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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 Herwath/Horvat Family
John Herwath, born in 1845, married Catherina Buthala in Austria on June 12, 1868. Catherine, born in 1841 in Dolenja Paka #10, was the daughter of Joseph and Catherine Buthala. Census records indicate they came to America about 1882 and had two children. Their son, John, born in 1882, married Mary (Mame) Assenmacher and their daughter Mary married Matthew Nemanich.

John and Mary’s children were Marie C, who married Francis Driscoll; Veronica Elizabeth, who married Wilford Skoff; Joseph Clem, born in 1916, who married Isabelle Richmond and Rosemary, who married Verl Skoff.

Joseph Herwath, born about 1853, married Annie Sterbenz, daughter of George and Mary, April 9, 1888 in Sugar Creek. In 1900 they were living in Fairfield Township. Annie was born about 1858 and died in 1902 leaving Joseph with several small children to care for. Their children were: Anna, Mary, John, Barbara, Katie and Helen. Barbara married Bernard Rickerl in 1915 in South Dakota. They are buried in Dell Rapids, SD. Barbara and Bernard’s children were Norbert, Jerome, Dale and Arnold. Helen Catherine Herwath married Edmund Fuegen, the son of Emil Fuegen and Josephine Underberg. They lived in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, but are buried at Sugar Creek.
John and Joseph are brothers and were born in Otovec #7; parents were Johan Horvat and Meta Mulih.


The Jaklitsch Family

George Jaklitsch was born in Unterdeutschau #13, Austria about 1845. He married Margaret Kobetitsch, born about 1845 in Warmberg #10, Austria. According to the census records, their children were born in Iowa and are as follows: John, Michael, George, Theresa, Mathias and Francis. Three sons, George, John and Mathias died in September and October of 1885 from smallpox and are buried at Sugar Creek. George and Margaret and the remaining children returned to Austria.

The Lamuth Families
George Lamuth was one of the first of the Gottscheers to come to Sugar Creek. One census record says he came here in 1859, but I have not found him in the 1860 census and I searched both Waterford Township and Fairfield Township. He was naturalized in 1864. George was born in Gric #14, Austria, and his mother was a Peschel.

George married Catherine Vogrin in Clinton County and their first son, John, was born about 1865. George, Jr. was born about 1873, daughter Catherine about 1868, Mary was born about 1874, and Anne about 1884. Mary married Andrew Peschel about 1894. They raised their family at Sugar Creek and are buried there. It appears Mary was the only one of the children to marry. John, George and Anne continued living with their parents and I don’t think they ever married. Catherine apparently died young, or if she married, I don’t know to whom. George Sr. and his wife, Catherine, were still alive in the 1920 census, I don’t know their death dates. The only remnant of the George Lamuth farm is a water pump in the field on the north side of 110th Street, just a little east of the intersection with 320th Avenue. The pump is located between the 1st and 2nd house on the north side of the road.

George’s brother John also lived in Waterford Township. He was a farmer near Riggs. John came here about 1865, also from Gric #14. John was married twice, both times before he immigrated. He and his first wife had 2 daughters. Anna died young, and Mary married Joseph Blute (maybe Bluth) and they lived at Pierson, Iowa. John married Mary Styer in Gottschee, and they had 7 children. Sons John and Matt lived in Algona, Iowa. Mary married Marcus Bluth and they moved to Grey Eagle, MN. Anna married Joseph Peschel and they moved to Grey Eagle, MN. 3 children died young. John Sr. died about 1891 and is buried at Sugar Creek. His widow married John Smoke and moved to Gillette, Illinois and that is where she is buried.

The 1892 Farmers directory lists George as a farmer in the Brown's area and John as a farmer near Riggs. 1905 Directory of Farmers and Landowners shows George, George Jr., and John (Lamoth) Lamuth with a Brown’s address.

The Luskey (Loschke) Family

Joseph Luskey was born 14 Jul 1853 at Suchen #2 by Nesseltal, Gottschee, son of Joseph Loschke from Suchen and Margaretha Rom from Bistritz #9. He emigrated about 1871. He married Anna Jerman/Jermen/German about 1878 (probably in Iowa). Anna was born 26 Jul 1859 in Austria, daughter of Michael Jermann and Magdalena Black. She emigrated about 1875.

Joseph died 18 Aug 1939 in Delmar, Clinton Co., Iowa. Anna died 07 Sep 1908. She was thrown from a buggy and crashed her head into a cement abutment. Both are buried on St. Joseph Cemetery, Sugar Creek, IA. Their children were:
Joseph, born @1879 who married Clare Schnierder. Joseph died in 1945.
Matthew, born 1882, never married and died in 1943. Buried at St. Joseph, Sugar Creek.
John Joseph, born 26 Jan 1883 at Brown's Station. He married Catherine Pluth, probably the daughter of Martin Pluth and Maria Peschel, on 26 Oct 1909 in Ward Springs, MN. He died 07 Dec 1945 and is buried in Grey Eagle, Todd County, MN.

