A HisTORY of the First Three Generations of the Kroschelfamily
In Prussia and North America
1804 to Present
I have traced the origins of theKroschel Family since 1959 when a high school teacher assigned a family historyproject to my American Studies class. A second set of notes that I prepared in1973 as a Kroschel Family chronology is now so outdated and incomplete thatthis history must replace it.
This study has led me to travel since 1973 through Minnesotato Wisconsin, Illinois, North Dakota, Oregon, Georgia and Poland in search ofrecords on the early origins of the Kroschel family. Along the way, many familymembers have assisted me with information, records, photographs, recollections,and even the family Bible. The four who helped me most were my grandmother, Ida(Kroschel) Mortenson, Dora (Schlafle) Kroschel, Herman Radloff, and Edith (Sperling) Wold. But in another sense, thesetravels have brought me to places and introduced me to people I would nototherwise have met -people whose hospitality and good will all encouraged me tosearch more. I owe them all thanks, and hope that this record will stand as myexpression of appreciation for their kind and generous assistance.
No family as prolific as the Kroschels have been in Americacan ever be fully documented. Three parents produced twelve children who inturn had at least 68 children themselves. This family history will serve thedescendants of Samuel, Wilhermine and Caroline Kroschel best as a record of the first three generations of the family inthe United States, with a fourth generation of the grandchildren of Herman andMarie (Schroeder) Kroschel somewhat more detailed. The continuing record of the Kroschels inAmerica will require further documentation by family members scattered fromcoast to coast in both the United States and Canada. I hope that this historywill get them started. There is another Kroschel family in the United Statesbesides ours, and many other families with names spelled similarly to ours. Allof these families have as their origin that region of Europe between what wenow know as the Netherlands, across northern West and East Germany, intowestern Poland. At the time these families left Europe, this was largely theprovince of Brandenburg in Prussia.
The first section focuses on our Kroschel Family in theProvince of Brandenburg, Prussia, and especially the lives and family ofSamuel, Wilhelmiene and Caroline Kroschel in Brandenburg and their emigration to America in 1871. Theremaining sections of this paper are devoted to recording the lives of theeight children of Samuel Kroschel who survived to adulthood and emigrated to America, and the livesof the thirteen children of Herman and Marie (Schroeder) Kroschel.The final section reports on the other Kroschel family of Gustav Kroschel thatcame to America from Berlin in 1882 or 1883.
Thomas G. Mortenson
I converted the original document in order to provide ahistory that is transportable electronicaly. Mr. Mortenson’s work is a great piece of genealogical research thatshould survive longer than the copies scattered amongst family members all overthe United States.
Being impatient and unwilling to type a small book, Iscanned it using Readiris Pro6. I usedWord 2000 to format the document and Paint Shop Pro7 for imagemanipulation. I included only a few ofthe images from the original. I do notpossess the skill or equipment to properly include them (without terribledegradation) when converted to a pdf file. The main problem is the moiré that is generated when printed photos arescanned. I do plan on making them available on the Web or on CD.
The authors index is more extensive than the one Igenerated. I choose to scale it down abit. At the time it substituted for adatabase index that included both married and maiden surnames. There were a few ‘typos’ I corrected achapter V was mislabeled. It was myintent to convert not plagiarize or co-author.
I have input all family members using the LDS PersonalAncestry File program. This databaseis the accepted standard for maintaining a family history. The PAF application is available free on theWeb, and so is the gedcom file (.ged) of this family. With the tableof contents and index, it should be fairly easy to locate individuals. In addition to a substantial amount of data,Mortenson’s work provides wonderful anecdotal evidence that brings life tohistory.
October 27, 2001
Yuba City, CA USA
I. PRUSSIAIN THE 1800'S
II. SAMUELKROSCHEL AND THE GENTSCH SISTERS
III. WILHELMIENE(KROSCHEL) SPERLING
IV. AUGUSTE(KROSCHEL) GEHRKE
VI. EMILIE(KROSCHEL) ULM
Notes on theChildren of Theodor and Emilie (Kroschel) Ulm
VII. THESTORY OF LOUIS KROSCHEL
IX. HENRIETTE(KROSCHEL) GEHRKE
The Childrenof Herman and Marie (Schroeder) Kroschel
Notes of theChildren of August and Hulda (Busse) Kroschel
The Childrenof Herman and Louise (Schroeder) Kroschel)
Notes on thechildren of Herman and Martha Kroschel -"
The Childrenof Herman and Marie (Schroeder) Kroschel
Notes of theChildren of Gust and Ida (Schmidt) Kroschel
The Childrenof Herman and Marie (Schroeder) Kroschel
XV. IDA(KROSCHEL) MORTENSON
The Childrenof Herman and Marie (Schroeder) Kroschel
Notes of theChildren of Frank and Ida (Kroschel) Mortenson
The Childrenof Herman and Marie (Schroeder) Kroschel
Notes of theChildren of Louis and Tillie (Bloemendal) Kroschel
The Childrenof Herman and Marie (Schroeder) Kroschel
Notes on theChildren of Ben and Ella Kroschel
XVIII. MILLY(KROSCHEL) LEPPINK
The Childrenof Herman and Marie (Schroeder) Kroschel
Notes on theChildren of John and Milly (Kroschel) Leppink
The Childrenof Herman and Marie (Schroeder) Kroschel
The Childrenof Herman and Marie (Schroeder) Kroschel
Notes of theChildren of Emil and Julia (Mullen) Kroschel
XXI. MARTHA(KROSCHEL) FISCHER
The Childrenof Herman and Marie (Schroeder) Kroschel
Notes on theSon of Wilhelm Henry and Martha (Kroschel) Fischer.
The Childrenand Herman and Marie (Schroeder) Kroschel
Notes of theChildren of Addie and Dora (Schlafle) Kroschel
XXIII. MARIE(KROSCHEL) DUFECK
The Childrenof Herman and Marie (Schroeder) Kroschel
Notes on theSon of Jerry and Marie (Kroschel) Dufeck
XXIV. OTHERKROSCHELS IN AMERICA
Figure 1: Samuel and Caroline(Gentsch) Kroschel Samuel was born February 4, 1804, in Brandenburg Province,Prussia. Caroline Gentsch was born March 3, 1815, in Brandenburg Province,Prussia. They were married in July of 1833, and emigrated to America in 1871.
Figure 2: This roadside marker in Jonesville,VA, is the only reminder of the battle that took place there on January 3,1864. This was the battle in whichLouis Kroschel was captured by the Confederate Army. He was imprisoned at Richmond, VA, on January 16, and sent toAndersonville Prison in Georgia on March 8, 1864.
Figure 3: Herman Kroschel's birth record,dated August 18, 1871, at Gurkow
Figure 4: John and Milly (Kroschel) Leppink both died at Helena, Montana. Johndied June 26, 1979, and Milly died September 14, 1979. Both are buried atHelena.
Figure 5: Fritz Kroschel
Figure 6: Wilhelm Fischer & Martha Kroschel
Table 1: Caroline's Bible
Table 2: Children of Wilhelmiene and AugustSamuel Sperling
Table 3: Notes on the Children of AugustSamuel and Wilhelmiene (Kroschel) Sperling
Table 4: Children of Auguste Kroschel &Friedrich Gehrke
Table 5: Friedrich & Auguste (Kroschel)1880 Census Sleepy Eye MN.
Table 6: According to the 1887-1888Minneapolis City Directory, the following were living at 1321 N. Washington:
Table 7: The 1888-1889 Minneapolis CityDirectory identifies the following family members living at 1319 N. Washington:
Table 8: The 1889-1890 Minneapolis CityDirectory identifies the following family members living at 1402 N. Second:
Table 9: Notes on the Children of August andLouisa (Zermanskie) Kroschel
Table 10: The couple lived at Watertown from1861 until 1867. While living here the first of their children were born:
Table 11: The 1870 Census for Columbus recordsthe family as follows:
Table 12: While living at Columbus, the couplehad four more children, all recorded in the German Methodist Church recordsthere:
Table 13: The 1880 Census for Home Township, Brown County, Minnesota, records thefamily (Wilhelm and Auguste (Speckman) Kroschel) as follows:
Table 14: Notes on the Children (WilhelmKroschel /Auguste Speckman
Table 15:The couple (John Gehrke &Henriette Kroschel) farmed at Columbus, Wisconsin, until about 1876. While atColumbus, they had at least three children:
Table 16: Notes on the Children (John Gehrke& Henriette Kroschel)
Table 17 While living in Brown County,thirteen children were born to Herman and Marie (Schroeder) Kroschel:
Table 18: The 1880 Census for MilfordTownship, Brown County, Minnesota, records the family as follows:
Table 19: The 1895 Census for Milford Townshiprecords the family as follows:
Table 20: To August and Albertina Kroschel were born 12 children:
Table 21: The Children of Herman and Louise(Schroeder) Kroschel)
Table 22: The Children of Herman and Marie (Schroeder) Kroschel
Table 23: The Children of Herman and Marie (Schroeder) Kroschel
Without a written record of their lives in Prussia andreasons for emigrating to the United States, the descendants of Samuel Kroschel and the Gentsch sisters can never be certain what caused ourancestors to leave their homeland for the American frontier. Oral traditionpassed down within the family relates that Samuel Kroschel did not likePrussian militarism and did not want his sons to serve in the Prussian army.This was a commonly held view among Prussian emigrants. The following verybrief survey of conditions in Prussia before and during the time of thisfamily's emigration to America suggest the basis for this story.
German history during the late eighteenth and all of thenineteenth centuries was dominated by Prussia. During this period Germany was afragmented set of principalities and kingdoms, influenced and controlled byAustria, France and other powers of the era. Wars and treaties governedpolitical alliances, and these alliances ebbed and flowed with events. But thefirst half of the 1800's were a period of relative stability.
By the 1850'S, however, a sense of German nationalism cameto prevail within the German states, and increasingly Prussia took the lead inguiding internal and external events toward a unified German state. By 1800universal military service was inaugurated among other political reforms. (By1861 the Kroschels had begun leaving Brandenburg Province in Prussia forAmerica.)
Between 1864 and 1866 Prussia collaborated with Austria in awar with Denmark over the Danish annexation of two provinces on theDanish-Prussian border, and quickly defeated Denmark. In 1866 Prussia initiatedwar with Austria over rule of these provinces, and by July of 1866 had defeatedAustria. In 1867 the North German Confederation was established under thePrussian king with Otto von Bismarck as chancellor.
In July of 1870 Bismarck initiated war with France, capturedNapoleon in September of 1870, and by January of 1871 the Prussian Armycaptured Paris. Wilhelm I was crowned emperor of all Germany, now adding thesouthern German states to the North German confederation, and thus creating theSecond Reich. This was to endure until World War I.
The Kroschels emigrated from Prussia to Wisconsin first in1861, then again about 1865, again in 1868, and lastly in August of 1871. Theiremigration at the time of the creation of modern Germany through wars withDenmark, Austria and France lends support to the oral family tradition thatthey left to escape Prussian militarism and conscription of the sons into thePrussian army.
The Kroschels were not at all unique in their motivation foremigration from Prussia at this time. Twice in this family history one willread of related families -the Gehrkes and the Kroschels of Chicago -that leftabout the same time for the same reasons. Again, records are mostly oral familytradition, but the same story appears often enough in different families tolead one to believe it was important to the Prussians of the 1860-1880 era.
Prussian emigrationto America was facilitated by the number of Prussian families participating inthe migration. There may have been some reverse migration back to Prussia aswell. The family names in Columbus, Wisconsin, church records from Altenfliessinclude the Schroeders, Sperlings, Lasse, as well as the numerous Kroschelfamily members.
The communities where the Kroschels settled in Wisconsin andMinnesota all had substantial Prussian populations. Watertown and Columbus,Wisconsin, had German churches and Kroschel daughters married other Prussiansthere. In the 1868-1871 resettlement to Brown County, Minnesota, the Kroschelschose a community that had been established by Germans and there where Germanlanguage newspapers. German was undoubtedly the language of the home, and thechildren probably learned English at school.
The final break with German origins appears to have occurredabout World War I. At that time, the immigrants largely became naturalized U.S. citizens. Few descendants survive today who can recall the native Germantongue spoken at home.
The progenitors of the Kroschel family in America aroundwhom this family history has been written were Samuel Kroschel and his two wives, the sisters Wilhelmiene and Caroline Gentsch. The Kroschels and theGentschs were prosperous Prussian farmers who lived in the Province ofBrandenburg, now a part of Poland. Samuel Kroschel first married WilhelmieneGentsch before 1830. She died in childbirth in 1830. Samuel then waited threeyears, and in 1833 married Wilhelmiene's sister Caroline. Samuel and Carolinehad eleven children, and then followed their seven surviving children toAmerica in 1871 settling in Wisconsin. Samuel Kroschel died there in 1875.Caroline, his widow followed her sons to Minnesota where she died in 1910 andis buried at Kroschel, Minnesota. The chronology of their lives follows.
Johan Samuel August Kroschel was born February 4, 1804, place unrecorded.August Kroschel, Herman Kroschel's eldest son reportedly said Samuel was bornin France, but there exists no record of any French association elsewhere inthe family. The Kroschel name has been recognized by Germans as being fromnorthern Germany. His birth date is from Caroline (Gentsch) Kroschel's Bible,and coincides with his age inscribed on his gravestone at Columbus, Wisconsin.However, when Samuel obtained permission to leave Prussia in August 1871, hisage was recorded as 58. This would indicate a birth date in 1812 or 1813.Samuel age's was recorded as 60 on the ship's passenger list when he arrived atNew York in October of 1871. This indicates his year of birth as either 1814 or1815. The author tends to believe that Caroline recorded her husband's birthdate more accurately than did these other recorders.
Wilhelmiene Gentsch was the first wife of Samuel Kroschel. When she married SamuelKroschel is not known. However, she died in giving birth to their daughter in1830, at Altenfliess. Their daughter was:
1. WilhelmieneKroschel, born June 30, 1830
One family oral tradition is that Samuel Kroschel waited three years for Wilhelmiene's younger sister Caroline toreach age 18. Then, in July of 1833, Samuel married Caroline Gentsch, younger sister ofWilhelmiene. Hanne Karoline Christine Gentsch was born March 3, 1815, placeuncertain. One family tradition relates that she was born in Altenfliess,Brandenburg Province, Prussia, where the couple lived. However, the 1895 MinnesotaCensus for Milford Township, Brown County, indicates that she was born inBraunschweig. Her obituary indicates that she was born in Brandenburg Province.Her death certificate records her father as Fred Gentsch.
