke) Bierbaum. To this union twelve children were
born, of which five are living. In 1876 they purchased a
270-acre farm in Grand Meadow township of Harley
McMaster, at $45 per acre. This farm is now owned by Wm.
Radloff. On the 5th [illegible] 1877 they [illegible]
farm, driving their hogs, sheep and cattle from their
farm near Ceres.
In 1894, with his family, he moved to Luana and was
engaged in the hardware business for six years. His wife
passed away on July 16, 1899. In 1904 he retired from all
active business and has continued to reside in Luana. On
Dec. 24th of the same year he was married to Mrs. Minna
He is now past 37 years of age and still enjoys taking
his fishing tackle and spending a day sitting along some
river bend fishing.
~The Clayton County Register, October 9, 1930
Christoph Overbeck Obituary
by Mrs. Albert Rau
Mrs. Johanna Kaiser Rodenburg* was born in
Mecklenberg, Germany, Oct. 1836. when Mrs. Rodenburg came
to Guttenberg from Germany she made the entire trip by
water. Leaving the old country in a sail boat which was
bound for New Orleans. On the trip across the Atlantic
ocean they encountered several storms in which the sails
of the ship were broken. This made their progress very
slow and six weeks were required to make the trip. Mrs.
Rodenburg tells of one instance in a storm at sea in
which a minister who had passage on the ship, took his
turn at the pumps and would pray between times.
Eight of the passengers of the ship died during the
voyage and their bodies were lowered into the sea. One of
these was the husband of a family of two children and
when his body was lowered into the water his wife lost
her mind. She was later put off on an island and the two
children brought on to America.
After staying for some time in New Orleans she took
passage on a small boat bound for Guttenberg. When she
landed at the site on which now stands Guttenberg there
were only five houses.
In 1853 Johanna Kaiser was married to Wm. Rodenburg at
Cassville, Wis. Up until 1913 when Mr. Rodenburg died
they lived on a farm near Guttenberg.
In 1915 Mrs. Rodenburg moved to Guttenberg and has since
lived with her son August and daughter, Carolina
Mr. Rodenburg came to Guttenberg when he was sixteen
years old and not having any mother, Mr. and Mrs. R.E.
Price of Elkader took care of him.
Mrs. Rodenburg was the mother of twelve children, three
died in infancy and nine still survive. She has been a
faithful member of the St. John's Lutheran church all of
~The Clayton County Register, April 3, 1930
*Note: Obituary, gravestone & other records spell
the surname Rodenberg
Johanna 'Annie' (Kaiser) Rodenberg Obituary
by Lila Minkler
Edgewood's "Grand old man" will have reached
the advanced age of 93 years, on Jun 5 of this year. Mr.
John Schacherer was born in Alsace, France, in June,
1837. His schooling was received in that province, where
at that time the pupils were taught both French and
German simultaneously. One page of the text book was in
German and the opposite in French. Hence he learned to
speak, read and write both languages. Later, coming to
this country another language [illegible sentence]
...order that he might be able to establish himself in
the "New World" to which he came in 1856,
making the voyage on a French sailing vessel, the Volent,
which is the French word for flying. The trip took 36
days, and Mr. Schacherer has lived to see a trip to
France made in as many hours.
After landing in this country, he spent one year
assisting on a farm, near Buffalo, New York, which at
that time was only a small town. In 1857, having earned
and saved enough money to do so, he came west to Dubuque.
After a time he found employment on a farm where he was
paid the sum of $10 a month for his labors. Mr.
Schacherer has lived in Dubuque and Delaware counties for
On April 3, 1861, he married Miss Anna Leibold at
Rickardsville, a small town northwest of Dubuque. In 1866
they moved to a farm one mile southwest of Edgewood,
where they lived 36 years and where his grandson, Albert
Putz now lives, as the farm is still in the possession of
His wife passed away in 1906. For a time after that he
lived with a daughter, Mrs. Domayer, in Dyersville, then
came here to make his home with another daughter, Ms.