Anna Clara, born 28 Jan 1885 in Clinton, IA. She was baptized at Sacred Heart Church in Clinton. She took over the housekeeping after her mother's death in 1908. My grandfather visited his brother and saw this girl doing a woman's work, with no chance to meet young men. He gave her a train ticket to KC. She eventually came for a visit and met John Hurla whom she married 06 Apr 1910. One of the children thinks the marriage took place in Hannibel, KS (there's a Hannibal MO). She and John farmed somewhere and she got lonesome for her family and moved back to Clinton, where she tended her father, his family and her own growing family. She died 15 Oct 1967 at Clinton and is buried in St. Mary's Cemetery there. She and John had 5 children. The eldest born in Kansas City, Wyandotte Co., KS and the other 4 in Petersville, Clinton Co., IA.

Henry was born in September of 1886 and married Loretta Stuckle, probably the daughter of Stephen Stuckel and Mary Skalla, about 1908.
Louis George was born 15 Oct 1893 (named after my grandfather) at Brown's Station. He married Ludwina Franzen on 25 Jan 1927 in the Sugar Creek area. He died 08 Feb 1934 at Charlotte, Clinton Co, IA and was buried in St. Patrick's Cemetery in Delmar.
Frank was born Sep 1896 in Iowa and married Eva Banowetz, daughter of Mathias and Kathryn, on 23 Jan 1929 at Sugar Creek. He died in 1931 and is buried in St. Joseph Cemetery, Sugar Creek.

Antone J. was born September 1897 and married Rose Mary Green Stille on 23 Apr 1924 at DeWitt, Clinton Co, IA
Marie E. was born 01 Jun 1900 at Brown's Station and married Leo Simon Agnitsch on 17 Oct 1922 at Delmar, IA. She died 02 Dec 1960.
Note: Surnames Pluth, Banowetz and Agnitsch and perhaps Stuckle are Gottschee names.
Suppliers of the above information were: Ambrose Agnitsch, Ann Hurla, Lidwina Franzen Reuter (first married to L. G. Luskey); Bernadine Hurla Lang, Dolores Trutna (daughter of John Joseph).

The Maurin Family
Joseph Maurin was born in 1852 in Loka #8 to George Maurin and Anna Loser. Joseph and Appolonia Messerich Teshak were brother and sister. Joseph immigrated in 1873. He married Maria German in January 1880 in Sugar Creek. Shortly after their marriage, they moved to Lyon County, Kansas with 5 other families from Sugar Creek. They had 9 children, all born in Kansas:
Joseph, Mary, Anna, Katie, Barbara, Rosa, Lizzie, John, and Angela Eliz.
Their daughter Mary married Matt Perion and they were living in Delmar, Iowa in the 1920 census. Mary (the mother and a widow) was also living in Delmar in the 1920 census.

The Messerich Family
John (Janiz) Messerich was born June 25, 1848 in Crnomelj # 82, Austria (Slovenia now). He married Appolonia Maurin February 24, 1868 in Loka #8. Appolonia Maurin was born in Loka #8, Austria to George Maurin and Anna Loser. According to the 1880 census in Waterford Township, they were the parents of Mary, born about 1871 in Austria, and John, born about 1877 in Iowa and Joseph, born about 1879 in Iowa. After the death of John Messerich, Appolonia married Martin Teshak, Sr.
Mary Messerich married Martin Jacklovitch about 1890. Mary and Martin Jacklovitch had the following children; Barbara, who married August Elsner; Mathias and Theresa who became a religious nun. The 1900 census says Mary immigrated in 1875, so that is approximately when John and Appolonia came to Iowa.
John Messerich married Carrie Yoerger and had the following children: Wilford, who married Lydia; Herbert, who married Laura Scheckel; Irene, who married Francis Pieffer; Laura, who married John Ties and Malinda, who married Herbert Miller.
Joseph Messerich married Anna Pluth in 1902, daughter of Maria Peschel and Martin Pluth. In the 1910 census they were living in Waterford Township and their children were Raymond, Edmond, Marjorie and Genevive.

The Neuhaus Family
Alois Neuhaus married Eva Bormann in Clinton County on May 4, 1859. I have not found them in the 1860 census as of yet, but they were on the 1865 plat map of Waterford Township. Alois died in 1894 and Eva in 1899 and they are buried at Sugar Creek. They had the following children.
Helena, born in 1860, died in 1954, married John Engler, son of Paul.

Margaret, born about 1862 and died in 1867.
Eva, born about 1864 and died in 1870
Barbara, born about 1869
Marianna, born about 1870 and died about 1872
Joseph, born about 1872, married Lena;
John, born about 1873, married Kathryn Shafer from Spring Brook;
Mathias, born about 1878 died as a baby?

