CARROLL COUNTY HISTORY
Origin and Settlement of Breda, Carroll Co, IA
The following information is from pages 9, 10, and 11 of the
Breda Centennial Book:
"Older Days Renewed, Breda:
Breda is a town in Iowa located in the heart of the Corn Belt.
It is situated in Wheatland and Kniest Townships in the Northwestern part of
Carroll County, being thirteen miles from Carroll, the county seat. Breda is on
the Sioux City Branch of the Chicago and Northwestern Railroad which was built
in 1877. The town of Breda was technically founded when this railroad was built.
This typical American rural town has a population of 553 people. Friendliness,
honesty, and loyalty are natural customary habits which may be expected from
every citizen of the community.
It was in 1869 that the first settlers came from Galena,
Illinois and Hazelgreen and Dickeyville, Wisconsin to establish new homes on the
prairies of Northwestern Iowa. These early settlers were for the most part
sturdy Germans and thrift Hollanders. Among the early pioneers were the families
of Richard and Henry RICKE, Martin LUDWIG, John LeDUC, Mathew SNYDER, William
LAMMERDING, Henry OLERICH, and Ben and Clem KNOBBE. These men bought land from
the Railroad Company for $4 an acre.*
On the barren prairie lands not a piece of wood as thick as a
finger was to be found and not a tree was to be seen. Before many years had
elapsed however, these lands, which a short time ago were the hunting grounds
for Indians and roaming lands for buffaloes, were dotted with cabins and neatly
planted groves of timber and the fruitless prairies were changed into fertile
fields. It took men of courage and perseverance to accomplish what these
pioneers did. The breaking up of these lands was no easy task for a man could
only clear between 10 and 15 acres a season with continued hard labor.
Since there were no roads or as yet no church in Breda, people
traveled on horseback, in wagons or walked through swamp grass to attend
services at Mt. Carmel Church. The children would walk to Mt. Carmel twice a
week through the tall prairie grass and mud for religious instructions, and
often they were obliged to take their shoes and stockings off and wade through
water and swamps.
Before the grain elevator and the railroad came to Breda the
farmers would load their livestock, potatoes, vegetables and grain on a wagon
pulled by oxen or horses and take them to Carroll. They started very early in
the morning and came home late in the evening. Since there were no roads on
which they could travel, these early pioneers had to make their own trail
through the swamps and tall grass. The farmers were later aided in selling their
products by railway when the railroad came through Breda in 1877. Eventually the
greatest step in aiding the pioneers by way of transportation was the automobile
and the truck. The automobile aided in taking people to town, to church and for
business purposes. The truck was used for hauling the needs of the farmer or
businessmen in town and for the selling of goods to another city or farm.
The first roads that the farmers made were very crude. They
took a walking plow and made furrows for the ditches. Then they cleared the tall
grass from between the two furrows. When it came to grading the road they used a
crude grader consisting of large heavy planks which they dragged on the ground.
Later the county furnished heavy steel graders with a long blade underneath to
cut down the roots in the road. Although Carroll County is not rich in gravel
deposits they later obtained it from neighboring counties to surface the roads.
A great inconvenience for the early pioneers was the snow
storms in the winter season. Sometimes the settlers would not see one another
for weeks and in some severe cases for a month or more.
In 1869, before Breda was an incorporated town, the
inhabitants were governed as a part of the township. Trustees of the township
attended to all business and local affairs. The Secretary of the Board of
Trustees was in charge of legal documents and transactions. Elections were held
at appointed posts such as school houses and community centers.
In 1871, the Chicago fire caused many who had lost their homes
to come to the plaints [sic] of Iowa. Many settled in Wheatland Township.
In the summer if [sic] 1877, the Sioux City Branch of the
Chicago and Northwestern Railroad was built through the community. The question
arose as to the location of the depot. This question brought up a discussion and
several pioneers were in favor of having it built one mile from its present
site. The company finally bought 177 acres from Clem KNOBBE, Benedict SCHETTLER,
Henry RIETER, and William ARTS and located the depot at its present site. Other
buildings soon surrounded the little station, and the town of Breda was formed.
