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Henry Thiel Sr. Family


Posted By: Volunteer
Date: 10/13/2006 at 16:57:49

--From Graettinger [Palo Alto Co, IA] Centennial 1893-1993

p. 303-304


Reimer Jacob Heinrich Thiel was born on July 22, 1867 in Bargenstedt, Germany. He was the son of Claus Thiel and wife, Anna Catherina Thiel, nee Siebke. He married Christine Catherina Westphalen on February 17, 1870 in Trennewurth, daughter of Peter Frederick and Angie Magdalena Westphalen.

Three years later in 1895, the young couple came to the United States and located at Gladbrook, in Tama County, Iowa. They resided there for a short time, then moved to Reinbeck, where Henry Thiel engaged in the tailoring business. Two of Henry Thiel’s sisters and Christina’s mother also immigrated to the Gladbrook area.

In the spring of 1904, the couple began farming and six years later moved to a farm near Armstrong. They lived on this farm for two years and them moved one mile west of Hoprig and lived on J.R. Stewart’s “Big Farm” or “The Ranch” as it was known because of its immense size of that time of 960 acres. In those days work was done by teams of work horses and even though some of this must have been pasture, it was still a sizeable farm in its day.

For the younger generation, Hoprig was located seven miles east and two miles north of Graettinger. At one time Hoprig had a general store, church, school, and the creamery. At one time between 1897 and 1915, the Hoprig Creamery was fourth in the state, doing business of $100,000 for several years. Hoprig was founded by Sam Blair in 1880 and was named after his hometown in Scotland. Hoprig was founded with the prospects of the railroad coming through the town, but the railroad never came close so in time Hoprig ceased to be.

About 1914, Henry purchased a farm just east of Hoprig, from John Blair, the general storekeeper. In 1917, the Henry Thiel family moved to this farm.

Some of the 1914 prices from Henry Thiel’s old ledger book were: bushel of seed corn- $1.50; 1 gallon turpentine- $.90; bushel of oats sold-$.34; bull from J.C. Bosold-$60; 6 halter ropes- $.35; pail of axle grease- $.25; barrel of salt-$1.50; 40 gallons of gas from Standard Oil- $4.56; scoop shovel- $1.00; and gravel for car bedding- $.35.

In the ledger are entries for cattle and hogs sold by the car load. These were railroad car loads that went to Chicago and apparently gravel was put on the floor of the cars for bedding for the livestock. Henry’s son, Alfred told the story that one time his dad was going to ride the train along with the livestock to Chicago. Of course, you packed your own food and something to drink. His dad had stopped at the Hoprig general store and asked for “longneckers” or bottles of beer to take to drink. Alfred always said that his dad had one of the most enjoyable trips to Chicago for once, those Hoprig longneckers were filled with whiskey instead of beer. Then Alfred would laugh and say everyone on the train enjoyed those Hoprig longneckers as Henry shared the stronger brew with everyone.

An entry in the ledger is the cost of threshing 8,448 bushels of oats at the cost of $168.96. Just think of the amount of oat shocks that were pitched in the threshing machine and the women must have kept busy cooking and baking for quite a few days. Hugh Taylor, the owner of the threshing rig must have liked the cooking as he married one of Henry’s daughters, Theresa. Hugh Taylor also broke up the original prairie for farming with his steam tractor and an eight bottom plow. Hugh would tell how he and a hired man would set the bottoms by hand by walking on a plank across the plow to do this.

Henry sold his farm in 1934 to his son, Henry, Jr., as his health was starting to fail. Henry Sr. continued to farm until his death in 1937. Christina lived with her son, Henry Jr, and his family on the “home place.” Mrs. Thiel passed away in January, 1952 after being a patient at Holy Family Hospital for four and a half months with a broken hip. Henry and Christian are buried in High Lake Cemetery near Wallingford.

Henry and Christina had five sons and two daughters.

Fred was born in 1892 in Germany. He married Bridget Conway and both are deceased.

Walter was born in 1894 in Germany and married Luella Dahl. He died in 1972 and is buried in High Lake Cemetery.

Alfred was born in 1895 in Gladbrook, Iowa. Alfred liked to tell that he was made in Germany and born in America. He married Lillian Wherry. Both are deceased.

Theresa was born in 1898 and married Hugh Taylor. Both are deceased and buried in High Lake Cemetery.

Clarence was born in 1899 and married Hazel Long.Clarence died in 1970 and is buried in Emmetsburg.

Anna was born in 1901 and married Frank Neilson. Anna is still living and resides in Ringsted.

Henry Jr., was born on July 23, 1903 and married Anastasia Nolan. Henry died on May 13, 1981.

All the sons actually have Reimer Jacob in front of their names on their birth certificates.


Palo Alto Biographies maintained by Cathy Joynt Labath.
WebBBS 4.33 Genealogy Modification Package by WebJourneymen

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