Carroll County IAGenWeb


From Der Carroll Demokrat, a German-language Newspaper
Published between about 1874 and 1920
These bios are from a special 25th Anniversary Edition of  September 20, 1899

Translated & Contributed by David Reineke

1879 Immigration
1891 German Day Celebration
1892 German Day Celebration in Manning
1892 New Catholic Church in Dedham
1893 Sheridan Twp Missionary Festival
1893 Bernh Tacke's Journey to Borken Westphalia
1894 Turnerfest Gymnastics Festival
1894 German Club
1894 Elizabeth (Schrader) Spieker 76th Birthday
1909 Fritz Spieker Accident


I translated the following article from Der Carroll Demokrat, a German-language newspaper published in Carroll, Iowa, between about 1874 and 1920. It was originally published on Friday, 31 October 1879. Any information in brackets or notes at the end are my own explanations. It reads as follows:

It might be of great interest to our German farmers to learn that immigration into this county is increasing daily. During the last week alone, 29 farms were sold to people who will settle on them next spring. Two-thirds of these belong to the German element. And nowhere is the ground more suitable for agriculture than right in this and the surrounding counties.


German Day Celebration

I translated the following article from Der Carroll Demokrat, a German-language newspaper published in Carroll, Iowa, between about 1874 and 1920. It was originally published on 18 September 1891. Any information in brackets or notes at the end are my own explanations. It reads as follows:

At its last meeting, the Germania-Verein [German Club] appointed the various committees to prepare for a worthy celebration of German Day. The Arrangements Committee, consisting of Messrs. F. W. Krause, Chas. Ludwig, Aug. Erler, Moses Simon, Jos. Stendike, and A. Becker, met on Sunday evening and adopted several resolutions to ensure that the celebration proceeds in the most splendid manner. It was decided to issue an appeal to all the Germans in the county and surrounding counties, and especially to all the German organizations, so that all Germans may take part in this celebration. All of the German clubs will assemble with their music bands and banners with the rest of the Germans at 10:30 a.m. at the Germania Halle, where the marching order will be issued by the Marshall of the Day, Mr. Beiter. Here will begin the formation of the parade that will march through the streets of the town, which are expected to be richly decked out with flags. After the parade, with drums beating and trumpets sounding, the marchers will proceed to Germania Park, where the mayor of Carroll, Mr. Beach, will give a welcoming speech and briefly explain the meaning of the day. A good dinner [lunch] will then be served in the upper hall, during which our music section will give a splendid concert. We also note that our band has been practicing a long time for this day, in order to play musical marches etc. in the style of the old Fatherland. At exactly 1:30, the estimable Mr. Henry Vollmer of Davenport will give the formal address. After the speech, the afternoon concert will commence, and there will public entertainment, such as target shooting, clay pigeon shooting, Vogelschießen [shooting at a wooden bird silhouette], sack races, pole climbing, etc. Naturally, good cash prizes will be awarded at the shooting competitions for the first, second, and third-place shooters. We wish to especially mention the Vogelschießen, which in Germany is very popular and customary at all shooting festivals and similar events,
and which always provides so much entertainment. The celebration will end with a large dance.


German Day Celebration in Manning

I translated the following article from Der Carroll Demokrat, a German-language newspaper published in Carroll, Iowa, between about 1874 and 1920. It was originally published on 14 October 1892. Any information in brackets or notes at the end are my own explanations. It reads as follows:

At the “German Day” Celebration in Manning
As was already reported last week, we departed from Carroll at 8:00 in the morning. The mood was very lively, and was made even more so by the addition of several friends and acquaintances in Halbur, and by a few musical numbers performed by Egermayer’s Orchestra. Upon arrival in Manning, we received a musical reception from the local “Schützenverein” [Rifle Club]. A ladies committee received our ladies, and so we marched to the Schützenhalle [Rifle-Club Hall], accompanied by two bands, the Manning Schützenverein, and fluttering flags. Here we were hospitably and heartily welcomed. The magnificent decoration of the hall was worthy of note. One could see by observing the Manning residents and their great preparations that they appreciated German day and its great significance, and that they had done their utmost to make their guests’ stay in Manning as pleasant as possible. After some refreshment, the festival parade formed at about 9:30. At the front walked the Carroll “Northwestern Band,” then the ladies from Carroll and Manning, then the “Germania Verein” [German Club] of Carroll, then the bands from Manning, and at the end, came the club hosting the festival [probably the Manning Schützenverein]. The impressive festival parade, with its fluttering flags, moved through the main streets of the richly decorated town. Many people must have been moved by the sight of this first demonstration of German-American spirit. It is indeed a celebration that, even if it only involves German-Americans, manifests the most genuine patriotism for our adopted fatherland. The parade lasted nearly a full hour and, arriving again at the Schützenhalle, the President of the Manning Schützenverein, Mr. W. H. Shoop, gave a short but first-rate speech and welcomed once again their German brothers from Carroll. The President of the Carroll Germania Verein replied to this address with heartfelt words and thanked them for the warm reception. The [Manning] “Liederkranz” singing club, under direction of Mr. Harthun, an experienced singing instructor from Denison, then performed a song composed specially for this occasion, which earned great applause. Then followed the main part of the festival—the formal address. The official speaker, Mr. Brunnier, carried out his task quite masterfully. In the opening portion, he stated why the festival-goers were gathered, then related where the first stimulus for celebrating this day occurred and that, due to this, the consciousness of spiritual solidarity had spread out over the whole land and was therefore celebrated in every place where that the German tongue was heard. In the further course of his address, Mr. Brunnier explained the duties of the Germans in this country, and in closing, he also dealt briefly with their shortcomings and how these shortcomings should be prevented.


New Catholic Church in Dedham

I translated the following article from Der Carroll Demokrat, a German-language newspaper published in Carroll, Iowa, between about 1874 and 1920. It was originally published on 11 March 1892. Any information in brackets or notes at the end are my own explanations. It reads as follows:


To the editor of the Carroll Demokrat:

Since the new Catholic Church in Dedham is almost finished, it is the desire of the Committee to publish this information in the Carroll Demokrat. As it was earlier announced, a new Catholic parish has been founded here in Dedham and the vicinity. If we look back at the way things were in Dedham and the vicinity just two or three years ago, there were no German farmers, no German businesses, and absolutely no German culture. Therefore, we may view with pride the speedy settlement of the Germans. Since there is still much land here and in the area to be had at reasonable prices, we hope that many more German Catholics will still join this new parish.

--The Committee.

There will be a meeting of the Building Committee on Saturday afternoon, the 12th of March, at four o’clock sharp.

--August Hagen, Secty.


Sheridan Twp Missionary Festival

I translated the following article from Der Carroll Demokrat, a German-language newspaper published in Carroll, Iowa, between about 1874 and 1920. It was originally published on 27 October 1893. Any information in brackets or notes at the end are my own explanations. It reads as follows:

Sheridan Township
The missionary festival and the dedication of the new school in Sheridan Township last Sunday was accompanied by good weather. It was a splendid fall day which enticed visitors from all parts of the county and even from neighboring counties.

There was a large delegation from Carroll, as well as from Breda, Kniest Township, Grant Township, and visitors even arrived from Auburn to take part in the celebration and, through their appearance, to express their happiness over the missionary festival and over the flourishing of the parish. Already by early morning, the pretty little church was unable to hold all the visitors, and many people had to be content with a seat outside the church. At 10:30 a.m., the celebration church service commenced, wherein Mr. Pastor R. Amstein from Anowa [probably Onawa] delivered the sermon. He captivated his listeners from beginning to end, and his manner of elocution was quite pure and clearly understandable. In the afternoon, the church service began at 2:30, wherein Pastor Anton Ehlers from Gray gave the sermon, and then followed the solemn dedication of the pretty schoolhouse. Preceded by the Rev. Pastors, the church directors, and the building committee, those present went to the new school, where Pastor Ehlers performed the dedication amid prayers and songs. The celebration ended inside the school with prayer and communal singing, after which those present exchanged yet a few friendly words, and then everyone went home with the experience of having attended a most beautiful and uplifting celebration.