Figure 1: Samuel and Caroline (Gentsch) KroschelSamuel was born February 4, 1804, in Brandenburg Province, Prussia. CarolineGentsch was born March 3, 1815,in Brandenburg Province, Prussia. They were married in July of 1833, andemigrated to America in 1871.
Samuel Kroschel and Caroline Gentsch were married in July 1833, place unrecorded, but almost certainly Altenfliess.Precisely where the couple originated and lived is not known, except that thebirth records for their youngest son, Herman Kroschel., who was born in 1855,were kept at Gurkow.
The family lived at Altenfliess, Friedeberg County, andBrandenburg Province, Prussia. However, a birth record for a son born in 1843indicates place of birth was Saxony, a region located south of Berlin. A birthrecord for a daughter born in 1850 indicates place of birth as Wuckensee whichwas a small village located about 10 miles northwest of Altenfliess. Mostrecords for the children of Samuel and Caroline in the United States indicateall emigrated from Altenfliess. The frequent migration of the Kroschel childrenabout the United States may have been behavior learned from the parents inPrussia.
To Samuel and Caroline (Gentsch) Kroschel were born elevenchildren, seven of whom reached adulthood and eventually emigrated to America.The children who had died by the time the parents emigrated from Prussia weremarked with a "+" in Caroline's handwriting in her Bible printed inBerlin in 1871, and are so marked here:
Table 1:Caroline's Bible
Johanna Caroline Auguste Kroschel, born January 24, 1835
Johan SamuelAugust Kroschel, born October 12, 1836
Emilie Kroschel, born July 5, 1839
Johan Karl LudwigKroschel, born August 10, 1841
Johan FriedrickWilhelm Kroschel, born October 1, 1843
Ernst Carl(Kardel) Kroschel, born June 1, 1846
++7 and 8.
(Twins) Louise and Heinriette Kroschel, born April 15, 1848
HeinrietteKroschel, born June 11, 1850
+ 10. CarolineKroschel, born June 14, 1852
Johann FriedrichHerman Kroschel, born January 15, 1855
Several stories have been passed down through the familyconcerning the life of Samuel Kroschel in Altenfliess. The first is that Samuel Kroschel was a forester.The second is that he cared for the king's horses on his farm. He had a largebarn, and the barn was full of horses. The horses were apparently kept for useby soldiers and had to be ready for their immediate use. A third story is thatthe roads through his farm were paved with stone. A fourth. story is that hebuilt a large house with three floors with the third floor used to house aseamstress employed full time to keep the family in clothing. A fifth story isthat when he built his new, large house, he was asked why not let the poor useit. Samuel reportedly replied that he did not want the poor around. As a resultof a trip to Altenfliess by the author in 1975, all of these stories could betrue, but no records survive to confirm any of them.
Altenfliess is now called Przyleg (pronounced Shay'-wenk) inPolish, and is located in western Poland about 50 miles northeast of Frankfurt(on the Oder River) which is now located in East Germany. During the author'sthree-day visit to the region in 1975, I stayed at Gorzow Wklp., about 15 milesfrom Przyleg, and traveled to the town by bus.
Przyleg is now clearly in a state of neglect as the railroadline through the region runs through nearby Gurkow (now called Gorki). It hasperhaps a few hundred residents remaining. They are all Polish settlers broughtin after World War II to resettle the region after the Germans were expelledand sent into either East or West Germany. The town is surrounded by a largeforest of what we know as Scotch pine that grow like our Norway pine in Minnesota.The soil is sandy and does not appear to be well suited to agriculture. Theforest is populated with deer and wild boar. The forest is carefully managed inthe sophisticated tradition of European forestry, with advanced clear-cuttingand reforestation practices evident everywhere I went. Judged by markings onthe trees, turpentine was also produced in the forest, and there was a barrelmanufacturing plant in Altenfliess.
The name Altenfliess means old flowage, and indeed a smallcreek went through the town. The barrel plant was located on this creek, and animpoundment provided a reservoir in which the barrels were soaked aftermanufacture. I was told the barrels were used to pack pickles for shipment tothe Soviet Union.
The houses in Altenfliess predated Polish resettlement, andwere all old German multistoried farmhouses clustered along a main street ofcobblestone, many with barnyards and barns behind the houses. Most were threestories high. Any of these houses could have been the one occupied by theKroschel family in the 1850's and 1860's. Most houses had gardens in the backyard, and a complaint heard on the 1975 visit was that a family of wild hogshad taken a taste for the garden produce. The gardens were well fenced, but thefamily of wild hogs would invade the gardens at night to root about thegardens. Tracks of wild hogs in the nearby forest were evidence of theirpresence, and I stayed with a Polish veterinarian in nearby Gorzow Wklp. whoowned guns and hunted deer and boar in the forests of the region.
Altenfliess' main street of cobblestone predated the Polishresettlement, and in fact no one I talked with knew anything of the history ofthe town prior to World War II. Until the people realized that I was anAmerican and not a German, they were reluctant to speak with me. (I knew onlyGerman, and that not well.) When they realized I was American, they becamefriendly and invited me into their homes. However, no one knew much of thetown's history.
There were two old cemeteries in Altenfliess, one primarilyPolish and fairly recent. The other was German. It had been deliberatelydestroyed by the Polish government in its attempts to eradicate the Germanrecord in the region. The gravestones had been smashed and tipped over, andmost had been dumped into a depression in the middle of the cemetery. Thecemetery was overgrown with brush and vines. I crawled around this cemetery forsome time, reassembling where possible smashed German gravestones and finding afew upright and intact buried deep in the brush overgrowth. I found no Kroschelgravestones, such as for the four children of Samuel and Caroline who died inchildhood. However, having constructed a fairly complete record of the familiesthat the Kroschel children married, I did recognize a few family names on thesurviving gravestones that represent relatives by marriage.
The church in Altenfliess was permanently closed, so Iwalked the few miles to Gurkow where the Kroschel family records were kept in1871 when the parents followed their children to America. There, I talked tothe Catholic priest who said he knew of no Protestant church records in thearea from before World War II. From genealogical experience in East Germany, Ibelieve such records were removed from the region, perhaps to West Germany(cathedral at Ratzeburg?) at the end of World War II. They may have beendestroyed in the War, or they may be preserved somewhere in the West. Thisremains a line of inquiry to pursue at another time, perhaps with the help ofthe extensive Mormon Church records available for family history research.
The European origins of the Kroschel family remain to bemore fully researched and documented.
Another family story was that each child of Samuel andCaroline Kroschel was given $1000 at the time of their marriage. This applied to thechildren from both sisters, mentioned below, as well.
Beginning in 1861, the Kroschel family children beganemigrating to America. August Kroschel received a trip for himself and wife asa wedding present following his wedding on December 30, 1860. Perhaps this waspaid for with his father's wedding gift. It appears that his sister Emilieaccompanied August and his wife at that time and that they went directly toWisconsin. In 1861 Louis Kroschel emigrated to Texas with a friend named Klaus.About 1865 Friedrich and Auguste (Kroschel) Gehrke emigratedfrom Prussia to Wisconsin. In 1868 Wilhelm took his wife and son to America,and he probably took his sister Henriette with him at that time. Finally in1871 Samuel and Caroline, their youngest son Herman, and their grandson, AugustSperling, departed for America.
(Note: The Prussian exit document for August Sperling, dated September 8, 1871, atFrankfurt, similar to the document for Samuel Kroschel, survives and has been handeddown through the Kroschel family. This document was recently conveyed to EthelSperling Wold, daughter of August Sperling, who lives at Lake Oswego,Oregon.)
The motivation for the Kroschelfamily to leave Prussia is not completely clear. The major reason, according toa story passed down in the family, was to avoid conscription of the Kroschel sonsinto the Prussian military. (This motivation to emigrate to avoid militaryservice appears again twice in this family history in two other Prussianfamilies that emigrated to the United States about the same time.) Why thedaughters also left, however, is not recorded.
In any case, in mid-August of 1871, Herman Kroschel obtainedhis birth record from the church at Gurkow. On August 31 Samuel Kroschel obtained the required exit document for his family at Frankfurt(on the Oder River). That document survives and has been passed down throughthe family. A copy appears on page 14 of this Kroschel familyhistory. Translated, it states:
Frankfurt on theOder River
It is hereby acknowledged by the undersigned royalgovernment that the farmer Samuel August Kroschel from Altenfliess, CountyFriedeberg, 58 years of age on his petition for his emigration to North Americawith his wife Hanne Karoline Christine, born Gentsch, 56 years old, and hisminor son Johann Friedrich Hermann, born 15th January 1855, is released fromthe Prussian citizenship. This certificate of release means for the above namedpersons therein the loss of the Prussian citizenship from this point on;however this is void if the released does not take residency outside theFederation or obtains the citizenship of a different state within six monthscounted from the day of this certificate. (This is based on paragraph 18 of thelaw on the acquisition and the loss of federal and state citizenship of thefirst of June 1870, state law page 355.)
Department of theInterior
The similar Sperling document is dated September 8, 1871,suggesting that the Kroschels had not left Frankfurt until at least that date.
On October 5, 1871, Samuel and Caroline, their son Herman,and the grandson August Sperling arrived at New York aboard the ship S. S. Silesia from Hamburg.From there they probably traveled directly to Columbus, Wisconsin, where theyjoined their three daughters. (Louis Kroschel had died in the Civil War inGeorgia in 1864.)
Samuel and Caroline lived in Columbus, Wisconsin, near theirthree married daughters. There, in March of 1872, Samuel Kroschel purchased six lots on the bank of the Crawfish River, on the northside of Columbus, for $600. Samuel and Caroline initiated a series of claimsagainst the U. S. government in 1874 as a result of the death of their sonLouis Kroschel in 1864 during the Civil War. The first claim was for back pay,during the period between his capture and death, and for which they received$265.59. The second claim was for the enlistment bounty, about which noresolution is recorded. The document containing the claim is the only knownsignature for Samuel Kroschel, his "x" indicating that he wasilliterate. The handsome signature for Caroline reveals she was the one who socarefully chronicled family births and marriages in the Kroschel Family Bible.
There, on May 3, 1875, Samuel Kroschel died. His obituary, from the Columbus Democrat of May 8, reads asfollows:
Mr. Samuel Kroschel, a German well advanced inyears, died on Monday of this week and was buried on Wednesday. He wasafflicted with asthma, and fell into a deep sleep from which he never awoke.Theodor Ulm, Frederick Gehrke and DanielGehrke were sons-in-law.
He was buried in Hillside Cemetery at Columbus, where hisgravestone may still be seen today. (The stone is now flush with the ground.)
Caroline later moved on to Brown County, Minnesota, whereshe lived with her son Herman. In 1888, Caroline petitioned for and received awidowed mother's pension as a result of the death of her son Louis in the CivilWar in 1864. She received $12 per month thereafter until her death.
Caroline again moved with her son Herman and his family toKanabec County, Minnesota, in 1900. A few family recollections of her from thisperiod was that she sat next to the stove to keep warm. She wove willowbaskets, samples of which survived until recently at the Kroschel farm. Onegreat grandson remembered getting swatted when he failed to obey her request.
Caroline Kroschel remained with her son at Kroschel, Minnesota, where she died December24, 1910. She was buried in the cemetery at St. John's Church, Kroschel,Minnesota. Her obituary reads as follows:
At the home of her youngest son, Herman Kroschel Sr.,Mrs. Caroline Kroschel, the oldest resident ofeither pine or Kanabec counties, passed away last Saturday morning of old age.Her end carne peacefully and without any suffering and came so peacefully thatthe family eating breakfast in the next room knew nothing of it. She had beenvisited by Mrs. Kroschel but a few minutes before and was apparently all rightand had slept well during the night. She had been confined to her bed for sometime because of the gradual wasting of her strength because of her extreme age,although she had sat up for a short time the day previous to her death.
The funeral was held in the German Lutheran church atKroschel and was attended by large numbers of sorrowing friends and relatives,Rev Mueller officiating.
Mrs. Kroschel was a beautiful Christian character, aloving mother, and had always been held in high esteem by all those who knewher. She was born in Brandenburg province, Germany, March 3, 1815, and was 95years and 9 months old at the time of her death. She has been a widow for thelast 36 years her husband dying at Columbus, Wis. She was the mother of elevenchildren, but four of whom survive her.
Just before her death she received an invitation fromher son in Oregon to attend his golden wedding anniversary on December 30.Another of her sons served in the civil war, was taken prisoner, and died after18 months of southern torture. Because of this she has drawn a pension of $12per month.
Those present fromout of town to attend the funeral were William and August Kroschel, of SleepyEye, son and grandson respectively, W. Gehrke, grandson from Morgan, Minn., andMr. and Mrs. Ben Kroschel of Woodlake, Minn.
Wilhelmiene Kroschel, the only child of Samuel and Wilhelmiene(Gentsch) Kroschel, was born June 18, 1839, at Altenfliess, BrandenburgProvince, Prussia. Her mother died at birth. Although little is known of herlife in Prussia, as the eldest daughter in what would become a large familyeventually, one can imagine that she played an important role in the Kroschelfamily.
In 1833 Samuel Kroschel married Wilhelmiene's aunt, Caroline Gentsch. Half-siblings/half-cousinsbegan arriving in 1835.
Wilhelmiene married August Samuel Sperling who was also from Altenfliess. Although the date of their marriageis not recorded, quite likely it occurred about 1848 when she reached age 18.To this couple were born seven children:
Table 2: Children of Wilhelmiene and August SamuelSperling
1. Ernst Karl August Sperling, born January 8, 1858
2. Amelia Sperling
3. Herman Sperling
4. Wilhelm Sperling
5. Anna Antonia Augusta Sperling
6. Louise Sperling
7. Mine Sperling
According to family tradition, August Samuel Sperling was killed while a soldier serving in the Prussian Army whilefighting France. This would have occurred in 1879 as Prussia was engaged in warwith France from July of 1879 until January of 1871 when Paris fell. Apparentlythe Sperling family was partly broken up at this time as August Ernst Sperlingcame to America with his grandfather, step grandmother and cousin in October of1871. His name appears on the ship's passenger list for the S.S. Silesia whenit arrived in New York on October 5. According to Sperling family traditionWilhelmiene (Kroschel) Sperling then emigrated to the United States about 1876as a widow.
