Families (2)

Browns, Sugar Creek and Riggs, Waterford Township, Clinton County, Iowa

Compiled by Lorraine Houghton and Marilu Thurman, updated August 2006.
Thank you so much to Lorraine and Marilu for sending this information to us. 

The Derganz Family

Antone Derganz came from Austria. He was born in 1891 and died in 1978. Antone J. Derganz married Mary Banowetz in 1915 in Sugar Creek. They had four children.

The Determan Family

Several Determan brothers and sisters immigrated around 1845 to the United States, from Lengerich, Kreis Lingen, Hanover, Germany. The families first settled around Galena, Illinois and then moved to Clinton County, Iowa. From the census records of 1850, 1860 and 1870 it is apparent that the Determan family all lived on farms next to or close to each other in Clinton County. John Henry, Bernard Clement and Benedict Richard are all in Clinton County in the 1850 census.

The old Determan settlement was northwest of old "Lyons" in Hampshire Township. Josie Krogman, a Determan descendant, wrote the following paragraph. "The Determan Settlement was an acre of land that Clemens Determan donated for a Catholic German school to be a branch of St. Boniface church, where German and religion had to be taught. All around the community there were Determan's or people related to the Determans. They built a school first and hired a man teacher first, as I heard, then female teachers, but they had to teach German. Then they built a dance hall, a saloon and a shed for the horses and held 3 or 4 dances in the summer to pay for teachers. I taught school there for three years (1915 - 1918) and shortly after that it went back to the owner of that farm, which my father-in-law bought from George Determan, which was one of Clemens sons."

John Henry Determan, born in 1804, married Catherine Eilerman in Germany in 1831. Catherine must have died shortly after this date, as John Henry married Maria Anna Kimmann. According to family records provided by a family member, John Henry Determan was known locally as "Butcher Henry" because "he could butcher hogs faster than anyone else in the area. He also acted as a midwife at times." Can you imagine such a combination of talents, but those were the pioneer days. John and Maria’s daughter Catherine married John Borman, a son of Mathias and Helena Bormann.

Bernard "Clemens" Determan, born in 1815, married Maria Anna Sander in 1841 in Lengerich. In 1845 they immigrated to America with their two children, Johann Joseph (Joseph J.) (see more information below) and Johann "Clemens" and settled in Galena, Illinois. Two more children were born there. About 1849 they moved to the Determan Settlement, where eight more children were born. Maria died January 1, 1860, about 2 weeks after the birth of her youngest son, Steven Bernhard "Barney", on December 15, 1859. At that time, Maria’s brother and his daughter, also named Maria Anna Sander, were working in the Determan home. "Clemens" soon married his wife’s niece, Maria Anna Sander. With the second wife, he had ten more children, for a total of 22 children, three of which died in infancy.

Joseph J. Determan, the son of Bernard "Clemens" was born August 9, 1841 in Germany. He immigrated with his parents in 1845. Joseph Determan settled in the Sugar Creek area, east of the church, and was the only one of nineteen children to remain in Clinton County. His wife, Catherine Bormann, daughter of Mathias and Helena Bormann, was born about 1845 in Prussia. Their children were Ellen, who married Frank Jost; Mathias, who married Ella Kerwin, and after her death married Carolina Droste (more information below); Barbara, who married Joe Jost; Mary Ann, who married Pete Neu; Eva, who married Charles Franke; Elisabeth, who married John Franke; Catherine, who married Frank Cash; John Joseph, who married Marie Mertens (more information below); and Ann, who married Frank Spain. Ellen, the oldest, was born about 1866, we believe they would have settled in Browns around that time.

Mathias Determan, born in 1868, was married to Ella Kerwin and had a son, Edward who married Loretta Spain. Mathias’ wife, Ella, died and he was later married to Carolina Droste. Matt lived in a house on the north side of 110th street, at the top of the hill, east of the Sugar Creek church. They lived in one of the Gordon Van Tine mail order, precut houses. This two-story house, with a front porch is still there. They had seven children.

John Joseph Determan, born in 1882, married Marie Mertens and had four children. The John Determan family lived on what was later known as the Roling farm, between Matt Determan’s property and the Sugar Creek church.

Benedict "Dict" Determan, born in 1829, married Christina Engelcamp, and lived in the Determan Settlement. Their daughter Mary "Caroline" married Jake Bormann, a son of Mathias and Helena Bormann. Benedict "Dict" Determan died at the age of 39 years. After his death, his wife Christina married John Joseph (Sneador Joe) Determan, a son of Bernard Hinrich Determan, who was a brother of her deceased husband.

