Image Gallery: Women’s History

Women tend to be the story keepers of families, but so often their stories are overlooked. Here we celebrate the women of the Glückstal colonies by telling their stories. This is an ongoing project and will be updated as often. 

No story is too small. To donate photos and/or memories to this collection, please contact the webmaster at

Magdalena Bentz

Born: 20 May 1881

Died: 29 January 1973

This is my great-grandmother, Magdalena  “Lena” (Bentz) Gall, fishing in the Missouri River, Gregory County, South Dakota.  She was born 20 May 1881 in Neudorf.  She arrived in New York on 25 Apr 1885 aboard the S.S. Douan out of Bremen. She traveled with her parents, Jacob & Christina (Stroh) Bentz, and her baby sister, Christina. Jacob's occupation was listed as butcher. They entrained to Bon Homme County,  Dakota Territory. There, they stayed with cousins who had previously emigrated. Her parents homesteaded east of Fairfax in Gregory County as soon as land became available in 1890. 

One of Lena’s memories was of their first winter in Gregory County. The family had built a one-room soddie, and a three-sided structure and corral to house their team of horses and pregnant milch cow. They had broken enough sod to get a crop of potatoes before winter set in but were running low on supplies. The men from several families, including her father, Jacob Bentz, decided to caravan to the nearest town to purchase supplies. The round trip was expected to take at least three days. A blizzard blew up while the men were gone, bringing frigid temperatures and delaying their return.  Her mother, Christina, was afraid that if the cow gave birth in the open shed, the calf would freeze to death. The only option was to bring the cow into the soddy with her three young children. There, the cow and calf helped keep the soddy warm. The  fuel they had to burn, was twists of prairie grass hay because trees were scarce in that tall grass prairie. The cow also provided fresh milk, which was much appreciated in their mainly potato diet.

Lena grew up, married a neighbor, Balthaser J. Gall, who had been born in Worms and immigrated to the U.S. in 1874. Together, they had eight children, of whom seven survived to adulthood. She died on 29 Jan 1973, at the age of 91, having been widowed for 14 years.

Glückstal Colonies Connection: Born in Neudorf. 

Submitted by Renee Kantack, great-grandaughter.

Katherine Bieber

Born: 18 November 1859

Died: 2 October 1948

My grandmother Katherine Bieber Huber (born on 18 November 1859) who was from Glückstal and came to Eureka, South Dakota with her husband, Johann (John) Huber and seven children. My father, George Huber, was the third of the seven children. Three years later, Johann died of a disease, and Katherine married Johann Kemmet, whose wife also died in 1948 from the same disease going around. Johann Kemmet and his family were also from Glückstal and were friends with the Hubers. Katherine Bieber Huber Kemmet was born 1859 and died 1948.

Glückstal Colonies Connection: Born in Glückstal

Submitted by Mary Huber Klug Allison, granddaughter.

Carolina Boschee

Born: 25 June 1846

Died: 8 October 1883

Carolina was born in Kassel to Johann Jakob Bosche (Boschee) and Elisabetha Gunsch. She married Johann Schnaidt before 1867 and had four children with him. After his death, she married Wilhelm Schilling on 14 February 1878. She had another five children, three of whom survived to adulthood and immigrated to the United States. She died at the age of 37, 16 days after giving birth to her youngest son. 

Glückstal Colonies Connection: Born in Kassel and died in Glückstal

Submitted by Sandy Schilling Payne.

Barbara Buechler

Born: 24 November 1856

Died: 14 October 1949

My paternal great-grandmother, Barbara Opp, nee Buechler,was born 24 November 1856 in Glückstal to Johann Friedrich Buechler and Rosina Eisenbeiss. She married George Opp on 28 May 1876 in Glückstal. They had 17 children, three of the 9 born in Glückstal died in 1889. Barbara and Georg traveled to the United States on the ship Saale landing in New York, New York on 19 April 1890. They arrived in Campbell County. South Dakota in November of 1890. 

