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Margaretha Ohde Luth

Margaretha Ohde was born September 27, 1857 in Erfde, Germany (Prussia), a small town southwest of the city of Schleswig in the Schleswig part of Schleswig-Holstein. She was the sixth child in her family. She had four brothers, one sister and one other sibling born around 1845 who did not survive. Her godparents at her christening on October 11, 1857 in the Evangelical Lutheran Church were Margaretha Plohn from Erfde, Dorothea Thieman from Pahlhorn and Hans Eggers from Erfde.

In 1870, at the age of 13, Margaretha sailed from Hamburg to New York on the "S. S. Cimbria," a three year-old double masted sailing vessel. The "Cimbria" was built in 1867 by Caird & Company of Greenock, Scotland for the Hamburg America Line. There were accommodations for 58 1st class passengers, 120 2nd class and 500 3rd class passengers. The "Cimbria" is pictured in Michael J. Anuta's book SHIPS OF OUR ANCESTORS (Menominee, MI: Ships of Our Ancestors, 1983), p. 55, courtesy of the Peabody Essex Museum, East India Square, Salem, MA 01970.

Margaretha traveled across the Atlantic with her parents, Jacob Hinrich Ohde, age 45, Dorothea Bohrensen Ohde, age 40, her older sister Wiebke, age 15, and her younger brother Jacob, age 6. In those days, children under 16 could not travel without their parents and young women under 21 were not permitted to leave a country unless someone was waiting to meet them in America.

Margaretha's older brother, Juergen (George), born in 1846, had immigrated six years before them. Two other brothers, Henning (Henry), born in 1848, and John, born in 1854, immigrated, too, but the exact dates of their immigration are not known. Most Ohde family members settled in Iowa in either Clinton, Crawford or Carroll counties. When they arrived in the United States, Margaretha and her family lived for a while with her older brother Juergen (George) who had a farm in Center Township, Clinton County, Iowa. They are listed there in the 1870 Federal Census taken in June of that year.

Margaretha's father Jacob purchased his own farm in Clinton County. In 1873, he officially "declared his intention" to become a U. S. citizen. Margaretha probably lived with her parents until she was 19 years old when she married Henry Luth in 1876. She and Henry had nine children over the next twenty years--six boys and three girls. They moved to Iowa Township, Crawford County, Iowa in 1880 and then to Schneider Township, Buffalo County, Nebraska in 1889. Henry was a prominent enough farmer in 1916 to be included in the history for Buffalo County published that year by the S. J. Clarke Publishing Company. He appears on page 397. He and Margaretha "cultivated crops best adapted to conditions in the area" and "specialized in raising thoroughbred Polled Hereford cattle." Certainly life on a farm in Nebraska in the late 19th/early 20th century presented many challenges for "Maggie" as a wife, mother of nine and homemaker.

Sometime in 1916, "Maggie" and Henry moved from their farm into town (Ravenna). Their son George took over the farm. George sold it in later years to his son Clifford and Clifford's two sons farm the original homestead today-the 4th generation of Luths on the land.

In 1927, at the age of 69, "Maggie" passed away at the home of her daughter Anna Weidner in Ravenna. She had been a resident of Buffalo County for 38 years. She was survived by her husband Henry, eight children: Fred of Grand Junction, Colorado; Mrs. Anna Weidner, Henry, George, Max, Mrs. Laura McKinney and August of Ravenna, Nebraska; Mrs. Rosa Schieck of Rexford, Kansas; one sister, Mrs. J. M. Jansen of Newcastle, Nebraska; one brother, Jacob Ohde of Manning, Iowa; fourteen grandchildren and two great-grandchildren. Peter, another son, had passed away in 1904. "Maggie" was buried in Sodtown Cemetery near Ravenna, Nebraska.

Contributed by Lesley Luth - luths2@hotmail.com

Buffalo County NEGenWeb Project