The Elsner Family

The earliest documents on this family have not yet been searched via LDS records. I have recorded the information available from obituaries, the Jackson County museum and through the recollections of my mother, and my grandmother Minnie Elsner Teshak and other Elsner grandchildren. Further information was found in census records and passenger lists by Marilu Thurman.

About 1855, Charles and his bride Marianna came to rural Maquoketa, a place called Pin Hook. They were married in 1854 in Marquette, Michigan. Charles’ brother William Ernest immigrated in 1855 with their parents, Godfried and Maria Elsner. W. Ernst, born about 1839, married Elizabeth Willard on 5/15/1866 in Jackson County. He was a saloon keeper in Maquoketa. W. Ernst and Elizabeth had the following children: Charles, Ernst A, Rosa, Norman, Otto, George and Leo.

Charles was born about 1825. He married Mariana Reis. Charles, a Civil War Veteran, built a home in Maquoketa prior to 1861 at 318 Eliza Street. According to the 1880 census, Charles’ children were all born in Iowa. They were: Frank (b. 1855), Augustas (b.1858, August - more detail in following paragraph) and Mary (b. 1860). Mary was a seamstress for the "well-to-do" folks of the city. Frank ran a boarding house.

August Elsner married Francisca Deppe of Springbrook, Jackson County, Iowa. They lived north of Springbrook in a limestone house. Her dad was Caspar Deppe, born in l8l6 in Prussia. Her mother, Josephine Altfilisch was born in Germany in l833. August and Francisca were to have eight children. Their children were: Mary (Wilhelmina - known as Minnie), John, August (Gus), Josie, Clarence Charles (Charlie), Louis George, William (Willie), and Mary Magdalena (Marie). This narrative tells about these children who were left without a parent at an early age and of the connection of some of these children to Browns, Iowa.

August Elsner died at the age of 41. August had gone to the doctor in Maquoketa complaining of a severe pain. The doctor said he had a ruptured appendix, and August died right there in the office. His wife, Frances, was seven months with child, Marie, in her womb. Frances had a most difficult time for months ahead of the birth. Francis was to lose her life in the birthing of Marie. Now there were eight children left without parents.

The four youngest Elsner children including the baby, Marie; Willie (age 1); Louie (age 2) and Charlie (age 5) were taken to Maquoketa to live at the home of their Aunt Mary Elsner. Mary took care of Marie and the three boys. Mary Elsner, in addition to caring for the children, was a seamstress, sewing clothes for the Maquoketa Rice Opera House cast. Mortimer Rice owned the Rice Opera House, which was located over his Dry Goods Store.

The two older sons of August and Frances Elsner, August, Jr. Elsner (age l3), and John Elsner (age l5), went to live with and help their uncle, Lawrence Deppe, on his farm. The oldest sister, Minnie Elsner, who was already "working out" as a "hired girl" at the time of the death of her parents, continued her job for about two years until her marriage to Martin Teshak Jr. of Sugar Creek. After Martin and Minnie’s marriage, Minnie’s brothers, August and John Elsner moved in with them. So Minnie, now l9 years of age, and two years after the death of her parents, and newly wed to Martin, started her married life with Martin in their first home in Fairfield Township with an instant family. A short time later, Minnie’s Aunt Mary did not have room for the three smaller boys, Willie, Louie and Charlie, because there were three sewing women boarding with her. The three boys then joined Martin and Minnie and the two teenage boys.

Martin and Minnie Teshak eventually had their own four girls, in addition to the Elsner children. The whole group would walk to the one room schoolhouse together. The teacher could not understand why some of the children had Elsner names and some had Teshak names. The older boys were already working away from the Teshak’s home.

Josie Elsner had gone to live with the Religious Sisters in Bellevue at the time of the death of Frances Elsner, the wife of August. Josie remained with them, serving all the sisters and priests in Bellevue for her entire lifetime. She would get one week off a year to visit her sister, Minnie, at the Teshak farm.

