The German surname Brink has several origins.
Firstly the surname Brink is of locative origin, deriving from a feature, either
man made or natural, near which the original bearer of the name once lived or
held land. In this instance, the surname Brink derives from the Low German "brink"
meaning a "grassy Knoll". Someone residing next to such a feature
could have been called Brink. Research also indicates that the term "brink"
is used to indicate land that was not used for farming purposes.
Our Brinks are traced back to the 1500s. Older
records were destroyed by fire.
Johann Ernst Friederich Wilhelm Brink, b. Abt.
1788 in Eicksen #6, Westfalen, Prussen; Baptised 10/19/1788; died 20 Sept 1846
in North Prairie, Hoyleton, IL. He married Anna Sophie Dorothea Mariea Ilsabein
Meier 10 March 1816 in Bergkirchen Par., Westfalen, Prussen. He was a soldier
in the French/German War (Napoleon War).
Children of Johann Ernst Friederich Wilhelm and Anna Mariea Brink:
1. Christian died 1873
2. Louisa - died in infancy, in Germany
3. William died 1888
4. Christena died in her early twenties
5. Louisa Brink Meyer died 1904
6. Frederick died 1905
7. Henry - died 1894
8. Carolina Brink Hoffman - died 1897
9. John Earnst - died 1860
10. Charles - died 1926
Frederick E.W. Brink was born 17 March 1827 in Eicksen #6, Westfalen, Prussen; came to America 22 Sept 1844, and died 8 May 1905 in Washington County; Buried Zion Evangelical Cemetery, Hoyleton, IL. He married Caroline C. Hoffman 5 May, 1854.
Among the foreign born citizens of Washington County was Senator F.
E. W. Brink, who was born on March 17, 1827 in Westphalia, a Province of
Prussia. He left his native country at an early age and came to America,
landing in Washington County September 22, 1844. His parents followed a
year later. He went to New Orleans as a shipping clerk for 7 years and
returned to Washington County on May 6, 1854 and married Carolina Hoffman
who had also immigrated here from Prussia. They were the parents of ten
children, namely: Fred Brink, Carolina Krueger, Louise Rolf, Mary
Cohlmeyer, Henry Brink, Ann Cohlmeyer, Elizabeth Greiman, Rev. Edward
Brink, and Flora Cohlmeyer. Frederich was involved in farming and
stock-raising. They owned a farm in North Prairie, now owned by the
Dueker family. In 1872 they moved to Hoyleton where he and William
Weigel owned the Mill.
In politics, he was a democrat. His first vote was cast for Lewis
Cass in 1848. In 1874, the Repubican party nominated him for
Representative in General Assembly, but he did not accept. In 1876 he
was nominated for the office of State Senator on the Democratic ticket
for the 42nd District. He accepted the nomination and was elected by a
handsome majority. While a member of the 30th Legislature he was honored
with the chairmanship of an important committee. In the 31st General
Assembly, he was a member of the committee on State Charitable
Institutions, the Agriculture Drainage, Miscellaneous and Manufacturing
and Labor Committee. He and his wife were life-long members of the
Hoyleton Zion Church, of which he was one of the founders.
Newspaper article regarding the original Zion Evangelical Cemetery and
Zion Evangelical Church in North Prairie - date of article unknown.
(This cemetery is prior to North Prairie Methodist
HOYLETON CHURCHMEN HONOR PIONEER DEAD by Grover Brinkman
Back in 1861, a group of eighteen farmers met at the home of
Frederick E. W. Brink in North Prairie to establish a new church. Eight
acres of land was purchased from F. W. Krughoff for $12.50 per acre, and
preliminary plans were made for the building program, which included a
church, school, parsonage and "laying-off" a cemetery. Later that year,
carpenter Henry Hake was given a contract to build a church 30 x 50 feet,
16 ft. high, with eight windows and a tower. He was to receive $217 for
The day the tower of the new church was completed, a bad storm
leveled the building. Undaunted, the members set about to rebuild the
church, completed it in 1863.
Back in those days, when the infant farm congregation was being
organized, prices of commodities, compared with today, are little short
of amazing. For instance, when the parsonage was ready for painting, the
labor amounted to $15. Later a fence was built to enclose the property,
each member being required to furnish ten fence posts or contribute a
dime. On one occasion, the pastor was compelled to build his own chicken
house. Another pastor, desiring a porch on the parsonage, added it
Today this pioneer church is gone, its members long ago having
transferred to Hoyleton, but the old cemetery remains. And recently a
cemetery committee composed of Rueben Westerfeld, Clarence Hake, Roland
and William Beckemeyer, were appointed to restore the long-neglected
burial ground, now a thicket of hedge and bramble, dug up by marmots.
Many of the old stones were gone, broken or vandalized. So, for the
record, a large central marker was erected, upon which are engraved the
names of all who are buried here, 85 in number. The oldest grave is that
of Marie Westerfeld, born in 1832.
A new chain fence protects the site, which is southeast of New
Minden and southwest of Hoyleton. Here is an example of pioneer cemetery
restoration that is commendable. Washington County, like its sister
counties in southern Illinois, has many of these old burial grounds, most
of them completely neglected. Updating the same with a central marker,
inscribed with all the names of those buried,
seems a fine idea
Children of Frederick E.W. Brink and Caroline C. Hoffman are:
1. Frederick (Ernst Frederick Gustav Henry) Brink, b 13 April 1855; d. 20 Aug. 1901,
Buried Zion U.C.C. Cemetery, Hoyleton, Washington County, IL.
2. Carolina (Lena) Brink Krueger, d. 1937
3. Louise F. C. (Elizabeth) Brink Rolf, d. 20 Feb. 1950
4. Mary Brink Cohlmeyer
5. Henry Brink, d. Infancy, possibly buried 1867, old Zion Evangelical Cemetery near
6. Anna Brink Cohlmeyer
7. Lizzie Brink, d. Infancy
8. Elizabeth (Maria C. F. ) Brink Greiman,
9. Rev. Edward Brink
10. Flora Brink Greiman
Frederick (Ernst Frederick Gustav Henry) Brink, b 13 April 1855; d. 20 Aug 1901,
Buried Zion U.C.C. Cemetery, Hoyleton, Washington County, IL. He married Sophia M.A. Beckmeyer 20 April 1880, daughter of Wilhelm (Boekmeier) Beckmeyer and Catherine Eikmeier.
Children of Frederick Brink and Sophia Beckmeyer Brink are:
1. Millicent (Emily or Millie or Amelia) C. Brink, b. 20 Oct 1883; d. 5 Aug 1972.
2. Rev. Gustav Frederick Carl Brink, b. 1 June 1887; d. 24 Nov 1966, Washington
County, IL; buried Zion U.C.C. Cem., Hoyleton, Washington County, IL.
3. Rev. Paul William Brink, b. 1890; d. 1962.
4. Leonard H. Brink, b. 9 Jan, 1896, Hoyleton Twp., Washington County, IL; d. 12 July
1977, Nashville, IL; Buried North Prairie Cem, Washington County, IL
5. Charles Rudolph Brink, b. 1900; d. 14 Feb 1976
6. Daughter Brink, d. Washington County, IL, Buried Zion Evan. Cem., Hoyleton, IL;
died in infancy.
The following information was written for
the Brink Family Reunion in 1945:
Poem and Historical Sketch of the Brink Family
One Hundredth Anniversary of Migration to America
1845 - 1945
By Minnie Elizabeth Brink Ludwig
To the memory of the brave, courageous and godly ancestors, and to all the descendants of the Brink Family, this booklet is affectionately dedicated by the Author.
We herewith gratefully acknowledge the kindness
of our sister and brother, Louise and William G. Brink, and other relatives
and friends who so nobly gave assistance in gathering information regarding
the past history of the Brink Family.
This little sketch of History of the Brink family begins in the remote past
in Germany almost two hundred years ago. Farther back than this, descendants
living at the present time, 1945, have no record of their ancestors, The know-
ledge of even that generation is very limited; however, the few facts that have
been gathered, if recorded, may prove of interest to coming generations.
Already the descendants of this branch of the Brink family are numbered by
the hundreds, and there are now living those of the seventh generation, including
the Brink and the Meyer families who were the parents of Earnest Frederich William
Brink. All these are now residing in the United States of America.
In the beautiful little village of Eikzen, in Germany, two houses were nestled
side by side. The name of the owner of the one was Brink and the other Meier,
Both families owned large farms, and according to written documents and testimonies
of witnesses, were Freisasser Hohfe (free holds) and were therefore free from
The "Free Holder'' was a farmer who owned much land and had quite a number of
farmers living on smaller tracts (Kleine Freisasser Hohfe ) . These cultivated a
certain amount of the large farmers' land and in return they gave the large land
owner a certain number of days labor each week or month, depending on the contract,
as rent for use of the land.
The dates of birth of this generation of our ancestors we do not know, nor do
we know their given names. We know only that on the paternal side, their surname
was Brink, and on the maternal side Meier. We have also the information that this
ancestor of the Brink family served as a soldier in the FrenchGerman war under
the German flag during the war with Napoleon.
This part of Germany namely Eikzen where the Brink home was located, was, for a time, under French rule, but in 181314, it again became a part of Germany.
We children used to sit and listen with rapt attention when our father, Charles L. C. Brink, told us of incidents regarding the FrenchGerman war which he had frequently heard his own father relate to him when he was a lad.
When the Province, in which the Brink home was located, was taken and occupied by the French, the Brink family sheltered in their home as many of the French soldiers as they could possible accommodate, feeding them and ministering to their needs in their desperate condition during that bitter cold winter.
Among other stories of suffering and horror that father related, he told how one morning they discovered, not far from their house, the body of a French soldier who had frozen to death during the night. Great, great grandfather Brink and one of his tenants were summoned to bury the soldier. The tenant said to great, great grandfather Brink, "Mr. Brink, this man whom we are about to bury has a pair of good boots on his feet that look as if they might be about my size. I am in desperate need of a pair of shoes, would it be wrong for me to take these boots off his foot before we bury him?"
With trembling voice great, Great grandfather Brink answered, "No, I do not think that it would be wrong. They will not do the dead man any good and you need them badly. "
Great, great grandfather Brink took hold of the soldier's arms and held him while the tenant proceeded to pull the boots from his feet. To their horror they discovered that the poor man's feet had been so sore and were frozen, that gangrene had set in and when they pulled the shoes off, the toes and much of the flesh of the foot had been pulled off with the shoe.