John Putz, who died a little over a year ago. He still
lives in the Putz home and is lovingly cared for by his
son-in-law, Mr. Putz, and granddaughters, Bertha and
Mr. and Mrs. Schacherer were the parents of twelve
children, two of whom died in youth, and the above
mentioned daughter. The rest are scattered but are near
enough so that they visit their father often. Twenty-nine
grandchildren and nine great grandchildren are proud to
call him "Grandpa".
Mr. Schacherer eagerly awaits the arrival of the daily
papers and turns immediately to the editorial page which
he always reads, thereby keeping up with the times.
He has never been ill, but was laid up from an accident
for several weeks at one time. This accident occurred
when all of this land was timber. Mr. Schacherer left
home in the early morning for his daily job, cutting and
splitting one hundred rails. On this day while felling
the first tree, he, in some way, was caught in the limbs
as they fell and a very deep scalp wound resulted. He lay
unconscious far into the day. When found he was unable to
ride to his home as the jar of the buggy caused so much
pain so he walked the entire distance. No more rails were
split for over three weeks, and his good wife doctored
the wound with salt and water daily and as Mr. Schacherer
says, that was all that was needed. He is the picture of
genial good health, happy and jovial.
He is a faithful attendant at church, wears glasses only
for close reading, and shaves himself. It is a real
inspiration to drop in of an afternoon and have a chat
with this splendid man who can put we younger folk to
shame with his ever cheerful personality.
~The Clayton County Register, April 24, 1930
John Schacherer Obituary
(Idifeldt / Ihlendfeldt) Brandenburg Schaub
by Esther Voss
Miss Freda Idifeldt* was born in Pommern, Germany,
Aug. 15, 1834. She was united in marriage in her early
twenties to Charles Brandenburg. To this union four
children were born.
They came to America in the year 1881. They came by rail
to Guttenberg, from there they went to Garnavillo by
team, near which place they immediately settled upon a
farm, and it may well be believed that there were no idle
hands in this little household, and that all then learned
the lessons of frugality and industry which served them
so well in later life. Some years later the husband and
After several years the widow was again united in
marriage to Mr. J. Shaub*.
Mrs. Shaub's first home was a huge log cabin. In these
early years farm produce sold at low prices, butter sold
at 10 cents a pound, eggs sold at seven cents a dozen.
Mrs. Shaub was blessed with four children by her first
marriage, namely: Mrs. Mary Kahlstarf of Britt, Ia., Mrs.
Lena Zittergruen of Garber and Mrs. Freda Reifeldt, who
passed away in 1905.
Mrs. Shaub celebrated her 95th birthday Aug. 15, at the
home of her son, Charles, with whom she resides. Mrs.
Shaub is enjoying good health considering her age.
~The Clayton County Register, May 23, 1930
*Notes: The photo caption spells her surname as
Schaub, but throughout the biography, it is spelled
Shaub. The spelling in her obituary is Schaub, and maiden
name is given as Ihlendfeldt. The Garnavillo cemetery
sexton records also spell the surname as Schaub.
Freda (Ihlendfeldt) Brandenburg Schaub
Chester 'Chet' Shappell
by Morga Bolsinger
Mr. and Mrs. Neuton Chester Shappell in front of their
home in Graham.
Neuton* Chester Shappell, son of Andrew and Jane
Shappell, was born in Wisconsin, August 27, 1851. His
father was French and his mother English. Because he was
called French-Canadian, he supposed he was born on the
border land of France and Canada.
His mother died when he was a baby and his only sister
died in infancy. He never knew he had a sister till he
visited a medium in 1872. He had half-brothers and
half-sisters, but does not know whether it was his father
or his mother who was married twice, or both.
His father died in 1861 and from that time on he made his
home with any one who would keep him. He passed some of
his early years in the home of an uncle. His entire life
seems to be one of hardship, yet he never let it worry
him and always looked forward to brighter days.
A dreamer and spinner of incredulous yarns which he
vouches for, he remembers a man in Wisconsin who talked
so loud he could print his words in stone, also one
severe winter when there were six weeks sleighing in
He came to Iowa in 1878 and worked for Thomas Graham at
Millville. Later he hired to Geo. Graham to work in his
sawmill, and moved into a log house near the mill with
his wife, Anna Smith, whom he married June 12, 1881 at
Millville, Michael Marshall of that place performing the
ceremony. On the day of their second wedding anniversary,
Anna gave birth to a son and died.