Wilhelmiene first come to Minnesota where the Kroschels werethen settled, and later moved to Oregon. She died at Portland, Oregon, on August19, 1994, and was buried at Lone Fir Cemetery at Portland.
Table 3: Notes on the Children of August Samuel andWilhelmiene (Kroschel) Sperling
1. Ernst Karl August Sperling was known in theUnited States as August E. Sperling. He came to the United States in 1871 withhis grandfather, following the death of his father. On April 16, 1912 hemarried Amelia Weitzel, at Portland, Oregon. She was born April 12, 1889, inNorka, Russia. To this couple were born two children: August G. W. Sperling, onMay 9, 1913, and Ethel (Sperling) Wold, on January 3, 1917, both at Portland. August E. 19Sperling died July 26, 1922, at Portland. Amelia, his wife, died there onSeptember 11, 1979.
2. Amelia Sperling married AugustSchultz.
3. Herman Sperling had no family.
4. Wilhelm Sperling had no family.
5. Anna Antonia Augusta Sperling married a Mr. Rose.
6. Louise Sperling had no family.
7. Mine Sperling married a Mr.Schultz and lived in Oregon.
Ethel (Sperling) Wold of Lake Oswego, Oregon, is currently researching the Sperlingfamily in the United States.
Hanne Caroline Auguste Kroschel, the first child of Samueland Caroline (Gentsch) Kroschel, was born January 24, 1835, in BrandenburgProvince, Prussia. Little is known of her life in Prussia, although as thesecond daughter in a large family one may assume she played a major role in theKroschel family household.
Auguste Kroschel married Friedrich Gehrke before 1860 in Prussia. Friedrich had been born about 1835 atHohenwalde, Tyritz, Prussia. The couple's first two children, Anna and Martha,were born in Prussia. The family quite likely emigrated to the United Statesabout 1865. Their first two children, born in Prussia, were:
Table 4: Children of Auguste Kroschel & FriedrichGehrke
born about 1861
- Martha Gehrke
born about 1864
Afterarriving in America, the couple settled at Columbus, Wisconsin, whereAuguste's brother and sister were living, as well as many other families wholisted their origin as Altenfliess. Children born after arriving at Columbuswere:
3. FriedrichL. Gehrke
born September 19, 1865
4. CarlHobert Gehrke
born November 3, 1868
The1870 Census for Columbus reports the family as follows:
Place of Birth
real estate $800
Thecouple's remaining children born at Columbus were:
5. KarlOtto Gehrke
bornApril 28, 1872
6. LouiseFranziska Gehrke
bornAugust 30, 1874
7. EmmaAuguste Gehrke
bornNovember 1, 1876
All but the first of the above children were baptized in theGerman Methodist Church at Columbus. A death record for a Herman Gehrke, son ofFred and Auguste (Kroschel) Gehrke exists inNew Ulm, Minnesota. He died April 2, 1891, in Milford Township, Brown County,age 16 years and 5 months. He is listed as born in Wisconsin, and died ofpalsy. According to this information he would have been born November 2, 1874 -an unlikely event given the birth of a sister two months earlier.
By May of 1875, newspaper advertisements appear in theColumbus, Wisconsin, newspaper for Ulm and Gehrke, shoemakers. Friedrich Gehrke was a shoemaker while living in Columbus and later in Minneapolis.His partner was Charles Ulm, perhaps a relative of hisbrother-in-law, Theodor Ulm. The advertisement reads asfollows:
Ulm & Gehrke
Manufacturers of Boots & Shoes
Next door below Luders & Krause on James Street
Custom work done promptly and in the best manner
They sell the celebrated plow boot especially adaptedto farmers wear.
Repairing neatly done at low figures.
Between 1869 and 1879, Friedrich and Auguste (Kroschel)registered numerous mortgages in Columbia County, Wisconsin. By April 16, 1880,the family was living in Minnesota according to church records in Columbus,Wisconsin, and the 1880 Census which records the family as follows at Loreno(Sleepy Eye):
Table 5: Friedrich & Auguste (Kroschel) 1880 CensusSleepy Eye MN.
Name Age Birthplace Occupation
Frederick Gehrke 42 Prussia
Augusta Gehrke 42 Prussia
Anna Gehrke 20 Prussia Dressmaker
Martha Gehrke 16 Wisconsin Milliner
Hobert Gehrke 11 Wisconsin
Otto Gehrke 8 Wisconsin
Louisa Gehrke 5 Wisconsin
In December of 1886 the Gehrke family moved to Minneapolis.On September 16, 1887, Auguste (Kroschel) Gehrke died inMinneapolis and was buried in Laymanls Cemetery at Cedar Avenue and Lake Streetthere. According to her death certificate, she had lived in Minneapolis for tenmonths and in Minnesota for eight years prior to her death. Her cause of deathwas listed as cerebral apoplexy. She lived at 1321 N. Washington at the time ofher death.
Table 6: According to the 1887-1888 Minneapolis CityDirectory, the following were living at 1321 N. Washington:
Table 7: The 1888-1889 Minneapolis City Directoryidentifies the following family members living at 1319 N. Washington:
Table 8: The 1889-1890 Minneapolis City Directoryidentifies the following family members living at 1402 N. Second:
Charles F. Gehrke
The same directory also identifies Frederick Gehrke,shoemaker, living at the corner of Plymouth and N. Eighth in Minneapolis.
No further records of the Gehrke family are found inMinneapolis City Directories for later years. A nephew of Friedrich and Auguste(Kroschel) Gehrke once told me that the family moved to "East Bend" ineither Wisconsin or Indiana, but he died as the result of an auto accidentbefore he could provide me with details.
The second child of Samuel and Caroline (Gentsch) Kroschelwas Johan Samuel August Kroschel, known in the United Statesas August Kroschel. He was born October 12, 1836, in Brandenburg Province,Prussia.
(Author’s note: Retracing August Kroschel's migration fromPrussia, to Wisconsin in 1861, to Minnesota in 1868, and to Oregon in 1889, hasproved a special challenge. While most of the Kroschels moved about NorthAmerica a great deal, August seems to have set the pace.)
Virtually nothing is known of the life of August Kroschel inPrussia. Family tradition is that when each son reached draft age for thePrussian Army, Samuel would send him to the United States to escape militaryconscription. However, records begin about 1860.
According to her obituary, August Kroschel married LouisaAugusta Zermanskie on December 30, 1860, in Prussia. Louisa was born August 10, 1838,a daughter of Will and Louisa (Sperling) Zermanskie, according to her deathcertificate. The couple came to the United States on their wedding trip -earlyin 1861 -perhaps financed with the reported $1000 wedding gift from Samuel.
August Kroschel’s first record in the United States is thepurchase of land in Jefferson County, Wisconsin. On July 24, 1861, he bought 40acres of land for $800 in Watertown Township. This is located in southeasternWisconsin. He is identified in land records as a resident of Watertown at thetime. Why he chose Watertown, Wisconsin as a place to settle is not recorded.However, most European migration followed migration paths established byearlier settlers. In 1862 the Schroeder family from Altenfliess emigrated fromAltenfliess and settled at Watertown. In 1864, August moved to Columbus,Wisconsin, whose German church records have many families from Altenfliess.Quite likely, August Kroschel’s migration followed a path blazed by otherearlier emigrants and that same path was certainly later used by other migrantsfrom Altenfliess to America.
While living at Watertown, Wisconsin, August and Louisa(Zermanskie) Kroschel had their first child:
1. LouiseKroschel, born March 15, 1862.
On January 30, 1864, August Kroschel was issued a patent fortitle to 41 acres of land in Milford Township, Jefferson County, Wisconsin, for$167.80.
On September 6, 1864, August Kroschel of Jefferson Countybought 90 acres of land in Columbia County, Wisconsin, for $1900. Apparently hemoved his family from Jefferson County to Columbia County at this time. OnJanuary 6, 1866, he bought 11 lots in the village of Columbus, Wisconsin, inColumbia County, for $750. These lots were located on the north bank of theCrawfish River and were probably where his three sisters (two married toGehrkes and one to an Ulm) and later his parents lived while in Columbus.Later, in 1872, his parents bought lots in Columbus across the river from his.
While living at Columbus, August and Louisa (Zermanskie)Kroschel had three more children:
2. E. Charles Kroschel, born November 24, 1864
3. AmeliaKroschel, born June 27, 1866
4. MarthaKroschel, born in 1868.
On March 9, 1868, August Kroschel sold his 90 acres of landin Columbus Township, Columbia County, Wisconsin, for $3150. On June 24, 1868,August Kroschel homesteaded 240 acres of land in Section 18 of MilfordTownship, Brown County, Minnesota, just north of Essig. While living in BrownCounty, Minnesota, August and Louisa (Zermanskie) Kroschel had sixmore children:
5. Ida Kroschel, born in 1869
6. August Kroschel, born January 18, 1872
7. Bertha Kroschel, born March 10, 1875
8. Louis A. Kroschel, born September 18, 1876
9. Albert Kroschel, born November 29, 1878
10. Samuel August Kroschel, born February 17, 1881
According to her obituary, Louisa (Zermanskie) Kroschel had atotal of twelve children. Records of the other two children have not beenfound.
According to the records for School District 9 of MilfordTownship, originally written in German script and later translated by HermanRadloff of St. Louis, August Kroschel was chairman of the school board meetingon February 14, 1873. Again on March 7, 1873, he was chairman when taxes werediscussed for the purpose of erecting two new schoolhouses. August Kroscheloffered land free for building a school, as long as it remained for thatpurpose. At the February 14 meeting, it was decided to build schoolhouses 16 feetby 20 feet with 10-foot ceilings for which architects were to be retained. Onelocation was on the southeast corner of August Kroschel's land, and the otherwas on the Henle land. On March 29, August Kroschel was a member of a five manbuilding committee, which accepted a low bid of $750 for the two framebuildings.
On November 20, 1873, August Kroschel became a naturalizedUnited States citizen at New Ulm, Minnesota.
The New Ulm Review for April 17, 1874, reported that AugustKroschel’s barn burned to the ground at a loss of $1400. The May 1 newspaperreported that he had received $750 in insurance –the barn was only partlycovered.
In 1877 August Kroschel petitioned to be set off from localschool District 50, and attached to the parent District 9. His petition wasdenied.
On June 20, 1889, August Kroschel sold his 240-acre farm inBrown County, Minnesota, for $5000. Reportedly, his reasons for leavingMinnesota had to do with the harsh winters on the prairies of southernMinnesota. (There was an infamous blizzard in January of 1888 that killed manypeople in the Midwest.) On November 2, 1889, he bought 200 acres of land inBenton County, Oregon, for $8000. He built there a large farmhouse for hisfamily that is still standing but no longer occupied and in run down condition.(A daughter lived there many years and kept the house filled with birdsincluding peacocks, after which she failed to clean up.) A newspaper article inthe New Ulm Review on April 9, 1890, reported that August Kroschel had returnedfor a visit from Albany, Oregon, where he had bought land. There are large farmbuildings near the Oregon house. The land is rolling, fertile tilled fields, inthe Willamette Valley.
In 1907 August Kroschel sold 80 acres from the farm toCharles Sperling. In 1912 he sold the remaining 120 acres to August and Louise(Kroschel) Krueger.
On or about December 30, 1910, August and Louisa(Zermanskie) Kroschel celebrated their fiftieth wedding anniversary with their childrenand their families. Several photographs taken at the time of this celebrationhave been passed down through the family. A 1978 trip to Albany, Oregon,enabled me to locate one Otto Karstens, a resident of Albany about 90 yearsold, who grew up adjacent to the Kroschel farm and knew most of the people onthe family pictures taken at the time of the wedding anniversary reunion.
Otto Karstens also remembered August Kroschel, even throughAugust had been dead for 46 years (August died in 1932). Mr. Karstens describedAugust Kroschel in generous terms, noting that he was a very likable old man.He was stout - looked like a prizefighter - but would never fight. Mr. Karstensremembered that August one time broke a young horse to a cart. He caught thehorse in the Oak Grove schoolyard when the horse tried to kick him. He said,and I quote: “one of the nicest men you would ever want to meet." August was a member of Immanuel LutheranChurch in Albany. He chewed tobacco, and lost much of his sight in his old age.He must have been quite healthy, however, since his death certificate indicatesthat he worked at farming until he was 85 years old.
Louisa (Zermanskie) Kroschel diedFebruary 10, 1912, a year after her fiftieth wedding anniversary. AugustKroschel died February 26, 1932, and was buried at the Masonic Cemetery inAlbany, Oregon, beside his wife.
August Kroschel’s newspaper obituary from the February 27,1932, Albany Democrat Herald, reads as follows:
August Kroschel, 97, a native of Prussia, Germany, aresident of Oregon for the last 42 years, died at the home of August Krueger, in Benton County a few milesfrom Albany at 5:30 p.m., Friday, February 26th. Mr. Kroschel came to theUnited States in his boyhood days and lived for ten years in Wisconsin, and 18years in Minnesota, and at other places in the east before coming to Oregon. Hespent his active life as a farmer and was known as a worthy and industrious citizen.Notes on the Children of August and Louisa (Zermanskie) Kroschel
Table 9: Notes on the Children of August and Louisa(Zermanskie) Kroschel
1. LouiseKroschel, the first child, married August Krueger on May 3, 1883, at New Ulm, Minnesota. They had children Eda andSamuel. In 1912 August Kroschel sold 120 acres of his farm at Albany to thecouple.
- Charles Kroschel married Louise Hausing, on July 14,1896, at NewUlm, Minnesota. In 1896 Charles Kroschel is identified as a merchant fromAlbany, Oregon. He died June 10, 1917, of stomach cancer. On his deathcertificate, his occupation is listed as ice manufacturer. He lived atAlbany.
- Amelia Kroschel married Charles Essig on August 10, 1886, at New Ulm,Minnesota. Charles Essig was a partner with John Essig infounding the first store and post office, in 1885, named Essig, in BrownCounty. In 1890 the Essig brothers bought an implement business atSpringfield. In 1896 the Essigs disposed of his business in Washington andreturned to Springfield, Minnesota. In 1898 the Essigs moved fromSpringfield, Minnesota, to Fairhaven, Washington.