In silence they buried the shoes and the remains of the poor dead soldier together in the same grave.
The Brink home was later sold to a family by the name of Beckmeier and is in their possession to this day.
The following information was gathered a few years ago during a conversation with the 1ate Mr. and Mrs. Henry Steinwald of Irvington. Mr. Steinwald is a second cousin of the fourth generation of Brinks and Mrs. Steinwald is also a distant relative. She is a granddaughter of the Beckmeyers who are now in possession of the Brink home in Germany. They were both born in Germany and came to America after maturity.
Mrs. Steinwald's maiden name was Rodekopf and her girlhood home, her father's home, was located within a few hundred feet of the Brink home, consequently she was familiar with the whole surroundings in that locality.
During the conversation with the Steinwalds, Mrs. Steinwald, then in her eighties, told us the following, which we here quote.
Many, many years ago, before Christianity was brought to our ancestors, the Rodekopf home was used for heathen worship. Then the missionaries came into that community preaching Christ and our forefathers and their neighbors were converted to Christianity, and the Rodekofs, near of kin to the Brinks, opened their home, and here the first Christian religious services were held.
"To this day," Mrs. Steinwald continued, "There are a great number of glass panes stored in a barrel on the attic of the old, old large Rodekopf home, with pictures that were used in heathen worship. My brothers and sisters and I would sometimes bring some of these glass plates down and would ask Grandmother's permission to play with them. But her answer usually was, No, no children, take those back into the attic and 1et them alone. They were used in heathen worship, you should not even touch them."
In this home is also one of the first Bibles that was brought to that community. It is a very large Bible weighing twenty pounds and was printed in 1500.
In the home of the Brink family in the year 1790, God gave to gladden the
hearts of the parents, a little son ,whom they named Earnst Frederich William. Eight years later, in 1798, the home of the Meier family was blessed with the arrival of a little baby girl. The parents named this wee daughter, Anna Mariea Dorthiea Charlotte Illsabein. With these two babes, who after their maturity, were united in marriage and later came to America, the record of the next generation of the Brink Family begins.
Earnst Frederich William and Anna Mariea were born in the same little village, scarcely a stonesthrow apart. Eanrst Frederich was eight years Anna Mariea's senior. Their address compared favorably in length with the length of their names. Had anyone wished to write to the little son, they wou1d have addressed him in this fashion. Earnst Frederich William Brink, Eiksen, Roten Ufel, Berg Kirche, Kreis Minden, Westfalen, Preusen, Deutschland.
Just why our great, great grandparents gave their little daughter five long names we do not know. While some parents used three names, just as some American fathers and mothers do, yet it seems to have been very unusual to use five names.
The long names and lengthy address in Germany may seem very strange to us in our day of abbreviation of words and names such as N.R.A., A.A.A., W.P.A., and hundreds more. Moreover, it took quite a bit of space on an envelope if anyone wrote to our grandparents to their new home when they first came to America. It would have been like this: Mr. Earnst Frederich William Brink, Nashville, Washington County, Hoyleton Township, North Prairie, Illinois, United States of America. Eikzon was the little dorf, (village) in which the Brink home was located. The Bauern, (farmers) in that section of Germany lived in small groups of houses, called Dorfs of from six to twelve homes. Those little villages were surrounded by the owners' farms located near enough to enable the owner to walk back and forth to cultivate and harvest his crops.
Roten Ufel was the Bauerschaft somewhat like a township in our country. Berg Kirche was the parish or the ecclesiastical district. In this parish was located the State church. One pastor had the spiritual oversight in this district. This usually included severa1 Dorfs.
Kreis Minden was the Regirungs Bezerg. This was very much like our counties. Here they had their own lower courts.
Westfalen was the province and might be likened unto our states.
Preusen was another division of the country including several provinces or states. Deutschland, as we are all aware, means Germany in the English language and is the country in which our ancestors were born and where they lived.
Earnst Frederick William and Anna Mariea were not only born in the little village of Eikzen but here they spent their happy childhood days in their parents homes which had been built side by side with only a little path between. Here in Eiksen, when tiny babes, they were carried in the arms of proud parents to the house of God, to the little church known as Berg Kirche, (Church on the hill). They were taken to the alter of this church for Christian infant baptism while god fathers and godmothers, respectively held them in their arms. At this same altar they were confirmed and here they partook of their first communion.
In this little village they attended the same school and they grew up to young manhood and young womanhood. Here was born in their hearts that friendship which later ripened into that sacred love which led them to the altar, in this same church, where they were united in holy wedlock. Here, after their marriage, they started their own Christian home, and here their ten children were born.
We have often wished that we might have been privileged to get in a little glimpse into the home in Germany where our forefathers lived, a glimpse into their daily affairs and their family life and see some of the surroundings where our ancestors resided. This has been denied us and we can record only the things that were related to us by our parents who left their Eikzen home when they were young. We are happy for what information has been handed down to us by word of
mouth by those who lived there and herewith we pass it al1 to younger generations.
The homes of our ancestors were somewhat different than our homes today. Usually there were from four to six connecting rooms built in a row on the first floor and about the same number of rooms on the second floor. Most of the houses were a story and a half, with attractive gable or roof windows. To the rear of this dwelling was a very wide hall with a floor laid of very smooth stones. This was from fifteen to twenty foot wide and reached the full length of the house. Across this hallway, to the rear was the barn.
In 1939, Dr. Sylvester T. Ludwig, while on a trip through Europe, visited in Eikzen and called at the old Brink home which was built by his ancestors in the Year 1798, almost a century and a half ago. He was amazed how well the old house was preserved and said, that from its appearance he would have judged that it was about thirty or forty years old.
When the visitor observed with what beautiful substantial walnut furniture the house was furnished, he remarked, "Such furniture would bring a very fancy price in America". The owner replied, "When we build our homes and buy its furnishings, it is not only for our own lifetime, but when we build and buy, we have in mind our children and children."
The visitor was also convinced that his forefathers must have taken religion more seriously than many people do, for as he stood there in the front yard, viewing the beautiful structure, there met his eyes an inscription carved above the
large arched front door. This inscription was
taken from the word of God: Psalm 127: 1. Directly under this was the date when
the house was built and the names of the builders.
Although the builders of this earthly home have long ago passed on to their heavenly mansion the inscription they placed there has been, for almost a century and a half, bearing silent testimony to their firm faith in God.
The attire of the people in those years when our grandparents lived there was of a rather striking appearance. The men wore beautiful colorful vests usually made of velvet. Little girls wore full skirts almost floor length with snugly fitting waists. The little miss in this garb must have presented a quaint and charming appearance. Women wore tight fitting basques or waists with very full skirts. The women's skirts were shorter than those worn by little girls, the women's reaching to about seven inches from the floor.
The women wore "tie around the waist" aprons, and there was often a friendly rivalry as to who could make and wear the most beautiful apron. The majority of the people in that day in Germany, just as was the case in our country in that century, did not have carpets on their floors, neither did they have any stoves in their homes. The dwellings were constructed with large fireplaces similar to the ones we have seen in the old home of George Washington at Mt. Vernon. The fireplace in the kitchen served for cooking, the kettles being hung on a rod with a hook above the fire. Their full meals were sometimes cooked in one kettle, somewhat like an American stew. They served their meals in a fashion that seems very strange to those of us living in the twentieth century. After the stew was well cooked it was emptied into a large bowl and placed in the middle of the table. After the head of the family said grace, all with homemade wooden spoons ate from this one common bowl. Let us remember, however, that all this was a century and a half ago.
They did not use plates for serving as we do today, nor any other numerous side dishes. How wonderfu1 life must have been for little Anna Mariea Dorthea Charlotte Ilsebein not to be compelled to wash large stacks of dishes as little girls must do today. For a family of six, the little miss of today must set herself to the wearisome task of washing six water glasses, six soup plates, six dinner plates, six salad plates, six bread and butter plates, six cups, six saucers, six knives, six forks, six salad forks, six pie plates, six pie forks, besides this a meat platter, several vegetable dishes, a pickle dish, a jelly dish, several mixing bowls, a roaster, pie pans, and severa1 utensils for cooking vegetables, an egg beater and a potato masher. But instead of all this, little Anna Mariea washed one kettle, one bowl and six spoons and then was ready for play. Could little girls of today only make the words of the poet come true when he said, "Backward turn backward, O time in your flight," how happy they would be.
Our great grandparents ate wheat or barley bread which they baked at home instead of purchasing it at a bakery. Since they had no Stoves, and therefore no ovens in the home, they constructed outside ovens of brick and clay. The appearance of these ovens was very much like the roof that is built over an outside cellar or cave as may be seen at some farmhouses today. Of course, the ovens were altogether above ground. The floor space was from five to seven feet square. The roof over it was much like a dome with a small chimney on top. The whole structure, floor, roof and all was constructed, or fashioned of pliable clay. Then a fire was built inside until the whole structure would harden like brick. Then the oven was ready for use.
On baking days, which was only once a week, great-grandmother would get out her wooden "bake trough" as they called it. This trough was about four feet in length and about eighteen inches in width. This had perhaps been constructed from oak or elm lumber by our great grandfather who presented it to our great grandmother after their engagement before they were married. She doubtless placed it into her hope chest providing the chest was large enough.
The bread was mixed similar to the way housewives mix their bread today, except great grandmother made her own yeast cakes using hops that were raised on their own farm. Most of the people had 1argo families and since they baked only once a week they made from fifteen to twenty large 1oaves at one baking. While the bread in the pans was rising they stacked the fuel, usually wood, on the floor in the oven. The fire was left to burn for sometime and then the 1ive coals were scattered all over the floor space of the oven to make an even heat. After about twenty minutes the coals were all carefully raked out and the large bread pans with their snowy contents were placed, with long handles wooden paddles, into the oven and the door, about two foot square, closed. About an hour and fifteen minutes 1ater, great grandmother drew from this oven fifteen or twenty loaves of beautiful brown, wholesome light bread such as we seldom see anywhere today with all of our modern improvements.
The people at that time in Germany seem to have eaten the same kinds of vegetables that we eat today, except they did not raise sweet potatoes, and tomatoes were planted in their yards and gardens for ornaments only. They did not know that tomatoes were good for food. Meat was served only once a week. Just why they ate meat only once a week we do not know but we have been informed that this was their custom.
