My son is Karl Isaac Hongsermeier. I am Martin Karl Hongsermeier. My father (and the father of my two sisters) was Leo Albert Hongsermeier, married to Inge Hongsermeier. His father was Albert Hongsermeier, son of Casper Hongsermeier. Casper's father was Heinrich Hongsermeier. That's as far back as I know at the moment. Anyone who can contribute accurate and authentic information is invited to send me email with the information.
This Family History is derived from sources that are deemed to be accurate.
I am Inge Hongsermeier. I was born in the CHEK Republic 66 years ago. I lived there until I was 14 years old. In 1947 my mother and I went to live in Austria. There I was considered a person without a country with no rights or privileges so I emigrated to America. I have been in this country since 1952.
These next stories tell of marriage and family alignments during the taming of Hall County, Nebraska, in the USA, by the committed settlers, the ones who stayed and hammered a living from the land. One story tells of a plague of grasshoppers (locusts). Apparently, this was a plague of biblical proportion, coming year after year. There were so many grasshoppers, they blotted out the sun. Vast fires swept the plains. Coming upon the settlers unexpectedly, the flames destroyed everything in their path. Terrible snowstorms, blizzards, lasted for days at a time.
The following extracts are directly taken from a book published in 1920, as noted below.
CASPER HONGSERMEIER, a highly respected retired farmer of Lake township, has been a resident of Hall County [Nebraska, USA], since 1885. He was born in Westphalia, Germany, February 28, 1854, one of a family of ten children born to Heinrich and Marie (Unferther) Hongsermeier. Both parents died in Germany where the father had been a general farmer. Only two sons came to the United States, Casper and Henry. The latter settled in Kansas and recently died there.
During boyhood Mr. Hongsermeier attended the common school near his home and afterward engaged in farming in the old country. In 1885 he came to the United States and settled in Hall County, where he bought land at $2 an acre, which is now worth over $150 an acre because of the excellent improvements he has made. He has always carried on farming, being most successful. Although now retired he still lives on his farm of one hundred and sixty acres, where he has every comfort of life and can oversee farming operations as he feels inclined.
On April 25, 1879, Mr. Hongsermeier married Miss [Anna M.?] Marie Mettenbrink, a daughter of Frederick and Anna M. (Schwendeniek) Mettenbrink, who spent their lives in Germany. Her father was a prosperous farmer there at one time. Mr. and Mrs. Hongsermeier have the following children: Henry and Charles, both of whom live in Buffalo County, Nebraska; Mary who lives with her parents; Frederick who is a farmer in Hall County, married Louise Hamann; Anna, who lives at home, Augusta, the wife of Ernest Hoerst, of Hamilton County, Nebraska; Lena, the wife of Fletcher Thurley, of Custer County; and Emma, William, and Albert, all of whom reside at home. This is one of the fine families of the township, parents and children alike being highly respected and welcome in every circle. They all belong to the Lutheran church. Mr. Hongsermeier casts an independent political vote. He is a member of the Farmers Union and the Non-Partisan League.
Source of the above: History of Hall County Nebraska, Copyright 1920, p.784-785, by A.F. Buechler and R.J. Barr, Editors in Chief, Dale P. Stough, Associate Compiling Editor. Lincoln, Nebraska, Western Publishing and Engraving Company.
LAKE TOWNSHIP. William Guenther has contributed the following short account of the early settlement of Lake township:
When we first located in Lake township, in 1872, there was nothing to obstruct the view over the rolling prairies. Not a tree was visible. Here and there was a settler, but they were few and the small buildings erected by them were very scarce.
On April 13, 1873, there was a snow storm which I shall never forget. Snow fell continuously for three days. One could not see three feet ahead. The settlers had big losses through this storm. This visitation was soon followed by the grasshopper sieges - several years in succession. The pest devoured all of the corn, oats, and wheat that was planted and in the course of maturing. The atmosphere was so filled with them that the sun was no more visible.
Prairie fires were another source of great danger to the early settlers in this township. They sometimes came with such rapidity that it was difficult to get out of their way or start "back fires" and save what little property we had. I remember one particular incident well. I was taking a load of hay from my farm to Grand Island. The fire came from the southwest and in an angle with the St. Paul road. Chas. Stolley came and called to me, asking me to take him along and out of danger. We were compelled to urge the horses into their utmost speed to get out of range of the advancing fire, and finally made it.
A roster of early land owners in Lake, prior to 1890, shows:
Source of the above: History of Hall County Nebraska, Copyright 1920, p.160-161, by A.F. Buechler and R.J. Barr, Editors in Chief, Dale P. Stough, Associate Compiling Editor. Lincoln, Nebraska, Western Publishing and Engraving Company
CHARLES H. METTENBRINK, probably one of Lake Townshipís most progressive farmers, is also one of the largest landowners in this part of Hall County. It may be said further, that these fine farms and herds of registered cattle did not come to him by inheritance, but as the result of the hard work of a persevering farmer who possesses more than the usual amount of sober business judgment.
Charles H. Mettenbrink was born in Westphalia, Germany, April 9, 1854. His parents were Frederick W. and Anna M. (Schwendeniek) Mettenbrink, natives of Germany, who spent their entire lives there. The father was a farmer and raised cattle, and for the times, was considered well to do. Of their eight children three live in Germany, the other five having homes in Nebraska, Charles H. being the eldest of these. He has two sisters and one brother in Hall County: Anna M. [Marie?], the wife of Casper Hongsermeier, of Lake township; Katherine, the wife of Henry Ansmer; William, who is dead; and Frederick, who lives near Grand Island. The parents were faithful members of the Lutheran church and reared their children in this religious body.
When his school days were over, Charles H. Mettenbrink worked as a farmer in Germany until 1881, when he came to the United States, reaching Hall county in the fall of that year. The following four years he was employed on farms and prudently saved his earnings, then, in partnership with his brother-in-law bought three hundred and twenty acres of land. For a time they operated the entire tract together but later evenly divided it. He now owns eight hundred acres, all valuable property, devoting a large amount of attention to the cattle business, raising on an average, two car loads, and from one to two car loads of calves a year. When he settled on his home place it was bare of improvements, but through industry and thrift he soon made notable changes through setting out trees and erecting substantial buildings. As already mentioned, he is doing an immense business in cattle and his opinions are worth listening to when he announces a preference for White Face registered cattle, of which he has a valuable herd.
In April, 1885, Mr. Mettenbrink returned to Germany and was there united in marriage with Miss Mary Ostermeier, who died August 20, 1894. She was a daughter of Henry and Elsie (Esem) Ostermeier, who spent their lives in Germany. Mr. and Mrs. Mettenbrink had five chilrdren born to them: Mary, the wife of Casper Meier, of Merrick County, Nebraska; Charles who assists his father; Emma, the wife of Herman Huepner; and Elsie and Henry, both of whom live at home. For his second wife Mr. Mettenbrink married Miss Louisa Obermeier, of Germany, who is deceased. Mr. Mettenbrink and family are members of the Lutheran church. He is a Republican in politics and has political influence in township affairs but has never been willing to accept any public office. Mr. Mettenbrink has made three visits to Germany since he first came to the United States.
Source of the above: History of Hall County Nebraska, Copyright 1920, p.793, by A.F. Buechler and R.J. Barr, Editors in Chief, Dale P. Stough, Associate Compiling Editor. Lincoln, Nebraska, Western Publishing and Engraving Company
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