Their children are as follows. Born in Glückstal: Rosina, 1876-1889;  George, 1877-1956;  Johann, 1879- 1911; Jacob, 1880-1911;  Barbara, 1882-1965; Elizabeth. 1884-1889;  Christian, 1885-1889; Fredrich, 1887-1958; and Christian, 1889-1973.  Born in United States: Rosina ,1891-1945 (this is my grandmother); Elisabeth, 1891- 1891; Philip, 1892-1914; Christina, 1894-1981; Henry, 1895-1895; Katharine, 1897-1987; August, 1899-1956; and Henry, 1902-1953.                                          

Barbara died 14 October 1949 in Streeter, North Dakota at 92 years of age.

Glückstal Colonies Connection: Born in Glückstal

Submitted by Julianne M. Asenbauer Huss, great-granddaughter.

Christina Eberle

Born: 2 May 1879

Died: 8 October 1883

Christina Eberle was born 2 May 1879 in Grossliebental to Gottlieb Eberle and Wilhelmina Strohmaier. She moved to Friedenstal (Trigrady), a daughter colony in the Glückstal area, as a young lady with her parents, brothers, and sisters. She was a baptism sponsor for at least three children in Friedenstal: Adolf Hohn, 1 Feb 1903; Lydia Schuler, 24 July 1903; and Lydia Rohrer, 21 April 1905. Christina came to the United States with her parents, brothers Christian and Friedrich and niece Emilia, on 14 January 1907 aboard the Chemnitz.

She worked for Gustave Leichner until she married John Welk on 4 July 1907 in Delmont. They lived on a farm 2 ½ miles east of Delmont, in Hutchinson County, South Dakota all their lives. They had ten children; six died as infants. Their children that grew to adulthood are Leontina, Herbert, Alta, and Leon. Christina passed away 28 July 1943. She is buried in the Hope Lutheran Cemetery, north of Delmont, Douglas County, South Dakota.


Photo is Christina on her wedding day, 4 July 1907.

Glückstal Colonies Connection: Lived in Friedenstal (Trigrady).

Submitted by Steve Eberle.

Maria Eberle

Born: ca. 1883

Died: unknown

Maria Eberle was born to Gottlieb Eberle and Wilhelmina Strohmaier in Grossliebental. Her birth record has not been found; she was probably born ca. 1883. Marie moved to Friedenstal (Trigrady), a daughter colony in the Glückstal area, with her parents. She married Christian Loeffler in Grossliebental ca. 1903. They had five children: Wilhelm, Georg, Johann, Christina, and Leena. They remained in Russia. 

Christian was killed in the violence of 1919. She later married Christian Wegum. It is unknown when she died. Our family lost contact with them.

Glückstal Colonies Connection: Lived in Friedenstal (Trigrady).


Submitted by Steve Eberle.

Katharina Eberle

Born: 8 January 1876

Died: 14 April 1943

Katherina was born 8 January 1876 in Grossliebental (Liebental) to Gottlieb Eberle and Wilhelmina Strohmaier. Katherina probably moved to Friedenstal (Trigrady), a daughter colony in the Glückstal area, with her parents. She married Johannas Ruff  on 4 January 1900. They had six children born in Russia: Amelia, Christina, Wilomina “Minnie”, Katherine, Martha, and Elsie. They arrived at St. John, New Brunswick, Canada  on 8 March 1909 aboard the S. S. Mount Temple. His naturalization petition states that their last place of residency was Grossliebental. They went to Delmont/Tripp area in Douglas county, South Dakota. Five more children were born in Delmont: Erna, Waldamor, Adella, Anetta, and Walter. 

Katherina was a seamstress and midwife in Russia and South Dakota. John was a farmer and later a janitor for the Delmont School. She passed away 14 April 1943 in Delmont and is buried in the Hope Lutheran Cemetery north of Delmont.1 2


Photo of Ruff family in Russia about 1908: Molly in the back by the window; seated Katharina Eberle and John Ruff; front (left to right) Christina (plaid dress), Martha (on her mother’s lap); Katie (center), and Minnie. 

Glückstal Colonies Connection: Lived in Friedenstal (Trigrady).

Submitted by Steve Eberle.

Katharina Gaub

Born: 7 October 1862

Died: 4 February 1939

Born on 7 Oct 1862 in Glückstal, the daughter of Joseph Wilhelm Gaub and Anna Maria Margaretha Opp, Katharina married Jacob George Eisenbeisz on 19 May 1882 in Glückstal. At age 36, she traveled with her husband, two sons and three daughters from Bremen, Germany to New York aboard the Kaiser Wilhelm der Grosse, arriving 9 Nov 1898. On the ship manifest, she was listed as “Pregnant.”   