John Lawrence Elsner was born Nov. 11, 1884. John Elsner worked for families around Sugar Creek. John married Elizabeth A. Timmer. They raised their family of eleven children in the Sugar Creek area. The children are: Bernard, Lawrence, Joseph, Marie Anna (Lawrence Roling), Edward (Christine Christianson), Aloysius (Genevieve DeCook), Sylvester, Barbara, Catherine, Irene, and Gertrude (John Grandick)

August Elsner also worked for families around Sugar Creek, and eventually married Barbara Jacklovitch, of Browns. Barbara had a sister named Theresa (Sister Stanislaus) and a brother Matthew Jacklovitch, who worked at a Boehmer farm at some time. At times, Theresa lived with August and Barbara. August and Barbara had the following children: Vernard John (Katherine Fuegen), Rosemary, Laura (known as Loretta), Theresa (Albert Hankemeier) and Ray Joseph (Vera Schlarmann).

Charles Elsner married Lena Franzen and had children. I have these names recorded, but am unsure if it is complete--Francis Marie, Clarence Charles, and Genevieve. Clarence Charles Elsner’s granddaughters provided this information to me.

William (Willie) Elsner went to study at the Palmer Chiropractic College in Davenport, Iowa, and earned his degree as a Doctor of Chiropractic Medicine. He practiced in Wisconsin, but worked in the construction trade to supplement his income, during the depression. He married a "Genevieve" from Springbrook and had a son Richard. Richard was to be without a father when Willie working on a bridge in Madison, Wisconsin, lost his footing and fell to his death.

Marie Elsner also studied at the Palmer Chiropractic College in Davenport, Iowa, and earned her degree as a Doctor of Chiropractic Medicine. Marie practiced a little in Wisconsin and for many years in Maquoketa. Marie and her brother Louie remained unmarried.

The Engler Family

In 1860 Paul and Crescentia Engler were living in Concord Township, Dubuque County, Iowa, and Paul was a merchant. In the 1870 census they were living in Center Township, Clinton County and Paul was a farmer. In the 1880 census they were living in Charlotte, Waterford Township and Paul was a farmer. Paul was born in 1826 in Germany and died in 1883. Crescentia was born 1830 in Germany and died in 1884. They are both buried at St. Joseph’s. Paul’s father, Theodore, was also living with them in the 1860 and 1870 census. Theodore died about 1870. Paul and Crescentia had the following children: John, who married Helena Neuhaus, daughter of Alois and Eva Borman Neuhaus; Joseph; George; Jacob and Margaret who married Matt Borman, son of Jacob and Caroline Dettermann Borman.

The Fehring Family

Henrich and Gertude (Lampe) Fehring were living in Fairfield Township, Jackson County, in the 1860 census. Henrich was born in 1826 and Gertrud in 1838. Henrich immigrated in 1859. In the 1870 census they are living in Waterford Township, Clinton County. Their children were: Henry, Catherine, Louis, Anton, Peter, Johann, Maria Adelheid (Alice), and Maria Katherine (Mary).

Catherine married Herman Assenmacher, son of Nicholas. Alice, married Matt Borman, son of August, and they moved to Missouri

The Fier Family

Anton Fier was born in Suhor, Austria about 1864. Later this was part of Yugoslavia, and now Slovenia. Anton immigrated about 1885. He married Mary Perion, born in 1870 in Iowa, daughter of Andrew and Mary Perion, about 1891 in Sugar Creek, Iowa. They settled in the Riggs area, located about a mile southwest of Browns. They had the following children: Loretta, who married Frank Zeiser; Adeline, who married Frank Boehmer and settled in Parkston, South Dakota; Leo; who married Clara Holdgrafer; Edward who married Lena Holdgrafer; Raymond, who married Margaret Bondick; Veronica, who married Ben Determan and Francis, who married Inga Christensen. Anton died in 1952 and Mary died in 1935.

When the railroad was no longer in use, the Riggs depot was loaded on a flatbed and hauled to the Fier farm, where it was used by Frances Fier as a cattle shed. The Riggs School is still standing, but has not been in use for some time.

The Franzen Family

William Franzen of Furstenau, Hanover, Germany married Katherine, who was born in 1806 and died in 1873, as Sugar Creek Cemetery records indicate. We have not found the marriage record of William and Katherine, but Katherine’s tombstone in Sugar Creek indicates she was the wife of William. The 1860 census of Fairfield Township, Jackson County, shows William Francis (Franzen) age 24 from Hanover, living with Catherine Francis (Franzen) age 57 also from Hanover. Also living with them were Fred and Sophia Schmedika. The 1870 Fairfield Township, Jackson County census shows Catherine living with William and Christina. William, Sr. must have passed on before 1860. The 1880 census shows Sophia and Fred Schmedika as neighbors of the Franzen’s. At this point we don’t know of the other children in the family, but William Franzen, born in Furstenau on March 31, 1835 immigrated in 1854 with his parents, who we believe are William and Katherine.

