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The Gerken-Larson Heritage:
The 19th and 20th Centuries
A Family History

Herman Gerken (1819-1875)
Henry Gerken (1855-1914)
Ewald Gerken (1895-1956)
Joan (Gerken) Larson (1926-1994)
Thomas Larson (1962-)

Researched and written by
Tom Larson

John Peter and Anna Mary (Ickenroth) Winter were the parents of my great-grandmother, Mrs. Henry Gerken, née Anna Winter. They were born in Germany and immigrated to the United States in 1854, making their way to Dubuque, Iowa, before finally settling at New Vienna, Iowa. In addition to their daughters Anna and Mary, they raised their niece Anna Mary Winter, whose parents died en route to America.   T.L.

John Peter and Anna Mary (Ickenroth) Winter

Johannes Petrus Winter was born on January 7, 1816*, at Niedersayn, Wallmerod, Nassau (Niedersayn is located in the present-day German state of Rhineland-Palatinat [Rheinland-Pfalz]). His wife, née Anna Maria Ickenroth, was born March 16, 1825**, at the same place. John P. Winter was a stone mason by trade.
* = The date of January 7, 1816, is from the headstone of his grave and as recorded in a church book; January 6 appears as his date of birth in an obituary. ** = March 16, 1825, is from the headstone of her grave; her birth date is recorded as March 23, 1825, in a church book.

To America.
Johann Peter Winter, age 38, occupation bricklayer, and his wife Anna Maria*, age 29, emigrated from Germany in 1854, sailing on the Barque Laurens from Antwerp, Belgium. The ship's manifest shows them traveling with two children Jacob, age 7, and Johann, age 3. Also on the ship were Adam Winter, age 34, occupation bricklayer, and his wife Anna (née Ickenroth), age 34, and listed with them were two children, Anna Maria*, age 3, and Joh, age 1/2. (Adam and John Peter Winter may have been brothers whose wives were sisters; in any case, John and Anna Winter were uncle and aunt to Adam and Anna Winter's children.) The ship arrived in New Orleans, Louisiana, on May 30, 1854. The manifest has both families stated destination as Iowa.
* = The ship's manifest as transcribed online has the second given name as Marg.

In a story recounted about this journey decades later, both Adam and his wife Anna died en route to the United States and were buried at sea as the ship neared the Gulf of Mexico. In the story they had three children with them, Anna and two boys. The children continued on their journey to Iowa with John P. and Anna M. Winter. Upon arrival at St. Louis, the boys were also stricken with the fever and died, leaving the girl, Anna Maria Winter, who was adopted by her uncle and aunt, Mr. and Mrs. John P. Winter.
Notes. The ship's manifest contradicts this story in a couple ways: first, the manifest lists only one boy with Adam and Anna Winter; and second, the manifest states that three passengers died on the voyage but Adam and Anna Winter were not two of the three listed. What can be said definitively is that of the eight people in the two Winter parties, only three, John P. and Anna M Winter and their niece Anna M. Winter, survived the journey to Iowa.

The Winters settle at Dubuque, Iowa.
The Winters continued traveling northward, arriving in Dubuque, Iowa, where a daughter, Mary Anna, was born to them the next year, in 1855. It was in Dubuque County, on August 23, 1854, that John Peter Winter filed his declaration of intent to become a citizen of the United States. Five years later, on June 3, 1859, in Dubuque, Iowa, John P. Winter was naturalized a citizen of the United States.

1860 census.
image from the 1860 U.S. Census.
The Winters were living in the City of Dubuque, Dubuque County, Iowa, in 1860. The U.S. Census that year lists John P. Winter, age 44, occupation of stone mason, with real estate valued at $500, born in Nassau; his wife, Anna M. (incorrectly listed as age 42; she was 35 at the time of the census), born in Nassau; and children Mary, age 5, born in Iowa, and Anna M., age 8, born in Nassau.

The headstone marking the grave of J.P. Winter and his wife, A.M. Winter, née Ickenroth, in St. Boniface Cemetery, New Vienna, Iowa.
On to New Vienna, Iowa.
Another daughter, Anna, was born to the Winters in Dubuque, in 1861, and three years later, in 1864, the family moved from Dubuque to New Vienna, Iowa. In 1870, the Winters' real estate in New Vienna was valued at $1000 and their personal estate at $300, according to that year's U.S. census.