Grandson Edwin Eisenbeisz would write in “Story of My Family” in 1928 about their journey across the sea: “They had barely gotten on their way when the weather became disagreeable. The heavens became darker and darker, the waves more wild until the surroundings looked like that of a dungeon, and the waves like the murders jaws of a hungry shark. Finally the hideous waves met on top of the ship, where they found an opening into the baggage room and thru which waves let their water fall into the lower deck….grandmother and a few others who were deathly sick, remained in bed.”

They finished their trip in Eureka, South Dakota, where they would be meeting Jacob’s cousin, John Stobel. Jacob became a naturalized citizen on 13 Oct 1904, and soon after, purchased his first plot of farm land in Modena Township, Edmunds county.

Edwin described his grandmother: “Besides taking care of the household duties and children, she would always go out and do field work during the harvest season….She is the leader, manager, and disciplinarian of the family.”

Katharina Gaub Eisenbeisz would birth twelve children. A son and daughter died in Glückstal. The daughter she was pregnant with on the journey to the U.S. died soon after birth, and a son would die in infancy. Eight children lived to experience old age.

Jacob died in 1931, and Katharina died on 4 February 1939 in Bowdle. Both were buried in Saint Paul Evangelical Lutheran Church Cemetery in Hosmer.

Photo above from the collection of “Peggy” Eisenbeisz Thompson. Katharina Gaub Eisenbeisz, c. 1910, Modena Township, Edmunds county, South Dakota.

Glückstal Colonies Connection: Lived in Friedenstal (Trigrady).

Submitted by Terri Tuffo Thompson, daughter-in-law of Mathilda “Peggy” Eisenbeisz Thompson.

Margaretha Gunthmiller

Born: 1 July 1861

Died: 29 January 1973

Margaretha was born 1 July 1861 in Neudorf, Glückstal District (Tiraspol) Odessa, Russia.  She immigrated at the age of 13 with her father and siblings through the port of Baltimore, Maryland, USA.  On 1 May 1880, she married Friedrich L. Hoff, and they were blessed with nine children, two of whom died in infancy. Margaretha was able to read and write English, but she only spoke German.  My great-grandpa died in 1895. Great-grandma ran the farm and raised the children alone.  On 20 Dec 1910, she married widower, Frederick Preszler and helped raise his young children. She passed away on 30 Apr 1948, and is buried in Wishek, North Dakota where she lived her later years.  

Glückstal Colonies Connection: Born in Neudorf

Submitted by Penny Lemley Botcher, great-granddaughter.

Katherina Jundt 

Born: 6 March 1883

Died: 27 December 1965

Katherina was born to Heinrich Jundt and his first wife Johanna Schilling on 6 March 1883 in Glückstal.  

In “Story of My Family” written in 1928 by Edwin Eisenbeisz (Katherina’s eldest son), he told about the hard luck experienced by his Jundt grandparents who had married in 1878: “At first, these two had a fair outlook on life, for both got the necessary inheritances to start on their own. But as time went by and the demands of the family increased from day to day, the twenty-six acres didn’t supply these needs.  Therefore, he sold what he had and moved to Marialand Dorf (Marienberg?), where in 1884, he with his wife, one son, and two daughters, started life over again. And for the next few years, the sun shone brightly on the new location.” By 1888, however, Heinrich Jundt had buried his wife and three of his four children, leaving only his daughter Katherina. In that same year, he married his deceased wife’s younger sister, Katharina Schilling

In October 1900, Heinrich sold what possessions he had, and the family sailed for New York, arriving in November 1900 with their destination a “Friend, Eureka. SD.”  

Edwin wrote about his mother: “The first winter in America she didn’t spend with her parents, but with Jacob Warth of Hosmer [South Dakota] with whose children she got acquainted the very first day she was in Hosmer…. From that spring when she began work in America. She very seldom was at home. She was always hired out. The first salary mother earned was a dollar a week. This salary wasn’t only for house work, but she also had to do field work.”