William Franzen (b. 1835) worked in the lead mines near Galena, Illinois until 1859, when he moved to the area near Browns in Jackson County. He married Christina Boehmer, daughter of Johannes and Eva Ernst Boehmer who had emigrated from Helmern, Germany. The marriage date in the Ray Banowetz records is October 25, 1859. Christina Boehmer, is shown in the 1860 Prairie Springs Township, Jackson County census, living with her father John Bymer (Boehmer) age 46, her mother Mary (age 45), Anton (age 22), Therese (age 19), Christine (age 18) name? (age 10), August (age 9), Louis (age 7), and William (age 5). William Franzen received his citizenship papers 12/20/1859 in Bellevue, Jackson County, Iowa. It appears that the Franzen family first moved to Browns, then William married Christina Boehmer, and after that, the rest of the Boehmer family moved to Browns. He farmed in the Browns area for 25 years, and upon retiring from farming, moved into Browns where he had a large apple orchard and garden. After the death of his wife, William lived with one of his sons for fourteen years. William Franzen, according to Ray Banowetz’ records raised Mary Boehmer, who met and married a Bell "Morris."

The children of William Franzen and Christina Boehmer were: John, who married Elizabeth Schmidt; Katherine, who married Mathias Banowetz; Mary, who married Nickolas Schaltz (Schultz); Joseph, who married Elizabeth Plendle; Theresa; Aloysius, who married Mary Zeiser; William, who married Anne Zeiser; Henry, who married Mary A. Trenkamp and Christina. Theresa died at age 14 and Christina died as an infant.

.After Henry Nurre donated the ground to the church, William Franzen helped with the business of church affairs in order to get a church built for Sunday worship. Before the church was built, William led the church service with the "Rosary" at the home of Henry Nurre. At first, a priest from Clinton, Iowa would only come to Browns once a month.

The Frett Families

Nicholas Frett married Elisabeth; both were from Oltenhausen, Germany. Elizabeth immigrated about 1859; we don’t have a date for Nicholas. In the 1860 census they were living in Peru Township, Dubuque County and in 1870 they were in Fairfield Township, Jackson County. In 1880 Elizabeth was living in Waterford Township. Nicholas died in 1873 and Elizabeth in 1901. They are buried at St. Joseph’s. Their children were Anna (who married John Grossman), William, Elizabeth, John (see below), Peter who married Josie Brown, (who married William Koch when Peter died, and adopted Francis Koch who married Margaret Banowetz – See Banowetz Families), and Nicholas. The first 2-3 children were born in Dubuque County. William never married and in the 1910 census he was living with his sister, Eliz and her husband Mike Peters in Hinton, Plymouth County, Iowa. Nicholas, Jr. died in 1884.

John Frett married Caroline Bormann. They had the following children: August, who married Veronica Reuter; Mathew, who married Florence Reis; Nick, who married Anna Schreiber; Barbara, who married Thomas Lochner; Joseph, who married Bernadette Engler (granddaughter of Helena Neuhaus and John Engler); Mike, Bernard, who married Elizabeth Reuter; Frank, who married Amelia Nissen; Victor, who married Annabelle Scheckel and a son John that died in 1915.

The Frett home is directly north of the original Louis Boehmer home. The Frett home was off to the west of 320th Avenue, a short distance south of the intersection with 100th Street

The Fuegen Family

John and Mary Fuegen and 9 children came to the United States in 1887 from France. One more child was born in the United States. Their children were: Emil, Frank, John (died as a child), Ida, Charles, Mary Ann, Catherine, John, Joseph, Magdelena (died as a child), Louise and Rose.

Their oldest son Emil Fuegen married Josephine Underberg, the daughter of Bernard Underberg and Catherine Brown. Their children were: Leo (see next paragraph) Arnold, who married Dorothy Wieska; Edmund, who married Helen Catherine Herwath; Valeria; Hilda, who married Errol Shanklin; Aloysius; Wilbert, who married Edna Quick and Coleta, who married Lysle Hartley.

Leo Fuegen married Josephine Banowetz. He was the only Fuegen to stay around Sugar Creek. Leo and Josephine had eight children.