Our great grandparents, of course, had no matches. They kindled their fires with flint rock when necessary. However, when once the fire was started in the fireplace it was seldom permitted to go out. They bedded the live coals in the fireplace for the night and thus kept fire from day to day. If it happened to go out over night, then grandfather would hasten to the next door neighbor with a "holsken", (wooden shoe ) and place some live coals from the neighbor 's fireplace into it, hasten home again shaking the wooden shoe all the while to prevent the live coals from burning the shoe, dump the coals into his own fireplace and soon have a cheerful fire burning that perhaps would not again be permitted to burnout for months.
It seems that everybody attended church services in Germany, although there was much physical discomfort connected with it. The climate in Germany is very cold, yet they had no way of heating the church and therefore wore very heavy wraps during the services. However, they did have somewhat of a heating system even though it was not strictly modern and up to date. We are informed that many of the worshippers took with them to church their pet dogs and had these lie on their feet to keep them warm, while others took heated flat irons on which they placed their feet during the service. Neither had they electric fans in the hot summer season, yet, we are informed that they did not offer these inconveniences as excuses for missing religious services. Comparing the conditions of that day with the comforts that we are privileged to enjoy in our day and then beholding the
empty pews, we are made to wonder how many would attend in America today if no heat were provided in winter and no fans in the summertime.
After their marriage Earnst and Anna Mariea set up their own home and were performing the daily duties common to people of their standing, Earnst cultivating the land, overseeing his farms on which their tenants lived, preparing the soil, sowing the seed and harvesting the crops. Anna Mariea ruled in the home seeing that the many duties were properly performed. The cooking, the baking, making up the beds, tidying up the rooms, spinning and weaving cloth, sewing their garments without the aid of a machine, laundering the family washing without even the aid of a washing machine, ironing without the convenience of an electric iron and thus performing the many hundreds of tasks common to the duties of a homemaker.
The women wove their own flax and made beautiful linen cloth. Some of our ancestors brought with them beautiful linen, homespun and homewoven cloth that outlived their generation. Our mother had one of those wonderful bedspreads.
Our great grandmothers must have presented a very picturesque appearance sitting at their spinning wheels attired in a full skirt and tight Basques, wearing their white aprons and a neatly arranged white cap on their heads.
The young maiden of that day was very industrious beginning early in life to prepare for the day when she would become a partner in building a new home. Hence she would begin to spin, weave and sew at a very early age, filling her "hope chest" with beautiful linens of which she might justly be proud. Little wonder that she was better fitted for wifehood and motherhood than some modern maidens of the twentieth century who spend all of their spare time joy riding, dancing and attending picture shows gazing on scenes that can not but break down morals. Our grandmothers fitted themselves for that high and holy calling unto which God, in his wisdom, has called pure womanhood.
In her hope chest our grandmother had, besides her homespun linens, some very beautifu1 quilts, and every maiden desired to add to the contents of that chest a feather bed. Some of the farmers raised geese and ducks on their farms and it was perhaps not such a task for their daughters to come in possession of the much coveted article. However, we are informed that those who did not have this advantage did not dispair but picked up every feather that the wind, by chance, might carry across their pathway. It is said that in this way some maidens really succeeded in accumulating a light feather bed. There was a saying that if a maiden was not willing to climb over severa1 fences to pick up a feather, she could not be considered very ambitious.
It seems that about the time of l84O to 1845, a great many people from that part of Germany as perhaps from elsewhere also migrated to America. Some of the relatives and friends of the Brink family had already established homes in the United States of America, and thus a desire began to spring up in their hearts to also make this adventure. Some of the older children who had now grown to maturity had also preceded the parents in coming to this country, Just how long before we do not know, however, it is quite certain that at least two sons, Christian and Frederich, were already here when the parents arrived.
Earnest Frederich and Anna Mariea, our grandparents, were considered quite welltodo financially, in Germany, although their children our parents, modestly refrained from speaking much about this fact. However, they were large landowners and had many tenants.
This writer remembers well that her father, Charles L. C. Brink, always seemed to be reluctant in speaking about that period of time when his father and mother had sold their beautiful home in the old country and had come to America. For a time we could not understand, however, 1ater we learned why. Father was only a lad of ten when they came across the ocean to this country. In the first place, it could not be a pleasant experience for any child his age to leave the home he loved, his schoolmates and even his native land and be asked to go to a strange country, among a strange people whose language he could neither speak: nor understand.
Not only this, but during this period of time this little lad, as well as his brothers and sisters, passed through other experiences that might well break any child's heart. It was during the first twelve months of this boy's stay in the new and strange country that death claimed both his mother and father. He was left an orphan at the tender age of ten.
Our mother, however, coming from the same locality in Germany could speak more freely about both, the Brink families and her own, the Koughoff family. In this way, we learned many little details regarding the Brink family that father refrained from speaking about.
We recall how one evening we children were gathered
around mother's chair sitting on the floor. She was knitting while father was
reading his paper. We were entreating mother to tell us again the story about
her childhood home in Germany and about their tenweeks Voyage on the ocean
when they came to America. One of the smaller children said mother why didn't
you bring your nice big home along when you came to America?"
"O, we could not do that, we sold it"
"And how much money did you get for it?"
was the next question.
"Wee got ten thousand dollars for our home,';
Father looking over his paper at mother, said,
"That was exactly what my father got for our home ten years before."
"Yes," mother replied, "but had he waited and sold whom my father did, he could have sold his home for twenty thousand."
These little glimpses into the lives of that generation of Brinks were quite interesting to us children.
A number of Grandfather Brink's tenants desired, also, to come to America when Grandfather came but they had no money to undertake the voyage. They entreated Grandfather Brink to advance the money and promised that they would reimburse
him later. Out of the goodness of his heart, Grandfather complied with their wishes, spent much money to get them across to this wonderful country. Some of them, however, when once here, and all was going well forgot their obligation to pay back what they owed.
The land in America that became the Brink home had been purchased before their arrival, either by their sons who had preceded them or else by friends from Germany who were already in this country.
In the year 1845 they sold their possessions in Germany and Earnst Frederich and Anna Mariea and their family, and the tenants who came with them, bade farewell to their beloved native land and sailed to the most wonderful country in the world, the United States of America.
This voyage was of much more consequence in that day than if we should undertake to cross the ocean today. We board a large ocean steamer in the harbor and in five days we touch shore and cast anchor on the other side. But not so when our Grandparents came across in 1845. They made the long wearisome journey on a sail ship and sailed for ten weeks. A11 this with very few accommodations and comforts that are worth mentioning as compared with the comforts that we may enjoy on the ocean palaces that glide smoothly across the waters in these days and provide all manner of comfort and luxuries.
We need not stretch our imagination faculties much when we say that we can almost see our grandparents, when crossing the ocean's expand, looking, longing and praying to get a glimpse of land a glimpse of the shore of the country that was to be their future home. As days slipped away into weeks and weeks into months and the straining eye beheld nothing but vast expanse of water how their hearts must have jumped for joy when finally, finally after two months and two weeks of sailing their eyes caught sight of America's shore.
It was November, the year 1845, when the ship cast anchor in the New Orleans harbor. Though they were now on American soil they had yet a long wearisome journey before them, one that might yet be beset by many perils. Their destination had not yet been reached, for there still lay before them severa1 hundred miles of travel before reaching the place that they would call home.
They now boarded a ship at New Orleans and sailed up the "Father of Waters" the great Mississippi river. In those early days the boats on the river made very slow progress and winter with its cold chilly blast had already set in and settled down upon them. This proved to be one of those extremely cold winters that caused even the swiftly flowing waters of the Mississippi river to freeze over and alas, finally the good ship was frozen in at a place where is now located the little village of Grand Tower and was unable to sail for severa1 weeks. To make matters worse, the ship's provisions began to run low and there was scarcely any place to resort to purchase food, for the towns and houses were few and scattered in the new country in that day. However, the men braved the storm and succeeded in getting some game even though they had no guns and no ammunition. They also located a few houses in the vicinity where families were living, here they purchased food from those farmer's scant supply.
An experience that later, when these perils were past, seemed rather amusing was often related to us children by our father. The men while in search of food came upon a farm house and finally succeeded in spite of their German tongue, to make the English speaking farmer understand that they wanted food. The farmer's supply of food had also run low, but he offered them a large quantity of sweet potatoes. They do not raise sweet potatoes in Germany and these men had never before seen any and thought they were "Runnel robin", (Rutabagas). Those were raised in great abundance in Germany and fed to the stock. What they especially wanted was Irish potatoes, but the farmer led them to this large heap of sweet potatoes. They emphatically shook their heads saying, "Runnel rotten not...potatoes we want." Finally, hungry as they were, and while their women and children at the ship were waiting their return to bring them food, they left the farmer standing in disappointment by his abundant supply of sweet potatoes while they wended their way back through the snow to the ship with empty stomachs. When our father used to relate the above incident to us children his mouth fairly watered, for he was unusually fond of sweet potatoes.
When leaving Germany, the plan of Earnst Brink and family had been to sail as far as St. Louis by boat and from there to drive over land to their new home in Washington county, a distance of only about sixty miles. But since the ship was icebound at Grand Tower, they changed their plans. They wrote to their sons in Washington County, Christian and William, to meet them at Grand Tower instead of St. Louis. When the sons did not arrive, after some time of waiting they hired a man to take them over land by wagon and an ox team.
There is some difference of opinion as to where the ship was ice bound and also as to where they left the river to go by wagon. Some think that they were ice bound farther down stream and that when the ice melted they traveled by boat as far as Grand Tower and from there went over land, and it is so stated in the Poem. However, after gathering information from many sources, we are quite convinced that the ship was ice bound at Grand Tower, and that from there they traveled the rest of the way by ox team.
After leaving Grand Tower and having traveled for some distance, they discovered that a man on horseback was following them. When the man overtook them they recognized him a$ the owner of the little inn where they had lodged the previous night. The man accused them of having stolen some articles at his place and demanded that they permit him to search all of their belongings.
They protested, declaring their innocence. They reasoned with him, telling him that it would take hours to unpack, search and repack all the 1uggage they were carrying and that would delay them too long. When the man insisted, they told him frankly that they could not permit the search without a search warrant. He continued following them, saying that he would get the warrant when they reached a certain town.
Grandfather was kind to the man and when the noon hour arrived they insisted, over the man's protest, that he eat dinner with them. After the family had bowed their heads and Grandfather had said Grace, the man ate in silence. When he arose, he thanked Grandfather heartily for his kindness, then mounted his horse saying, "I will not be back, for I do not believe that people like you would stoop to steal another man's property.