On 17 January 1905, in Bowdle, South Dakota, Katherina Jundt became the bride of Jacob Eisenbeisz. Edwin wrote of their marriage: “From far and near were relatives and friends invited. One of the reasons why they made such a big affair of it was, because it was the first marriage of either family by their children.” 

To this marriage would be born ten children, six daughters and four sons. Two daughters died in infancy. Katherina buried her husband Jacob in 1947, and she died 27 December 1965 in Eureka. She was buried next to her husband in Bethany Cemetery in Hosmer.

Photo above from the collection of Art and Eloise Eisenbeisz. Katherina Jundt Eisenbeisz (center) with daughters (from left) Dorothy (Kelsey), Mary (Vaughan), Mathilda “Peggy” (Thompson) and Freda (Freeman). Hosmer, South Dakota, c. 1955.

Glückstal Colonies Connection: Born in Glückstal

Submitted by Terri Tuffo Thompson, daughter-in-law of Mathilda “Peggy” Eisenbeisz Thompson.

Regina Sophia Jutzy

Born: 25 August 1840

Died: 12 November 1877

Regina Sophia was born in Glückstal to Johannes Jutzy (Jutzÿ) and Catherina Kelle. She married Wilhelm Schilling on 27 October 1859. She was a mother to nine children, five of whom survived to adulthood and all of whom immigrated to the United States. She died at the age of 36, two months after giving birth to her youngest daughter. 

Glückstal Colonies Connection: Born and died in Glückstal

Submitted by Sandy Schilling Payne, great-great-granddaughter.

Luisa Schilling (left) and Eva Kirschenmann (right) 

Born: 8 July 1893 

Died: 10 July 1990

Eva Kirschenmann was born near Hosmer, South Dakota to Christian Kirschenmann and Phillipina Walz. Her parents were both born in Kassel and immigrated to Dakota territory in 1885. Eva married Jakob Dammel on 12 January 1913. They made their home on a farm four miles southeast of Eureka where they raised seven children. Jakob died in 1934, and ten years later she moved into Eureka. She was a member of the Ladies Aid Society.  

The photo of Eva appeared in an article in Life Magazine on 2 August 1937, wearing a shawl in church next to Luisa Schilling Kappes Ritter. The caption was “Shawl wearers, Eureka, S.D. The ladies are on ‘their side’ of the church during worship services.” It is one of the iconic Germans from Russia photos from that article. 

Eva died on 10 July 1990 and is buried in Eureka City Cemetery.

Glückstal Colonies Connection: Her parents were both born in Kassel.

Submitted by Sandy Schilling Payne.

Rosina Barbara Maier (Meyer)

Born: 27 March 1815

Died: 2 October 1908

Rosina Barbara Maier was born in Glückstal to Jacob Maier and Katharina Christina Magdalena Engel on 27 March 1815. She married Georg Friedrich Ritter in Glückstal on 8 June 1837. Together they had at least 12 children, 6 of whom survived to adulthood. 

Rosina immigrated to the U.S. in 1893 at age 78. She died on 2 October 1908 and was buried on the Ritter Family Cemetery in McPherson county, South Dakota. 

Photo of Rosina is circa 1897. She is pictured with grandchildren Fred and Rosina, children of her son Fred Ritter.

Glückstal Colonies Connection: Born in Glückstal

Submitted by Sandy Schilling Payne. Photo from the DVD in [Glückstal-2008].

Karolina Kayser

Born: 25 December 1855

Died: 11 April 1912

Karolina was born in Alexanderhilf (Liebental) to Johann Adam Kaiser (Kayser) and Anna Maria Frei (Frey) on 25 December 1855. At age 18, she immigrated to the United States aboard the SS Westphalia with her brother Friedrich Kaiser and his family. They arrived on 22 October 1873. She married Jacob Schnaidt of Glückstal (his second wife) on 8 April 1875 in Menno, South Dakota. Together they had four children, three of whom survived to adulthood. 

Karolina died on 11 April 1912 and is buried in Menno Cemetery.

Glückstal Colonies Connection: Married to Jacob Schnaidt of Glückstal.

Submitted by Tom Schnaidt.

Rosina Keszler

Born: 29 June 1873

Died: 26 February 1960

Rosina was born on 29 June 1873 in Neu-Glückstal to Jakob Keszler and Johana Schöll. Her birth record is among those missing in church records, but she noted her birthdate and place in an audio recording made in the mid-1950s.

