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John Henry Heitkamp

John Henry Heitkamp, who was born in Hanover (research note: census records indicate Blasheim) Germany, on November 7, 1816, was baptized, brought up and confirmed in the Evangelical Lutheran Church.   In 1849 he entered into the matrimonial state the first time with (research note; Rebecca Margaretha Brettman) and two years later started for America,  which to him became a second fatherland. He landed in New Orleans.(research note:2 children Sophia and Diedra}, where one of his children sickened and died; and on the way to St. Louis, he lost a second one of his loved ones.  From St. Louis he went to Chicago where he lost his first wife( research note: She had conceived a 3rd. child on the ship who was William Henry and was born in Chicago) and remarried.( Research note: Mary Brettman is believed to be sister of first wife).  John was again called to mourn the loss of a partner of his sorrows and joys.( Research note: Mary gave birth to a son Johann Heinrich Peter who died  at less than a year old).  In the year 1857,  he again entered into wedlock, this time with Sophia Bruncher, his now surviving widow.  By her he had 9 children, three whom proceeded him to the better land.  The other 6 with William, the only surviving son of his first wife and 20 grandchildren are left to mourn him.  In the year 1858, Father Heitkamp moved from Addison, Illinois to his present home where he became one of the pioneers of Webster County, indeed of  the State, and was called upon to endure many hardships and privations among the early settlers of Iowa. He was oneof the founders of the German Lutheran congregations and was a deacon, trustee and faithful member of it for many years. He was a man of robust constitution and although he reached the age of 79 yrs., lacking 35 days, he saw but a few sick days.  For several months he has been troubled with a dropsical affliction and the end came last Friday morning, October 4, 1895 at  7 o'clock.  He was buried on Sunday in the Dayton Cemetery, his pastor, Rev. Jobst preaching to a very large congregation of his old friends and neighbors who came to pay their last respects.  His family were all present to say a last farewell . His body was laid to rest till the grand morning of the resurrection, he shall hear the Almighty voice of the savior, then shall his body and soul shall rejoice in the living God for ever and ever. (Copied from an old newspaper clipping)

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