After having traveled on for some distance farther with the man whom they had hired, they met their sons who had come to meet them. They decided, however, to continue their journey and their sons drove on to Grand Tower to get the baggage that had been left behind.
The long overland journey that yet lay before them, with the ox team was wearisome and even perilous. It was midwinter and there scarcely any roads nor bridges. The mother, Anna Mariea, was very ill. Slowly and courageously they wended their way onward, enduring the cold, eating what stale bread they had in supply and purchasing provisions here and there as they chanced, in that sparsely settled country, to come across some little village or farm house. Finally, on Christmas day, they reached their destination.
We are convinced that their joy must have been unbounded when the long, wearisome journey was at last ended. It was now four months since they had left their comfortable home in Eikzen. Doubtless it was a joyous Christmas day even though they had no Christmas tree, no gifts to present to each other, no toys and no candy for the children and no church service to attend. Yet they acknowledged that God in his tender mercy had protected them on their long perilous journey and they gave Him Praise.
On the farm that Earnst Frederich and Anna Mariea had purchased was located a house, but this was yet occupied by the farmer owner who held possession for some months after their arrival.
Two miles south west of the newly purchased Brink farm stood a little vacant cottage, this they occupied until the former owner of their own home would give possession.
We would rejoice if we might omit some of the sad events that befell the family during the first twelve months of sojourn in their newlyadopted country, but in order that it may be true to facts, We herewith record it.
While the family was living in the little rented cottage, before they could move to their own home, the dear mother's physical condition became alarming and before three months had passed she had slipped away. The angels had come to bear her pure spirit away to be with Jesus in the Heavenly Home that He had promised to prepare for those who love and serve Him, that home whose builder and maker is God, where His children shall "go out no more forever."
The joy of the family was now turned to mourning. Earnst Frederich William Brink was bereft of his wife and loving companion. Anna Mariea had 1eft him. Bravely, for his children's sake, ho dried his tears and courageously faced the future, endeavoring to make a home and be both father and mother to his children. The youngest was only ten and several others not in their teens the very age when children need the sure, guiding hand of a mother most.
This is a sad chapter, but there remains yet another sad one to be written. Before that year ended, after they had moved into their new home, the father became ill and he too, slipped away to his Heavenly Home, leaving the children with neither father nor mother in new and strange country.
Both Father and Mother, Earnst Frederich William and Anna Mariea were laid to rest on their own farm, scarcely a stonesthrow of the house. Both died in the year 18445. They were yet in the prime of life. Earnst Frederich having reached the age of fifty, while Anna Mariea was only forty seven.
The Brink descendants may now visit the graves of these their courageous ancestors who so bravely endured hardships giving their very lives in the struggle that the coming generations of their descendants might have a home and enjoy life in this wonderful country in which they themselves were permitted to sojourn for but a very brief space of time.
At the time of this writing, July, 1945, the farm that Earnst Frederich William and Anna Mariea purchased, which was the Brink family's first home in America, is still in possession of their descendants. Their second oldest son, William, lived there until his death in the year 1888. Next the grandson, Henry J. Brink, son of William, came in possession of it and lived there until his death in the year 1925, and now a great grandson of Earnst Frederich, a son of Henry J. Brink, is residing there with his family. His name is Waldo Brink. He lives in the house that was built on the ground where stood the home that Earnst Frederick William occupied.
This location is in Washington County, Illinois, near the beautiful little North Creek, about five miles northeast of where Nashville is now located. About three miles southeast of the little village called New Minden and six miles southwest of Hoyleton and two miles West of the R.R. Station called Huegely.
It seems that the land first owned by Earnst Frederich and Anna Mariea and later divided among the children, consisted of about one thousand and fifty, or perhaps twelve hundred acres. All within a few miles of the old home place, most of it lying in an easterly direction. A chart inserted in this book will show the location of the land and how it was divided among the children and also what is not in possession of the Brink heirs. The charts are as nearly correct as We could obtain information.
In the years that followed, more and more people from different localities in Germany began to settle in that community purchasing land and building homes.
In the immediate vicinity the settlers were all of that sturdy and industrious stock of German people of whom so many migrated from Germany in those early days and built up prosperous communities and became devoted and loya1 citizens of the country of their adoption.
This writer of this sketch of history is of the fourth generation of Broncos, as recorded in this booklet, a daughter of Charles L. C. Brink. She was reared on her father's farm in the midst of the above described community and, be it said to the credit of those sturdy honorable German people who lived in that immediate vicinity, that she grew to maturity and was above twenty years of age before she ever heard any person use profanity or ever saw anyone intoxicated.
Before closing this part of the brief history of the Brink family, we will yet add few facts regarding the ten children of Earnst Frederich William and Anna Mariea Brink who constitute the third generation.
The union of Earnst Fredrich William and Anna Mariea was blessed with ten children, six sons and four daughters. One of the daughters died in infancy in Germany while the other nine grew to maturity and came to America. We here give the sons and daughter's names beginning with the oldest.
Christian died 1873
Louisa - died in infancy, in Germany
William died 1888
Christena died in her early twenties
Louisa Brink Meyer died 1904
Frederick died 1905
Henry - died 1894
Carolina Brink Hoffman - died 1897
John Earnst - died 1860
Charles - died 1926
These six sons and four daughters of Earnst Frederick and Anna Mariea Brink, the third generation of Brinks as recorded in this history, have at the time of this writing, 1945, also all reached the end of their earthly pilgrimage, the youngest son, and last to pass away, Charles, having departed in the year 1926, at the ripe old age of ninetyone years.
Christian, the eldest son of Earnest and Anna Mariea Brink returned to Germany some time after the family had arrived and before his return was married to Christena Kroughoff. They lived on his farm onefourth mile east and three quarters north of the old homeplace, directly across the road from where Elm Point school house is located. Christian lived here until his death in 1873. Nine children were born to this union, five of whom lived to maturity while four died in infancy. Those who lived to maturity are: Martha Brink Fieker, Theodore Brink, Anna Brink Heitmeyer, Lydia Brink Bruhn and Julius Brink.
Louisa, the second oldest child died in Germany
before the family migrated to the United States of America. She died in infancy.
William, the third eldest child, was married to Mary Woepke Gerken. He came in possession of the old Brink homeplace which his father and mother, Earnst Frederich William and Anna Mariea purchased before they came to the United States.
Eight children were born to this union, four of whom died in infancy, while the following four sons lived to maturity: William, Charles , Henry, and Theodore Brink. He died in 1888. But the land is still in possession of his heirs. Albert Brink, son of Charles, owns a part of the land where he now resides with his family. Waldo Brink, the son of Henry, owns that part of the farm where the first Brink
home was located.
Christena died several years after the family
had come to America while yet in her early twenties and is buried on the Lutheran
cemetery at New Minden.
Louisa was married to William Meyer and lived for some time on her part of the Brink estate located threefourths of a mile east of the old home. Later they bought a farm about five miles farther southeast. Here she 1ived with her family until her death in 1904. Her part of the former Brink Estate is still owned by the Brink heirs and is now in possession of the heirs of Charles Brink, the son of William Brink. To Louisa were born twelve children, one of whom died in infancy while the following eleven grew to maturity: Willian Meyer, Carolina Meyer Voelkel, Joseph Meyer, Charles Meyer, John Meyer, Sarah Meyer Guyer, Eve Meyer Lyons, Louis Meyer, Theodore Meyer, Samuel Meyer and George Meyer.
Frederich owned that part of the farm threequarters
of a mile east and a half mile south of the old homeplace. Later he purchased
a farm three and one half miles east and while living there was elected State
Senator in which capacity he served with honor, for twelve years. During part
of this time, he resided in Hoyleton Illinois, whore he was also engaged in
the milling business. Frederich's wife's maiden name was Carolina Hoffman. He
died in the year 1905. To this union were born eleven children, two of whom
died in infancy, while the following nine lived to maturity: Fred Brink, Carolina
Brink Kreuger, Louisa Brink Rolf, Mary Brink Kohlmeyer, Henry Brink, Anna Brink
Kohlmeyer, E1izabeth Brink Greiman, Edward Brink, and Flora Brink Greiman.
Henry 1ivod on his part of the estate one and
onefourth miles east and one half mile north of the first Brink home .
His wife's maiden name was Whilemena Weihe. He lived on this farm until a few
years before his death when he moved to New Minden, where he died in the year
l894. Eight children wore born to this union, one of whom died in infancy, while
the other seven reached maturity. All of these seven are living to this date.
They are, Minnie Brink Kracht, Henry Brink, William Brink, Fred Brink, Lydia
Brink Synder, Julius Brink, and Arthur Brink.
Carolina was married to Earnst Hoffman and lived,
with her family, several miles southwest of Nashville. Carolina's husband was
a brother to her brother Frederich's wife. Carolina passed away in her home
near Nashville in the year 1897. To this union were born ten children of whom
two died in infancy or in childhood, while the following eight grew to manhood
and womanhood. Henry Hoffman, Fred Hoffman, Christena Hoffman Ruhmig, Louis
Hoffman, John Hoffman, Philip Hoffman and Mary Hoffman Syler.
John Earnst, the ninth child of Earnst Frederich and Anna Mariea Brink was united in marriage to Mary Wolfman. He lived on his part of the Brink land which was located one and onefourth miles east of the old homeplace where he died in early, young manhood in the year 1860. To this union was born one son, John, who after his marriage resided in Clay County, Illinois, from which place, a few years ago, he also went to his home in heaven.
Charles, the youngest of the ten children owned
that part of the Brink land 1ocated one and threequarter miles east of
the first Brink home. His wife's maiden name was Elizabeth Krughoff. Charles
owned this place before his marriage and lived there until his death in the
year 1926 at the age of ninetyone years. He was the last one of that generations
the ten children of Earnst Frederich and Anna Mariea Brink
to pass away. His farm is yet in possession of his heirs. A son, William G.,
and a daughter Louisa, are now living there. To the union of Charles and Elizabeth
Brink, thirteen children were born. Four of those died in infancy, while the
following nine grew to maturity: Charles Brink, Henry Brink, Fred Brink, Mary
Brink Radamacher, Clara Brink Tschudin, Minnie Brink Ludwig, Elizabeth Brink,
Louisa Brink and William Brink.
In Eikzen, Rotenufel, Berg Kirche,
Kreis Minden and Province West Phale,
In Preusen, in beautiful Deutschland,
Stood a home in a lovely green vale;
Here was living in peace and contentment,
A man with a family of ten,
His name was Earnst Frederick and William,
Who was known a "A man among men."
