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Bachenberg Letters &

Newspaper Clippings

This is a letter from Irma Beck Smith to Berniece Matteson Coon written in 1988. Used with permission.

There were 8 in the Peter and Anna Schmidt Bachenberg family. Two children were born in Germany. William was married to Bertha Wert. 3 babies died (in) infancy, buried in Salem Lutheran Cemetery, Des Moines Co., Iowa. William and wife died and buried in Denver, Colorado about 1918. I think 2 sons survived at that time. Sylvester and George.

Peter Bachenberg, born May 20, 1855, married Anna Lotspiech and moved to Nebr. Children, Fred born April 7, 1882 - Alva Harold Bachenberg, June 22, 1895. Eden Peter Bachenberg, October 10, 1884. Omer Glen Bachenberg, November 28, 1899. Emma Bachenberg, May 19, 1902. Charley Bachenberg, August 31, 1889.

George Bachenberg, Jan. 6, 1863. Married Amelia Walman, Yarmouth, IA. 4 children, Herman, LaVina, Winniee (born 1899) and Henry (March 6, 1902). Herman is now 91 years old and Henry, 86. The only Bachenberg cousins I have left.

Phillip Bachenberg, born 1861, never married. He liked to travel and see the world. Even went to Klondike and panned for gold. Last heard from in Bisbee, Arizona.

Frank Bachenberg, ??

John Bachenberg, born July 31st. I'm not sure if he's 2 yrs. older or younger than my mother. She (Mary Bachenberg Beck) was born May 12, 1867. John married Lydia Poggemiller. Ray, Aug. 18, 1894. Lucia, Jan. 31, 1899.

Dorothy and Carl Bachenberg

Lizzie (Elizabeth) Bachenberg Wischmeier, 12 yrs. older than Mary Bachenberg Beck. Married Christian Wischmeier after his first wife, Lissie Wagner W., died and left 5 children, John 13, Ben, Lydia, Wil, age 3 & Emma, less than 1 year. Lizzie took care of the 5 children then married Mr. Wischmeier and had 5 more little Wischmeiers. Ed, Arthur, Chester and Esther (twins) & Clara. Moved to Nebraska around 1893. The 10 kept in touch with each other in later years with a Round Robin letter. They are all deceased now, but the second generation are keeping touch with a Round Robin letter and they get to-gether with a reunion every 2 years. Last Sept. they came to Burlington. Reserved 10 rooms at the Holiday the year before. Came from Washington, Oregon, Idaho, California, Ohio, Florida, Kansas, Nebr., Iowa. Oh yes, St. Louis. About 25 came from a distance and about that many came from this area. Had most meals at the Holiday from Fri. eve. till Sun. Sat. they had the Heritage tour and saw the old home place, several cemeteries, two rural schools and Sun. went to church where the family used to go and had dinner at Ripley Inn which was an old stage coach stop and still standing as an antique shop. They then signed out and left for their various homes. Planned to meet next in Lincoln, 1989.

Mary Bachenberg Beck, married Mar. 6, 1900. Alma born Dec. 7, 1890. Alma born Dec. 7, 1893. Verna, Jan. 9, 1899. Lester & Chester (twins) July 19, 1903. Irma, July 8, 1906.

Sorry I have misplaced some history compiled by Charley Bachenberg's daughter, Irene. You can write Mrs. Russell Weiss... in Liberty, Missouri.

Do you have the Bachenberg family picture? I think Marvin has some and maybe it might be there. Irene got the death certificate and we have made several copies. I think Grandma's name was Anna instead of Emma. Irene also found out she was born in Belgium instead of Germany but perhaps it was only a few kilometers across the line. I also wondered how they found that farm in Iowa, but I heard my Dad say something about Fred Riepe was a good friend of Grandpa's. It said Grandma's place of death was Danville Township so she evidentally died at our house of consumption which I think is about the same as T.B. I also didn't know Grandpa remarried after Grandma died to a Mary Gielselman. I asked Herman if he knew that and he said, "Yes, she didn't like me and Mom didn't like her." The Gielselmans I know are very nice people.