The question is often asked why the town was named Breda. Some
of the first suggestions for names were St. Clemens and Artsville. Because
Superintendent Hall and the building force of the Northwestern Railroad were
then stopping at the hotel of John LEDUC and during November of that same year
the town was founded, he gave Mrs. LEDUC the honor of naming the town. At first,
the names of New Holland and Roermond were suggested, but as there were already
other towns in the state whose names were similar to these, they were rejected.
Then Mrs. LEDUC suggested the name of Breda in honor of a city in Holland. As
there were no other towns of that name in Iowa, the town was named Breda. Mrs.
John LEDUC had the honor of naming the town in return for the painstaking
services she rendered Superintendent Hall and the construction crew of the
Northwestern Railroad Co.
On October 30, 1877, an election for the incorporation of
Breda was held. It carried by a vote of 36 for and 5 against the measure. The
names of the 44 men voting in this election were as follows: S.N. MCCORMICK, J.H.
KNOBBE, J. VANEVENTER, A.J. POWELL, Joseph DYKE, Ubba ALBERSON, H. SCOTT, Henry
BRUNING, Henry OLERICH Jr., U.C. JONES, Henry OLERICH Sr., H.W. LAMMERDING, W.
LAMMERDING, J.H. BOHNENKAMP, Frank SALMEN, Joseph KEMPKER, J.B. EBERLY, R. RICKE,
J.L. PERRY, A.T. OLERICH, John OLERICH, Frank LAKE, Anton STORK, Joseph OLERICH,
John FRANZEN, Theodore LOCH, John LEDUC, Joseph SCHELLE, Fred GEETS, G. HANNSEN,
J. Frank DERNER, N. CORTENBACH, C. KNOBBE, Henry PAPER, Wm. LEETS, B. BRUNING
Sr., J.H. BRUNING, V.R. JACKSON, A.L. GNAM, Herman GNAM, and C. BRUNING, Sr.
Thus through the efforts of our pioneers and the continued
progress throughout the ensuing years, Breda has developed into one of the
cleanest rural cities to be found anywhere. It is most progressive and therefore
offers the community many advantages rarely found in other cities of its size.
Mayors throughout the years
1883 - 1902 Frank SALMEN**
1903 Dr. A.M. LAUGEL**
1904 Joseph OLERICH**
1905-1911 Frank SALMEN
1912 - 1923 Frank VAN ERDEWYK
1924-1935 John SCHULTE
1936 - 1947 Frank VAN ERDEWYK
1948 - 1953 John SMID
1954 - to date Leo HEISTERKAMP
The citizens of Breda are deeply indebted to these men for
their leadership and for their time spent in developing our city into one in
which we can be truly proud of in this our Centennial year.
*In reviewing the land records in Carroll County, Mathew
Snyder, one of my ancestors, paid $3.75 an acre for his land in Kniest Township,
which he contracted to buy in 1869.
The following information is from pages 65 of the Breda
“Older Days Renewed, Breda: 1877-1977"
(Transcription by Anita Henning <email@example.com>
in May 2001)
As a prerequisite to becoming a citizen the immigrant took an
oath to the effect “that it was bona fide his intention to become a citizen of
the United States and to renounce forever all allegiance to any foreign Prince,
Potentate, State or Sovereignity (sic) whatsoever” at least two years before the
application. This affidavit was also necessary before an immigrant could buy
land from the government.
After an applicant had resided in the United States for five
years, without being out of the territory and within the State for one year and
“has behaved as a man of good moral character, attached to the principles of the
Constitution” a final court hearing reviewed the petition. If approved by the
Court the alien took a final oath again renouncing all foreign titles and
allegiance, and that he will support the Constitution. The court clerk then
gives the applicant a certificate of naturalization and the alien becomes a
LIST OF PIONEER FAMILIES INCLUDED IN
“OLDER DAYS RENEWED”
Listed below are the last names of the families included in
the Pioneers Section of this book, pages 67 to 157. The information for each
family is fairly brief, but often two or more generations of the family are
included. Most also include a picture of some of the family, sometimes just of
the couple, but many pictures include the children. I plan to type the
information about these families as time permits.
