Posted By: Tammy (email)
Date: 5/5/2015 at 06:45:49
A Real Pioneer Family
The Riebkes families are real pioneers of Grundy county. The father of the family, Riebke Riebkes, came here from Stephenson county, Ill., before the Civil War and bought a 160-acre farm, 80 acres of which is still in the Riebkes family and now owned by Martin Riebkes. For the original 160 acres Mr. Riebkes paid $5.00 an acre.
When the war began the elder Riebkes was in the draft. He decided not to enter the army and arranged to hire and to pay a substitute to take his place. In order to raise money to meet this financial obligation, Mr. Riebkes sold off 80 acres of his original German township farm. The family had to remain in Illinois as they didn't have the means left to come west until the year after the war closed, when they came west in a covered wagon. They brought with them two head of horses and six cows. They were seven days making the trip from Stephenson county that is now less than a half day's drive. When they came here they bought another 180 acres that adjoins the 80 which Mr. Riebkes bought before the war and this remained the home farm and it is still in the family. They paid $10 an acre for this place.
There were eleven children in the Riebkes family, eight of whom are still living. They are Lou, John, Henry and Martin. The first two live at Ackley and John and Martin are still in Grundy county. The four daughters who are living are Mrs. Ralph Freese, Ackley; Mrs. John VanLoh, Wellsburg; Mrs. Menne Hickman, Ashton; and Mrs. John H. Janssen from Marion, So. Dak.
The father of this large family died at his home in German township in 1892. The mother passed away in 1912.
Members of the Huisman family are the only ones now living in the northwest part of the county who were here when the Riebkes family came to make their home and to help build up the county sixty-three years ago.
--The Grundy Register (Grundy Center, Iowa), 26 September 1929, pg 12
Grundy Documents maintained by Tammy D. Mount.
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