Rosina married Johann Schilling on 27 November 1895. Three years later, in 1898, she and Johann and Johann’s younger half-brother, William, sailed to the United States on the SS Pretoria. Rosina was pregnant at the time. 

They stayed with Johann’s sister Christina and her husband, Joseph Gab, near Eureka, South Dakota until they homestead southwest of Wishek, North Dakota the following spring. After proving up the homestead, Johann and Rosina sold the farm and bought another west of Hosmer, South Dakota, and moved their family there in 1903. 

Rosina had eight children. The two eldest daughters died in infancy and are buried in unmarked graves in the Johannes Gemeinde Lutheran Cemetery south of Eureka near Hosmer

The photo above is my favorite of Rosina. There are several photos of her sewing, knitting, and at home in Hosmer. In all of them, she looks like a really tough cookie. No doubt she was. In this photo, though, she is softer. Maybe finally relaxed after a long life. 

Rosina died on 26 February 1960 in Aberdeen. She is buried next to her husband and two of her sons in Bethany Cemetery in Hosmer. 

Glückstal Colonies Connection: Born in Neu-Glückstal. Married and lived in Glückstal.

Submitted by Sandy Schilling Payne, great-granddaughter.

Rosina Leicht

Born: 28 January 1894

Died: 23 April 1932

My second great-grandmother was Rosina Leicht Aman, born 28 January 1894 in Bergdorf, Glückstal District, Odessa, Russia.  She married Heinrich Aman on 9 October 1862 in Glückstal. They immigrated on 18 October 1884 on the Werra with seven children at the port of New York at Castle Garden. In total they were blessed with 13 children, six of whom preceded her in death. 

Rosina was a pioneer in the Congregational Church located seven miles northeast of Eureka, South Dakota—the Aman Church, Bethyl #1.  

A memory from my mother: Rosina planted a lilac bush at the foot of what was to become her grave, and she and my mom would walk with buckets of water to the farm cemetery to take care of the lilac. Rosina died on 23 April 1932 and is buried in the Aman Cemetery, aka, Bethyl #1. The lilac is still growing at the foot of her grave.

Glückstal Colonies Connection: Born Bergdorf. Married in Glückstal.

Submitted by Penny Lemley Botcher, great-great-granddaughter.

Lydia Martel

Born: 12 February 1910

Died: 28 March 1988 

Lydia and her twin brother Gus were born on 12 February 1910 to Karl Martel and Sophie Wahl near Lehr, North Dakota on her uncle's homestead She kept a scrap of paper with the legal the land description where she was born in her recipe box. 

Her mother died when she was five years old. The following year, he father indentured her to neighbors Jacob H. Eisenbeisz and Eva Kurle until she was 18. Accounts of her life often use softer words to describe the situation like fostered and adopted”, but legal records use the word “indentured.” In other words, she was working at six years old. 

When she turned 17, she walked away from the indenture agreement and the money that was due to her and married neighbor Jacob Schilling on 4 September 1927. Together they had three sons and farmed until the early 1940s when they moved to Bowdle. They ran Schilling Dairy there in the 1950s, buying milk from farms, pasteurizing and bottling it, and delivering it. Lydia drove the milk truck to make the deliveries. Jacob wanted her to be safe so he retrofitted and reinforced a Dodge van with rebar, turning it into milk delivery tank, more or less. Once Lydia another another vehicle collided. She, the van, and the milk were fine. The other vehicle was totaled. 

The photo above is of Lydia and her African violets. A neighbor had given her some cuttings after she had moved to Bowdle, and she tended to them the rest of her life. I was lucky enough to be the caretaker of them after she passed for another 20 years. 

She died on 28 March 1988 and is buried in St. John's Cemetery in Bowdle.

Glückstal Colonies Connection: Both of her parents were both born in Kassel.

Submitted by Sandy Schilling Payne, granddaughter.

Luisa Schilling

Born: 1 November 1866

Died: 6 October 1939

Luisa is the daughter of Wilhelm Schilling and Regina Sophia Jutzy. She was born on 1 November 1866 in Glückstal. 

She married Martin Kappes on 7 February 1889. Together they had five children, two of whom died in infancy. Martin died in 1900.

