My Cousins and Aunts have assembled the story of my paternal grandmother’s mother, Anna Herre’s family. I have included maps and such for a little more background. Here’s the narrative:
The Herre family lived in Zillhausen, Baden-Württemberg, Germany for centuries. For the most part, they were farmers who lived in houses in this small town, and tended plots of land in the hills outside of the town. However, occupations of Judge and Weaver are also mentioned in the records. Zillhausen is in the southwestern part of Germany, on the edge of the Black Forest.
As background, Zillhausen was a few kilometers east of the city of Balingen, about midway between Stuttgart, Germany to the north, and Zürich, Switzerland to the south.
Today, the berg is called Streichen (far right or east on the map), but several remnants of Zillhausen dot the landscape. The marker in the map shows what appears to be a radio station named Herre Radio. The photo and thumbnails below from Google Maps show Streichen with the radio tower in the background. The hills explain the curves and switchbacks on the maps.
Now, back to the narrative:
In the 1860s and 1870s, times were especially difficult there. The government was oppressive, and the poor had to struggle to survive.
Johannes Herre (b. 1840) and Gottliebina Bizer (b. 1846) were married in Zillhausen in 1867, and in the next 13 years they had ten children, six of whom died before the age of ten years. As things grew bleaker, they heard that land and jobs were available in America, so plans were made to emigrate.
Johannes’ younger sister, Katherina (b. 1854), was engaged to Gottlieb Jack, who was the first to leave for America in about 1879. Reportedly he traveled first to Dakota (probably because so much free land was offered), and then moved to Minneapolis, Minnesota. As soon as he could, he sent for Katherina. When she arrived in America, he met her at La Salle, Illinois where they immediately found a minister and were married. Then they traveled together to Minneapolis where they settled.
The manner of travel for that time was the Steamship, complete with masts and sails: vestiges of the ship design from the age of exploration. Wikipedia states: “By 1870, a number of inventions, such as the screw propeller, the compound engine, and the triple-expansion engine made trans-oceanic shipping on a large scale economically viable. In 1870, the White Star Line’s RMS Oceanic set a new standard for ocean travel by having its first-class cabins amidships, with the added amenity of large portholes, electricity and running water. The size of ocean liners increased from 1880 to meet the needs of immigration to the United States and Australia.”
Johannes also set out alone for the United States in March, 1880, and after working for awhile on a railroad crew, he built a small house at 1906 South 6th Street in Minneapolis. Then he sent for Gottliebina and their children, who left Germany early in December, 1880. He met them in New York and took them by train to Minneapolis where they settled in their new home. In 1884, another child, Clara Bertha was born. (Note from Joe: There is a house at that address now but it appears to be 1940s vintage, so it was probably built on the same site, maybe the original foundation, but probably completely reconstructed.)
Cemetery records indicate the burial of Gottlieb Herre in the family plot in 1893, and it is possible that he was the last child born to Johannes and Gottliebina, and either died in infancy or was stillborn, as we have no other record of a Gottlieb Herre who died in 1893 in Minneapolis.
Johannes Herre, who had dark hair and a red beard, was a strict authoritarian parent, but he was fair, honest and hard-working. He was a tool and die maker, and worked for the railroad until his death in 1899 at age 59. Gottliebina (called “Mutter” by her children and grandchildren) continued to live in her own home for several years, until her health began to fail. Then she lived with her son-in-law and daughter, Charles Franklin and Anna King until her death in 1922 at age 76. The photo below shows them, possibly at an anniversary.
Charles F. King (b. 1856), a young carpenter and teamster, had become a good friend of the Herre family, and in 1889 he married Anna Herre (b. 1868), their eldest daughter. Charles and Anna had eight children as shown in the chart and photo below (taken after John Ira’s passing at age 2 – possibly photographed in 1911):
Back row, left to right: Clara, Bertrand, Anna King Hesketh, Charles
Middle row: Charles Franklin King, Anna Herre King, Alice King Lewis
Front row: Barbara Helen, Edith
While their children were still very young, the Kings bought a small house at 2522 16th Avenue South in Minneapolis, which Charles then remodeled to accommodate his growing family. He also built the Herre house at 3117 17th Avenue South, in Minneapolis. As the years went by, it became increasingly difficult for him to work as a carpenter, because he had much trouble with hes knees which was attributed to “tuberculosis of the knee”. He died in 1929, of a stroke, about six weeks before his 73 birthday. Anna continued to live in their home with Edith, and Alice and her husband shared an apartment upstairs for a time. In 1936, Anna Herre King died of influenza.
