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Sheboygan County, Wisconsin Genealogy & History
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This Family Letter was contributed by: Debie

{Note: This family is not related to me, this story was shared with me, so I share it with you.}

Katharina (Brunkhorst) Prigge's fatal story

Katharina Maria Prigge, Geb. Brunkhorst



On the 12th of January 1865 at a quarter after three in the morning, our beloved sister Katharina Maria Prigge, geb. Brunkhorst passed away, quiet and peaceful to the Lord. Sister Prigge was born on the 14th of October 1809 in Bleckwedel, Kingdom Hanover. She had, in the past 18 years lived in or about Sheboygan, were she settled after her immigration, made a large circle of friends who are mourning her death, finding her loss very painful. She was of friendly and courageous nature, very able and skillfull homemaker and neighbor. Without hesitation she would go to the ill and ailing to help and many nights spent nights at their side, with no regards to her own life. A few years ago she was converted to the children of God. Her way of living was that of a Christian. The cause of her death was a very unusual broken leg. She lived about two miles from the church and it was difficult for her to walk due to an ailment of the knee, it was decided to build a small stall at the church where the horses could stand during the service worship. This stall was to be finished before the New Year. Because horses were needed, also sleigh, to bring the necessary boards so that her husband, sons and carpenter could work without interruption, she offered to drive the horses and sleigh home. She drove them without backsupport or other board on the sleigh home, everything was going all right until 3/4 mile from home she turned left onto another road where it seemed the horses were running somewhat faster as before. At the turn she pulled the reigns too tight on the right side so that the horses left the road on the right side and ran full length over an 8' sawbuck. So ran one sledrail on one side and the other sledrail on the other side of their buck, so that the pole tore loose the upper edge of the block and the first bench, of the first half of the sleigh, over which her left leg was hanging (she had it first on top of the pole, but it slid down because of the fast turn of the horses) and the impact with the front of the block formed like scissors, so that her leg about 8" below the knee was totally severed, leg, tendons and veins and was hanging by only a finger thickness of muscle. She called a neighbor that was nearby who took her home. She sat upright on the sleigh holding her leg together with both hands. The road home was coveredwith blood. First after she was put to bed she fainted. Quickly medical help was brought but the doctor did not know about the unusual injury and was not equiped with the necessary instruments and the amputation had to be held off until the next morning. Because of the splintered bones the leg had to be taken 2 - 3" higher. Before the amputation took place, she called her children to her bed and gave them each as necessary serious advic. Oh, that it would not be in vain. She felt the end near and spoke: "This will be my death." She completely gave herself to the Will of God. She sang and prayed and commended herself and her family to the Will of the Holy Father. Joyfull, Joyfull will I go, etc. she sang almost constant as long as her strength held out. She had severe pain, but one did not hear one word of complaint from her lips.

Intense nursing was done, but the fever of the wound increased. Wednesday 4th of January I was present at the changing of the bandages, already then the doctor had doubt in regard to her well being. From far and near friends and acquaintances came to express their thanks in services. She became weaker, Sunday the 8th at our quartly meeting the news was brought that she was doing better, which brought us all new hope, but it was false hope. On the 11th I returned with my wife and we found her very weak, her speech was a quiet wisper "Strike you oh death me into the dark grave, strike murderer, I'm not afraid of your staph!" and "Jesus Savior of my soul, let me flee to your breast!", etc., these were the words in which she expressed the wish of her heart. We stayed with her until 1 o'clock at night until my wife and her oldest daughter took over. I went with Brother and Sister Meyer home, which had been at her bedside almost steady. Before I went I asked her: "Sister Prigge are you in great pain?" "Yes" she answered "in great pain!" Then I asked her if she would like to hear a part from the bible and if I should pray with her? She whispered "Don't read loud." Because her nerves were so weak, every loud word had a painful effect on her system. Before we laid down to rest we prayed, recommending her to God in serious prayer. Hardly slept for two hours when Brother Meyer woke me up stating "Sister Prigge went to sleep." We quickly went to her bedside and found the clear expression on her face of holy and blissful feelings. Also from the broken body the freed soul was swinging upwards. The following Sunday the 15th of January the funeral was held. The large funeral procession proved how she was loved and known. 28 filled sleigh, not counting who came by foot, and the ones joining from all sides, joined the procession. The church was overfilled and still could only hold 2/3 of the people. With great feelings spoke the undersigned about Ev. Joh. 17,11. Her remains will rest next to her daughter Anna, which she called loudly before her passing. Shall the beloved God console the grieving husband and his three children and granting them a holy reunion.

The neighborhood and the city is saddened by the loss.

J.W. Roder

Sheboygan, Wis.

{This was transcribed from German by a family member and a cousin of mine gave me a copy. Although she wasn't related to me, I felt it should be presented for those that are related to her. Debie}


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