Barbara, Joseph and John are the only children listed in the 1885 census. In the 1895 census Joseph and John are listed, but Barbara could have been married by then.
Helena married John Engler. Their first child was born in 1879. In the 1880 census they are living in Sugar Creek and 3 of their children went to school there from 1895-1897. It is possible some of the children lived with Helena’s mother as 2 were listed in the 1895 state census with Eva Neuhaus. In 1900 John and Helena are living in 7th Ward in Clinton. They had the following children: Helen, Eva, Aloysius, Paul, Jacob, John, Mathias, Margaret, Catherine and Frank.

Joseph Neuhaus married Lena. In the 1910 census they were living in 7th Ward in Clinton, Iowa and in the 1920 census they were living in Bellevue, Jackson County, Iowa. They had no children.

John Neuhaus married Kathryn Shafer. In the 1910 and 1920 census they were living in the 7th Ward, Clinton, Iowa. They had the following children: Genevieve, Aloysius, Bernice, Marcella, and Margaret. I think Aloysius and his family moved to Arizona.

I suspect that Alois’ mother was an Underberg, but not directly related to John and Barney Underberg at Sugar Creek. I have emigration information for a John and Gertrude Underberg Neuhaus from the same area in Germany as my Underbergs. They also immigrated in 1844, the same time frame as my Underbergs and I think went to the same area in Wisconsin first. They had a daughter Marianna, and son Alois, and his age matches Alois at Sugar Creek. There is a John Neuhaus buried at Sugar Creek next to Alois and Eva, who is the same age as this John. In the 1850 census John, Alois and Mary Ann are living in Galena, Illinois and Gertrude is already deceased. Also in the 1895 census there was a Mary Ann Neuhaus living with Eva, the same as age Alois’ sister. Alois and Eva Neuhaus also named one of their children Mary Ann. I am hoping someone down the road will read this and have some answers for me.

The Nurre Family
From the St. Joseph’s Church-Sugar Creek-1855-1890
One of the early settlers in Browns was John Bernard "Henry" Nurre. He was born September 28, 1814, and emigrated from Oldenburg, Germany in 1841. After a 3 month, perilous trip on a sailboat, he landed in America and settled in Cincinnati, Ohio. Although educated as a teacher, the pioneer spirit and the desire to own land, had Nurre travel to and settle in Browns, Waterford Township, Clinton County, Iowa. After some time, he journeyed back to Cincinnati to marry Mary Fehring, the daughter of Lucas Fehring from Hanover, Germany, and bring her back to the land he loved. Henry and Mary Nurre had three children, Catherine (Reiff), Stephen and Joseph Gerhard Nurre.

Henry Nurre was a successful landowner, and kept acquiring land from the government for $1.25 per acre. Nurre also owned land in Fairfield Township, Jackson County, which adjoins Waterford Township about ˝ mile north of Browns. After clearing the timberland, Nurre was able to sell the land for $45.00 an acre. Nurre built a 10-room limestone house, which still stands on property to the north of Old Browns. Later that land was owned by the Boehmer family.

During the summer of 1855, Mary Fehring Nurre, sick with typhoid fever, convinced her husband, Henry, to donate 40 acres of ground to the people of this community, upon which was to be erected a parish church, school and cemetery, which was called St. Joseph’s parish in Sugar Creek, Iowa. Mary, herself, selected the spot at the top of the hill, a short distance south of their home. Unfortunately, the cemetery was not there when Mary died, so Henry transported her body, by ox team and wagon, on a three-day trip, to Galena, IL, to be buried in St. Michael’s cemetery.

Henry Nurre was married three times during his life, yet he was alone much of the time. His second wife, Anna Adelaide Wilmes, lived only three years. Later he married his third wife, Elizabeth Finke, who lived a number of years after his death. Henry Nurre’s second wife is buried at Sugar Creek, and his third wife is buried at Schaller, Iowa.

On March 11, 1890, at the age of 76 years, Henry Nurre was murdered in his house. He was found on the kitchen floor, dressed in his chore clothes. The only marks of violence on his body were finger marks on his throat, evidence of him being choked to death. His wife was also found in an unconscious state, in the attic above the kitchen, with her head battered and nine deep scalp wounds. She regained consciousness several weeks later, but because of her hazy memory of the gruesome tragedy, she could give no clue, whatsoever, to the mystery. The best detectives in Chicago spent several years on the case, but to this day, the murder still remains a mystery. Henry Nurre is buried in the St. Joseph’s cemetery at Sugar Creek, at the entrance of the graveyard, marked by an imposing monument.

Davenport Democrat - Friday evening, March 14, 1890 states as follows: "Henry Nurre was very eccentric in his habits, and the rigid economy practiced by both himself and his wife verged on penury. It was generally understood that he had a great deal of money in his house at all times, having no confidence in banks, and this is probably what incited the dastardly deed."


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