Pastor Sessler deserves recognition for having so beautifully arranged the celebration and for the exalting presence of Pastors Amstein and Ehlers. Pastor Sessler is undoubtedly a worthy man, who through years of striving has made the Evangelical Lutheran Parish in Sheridan Township what it is today—a strong and flourishing parish that possesses a beautiful and tidy church and a church school. The parish members, therefore, are also very attached to their pastor, and the best proof of the mutual love and respect in the parish is the progress it is currently making.

We are especially obligated to thank Mr. Jac. Sievers and family for the friendly invitation to the noon meal and for the very noble hospitality. Gladly and often will think back on that beautiful celebration and the friendly residents of Sheridan Township.


Bernh Tacke's Journey to Borken Westphalia

Yesterday evening, Mr. Bernh. Tacke of Breda traveled east. He will stay a few days in Chicago, and on Monday he will travel on to New York so that he may go on board ship on Wednesday. Mr. Tacke has an elderly 82-year-old mother in Borken, Westphalia, who has expressed the wish of pressing her son, whom she has not seen in over 20 years, to her heart one last time. We wish Mr. Tacke a happy journey and that he may find his elderly mother still in good health.


Turnerfest Gymnastics Festival
 Any information in brackets or notes at the end are my own explanations. They read as follows:

[First Article, published on 16 March 1894]

We inform our readers of the large Turnerfest [gymnastics festival], which will take place on Easter Monday, the 26th of March. We are publishing here in another column the complete program, from which it may be seen that such a rich program has never been presented before. Gymnastics, singing, theater, and living pictures [gymnasts forming a scene] will alternate and promise a highly enjoyable evening. The gymnasts have been preparing now for months, and some performances will be presented which are not only new but will also earn the unanimous approval of the public. The singing section of the club has also made significant progress since its last appearance, and is in the happy situation of being able to present several quartet songs. The second part of the program will be the presentation of a very pleasant farce play, which is rich in comic situations and will keep the audience in constant laughter. Our readers will note that the play will be performed by known persons and members of the club, which will be especially interesting and enjoyable. The third part is a living picture, with which the Turnverein from Ida Grove plans to amaze us. Certainly, the gymnasts from Ida Grove will assist our gymnasts in all possible performances, and will also oblige with a few exercises of advanced gymnastics. The last part, or conclusion, will be a pleasant ball where the people fond of dancing will have the opportunity to swing their dancing legs. The entrance prices are set as low as possible, so that everyone may take part in the festival without great expense. The entrance fee for adults to the gymnastics, concert, and theater is only 35 cents, and for children under 16, the fee is 25 cents. Tickets for the performance and the dance are one dollar, and for the ball alone are 75 cents. Reserved seats maybe obtained in Sturges and Thürlimann’s Pharmacy.

[Second Article: The Program for the performance, which was published in another page of the same paper on 16 March 1894]


of the Carroll Gymnastics Club presented in Carroll, on
Easter Monday, the 26th of May 1894.

Overture.....Egermayer’s Orchestra
Singers’ March.. ..Singing Section
Waltz “Auf Wiedersehen”..Egermayer’s Orchestra
Gymnastics on the horizontal bars.Gymnastics Section
“Musical Nonsense”...Singing Section
Gymnastics on parallel bars..Gymnastics Section
“Spring Greeting”...Singing Section
Pole Exercises....Ida Grove Gymnastics Club
“Wanderlied”....Singing Section
Pyramids.....Gymnastics Section
Quartet, “Serenade”...Schubert [Quartet] W. Kurz, Wm. Winnicke, John Gnam, Paul Fiebig