In 1880, the U.S. Census has the Winter household consisting of John Peter, age 64, stone mason; Anny Mary Winter, age 55, keeping house; Henry Gerken, age 26, carpenter; and Anny Gerken, age 19, assistant in housework. Anny Gerken was John Peter and Anna Mary Winter's daughter, and she and her husband Henry had taken up residence in the Winter home, which they themselves later owned. The 1885 Iowa State Census has the household consisting of John P. Winter, age 68; Anna M. Winter, age 60; Henry Gerken, age 29; Anna Gerken, age 23; and Henry and Anna Gerken's first three children, Alois, age 4; Mary, age 2; and George, age 0.

John P. Winter cast ballots in the election incorporating the town of New Vienna in 1895 and in its first election of town officers that year.

Deaths of John P. and Anna Mary (Ickenroth) Winter.
Anna Mary (Ickenroth) Winter died on March 22, 1888, in New Vienna, Iowa. A death notice stated "Mrs. Winter, who suffered for several weeks, died last week, Thursday. She will be sadly missed by her family and friends. The funeral occurred on Saturday [March 24] and was largely attended. The funeral service was conducted by Rev. Father [F.W.] Pape." The funeral was held at St. Boniface Church in New Vienna, and burial was in the church cemetery.

John P. Winter, of New Wine, Passed Away Yesterday Morning.
John Peter Winter died at home in New Vienna, Iowa, at 6 o’clock, Wednesday morning, February 5, 1896. The funeral was held at 10 o’clock, Friday morning, February 7, at St. Boniface Church in New Vienna, under the auspices of the Pius Benevolent Society of Dubuque, Iowa. The pallbearers were Peter Oeth, Peter Ferring, Sr., John Billmeyer, Louis Sandmann, Bruno Koch, and Fredrich Freiburg. Burial was in the church cemetery.
      Deceased, a stone mason by trade, had lived in Dubuque County over forty years and was well known and highly respected. He was survived by two children, Mrs. Anna Gerken, who lived at home, and another married daughter [Mrs. Mary Sturm] at Springbrook, Jackson County. He was also survived by his adopted daughter and niece, Mrs. Anna Huberty.

Children of John P. and Anna M. (Ickenroth) Winter:

  • Anna Maria Winter was born on August 24, 1851, in Niedersayn, Wallmerod, Nassau, to Adam and Anna (Ickenroth) Winter. Anna was a niece that John P. and Anna M. (Ickenroth) Winter adopted after the death of her parents en route to America. Anna M. Winter married George Meinhart on October 1, 1867, at St. Boniface Church in New Vienna, Iowa. George Meinhart was the proprietor of the Washington House in New Vienna for many years. Born to George and Anna Meinhart were Peter Meinhart, Mary Meinhart, Joseph Meinhart, Edward Meinhart, and Elizabeth Meinhart. George Meinhart died at his home in New Vienna on May 11, 1879, and he was buried in St. Boniface Cemetery there.
          On August 8, 1882, Anna M. (Winter) Meinhart married Hubert Huberty at St. Boniface Church in New Vienna. Born to Hubert and Anna Huberty were Frances Huberty, George Huberty, Henry Huberty, and Jacob Huberty, John Gregor Huberty, Barbara Huberty, and Matthew Huberty. In 1896 the family moved to Dyersville, Iowa, where Hubert established the Huberty Bottling Company. Anna M. (Winter) Meinhart Huberty died at the family home in Dyersville, Iowa, on November 14, 1910. Hubert Huberty died on September 29, 1925. They were buried in St. Boniface Cemetery in New Vienna.

