Search billions of records on

Roots, Branches and Twigs -
History of the family Melvin D. Frahm, including: Frahm, Sperlich, Hunsche, Ladwig Families

Contributed to Butler Co. NEGenWeb by
Joan Frahm (

Wilhelm Ladwig was born 11 July 1828 in Ravenstein, Pommern [Germany] to Christian Friedrich Ladwig and Louisa Mittelstädt.  They were married (1 March 1828) in Ravenstein.  After the birth of Wilhelm, they had 5 more children: Johann Friedrich (b.21 Oct 1834); Christian Friedrich (b. 10 December 1836); August Julius (b. 24 July 1841-d. 23 May 1868); Carl Friedrich David Ferdinand (b. 23 July 1843) and FriedrickWilhelmine (b. 20 January 1847).  On the death record of Christian Friedrich Ladwig (28 Febuary 1867) it stated that he was survived by his widow and 5 chldren.

Wilhelm Ladwig married Caroline Friedrick Kühl 23 Sepetember 1852 in Ravenstein.  Their children were:
Carl Ferdinand (b. 22 August 1852 - before the marriage); Wilhelm (b. 9 November 1854); Hermann Friedrich (b. 15 December 1856 - d. 22 January 1857); Emilie Auguste Ernestine (b. 2 February 1858); and August Hermann (b. 17 January 1860 - d. 24 March 1862).  His wife Caroline Friedrick died 25 January1860 after child birth.  Wilhelm then married Wilhelmine Dählmann 4 April 1860 in Ravenstein, Pommern.  To this union were born August Friedrich (b. 17October 1861) and Wilhelmine Auguste (b. 18 January 1863).  Wilhelm's second wife died and he then married Dorothea Sophie Kürpahl (b. 1842, d. 25 March 1879 in Marysville, Seward County, NE).

Of the children only Wilhelm remained in Pommern, the others came to Nebraska.   Emilie married William Block and had 10 children.  August Friedrich married a Christina and had 1 child.  Wilhelmine Married Frank Peterson and had 4 children.  The father Wilhelm and his third wife also came to NE.  His wife is buried at the cemetery by the Lutheran church at Marysville.  Wilhelm died on 20 November at Seward, NE from shock from burns that he received when his clothing caught on fire.  He is buried at the North Cemetery in Seward, NE.  He was survived by 3 sons and 2 daughters.

Carl August Fredrich was born 30 March 1826 at Ziegenhagen, Pommern to Gottlieb Fredrich and Dorothea Sophie Wendt.  He married 16 August 1852 to Emilie Kühl (a sister to Caroline Friedrick who was the first wife of Wilhelm Ladwig) at Ziegenhagen, Pommern.  Their children were: Friedrich Wilhelm (b. 7 September 1852); August Ferdinand (b. 7 September 1854); Hannah Wilhelmine (b. 17 January1857); Luise Emilie (b. 1 February 1859); Karl Gottlieb (b. 14 May 1861); Justine (b. 6 February 1864); and 2 others of which I have not found the names or births.  The only child that I have information on, besides Hannah Wilhelmine, is August Ferdinand.  He married Ernestine "Tina" Schäl.  They had 3 children .  Their son August came to NE in March of 1902.

Carl Ferdinand Ladwig and Hannah Wilhelmine Fredrich were married in 1878.  They were first cousins.  To this marriage they had 11 children, the first 3 were born in Pommern: Wilhelm Herman (b. 6 Oct 1878) married Bertha Potter and Anna Meier; Emma Emilie (b. 14 December 1879) married Henry Hunsche and Ferdinand August (b. 9 August 1880).  Their first child born in Seward County near Marysville was Karl Friedrich Ferdinand (b. 7 October 1881).  He was Baptized at the Lutheran church at Marysville 15 November 1881.  The family has also stated that they arrived in Seward County in December of 1881! Because of the birth of Karl that is not possible.  When they first arrived they lived in a sod house near Marysville, Seward County for 11 years.  In 1903 the family moved to Butler County NE and lived there until 1917 at which time they moved into Seward NE.

Note: regarding the names used - I usually use the Baptismal name.  In Germany, the child is given a couple of names and is usually called the name just before the surname.  Also in spelling 'k' and 'c' are interchangeablae as are 'e' and 'a' (the sound would be the same in English).  However, after arriving in the USA many reversed their names also anglicized the spelling, changing the umlauts or vowels.  You will also notice that Kühl became Kuhl for our family.  Some families in the USA spell it Kuehl.


