Thursday, March 27, 2014

52 Ancestors- #13 Wendelina Augusta Friederike (Schaaf) Liebe

No immigrant ancestor would be complete without his wife- after all, they're really the beginning of a family in the New World. So allow me to introduce you to the wife of Carl Moritz Liebe

Wendeline Augusta Friederike Schaaf

Wendeline was born to Lorenz and Ernestine (Nickolai) Schaaf on 18 August 1836 in Eischleben, Sax-Gotha (Thuringia), Germany. She was one of about 8 children.

The family immigrated to America and settled in the Sheboygan town of Mosel. I have not yet found the immigration records, but dates reported by family members on various censuses range from 1853-1856. Wendeline's obituary says 1854, and that is consistent with what she told census takers in 1900 and 1910.

Wendeline was eighteen when her family settled at Mosel. Not far from the Schaaf homestead lived another German immigrant who had arrived the previous year, Carl Moritz Liebe. The two were married on 22 April 1856. Here is a transcription of the marriage record:

Charles Moritz Liebe and Wendeline Auguste Friedrike Schaf
Married 22 Apr. 1856 in the Town of Mosel, Sheboygan, WI. 
Reg. 30 April at 10 o'clock AM.
Justice of the Peace- Geo. Ramming.

Charles (farmer)- Father-John Gottlab (te) Liebe/ Mother- Christiana Liebe

Wendeline- Father-Lorenz Schaf/ Mother- Ernestine Schaf

Carl and Wendeline had 14 children during the next 25 years, including one daughter, Lizette, who lived for only one month, and my great-grandmother, Amelia Dorothea:

  • Thekla "Hulda"
  • Emilia "Minnie"
  • Augusta "Ida"
  • Amelia Dorothea
  • Rosalia Laura
  • Amalia Therese (Molly)
  • Ernestina Marie
  • Elisabette (Lizette)
  • Carl "Otto"
  • Ernst Ferdinand
  • Laura Theckla Paulina
  • Gustave Adolph
  • Bertha Louise
  • Adolph Carl Johannes

The Liebe Cabin

Wendelina & Molly Liebe in front of their ivy-covered cabin

I already mentioned the construction of the 2-room cabin Carl built for the family. The house was 1 1/2 stories, with  a loft upstairs where the children slept. I was able to take a peak inside during the 1970's, shortly before its collapse. It was then only a shell of the home that sheltered Carl and Wendelina's large family. 

 Natalia Athorp, daughter-in-law of Carl and Wendelina's daughter Ernestine, was the Liebe family historian. In 1970 she shared these memories of the cabin, which was Molly Liebe's home for most of her life:

"The house was beautiful in the summer time- outside was covered with grape vines, which helped to cool it. Flowers grew everywhere. The inside of her house was so comfy, even tho' it had only 2 rooms. The windows were filled with red geraniums and ivy. The table was in the SE corner against the wall, but when company came- it was pulled out and every one loved to sit on that old bench. Rocking chairs were always in use.
A trap door led to a basement where goodies were kept. The old wood stove baked the best "kucken" (coffee cake) I have even eaten.
I wish you could have seen the big feather cover on her bed. An upstairs room had an old fashioned rope bed...Aunt Molly lived here until about 1945- when she was 80 years of age. She had lived alone for at least 30 years.
13 children grew up in this home (another died as an infant). The first baby was born there on Sept. 8, 1859, so it must have been built that year (110 years ago- one of that family still lives- Aunt Bertha is 90).
I'm sure many of you remember the old summer kitchen. Aunt Molly had one too- built of stone (It's too bad, the roof has fallen in.)"

Aunt Molly at the summer kitchen

Later Years

Carl, Molly & Wendelina Liebe

 One by one, the children grew up and left the homestead, until only Molly and Bertha were left. Bertha moved away and worked for families in Oregon and Chicago before returning to Sheboygan County for her last years. Molly remained at home caring for her aging parents. 

Carl died in 1906, and Wendelina followed 10 years later, on 3 Feb 1916. She was buried next to her husband at the Evangelical (now Immanuel) Lutheran Church cemetery at Mosel.

Here is Wendeline's obituary from a Sheboygan county German newspaper, possibly the "National Demokrat" which was published at this time. Using Google Translate, I was able to come up with a pretty good translation. Thank you, Google:

At 3 February 8 o'clock in the morning, blessed Wendeline Auguste Friederiche Liebe, nee Schaaf, the (Zeitliche) in the town of Mosel. The (deceased) was born in Eischleben, Saxony-Gotha, Germany on 28 August 1836. In 1854 she (came) here with parents and siblings and (liefzen) they settled in the town of Mosel. Later, she entered with Mr. Moritz Liebe in holy matrimony, and lived there until her death (down there) at the farm. The marriage produced 14 children, one of whom died at a tender age. At 10 March 1906 her husband died. She suffered with a heart ailment for the last several weeks, and the Grippe (flu) hastened her end. She reached an age of 79 years, 5 months and 5 days. Two brothers and 13 children survive: four sons and 9 daughters, 49 grandchildren and 28 great-grandchildren. The funeral will be on Sunday afternoon at (2:30?) from the funeral home to the Evangelical Lutheran Church (officiated) by Pastor M. Denninger.

For the warm participation at the funeral for our beloved mother, Mrs. Wendeline Liebe, furnish we hereby all dear friends our intimate thanks. Likewise, the support for their service of love; same of the undertaker Mr. Nidel, and Mr. Martin Denninger for his comforting words. 
Amalie Liebe and siblings.

Wendeline Augusta Friederike (Schaaf) 

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