  • Maria "Mary" Anna Winter was born on May 1, 1855, in Dubuque, Iowa, to John P. and Anna M. (Ickenroth) Winter. Mary Winter married Caspar Klostermann, and they lived at Luxemburg, Iowa. Born to Caspar and Mary Klostermann were three children, Franziska Klostermann, Caecilia Klostermann, and Joseph Klostermann. Caspar Klostermann died on November 9, 1878, and he was buried in Holy Trinity Cemetery in Luxemburg, Iowa. He shares his headstone his children Franziska and Joseph, who died as infants.
          Mary (Winter) Klostermann married Jacob Sturm, a widower, on December 30, 1879, and they settled in Jackson County, Iowa, at Springbrook, where they farmed. Into his marriage with Mary, Jacob brought five children--John Sturm, Mary Sturm, Chris Sturm, Adam Sturm, and Theodore Sturm--from his first marriage with Elizabeth née Knolle. Jacob and Mary Sturm had seven children of their own together: Joseph "Joe" Sturm, Henry Sturm, Aloysius "Louie" Sturm, Peter Sturm, Anna "Annie" Sturm, Appolonia "Lonie" Sturm, and Elizabeth "Lizzie" Sturm. Jacob Sturm died on March 2, 1905, in Springbrook. Mary (Winter) Klostermann Sturm died on March 10, 1908, in Springbrook. They were buried in SS. Peter and Paul Cemetery there.

  • Anna Winter was born on June 1, 1861, in Dubuque, Iowa, to John P. and Anna M. (Ickenroth) Winter. Anna Winter married Henry Gerken on February 19, 1878, at St. Boniface Catholic Church in New Vienna, Iowa, and they lived at New Vienna, where Henry was a carpenter. Born to Henry and Anna Gerken were Louis Gerken, Mary Anna Gerken, George Gerken, Hubert "Hub" Gerken, Wilhelmina "Minnie" Gerken, Irma Gerken, Alphonse Gerken, Ewald Gerken, and Zita Gerken. Henry Gerken died on August 13, 1914, in an auto accident, and Anna (Winter) Gerken died on September 21, 1916. They were buried in St. Boniface Cemetery in New Vienna.

Other Winter relatives.
Maria Catherine Winter, wife of Peter Schmidt, who lived at New Vienna, Iowa, was a relation to these Winters named above, exactly how is a matter of conjecture; she may have been a younger sister of John Peter Winter.

Maria Catherine Winter was born on March 6, 1836 (according to a published gravestone reading), in Nassau, Germany. Mary Catherine Winter married Peter Schmidt in 1865. He was born in 1841 at Nassau and came to America, settling at New Vienna, with his parents and family. He was a stone mason by trade. Born to Peter and Mary Catherine (Winter) Schmidt were Mary Schmidt (Mrs. Henry Hentges) of Dubuque, Ia., Anna Schmidt (Mrs. Frank Wilhelm) of New Vienna, Ia., Peter Schmidt [Anna (Winter) Gerken's obituary has Peter's surname listed as Smith] of New Vienna, Ia., and Joseph Schmidt of Gilliam [?], Minn.

The 1870 U.S. Census has the household consisting of Peter Schmid, age 29, wife Catharine, age 31, Anna M., age 4, Peter, age 2, and Jacob, age 6 months, and Luzika Winter, age 75, born in Hesse Nassau. Luzika Winter, it seems likely, would have been Maria Catherine (Winter) Schmidt's mother. Luzika's name appears as Luzia in a published gravestone reading, and Luzia, wife of Martin Winter, died April 20, 1871, at age 76, and she was buried in St. Boniface Cemetery at New Vienna, Iowa. The 1880 U.S. Census has the household consisting of Peter Schmitt, age 38, wife Mary, age 43, Peter, age 12, Jackob, age 10, and Anny, age 7.

Maria Catherine (Winter) Schmidt died on January 4 [1?/31?], 1904, and Peter Schmidt died on December 30, 1908. They are buried in New Vienna, Iowa.

The published gravestone readings for Luzia and Mary Catherine indicate that Luzia would have been about 41 years old at the time of Mary Catherine's birth. The age of Luzia makes it possible for her to have been John Peter Winter's mother as well; she would have been about 21 when he was born.

Sources for information about John P. and Anna M. (Ickenroth) Winter include obituary articles from the Dyersville, Iowa, Commercial; U.S. Census records, viewed on microfilm at the Dubuque Carnegie-Stout Public library (and the 1880 U.S. Census online at the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints website, at; a copy from microfilm from a volume of family record pages from St. Boniface Church in New Vienna, which were forwarded to me by Carolyn Fessler; and gravestone readings at St. Boniface Cemetery in New Vienna, Iowa.

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Tom Larson
Last revised July 12, 2015.

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