Sorry, this entry is only available in Deutsch.
Sorry, this entry is only available in Deutsch.
Gesche Hinrichs Schloemer Kettwich is not a name that most people in Minonk will remember since she died in 1952. In addition, she was not a civic leader or a prominent name in social circles. However, her life was long and interesting and reflects the lifestyle of the early settlers in this area. She had eleven children, most of whom settled in Minonk, and had 122 living descendants at the time of her death.
As a little boy, I remember my Great Grandma Kettwich as a little soft-spoken woman who spoke mostly German. My mother would translate our conversations with her. I also remember her as the typical widow lady of that time. She always wore long dresses that hung to the floor and more often than not the dresses had long sleeves and were black. In addition, she wore the old granny shoes which were laced black pointed shoes with a heavy heel.
Grandma Kettwich was born in Germany in 1850 and married Uffe Gerdes Kettwich in that country on January 28, 1871. They immigrated to America by steamship later that year and went directly from New York to Sacramento, California by train. From Sacramento they took a stagecoach to Norfolk, California where they bought a five room furnished house for $103 and sold it for $50 when they left.
Her husband Uffe spent two and one-half years digging for gold. The men dug along the river bank, emptied a spade of mud into a box with a screened bottom. Water was flushed through the box, washing away the mud and the dirt,leaving a deposit of gold nuggets. Some pieces of gold were as large as peas, but most were smaller.
Besides the regular house work, Grandma Kettwich had a garden where she raised beans, peas, potatoes, cabbage, etc. Peach trees and grapevines were grown, and a small patch of wheat was raised to feed the chickens.
In California the summer days were hot and the nights cool. They experienced a few small earthquakes.
Their first born child Gerhardt was born in California but died at a young age when he was bitten by a snake as he sat next to the garden watching his mother tend the garden. Some relatives say they remember Grandma wearing the rattlers on her dress from the snake that she killed . Later they had another child, Lena, who was six weeks old when Uffe and Gesche came to Minonk.
They lived in Minonk two and one-half years. During this time Uffe worked in the coal mine store, furniture store, and the brick yard. In 1875 they moved to a farm east of Minonk where they raised their eleven children.
They retired in 1916 and moved to Flanagan. Mr. Kettwich died in 1923. After his death Grandma Kettwich spent the rest of her life living with her various children. This was before nursing homes were popular and families would take care of their own elderly. Grandma Kettwich would stay for 3 or 4 months with one of her children and then go stay with another. This went on for almost 30 years. To my knowledge she was never in a hospital.
Grandma Kettwich’s longevity was passed on to her children. The ages at which they died were Lena Bauman 87, George 73, Henry 77, Lucy Osterman 96, John 92, Carl 85, Eilert 93, Uffe 94, Sena Rients 97, Anna Post 87. A daughter Christina Wyman died at 36 during the 1918 flu epidemic. Grandma Kettwich was remembered as a small active woman with warm brown eyes, cheerful, considerate of others and a devout Christian woman. Her daily prayers meant much to her.
I remember going to my Grandma Bauman’s house after Great Grandma Kettwich’s funeral in 1952. The house was teeming with her many relatives. The mood was joyous rather than sad. Everyone knew that this would be the last time there would be such a large gathering of the family. Also, everyone knew that we were celebrating a long life full of many great experiences.
My mother once told me that Great Grandma Kettwich had heart trouble when she was in her forties. But she still lived to be almost 102. It is obvious to me that the best cure for heart trouble is to be surrounded with the love of a large and caring family.
Front row left: Tina Wyman, Sena Rients, Uffe Kettwich, Lena Bauman, Gesche Kettwich, Ann Post, and Lucy Osterman.
Back row left: Henry, John, George, Eilert, Charles, and Uffe Kettwich Jr. Picture around 1912.
Research by her granddaughter Shirley Lutkomski.
Written by her great grandson David Uphoff.
Originally published at http://www.minonktalk.com/grandket.htm
Published with author’s permission.
Emmo (Emil) Jürgens Kettwig (1877-1955) oo Ricka Luken
The history of the Kettwig family can be traced back to the year 1572 in Northern Germany where the family originated. Emmo was the son of Haukelena and Jürgen Kettwig, born in Hesel, Ostfriesland, Germany, in 1877. He grew to young manhood there before coming to America. At this time all young men had to serve in the German army, which Emmo and his brothers did not want to do. One brother John C. and sister Irene came before him. They settled at Daws [Dows], Iowa, where they had relatives. Emmo returned to Germany in 1900 to visit his parents and never saw them again. In 1903 he came to South Dakota where he met and married Ricka Luken Nov. 13, 1907. They farmed in the Hazel area. The Kettwigs moved to Watertown [South Dakota, SD] in 1950. Emmo passed away in May, 1955 and is buried in Mt. Hope Cemetery.