If your family name is included here, I would be happy to type
it ahead of the others on the list, and place it on this site and/or send you a
copy by email. If a picture is included with the family information, I am also
willing to scan and post it to the site ( that is, Bill Smith will - links will
appear below, when information is added ) and/or send a copy by email to you. (Anita
Note: This information has been transcribed from works originally written many,
many years ago, often based on good people's memory, which is not always
accurate. Recent research has found a number of errors of fact. For example:
Anita Henning and I have been communicating for a while and
I sent her an
email just recently and told her of some of the mistakes I have found.
One is for the Ocken family...saying John Ocken and family
Sittinghausen..the correct spelling is Siddinghausen. I have found a web
site for the town in Germany and it is quite interesting. Also, there is
where Conrad Woerdehoff and his family were from. The Breda Centennial info
says they arrived in New York in 1857. They actually arrived in New Orleans.
Susanne (Bohnenkamp) Carpenter <Sus713@aol.com>
Please feel free to contact Susanne or Anita is you have
questions about any of these folks. Also, be sure to do your own research using
the best primary and secondary records available, before you assume any facts to
be true. That is the best and fair way to approach genealogical/family history
information. Old stories are now referred to as "family tradition." They are a
great "starting point," but should never be treated as "fact!" I can share many
"horror stories" of "family tradition" information being very inaccurate!!
Thanks for remembering! Enjoy your research!
Breda Centennial Book, 1877-1977,
Older Days Renewed, pages 297, 299.
Breda has always been known as a "wet" town, and though the
young people of Breda may think this is new, it is not. We come by it honestly
and from way back. In the early days of this century, we had anywhere from seven
to thirteen saloons at one time. In comparison, our Fourth of July celebration
is rather pale to those of earlier days. Today, the selling of four hundred
cases of beer is usually maximum, where before prohibition they might sell two
to four train car loads. Why the big difference? In the early days of this
century, liquor was a local option. Sac County was dry so the only watering hole
Saloons were similar to those you may have seen on "Gunsmoke";
no self-respecting lady ever went in. however, there was one great difference.
All the saloons were to be closed at 9:00 P.M. The prices, of course, were a
drinker's delight". A four gallon keg of beer sold for 60 cents, and a gallon of
whisky sold for around $2.00.
On January 4, 1912, the residents of Breda were hit with
startling news. The headlines read: "One saloon in Breda...That's it".
"Friday evening the town council met for the purpose of determining how Breda
would conform to the recent Supreme Court decision on the 'Moon Law'. According
to the decision, towns of less than 2000 population are allowed to run but one
saloon. Breda has three, operated by Frank Brinker, Lammers and Heisterkamp, and
J. Berkemeier. These men have all been conducting their business in such
satisfactory manner that the council regretted to be forced to ask any of them
to go out of business and hesitated in deciding which two would be the
The council was saved this trouble by getting the firms
together and deciding among themselves who should remain in business. On Friday
evening Mr Brinker was granted the licenses and hereafter he will own the only
saloon in town. We understand that Mr Brinker squared matters with the other
firms in such a way that everyone was satisfied. He took over the entire stock
of liquors that the other firms had on hand and has given ample payment to those
who would have otherwise been out of a job."
Frank Brinker went from here and became, perhaps, the best
known saloon keeper of his day. Owning half the town, Mr Brinker paid up to as
much as $3,500 in liquor taxes a year. This monopoly was short-lived. On January
1, 1916, Iowa went dry. This was three years before national prohibition; three
years of bootlegging to perfect their talents before the Federal government
stepped in. The first liquor runs were to Minnesota to obtain beer and whiskey.