But one of these names was his surname,
It was Brink, -- like the brink of a stream,
He had chosen for wife and companion,
The girl of young manhood's fair dream;
'Twas Anna Mariea Dorthiea,
Charlotte and Ilsabein Meier,
The last name, of course, was her surname,
The name of paternal grandsire.
Both Anna Mariea and Earnest,
In the same little village, they say,
Were born in the Dorf of fair Eikzen,
Where they saw first the light of day;
One seven nine O, says the record,
Our grandfather Earnest was born,
While not until eight years in future,
Little Anna Mariea came on.
They were taken to worship in childhood,
And confirmed in the Lutheran church faith,
The chapel was known as Berg Kirche,
To all of their kindred and race;
Here Anna Mariea and Earnest,
Oft bowed in their worship to pray,
And here at the same holy altar,
Were united in marriage one day.
And then in their own little cottage,
They vowed that to God they'd be true,
And always on each Sunday morning,
They sat in their own sacred pew;
They sang the good songs of the Kingdom,
While the organ pealed forth the sweet strain,
Then bowing their heads in great reverence,
Their petitions were not made in vain.
In those ancient days in the church house,
In Deutschland - yes all o'er the world,
They had not a stove nor a furnace,
For comfort, while preaching the Word;
E'en though in the cold of December,
The sermons ne'er seemed to be long,
For their hearts grew warm in the service,
As they worshipped in sermon and song.
As time was now hastening onward,
To the parents ten children were born,
Six stalwart sons and four daughters,
Were given to brighten the home;
The eldest was Christ, then Louisea, --
She was buried in Germany's soil--
The next in the family was William,
Then Christena, who died as a girl.
Now Louisa, a girl, and then Frederick,
Were given the home to adorn,
Then Henry, Carolina and Earnest,
In the happy Brink family were born;
And now came the baby named Charley,
The last of the family of ten,
While two of the daughters died early,
The boys all grew to be men.
Still time hurries on in its journey,
They toil, they labor, they pray,
And God in his mercy was with them,
And blessed in a financial way;
They purchased more land and had tenants,
Who lived on the land they now own,
But Grandfather's house was not modern,
Our comforts to them were unknown.
They did not have gas nor a furnace,
For gas in that day was not known,
Nor had they a heater or stove,
But a hearth stone was all they could own;
They did not have coal in a coal bin,
Nor wood in a woodshed to spare,
But "torf" that they dug from the hillside,
Was Grandfather's fuel out there.
No one had matches in Eikzen,--
How then could they kindle a fire?--
They bedded live coals on the hearthstone,
When the family was 'bout to retire;
Perchance it went out in the night time,
They always knew just what to do,
For Grandfather Brink went to neighbors,
To get coals in his old wooden shoe.
They did not buy bread at a bak'ry--
As often we've heard father say,--
But baked in a big outside oven,
Constructed of brick and of clay;
The oven on top had a chimney,
The roof was like to a dome,
The fire was made on the floor-space,
Which was almost as large as a room.
But one of the things that seems strangest,
To those of us living today,
Was to hear them tell of their mixing,
The dough in the old-fashioned way;
Where we have our pans and our mix-bowls,
They mixed in a trough made of wood,
'Twas big--'bout the size of a manger,
But the bread--they say it was good.
There was plenty to eat for the family,
But their menu was different from ours,
They had vegt'bles out of the garden,
That grow 'mong the beautiful flowers;
But meat was scarce in their larder,
They served it but one meal a week,
We think not a meal is quite perfect,
If we have not our pork or our beef.
Another strange thing we remember,
That often our parents would say,
Was the way of them cooking at meal time,
'Twas different than we do today;
They stewed the whole meal in a kettle,
That hung in the fireplace there,
Boiling carrots, potatoes and cabbage,
Runkelboben and onions to spare.
Then the serving began for the family,
When the clock on the mantle struck twelve,
They placed a big bowl on the table,
And everyone helping themselves;
But no - we're ahead of our story,
For all of them wait a brief space,
All heads first bow in reverence,
For Grandfather always said grace.
At last they are ready for serving,
The family and friends who chance there,
But looking once more at the table,
To us it looks empty and bare;
Not a plate we behold there to eat from,
For not that whole family did own,
But placing the stew in the center,
They all ate from one common bowl.
But wait! -- we should always remember,
Before we indulge in a smile,
At the way things were done there in Eikzen,
We should stop and consider a while;
These things were not done in this century,
But long ago in the distant quite vast,
For Grandfather Brink and his family,
Lived a century and a half in the past.
A century and a half has wrought changes,
The old we've exchanged for the new,
But let's stop for a moment our boasting,
This change was in Germany too;
Most all that we proudly call modern,
Was invented the last hundred years,
If we should go back now to Deutschland,
'twould silence our little pet jeers.
But now to come back to the family,
It's their history that we want to know,
Did they always remain there in Deutschland?
If not -- pray where did they go?
No, those were the days of migration,
So they moved, the strange it may seem,
Yes strange, for their farm was a "Free hold",
Where they ruled as a king and a queen.
But they heard of a wonderful country,
Where some of their kindred had gone,
So they sold the dear home there in Eikzen,
The home where ten children were born;
In autumn, when crops had been garnered,
Eighteen hundred and forty five,
The father and mother and children,
At the harbor of Hamburg arrive.
Now Grandfather Brink and his family,
Were leaving their dear native land,
They boarded the ship in the harbor,
To cross the ocean's expand;
They arrive after weeks of sailing,
On America's southerly soil,
Where they sailed up the "Father of Waters"
To the wonderful state, Illinois.
But alas e'er the long journey ended,
The ship could travel no more,
For the surface of old Mississippi,
Had frozen from shore to shore,
And then as if by fate were against them,
Provisions began to run down,
No bread and no meat in the larder,
And scarcely a house or a town.
And there while the good ship was stranded,
While women were offering prayer,
The men with grim desperation,
Felt duty to do and to dare,
Bravely they faced the cold north wind,
To hunt the wild game in the snow,
Though they had not a gun nor a riffle,
Nor even a slingshot nor bow.
And God in his great loving kindness,
Who promised us our daily bread,
Gave blessing on them in their efforts,
And the women and children were fed;
And then God in mercy sent sunshine,
And the ice and the snow went away,
The ship now resuming its journey,
dropped anchor at Grand Tower one day.
They leave now the good Mississippi,
Whose waters had borne them along,
And journey to Washington County,
Where they expected to build them a home;
A great many miles lay before them,
'Twas a long and a wearisome way,
With no train and no bus and no auto,
But an ox-team they traveled that day.
No highways were built then for travel,
For the country at that time was new,
Scarce tavern or house for night's lodging,
Hence the comforts they found were few;
So the mother, the dear precious mother,
With body so broken and frail,
Could scarcely endure the long journey,
O're the rough and the unbroken trail.
But at last their journey is ended,
And they offer thanksgiving to God,
For the day they arrived was on Christmas,
And O! -- such a Christmas it was;
Though they had not a gift for each other,
And not for the children a toy,
No doll to give little daughter,
No candy to give to the boy.
Though the mother is ill with a fever,
Leaving father to carry the load,
But had they not known God's protection
On the long and perilous road?
And now with glad hearts they adore Him,
On this their first Christmas day,
Which they spent in this wonderful country,
This "Land of the free," as we say.
Their land and new home had been purchased,
By writing to those who lived near,
But the late owner held its possession,
Till early the next coming year;
So they found a small house that was vacant,
One mile to the south and one west,
Here they moved with all of their baggage,
Where at least for a time they could rest.
But alas, the frail health of the mother,
Is nearing the break from the strain,
They watch and they weep by her bedside,
They hope and they pray -- but in vain,
For early in springtime one morning,
At the dawn of a beautiful day,
The chariot swung low to receive her,
And the angels bore Mother away.
They could not obtain a nice casket,
Wherein to lay Mother so dear;
By the help of kind friends and some neighbors,
They constructed from lumber a bier;
They lined it with spotless clean linen,
And a pillow beneath her dear head,
They tenderly laid the frail body,
To rest in its snowy white bed.
And now the day came for the funeral,
They scarcely knew what they should do,
There's no preacher, no church and no graveyard,
In this country where all is so new;
So they sing a good hymn for their comfort,
And then humbly they bow and they pray,
Then wending their way to the home place
They lay the dear mother away.
And now the lone father -- God bless him --
Is left with eight children of ten,
Though the eldest have passed from their childhood,
And now are young women and men;
With courage he faces the future,
In submission he bows to his God,
Yes, Anna Mariea has left him,
But his faith is still strong in the Lord.
But alas, the year is not ended,
Till again the angels come down,
The chariot swings low to call Father,
To give him his heavenly crown;
Their eyes dim with tears, now the children,
Must lay that dear loved one to rest,
Tho' heads bowed in grief, they acknowledge,
That God in his mercy knows best.
Now Anna Mariea and Earnest,
Though both were yet in their prime,
Have come to the end of their journey,
And entered that haven sublime;
Fifty-five was the age of the father,
The mother was forty and seven,
God grant that all their descendants,
May meet them some day up in heaven.
And now we would know the location,
Where Grandfather Brink made his home,
Can we, their descendants, locate it,
If anywhere near we may roam;
O pray, we would know where they landed,
Long ago on that dear Christmas day,
Where they lived, where they died and were buried,
Can someone inform us we pray?
O yes, it is easy to locate,
By all their descendants we think,
For the home-place is still in possession,
Of the heirs of Grandfather Brink;
The land is in Washington County,
Five miles from Nashville, north east,
Six miles south westward of Hoyleton,
And from Minden three miles, at the least.
On the moss-covered banks of the North Creek,
Where the children might play in its foam,
Under low hanging boughs of the elm tree,
Is where Grandfather builded his home;
And now for a moment we'll linger,
Between a green cluster of trees,
For here we behold a small graveyard,
Where only two graves may be seen.
Just east of the house, scarce a stones-through,
They buried Grandmother that day,
And only about a year later,
The children laid Father away;
Shall we stop for a moment in reverence,
Bow the knee and uncover the head,
And offer to God our thanksgiving,
For the godly Grandparents we had?
And now we must turn to the children,
The children of Grandfather Brink,
All ten have now answered the summons,
For death came and broke the last link;
'Twas twenty years past at this writing,
That the last one' race here was run,
When Charles the youngest one left us,
At the age of ninety-one.
