Howard Lake-Waverly Herald, Feb. 14, 2000

A claim is staked on the north shore

By Edward Reinmuth and other family members

Second of a four-part series.


In this space, I would like to extend my appreciation to Susie Feidler, our German cousin, who spent much time researching the family history in Germany. Susie worked as a librarian and was well-qualified to do a background check of our early history in Germany.

We can now consider the Reinmuth history complete. It goes back to Peter Ruymundt who died in 1581.

Conditions in Germany in the 1800s

Johann George (J. G.) Reinmuth's father (1775-1836), also named Johann George, had a sister, Kathrina Barbara (1764-1836), who married a Johann Philip Gerhard.

It is thought that since J. G. was the only surviving son of the family, it would only be proper that he inherit the family Bible. It was handed down to Grandfather Lewis and then, to my father, Louis, and now, it is in my home ­ a much valued possession.

It will continue to be passed on as long as there are heirs. The Bible has been a tremendous help in researching the family history because a complete family record has been kept there. Most of the early record was written in German script and had to be translated into English.

When one thinks about why the family chose to leave Germany, you have to consider these facts. Germany had been in a state of turmoil for about 300 years. It had no central government. The country was divided up into small elements such as the Hapsburgs (Austria), Poland, Pommerainia, Prussia, parts of France, Spain and Switzerland.

Of these, Prussia was the largest and most dominating country. Each country had its own militia, creating constant turmoil as each tried not to be swallowed up by the other.

Many men had to serve in the military. J. G. must have also served, because found in correspondence between family members in Germany, J. G. was addressed as Dragoneer Reinmuth ­ one who has served in the dragoons or calvary.

Also mentioned is the fact that there was little chance of obtaining enough land to farm and be able to support a family in Germany. Another reason might have been the increasing population in Germany and the poor economy at the time.

One has to surmise that all these factors were considered by J. G. and his wife, Barbara, and must have gave them the desire to leave Germany, the homeland, and families and come to America.

The family moves to Minnesota

In those times huge numbers of Europeans were immigrating to America, where virgin land was plentiful and there for the taking. Not much consideration was given to the fact that the land was occupied by Indians. As the land was settled by the immigrants, the Indians were pushed out until there was no place for them to live.

After living in Manchester for two years (1854-1856), the Reinmuths were ready for the trip to Minnesota. The August Enkie family was also ready, and so the two families set out together.

They traveled by riverboat down the Ohio River as far as the Mississippi River to Cairo, Ill., and then on up the Mississippi until they reached St. Anthony, now Minneapolis.

Once there, they found lodging for the wives and children, and J. G. and Enkie started gathering information as to where the best land could be obtained. They met a fellow by the name of Cook, a fellow Badenite, who told them that there was plenty of good land about a two-day walk west of St. Anthony.

They gathered supplies together, bid their wives and children goodbye and told them that they would be back to get them as soon as they could find land and build cabins on their claims. So it was, the two men set out on foot, carrying supplies on their backs. We don't know if they were able to rent a pack horse or not, to help haul supplies.

It seems rather impossible that men could carry enough tools, food, saws and whatever else it would take to build log cabins, on their backs. Early pioneers were issued muskets to be used for protection or hunting. Just carrying the old musket that J. G. was issued, was, in itself, very heavy. That old musket is still a family possession today.

After the men had walked for some distance, they came to the Crow River. It was spring time and water flow was high. There were no bridges and so the river had to be forded.

Once across, it was approximately another day's walk when they came to a pretty little lake. It was here that J. G. and Enkie decided that the north shore of this lake would be a good place to stake out their claims. There was a plentiful supply of trees for cabin logs, fresh water from the lake, and severa; springs for drinking. The ground elevation was good, too.

Back to Part 1 | Go to Part 3


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