- Martha Kroschel is identified in the1889-1890 Minneapolis City Directory as a dressmaker boarding at 1319 N.Washington, where her cousins the Gehrkes has been living the previousyear. Married a Mercel, lived in Oakland, had two sons. All Mercels wereattorneys.
- Ida Kroschel. Married Charlie Czarske.
- August Kroschel, according to OttoKarstens of Albany, Oregon, who knew him there, was a wild guy who chasedwomen although married (and divorced). He lost $1000 entrusted to him topayoff a loan. He took money from a widow by pretending to be a ministerin California. Mr. Karstens said he never earned any money himself,although his death certificate lists his occupation as carpenter. When hedied February 14, 1953, only three people showed up at his funeral. He wasburied in a donated plot in Memorial Cemetery at Albany. He had a blackmustache, and was a spiffy dresser.
- Bertha Kroschel. Married September 18,1895, to Gust Hansing, at New Ulm, accordingto the New Ulm Review.
- Louis Kroschel. Married Lena Prettyman, and lived north ofAlbany. According to Otto Karstens, August Kroschel lived with Louis andLena after the death of his wife. Louis Kroschel died in 1928 and is buriedat Albany. His wife died there in 1966.
- Albert Kroschel.
- Samuel August Kroschel. Lived in Medford,Oregon. Married at Portland. Had three sons: Robert, Sam and Tom. Sold forthe local brewery in Medford. Took over their warehouse during prohibitionand made it into a creamery. Much later he sold out and moved to SanDiego, California, due to severe asthma problem.
Amelia Kroschel, the third child of Samuel and Caroline(Gentsch) Kroschel, was born July 5, 1839, in Brandenburg Province, Prussia.Emilie, as she was known in the United States, probably emigrated to the UnitedStates with her brother August Kroschel and his bride in early 1861.
On July 28, 1861, Emilie Kroschel married Theodor Ulm at Watertown, Jefferson County, Wisconsin. Emilie is identified asthe daughter of Samuel and Caroline (Gensh) Kroschel. Her husband was bornOctober 3, 1837, at Zeilow, Sonnenburg, Prussia, a son of Ferdinand andWilhelmine Wiegand or Vegant.
Table10: The couple livedat Watertown from 1861 until 1867. While living here the first of theirchildren were born:
1. HermanUlm, born in 1863.
2. EdaUlm, born in 1864.
3. CharlesUlm, born in 1865.
4. AmeliaUlm, born in 1866.
On January 5, 1868, Theodor and Emelia (Kroschel) Ulm joinedthe German Methodist Church at Columbus, Wisconsin. The church record thereshows another birth:
Table 11: The 1870 Census for Columbus records thefamily as follows:
It appears that Theodor's mother lived with the family in1870. There was another Ulm family living in Columbus at the time of the 1870Census, headed by Charles Ulm, a shoemaker born in Prussia.Quite possibly Charles and Theodor were brothers.
Table 12: While living at Columbus, the couple hadfour more children, all recorded in the German Methodist Church records there:
5. Alvin Theodor Ulm, born October 9, 1868
6. GustavAlbert Ulm, born April 3, 1871.
7. FranzLeo Ulm, born March 27, 1873.
8. EmmaAlvin Ulm, born June 1, 1875.
9. ElseAtlantis Ulm, born. April 15, 1879.
In 1881 the Ulms moved to Sleepy Eye in Brown County,Minnesota, following the Kroschel brothers who had settled in the Countybetween 1868 and 1871. At Sleepy Eye, Theodor Ulm opened a general merchandise store. While living there, thecouple’s last child was born:
10. Lillian F. Ulm, born August 9, 1883.
In 1889, Theodor Ulm's business at Sleepy Eyefailed. According to records, Ulm’s General Merchandise had assets of $2000 andliabilities of $3000. In that year the family moved to Fargo, North Dakota
Fargo City Directories for the years 1891 through 1911 havebeen searched. Apparently Theodor Ulm had retired by then as no occupation is listed. He appears atdifferent addresses in the directories for 1893,1904, 1905 and 1907.
A' family portrait from Fargo survives. Although members ofthe family are not identified, Emilie and Theodor are clearly identifiable atthe center of the photograph.
Theodor Ulm died at Fargo, North Dakota, on May 21, 1908, and was buried atRiverside Cemetery at Fargo. His obituary reads as follows:
Funeral of T. J. Ulm. Services held at family residencewere largely attended. The funeral services of Theo. J. Ulm, who died Thursdaymorning of Bright's disease, were held this afternoon from the house, 15Fourteenth Street South, at 3 o’clock. Mr. Ulm was 71 years of age and haslived in this state since the early days and has been a resident of Fargo forthe past six years. He leaves a widow and ten children, all of whom are grown.Interment was made in Riverside Cemetery…
Emilie apparently moved to Minneapolis to live. She diedthere on April 27, 1911, of acute lobar pneumonia and her body was returned toFargo for burial beside her husband. The report of her death was made by FrankUlm of Fargo, North Dakota.
There are few records of this family beyond the parents.Frank L. Ulm appears as a grocery clerk in the 1891 and 1893 Fargo CityDirectories, and was still there in 1908. Lilly Ulm appears as a boarder inFargo in the directories for 1899 through 1904. E. Ulm was a boarder in Fargoin 1893. Emilie Ulm’s moving to Minneapolis following the death of her husbandin 1908 suggests that she followed one or more of her children there to liveand be cared for.
Johan Karl Ludwig Kroschel,the fourth child of Samuel and Caroline (Gentsch) Kroschel, was born August 10,1841, in Brandenburg Province, Prussia. In the United States he was known asLouis Kroschel.
Nothing is known of the life of Louis Kroschel in Prussia.According to family tradition, he emigrated to the United States with a friendnamed Klaus, and landed in Texas. (Another story is that he came to the UnitedStates with the Schroeder family, also from Altenfliess and to which he was related.This story is doubtful, however, since the Schroeders did not emigrate until1862.) If his reason for emigration were to avoid conscription into thePrussian military, then Texas was the wrong place to be young, male and singlein 1861.
On October 27, 1861, Louis Kroschel enlisted - familytradition is that he was forced -in the Confederate Army at Victoria, Texas.Then as now Victoria was a German community. He enlisted as a private in Capt.J. A. Rupley's Company, Lone Star Rifles. This Company was later called CompanyB, 6th Regiment Texas Infantry, Confederate Army. His enlistment was for theduration of the Civil War.
One record indicates that his unit was stationed nearVictoria, Texas, in 1862. Another record indicates that the 6th Regiment Texas Infantrywas mustered into Confederate service between September 27, 1861, and April 11,1862. Apparently, after formation, this unit was assigned to Fort Hindman,Arkansas Post, in the fall of 1862, in Arkansas.
Fort Hindman was a bastioned fort surrounded by an 18-footditch and manned, in January of 1863, by about 4500 Confederate Army soldiers.Arkansas post, as the fort is commonly referred to, was located on the ArkansasRiver, about 50 miles away from the Mississippi, and was of concern to the UnionArmy because Confederate gunboats could be sent from there to the Mississippi.As a result of Union Army movements beginning in October, 1862, including theunsuccessful Union engagement at Chickasaw Bluffs and preceding an attempt tocapture Vicksburg, General McClernand decided to capture Arkansas Post.
McClernand commanded a Union Army of 30,000 soldiers, 50transports and 13 gunboats. On January 9, 1863, McClernand and his' armyreached a point three miles below Fort Hindman. The troops were deployed, surroundingthe Fort by 3 PM of the following day. The Union gunboats then engaged theConfederate artillery at the Fort and disabled them. The land attack began thefollowing morning and by mid-afternoon the Union gunboats had again silencedthe Confederate cannons in the Fort. By 3 PM, on January 11, Union troops hadentered the Fort from the Arkansas River, and shortly thereafter theConfederate soldiers facing the land forces started showing white flags ofsurrender. Union losses were 1061 men out of the 29,000 engaged. All of theapproximately 4500 Confederate troops were either killed or captured in thebattle.
On January 11, 1863, on the fall of Arkansas post, LouisKroschel became a prisoner of the Union Army. The prisoners were sent to Unionprisons in the north. Officers were sent to Ohio, and the enlisted men weresent to Alton, Illinois, probably by riverboat. From Alton the prisoners weresent to Camp Butler, near Springfield, Illinois, probably by train in opencattle cars. (Remember, this was January and the ground was probably snowcovered at the time.) A later report indicated that the health of the prisonerssuffered as a result of their exposure to January weather while beingtransferred from Arkansas to Illinois. While the date of the prisoner’s arrivalat Camp Butler is not known precisely, the Confederate prisoners had arrived byJanuary 31 of 1863.
A record of the conditions at Camp Butler immediately afterLouis Kroschel was imprisoned there is contained in a fascinating report by oneH. W. Freedly to the Commissary General of prisoners in Washington D. C. in thespring of 1863. It is printed in its original form below both because it saysmuch about the conditions Louis Kroschel faced as a prisoner, and because thisaccount contrasts so vividly with Louis' later experience.
Col. Wm. Hoffman,
Commissary Gen. of Prisoners.
I have the honor to submit the following report on thecondition of the prisoners of war confined at Camp Butler near Springfield.
The Camp is situated about six miles east ofSpringfield on the G.W.R.R. and is commanded by Col. W.F. Lynch 58th RegimentIll. Vol. There are at present confined in this camp 3,620 prisoners of war whowere captured at Arkansas Post and are principally from the states of Texas,Arkansas, and Louisiana. These prisoners are guarded in 21 frame buildings,including hospitals, each one erected for the purpose of quartering U.s.Volunteers. These buildings are ample for their accommodation, are providedwith comfortable bunks, and in every way fitted up as quarters for our owntroops.
The rations issued to the prisoners I find to be quiteas large as they can consume. They are cheerful and contented, and all agree insaying that their provisions are now better in quality and larger in amountthan those issued to them when in service to the Confederate States. Theprisoners are divided into companies. The roll is called daily under thesuperintendence of the Provost Marshall, and all changes and alterationsreported to the commanding officer. These reports are frequently verified bycounting all the prisoners when on parade. Every precaution has been adopted tosecure correctness and security. The guard is detailed from the 58th. Ill.Infantry, and from the 16th. Ill. Cavalry, stationed at the post. The sentinelswere quite sufficient in numbers and well posted. They appear well instructedin their duties but perform them in a loose and indifferent manner. Theprisoners are, however, held securely, and few escapes have been made. Theyappear to have become indolent, and so contented with their treatment that theydo not desire to escape.
The discipline at the camp is not good. A loose mannerof performing all duties of a soldier seems to prevail. There is a decided wantof force and energy among the officers and there is not sufficiently broad lineof demarcation between them and the enlisted men under their command. Indolenceand want of energy seem to prevail among the troops as well as among the prisoners.The police of the camp is very poor. No attention has been paid to it. Largeamounts of offal have been permitted to accumulate in the vicinity of theprisoners quarters until they were almost too filthy to visit. This was partlyto be excused as it has rained almost daily for some weeks. The camp has neverbeen dry since the prisoners arrived. Roads have been almost impassable, and ithas required all the transportation of the camp to supply it with wood. Suchwas the condition of roads that wagons were unable to reach the camp fromSpringfield. Had proper attention been paid to the drainage there would havebeen no necessity of its being in such wretched condition. I applied to Capt.Bailache, Asst. Quartermaster at Springfield, and he temporarily furnished 3additional wagons for the use of the camp. As soon as these reached the campthey were enabled to supply it with wood and some measures were taken to haveit properly policed.
The prisoner's barracks, internally and without, wereexceedingly filthy, the prisoners taking no trouble to insure their owncleanliness or comfort although every means were within their reach. Theofficers in charge of the camp didn’t attempt cleanliness among the prisoners,and appeared not to be aware of its importance. The prisoners, on their part;were content to remain in indolence amongst filth and vermin.
The duties of the adjutant's office have been properlyperformed. The books and records are correct. The money accounts have beenproperly kept, and all remittances are recorded and receipts given. Propereconomy is exercised in all accounts of the prisoners. I found everything inthe office satisfactorily performed. The Quartermaster's Department is underthe charge of Capt. Bailache, Asst. Quartermaster U.S. Volunteers, having forhis assistant at the camp Lieutenant George Swain, Regimental Quartermaster58th. Ill. Volunteers. Affairs of thisdepartment have been administered with proper economy, but there has been adisposition to do as little as possible to promote the comfort of theprisoners. No expense has been incurred in their behalf. On my arrival I foundmany destitute of proper clothing, and succeeded in obtaining for their use asmall quantity of gray clothing which had been turned over to the State of Illinoisto the Quartermaster's Department. This issue supplied all their immediatewants.
The barracks occupied by the prisoners are sadly inneed of repairs. New bunks should be constructed, additional modes ofventilation provided, while repairs to the floor and roof are required. Thecamp presents a general appearance of neglect... The repairs required by thiscamp do not require much expense to the government, and the labor could be allperformed by the prisoners.
The Commissary Dept. is under the charge of Capt.Ninian W. Edwards, Acting Commissary of Subsistence, U.S. Volunteers ofSpringfield… The rations furnished are good, and wholesome. The affairs of thisdepartment are conducted with due regard for economy, and in every respectsatisfactorily. The rations are furnished by contract at a cost of $14.97 perhundred rations: Fowler and Co. of Springfield, contractors.
The medical department is under the charge of SurgeonE.A. Merrifield, 58th Ill. Vol. and is plentifully supplied with medicines and otherhospital supplies. I have inspected the hospitals and find them but littleimprovement over the barracks as regards to cleanliness. I was indeed surprisedto find such a filthy place for sick men. These hospitals have a large numberof nurses and attendants, who have been detailed from the prisoners themselves,and every care and attention is given to the patients. The buildings used asprisoners hospitals are ill adapted to the purposes to which they are applied.They are not sufficiently well ventilated and are badly arranged. Ascleanliness and ventilation are the great essentials of a hospital no buildingswould answer the purpose in the condition I found these. I attribute theircondition to the indolence of the nurses and attendants, to the want of forcein the medical officers in charge of the hospitals, and to the generaldisregard of police regulations by the prisoners. Assistant Surgeon Merrifieldis well aware of the wants of the hospitals, as that of the troops was in goodcondition. He has repeatedly given proper instructions, but has shown want ofenergy and force in not enforcing them. The officers here have given manydirections to the prisoners regarding their own comfort, but have permittedtheir instructions to be disregarded. The prisoners, indolent from confinement,will not perform the ordinary police duties of the camp demanded by allsanitary regulations.