Local stills blossomed.
Prohibition lasted until 1933. During that time bootlegging
and moonshine became a way of life for many. Vast amount of money were acquired
by those who pursued this form of activity.
The saloonkeeper, in many instances, turned their establishments into
restaurants, only to reopen them in the winter of 1933 when the 18th Amendment
Transcription (July 2001) by
Lemon Grove, CA
Clemens Bruning was one of the leading business men of Breda,
Carroll County, with whose interests he had been identified since the spring of
1879, the town of Breda being at that date but a small hamlet. On settling here
in 1879 he engaged in the mercantile business, which continued under the firm
name of Bruning & Son, and from the first had been one of the prominent
citizens. In the fall of 1879 he bought the lumber interests of Mr Simpson, and
continued dealing in lumber. To this business he added the sale of agricultural
Mr Clemens Bruning was born in Germany in 1830, and at the
age of eighteen, in 1848, he emigrated with his father’s family to America,
locating in Grant County, Wisconsin. Clemens Bruning subsequently left Grant
County for Illinois, and for some time was engaged in mining in the vicinity of
Galena, until coming to Carroll County, Iowa.
Clemens Bruning married Mary Ann Arts and their children
included: Caroline (Mrs John Bohnenkamp), Mary A. (Mrs Gnam) William B., August,
Frank, Anton, George, Anna and Lena. Clemens Bruning died September 28, 1899.
From the Breda Centennial Book, 1877-1977, Older Days
Renewed, page 145.
Transcription (June 2001) by
Lemon Grove, CA
This page was created as part of the
Carroll Co, IAGenWeb Site, by
William L. (Bill) Smith, County Coordinator,
and was most recently
updated in July, 2001.
From the Carroll Co, IA, mailing list, some time back:
I have a copy of the 1994 Directory of Our Lady of Mt. Carmel
Catholic Church. In it is a brief
Founding of Mt. Carmel
In 1868 Lambert Kniest of Dubuque became interested in
organizing a German Catholic Community in Carroll County, Iowa. Bishop Hennessey
of Dubuque favored this enterprise. The I. Blair Land and Townlot Co. appointed
Mr. Kniest exclusive agent for an entire township (23,000 acres) of wild prairie
and empowered him to sell land to people of his own selection, that is, the
actual settlers were to be Catholics in good standing and of German origin. A
lease was to run 5 years, provided at least 50 settlers would farm the land
within the first year.
In 1868 Lambert Kniest, Henry Baumhover, John Guthrie and
others left Dubuque to choose their new settlement. They were driving about from
place to place, unable to decide just where to locate. reaching an elevated
plateau, here they stopped and admired the beautiful scenery and the long
grasses waving in the rich valley. "This place", they agreed " will be our
future home" ......
Looking up the date in the Catholic Calendar, they found it to
be July 16th, the feast of
"Our Lady of Mt. Carmel". This name was chosen as the name of their parish
I'm not sure that this tells us if the date was actually, 1868
or 1869. But, the historical events calendar shows Building of first church
begins in 1868. Country store, blacksmith and wagon maker locate here.
1869- Father Henry J. Heimbucher, first pastor, arrives. Three
room cottage built for Father H. Mass offered on new church. Founded 1869. Henry
Baumhover has occupied his house by 4/16/1869 when Lambert called
after his visit to Dubuque. ( From L. Kniest Diary)
I would conclude that 1868 is the correct date for the
founding, but that the first dwellings began in 1869.
This included the Church.
My grandparents settled in Carroll, and their daughter married
Henry Baumhover II.( Mary Walz) in 1892.
San Luis Obispo, CA
Vocations from Mount Carmel
(This page prepared by
Marilu Underberg Thurman)
The Mount Carmel Parish has been blessed with a fair number of
men and women who have answered God’s call to the dedicated life in the
priesthood and religious life. The names are listed below. Father Joseph
Finnegan was not a member of Mount Carmel when ordained, but was baptized at
Mount Carmel. The Finnegan family had moved to Carroll sometime before he was
ordained. All of the vocations to the priesthood have been to the Diocese of
Sioux City. Two men have become Brothers of the Holy Cross.
