Browns, Sugar Creek and Riggs

Browns, Sugar Creek and Riggs, Waterford Township, Clinton County, Iowa

Compiled by Lorraine Houghton and Marilu Thurman, updated August 2006.

Thank you so much to Lorraine and Marilu for sending this information to us. 

History of the Early Settlers in Browns

We have gathered information about the area near Browns and New Browns, Iowa in Waterford Township, Clinton County, and Fairfield Township, Jackson County, and the families who settled in this area between 1850 and 1925.

The LDS Library has microfilms of Tschernembl Parish in Gottschee, Austria, which was later part of Yugoslavia, and now is part of Slovenia. Several of the Sugar Creek families came from this area. The microfilms for this area are numbered 1416538 through 1416563. Marilu Thurman is continually researching these records. We have also searched census records, plat maps, cemetery records, marriage records, and other historical documents.

The cemetery tombstone records for St. Joseph’s Church at Sugar Creek, through 1972, are available at the Central Community Historical Society and Museum, 628 6th Ave., DeWitt, Iowa 52742. They have very limited hours, which usually include Monday morning and Sunday afternoons through the summer. If there are questions, you may call Ann Soenksen at 563 659 3686, or email her at

Marilu is a descendant of the Peschel and Underberg families. Lorraine is a descendant of the Banowetz, Boehmer, Burken, Franzen, and Reuter families. We would like to thank everyone who has helped in any way to make this possible. We have tried to be accurate, but if you find something incorrect, contact Lorraine at, 563 386 1932 or Marilu at, 719 275 7815. If you are a descendant of any of these families and would like to add more information to your family histories, we encourage you to get in contact with either Marilu or Lorraine. We want to preserve all of the family history we can. Copies of this complete history with pictures and plat maps is available in booklet form or on CD. It can be ordered from Marilu for $10.00 each, including postage. Please put Browns History File in the subject line so she does not accidentally delete your email.

Many family members contributed information and are shown in the byline. In some cases, these family members wrote the entire story. This "History of the Early Settlers in Browns" and the entire history of "Browns, Sugar Creek and Riggs" would not be possible without the help of many people. Contributors are: Art Banowetz, Della Banowetz, Dolores Banowetz, Glen Banowetz, Ray Banowetz, Rita Banowetz, Robert Banowetz, Virgil Banowetz, Kate Baum, Marie Bormann, Elizabeth Burger, Lucy Chapman, ArleneConsidine, Jean Determan, Joe Determan, Veronica Determan, Duane Fuegen, Lorraine Houghton, Rex Houghton, Kermit Ketelsen, Catherine Kilburg, Jean Kilburg, John Krauland, Margaret Light, Donna McAleer, Ambrose Roling, Adrian Roling, Donna Roling (St. Joseph’s Church, Sugar Creek, 1855 - 1980 - 125th Anniversary), Dorothy Roling, Irene Rose, Marie Salutz-Conery, Lucille Schoel, Bev Skoff, Bob Skoff, Karen Skoff, Ed Skoff, Alice Srackangast, Marilu Thurman, Donna Timmer, Jim Timmer, Bernard Trenkamp, Betty Weinschenk, Sister Bertha Zeiser and many more friends and relatives who were willing to share their family information and pictures with us.

Table of Contents

Reasons for Emigrating
Gottschee (The old country)
Gottscheers come to Browns
Old Browns
New Browns
Understanding the Language in Browns
The Railroad in Browns
Sugar Creek Industries
Riggs, Iowa
Directions to Browns, Riggs and Sugar Creek
Photographs and Plat Maps
St. Joseph's Parish in Sugar Creek, Iowa


The Ahlers Family
The Arkenberg Family
The Assenmacher Family
The Banowetz Families
The Boehmer Family
The Bormann Family
The Brinkman Family
The Brown Family
The Burken Family
The Buthala Families
The Derganz Family
The Determan Family
The Elsner Family

The Engler Family
The Fehring Family
The Fier Family
The Franzen Family
The Frett Families
The Fuegen Family
The German/Jerman Family
The Gollobitch Families
The Grossman Family
The HerwathHorvat Family
The Jaklitsch Family
The Lamuth Families
The Luskey (Loschke)Family
The Maurin Family
The Messerich Family
The Neuhaus Family
The Nurre Family
The Perion Family
The Peschel Family
The Powers Family
The Proost Family
The Reiff Family
The Reuter Family
The Roling Family
The Roschitsch Family
The Rose Family
The Ross Family
The Skalla Family
The Skoff Family
The Sterbenz Families
The Sterk Family
The Strutzel Families
The Stuckel Family
The Teshak/Tezak Families
The Timmer Family
The Trenkamp Family
The Underberg Families
The Zeiser Family