Louisa, then a widow with three small children, tried to immigrate to the U.S. in December 1900. She is listed on the passenger manifest with her three children, her brother Fred and his wife Maria, and her half-brother, Christian. All the names are crossed out. The family story goes they sailed from Libau to Liverpool and missed their connecting ship to the U.S. They arrived a month later in January 1901. She filed her Declaration of Intent to become a citizen on 6 April 1901 in McIntosh county, North Dakota.

On 9 July 1902, she married John Ritter, the second marriage for both. Together they had three more children in addition to the three she brought from her first marriage and the five step-children John brought from his first marriage. In 1920, John died, afterwhich Lusia moved to Eureka.

According to her obituary, “On October 6, 1939 very suddenly and unexpectedly she passed away. Neighbors found her sitting in her yard; thus death is sometimes swift and sudden.” She was 72 years old. She is buried in the Ritter Family Cemetery in Rosenthal Township, McPherson county, South Dakota.

Luisa appeared in a photo in an article in Life Magazine on 2 August 1937, wearing a shawl in church next to Eva Kirschenmann Dammel. The caption was “Shawl wearers, Eureka, S.D. The ladies are on ‘their side’ of the church during worship services.” It is one of the iconic Germans from Russia photos from that article. The photo here, probably taken at the same time, is as close as I will ever get to looking at my great-great-grandmother, her mother, Sophia Jutzy. 

Glückstal Colonies Connection: Born in Glückstal.

Submitted by Sandy Schilling Payne, great-grandniece.

Rosa Schneider

Born: 15 June 1878

Died: 18 December 1938

Rosina “Rosa” Schneider was born on 15 June 1878 in Neudorf to Georg Peter Schneider and Magdalena Schauer. The Schneiders and Schauers families both lived in Neudorf. Rosa was the fourth child of seven born to this couple and the only one known to have come to the United States. She married Gottlieb Eberle on 12 February 1902 in Sofiental, Bergdorf parish. Rosa and Gottlieb lived in Friedenstal (Trigrady) a daughter colony in the Glückstal area prior to emigrating. They arrived in Baltimore on 22 August 1906 along with their two daughters, Emily, and Magdalena. 

They lived in the Delmont, Douglas county, South Dakota area for about six years. In about 1912, the family moved to Edgemont, Fall River county, South Dakota and homesteaded 160 acres five miles west of there. 

She and Gottlieb had eight children, four girls and four boys: Emily, Margaret, Rosa, Marie, Otto, Jake, Albert, and Oscar. She was a good homemaker and seamstress. She had a garden and made clothing for the family and quilts for all her children. I have included a picture of my father’s quilt that measures 70" X 84".

 It was said that she kept the family organized and motivated! I have been told that Rosa was a good cook, but she cooked from memory and unfortunately had no written recipes. She also helped diversify their income by selling eggs, dressed geese, milk, and cream to customers in Edgemont. 

She passed away 18 December 1938 in Hot Springs, Fall River county South Dakota and is buried in the Edgemont Cemetery.       

The Eberle farm expanded to include three quarters of land and was successful through the years. It was passed on to their oldest son, Otto, and later to his son George. The farm is still in the family.

Glückstal Colonies Connection: Neudorf, Sofiental, Friedenstal (Trigrady)

Photo on the left is of Rosa on her 60th birthday with her daughter Magdalena “Margaret” (Eberle) Fraizer, and her grandchildren, Marvin and Frances Frazier, taken in 1938. The photo on the right is the quilt she made.

Submitted by Steve Eberle, grandson.

Wilhelmina Strohmaier

Born: 4 October 1846

Died: 28 September 1930

Wilhelmina Strohmaier was the eighth of 12 children born to Jakob Strohmaier and Catherine Girr. Wilhelmina was born 04 October 1846 in Grossliebental (Liebental) The Strohmaier and Girr families both lived in Grossliebental. 

She married Gottlieb Eberle on 28 January 1871 in Grossliebental. They had 10 children: Jakob, who died about age 2; Katharine; Gottlieb, Jr.; Christine; Johann ,who died at age 12; Jakob, who was killed in the Russo-Japanese war in 1905; Christian; Mary; an unknown child; and Friedrich. All their children were born in Grossliebental, including their youngest son Friedrich, who was born 22 December 1885. Wilhelmina and Gottlieb and their children moved to Friedenstal (Trigrady), a daughter colony in the Glückstal area prior to emigrating. 