There are two physicians employed by contract asassistants to Dr. Merrifield in the prisoners' hospitals. There are also three prisonerswho represent themselves to be medical officers in the Confederate States army,and who are employed attending the sick prisoners, and render valuable service.Mr. Merrifield appears desirous of doing his duty, is active and industrious;but there is a looseness, want of discipline and system in the hospitals. Therewere three buildings used as prison hospitals which contained 207 patients. Allof these were seriously sick, and presented a case of suffering calculated toexcite much sympathy. Besides these sick in the hospitals, there were 250prisoners receiving medical treatment in the barracks. These prisoners were notseriously unwell, and were able to visit the hospital daily for theirmedicines. Besides the hospitals above referred to, there was a small buildingseparated from the camp, and without the enclosure that was used as a smallpoxhospital. It contained 7 prisoners, all very old cases.
The sanitary condition of the prisoners has improvedbut little since their arrival. The principal causes of their unhealthycondition are exposure in the transportation to this camp, long confinement intransports without sufficient clothing to protect them from the weather,prostration and reduction before capture, together with a total neglect of all sanitaryregulations and personal cleanliness. The mortality of the camp is quite large,103 persons died during the month of February. The prisoners' fund is rapidlyaccumulating and proper economy is exercised in its disbursement.
Quite a number of the prisoners have taken the oath ofallegiance. Before being permitted to do so, each applicant is carefullyquestioned and examined, and if there is any reason to doubt the sincerity ofhis application the indulgence is not granted. I think that proper attention isnot given this subject, and the examination is not sufficiently thorough. Thecommanding officer is entirely too liberal in this respect. A number ofprisoners here are Texas conscripts and there is a great deal of professedloyalty among them. Quite a number of them who were released by taking the oathof renunciation and allegiance have enlisted in the u.s. service. I would notpermit any of those who enlisted in the u.s. troops at the camp to be placed asguards over their late companions. 61 prisoners were released upon taking theoath of renunciation and allegiance during the month of February...
This camp might have been made a very satisfactory onein every respect, but there was an apparent neglect in everything relating todiscipline. There were no police regulations established. The commandingofficer, who has been a prisoner in the South, seemed to care only for thesecurity of the prisoners. They were closely confined within limits, and noregard paid to their wants or comforts. He appeared to think that this was allthat was required of him. He has permitted the prisoners to take care ofthemselves; they have become indolent and have lived in filth and idlenessuntil they have lost all energy and pride. I have given every necessary instructionat this camp for the complete compliance of all your instructions. I haveinstituted rigid police regulations and when left everything indicated greatimprovement. With the aid of a few days of fine weather, I have no doubt thatthe police and sanitary condition of the camp will be wonderfully improved.
I am, Colonel,very respectfully,
The prisoner-of-war records for Camp Butler mention LouisKroschel at several points. His Confederate Army unit, date and place of capture,and physical description are all recorded. Louise is described as having grayeyes, brown hair, and was 5 feet 6 inches tall. The final note on hisConfederate Army service record reads: "Deserted while in Prison at CampButler, Ill."
Of the 61 prisoners released fromCamp Butler in February of 1863, Louis Kroschel was one. Union Army recordsindicate that Louis Kroschel enlisted on February 1, 1863, at Camp Butler, andwas mustered in on February 17 as a private in Company H, 16th Regiment IllinoisVolunteer Cavalry, for three years. He appears on the rolls of that unitthrough December of 1863.
The 16th Illinois Cavalry was originally organized inChicago in 1861. At different times during the civil War its strength wasincreased and it was reorganized. One of these reorganizations was completed inJune of 1863. In October of 1863 a portion was assigned to garrison duty atCumberland Gap on the Kentucky Virginia line. Louis Kroschel was in this unit.The history of the 16th Illinois Volunteer Cavalry states:
A detachment under Col. Thieleman constituted the garrisonat Cumberland Gap, and one Battalion, under Maj. Beers, was sent up Powell'sValley in the direction of Jonesville, Virginia. On the 3rd of January, 1864,this Battalion was attacked by three Brigades of Longstreet's command, andafter maintaining its ground for ten hours, against five times its own number,and losing heavily in killed and wounded, its ammunition having becomeexhausted, it was compelled to surrender. The loss on this occasion was 356 menand 56 officers.
Thus, on January 3, 1864, almost exactly a year after beingcaptured by the Union Army at Arkansas Post, Louis Kroschel became aprisoner-of-war once again. However, having deserted the Confederate Army atCamp Butler in Illinois eleven months earlier, and probably knowing that hecould be shot as a deserter were he discovered, Louis Kroschel assumed the nameJohn Thorn, another private in Company H, who had been killed in the battle atJonesville. Louis' assumption of a different name has confused his subsequentmilitary records in the Civil War to this day.
“This town was established in 1784 as the county seatof Lee County and was named for Frederick Jones. Here on January 3, 1864 General William E. Jones, assisted bycolonel A. L. Pridemore, defeated a Union force capturing the battalion. Union troops burned the courthouse in1864. The present courthouse waserected in 1933. The town wasincorporated in 1864 and reincorporated in 1901.”
Figure 2: This roadside marker in Jonesville, VA, isthe only reminder of the battle that took place there on January 3, 1864. This was the battle in which Louis Kroschelwas captured by the Confederate Army. He was imprisoned at Richmond, VA, on January 16, and sent toAndersonville Prison in Georgia on March 8, 1864.
By January 16, 1864, Louis Kroschel had been confined toprison at Richmond, Virginia. The Confederate government was at that timebecoming concerned about the concentration of Union Army prisoners at Richmond.Not only were supplies, guards and transportation required for the Confederatewar effort in Virginia, but the Confederates also feared Union Army attacks inattempts to free Union prisoners. Various prison sites were examined throughoutthe South. Finally, a prison site was decided on at Andersonville, Georgia. Thefirst Union Army prisoners arrived there in February 1864, and Louis Kroschelwas sent to Andersonville from Richmond on March 8, 1864. From other accountsit appears that the train ride to Andersonville took about a week. No recordsexist of Louis Kroschel at Andersonville Prison until September 1864, when hewas admitted to the hospital there. But abundant accounts exist that have beencompiled into histories of Andersonville Prison. These histories record thedreadful conditions there during 1864 that resulted in the deaths of about12,000 Union soldiers. What follows has been taken from these accounts ofAndersonville Prison as its existed in 1864 while Louis Kroschel was confinedthere.
Another prisoner-of-war from the 16th Illinois Cavalry, JohnMcElroy, later described his arrival at Andersonville Prison as follows:
About midnight the train stopped, and we were orderedoff ... Five hundred weary men moved slowly through double lines of guards.Five hundred men marched silently towards the gates that were to shut out lifeand hope for most of them forever. A quarter mile from the railroad, we came toa massive palisade of great squared logs standing upright in the ground. Thefires blazed up and showed us a section of these, and two massive wooden gates,with heavy iron bolts and hinges. They swung open as we stood there and wepassed through into the space beyond. We were in Andersonville.
McElroy arrived on February 27, 1864, in the first group ofprisoners to arrive at Andersonville. Prisoners continued to arrive at the rateof 400 per day. By the time Louis Kroschel arrived in mid-March, there wereprobably about 6000 prisoners in the stockade. By late June there were 26,000prisoners there. By late July there were 32,000. All were confined, withoutshelter, in an area designed to accommodate no more than 10,000 prisoners. Thestockade at Andersonville had been constructed in six weeks by Confederatesoldiers and Negro slaves from nearby plantations. The original stockadeenclosed 16 acres, but was later expanded to include 26 acres. The stockade wasprepared to confine enlisted soldiers, with their officers to be confined atMacon, Georgia. The stockade consisted of pine logs, 20 feet long, and buriedfive feet in the ground. Sentry boxes, called "pigeon roosts," werelocated at intervals along the top of the stockade. They were manned by guardswho overlooked the enclosure. Within the stockade and parallel to the walls wasa "deadline" beyond which prisoners were not permitted to pass. Thosewho did - either by accident or out of desperation - were shot by the sentries.A very small stream flowed through the stockade, and this was intended toprovide fresh water to the prisoners as well as carry away their sewage. Latein 1864, the guard manning the prison, fearing an attack by General Sherman'sarmy then in Atlanta, built a second stockade around the first. In large part,the prison guard feared an attack from the prisoners as much as they fearedUnion Army attempts to liberate the prisoners.
In August of 1864 there were over 32,000 prisoners withinthe stockade. Within the deadline, this provided 37 square feet of space foreach man imprisoned there. But much of the enclosed stockade was uninhabitable:the area alongside the stream bank was a swamp that soon filled with the humanwaste of the prisoners. When this area plus the area set aside for the tworoads entering from the gates along the west wall, there could not have beenmore than 25 square feet per prisoner during the summer of 1864. Allphotographs of the prison taken during 1864 show men standing close together asfar as the photographs show across the prison yard.
A great deal has been written of the conditions atAndersonville Prison during 1864 while Louis Kroschel was confined there. Forfurther reading, the author has found the following to be a reputable andreadable history of Andersonville Prison: History of Andersonville Prison, byOvid L. Futch, university of Florida Press, 1968.
The only record of Louis Kroschel at Andersonville, reads asfollows:
The original Andersonville Hospital Register shows J.Thorn, Pvt. Co. "H" 16 Ill. admitted to Hospital Sept. 10 '64 wherehe died Sept 15 '64 of "Dysenteria."
Two thirds of those captured with Louis at the battle atJonesville, Virginia, also died at Andersonville. All were buried in thecemetery - now a national cemetery - there. At the time Louis died, prisonerswere dying faster than graves could be dug for them. Thus all were buried in acommon trench, each corpse on its side, facing the corpse ahead of it, chest toback. Thus, today the gravestones marking the graves in that part of theAndersonville Cemetery are located so close that they often touch each other.
Louis Kroschel is buried in one of those trenches. Thegravestone marking his burial may not be located over his body because thegravestones were erected many years later based on notes taken by prisoners whoassisted in the burials. But the gravestone is marked "8863 John F. ThornIll." which was the name he chose upon capture in January of 1863.
Louis Kroschel’s military service later became the basis ofbounty and pension claims by his parents. Until her death in 1910, Caroline(Gentsch) received a monthly pension check for $12 as a result of LouisKroschel's military service.
Johan Friedrich Wilhelm Kroschel was born October 1, 1843,in Brandenburg Province, Prussia. By one account, he was born in Saxony. Butmore likely he was born at or near Altenfliess where the family was known to beliving by 1855. On his petition for U.S. citizenship in 1918 he identified hisplace of birth as Friedeberg, Germany, which was a town about four miles fromAltenfliess.
Wilhelm Kroschel married Auguste Speckman on September 6, 1866, in Prussia. Auguste was born February 9,1846, in Prussia, a daughter of William Speckman. While living in Prussia theirfirst child was born:
1. AugustKroschel, born July 23, 1865 (?)
The couple emigrated to the United States in 1868, followingthe path of August Kroschel, Emilie (Kroschel) Ulm, and Louis Kroschel in 1861,and Augusta (Kroschel) Gehrke about 1865. They arrived in New York on May 23,1868, aboard the Germania from Hamburg according to his subsequent citizenshipapplication. Quite likely they went immediately to Columbus, Wisconsin, wherethree of Wilhelm's older siblings had settled. A few months later he moved toBrown County, Minnesota. There, in Home Township (near Sleepy Eye) in BrownCounty, Wilhelm Kroschel bought 160 acres of farmland for about $2800 onOctober 15, 1868. This farm was about four miles west of the farm homesteadedby August Kroschel, Wilhelm’s older brother, four months earlier. Apparently,they came to Brown County together in the summer of 1868.
While living at Home Township, Brown County, Minnesota,eight more children were born to Wilhelm and Auguste (Speckman) Kroschel:
2. Louisa Kroschel, born September 7, 1868.
3. AmeliaKroschel, born?
4. HermanCarl Kroschel, born March 23, 1873.
5. DettKroschel, born June 7, 1875.
6. AnnaKroschel, born in 1877.
7. IdaL. Kroschel, born February 8, 1883.
8. LinaKroschel, born May 26, 1885.
9. BerthaKroschel, born December 1, 1887.
Table13: The 1880 Census for Home Township, BrownCounty, Minnesota, records the family (Wilhelm and Auguste (Speckman) Kroschel)as follows:
Wilhelm Kroschel seems to be the only Kroschel to live allof his life in the United States in one place. He farmed for 32 years nearSleepy Eye, Minnesota, and in 1900 when he retired he moved into Sleepy Eye tolive.
On May 28, 1918, Wilhelm Kroschel declared his intention tobecome a United States citizen at New Ulm. He listed his occupation as"retired" as he was then 74. His height was 5' 8", weight 152pounds, with gray hair, blue eyes, and no distinctive marks according to hisapplication.
Augusta (Speckman) Kroschel died on August 8, 1925 and wasburied in the cemetery at Sleepy Eye, Minnesota. Wilhelm Kroschel died thereNovember 7, 1935, of chronic myocarditis and general arteriosclerosis lastingsome 2 years, at age 92 years
Table 14: Notes on the Children (Wilhelm Kroschel/Auguste Speckman
1. AugustKroschel came to the United States with his parents, landing at New York on May23, 1868. By fall of that year he was living in Brown County, Minnesota. Hemarried Augusta Heidemann on June 1, 1892, at Sleepy Eye. However, the 1895 Census shows adaughter Anny, age 7, living with the couple in Home Township." They hadsix children: Emil Herman born in 1893 (died 1933), Albert John born in 1895(died 1968), Martin Henry born in 1897(married to Mathilda Heideman August 18,1935, Stearns County, children were Thomas, Marilyn and Bonnie, died 1978),Lilly Augusta born in 1898, Elina born in 1901, and August born in 1902. Hedied in an automobile accident on December 29, 1933.