Seven children were born to Emmo and Ricka:
Florence Helena was born in 1908 and died in 1930 ??. She married Jack McAfee and had one son Jack, born in 1935.
Irene Evangeline (1909-1930) married Fred DeBoer. Both girls are buried in the Hazel Cemetery.
Frances Mable married Milton Holt of Hayti Nov. 22, 1930. They farmed for a short time near Hazel. About 1940 they moved to Brandywine, Md [State of Maryland, MD] and later retired to Avon Park, Fla [State of Florida, FL]. Seven children were born to them: Adeline, Thelma, Phyllis, Milo – killed in a motorcycle accident -, Bonnie, Sidney and Linda.
Herman Raymond married Margaret Lantgen April 20, 1937. They adopted a daughter Donna Jean and raised a foster son Kevin Brist. Herman farmed in the Hazel area until 1978, living most of those years on the land known at the Raum farm southwest of Hazel. He built a new home in Hazel in 1978.
Mable Frances married Oliver Baxter Oct. 14, 1936. They raised three children, Thomas Edson and Theone May, twins and Carol Jane. Mable and Oliver lived in Hazel until 1941 when they purchased the William Barrett farm northeast of Hazel, living there until 1972, when trey moved to rural Watertown building a new home five and one half miles west of the city.
Louise Margaret was married to Edward Fiferlick. They had one daughter, LaVonne. In 1944 she married John Rennia and had one son Alan John. John Rennia passed away in Oct. 1968. Louise married LeRoy Bender Aug. 25, 1975. In 1978 they purchased the Wheel Inn Cafe at Watertown.
Jerry Chris married Elaine Kruthoff of Clark, Aug. 5, 1952. They lived in Clark [SD] and Watertown for a number of years, before moving to Auburn, Wash. [State of Washington, WA]. They raised four daughters, Lori, Deanna, Kathy, and Pam.
Source: Hamlin Historical Committee, Hamlin County, South Dakota – 1878 – 1979, provided by Hans-Georg Boyken
|Johann Christian Kettwig (1875-1951) oo Anna M. Luken (1889-?)
Brother of Emme (Emil) Jürgens Kettwig (1877-?) and Jürgen Harminus Kettwig (1894-1920).
On Feb. 22, 1909, he married Anna M. Luken, who was also born in Germany at Langholt in Ostfriesland on Oct. 26, 1890. She is the daughter of Herman and Flora Luken, who also traveled to America, settling at Clarian, Iowa. The Luken family moved to South Dakota in 1907, living on farms in the Hazel vicinity.
John and Anna had farmed only one year when they sold out and purchased the McCormick Deering Implement in Hazel from Lantenschlager. The lived in the house presently owned by Clara Fuerstenau now chosen as the historical site in Hazel.
The first child, Lena, was born on Sept. 1910. They continued in business until the fall of 1913 when they moved to the Herman Abraham farm in Brantford Township. It was here that their second child, Johnny, was born on Nov. 15, 1914. They continued to farm on the Abraham location until the fall of 1918 when they moved onto one quarter section purchased land on which they built a new house and farm buildings. This was also located in Brantford Township, School district 3.On March 29, 1919, a third child, Harwey, was born. He lived only 16 months, dying of a mastoid infection. On May 1, 1929, a fourth child, Doris, was born. All the children attended Brantford 3 grade school, where John was a member of the school board for 25 years.
The family were members of Our Savior’s Lutheran Church for many years. The family continued farming on the same location through the depression and dry years on through World War II days, each family members was married. On Jan. 23, 1951, John C. passed away. Anna remained on the farm for another 10 years. She moved to her present location, the former Cottrell house in Hazel. She is a member of St. Paul’s Lutheran Church in Henry.
At this writing the family includes Anna, the three living children and their spouses, 12 living grandchildren and their spouses, 18 great-grandchildren, one of whom it married, and two great-great-grandchildren.”
Source: Geschichte von Hamlin County, South Dakota – 1878-1979. provided by Hans-Georg Boyken