Twenty-nine ladies are listed below from Our Lady of Mount Carmel parish
who have entered the religious life. Three of these were baptized at Mount
Carmel, but entered from other parishes. Twenty-eight have entered the
Franciscans of Perpetual Adoration, LaCrosse, Wisconsin. Sister Rose Zita
Rosonke has entered Our Lady of Victory Missionaries, Huntington, Indiana.
Father Joseph Finnegan
Father John Berger
Father Bernard Loeffelholz
Father Joseph Underberg
Monsignor Julius Berger
Father Leo Lenz, Carroll, Iowa
Father Walter Bruch, Varina, Iowa
Father Ralph Reinhart, Ashton, Iowa
Father Alfred Loeffelholz, Barnum, Iowa
Father James Bruch, Sioux City, Iowa
Brother Paul Rosonke, C.S.C. Rivergrove, Illinois
Brother Vincent Lenz, C.S.C. Indianapolis, Indiana
Christina Otto ………………… Sister M. Hildegard ………….. Entered
Mary Vonnahme ……………… Sister M. Leonida ……………………… 1887
Mary Mueller …………………. Sister M. Armella ……………………… 1888
Anna Olbertz ………………….. Sister M. Julia ……………...…………. 1888
Agatha Rehmann ……………… Sister M. Winifred ……..……………… 1891
Elizabeth Naberhaus ………….. Sister M. Leonora ……………………… 1899
Anna Naberhaus ……………… Sister M. Rufina ………………………. 1899
Anna Wernimont ………………. Sister M. Veridiana ……………………. 1901
Clara Mueller …………………. Sister M. Nerina ………………………. 1914
Susanna Mueller ..……………. Sister M. Iva ……………………..…… 1914
Anna H. Underberg ..…………. Sister M. Raphaella ………………..….. 1918
Louise Wernimont ..………... Sister M. Lumina ………………….. 1919
Clara Wernimont ..………… Sister M. Eunice …………………… 1923
Theresa Wuebker ..………… Sister M. Majella …………………… 1923
Elizabeth Nees ..…………… Sister M. Eloise …………………….. 1928
Mildred Ludwig ..…………. Sister M. Nora ……………………… 1929
Agnes Stork ..……………… Sister M. Muriel …………………….. 1931
Rose Schapman ..………….. Sister Rose Schapman (Concepta) … 1931
Julitta Gross ……………….. Sister M. Mynette …………………. 1931
Rosaline Stork ……………… Sister M. Myrene …………………. 1932
Martina Stork ……………… Sister Mary Myron …………………. 1932
Delores Bruch ……………… Sister M. Delores (Carmelyn) …….. 1932
M. Catherine Wernimont …… Sister M. Coramarie ………………. 1955
Phyllis Bruch ……………….. Sister Phyllis (Rose Carmel) ……….. 1957
Suzanne Gross ……………… Sister Suzanne (Wayne Marie) ……. 1963
Rose Zita Rosonke ………….. Sister Rose Zita OLVM ………….. 1957
Sister Marcella Thobe*
Sister Ligura Thobe*
Sister Marina Thobe*
Sister Marita Wempe
*These three sisters belong to the Franciscan Sisters of Dubuque, Iowa.
Mary Olbertz (Sister M. Eustella), was born, baptized, and
confirmed at Mt. Carmel, but entered from Carroll, Iowa in 1898.
Mary Knobbe (Sister M. Phillippine), was born and baptized at Mt. Carmel, but
entered from Breda, Iowa in 1901.
Mary Underberg (Sister M. Syra), was born at Mt. Carmel, but entered from Halbur,
Iowa in 1915. Compiled by Sister Delores.
Several of these people have passed away as of 2001, but I am not listing any
of the deaths because I do not have all of them.
Marilu Underberg Thurman