Eberhardt Friedrich Heinrich (Henry) Hunsche was born 6 August 1862 near Edwardsville, IL.  He married Christine Klingeman (b. 9 January 1863) on 18 June 1885 in Edwardsville, IL.  During the spring of 1892 they moved to NE.  They rented a railroad boxcar in which to move furniture, machinary, horses and all.  Henry Klingeman, Christine's brother came with them.  They lived on a farm 3 miles north of Ulysses in Butler County.  Henry and Christine had 7 children, the first 3 were born in IL.: Wilhelmina Caroline Louise (b. 30 June 1886); Mary Caroline (b. 12 April 1888) and Louis August (b. 2 October 1891).  After arriving in NE they had Edward William (b. 9 April 1893); Anna Marie (b. 20 January 1895 - d. 22 June 1895) and Ida Doris (b. 20 January 1897 - d. 11 April 1897).  Christine died in child birth.  After the death of Christine, Henry had Emma Ladwig come to help with the children and to keep house.  Christine and the 2 girls are buried at the Millerton Lutheran church cemetery.  On, 27 January 1897, Henry and Emma were married and lived on a farm 3 1/4 miles north of Ulysses.  Henry Klingeman married Mary Clausen and lived at the original home place until they died many years later.  Six children were born to Henry and Emma: Fredrik Ferdinand (b. 25 May 1900) married Edna Fleek; Clara Johanna (b. 13 November 1901) married Louis Mares; unnamed twin (b. 13 November 1901- d. 13 November 1901) buried at the Surprise Cemetery; Henry Emil (b. 6 March 1904) married Zetta Irene Anderson; Bertha Margaret Wilhelmina (b. 19 April 1906) Ehrhart Frahm; and Herman William (b. 30 March 1908) married Marie Goecken.

(from the Rememberances of Bertha Frahm)

Minnie Hunsche married Bill Weber at Surprise, NE 27 September 1905.  Their first child was Charles, he died of meningitis in 1909.  He was born in 1906, same as I.   I can remember him coming to the back gate at our home, dragging a gunny sack that was alive and squirming about.  It had 2 cats for me.  The other children of Minnie and Bill were: Augusta (b. 1909); Freddy (b. 1910 - d. 1912), he never changed size from the day of his birth.  I remember picking iris for his funeral.  The family moved to the sand hills.  They had Albert (b. 1913); then moved back to Seward where Esther was born (b.1925).  Minnie and Bill are buried in the Grein Cemetery located 3 1/2 mile snortheast of Ulysses.  Mary Hunsche married William Fiedler at Butler 14 April 1909.  They had 2 children: Ethel and Howard.  They moved to CO, Mary died in a car accident near Denver.  Her body was shipped back to NE and she is buried south of Rising City.  Mary made my baptismal dress.  Ethel's daughter and son-in-law and grandson died in a flood near Glenwood Springs CO 7 March 1967. Louis Hunsche married Alma Kuhlman 26 March 1916 at David City, NE.  They had 6 children: Margaret (b. 1916) married Gerald Hayhurst; Donald (b.1918) married Esther Pape; Doris (b. 1920) married Walter Talbot; Clarence (b. 1921) who swallowed lye and had scar tissue in his throat; Edwin (b. 1925) married Dorothy Siedel and Marvin (b. 1933) married Joan Hoeft.  Lew and Alma are buried in the Ulysses Cemetery.  Clarence is buried in David City Cemetery.  Ed Hunsche married Minnie Baethke 27 February 1919.  They had 1 daughter Arlene.  She married John Musil.  Ed and Minnie bought the butcher shop in Rising City.  They are buried in the Rising City Cemetery.

(back to the Ladwigs and Fredrichs) When Wilhelmine and Ferdinand Ladwig came to the USA, Ferdie was a tiny baby.  Grandma was so frightened of the trip.

