William Knappe

- 1914



William Knappe

William Knappe Passes Away On Monday


    William Knappe Passes Away On Monday, the twenty-seventh day of April, 1914,one of the oldest surviving settlers of Fremont county passed from this life at the home of his daughter, Lucy Knappe, in Hamburg. William Knappe settled on a farm about five north of Hamburg in the spring of 1856. He lived there on the old homestead until several years ago, when the place was sold. Mr. Knappe lived to be eight-eight years old. He was the last member of his family, and even at his advanced age was remarkably active and well preserved. It was due to an acute systemic disorder and to an operation that he passed away so suddenly.
    This octogenarian, last of the race of pioneers, was born in Nettin, Germany. There he learned the locksmith’s trade. He left Germany in 1848. After a stormy passage on the Atlantic on one of the old American clipper-built sailing ships, he landed in New Orleans. It required 65 days to complete this voyage. He worked as a mechanic on a large sugar plantation about twenty miles north of New Orleans for several months. Then he went up the Mississippi to St. Louis and followed his trade in various machine shops. Here he met Henrietta Winkler who afterward became his wife. They were married May 23, 1853. Three years later, in 1856 he bought the farm north of Hamburg where he lived until March 1913. He grew up with this part of the state, toiling ceaselessly until about fourteen years ago, when he gave up the active work on the farm youngest son, William. Educated as a successful farmer in the actual experience and hard knocks, extremely conscientious, and of a pleasing, kind nature, he was respected by his many friends in this vicinity who had the good fortune to know him intimately.

     His wife lived until about five years ago. These old residents of our county raised a family of ten children. The eldest died in infancy. Charles F. Knappe, the third eldest child, was suddenly stricken with paralysis and died two years ago. This bowed down the old father very perceptibly. The nine bereaved children who remain to mourn their father's death are: Minnie Guergens, Milwaukee, Wis.; Clara Knappe, Riverton, Iowa; Lena Snow, Billings, Mont.; Dona Lutz and Emma Mann, Sidney, Iowa; Hattie Hines and William Knappe of Hamburg, and Ida Trudeau of Lexington, Nebr.

     The funeral services were held Wednesday afternoon at the house conducted by Rev. M. F. Brower and interment was made in the Hamburg cemetery.


Hamburg Reporter, May 1, 1914.


~ transcribed and contributed by Steve Fischer