On April 20, 1884, he married a second time. This time to
Hannah Francis Goldsmith, a cousin to his first wife.
They were married by Geo. Graham. They are the parents of
ten children, all living, on in Utah, two in Nebraska,
some in Iowa and some in Wisconsin.
After he quit work in the sawmill, he became mail carrier
from Millville to Graham. From 1892 to 1899 he carried
mail most of the time and much of the time he carried it
afoot. After a time the mail route was extended to Turkey
River and he moved to that place in 1898. Many times he
had to walk the ridge roads and go more miles, as the
river would be too deep to ford and there were no
bridges. When the mail was extra heavy or a batch of
missent mail was loaded on to him, he felt like dumping
the whole sack into the water. Through slush and mud he
has some thrilling experiences to relate. When he was
late he was reported to the inspector and docked on his
wages, so he resigned in 1899 and moved to Cassville.
His stay in Cassville was short and he soon returned to
Graham, where he and his wife, who was 65 years old the
28th of last February, live by themselves in their little
In the fall of 1929 they thought best to give up
housekeeping and make their home with some of their
children, who are able and more than willing to share
their homes with them, but they soon became homesick and
returned to their home where they expect to end their
Every day in summer that he is able to be about, Chet, as
he is familiarly called by all, will be seen with an ax,
push plow, oe or this two wheeled cart, busy at
~The Clayton County Register, August 14, 1930
*Note: His name is more commonly spelled Newton in
Newton Chester 'Chet' Shappell Obituary
Jackson 'Jack' Smith
by Morga Bolsinger
Andrew Jackson Smith, son of Samuel and Elizabeth
Smith, was one of a family of two boys and six girls. His
father was born in Pennsylvania and his mother came from
Kentucky. He was born near Colesburg, Iowa, Feb 1, 1851.
When he was sixteen years old his mother gave birth to
twin girls and died. The twins, Inez and Anis, were
adopted by Levi and Ann Springer and lived with them till
their marriage to sons of Thos. Radabaugh. Both were
married the same day and live at Kalispel, Mont. One
sister lives in Minnesota, one brother and three sisters
He was married to Elizabeth Kauffman, Jan. 1, 1874, and
with the exception of two years has spent all his life in
Millville Twp., Clayton county, Iowa.
Before his marriage, about 1872, he went to Norfolk,
Nebr., and stayed two years. In 1880 he bought the farm
where he now resides and moved there. He has builded
himself a barn and a good house and is nicely situated in
his old age.
For many years his wife was afflicted with abdominal
dropsy, and had to be operated upon frequently. On Dec.
31, 1929, she had her forty-ninth operation, but weakened
by the disease and old age, she died a few hours after
About twenty-one years ago one of Mrs. Smith's sisters
died and left some children. One of these, Marie, was
taken into the Jack Smith home and cared for. She married
Fred Rosenweig and stayed on with her foster parents to
care for them in their hours of need.
He also followed farming as an occupation, but now finds
enjoyment in the companionship of two sons of the
Rosenweigs. His health is the best it has been for years
and he looks forward with hope to a ripe old age.
~The Clayton County Register, August 7, 1930
Obituary of Andrew Jackson 'Jack' Smith
by Esther Voss
In the four generation picture are:
Mrs. Mary Stiefel, her daughter, Mrs. C. Schnepf,
granddaughter, Mrs. Elsie Thomas, and great grandson,
It is with great pleasure that I write the story of
one of Garber's highly respected and dearly loved
citizens, Mrs. Mary Stiefel. She was born in Mearto,
Germany, Dec. 6, 1841. She, with several friends made her
way across the vast spaces of the Atlantic to America.
She was married to Christian Stiefel, who was also a
native of Germany, on Oct. 8, 1859, in Bucks county,
Spinnervile, Pa. They journeyed to Iowa in the year 1862
in which state they decided to make their home. By hard
work and careful economy they accumulated enough capital
to rent their first farm in Jefferson township,
undergoing all the hardships of pioneering and benefiting
by every opportunity offered in the new land.
