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FRITZ and AUGUSTA (RUSCH) LABS

Fredrick Labs
Augusta Labs
(Karl) Frederick Ernst Labs, son of Karl Labs and Hanne Radtke.
- born 3 August 1854, Heyde, Belgard County, Pommern, now Modrzewice, Poland.
- died 21 August 1942, Webster City, Iowa, of old age and pneumonia
- marriage 22 November 1878, registered in Arnhausen.
Augusta Anna Carolina Rusch, daughter of Carl Rusch and Louise Sophie Priebe
- born 28 August 1857, Balsdrey, Schivelbein County, Pommern, now Bialy Zdroj
- died 7 October 1932, Amherst, Nebr.

Fritz was born in Heyde, Pommern, (Map) a village about 12 miles northeast of Schivelbein now Swidwin, Poland.

Photos from Heyde, home of the LABS familiy, and Arnhausen, probably the church where Fritz Labs was baptized. (Click your browser's BACK button to return to this Labs page.
He served in the Pommern Army from November 2, 1875 until 15 September 1878, when he received the paper that is basically equivalent to an honorable discharge. He would still have been subject to recall in the event of a war.

He and Augusta were married in November of 1878. From their marriage records in Arnhausen, we learn that Fritz's father Carl had already died, and that his mother Hanne, was living in Heyde. On April 5, 1879, Fritz and Augusta got the paper that gave them permission to leave the country. They emigrated from Bremen and through Southhampton on the S.S.Mosel, arriving in New York on 28 April 1879. Stories of their trip include tales of stowing away, and sleeping in the hay and feed area. This was the same ship that Augusta's mother, step-father, brother, sister and brother-in-law had sailed on almost exactly one year earlier.

They first lived in southern Johnson Co., Nebraska, where Augusta's Rusch relatives had settled. Her step-father Herman Voelz, brothers Herman and Carl, and sister Minnie and husband Carl Gentz were there. (Her mother had died there the day after Fritz and Augusta arrived in the US.) They attended church at St. Peter's Lutheran, rural Elk Creek, in Pawnee County.

At the time of the 1880 census, they were living with Henry Bartels, a widower with six children as well as Henry's father. "Friedrick Lops" age 25, laborer is listed as a farm hand, and Augusta, age 22, servant, as housekeeper. It was there in 1884 that Fritz filed his intent to become a U. S. citizen.

About 1888-89 Fritz, Augusta and their four little children moved to Buffalo County, where they farmed north of Amherst.

Fritz was admitted as a new member of Immanuel Lutheran Church at the April 1889 voters' meeting. In January 1894, he was named part of a committee of three to check the financial records. In January of 1895 he was elected one of the officers of the church. (His name is the second one listed, so perhaps he was vice-chairman.) In 1896, he was a substitute for lead singer

Fritz told his grandchildren that he had deserted the Prussian army, and was afraid that if he went back, he'd be picked up. One family story says that Fritz, who was a small man, had a brother, a blacksmith, very strong, who could lift the front wheels of a wagon by the tongue. The brother may have gone to Argentina or somewhere in South America.

Fritz and Augusta had a big 50th anniversary celebration in 1928.

Army discharge paper | Emigration permission | Citizenship certificate. | Marriage Certificate

Frederick and Augusta are buried in the Immanuel Lutheran Cemetery, Watertown, rural Amherst, Nebraska.

They had nine children, including 1 stillborn infant. The other 8 survived into adulthood.

LABS PHOTO ALBUM

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Background: Drawings of Fritz and Augusta Labs's house and barn, 1985, at which time the house had not been lived in for many years. The buildings have since been razed. Thank you, Bill Houser, for the drawings.

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