From the time we're recording this history,
Just seven generations have past,
from the parents of Earnst Frederich William,
To the little wee baby born last;
And now at the date of this writing,
Nineteen hundred and forty and five,
We number the total descendants,
Five hundred and sixty and five.
And now in concluding this record,
For descendants of Grandfather Brink,
We have one more petition to offer,
Of greatest importance we think;
We do not ask for wealth for the family,
Nor that they climb ladders of fame,
But we pray that no Brink nor descendant,
May ever dishonor that name.
She married Albert Krughoff and moved to the Krughoff homeplace where the newly wedded couple shared the house with the older Krughoffs. Millie and Albert occupied the basement rooms and several rooms on the first floor of the house. At the death of the older Krughoffs, the couple continued to live in the house and raised their family there.
Millie had many activities to pass the day. She subscribed to the Chicago Tribune which was delivered by mail and the mail was usually delivered about 1:00 p.m. After reading the news, she enjoyed doing the crossword puzzle. She also played the piano and in later years she had an electric organ. She displayed a china dog collection on the radiator in the living room. Fred Hotz won a blue plastic dog at a picnic and gave it to her and she always kept it in the collection. She liked to listen to the radio soap opera's. Fred Hotz remembers three of her favorites were: Helen Trent, Our Gal Sunday, and Ma Perkins.
Millie liked to work outside in her garden and would rather be there than inside doing housework. She raised vegetables, strawberries, and flowers. She had a rock garden on the side of her house at one time. While she was outside she also took care of the chickens and gathered the eggs in her apron. She especially enjoyed the baby chicks.
Millie enjoyed needlework, especially crocheting. Many samples of her handiwork were found in her house. She also could sew her own clothing
Often on Saturday she was found in the kitchen baking. In the winter she put the dough on the kitchen radiator to rise. She usually had fresh loaves of bread and coffee cake ready for family or company. She also enjoyed canning the fruits and vegetables from her garden.
On summer evenings after a hard day's work, she and Albert and any family or friends that were visiting gathered on the front porch. Here the family reminised about days gone by. It was there way of passing family history on to the younger ones.
On Sunday she and Albert attended Sunday School and church in Hoyleton at the Evangelical Church where she had gone all her life. She was also active in the Women's Fellowship, and the Adult Fellowship.
Millie corresponded with family left in Germany. During World War II when the family in Germany was in distress, Millie sent care packages to them. It was much appreciated by the German family.
Fred Hotz remembers Millie was always willing to let him build or repair things. He built a wren house when he was young and put a new ceiling in the hall when he was older. She always had praise when the job was finished.
Children of Millie and Albert Krughoff are:
1. Carolyn Krughoff, b. 7 April 1920; d. 7 April 1920
2. Frieda Krughoff, b. 18 April 1908
3. Rose Krughoff, b. 2 Nov 1912, d. 13 Jan 1991
Rev. Gustav Frederick Carl Brink, b. 1 June 1887; d. 24 Nov 1966, Washington County, IL; buried Zion U.C.C. Cem., Hoyleton, Washington County, IL. He married Bertha Brink 15 July 1915 at the bride's home, daughter of Henry Brink and Wilhelmine Hoffman.
Children of Gustav and Bertha Brink are:
1. Ruth Lucille Brink, b. 15 Sep 1917, d. 1978 Centralia, IL
2. Mildred Brink, b. 8 Sep 1921
3. Frederick H. Brink, b. 3 Jan 1924; d. 16 June 1989, Washington Co. IL
4. David L. Brink, b. Nov 1926; m. Jacqueline
Collins, 29 Aug 1949
Rev. Paul William Brink, b. 1890; d. 1962. He married Katherine Molz. Paul was a minister in Redbud, IL at the Evangelical Church ( now The United Church of Christ). One Fourth of July his brother Gus's family came to visit. Paul and Gus filled wheat straws with gun powder and shot them off like bottle rockets. One straw was crooked and it took a turn and went right through the neighbor ladies dress. She was not too happy!
Children of Paul and Katherine Brink are:
1. Helen Brink
2. Eunice Brink
3. Walter Charles Brink
4. Paul James Brink
Leonard H. Brink, b. 9 Jan, 1896, Hoyleton Twp., Washington County, IL; d. 12 July 1977, Nashville, IL; Buried North Prairie Cem, Washington County, IL He married (l) Frieda Gleiber. (2) Alberta F. Hake May 12, 1939 in Red Bud, IL, daughter of J. Hake and Lydia Krughoff.
When Leonard was a young boy his father died. His mother eventually remarried and the new family moved to Missouri. Leonard had many step-brothers and sisters. Life was not so happy and when it was time for him to be confirmed he moved back to Hoyleton to live with his sister Millie and her husband Albert. Shortly after Rudie came to live with them too. Leonard was a prankster and loved to tease Frieda, Millie's daughter, when she was growing up. Leonard attended prep school and college in Elmhurst, IL.
As an adult Leonard was a band and music teacher in Okaville, IL. He wrote and arranged music for the many musicals he produced.
Leonard was good at woodworking and had a shop with a lathe and other necessary tools in a building next to his home in New Minden, IL. He built a tall grandfather clock for his yard. He also built a reed organ and he used a vacuum cleaner to blow air into it so he would not have to pump it with his foot.
He was also an avid painter. He liked working with oil paintings and had many samples of his work hanging in his home.
Child of Leonard and Frieda Gleiber is:
1. Child Brink, b. Probably born in Waterloo,
IL; d. died in infancy.
Charles Rudolph Brink, b. 21 Aug 1900; d. 14 Feb 1976. He married Emilie Wehking.
My father, Rudie, was born 21 Aug 1900 at the home of his parents. The date is not sure since the birth certificate was not filed properly. His father died when Rudie was about two years of age. His father's death may have been related to a fall in a barn because he had severe head pains for years after the fall. Rudie's mother Sophie was allowed to stay on the farm and did for a while. As the boys grew up they chose not to farm. Sophie met a man, formerly from Hoyleton, who courted her. After their marriage the family moved to Scott City, MO (near Lebanon). Once there Sophie took care of her two youngest boys, Leonard and Rudie and also her new husband's family. By this time Millie and Paul were married and stayed in Hoyleton. The boys lived with their mother in Missouri for a while but first Leonard moved back to Hoyleton to stay with Millie and her husband Albert Krughoff. Shortly after, when he was 13, Rudie moved to Millie's home too. They both liked Millie and Albert Krughoff's home. Albert was more than a father figure to Rudie; He was father -- and Albert never complained.
My father met Emilie at church. They married and in 1928 I came. We were on a farm near Hoyleton. Dad did some farming in summer and taught country school. It was depression time.
All the boys had been to Elmhurst. It was run by the Evangelical Church (now UCC) and was an inexpensive place to go to be educated. My father was a night time worker at the Chicago Tribune and also had other jobs while in school. I don't believe Sophie helped any money wise. She died when I was eight. She had cancer and the operation in those days was very crude. Sophie had a few of her things left --so-- Paul and Rudie went to have things settled. They filled their car with trinkets and quilts and came home. I'm sure she was brought back to a grave in Hoyleton to be buried with her first husband. We never saw much of the step-family she raised in Missouri. I always had a feeling the step-brothers weren't members of the "good-guys club".
Music ruled the Brinks; all the boys played instruments and Millie loved to play the piano and organ. My father had the Venedy Band, New Minden Band, Nashville Band and other school bands such as Hoyleton. He also had a drum and bugle corp for Nashville.
He was an avid collector of Indian relics. He hunted many in the area of Hoyleton and New Minden. Kent, my oldest son, now has his large collection.
The house he bought in New Minden gave him the privilege of planting all kinds of shrubs, trees and a large vegetable and flower garden. He spent many hours in the garden.
Dad's leaving us in 1976 left mother in a town where she needed transportation and she couldn't drive a car. She came to live with my family in Columbia, IL in July 1976 and departed her life at the Waterloo Nursing Home on 17 Jan 1991. She had been there only 12 weeks.
Child of Rudie and Emilie Brink is:
1. Roberta (Betty) Elizabeth Brink, b. 4 Feb 1928; m. 28 Dec1950 Kenneth Mann, b. 22
Sep 1924 d. 24 Feb 1999 (Children: Kent, b.2 Nov 1951, m. July 1976 Christine
Francis b. 23 Aug 1951((Ch: Jennifer b. 29 Sep 1979, Kimberly b. 14 May 1981,
Charlotte b. 31 Mar 1985, Spencer b. 28 Jun 1991)); Perry b. 2 Feb 1956,m. 17 Nov
1985 Traci b. 6 Jul 1964 ((Ch: Joel b. 20 Jan
1987, Kyle b. 3 Jul 1990)) )
This sketch was given at the first Reunion of
the Beckmeyer descendants at the park in the village of Hoyleton, Illinois,
September 6, 1954; by Millie Brink Krughoff, Author. At the time, September
7, 1954, the Beckmeyer descendants numbered 315 souls of which 35 passed into
This sketch of history of our ancestors begins
in the 18th century, 162 years ago, in a picturesque village called Hullhorst,
in Westfalia, Germany. We have no knowledge of ancestors before that time. In
No. 10 the homestead where our story begins on March 21 in the year 1792, our
maternal Great Grandfather Christian Fredrich Ludwig (Great) Eickmeyer was born
and baptized in the Evangelical church of Hullhorst. Where Great-grandmother
Anna Maria Louise Great Eickmeyer was born we do not know, but surmise it was
Hullhorst or a neighboring village. Great Grandfather and Great Grandmother
Eickmeyer were married May 6, 1814. They made their home on the Great Eickmeyer
farm in Hullhorst. There were a number of Eickmeyers in Hullhorst and as far
as knowledge could be ascertained, Great Grandfather owned the largest farm
-- hence the "Great Eickmeyer".
Grandmother Anna Katherine Marie Sophia Beckmeyer
(Nee Eickmeyer), was born May 12, 1815, the oldest child of Great Grandfather
and Great Grandmother Eickmeyer. She was baptized and comfirmed in the Evangelical
church in and on August 4, 1836 she married Grandfather Heinrich Wilhelm (Korf)
Beckmeyer. Grandfather took his bride to his own small farm in Hullhorst, homestead
No. 20, the birth place of our parents and which is operated by descendants
of the people who purchased it in 1872.