Mrs. Stiefel distinctly remembers of buying three dozen
eggs for ten cents, also 2½ pounds of butter for ten
cents. She bought calico for 40 cents a yard. With a
neighbor they traded a revolver for a hog and five pigs,
a musket for a cow and a calf, and one of the neighbor
ladies traded with Mrs. Stiefel, giving her 12 chickens
and a rooster for a calico dress. Thus you can see how
hard it was to get clothing.
Mrs. Stiefel used tallow candles for lights. Their first
home was a log cabin, the openings between the logs were
plastered shut with clay, the furniture was mostly all
home made. They used a trunk for their first table.
Mrs. Stiefel tells of an incident that was very amusing -
one day while hauling a load of wheat to the mill at
Guttenberg with a team of oxen, having arrived at the
foot of the Guttenberg hill, the oxen saw another team of
oxen drinking at a pond of water, in less time than it
takes to tell it, her oxen were also at the pond drinking
and the oxen refused to go any farther. Mrs. Stiefel knew
the driver of the other team so he tried to get them
started with no success so he told Mrs. Stiefel to stay
there and as soon as he had his wheat unloaded he would
return and help her. She waited for a while and then
decided to walk to Guttenberg. On hearing a noise she
looked up and saw her team of oxen coming along as nice
as you please.
Mrs. Stiefel did a lot of farm work with oxen. The oxen
did not have a harness but only had a yoke with two tugs.
The oxen would always follow a road but had to be led
when there was no path.
Mr. and Mrs. Stiefel celebrated their golden wedding in
Garber in the year 1909 with all of the living children
and grandchildren present. They also celebrated their
60th wedding anniversary.
This home was saddened when the husband and father died
on April 23, 1923. Mrs. Stiefel is enjoying good health
and is making her home with her daughter and son-in-law,
Mr. and Mrs. C. Schnepf.
Mrs. Stiefel loves flowers and is never so happy as when
busy caring for them or when her many friends call on
She had the four generation picture taken, with her is
her daughter, Mrs. C. Schnepf, her granddaughter, Mrs.
Elsie Thomas, and her great grandson, Richard Thomas.
Mrs. Stiefel celebrated her 89th birthday on Dec. 6,
~The Clayton County Register, June 12, 1930
Maria (Mueller) Stiefel Obituary
by Clothilda Stroschien
Mrs. Margaret Tujetsch was born at New Orleans, La.,
Jan. 12, 1850. On May 5, 1850, her parents came to Iowa
and located two miles west of Guttenberg on a farm. She
attended St. Mary's school at Guttenberg.
May 22, 1871, she was united in marriage to Christian
Tujetsch of Elkader who was born in Tiellers, Granbinden,
Switzerland, Oct. 16, 1839, and came to America in 1860,
and located near Elkader. They had 12 children. Three
preceded them in death.
Those living are Joe of Elkader, Fred of Union City, Pa.,
George of Ocana, Cal., Mrs. J.J. Meyer of Garnavillo
township, Mrs. Joe Dozler of Elgin, Nebr., Mrs. P.J.
Leibel of Burke, S.D., Mrs. Wm. Stroschein of West Haven,
Mrs. Henry Stroschein of Elkport and Mary Tujetsch of
After their marriage they lived three years on a farm
five miles west of Elkader on the Volga City road. From
there they moved to Guttenberg where Mr. Tujetsch worked
seven years in the saw mill owned by Joe Zimmerman. After
that they moved on a farm located three miles west of
Guttenberg, where they remained until 15 years ago, when
they moved two miles east of Garnavillo. They remained
there but two years, then moved to Elkport where Mr.
Tujetsch died on March 12, 1926.
After his death she made her home with her daughter, Mrs.
Henry Stroschein, until Feb. 1, 1930, when she became
seriously ill and was taken to the home of Mrs. Wm.
Stroschein of West Haven, where she is enjoying the
remainder of her life. She is a faithful member of St.
Michael's parish of Garber.
~The Clayton County Register, June 19, 1930
Margaret (Seidel) Tujetsch Obituary
by Mrs. O.H. Berens
Wood - A gathering of unusual interest took place
Sunday, June 29, at the basement of the Wood church, when
about seventy relatives and friends met together to help
Mr. and Mrs. B.F. Wessel celebrate their 20th wedding
anniversary, also to honor Mrs. Lena Wessel, mother of
John and Ben Wessel of this place, in the celebration of
her 89th birthday, which occurred June 22, 1930.