Presenting: “She is Coming”
A Comedy in One Act

Grauschimmel, Economics Commissioner....F. Florencourt
Steffen, His Servant....A. Becker
Flatterling, Fee Collector....Wm. Kurz
Sperling, Master Tailor....Ed. Richmann
Herr von Rasselberg, Lieutenant (ret.).Fritz Hannasch
Postman......John Gnam

Living Picture....Ida Grove Turnverein

Entrance to Presentation.. 35 cents
Entrance to Presentation and Ball.$1.00
Entrance to Ball....75 cents
Children under 16...25 cents

Come One! Come All!

Box Office Opens at 7 p.m. Begins at 8 p.m.

[Third Article: Published on Friday, 30 March 1894]

The Turnfest [gymnastics festival], which took place in Carroll on Easter Monday, now belongs to the past, and nothing of it remains except the pleasant memory of happily spent hours and the laurels that the young, progressive club has again won for itself on this occasion. It was a true German festival, and everyone present went home well-satisfied. The rather spacious music hall filled up early. The hall was packed and the gallery was also full, as the presentation commenced with an artistically executed overture by Egermayer’s Orchestra. At the conclusion of the first number of the program, the curtain was raised, and a modern and engaging procession of singers, made up of several members and led by Mr. Richmann, was introduced. The gymnastics on the horizontal bars, in which the Ida Grove Turneverein [Gymnastics Club] also participated, were excellent. Our gymnastics club performed its tasks very well, and demonstrated what great progress the members have made since the last exhibition. The men from Ida Grove, all experienced gymnasts, performed exercises which would not have been outdone in a circus. The men were very successful and were warmly applauded. The gymnastics on the parallel bars were also done with precision and showed great skill and dexterity. The first song performed by the Singing Section of the Carroll Turnverein, “Musical Nonsense,” was quite successful. Cheerful tunes and German folk songs alternated and allowed the excellent voices of the still-young club to emerge pleasantly and to earn great applause. So also it was with the song “Spring Greeting.” The Ida Grove Turnverein earned great applause with the performance of the pole exercises. The individual performances were so precise that they were astonishing. Mr. Hy. Dessel, the instructor, and other members of the club, performed the highlight of the program with this exercise. Then followed the second part of the program, the performance of the vaudeville farce “Sie Kommt
” [“She is Coming”], under the direction of Mr. Becker. It was an entertaining piece, and so full of comical scenes, thrilling complications, and successful costumes, that the audience could not stop laughing. Briefly, we would like to explain here the plot of the play: Miss Sabinchen, a rich and desirable girl, had promised to give her hand to the first man who would greet her in her uncle’s garden upon her return home. Although all her admirers knew of this, the day of her arrival was known only to her Uncle Grauschimmel and his servant Steffan. The old uncle, who had a bad case of gout and could barely stand on his feet, nevertheless very much loved his beautiful and rich niece, and had made secret preparations to receive her and greet her in the garden. But the talkative servant divulged the secret to his sweetheart, and soon it was known to the whole town, and naturally to all the admirers, who all came rushing to be the first to greet Sabinchen. But old Grauschimmel had taken precautions. He had barricaded the garden door and armed his loyal but talkative servant with a saber and a pistol. But the powers of fate are fickle, and so it was here. While the servant was wetting his whistle, and then had fallen asleep drunk, three suitors discovered a hole in the wall and broke into the garden. The suitors, Fee Collector Flatterling, Master Tailor Sperling, and Lieutenant von Rasselberg, then soon had a confrontation in the garden and the master tailor was forced to leave the field. And then the lieutenant employed a trick and challenged his other rival to a duel with pistols which, however, were only loaded with blanks. Von Rasselberg fell to the ground, pretending to dead, so that when Sabinchen came, he could get up again and be the first to greet her. However, the servant woke up and fired at Flatterling, who was running away. When the servant found the “shot” von Rasselberg, he became quite upset, thinking that he himself was the killer. Now came old Grauschimmel, who had heard the shots. Steffen placed the responsibility for the killing on his master, who had ordered him to shoot everyone. Both were distraught over the killing, and had planned to bury the body, when there was a loud knock on the gate. Now the fear had reached its high point, as Steffen believed the police were there and he that he would be taken to the gallows. But it was only the postman bringing a telegram with the fateful news that Sabinchen had eloped with another man. Now Rasselberg realized that his trick as a dead man was useless and he stood up. However, Grauschimmel and Steffen, believing they were seeing a ghost, became so frightened that they fell down unconscious. At the end, Flatterling also returned, pursued by demons, in order to view the scene of the supposed murder. Here, however, he discovered Rasselberg alive again. But in order to dampen his joy over not being a murderer, Rasselberg let him read the telegram, which had fallen to the ground. Meanwhile, Grauschimmel and his trusty servant were waking up and were just realizing that Rasselberg was no ghost, but himself, and that they had no murder on their consciences. Their joy over the discovery was so great that Grauschimmel and Steffen remained kneeling until the curtain fell. The cast was excellent. Mr. Florencourt, as Economics Commissioner Grauschimmel, played excellently, and outdid himself in portraying the infatuated old rascal with rheumatism. Regarding the performance of Mr. Becker, it is best to remain silent. [I think Mr. Becker worked at the newspaper, and so the writer is probably kidding him.] And Mr. Kurtz was excellent as Fee Collector Flatterling, and he played the smitten man so well and so naturally that one might think he had supernatural help. And when Master Tailor Sperling (Mr. Richmann) first walked out as the foppish dandy in his tight pants, lady’s kerchief, and lady’s hat, there was no end to the laughter. And Mr. Fritz Hannasch was excellent as Lieutenant von Rasselberg, and played the roll well, as did Mr. John Gnam as the Postman. After the performance, there was a pleasant ball, which was attended by about 80 to 100 couples. The ballroom, as well as the club hall, were magnificently decorated, and refreshments of all kinds were served in the club barroom. Guests and members remained together in the finest harmony until the early hours of the morning.