Of Grandfather Beckmeyer's ancestors we have
obtained no information, but we do know that he was born at Ohlson, (a neighboring
village to Hullhorst) on a farm which is operated by a descendant of Grandfather's
brother, but who knew nothing of the Beckmeyers. Grandfather and Grandmother
had eight children, the oldest died the first year of his life. The seven children
are: Carl, Friedrich, Wilhelm, Ludwig, Heinrich, August and Sophia.
The narrative that follows I have from my mother
Sophia Brink (nee Beckmeyer), who loved to tell about her beloved home and relatives
in Germany. descendants of those same relatives are living in Hullhorst, Germany
and as a result of the second world war the Beckmeyer descendants in this country
have sent food and clothing to those distant relatives across the ocean, when
Germany suffered it's worst defeat in history and so very many people died of
starvation due to the after effects of the war.
Our Grandparents Beckmeyer were very religious
and pious. The children were all baptized and confirmed in the Evangelical church
at Hullhorst, except Sophie who was confirmed in Aion Evangelical church at
Hoyleton, Illinois. She was eleven years old when they came here. They all attended
the state school, much like the parochial school here, regularly. It was called
the state school because church and school were under the jurisdiction of the
German government. The Beckmeyer children spent their childhood days much like
all other normal children in Germany, at that time. The went to school, did
chores, and also had their time for play. Although they had few toys they never-the-less
had their fun in games. Their greatest fun was skating. They had no skates however
so the boys would hammer large headed nails or tacks under the soles of wooden
shoes to keep them from wearing away. There was a large pond in Hullhorst which
was frozen during the entire winter where the youngsters of the whole village
had a hilarious time skating. Today half of the pond is drained dry, and a monument
dedicated in honor of the dead soldiers of first world war, with beautiful shrubbery,
and a carpet of grass surrounding, adorn the place where our parents once had
a jolly time. In school religion, reading, writing, and arithmetic were the
main subjects. As a rule the teachers were very strict and one teacher took
care of the whole school. In church the religious rites were much the same as
our Evangelical rites here.
The houses were built very substantial. Some
are still standing and in good repair that were built in the seventeen hundreds,
among them the Beckmeyer Homestead NO. 20. It was here that Grandfather Beckmeyer
purchased a water pump, in 1865, it being the first water pump ever purchased
in the village is still in good working order. The date is inscribed on the
pump with Grandfather and Grandmother's initials. I have this information from
one of our relatives in Germany, Fred Kuhlmeyer, who did a little repair work
on the pump in 1950. In the days when our parents were children in Germany,
garments for the whole family were made of linen and wool. Flax was raised on
the farm, hand processed, and spun in linen thread. The same way wool was spun
into yarn for hose, socks, mittens, shawls, etc., or woven into material for
garments. The woolen and linen threads were woven on wooden looms in the home.
For men a heavier thread, for women and children a finer thread. After enough
cloth was woven it was taken to a tailor who made garments for the whole family.
They were simple and all made after the same pattern. The men wore short trousers,
shirts, vests, coats and long, heavy wool hose, which came up over their knees.
The women wore linen or wool dresses, all made in the same pattern; plain waist,
gathered skirt and we must not forget the apron, it played an important role
in the wardrobe. I remember Grandma Beckmeyer always wore an apron and a little
woolen shawl around the shoulders and tucked in the belt Of the apron. Wooden
shoes were worn but mother said, at the time they left Germany, people were
beginning to wear leather shoes. Mother had one pair which were worn only on
Sundays. Shoes were not bought in stores, but were made to order by a cobbler.
Life in Germany was very simple, and having only a few acres of land, cows were
used to pull the plows and other implements to till the soil. The Beckmeyers
had a horse or two at intervals. On the Great Eickmeyer farm they had four or
more horses. Furniture was simple and not much of it. A rustic table, wooden
chairs, cabinet for cooking utensils and dishes, and a stove I the kitchen,
no other stove in the house. A large bed in the bed room and roll away beds
for the small children. The small beds were rolled under the large one during
the day. Meals were simple and wholesome. For the noon meal a stew of vegetables
and a small piece of meat were cooked during the morning hours and at meal time
the soup was emptied into a large bowl, set in the center of the table, where
all could help themselves to their share; using wooden spoons, hand-made and
polished smooth as glass. Sugar was used very little and the fruit was eaten
Bread baking was done outside in a stone oven.
On baking day a fire was started in the oven and kept burning until the right
temperature for baking, then the coals and fire were removed from the oven and
15 to 20 loaves of bread baked at one time. the bread dough was kneaded in a
(Backtrog) Baketrough they called it. The men did the kneading because it was
too much to handle for the women. Cakes, cookies and pastries were baked in
bakeries. At a funeral the upper grade school children had to sing and for this
would receive a bun covered with sugar. Mother's brother August would always
bring his bun home and give it to her, and mother would share it with him. What
a token of love between brother and sister.
As all normal children do, the Beckmeyer children
grew and after confirmation came the question of employment. There was not enough
work on the small farm for six boys, and not enough money to send them to college.
In those days many young men, yes whole families came to America, where opportunities
for business and farming were great. In order to avoid military training, the
boys would leave before they were eighteen years. When Carol Beckmeyer reached
that age, he too, left his home, parents and brothers to come to America with
his uncle Carl Eickmeyer. They settled in Illinois where they worked for farmers
who were mostly English settlers. In winter they split rails for fencing. When
the stock law came into effect, the farmers had to fence their stock, which
before could roam the prairies at will. After Carl had enough money he bought
his own farm. Land sold for very little money at that time. Next in line to
leave was Fred Beckmeyer, before he was eighteen, he also went to America.
Before I go on I must relate an incident, such
as we often read in books, but think it could never happen in real life, but
this story is not fiction but fact. When Fred left for America, he sailed from
Bremen, but the ship was not quite ready to sail, so Fred took his baggage aboard
and in his spare time took a stroll uptown. When he came back the ship had sailed
without him, but with his baggage. There was nothing he could do but wait till
the next ship sailed for America. He did not or could not notify his parents
and while they thought him on the ocean he was still in Bremen. But the ship
he was to have sailed on, sank during a severe storm, and not a person was saved.
When after weeks of waiting for a letter from Fred which did not come, they
received word from some source, stating the fact that the ship on which Fred
Beckmeyer sailed was lost at sea and everyone on board it. Imagine the shock
and grief this notice brought into the Beckmeyer household. Their boy, who such
a short time ago, was such a care free lad, full of fun, who had great hopes
for the future in the new country, dead? He was mourned as dead, by all relatives
and friends. A memorial service was held in his honor and August was named Fred
it being his middle name. We can only imagine their joy and thanksgiving to
the Lord when weeks later they received a letter from Fred stating his safe
arrival in America.
William was the next to go, but as Louis was
confirmed, (he was 15 years old) it seems the two came to America together.
Now by this time Grandmother was talking of coming to America, but Grandfather
would not hear of it. He would stay in Germany. But when Henry also left for
the new country and only two children, August and Sophie, were left in the Beckmeyer
household, Grandmother kept on talking America, hoping Grandfather might change
his mind. Her wish was granted sooner than she had anticipated. About two years
after Henry's departure, Louis came to Germany for a few months visit with his
parents. No doubt Louis was on Grandmother's side on the America question and
August, the youngest son was confirmed, was fifteen years old and might want
to join his brothers in America. All this might have had something to do with
Grandfather's decision. Be that as it may, Grandfather did make up his mind
to come to America. I here quote my mother's words, "One evening father
came home from the village and said to mother, "Katherine get ready. We
are going to America." The surprise of these words, the eagerness to get
ready for the journey, the thought of seeing the boys again, but also the sadness
of parting with everything dear to them, I leave for each one who reads this
episode to consider. After a few days when everything was attended to, the Beckmeyer
family bid farewell to Hullhorst, Germany, farewell to relatives and friends
and started the long journey across the Atlantic in September 1872, in happy
anticipation of the future. But alas...things do not always turn out as we would
want, for during the twelve day voyage on the ocean, Grandfather Beckmeyer became
violently ill and died aboard ship just as land was sighted. the Authorities
would not allow the remains of Grandfather Beckmeyer to be taken by train to
Illinois. Grandfather lies buried in New York and Louis is the only one of the
family who knew and saw the last resting place of Grandfather Beckmeyer. Grandmother
now had to make the end of the journey alone with her children. They made their
first visit with Carl and family on his farm. Mother said when they came to
Carl's place and met his wife and children, Anna five and Fred about two years
old, she was so taken with everything she saw, (all so different than in Germany)
that she forgot for the time being the grief of losing her father, but when
her brother Henry came to see them all was told about Grandfather's death, he
cried out loud and the sad experience of losing a loved one came back.
Later the Beckmeyer brothers purchased a farm
with Grandmother's money southeast of Hoyleton, Illinois.
Fred Beckmeyer had moved to Wichita, Kansas with his family. He came a year or two later for a visit with his wife and child, Nancy. That was the only time my mother saw her brother Fred in her whole life, for he had gone to America before my mother was born. So now we come to the end of this narrative: Grandmother Beckmeyer was reunited with her children, but Grandfather, the head of the clan, was missing. In due time the wounds of sorrow were healed by One in Whom Grandmother firmly believed, her Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. She lived to see all her children married and have homes of their own, She made her home with August, who inherited the farm. Alvin Beckmeyer, youngest son of August, owns the farm now. Grandmother as I remember her was a true Christian character, and one who could pray and believed in prayer. She passed into Eternity on her birthday, the 12th day of May, 1891, reaching the age of 75 years.
Blessed be her memory.