In the early 1900s Mary (Anna Marie) Herre (b 1872) maried Gottlieb Steller, and they settled on a farm at Excelsior, Minnesota. The Stellers had three sons, John (b.1905), George (b.1906) and Wesley (1911). On December 24.1927 Gottlieb was killed by an accident while drilling a well on the farm. Mary continued to live in Excelsior until her death in 1956, of pneumonia following a hip fracture suffered in an auto accident during the funeral procession for Bert King.
John Herre (1874), the only living male child of Johannes and Gotliebina, became a pattern maker for Minneapois Moline. in 1906 He married Loise Ripczinski and they settled in the house that Charles King built on 3117 17th Avenue South in Mineapolis. John and Louine had three children, John F. (b. 1907), Lenore (b.1913) and Myron (b.1919). John died in 1954 at age 79.
The Here family had also become friends with the Chaffee family, who had migrated from New England to establish a farm at Red Wing, Minnesota, south of Minneapolis. One their five sons, Clinton, married Clara Herre (1884) in the Spring of 1913. (Minnesota official marriage certificate website says they were married in Hennepin County on June 16th 1915. Certificate # 01830492). They settled in Minneapolis and adopted a raised two daughters, Clarabelle and Margaret. They had been married for over 40 years when Clara died in March 1956 at age 71. Clinton died in 1961.
(Eustine) Barbara herre (B. 1879) had become a seamstress and had worked her way up to the position of head seamstress for a furrier shop in Minneapolis when she and William Chaffe, Clinton’s older brother, were married later in 4 June 1913 (Certificate # 01640334) They also settled in Minneapolis, where William ran a painting contracting business. Barbara and Bill Chaffe had two children, Willam Herre Chaffee (b.1914) and Harriet Margaret (b. 1915). After Barbara’s husband, Bill died in 1943, she lived with her daughter, Harriet Hawkes until her death in 1956 at age 77, from injuries received in an automobile accident during the funeral procession for Bert King.
Gottlieb and Katherina Herre Jack, who had also settled in Minneapolis, had six children, Olga, Louise, Anna, Otto, Louis and William. Olga (1884) was married to Arthur Tessman. they had no children. Louise (b.1887) never married. Anna (b.1889) was married to Henry Dressler. they had two sons. Anna died in 1984 at age 95.
Otto Jack (b. 1891 Married Ester Ellis. They had four children, Robert (b. 1922), Elaine (b. 1925), William (b.1927) and Joanne (b.1929) Otto died in 1954 at age 63. Lois Jack (b.1894) Married Freda Gerg in 1923. They had two children, Donna (b. 1922) and Richard (b.1925). Lois died of a stroke in 1974 at age 80. His wife died in 1983 at age 89. William Jack (b.1896), the youngest of the Gottlieb and Katherina’s children, died of influenza in 1922 at age 32, without having married. Katherina died in 1936 at age 82, and Gottlieb died in 1943 at age 89.
Only a little is known of the members of the Herre family who remained in Zillhausen. Johan Martin Herre (b. 1856, d.1936), the younger brother of Katherina and Johannes, was married in 1883 to Barbara Konzelmann. They had a son, Jakob Herre, who married a woman named Mina. Rosa, Elsa, and Gottlieb were the children of this marriage. Gottlieb was killed during world War II, as were Rosa’s husband and Elsa’s fiancee. Jakob died in 1969 or 70. His wife, Mina died sometime after 1972. Elsa died of Parkinson’s disease at age 71, in 1991 and presumably, her older sister, Rosa Herre Gohring still lives in Zillhausen.