2. LouisaKroschel married Christ Menk of Nicollet, Nicollet County, Minnesota, on June 14, 1893, atSleepy Eye. They had 2 boys, Allie and Albert, and five girls, Esther, Lilly,Olga, Hildegard, and another whose name is not known. Louisa (Kroschel) Menk lived and died at Nicollet, Minnesota.
3. AmeliaKroschel married John Trebesch. They had 2 boys, Theodoreand Ben, and 2 girls, Anna and Lina. They lived at Sleepy Eye, Minnesota.
4. HermanCarl Kroschel married Johanna Orusch. They had four children: Kattie Ida bornin 1900, Meta Augusta born in 1902, William Paul born in 1907, and Herbert bornin 1916. Herman Kroschel died October 28, 1939, at Sleepy Eye.
5. DettKroschel, daughter of Wilhelm and Augusta (Speckman) Kroschel, died August 20,1875, at barely two months of age.
6. AnnaKroschel never married. She lived in Minneapolis in 1935. She died in 1948 andwas buried at Sleepy Eye.
7. IdaL. Kroschel, also called Edith, married Oscar Prescott. They lived at Sleepy Eye andhad six children: Melvin, James, Paul, Margaret, Ruth and Delores.
8. LinaKroschel, also called Helen, married P. Pehrsson, and lived at Upham, NorthDakota. They had no children.
9. BerthaKroschel married Ben Hillesheim and lived in New Ulm. They had one daughter, Barbara.
Henriette Kroschel, the ninth child of Samuel and Caroline(Gentsch) Kroschel, was born June 22, 1850, in Brandenburg Province, Prussia.By one account, in her marriage record at the German Methodist Church atColumbus, Wisconsin, she was born at Wuckensee, a small town about ten milesfrom Altenfliess.
When and how she emigrated to America is not known. Her son,Fred Gehrke of Milwaukee recalled in a telephone conversation in 1974, shortlybefore he died, that she had told him it was along voyage by ship and that shehad come with other people.
On January 21, 1871, she married John Daniel Gehrke atColumbus, Wisconsin. This may mean that she emigrated with her brother Wilhelmin 1868. Daniel Gehrke was born August 17, 1843, at Hohenwalde or Stettin,Prussia, a son of Frederick Chr. and Sophie (Shimming) Gehrke. Daniel Gehrke had emigrated in 1867. FredGehrke, son of Daniel and Henriette (Kroschel) Gehrke, recalled in 1974 thathis father did not like German militarism - a belief probably shared with theKroschel family.
Table 15:The couple (John Gehrke & HenrietteKroschel) farmed at Columbus, Wisconsin, until about 1876. While at Columbus,they had at least three children:
1. JohanAlbert Gehrke, born June 21, 1872.
2. KarlOtto Gehrke, born November 13, 1874.
3. HermanGehrke, born December 1875.
About 1876, the Gehrke’s movedfrom Columbus, Wisconsin, to Sleepy Eye in Brown County, Minnesota, and farmedin Home Township, Brown County. There, the couple had more children:
4. MinnieGehrke, born December 29, 1878.
5. Anunnamed son, born February l, 1881.
6. & 7. Twin daughters, Louise Sophia Gehrke, born December 22, 1887.
8. FrederickRudolph Gehrke, born March 9, 1890.
While birth records for the family are scattered andincomplete, it appears that there were other children. They were Helena,Julius, and William whose dates of birth are unknown.
Daniel Gehrke farmed over 300 acres at Sleepy Eye. He wasmainly a grain farmer: wheat, corn, oats and flax, with cattle and hogs.
Henriette (Kroschel) Gehrke died July 14, 1904, at SleepyEye, Minnesota, and was buried in Home Cemetery there. She died of acutenephritis. Daniel Gehrke died there on November 27 or 28, 1912, of multiplesclerosis, and was buried beside his wife.
Table 16: Notes on the Children (John Gehrke &Henriette Kroschel)
On September 30, 1974, the author had thegreat stroke of luck to have a telephone conversation with Fred Gehrke ofMilwaukee, Wisconsin, son of Daniel and Henriette (Kroschel) Gehrke. He wasthen 84 years old, and although in alert then, he was to die a month later as aresult of complications following an automobile accident while returning toMilwaukee from a visit to the Kroschel family farm near Hinckley, Minnesota.Many of the following notes were recorded at the time of that telephoneconversation.
1. JohanAlbert Gehrke was known as Albert Gehrke. He lived and died at Morgan,Minnesota.
2. KarlOtto Gehrke was known as Otto Gehrke. He lived and died at Sleepy Eye,Minnesota.
3. MinnieGehrke died in Minnesota on September 10, 1882, just short of her fourthbirthday, of "summer consumption."
4. JuliusDaniel Gehrke, known as Julius Gehrke, was a soldier in World War I. He livedlater in Arizona near Phoenix, and died there in 1954.
5. & 6. The twins Louise and Sophia Gehrke diedat birth.
7. FrederickRudolph Gehrke was known as Fred Gehrke. He lived on the family farm until1910. Had polio. Spent much time in a hospital in St. Paul. He claimed he neverdid much. Lived on the bum for a couple of years. Got tired of that and settledin Denver from 1919 to 1925. Moved to Milwaukee in 1928. Sold real estate andinsurance. Married in 1929 in Racine, Wisconsin, to Hazel Cathleen Tyler. Nonatural children, one adopted: Mrs. Arlene Wilson of Milwaukee.
8. HelenaGehrke never married. She was in Germany at the outbreak of World War I, andwas last heard from in 1914.
Johann Friedrich Hermann Kroschel, the eleventh and lastchild of Samuel and Caroline (Gentsch) Kroschel, was born January 15, 1855, atAltenfliess, Friedeberg County, Brandenburg province, Prussia. As a descendanton the family line of Herman Kroschel, more family records have been preservedwith which to document his life.
According to his confirmation certificate, Herman Kroschelwas confirmed before the congregation on Palm Sunday, March 21, 1869, atGurkow, about two miles from Altenfliess. A copy of this record survives and isincluded here.
In August of 1871 the remaining members of the Kroschelfamily in Prussia were the parents Samuel and Caroline (Gentsch) Kroschel andtheir son Herman. The other six surviving children had all emigrated to theUnited States in 1861 (Auguste, August, Emilie, and Louis), or 1868 (Wilhelmand Henriette). Apparently, when young Herman reached the age at which he couldbe drafted into the Prussian military, the remaining family members decided toemigrate and join the three daughters settled at Columbus, Wisconsin.
On August 18, 1871, the family obtained an official churchrecord of Herman's birth at Gurkow, which translates as follows:
According to the church book of Altenfliess, it ishereby acknowledged that to the farmer Samuel August Kroschel was born a sonalso there (Altenfliess) by his wife Hanne Karoline Christine born Gentsch onthe 15th of January 1855 who in the holy baptism of the 26th of the same monthwas named Johann Friedrich Hermann.
Gurkow, 18 August 1871
Figure 3: Herman Kroschel's birth record, dated August18, 1871, at Gurkow
From what was apparently intended tobe a notebook of their trip to the United States, but never filled out, itappears that Samuel Kroschel left Altenfliess on August 22, 1871, for Frankfurt (on the OderRiver, about 50 miles away) to obtain exit documents. Herman Kroschel left fourdays later, on August 28.
There exists in the family a document for Ernst Karl AugustSperling, dated September 8, 1871, atFrankfurt, granting exit permission and loss of citizenship, similar to the onefor Samuel, Caroline and Herman Kroschel. The document refers to his birth onJanuary 8, 1858, that he was also from Altenfliess, and that the exitpermission was the result of petition by his father who was unnamed.
From Frankfurt, the Kroschels went to the port of Hamburg,where they boarded the ship S.S. Silesia. They arrived at New York City onOctober 5, 1871. The ship’s passenger log shows 3395 passengers, including Sam,Carole, and Herm Kroschel and Aug Sperling, with their ages, occupations, andorigin as Germany. From New York it appears that the Kroschels went toColumbus, Wisconsin. The parents remained there with their three marrieddaughters, and in 1872 Herman went on to Brown County, Minnesota, where hisolder brothers August and Wilhelm had settled in 1868 (following the SiouxIndian uprising in that area a few years earlier).
On March 18, 1874, Herman Kroschel bought some land fromJulius and Amalia Schroeder. The Schroeders were also from Altenfliess, and nota year later Herman was to marry their daughter, Marie, who according to familytradition was also his second cousin. Undoubtedly, the parallel migrations ofthe Kroschel, Gehrke and Ulm families, plus others from the same vicinity inPrussia, implies a larger pattern of migration of families that had known eachother since Prussia and probably had family ties as well.
On January 15, 1875, his twentieth birthday, Herman marriedMarie Louise Erdmuthe Schroeder in New Ulm. Marie was the first daughter ofJulius and Amelia (Haeft) Schroeder,and was born January 22, 1856, at Altenfliess. Family tradition is that Hermanand Marie were second cousins. The Schroeders had come to the United states in1862, and settled first at Watertown, Wisconsin, and four years later moved toBrown County, Minnesota. Herman and Marie (Schroeder) farmed adjacent to Essig,Minnesota, in Brown County. Their farm, a photograph of which is included withthis history, eventually included 240 acres in separate parcels, and waslocated just south of his brother August's farm in Milford Township. He farmedthis land for twenty-six years.
One relic of this era is an iron-trading hatchet, reportedlyunearthed by Herman while breaking the virgin prairie with his plow. Latertests of this iron axe head by the Minnesota Historical Society indicated thatit was an item used in earlier fur trade with prairie Indians, another examplewith similar identifying marks having been discovered in Iowa. The granary fromthe Kroschel farm still stands at Essig, with Herman's stenciled name on itsinterior walls.
On March 9, 1876, Herman Kroschel declared his intention tobe come a United States citizen at New Ulm. However, he did not complete thecitizenship process for many years. His certificate of citizenship is datedJanuary 7, 1897, at Brown County.
Table 17 While living in Brown County, thirteenchildren were born to Herman and Marie (Schroeder) Kroschel:
1. AugustFriedrich Wilhelm Kroschel, born October 16, 1875.
2. HermanJohan Friedrich Kroschel, born April 22, 1877.
3. GustaveJulius Adolph Kroschel, born December 4, 1878.
4. WilhelmAlbert Bernhardt, or Wilhelm Albert August Kroschel, born November 1, 1880.
5. IdaMarie Louise Kroschel, born August 29, 1882.
6. LudwigHerman Gustave Kroschel, born April 10, 1884.
7. BernhardtAlbert Kroschel, born February 14 or 15, 1886.
8. EmilieCaroline Johanna Kroschel, born January 22 or 29, 1888.
9. FriedrichJulius August Kroschel, born March or May 15, 1890.
10. Emil EdwardKroschel, born February 2, 1891 or 1892.
11. Martha AugustaLouise Kroschel, born January 16, 1894.
12. Adolph GustaveJohan Kroschel, born October 17, 1896.
13. Marie LouiseKroschel, born January l, 1899.
Table 18: The 1880 Census for Milford Township, BrownCounty, Minnesota, records the family as follows:
Table 19:The 1895 Census for Milford Township records the family as follows:
According to Herman Kroschel (son of Herman and MarieKroschel), he and his brother Gust started visiting east central Minnesota in1897. They bought land in Kanabec County that year. Herman Kroschel (father)visited the area in 1898, and bought some more land for sons Gust, Bill, andLudwig (Louis) that year. According to Herman (in his 1962 letter to theauthor), in the fall of 1899 or winter of 1900 he bought the land he then movedto from Brown County. According to the New Ulm Review, on February 7, 1900,Herman and William Kroschel (sons of Herman) shipped a carload of stock andimplements to Hinckley. On May 2, Herman sold his farm at Essig to Herman Radloff.On September 5, 1900, Herman Kroschel left for Hinckley, according to the NewUlm newspaper.
On May 8, 1900, Herman and Marie (Schroeder) Kroschel soldtheir 199 acres in Milford Township, Brown County, Minnesota, for $7000 toHerman Radloff. In September of 1900 they moved to Kroschel Township, KanabecCounty, Minnesota, to farm.
The township was created in 1899, being named for the twosons of Herman, Gust and Herman, who had first bought land there in 1897.Herman farmed on the land be bought after 1900. He remained on the farm heestablished for himself until his death. Marie (Schroeder) Kroschel diedNovember 3, 1937, of dilation of the heart, at Kroschel and was buried in thecemetery of St. John's Church there. Herman Kroschel died March 23, 1938, andwas buried beside his wife.
August Friedrich Wilhelm Kroschel was born October 16, 1875,at Milford Township, Brown County, Minnesota.
On November 22, 1897, August Kroschel signed a contract withthe Theo F. Koch Land Company to buyabout 100 acres of undeveloped land in northern Kanabec County, Minnesota, for$395. 10. August had visited the areathat year with his brothers Gust and Herman, and all three brothers signed landcontracts to buy in the same area about the same time. Newspaper accounts from New Ulm at the timeindicate that the Kroschel family began its migration to northern KanabecCounty about this time, taking their livestock and farming tools by train toHinckley, then overland to the Kroschel settlement area. August Kroschel then married Hulda Albertina(Busse).
In the Kroschel Family tradition, August Kroschel moved hisfamily from Kroschel, Minnesota, to Pueblo, Colorado, in 1916. The family survived the flood of 1921 there,but lost their home and possessions. Following this they moved to dry land and farmed west of Pueblo. Later, they moved to the San Luis Valley andDel Norte, Colorado.
Table 20: ToAugust and Albertina Kroschel were born 12 children:
- Edwin E. Kroschel
April 12, 1900.
- Albertina W. Kroschel
May 2, 1902.
- Augusta I. Kroschel
January 20, 1904.
- Else LouiseKroschel
March 4, 1906.
- Herbert E. Kroschel
March 27, 1908.
- Ruthven A. Kroschel
August 18, 1910.
- Clara Kroschel
July 3, 1912.
- Ruth R. Kroschel
August 18, 1914.
- Eugene Kroschel.
- Verda Kroschel.
- May Kroschel.
- Elton Kroschel.
The record of the children has been compiled by a member ofthe family. Because of itscompleteness, it is reproduced here as provided to the author by the family.
August Kroschel died at Del Norte, Colorado, on January 24,1955. His widow survived him.