German Club

The Germania Verein [German Club] held its annual general meeting on Wednesday evening. The following men were elected as club officials: Nic. Beiter, President; John Nockels, Vice President; G. W. Korte, Finance Secretary; A. Becker, Correspondence Secretary; Aug. Erler, Librarian. There is $2100 subscribed for building a new clubhouse. It is the wish of the club not to proceed with the building until $3000 is subscribed.


Elizabeth (Schrader) Spieker 76th Birthday

[Reported from Willey]

The widow Mrs. Spieker is now 76 years old. Her seven children who all live in Carroll County and are married, were blessed with 27 boys and 27 girls, of which, however, three have passed away. Widow Spieker has one great-grandchild, and thus has the pleasure of having 59 descendants. The good old mother is still in the best of health, and we hope that she may live a long time among her children.

NOTES: The article is about Elisabeth (Schrader) Spieker, wife of Joseph Spieker. She lived from 1819 to 1903. Joseph Spieker lived from 1819 to 1889. She may have actually been75 at the time of the article.


Fritz Spieker Accident

On Friday evening, Mr. Fritz Spieker had a mishap in which his horses were frightened by an automobile. He was hurled from the wagon and his horses bolted away. The accident happened near the farms of John Eltgroth and Arthur Sharp. Upon hearing Mr. Spieker’s cries for help, these men rushed out and they found him sitting in the road bleeding from a wound to the forehead. Later, there was a search for the horses, and they were found a distance farther where they had run themselves out. Mr. Wilhelm Schenkelberg, who had just come along the road, took the injured man and his team and brought them home. Luckily, it later turned out that Mr. Spieker had received only slight injuries. Whoever has young, easily frightened horses, cannot be too careful on the public roads, especially at night, because he might encounter an automobile at almost any moment, and then there is usually an accident.

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