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Mathias Reinart


Posted By: Richard Gehling <GehlingR@aim.com>
Date: 2/18/2007 at 14:35:25

Mathias Reinart was born in Mettendorf, Prussia, on 24 February 1836. He was the firstborn son of Nicholas Reinart, Jr. and Anna Maria Hoffman. Mathias grew up on the family farm with his one brother and three older sisters. When Mathias was 18 years of age, his father decided to move the family to the United States. After their emigration, Mathias seems to have worked on his father's farm near Caledonia, Minnesota, until the spring of 1862. On May 20 of that year, Mathias joined his father and his younger brother, John J., in becoming naturalized citizens of the United States.

Shortly afterwards, Mathias seems to have spent some time at the farm of his relations in Dubuque County, Iowa. There he began courting a young woman named Susanna Friedman. When the relationship turned to talk of marriage, Mathias decided it was time to provide a home for his future bride. He returned to Minnesota in the late winter of 1864. There, on the last day of February, he purchased 140 acres of the family farm from his father, Nicholas. The price was the grand sum of $70, little enough to pay for a piece of prime farmland in the Mississippi Bluffs region of southeastern Minnesota.

Mathias was back in Dubuque County by late March of 1864. He and Susanna Friedman took out a marriage license on the last day of March. The wedding ceremony took place five days later in the little town of Luxemburg, Iowa.

Susanna Friedman had been born on 11 July 1843 on a farm near Canton, Ohio. She was one of a dozen children born to Anton Friedman (b. 1815) and Elizabeth Wentzel (b. 1819). Her father, Anton, was a recent emigrant to the United States; he had been born & baptized in Zimbuch Parish in the town of Zell, Baden (in modern-day Germany), where vital records of his family had been registered for more than eight generations. Susanna's mother, Elizabeth, had been born in Makatamy, Pa.; she was the daughter of Andrew Wentzel and Magdalena Shup, who had arrived in Philadelphia from Zell, Baden, on 16 June 1817 aboard the sailing ship Xenophone.

When Susanna was 13 years old, her parents left Ohio for Missouri. A year later, they moved to a farm near the little town of Luxemburg in Dubuque County, Iowa. It was here that Susanna met and married Mathias Reinart.

Following their marriage, Susanna and Mathias moved onto the land he had recently bought from his father in southeastern Minnesota. There Susanna gave birth to four children: Nicholas (b. 1865), Magdalena (b. 1866), Anton (b. 1868), and Josephine (b. 1870).

In 1870, the Reinarts moved to a farm near Roselle in western Iowa. Here their remaining eight children were born: Elizabeth (b. 1871), Joseph (b. 1873), William (b.1874), John Ludwig (b. 1876), Peter (b. 1878), Mary (b. 1879), John (b. 1882), Anna (b. 1886). Three of the children died in childhood: Anton, William and John Ludwig. Anton and William died a couple of months apart and quite likely from the same disease.

The Reinart children went to a school in Roselle that had German-speaking teachers. They learned to read in German long before they learned to read in English. The Catholic catechism was always taught in German. At home, the girls were expected to help around the house while the boys worked the fields. Back then the corn was always planted by hand. Mathias would drop the kernals in the rows, and the boys would follow along to push the soil back over each kernel.

All the children eventually grew up and married. Three of them - Nicholas, Josephine & Elizabeth moved to Texas. Mary moved to Nebraska, as did Peter for a time. All the rest remained in Iowa.

When Mathias and Susanna retired, they moved to a large frame house in Halbur, Iowa. For a time they kept boarders. Mathias also became interested in local politics. In April of 1902, 27 votes were cast for incorporation of Halbur into a full-fledged Iowa town. Soon after, a caucus was held to nominate candidates for city office. Mathias was nominated for city councilman, and was subsequently elected to that office, not only in 1902, but also in every succeeding year up to and including 1906.

In June of 1914 Mathias and Susanna celebrated their Golden Wedding Anniversary. All of their children were present at the celebration.

Six years later, Mathias died of "progressive muscular dystrophy." The date was 9 August 1920, the time was 12:30 P.M. Mathias was 84 years old. He was buried in St. Augustine's Catholic Cemetery in Halbur, Iowa.
Susanna survived her husband by fifteen years. For many of those years she continued to live in the large frame house they had shared together. Towards the end of her life she asked if she could move into the home of her youngest daughter, Anna, who was married to Charles Eich. As it happened, Susanna lived only a few months after the move. She was found dead in bed on 23 February 1935. She was nearly 92 years old. The cause of her death was written down as "probable heart disease." Susanna was buried beside her husband, Mathias Reinart, in St. Augustine's Cemetery.

Firstborn Sons of the Gehling Family

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Mathias Reinart, 1899 Biography


Posted By: David Reineke <david_reineke@admin.state.ak.us>
Date: 12/31/2006 at 12:17:33

I translated the following biography from Der Carroll Demokrat, a German-language newspaper published in Carroll, Iowa, between about 1874 and 1920. It was originally published in a special 25th Anniversary Edition of the paper on Friday, 20 September 1899. Any information in brackets or notes at the end are my own explanations. It reads as follows:

Mathias Reinart

With this gentleman we are also dealing with an early pioneer of Carroll County, who came to Carroll County as early as 1873 with his plow and furrowed the prairie.

Mr. Mathias Reinart was born on 24 February 1836 in Trier, in the Rhine Province. He spent the years of his youth in his hometown, the place where he tumbled about in cheerful high spirits and attended school. When he finished school and had received First Holy Communion, he took up farming like his father, and he worked until his 19th year. His parents then immigrated to America, and arriving in this country, they settled in Cascade, Iowa. In the following year, 1856, the family moved to Houston County, Minnesota. On 5 April 1862, Mr. Mathias Reinhart [sic] married the well-brought-up Miss Susanna Friedmann. The young couple then independently operated a 140-acre farm, which they took over from their parents, and where they lived another 11 years. In 1873, after selling the home farm in Minnesota, they moved to Roselle Township, Carroll County, Iowa, where Mr. Reinart purchased a 120-acre farm. He got the farm in order, equipped it with fences, barns, and a fine residence. He later purchased two additional 80-acre parcels, of which, however, he sold 40 acres.

Mr. Reinart thus has real estate holdings of 240 acres of the finest land in Roselle Township, and he and his dear and upstanding wife and children enjoy an excellent reputation among all their acquaintances. This happy marriage has produced 12 children, three of whom, however, have died, a child of 11 years, one of 5 years, and one of 9 months.

The names of the children still living are: Nickolaus, Magdalena, Josephina, Elisabeth, Joseph, Peter, Maria, Johann, and Anna. The two sons Joseph and Peter, of whom Joseph married last winter, will operate their parents' farm in the future.

Mr. Mathias Reinart and his wife, who both find themselves at an advanced age and have behind them a life full of worries and cares, will soon enter into a well-deserved retirement. May they yet enjoy many years of good health and experience only joy from their children as payment for their hard work and troubles.

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