Descendants of August and Albertina Kroschel celebrated amajor family reunion in 1978 at Del Norte, Colorado. The reunion was attended by nine of their twelve children. There were 50 grandchildren, 87 greatgrandchildren, and 10 great great grandchildren at the time of the familyreunion in 1978.
1. EdwinKroschel married Rose Weaver. They had ten children. One of Edwin's sons, Curtis, lives at Rocky Mountain House, AlbertaCanada. They had four children, two ofwhom died when 4 years old.
2. AlbertinaKroschel married Neal Pennington. They had two children. She is now deceased.
3. AugustaKroschel married Oliver Pennington, and had three children.
4. LouiseKroschel married Nelson Whitsitt. They had 7 children.
5. HerbertKroschel married Florence Bauer. They had 5 children.
6. RuthvenKroschel married Geraldine Hoffman. They had 2 children.
7. MildredKroschel married Marvin Pierson and Lester Dosch. She had two children.
8. RuthKroschel married John Miena. They had no children.
9. EugeneKroschel married Norma Off. They had 5 children.
10. Verda Kroschelmarried Clyde Rasor. They had four children.
11. May Kroschelmarried William Rush. They had 3 children.
12. Elton Kroschelmarried Nancy Schnitker. They had four children.
Herman Johan Friedrich Kroschel, the second child of Hermanand Marie (Schroeder) Kroschel, was born April 22, 1877, atMilford Township, Brown County, Minnesota. He was raised on his father's farm there.
On November 22, 1897, Herman Kroschel signed a land contractwith the Theo. F. Koch Land Company to buy approximately 100acres of undeveloped land in northern Kanabec County, Minnesota. The purchase price was $395, and he paidthis amount in 1906. He agreed to buythe land about the same time that his brothers Gust and August signed similarland purchase contracts in the same area. Land records indicate that he bought an additional 80 acres in the samearea on October 15, 1900, for $480. Again on December 9, 1901, he bought another 40 acres for $240. Herman Kroschel married Martha Alma Weser onOctober 15, 1901. She was born March 24, 1884, in Dresden, Germany. To this couple were born twelve children:
Table 21: The Children of Herman and Louise(Schroeder) Kroschel)
1. IdaMartha Kroschel, born November 20, 1902, at Kroschel
2. EdmundErvin Kroschel, born May 16, 1904, at Kroschel
3. EllaHertha Kroschel, born October 7, 1905, at Kroschel.
4. EstherMaria Kroschel, born October 5, 1907, at Kroschel
5. LilleAnne Selma Kroschel, born November 5,1909, Kroschel
6. MarthaAlma Esther Kroschel, born October 29, 1911, at Kroschel
7. ElvirElmer Kroschel, born April 3, 1913, at Kroschel
8. LornaLouise Marie Kroschel, born March 13, 1915, Kroschel
9. HubertWilliam Kroschel, born April 2, 1917, at Kroschel
About 1918, Herman moved his familyto Beiseker, Alberta, Canada, to farm there. Their last three children born in Canada were:
1. MarieAnna Kroschel, born May 6, 1919, at Beiseker, Alberta, Canada
2. MertonNorman Robert Kroschel, born July 19, 1921, at Beiseker
3. HermanHomer Hubert Kroschel, born October 19, 1924, at Calgary, Alberta, Canada;Herman died there on December 18, 1963.
1. IdaKroschel married William Carl Johan Eifert,on August 2, 1922.
2. EdmundKroschel died September 10, 1905. Buried at Kroschel.
3. EllaKroschel married Robert Toole on January 23, 1924.
4. EstherKroschel married Frederick Schell on November 16, 1927.
5. LilleKroschel married Emil Gordon McArthur on October 7, 1936. Havesons Gordon Jr., Lloyd, Lorne, and Alvin (deceased), and one daughter,Lorraine.
6. MarthaKroschel married Fred Gehring on June 22, 1933. Have onedaughter, Doreen.
7. ELVIRvirKroschel married Ruby May Ringdahl on October 22, 1934.
8. LornaKroschel married George Theodore Shogren on December 24, 1941. They have one son, Loren.
9. HubertKroschel did not marry.
10. Marie Kroschelmarried John Daubert in 1942. ll. Merton Kroschel did not marry.
11. Herman Kroschelmarried Marjorie Eleanor Schmidt on November 12, 1947.
Gustave Julius Adolph Kroschel was born December 4, 1878, inMilford Township, Brown County, Minnesota, the third child of Herman and Marie(Schroeder) Kroschel. He was raised on his father's farm in Brown County, adjacent toEssig.
On September 22,1897, Gust Kroschel signed a contract to buy78 acres of land in northern Kanabec County, Minnesota. In 1908 he was issued a homesteadcertificate for an additional 40 acres of land in the County, although heapparently only logged timber off this land. In 1913 he bought the 80-acre farm owned by his brother Ben who hadmoved to Yellow Medicine County, Minnesota, for $1100. On October 28, 1914, he married Ida Schmidtat Kroschel, Minnesota. Ida had beenborn December 20, 1894.
The couple had eight children:
1. WilmarKroschel, born November 12, 1915.
2. EdwardKroschel, born February 14, 1918.
3. HelenKroschel, born April 6, 1920.
4. DonaldKroschel, born July 31, 1926.
5. VernonKroschel, born March 15, 1931.
6. & 7. Leroy and Lester Kroschel, born October 22, 1933.
8. LoraineKroschel, born November 13, 1934.
Gust Kroschel died April 26, 1958, at university Hospitalsin Minneapolis of a heart condition. Hewas buried at St. John’s Cemetery at Kroschel, Minnesota.
1. WilmarKroschel married Esther Swatzke on May 25, 1936. They have one daughter, Susan.
2. EdwardKroschel married Joan Judkins on February 28, 1955. Theyhave one daughter, Pat.
3. HelenKroschel married Lawrence Gustafson on February 8, 1948. Theyhave five children: Sharon, Debbie, Sandra, Randy and Gary.
4. DonaldKroschel. He is not married.
5. VernonKroschel. He married Shirley Schubbe. They have three children, Beth Ann, John Vernon and DannyCharles.
6. & 7. Leroy and Lester Kroschel, twins. Leroy married Beverly Currie and they have three sons: Leroy Ronald, Eugene Vernon and JamesClayton. Lester married Barbara Cyr. They have six children: Kathryn, Julie, Jeffry, Timothy, LesterMichael and Kimberly. Another sonSteven died at about two years.
8. LoraineKroschel. She is not married.
Wilhelm Albert Bernhardt Kroschel was born November 1, 1880,at Milford Township, Brown County, Minnesota, near Essig, the fourth child ofHerman and Marie (Schroeder) Kroschel. He wasraised on his father's farm there.
Following his brothers Herman and Gust, Bill Kroschel boughtfarm land in Kanabec County, Minnesota, and moved there to live. Land records for Kanabec County first showBill Kroschel homesteading land in 1908, and again in 1909, but he may havebought land there when his older brothers first settled there. Bill Kroschel married Annie Ausmaus on June 1, 1909, at Pine City, Minnesota. She was born February 3, 1888. To this couple were born seven children:
1. Raymond EmilKroschel, born July 20, 1910.
2. Clarence AlbertGustav Kroschel, born April 24, 1912. 3. Gladys Marie Kroschel, bornMay 5, 1914.
4. Myrtle AnnaKroschel, born October 4, 1916.
5. Kenneth WilliamKroschel, born January 5, 1922.
6. Clayton OttoKroschel, born January 26, 1926.
7. Jeanette LucilleKroschel, born August 26, 1929.
Bill Kroschel lived his adult life in the Kroschelarea. Annie (Ausmaus) Kroschel diedOctober 9, 1929. Bill Kroschel diedFebruary 22, 1975, at Mora, Minnesota. Bill was buried at Kroschel.
Notes on the Children of Bill and Annie (Ausmaus) Kroschel
1. Raymond Kroschelmarried Margaret Hickle in January 1932. They havefour children: Milton, Jeanette, Joanne and Patricia.
2. Clarence Kroschelmarried Elsie Lick on October 20, 1934. Theyhave three children: Carrie, Katie and Gregory.
3. Gladys Kroschelmarried Oscar Foss on October 19, 1932. Theyhave three children: Lavalle, Bernadine, Gerald and Terrance. 4. Myrtle Kroschel married Rudolph Lick on October 20, 1934. They have three children: Richard, Geraldineand Larry.
5. Kenneth Kroschelmarried Myrtle Loftness on February 28, 1942. Theyhave four children: Lynette, Glenda, Kevin and Jolene.
6. Clayton Kroschelmarried Irene Greenly on March 28, 1946. Theyhave four children: Billy, Keith, Jeffrey and Jon Scot.
7. Jeanette Kroschelmarried Sidney Dees, and has five children: Mark,Barbara, Colleen, Constance, and Sean, and lives in Washington.
Ida Marie Louise Kroschel was born August 29, 1882, atMilford Township, Brown County, Minnesota, the fifth child of Herman and Marie(Schroeder) Kroschel. She was raised on her father's farm near Essig, Minnesota, andmoved to Kanabec County with the family in 1900. Ida Kroschel married Frank Nels Mortenson of Hinckley on June 10, 1902, at St. John’s Church atKroschel. The couple lived at Hinckley,and to them were born three sons:
1. HugoWilliam Mortenson, born March 30, 1903.
2. FranklinWillard Mortenson, born March 10, 1905.
3. WalterAllen Mortenson, born October 21, 1907.
When the eldest son reached college age, the family moved toMinneapolis to enroll each son at the University of Minnesota.. Frank Mortenson worked as a shipping clerkfor candy manufacturers in the Twin Cities. Frank Mortenson died in Minneapolis on April 2, 1944. Ida continued to live in Minneapolis untilher death on April 27, 1966. Both areburied in the National Cemetery at Fort Snelling in Minneapolis.
1. HugoMortenson married Helen Peterson on August 7, 1929, at Plainview, Minnesota, where the couplelived. They had no children. Hugo Mortenson died at Rochester and was buried at Plainview.
2. WillardMortenson married Marjorie Davis at Minneapolis. The couplelives in Minneapolis.
3. AllenMortenson married Josephine Francis Glenn on August 27, 1938, in St. Paul. Al sold insurance until he retired. The couple has three children: Thomas GlennMortenson, Mary Jo (Mortenson) Giles, and Jane Ann (Mortenson) Sweeney.
Ludwig Herman Gustave Kroschel was born April 10, 1884, at Milford Township,Brown County, Minnesota, the sixth child of Herman and Marie (Schroeder)Kroschel. He was raised on his father's farm there.
Land records at Mora, Minnesota, indicate that on February25, 1913, Louis Kroschel bought 20 acres of land from his older brotherAugust. Louis paid his brother$300. Later that same year, on May 5,Louis bought from his parents for $1 80 acres of land near where his brothershad settled earlier.
Louis Kroschel married Otilda Marie Bloemendal on December5, 1917, at Sandstone, Minnesota. Tillie was born February 22, 1896, at Hector, Renville, Minnesota.
The couple lived and raised their family on their farm atKroschel, Minnesota. To them were borntwo children:
1. ElizabethMartha Kroschel, born April 5, 1919.
2. LilaOtilda Louise Kroschel, born May 3, 1921.
Louis Kroschel died January 8, 1969, and was buried atKroschel.
1. BettyKroschel married Edmund Erickson at St. Paul on February 12, 1949. The couple has two children, Gail and Brian.
2. LilaKroschel married Richard Fountain in Iowa on March 5, 1948. The couple has two sons and lives in California.
Bernhardt Albert Kroschel was born February 14, 1886, atMilford Township, Brown County, Minnesota, the sixth child of Herman and Marie(Schroeder) Kroschel.
Probably about 1900, Ben Kroschel moved with his parentsfrom Brown County to northern Kanabec County where his brothers had begunresettlement in 1897. There, on April30, 1910, Ben Kroschel bought from his parents 80 acres for $1. Ben and his wife Ella, now of YellowMedicine County, Minnesota, sold this land to his brother Louis in 1913 for$1100.
The author has almost no records for Ben. He was married to Ella Elke. They had three children: Kermit, Clara and Luann. A photograph of Ben standing beside hisgrandfather's gravestone at Columbus, Wisconsin, appears on page 16 of thisfamily history. Ben died June 27, 1936,in the railroad yard at Laurel, Montana. He was buried at Billings. Hiswidow lived at Fort Shaw.
1. KermitKroschel's last known address was in New Jersey.
2. ClaraKroschel married several times, and lived in California. She had two sons, Warren and Bob.
Emilie Caroline Johanna Kroschel was born January 29, 1888,at Milford Township, Brown County, Minnesota, the eight child of Herman andMarie (Schroeder) Kroschel. Milly moved to KanabecCounty, Minnesota, with her family in 1900.
Milly Kroschel married John Leppink on September 27, 1910, at Kroschel. They lived first at Kroschel,and later moved to Helena, Montana. To this couple were born seven children:
Table 22: TheChildren of Herman and Marie (Schroeder) Kroschel
1. RuthLouise Leppink, born August 20, 1911.
2. AltonJohn Leppink, born April 28, 1913.
3. GerritKendall Leppink, born May 26, 1915.
4. LloydHerman Leppink, born June 16, 1917.
5. HermanFredrick Leppink, born February 5, 1919.
6. VernonGustave Leppink, born July 12, 1921.
7. JohnArmon Leppink, born July 3, 1931.
Figure4: John and Milly (Kroschel) Leppink both diedat Helena, Montana. John died June 26, 1979, and Milly died September 14, 1979.Both are buried at Helena.
1. RuthLeppink married Victor Hesselroth on October 8, 1938.
2. AltonLeppink married Mary Gin Ashley on July 1, 1936. They have three sons: Ashley, Allen and Gary.
3. GerritLeppink married Maxine Cooper on May 9, 1948. They have no children.
4. LloydLeppink married Nancy Cosgriffe in June of 1947. They have two daughters.
5. HermanLeppink married Bette Lee McCallum on August 8, 1953. They have a daughter, Lori Jane Leppink.
6. VernonLeppink. Vernon was in World War II. He was in the Death March in thePhilippines, and died shortly after the March. His body was returned to Helena,Montana, where he was buried.
7. JackLeppink married Colleen Johnson on June 5, 1954. They have four children: Clifford, Kimberly,Vernon and Rhonda Marie.