Peter Bachenberg (grandpa). Born in German 1827. Married in Germany 1851 to Anna Elizabeth Schmidt, who was born in Belgium not far from the German line and Rhine River. Came to America about 1854 and lived about 40 years on the farm. He died. 2 children, William and Peter Jr. born in Germany. Grandma B. died Feb. 24, 1895, age 67 of consumption. Burial place, Lutheran Cemetery. Grandpa died March 29, 1903. Heart trouble. Age 76. Buried in Salem Lutheran Cemetery. Grandpa remarried in the fall of 1900 to Mrs. Mary Gieselman, who survived.

William married Bertha Wert at Kingston had two baby boys born & died and another baby died and buried in Lutheran Cemetery. William died in Denver about 1920.

Peter Jr. married in Nebraska (married to Anna Lotspeach) and died about 1908. The following childen: Eden, Oct. 10, 1884; Charley, Aug. 31, 1889; Fred, April 1, 1892; Omer, Nov. 28, 1899; Alvie, June 22, 1895; Emma, May 19, 1902.

George Bachenberg born Jan. 6, 1863. Married Amelia Walmann of Yarmouth. 4 children. Herman, age 94 in 1990 and still living. LaVina. Winnie born about 1899, died 1971. Henry born in 1902, still living.

John Bachenberg married Lydia Pogemiller. 2 children. Ray, Aug. 18, 1894. Lucia, Jan. 31, 1899.

Phillip born 1861. Never married.

Frank died in Nebraska.

Mary Bachenberg Beck born May 12, 1867. Lizzie was 12 years older than Mary.

Lizzie Bachenberg Wischmeier went to live at Chris Wischmeier to take care of sick Mrs. Wischmeier and 5 little children. John age 13. Ben - ? Lydia - ? Willie age 3 years. Emma less than 1 year.

Mrs. Wischmeier died and Aunt Lizzie helped on taking care of the home and 5 children. in due time, Mr. W. married Aunt Lizzie and in due time 5 more little Wischmeiers.

Ed. Arthur. Twins Chester and Lester June 27, 1886. Clara. Made 10 little Wischmeiers.

The 8 Bachenbergs had 3 sets of twins. Uncle William twin boys. Lizzie Wischmeier 1 boy & 1 girl. Mary Bachenberg Beck, twin boys, born July 19, 1903, Lester & Chester.

The 10 Wischmeiers kept in touch after they married and scattered over the U.S.A. with a round robin letter. Now since that generation are all gone the 2nd generation are keeping track with a round robin letter. They are also getting together for a reunion every 2 years.

At my request, on a trip back to eastern Iowa my Dad visited cemeteries and got information which he gave me. - Joan

August 17, 1981

Dear Dan, Joan & Kathy,

On our short sojourn we did get to all three cemeteries. First we visited Salem Lutheran & that is where Great Grandad and Mom are interred. The stone is becoming weather worn, it is the oblick type of Block granite. On the south side was:


Peter Bachenberg.

Geb 15 Feb. 1827

Gest 29 Mar. 1903


Ann Elizabeth

Frau Von

Peter Bachenberg

Geb 23 Dec. 1826

Gest 24 Feb. 1895

On the east side of the stone reads:

Eduard W. Bachenberg

Geb 24 Sept. 1879

Gest 15 Sept. 1880

Jacob P. Bachenberg

Geb 25 Oct. 1883

Gest 26 April 1884

James P. Bachenberg

Geb 31 Oct. 1888

Gest 26 April 1889

The stone is located near the center of the cemetery but on the west edge next to the fence on the down hill slope. It was very pretty, had just been freshly mowed. The church is gone, but the bell was saved & a brick arch was built - 1973 & the bell was placed in that.