Maternal Great Grand Parents:
Christian Friedrich Ludwig Eickmeyer, born 17 March 1792, at Hullhorst, Westfalen, Germany. Died 4 August 1837
His wife Anne Marie Luise Niedermeyer
Heinrich Wilhelm Beckmeyer
His wife Anne Marie Katherine Sophia Eickmeyer
1. Karl Friedrich Wilhelm born 12 December 1837, died in infancy.
2. Karl Heinrich born 19 December 1838 married Sophia Dickmeyer
Children: 1. Anna Brink; no children
2. Fred Brink married (1) Mary Potthoff ; Children (( Irwin ( Child:
Sharon); Armin ( Child: Mary Lou); Wilfred (Children: Fredrick,
Barbara)) married (2) Milie Pothoff
3. William married Sophia Woker; Children: ((Corine (Children: Allan,
Donna Jean); Alfred ( Children: Orion William, Glen Edward, Janet
Ruth); Gladys; Owen ))
4. Edward married Carolyne Klebe; Children: (( Dorothy; Esther (Child:
Arthur); Anna (Children: William called Bill, Thomas called Tommy)
5. Henry married Hulda Kasten; ((Children: Eugene (Child: Jerry); Henry
II ( Children: Henry III, Alyce, James))
6. Arthur married Bertha Hanke; Children: (( Carl R. (Children: Jan
Stephanie, Carl Boyd)
3. Friedrich Wilhelm born 7 July 1841 married Augusta Fries
Children: 1. Nancy,
4. Wilhelm Friedrich born 18 April 1844 married Sophia Lueker
Children: 1. Louis married Beckey Poehler; Children: (( Lillie (Child; Gladys
(Child: Nancy Lisa), Gayle (Child: Becky), Edward (Child: Harold),
Della,Alfred, Mary; ((Child: Geraldine (Child: Jimmy) )), Laura;
((Child: Jack (Child: Aaron, Phillip) )), Albert; (Child Craig), Fred;
(Children: Charles, Beatrice, Nadine), Mable; (( Children: Carol Jean
(Child: Darcus), Virginia (Child: Mary), Mona Gail, Shirley,
Jammie.)), Nellie (Children: David, Paul), Bennie; ((Child: Max (Child:
2. John married (1) Minnie Hake; (Child: Alma) (2) Laura Boyd; (Child:
Eunice, Thelma) (3) Viola
5. Ludwig Ernst Heinrich (Called Louis) born 26 May 1850married Mary Bolk
Children: 1. Edward
2. Charles married Carrie Vogt; (( Children: Rudie (Children Joan,
Barbara), Esther ( children: Eugene, Marlene, Elsie, Robert), Elmer
(Child: Dianne), Raymond (Children: Jimmy, Russel) ))
3. Anna married John Eisinger; ((Children: Rudie (Child; Janet), Paula
(Child 1. Bernice(Her children: Paula, Dorothy, Christel); 2.Robert
(His children Robert, Larry),Elda (( Barbara, Mills, Jerry), Mary
Doris (Her child Robin), Robert, Alfred (( Robert, Donald, Roger)),
Ruth, ((John Thomas, Kenneth, Elda)), Mildred ((Children: Alice,
Nancy, Lynn, Kathy))
4. Theodore married Frieda Schleiffer; ((Children: Mildred, Richard,
6. Heinrich Christian born 6 August 1853
Children: 1. William married Sophia Hohmann; Children: Gertrude, Helen
2. Sophia married Louis Hesemann; Children: Ida (Child: Irene), Unice
3. Edward married Anna Broeking
4. John married Hulda Husmann; Children Leroy (Children: Barbara,
5. Lydia married Oliver Hoffmann; Children: Vera (Children: Helen,
Roxy Ann, Ronald, Robert, Randal), Helen (Children: Jerry, Rickey)
6. Paul married Minnie Weber; Children: Howard (Children: Donna
Ruth, David, Doris Jane), Ruth (Child: Gene)
7. Clara married Henry Weber; Children: Leonard (Child: Larry), Erna
(Children: Diane, Dale)
8. Alice married Raymond Hake; Children: Norman (Children: Linda
Kay, Marsha), Robert
9. George married Frieda Wellpott; Child: Marilyn
7. August Ernst Friedrich born 27 June 1856 married Emma Greiman.
Children: 1. Fred married Emma Weber; Children: Edwin, Harold, Eunice, Lillie
(Child: Jimmy), Maryann (Children: Robert, Barbara), Edna
(Children: Donald, Dorothy), Florence (Children: Carol Ann, Janet
Marie), William (Children: Gayla, Steven), Reinhard (Child: Douglas)
2. Mary married Reinhard Rixmann; Children: Clara (Child: Mary
Barbara), Walter, Bernice, Dorothy (Children: Jan, Barry, Wendy,
3. Walter married Millie Weigel
4. Gustave married Myrtle Johnpeter; Children: Robert (Children:
Gussie, Carl), Joan (Children: Rebecca, Margeret, Andy)
5. Harry married Laura Wacker
6. Louis married Lucille Schumann; Child: Melba
7. Alvin married Louise Niermann; Children: Minette (Children: Joyce,
Ruth Ann), Roland (Child: Mark)
8. Anne Marie Luise Sophie born 5 March 1860
Children: 1. Millie married Albert Krughoff; Children: Frieda ((Child: Frederick
(Children: Michael, Cathy (Her child: Kelsey) )), Rose( (Child: James
( Angela (Children: 1. Thor 2. Girl), Jonithum (Child: boy), Jamison
(Child: girl), Angenette (Child: Girl), Christilyn, Annie) )),
2. Gustave married Bertha Brink; Children: Ruth (Children: Jerry David,
Ruth Anne (Child Rachel), Mildred (Child: Judy (Children: Jeffrey,
Jennifer), Fredrick (Children: Steven, Scott), David
3. Paul married Katy Molz; Children: Helen ((Children: Donald
(Children: Ann Marie, Alema), Terry (Children: Kris, Alama) )),
Eunice, Walter (Children: Michelle, Tracy Lynn, Charles), James Paul
((Children: Steven (Children: Benjamin, Aaron), Paul James (Children:
Jessica), Debra (Children: Amy, Casey, Lindsay), Laurie) ))
4. Leonard married (1)Frieda Gleiber (2) Alberta Hake
5. Rudolph married Millie Wehking; Child: Roberta (Betty); Children:
Kent (Children: Jennifer, Kimberly, Charlotte, Spencer), Perry
(Children: Joel, Kyle)
Poem written by Millie Krughoff for the Beckmeyer reunion:
Faith of Our Ancestors
Faith of our Ancestors, true to God
Thro' all the fires of mortal strife,
Holding the promises of old,
Strong in the everlasting Life.
Faith of our Ancestors, Oh how strong
Like anchor chains, that would not break,
No matter how the tempest raved,
They always knew that Jesus saved.
Faith of our ancestors, true as steel,
Calm and sweet, their trust in God's Love,
Firmly they trod the upward way,
Until they reached the Home above.
God grant that every Beckmeyer descendant
May have this firm trust and faith,
That the upward way, our Ancestors trod,
Leads to the mansions of our God.
History of Berg Kirche; Westphalen, Germany
Berg Kirche, in northwest Germany is in the present
province of Westphalia. It stands on the crest of a ridge commanding a vast
panorama of the Weser River Valley. The original structure was built as a result
of Charlamagne's "Cross and Sword" Campaign in old Saxony. It was
here that paganism held out longer than in any of the neighboring provinces.
Boniface of England and a group of Irish monks had succeeded in Christianizing
most of Germany except this strong willed ancestral tribe of ours. (There is
no relationship between old Saxony and the present German province by the same
In 779, Charlamagne, King of the Holy Western
empire, met Pope Lee the Third in Anahen (Aix la Chapelle)where he had come
from Rome on a special mission to place the Papal hand on Charlamagne's great
new cathedral there. The one in Minden and also in Berg Kirche had been recently
completed, so being an opportunist, the King brought the Pope north with him
to dedicate and bestow special blessings on these two churches also. A signal
honor through coincidence no doubt.
During the early fourteenth century the church
was rebuilt as it stands today. Portions of the massive walls of the original
church form its basic structure. The nave is approximately 120 feet long and
about 60 feet wide. There is a small square narthex below the bell tower under
which burial space was reserved for a privileged few. The slabs, with epitaphs,
are so worn down however, by the shuffling of centuries of communicants, that
they are not for the most part legible. Through the center the stones are worn
down some six to eight inches. The pulpit, built high above the church pews
is about half way down along the south wall.
The dedication of the rebuilt Kirche was again
honored by the presence of the Pope. This happened during the period of continental
history when there was great controversy between church and state over the civil
powers of the pope. History records the moving of the Papal seat into France,
where the Pope (probably Clement IV) traveled from one cathedral town to another
until Philip the Fair of France provided a permanent seat at Avignon. During
this period of French residence the second dedication of Berg Kirche took place.
So again the little church was privileged to receive a blessing which might
never have transpired had the Pope been in a far distant Rome.
During the Reformation the missionaries of Martin
Luther reached into the Northern providence's and the "Church of the Hill"
became Protestant. It is still an active parish referred to as a Parochial Mother
Church and now conducts its services according to the creed of the Evangelical
Church. It is attended by villagers from both sides of the ridge for such services
as Baptisms, Weddings, Funerals, Holidays, and Mass Confirmations, of which
records show as many as 300 at one time. Each village ( or Dorf) has its own
chapel for regular Sunday worship.
Legend has it that the origin of a spring, known
as Wittikinds Well, can still be found in front of the church, dates back to
the founding of this parish seat. The conquest of Charlamagne is definitely
linked with the story --- though, as in all legends, there are some slight variations
in some of the details. So, after extensive research and comparisons of a number
of versions I have concluded the following.
King Wittikind ( White child or albino, I presume)
of old Saxony was approached by Charlamagne to renounce paganism and embrace
Christianity. The King was troubled, so during his mental battle of indecision
mounted his steed , rode to the top of the range and conferred with his pagan
gods, but without any satisfaction. He was so lost in thought during his sojourn
that he discovered he was also lost in fact and very thirsty, so he offered
a prayer to this new God of Charlamagne for water, as well as a manifestation
, to determine which course to take, Christianity or paganism. He had but a
few moments to wait , because at that very instant his restless horse pawed
the ground and from the rocks at his feet burst forth a sparkling freshet. Wittikind
was convinced and chose this spot for the first Christian church in his kingdom.
It remained Catholic until the Reformation.
It was from old Saxony that the Anglo-Saxons
invasion was launched in 499 A.D. It is a significant fact that the Westphalians
of today are akin to the English in physique and coloring, (tall, blue-eyed
and blonde) as well as their language. There native tongue is a dialect known
as low German ( being in the lowlands) which is almost pure Flemish with a smattering
of English words and phrases. This may account for the fact that North Germans
learned to speak English with ease and little accent in contrast to the heavy
tongue of the Prussians and throaty R's of the South.
New Minden in Washington County, IL was settled
by pioneers from the parish of Berg Kirche. There church is patterned after
the mother church in Germany and is built also of hand hewn native stone, fashioned
into fortress-like walls. It celebrated its Centennial in 1947. To reach Berg
Kirche today, one must go via Minden and from there by Kleinbahn ( narrow gauge)
to either Rotenufeln or Sudhemmern, through a picturesque countryside, for removed
from crowded tourist routes.
Written by Ruth Bernreuter Watts
With credit to Mrs. Albert Krughoff for valuable help in compiling the above.
Nashville, IL 1951