Werhan, Darwin and Mary (Healy)

(Regina Ann Carolan Wilkens)

My grandfather, Darwin L. Werhan, was born 29 Feb 1876 (a leap year) in Allamakee Co., IA. He died 19 Jul 1969 in Cresco, IA. He was the son of Henry Augustus and Emma (Segrist) Werhan. Darwin was born and raised on a farm. He left home when he was 14 and worked on a farm southwest of Ridgeway, IA in Lincoln Twp., Winneshiek Co. Darwin was married on 21 Nov 1899 in Waukon, IA to Mary Jane Healy. Mary Jane was born 7 Nov 1874 on the Healy homestead near Waukon. She died 25 Oct 1960 in Cresco. Both Darwin and Mary Jane are buried in Calvary Cemetery, Cresco.

Mary Jane's parents were Mary Ann (Brady) Healy who was born 1 Jul 1852 and died 18 Dec 1954 at the age of 102. Mary Ann was married 2 Feb 1874 to Patrick Healy. Patrick was born 20 Nov 1849 in Kildare, Ireland and died 1 Feb 1919 in Waukon. Both Mary Ann and Patrick are buried at Mt. Olivet Cemetery, Waukon. They homesteaded south of Waukon. The farm was in the Healy family for over 125 years before it was sold. Patrick could just barely read and could not write. Mary Ann could read and write. They had 4 sons and 1 daughter.

Darwin and Mary Jane were the steward and matron of the Howard County Home, Cresco for over 20 years.

They had 3 daughters and 1 son: Mabel Grace was born 31 Aug 1900. She was married 14 Oct 1922 to Otto DeWalle (22 Sep 1890-17 Jun 1968). Otto is buried in the Calvary Cemetery. His parents were Frank and Adliene (Tass) DeWalle. Mabel and Otto had 2 sons and 1 daughter: Otto, Jr.; Francis; and Anna Mae. Mabel still lives in Cresco. Marie Evelyn (19 Jul 1904-22 Jan 1979) was married 16 Oct 1922 to Clarence E. Jewell (18 Jul 1902-12 Jan 1971). Both are buried at St. Benedict’s Catholic Cemetery, Decorah. Clarence's parents were John Addison and Minnie (Hatton) Jewell. Marie and Clarence had 3 sons and 1 daughter: Clarence, Jr.; Robert; Thomas; and Sister Rose Mary. Margaret “Dorothy” (29 Dec 1908-16 Feb 1965) was married 16 Aug 1927 to Joseph P Carolan (23 Oct 1899-16 Nov 1978). Both are buried at St. Bridget’s Catholic Cemetery, Bluffton, IA. They had 3 sons and 2 daughters: Regina Ann; Donald; Grace Evelyn; Mark; and Roger. Mark and Roger died in infancy, (see Joseph and Dorothy (Werhan) Carolan story) Alfred EL (22 Jun 1910-19 Jan 1970) was married 16 Aug 1932 to Eleanor Bergon (19 May 1902-10 Jan 1978). Both are buried at Calvary Cemetery. Eleanor’s parents were Martin and Mary (Barlow) Bergon. Alfred and Eleanor had 5 sons and 3 daughters: John; Charles; James; David; Robert; Ruth; Mary; and Ann. Marie, Dorothy and Alfred were all married on 16 Aug at the Assumption Catholic Church, Cresco - each 5 years after the other.

Werhan, William and Henrietta (Reiss)

(Regina Ann Carolan Wilkens)

Heinrich Christoph Werhan was born 14 Mar 1815 in Bekum, Germany. He changed his name to William H.C. Werhan when he came to the U.S. He married Anna Dorothea “Henrietta” Reiss on 2 Jul 1839. She was born 20 Jul 1814 in Dettenstadt, Westphalia, Germany. The family emigrated in 1849 to Cook Co., IL near Chicago.

William and Henrietta lived in Cook Co. for 3 years. He was a miller by trade. He operated a grist mill on the Chicago River while living there. In 1852 William met Peter McKinge Gilson from Allamakee Co, IA. Peter was in Chicago after machinery for his grist mill. He persuaded William to return to Iowa with him.

The Werhan’s packed all their belongings, 5 children and machinery for a grist mill into covered wagons and moved to Franklin Twp., Allamakee Co. He built a new mill on the Yellow River. The timbers for the mill were hand hewn of elm and oak. One of the timbers was 50 feet long without a splice and 10X14 inches. Very few nails were used; the nails were all hand made and square. Most of the mill was built with wooden pins which were still good when the mill was torn down in 1949. The mill stone for the mill can be seen to this day sitting by the front door of the United Methodist Church at Forest Mill. William Werhan donated the land for the church and also land for a park. He also donated the church bell. The first time the bell was rung was for William's funeral.

When Grandfather William needed new axes and other tools to build the mill, Grandmother Henrietta would collect maple sap from the trees and boil it down to make maple syrup. She would put it in a large bucket and walk all the way to the town of Frankville to trade for the tools William needed. He called the mill “Forest Mill” for all the forest that was in the area. He added a relay station for travelers to rest before continuing to Winona, MN to get the train. He also added a post office so area people could get their mail. William was postmaster for 24 years and also Justice of the Peace for 12 years. He was very musical. He played the piano and violin and also had a very good singing voice.

William and Henrietta had 7 sons and 2 daughters: Anna Dorothea Minco was born 19 Nov 1839 in Germany and died 9 Sep 1911 in Allamakee Co. On 4 Jul 1860 she married John Beucher who was born 29 Feb 1832 in Prussia and died 6 Mar 1908 in Allamakee Co. They had 4 sons and 4 daughters. Christian Carl was born 16 May 1842 in Germany and died 20 Jan 1899 in Cordell, OK. On 16 May 1868 he married Araminta L. Fosdick who was born 7 Jan 1849 and died 26 Aug 1924 in California. They had 3 sons and 6 daughters. William J. was 28 Apr 1845 in Germany and died 30 Jun 1939 in Kansas. On 18 Feb 1866 he married Anna A. Gilson who was born 2 Jul 1846 in Wisconsin and died 15 Jan 1933 in Kansas. They had 5 sons and 4 daughters. Heinrich W. was born 29 Jan 1848 in Germany and died 6 Jun 1855 in Allamakee Co. Henrv A. was born 31 Dec 1849 in Cook Co., IL and died 15 Dec 1896 in Howard Co., IA. On 14 Mar 1875 he married Emma Segrist who was born 17 Mar 1861 in Winneshiek Co., IA and died 4 Oct 1931 in Howard Co. They had 5 sons and 2 daughters. Henrv was born 24 Feb 1853 in Allamakee Co. and died 26 Aug 1908 in Allamakee Co. He never married. Matilda was born 12 May 1854 in Allamakee Co. and died 26 Aug 1878 in Allamakee Co. She never married. Winfield was born 3 Jul 1856 in Allamakee Co. and died 3 Aug 1868 in


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