Their daughter Mary Ann Fuegen married John Sterbenz. (Children in the Sterbenz history.)

The Gard Family

According to census records, William Gard immigrated about 1857 from Germany. In the 1860 census they were living in Peru Township, Dubuque County, and they moved to Fairfield Township about 1866. William and Mary were living in Fairfield Township in the 1870 and 1880 census. In the 1880 census they had 9 children, and the 1895 census lists 2 more.

William died in 1907 and Mary in 1891 and they are buried at Sugar Creek.

Peter, born about 1859 in Dubuque County;

Elizabeth, born about 1860 in Dubuque County, married Louis Boehmer;

Mary, born about 1862 in Dubuque County, married Mathias Buthala;

William, born about 1864 in Dubuque County;

Anna, born about 1866, married Frank Buthala;

John, born about 1869;

Maria, born about 1871;

Lena, born about 1876;

Mathias, born about 1879;

Katherine, born about 1881;

Maggie, born about 1883.

The German/Jerman Family

Mathias German was born about 1828 in Austria and immigrated about 1860. He married Catherine Persha, born about 1834 in Austria, on Nov 1, 1871, probably in Sugar Creek. According to the 1880 census they had the following children, all born in Iowa: Catherine born 1872, Mary born 1876, and Anna born 1878.

The Gollobitch Families

In the 1870 census there were 3 Gollobitch men in Waterford Township. John and Jacob were brothers, and Matt. They were all from Austria. John was the oldest, born about 1833. He married Rosa, also from Austria. In the 1870 census his mother and brother Jacob were also living with him. By 1880 John and Rosa had moved to Shelby County, Iowa, where there were also people from Gottschee, Austria living.

Jacob Gollobitch was born about 1838 and was a farmer. He immigrated about 1865. He married Annie Adams, born about 1845 in Tanzberg, Austria, in 1872, probably in Sugar Creek. Their children were born in Iowa and they are as follows, according to census records:

Mary, born Dec. 1872; Jacob, born Aug. 1874; John, born about 1876; Joseph, born Oct 1879; Mathias; Peter, born Feb. 1882; and Annie, born Mar. 1887. Mary married Martin Stuckel about 1897. Martin was born about 1874 and immigrated about 1894.

Mathias Gollobitch was born about 1848 and was in the merchandise business. He married Mary Ann Pinter, born about 1856 in Austria. Their children were, according to the census records: Annie, Mathias, Mary, John and Rosa. In 1882 Matt was the postmaster in Riggs and owned a general store.

The Grossman Family

John and Catherine (Gard) Grossman came to the USA about 1872 and settled in Fairfield Township, Jackson County. In the 1880 census they were enumerated next to William Gard. Their children William, b. 1850; John, born 1852; Catherine, born 1856; Anna, born 1860; Nicholas, born 1861; and Franklin, born 1863, were all born in Germany. John, Sr. was born in 1830 and died in 1905, and Catherine was born in 1821 and died in 1892. In the 1900 census John is living in Fairfield with his son Frank. John and Catherine are both buried at Sugar Creek.

William married Margaret Eggli and they had moved to Delmar by the 1900 census. Their children were Appolonia, John, George, Eugene Francis, Elizabeth, and Catherine. Elizabeth was a nurse and in later years she lived with William and Josie Kock, and took care of Josie. Eugene Francis was a Hollywood sound designer for motion picture and TV. Since I found this out, I have seen his name in the old movie credits. Grossman Hall, associated with St. Patrick’s Church in Delmar is named after Eugene Grossman, who donated the funds to build it. William, Sr. was deceased by 1920.

John married Anna Frett. Anna was born in Dubuque County, Iowa in 1859, the daughter of Nicolas and Elizabeth. John and Anna moved to Stevens County, Minnesota and were there in the 1900 census. They lived near Moville in Woodbury County for a time before they moved to Minnesota. Their children were John, Frank, Katie, Anna, John Nicholas, Michael and William. William was born after they moved to Minnesota.

Catherine Grossman married August Heinrich Boehmer and they moved to South Dakota. Their children are in the Boehmer story.

I think Nick married Elizabeth. Nick died in 1896 and Elizabeth died in 1885. They had three children, Catherine, Agnes and John. John died in 1882.

By 1910 John’s brother Franklin was also living in Stevens County, Minnesota. Frank married Susanna and they children were Nick, August, Frank, Peter, John and Nick.


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