Mrs. Lena Wessel, or "Grandma Wessel" as she is
more commonly known, was born 89 years ago at Hanover,
Germany, and after her arrival in this country at an
early date, has spent the greater part of her married
life near Colesburg. After the death of her husband she
spent 19 years with her son and family, Mr. and Mrs. Gus
Wessel at Colesburg. Since the death of her son she makes
her home with her children. She is now passing the summer
in the John Wessel home.
"Grandma" Wessel now, aside from being a little
deaf, enjoys remarkable health for one of her year and
also possesses a very keen and active mind, which, with
her pleasant smile and her large knowledge of life, makes
her a very interesting character.
After a wonderful "wedding and birthday dinner"
at noon the group enjoyed a short program consisting of a
solo, "God's Greatest Gift," by a
granddaughter, Cora Wessel, and a little grandson, Bobby
Wessel, sang, "That Wonderful Mother of Mine,"
substituting 'grandma' for mother. Rev. A.H. Meyer gave a
very interesting short talk and all joined in the song
[illegible]. The rest of the day was spent in visiting
and taking snapshots of various groups.
Those who were present at this gathering were: A
granddaughter, Mrs. Helen Widdel, and son Duane of
Fenton, who is visiting relatives here at this time; Mr.
and Mrs. George Schiendecker and daughter Virginia, Mr.
Godfrey Schiendecker, Miss Olena Wessel, and Mr. and Mrs.
George Breckmeyer of Charles City; Mr. and Mrs. Herman
Woeste, Mr. and Mrs. Harvey Woeste and son Dale of
Earlville; Mr. and Mrs. Fred Woeste and family of
Greeley; Mr. and Mrs. Lawrence Gienapp of Waterloo; Mr.
and Mrs. Watson Gull and Russell Gull, Cora and Bobby
Wessel, Mr. and Mrs. Donald Wessel and children, Betty,
Phylis and Garlyn, of Colesburg; Mr. and Mrs. Been Wessel
and ten children, Viola, Vera, Elsie, Laura, Edna,
Clifford, Lloyd, Doris and the twins Wayne and Willard;
Mr. and Mrs. John Wessel; Grandma Wessel; Mr. and Mrs.
Irving Wessel and daughter Leona; Mr. and Mrs. Howard
Wessel and sons Harlyn and Eugene; Mr. and Mrs. John
Kraus; Mr. and Mrs. Harley Kraus; Mr. and Mrs. Fred
Friedley and grandson Marvin; Mr. and Mrs. Brockmeyer;
Mr. and Mrs. Edward VonTalge and son Donald; Mr. and Mrs.
O.H. Berens and daughter, Helen; Mr. and Mrs. [illegible]
Meyer; Nick Moser; Mrs. Anna Rulon and Mrs. H. Berens.
The whole community join in wishing for these worthy
people many more such happy events.
~The Clayton County Register, July 10, 1930
Helena 'Lena' Wessel Obituary
by Mrs. C.E. Lovell
Walter Myron Wilbur was born in Randolph, Mass., April
16, 1847. His early life was spent in the eastern state.
At the time of the Civil war he was very anxious to
enlist, having three brothers in active service. They
refused to take him on accounty of his youth and he
became the sole support of a widowed mother and two
Two weeks before his twenty-first birthday he came to
Iowa, arriving at Marshalltown. He came to this state
with his brother and family, who later returned to the
east. Two brothers remained here, George later became a
lawyer at Gladbrook, Iowa. Walter made his home with
George for about 15 years, during which time they
operated a farm in partnership.
Walter and his brother George built the first frame
building in the pretty little town of Gladbrook. George
named the town for the little brook which flowed through
the town site. As one of the early pioneers of Iowa they
suffered many hardships, with only few railroads, travel
being mostly by wagon, and a carriage considered a
luxury. In those early days they cut their grain with a
cradle. The first reaper they had was a self rake, this
cut the grain which then had to be raked up and bound by
He was married at Gladbrook, Sept. 15, 1885, to Mrs.