They arrived in New York on 14 January 1907 along with two sons, Christian and Friedrich, daughter Christina, and one granddaughter; Emily. Two of their daughters, Katharine and Marie, were married and stayed behind, Katharine came to the United States a few years later. Their son Gottlieb and his family came in August of 1906. The declarations of intent for her husband and sons all state that their last place of residence was Friedenstal, Russia. 

Gottlieb Sr. and Wilhelmina lived in Delmont, Douglas county, South Dakota. Wilhelmina died 28 September 1930 in Delmont. She is buried in the Hope Lutheran Cemetery north of Delmont. 

Glückstal Colonies Connection: Lived in Friedenstal (Trigrady).

Submitted by Steve Eberle.

Christiana Unruh

Born: 1872

Died: 1927

Christiana was born in Glückstal in 1872. Her parents were Johann Georg Unruh and Barbara Ritter. She was married in 1895 in Glückstal to Johann Goetz (Götz). They had 11 children, nine of whom survived to adulthood. My grandfather, Jacob Goetz, was her second son.

The family first lived in the United States near Hillsview, South Dakota. In 1909 they homesteaded 160 acres near Akaska. Some years later they moved to a farm near Java, where they resided until 1925 when they moved into town at Java. They were members of St. Paul's Lutheran Church.

Christiana Unruh was my great-grandmother. I never knew her as she died long before I was born. Very little is know about her life beyond the basics (tombstone data, census records, and such). The interesting fact we do know about her is that she was a midwife in Glückstal. A cousin, Ken Goetz, has her midwifery records which date from June 1900 to August 1905. Over the five years, she delivered 112 babies! She was 28-33 years old during this time and bore three children of her own in these years. In fact one son was born just four days after a delivery! The record ends two months before she immigrated to McPherson County, South Dakota with her husband and four children. These records can be found in the GCRA Newsletter, Vol. 7, No. 2, 1994. The records were kept in a small book, in German script, nicely hand decorated. They provide the father's name, the date of birth and whether the child was a son, daughter, or stillborn child.

It would be wonderful to know more. How did Christiana get her training? How many other midwives were there in Glückstal at this time? Did she perform other healing activities as so many midwives did? Why did she not carry on after immigrating? I can imagine that if they lived on a farm in rural South Dakota, travel may have been a challenge. It's interesting to me that one of her four daughters became a nurse.

She died in 1927, age 55, and is buried at Java.

Glückstal Colonies Connection: Born in Glückstal.

Submitted by Barb Dante, great-granddaughter.

Barbara Wahl

Born: 18 April 1889

Died: 19 September 1964

Barbara was born in Kassel to Andreas Wahl of Johannestal (Beresan) and Sophia Gottschalk of Friedental (Liebental). She arrived in the United States in 1906, and married John Sandmeier on 3 February 1908. They made their home near Bowdle, South Dakota, and together they had six children. When her sister Sophie Wahl Martel died in 1915, leaving six young children behind, Barbara took in and fostered two of her sister's children. When her nieces and nephews were grown needed affidavits for delayed birth certificates, Barbara provided them. She had remarried sometime before 1952 after John died and was listed as Barbara Martz on the documents. She is buried in New Glückstal Cemetery northwest of Bowdle. 

Glückstal Colonies Connection: Born in Kassel.

Submitted by Sandy Schilling Payne, great-grandniece.

Sophie Wahl

Born: 1888

Died: 13 December 1915

Sophie was born in Kassel to Andreas Wahl of Johannestal (Beresan) and Sophia Gottschalk of Friedental (Liebental). She arrived in the United States in 1905, and married Karl Martel also of Kassel on 10 January 1907 in Menno, South Dakota. They moved wherever there was work, and ended up on her brother Jacob's farm near Lehr, North Dakota. She was the mother to six children, including a set of twins. She died of tuberculosis seven months after the birth of her youngest son. She is buried in in an unmarked grave somewhere in Lehr Cemetery.

Glückstal Colonies Connection: Born in Kassel.

Submitted by Sandy Schilling Payne, great-granddaughter.

Page last updated 8 March 2024