There was a couple who loved the baby and wanted to buy him.  Grandma knew no language but German and was so afraid they would steal her baby.  They took a train to Seward NE, arriving on Christmas Eve.  I think they spent 3 weeks on the ship.  Fred Miller (or Mueller) met them at the station.  It seems they were friends in Germany.  He was so excited about their coming and had several drinks to prepare himself.  They were bundled into a wagon and started the trip to their house, or possibly that of friends.  They stopped in front of a house and everyone came out yelling.  Grandma began to cry "robbers, robbers."  They were really welcoming these newcomers.  They moved into a sod house.  I guess the sodhouse was really quite comfortable, warm in winter, cool in summer as three walls were a couple of feet thick.  Mother used to tell of how snakes came in and drank milk from the crocks on the shelves, and how it rained in.  They'd try to keep the bedding dry by covering it with oil cloth.

A daughter and 3 sons were born to them in that sod house.  Fredrick died of diphtheria.  Grandma had it also.  It's a wonder how she survived and the others never took it.  Freddie was buried in the Marysville church cemetery.  They moved into a frame house where Anna was born in 1894.  They moved to Butler CO and lived just a mile west of us, later to a farm 1 mile west of Millerton, maybe 6 or 8 miles from us.  We were always very close, and had a great many family dinners.

The younger aunts, being so close to our ages, we had great times together. (children of Carl Ferdinand and Hannah Wilhelmine born in the USA: Clara (b. 1883) married Emil Mallau; Carl Friedrich "Freddie" (b. 1885); Herman (b.1889) married Hilda Ihnen; August Ferdinand (b. 1891) married Ruth Fadschild; Anna (b.1894) married Harry West; Wilhelmina (b. 1896) married Robert Nordmeyer; Alwina (b. 1899) married Walter Bluhm; and Maria (b. 1902) married George Pool.

Mother used to tell the story of how my grandfather would take his muzzle loaded shotgun along out to the fields to bring back some sort of meat.  She and Bill found the gun, Bill thought he'd pull back the hammer so it would be ready for grandpa to shoot.  Little Emma said, "Oh, no.  Papa will be angry." So, she put the hammer down.  Grandma ran, knowing she'd find at least one of her children dead, but they were all right, but badly frightened.  Mother said she never messed with a gun again.

Emma and Bill went to school at the Marysville church.  I suppose the others did also, but I just remember her stories.  Pastor Weller was the teacher, he taught them to read and write and some arithmetic and probably religion.  Emma was very shy and kept so close to Bill she didn't even go to the privy, so had an accident.

Pastor said, "I think she is too young to go to school."  She had to wait awhile longer.  She had about 3 years of school, all in German.  I really don't know how she learned to read and write in English, but she did a fairly good job later.

When she was 10 or 13 she had to start "working out."  She did house work, everything from washing clothes on the board to caring for babies.  All for $3 a week; then instead of the lady giving her cash, she gave her cast off clothes.  Then she went to work for Henry Hunsche.  Every few years Henry would get the itch to see his brothers and sisters in IL.  In the winter then, after the harvesting was done, he'd board the train and go back for 2 or 3 weeks to visit.  When I was about 5, he took Mother, Herman and me along. Mother wore a lovely brown suit, brown felt hat with lovely plumes.  She never liked the outfit but I always thought it most beautiful.  I'd like to have those plumes now.  Herman and I, maybe Mother as well, had never been on a train before.  Standing by the depot and that big engine rushing by right in front of us was frightening!  So exciting! We had to change trains in Lincoln.  We went to a restaurant.  It seems to me we had hot roast beef sandwiches.  That was the one thing Dad always ordered.  We changed again in St. Joseph, MO and in St. Louis, MO.  We tried to see everything as the train sped by.  Naturally it wasn't long until one of us was train sick. We used to flop the seats so 2 seats faced each other.  At night Mom and Dad sat next to the aisle with their feet on the opposite seat.  That made a pretty good bed for Herman and me with our feet over theirs.

When we were older at night after the dishes were done, the family gathered in the living room.  Dad would get out the violin and play a few tunes.  He didn't put the 'fiddle' under his chin but on his large tummy.  After a few tunes he'd hand the violin to Bill or Fred and we were in for an evening of entertainment.  Bill and Fred both played violins, Henry the guitar and Clara the organ.  Bill also played the harmonica, Fred played the sax, Clara also played the piano, Henry also played the horn (cornet) and drums, Herman played the trombone.  All the boys played the accordian.  The family band played for dances in the area. The family also did alot of singing.

Return to Butler Co. Homepage

© 1999, by Joan Frahm
Produced for Butler Co. NEGenWeb