Jennie Catton, a widow with two children. Two children
were born to this union, Frank Otis of Independence and
Ina Jane, now Mrs. Frank Oldfather near Volga City.
The aged parents sold their farm and have made their home
with their daughter for over 17 years. Mr. and Mrs.
Walter Wilbur are facing the sunset of life at the age of
83 and 79 years. They have been members of the Methodist
church a great many years. Mr. Wilbur has been a regular
attendant at Sunday school and church as long as he was
able. He now helps with the chores around the house and
barn, although quite feeble. He continued to drive his
horse to Volga City until about six months ago when it
was considered unsafe to let him [remainder of sentence
~The Clayton County Register, May 29th or May
30, 1930 (different dates on the two pages of the
Walter Myron Wilbur Obituary
by Lila Minkler
One day recently the writer went to the home of the
subject of this sketch to interview her for this story
and was much impressed to meet and talk to a woman of
such advanced age who has kept up with the times and is
such an engaging conversationalist. We enjoyed the half
hour spent in ther cosy home and feel that the younger
generation are the losers when they do not take time from
the rush and whirl of this rapid age to call on our
worthy elders and listen to their memories as they tell
of their rich experiences of a by-gone day.
Mary Burdine Woolridge* will be 95 years old this fall,
she was born in La Grange county, Indiana, Nov. 28, 1835,
and came here with her parents, Mr. and Mrs. Isaac
Burdine, when a very young child.
On the third of July, 1856, she married John A. Woolridge
and the new home was established in the Ashbury
community. Later they moved to a place on Bear Creek
where Mr. Woolridge was employed as a cooper, which is
the trade name for a man who made barrels, by a man named
Taft. At this place their first two children were born.
Mr. Woolridge enlisted in the Civil War and was honorably
discharged at its close. During this time the wife and
mother had the family to feed and care for and all the
hardships of that day had to be faced and conquered. At
this time Mrs. Woolridge purchased a cow and a calf for
which she paid the sum of $25. This was a great help in
feeding her little ones.
Shortly after Mr. Woolridge returned from the was, the
cow fell off the bank of a creek and broke her neck.
Another calf was bought and with the one they already
had, made a young ox team which was used to haul timber
for the manufacture of barrels.
Later the farm now owned by Mrs. Lucy Wait Adams was
purchased and the family lived there until 1885 when they
moved to Edgewood where Mr. Woolridge followed his trade
as a cooper. In 1900 they again made a move, this time to
Oelwein, where Mr. Woolridge passed away in 1917. Mrs.
Woolridge continued to live in Oelwein for a few years
after the death of her husband, about 20 years in all,
then came back to this place and has lived in the Story
house for the past seven years.
When the Woolridge family moved to town in 1886, they
built the house and barn which is just east of the C.J.
Rulon home and is now owned by Charles Beddow.
Mrs. Woolridge is a member of the M.E. church here at
this time. When their home was on Bear Creek they
attended the Baptist Church of which Elder N.W. Bixby was
Eight children were born in this home, six of whom are
living. One child, Charles, died in infancy, and John
Archer, who was a well known and respected farmer living
north of town, died in 1924. The other children are: Mrs.
Melisa Jane Dowd of California, Francis Irving, or Frank
as he is called in Edgewood, Willis Sheldon of Cedar
Rapids, Otis T. of Clear Lake, Mrs. Ellen Brewer of
Waterloo, and Jessie Edward of Leavenworth, S.D.
This very interesting lady has watched the growth of this
community throughout the years, watched the timer lands
give way to fertile fields of corn, has ween the wagon
trail, where now in place of the covered wagon, a
constant stream of automobiles whirl along and she often
hears the hum of an airplane.
Because of failing eyesight, reading is difficult for her
and her son Frank is a frequent visitor in her home, as
is also her daughter-in-law, Mrs. Eva Woolridge and her
son Earl, and the memories of a long and useful life come
to keep her company as she walks through the twilight
~The Clayton County Register, October 2, 1930
Mary (Burdine) Wooldridge Obituary
*Note: Although the spelling Woolridge is used throughout
the biography, her obituary and her gravestone spell the
family surname as Wooldridge.