Next Aunt Maggie directed us to the St. John's cemetery which is about a mile & half south of Salem. There we found brothers of Grandad Frederick Riepe. I'll post them as I was into them.

John Henry Riepe Jan. 7. 1836

May 5, 1907

Sept. 25, 1925

Josephine Riepe Sister. Spinster.


Henry J. Riepe Sr. Died May 16, 1909

Aged 91 yrs. 1 mo. 12 d's.

Rosena His Wife. July 13, 1830-April 1, 1913

It may seem a little strange the way I have written the names & dates, but that is the way the dates and & names were cut. No particular plan.

Herman Riepe Aug. 8, 1828

June 8, 1904

Anna M. Riepe Nov. 13, 1830

Oct. 14, 1908

Great Grand Parents

Henry Heitmier June 20, 1839 Nov. 9, 1924

Hanna F. Jan. 18, 1842 Dec. 23, 1883


Herman H. Riepe Mar. 23, 1846

Caroline Wife Dec. 27, 1852

Nov. 12, 1944

Son George F. Aug. 14, 1878

Mar. 26, 1908

These folks were known as the Sperry Riepe's? Herman is Grandad Fredericks cousin & then there is

John Frederick Riepe 1862-1941

Anna 1864-1931

Why the dates weren't put on Grandad & Mom's stones. When I mentioned the fact to Maggie she seemed surprised that they hadn't been. She said she didn't realize that. Well things happen & then they don't. And then

Dewey Oct. 21 1899-May 24, 1961

Paul Jan. 16, 1891-May 28, 1963

Velma Oct. 13, 1903-July 25, 1980

Another Sperry Cousin

Children       Parents

Mildred L.       Frank H. Riepe

Howard E.       Nellie B.

STILL LIVING       No Dates

I hope this will suffice somewhat. You're mother thought there was something wrong with her camer or we would have taken more pics, we snapped two of the Bachenberg stone at Salem. Hope they come out. We enjoyed the short visit. The corn crop is going to be huge. The corn is the tallest I have ever seen it. Well I'll sign off. If you have any questions write. Love.


(Carl Bachenberg)

This is a letter from Henry Bachenberg, a grandson of Peter.

Wymore, Nebr.

May 4, 1981

Dear Cousin Joan,

Was a little surprised to hear from you. Knew that you left Nebr. City, but didn't know where you went.

My father told me the reason they left Iowa was land was so high priced they couln't start there. He came to Lewiston because uncle Peter Bachenberg was already established there and I'm sure he helped my father get started there.

Later John & Lydia came. I suppose for the same reason. I know they farmed south of Lewiston a while and then moved to North Dakota. Not sure of the date. Never knew the John Bachenbergs as well as the Peter Bachenbergs.

Uncle Pete must have been a kids friend. I can remember sitting on his lap and telling him about me sitting on the big steam thensting (?) engine while it was running. He merely said, "that is not a very safe place for little boys." That took some of the ego out of me. He died in about 1909. Never fully recovered from a run away with a team of horses. I can remember the day of his funeral but I didn't go.

Can't remember anything much about the John Bachenberg's. Knew where they farmed 2 miles south of Lewiston, but they were not here very long. I think they went to North Dakota from here and then I believe back to Iowa again.

We do have some family pictures. Guess maybe they belong to Herman more than to me. And then when we are thru with them they have been promised to Irene Weise. But I guess I could loan them. If you come here sometime in a few minutes you could tell me if there are any that you might want.

For several years now Leona and I have been going to Brownsville, Texas for a month and a half. This year I got sick down there so I am not sure that I want to go back next winter.

Today Leona is working on the foundation board at the Lutheran Hospital. She goes back one day each week.

I guess I had better close this and mail it yet this P.M. Looks like it might rain and I surely hope it does.

Haven't been much help to you but they lived nine miles from us and we didn't see them often.

Henry Bachenberg

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This site was created and is maintained by Joan Shurtliff. It was last updated 7 January 2007.