Friedrich Julius August Kroschel was born March 15, 1890, inMilford Township, Brown County, Minnesota, the ninth child of Herman and Marie(Schroeder) Kroschel. He was raised on hisfather's farm there, near Essig, until 1900 when the family moved to KanabecCounty, Minnesota.
Fritz Kroschel never married. He wasa mink rancher, and continued to live on his parent's farm, in Kanabec County.He served in the armed forces during World War I. He often made hunting tripswith the Leppinks in Montana. A photograph of Fritz is included with thishistory.
Fritz Kroschel died September 1, 1973, at Mora, Minnesota,and was buried in the cemetery at Kroschel.
Figure 5: Fritz Kroschel
Emil Edward Kroschel was born February 2, 1892, at MilfordTownship, Brown County, Minnesota, the tenth child of Herman and Marie(Schroeder) Kroschel. He was raised on hisfather's farm there until 1910 when the family moved to Kanabec County,Minnesota.
Emil Kroschel married Julia Inez Mullen on June 17, 1919, in St. Paul. She was born December 31, 1893, atSt. Paul. He was employed by the railroad, for which he worked 23 years. Thefamily lived in St. Paul. The couple had two children:
Table 23: TheChildren of Herman and Marie (Schroeder) Kroschel
1. JeanLouise Kroschel, born June 10, 1920.
2. JamesElliott Kroschel, born March 13, 1925.
Emil Kroschel died June 13, 1939, at St. Paul, and he wasburied at Fairview Cemetery.
1. Jean Kroschel married Roland Otto Koch on January 20, 1945, at St. Paul. The couple has three children:Judith Jean Koch, Thomas John Koch, and Lawrence Alan Koch.
2. JimKroschel was married to Jane Hopkins on February 14, 1948. They had one son, Michael Kroschel. Jimmarried Donna Hollinger on February 18, 1955.
Martha Augusta Louise Kroschel was born January 16, 1894, atMilford Township, Brown County, Minnesota, the eleventh child of Herman andMarie (Schroeder) Kroschel. She was raised on herfather's farm there near Essig until 1900 when the family moved to KanabecCounty, Minnesota.
Martha Kroschel married Wilhelm Henry Fischer on August 31, 1917, at Kroschel. He was born June 11, 1888, atFairfax, Minnesota.
Figure 6: Wilhelm Fischer & Martha Kroschel
To this couple was born one son:
1. RobertAdolph Fischer, born June 9, 1918, at Spokane, Washington.
Martha (Kroschel) Fischer died May 1, 1964, and is buried atDenver, Colorado.
Robert Fischermarried Martha Ann Hull on July 1, 1950, at Austin, Texas. She had been born December 14,1920, at Baring, Missouri. To this couple were born three children:
1. FrancisWaverly Fischer, born August 17, 1951.
2. ByronWilliam Fischer, born February 13, 1953.
3. VirginiaSusan Fischer, born July 19, 1955.
In 1973 RobertFischer was living at Novato, California, and working in San Francisco.
Adolph Gustave Johan Kroschel was born October 17, 1896, atMilford Township, Brown County, Minnesota, the twelfth child of Herman andMarie (Schroeder) Kroschel. He moved with the family toKanabec County, Minnesota, in 1900.
Addie Kroschel married Dora Margretta Schlafle on August 18,1926, at St. John's Church at Kroschel. Dora had been born July 22, 1900. Tothis couple were born four children:
1. DorineAddie Kroschel, born June 6, 1928.
2. RobertAdolph Kroschel, born October 14, 1929.
3. HugoEmil Kroschel, born August 20, 1931.
4. RosaMarie Kroschel, born December 9, 1935.
The couple continues to live on the farm Addie's father Hermanbuilt for his family after moving from Brown County in 1900. Addie has retiredfrom farming and Hugo now runs a combined dairying, mink and beef operation onthe farm.
1. DorineKroschel married Paul Hedtke on October 11, 1952. They lived for a while at Baudette,Minnesota, and now live at Hinckley. They have four children: Lori Ann, MaryDorine, Paul Alan, and Fred. All children now live in California.
2. BobKroschel married Patricia Ann Fluegge Schultz and lives at Mora, Minnesota.
3. HugoKroschel married Francis Amy Dixon on January 21, 1955. They have three sons: Richard Marvin, Wayneand Stephen. They farm Herman Kroschel's farm that he bought in 1900.
4. RosaKroschel married Ronald Walter Swanson on January 21, 1956, at Kroschel. They have two children: RhondaMarie and Brenda Dorine. They live near Grasston, Minnesota.
Marie Louise Kroschel was born January 1, 1899, at MilfordTownship, Brown County, Minnesota, the thirteenth and last child of Herman andMarie (Schroeder) Kroschel. Marie moved to KanabecCounty with her family in 1900.
Marie Kroschel married Jerry Dufeck of Hinckley on July 9, 1921, at Kroschel.
The couple lived for a time in Hinckley, then in Minneapolisand in 1937 to Duluth. To this couple was born one son:
1. EugeneDufeck, born September 27, 1922. The couple also raised Jeanette Kroschel, thedaughter of Bill Kroschel, Marie's brother, since she was six years old. JerryDufeck died suddenly at Duluth on May 27, 1941. In 1946
Marie moved to Helena, Montana, where she worked forMontgomery Ward. She died suddenly there on April 30, 1955, and was buried atKroschel.
Eugene Dufeck, son of Jerry and Marie (Kroschel) Dufeck,married Elizabeth Stickney on February 7, 1944. The couple has eleven children:Jerry Lee, Claudia Gene, Stephen James, Jeffrey David, David Allen, GregoryEugene, James Lewis, Joanna Marie, Barbara Arline, Richard William, and Nancy.
There are others in America with names similar toKroschel. There are those with familynames like Krosch, and Krasch. In Minnesota there is a family based in Edgerton- a Dutch community - that spells its names Krosschell. But there is also asecond Kroschel family in America.
The second Kroschel family is scattered around the southernend of Lake Michigan, from Milwaukee to southern Michigan, and is centered onthe north side of Chicago. Correspondence with this family suggests that theymay well be related to ours. The two families came from about 50 miles fromeach other in Prussia. Here is what is known of the second Kroschel family toemigrate from Prussia to America.
Gustav Kroschel was born in Prussia on October 17, 1833,according to a descendant, while his gravestone says 1834. He married Amelia orEmilia Lowinsky, daughter of Frank Lowinsky,born December 2, 1835, although her gravestone says 1834. The couple settled inBerlin, or Wilkau, near Berlin. There they had three children:
1. PaulKroschel, born September 2, 1865.
2. AlbertKroschel, born in 1867 or 1868.
3. AnnaKroschel, born?
In 1882 or 1883 the family resettled in Chicago. A familymember relates that Gustave Kroschel took his family out of Prussia because hehad been in the Prussian Army and did not want his sons to go to war. Accordingto his death certificate, he earned a living as a bricklayer in Chicago. Gustavor Gustaf died there on July 30, 1902, and was buried at St. Boniface Cemeterythere. Amelia (Lowinsky) Kroschel died in Chicago on August 17, 1918, and was also buried at St.Boniface Cemetery. This is a Catholic cemetery at Lawrence and Clark Streets onthe north side of Chicago, and was visited by the author in 1983. Six Kroschelsfrom this family are buried in the family plot there.
Son Paul Kroschel married Margaret Zeivel, and daughter AnnaKroschel married Jake Zeivel in a double wedding on November 12, 1889. The Kroschel and Zeivelburial plots are combined at St. Boniface Cemetery.
Paul and Margaret (Zeivel) Kroschelhad thirteen children:
1. Anna,born January 12, 1891, living in 1974 in Milwaukee.
2. Robert,born July 5, 1892.
3. Albert,born October 15, 1893.
4. Gustave,born May 10, 1895.
5. Emelia,born September, 1897.
6. BerthaAnn, born April 8, 1899.
7. TheodoreAlbert, born November 9, 1900.
8. Rose,born October 24, 1902.
9. Joseph,born May 11, 1905.
10. Olga, born July10, 1906.
11. Agnes Gertrude,born April 17, 1908.
12. Henry Otto, born July 20, 1910.
13. Marie Elizabeth,born January 25, 1913.
Paul Kroschel died in 1948 and is buried at the St. Bonifacecemetery. Margaret, his wife, died in 1964 and was buried there too.
Son Albert Kroschel married Sophia Smith. They had three sons:
They also had four daughters whose names are not known tothe author. All married. Albert Kroschel died in 1916 and is buried in the St.Boniface Cemetery. Sophia, his wife, who was born in 1869, died in 1956 and wasburied in the family plot at St. Boniface Cemetery.
This family is Catholic, and pronounces its name "crowshell'," as do some in our family. There is some interest in familyhistory in this family as well, since records of earlier generations are wellkept by a Catholic nun living in Milwaukee, and several descendants knew anoral history of the Prussian origins of the family.
(KROSCHEL) PIERSON,Mildred 46
(WEAVER) KROSCHEL,Rose 46
Ausmaus, Annie 51
Busse 45, 46
Caroline Gentsch 10,11
Cooper, Maxine 57
Cosgriffe, Nancy 57
Currie, Beverly 49
Cyr, Barbara 49
Czarske, Charlie 24
Daubert, John 48
Davis, Marjorie 52
Dees, Sidney 51
Dixon, Francis Amy 61
Dosch, Lester 46
Dufeck, Jerry 62
Eifert, William CarlJohan 48
Elke, Ella 54
Erickson, Edmund 53
Essig, Charles 23
Ferdinand Wiegand 25
Fischer, Wilhelm Henry 60
Florence Bauer 46
Foss, Oscar 51
Fountain , Richard 53
Gehring, Fred 48
Gehrke , Sophie(Shimming) 38
Gehrke, Auguste(Kroschel) 13, 18, 19, 20
Gehrke, Friedrich 6,18
Gentsch, Caroline 10,16
Giles, Mary Jo(Mortenson) 52
Glenn, JosephineFrancis 52
Greenly, Irene 51
Gustafson, Lawrence 49
Hansing, Gust 24
Hausing, Louise 23
Hedtke, Paul 61
Heidemann, Augusta 37
Henry Otto 64
Hesselroth, Victor 57
Hickle, Margaret 51
Hillesheim, Ben 37
Hoffman, Col. Wm. 28
Hoffman, Geraldine 46
Hollinger, Donna 59
Hopkins, Jane 59
Hull, Martha Ann 60
Jake Zeivel 63
Johnson, Colleen 57
Judkins, Joan 49
Koch , Roland Otto 59
Kroschel , Caroline 2, 12,15
Kroschel , Ernst Carl(Kardel) 12
Kroschel , Louise andHeinriette 12
Kroschel ,Samuel 10
Kroschel, Amelia(Lowinsky) 63
Kroschel, Caroline 2,13, 15
Kroschel, Dora(Schlafle) 2,61
Kroschel, Emilie 12
Kroschel, Heinriette 12
Kroschel, JohanFriedrick Wilhelm 12
Kroschel, Johan KarlLudwig 12, 27
Kroschel, Johan SamuelAugust 10, 12, 21
Kroschel, JohannFriedrich Herman 12
Kroschel, JohannaCaroline Auguste 12
Kroschel, LudwigHerman Gustave 43, 53
Kroschel, Marie(Schroeder) 2, 43, 44, 45, 47, 49, 51, 52,53, 54, 55, 58, 59, 60, 61, 62
Kroschel, Samuel 2,8, 10
Kroschel, Samuel 10, 11, 12, 13, 14
Kroschel, Tillie(Bloemendal) 53
Kroschel, Wilhelmiene 10
Kroschel, Wilhelmiene(Sperling) 16
Krueger, August 23
Krueger, August andLouise (Kroschel) 22
Leppink, Alton John 55
Leppink, John 55
Lick, Elsie 51
Loftness, Myrtle 51
Louisa (Sperling)Zermanskie 21
Louisa (Zermanskie)Kroschel 21, 22, 23
Louisa AugustaZermanskie 21
Lowinsky, Amelia orEmilia 63
Mary Gin Ashley 57
McArthur, Emil Gordon 48
McCallum, Bette Lee 57
Menk, Christ 37
Menk, Louisa(Kroschel) 37
Miena , John 46
Mortenson , FranklinWillard 52
Mortenson , WalterAllen 52
Mortenson, Frank Nels 52
Mortenson, Hugo 52
Mortenson, HugoWilliam 52
Mortenson, ThomasGlenn 52
Mullen, Julia Inez 59
Off, Norma 46
Paul and Margaret(Zeivel) 63
Pehrsson , P. 37
Pennington, Neal 46
Pennington, Oliver 46
Peterson, Helen 52
Pierson, Marvin 46
Prescott , Oscar 37
Prettyman, Lena 24
Rasor, Clyde 46
Ringdahl, Ruby May 48
Rush, William 46
Samuel Kroschel 15,16, 41
Schell, Frederick 48
Schmidt, MarjorieEleanor 48
Schnitker, Nancy 46
Schroeder, Amelia(Haeft) 42
Schubbe, Shirley 49
Schultz, August 17
Shogren, GeorgeTheodore 48
Smith, Sophia 64
Speckman, Auguste 35,37
Sperling , Amelia 16,17
Sperling , AnnaAntonia Augusta 16, 17
Sperling , Ernst KarlAugust 16
Sperling , Herman 16,17
Sperling , Wilhelm 16,17
Sperling, August 13, 14, 17,41
Sperling, AugustSamuel 16
Sperling, Louise 16,17
Sperling, Mine 16,17
Swanson, Ronald Walter 61
Sweeney, Jane Ann(Mortenson) 52
Toole, Robert 48
Trebesch , John 37
Ulm, Amelia 25
Ulm, Charles 18,25
Ulm, Eda 25
Ulm, Else Atlantis 26
Ulm, Emma Alvin 26
Ulm, Franz Leo 26
Ulm, Gustav Albert 26
Ulm, Herman 25
Ulm, Lillian F. 26
ULM, Theodor 15, 18,25, 26
Vegant, Wilhelmine 25
Whitsitt, Nelson 46
Wilhelmine Wiegand 25
Will and Louisa(Sperling) Zermanskie 21
Wold, Edith (Sperling) 2
Wold, Ethel (Sperling) 17