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FAMILY STORIES


Business Administration. He was employed at the North Dallas Bank, Dallas, Texas from 1979 to 1982. He is currently employed at the Wahoo State Bank.

   Debbie was born in Wahoo in 1962. She attended St. Wenceslaus Grade School and graduated from Wahoo Neumann High School in 1980. She is currently attending the University of Nebraska at Lincoln and majoring in Human Development. She has worked part-time at the Saunders County Hospital and as a counselor at Camp Kitatke near Louisville, Nebraska.

   Kathy was born in Wahoo in 1964. She attended St. Wenceslaus Grade School and is currently a senior at Wahoo Neumann High School. She is a member of National Honor Society and has worked part-time at the Wahoo Haven House.

   Mary was born in Wahoo in 1967 and attended St. Wenceslaus Grade School. She is currently a sophomore at Wahoo Neumann High School.

HANS HOLLST STORY

   Hans Hollst was born on a farm two miles southwest of Yutan on May 29, 1895. Son of Joachim Hollst and Christina (Frahm) Hollst. He has a brother Henry Hollst, a sister, Elsie (Hollst) Karloff, (deceased, three brothers who passed away in infancy, step-brother John Hollst, deceased, two step sisters Emma (Hollst) Johnson, Marian (Hollst) Miners.

   Hans was baptized and confirmed at St. John's Lutheran Church at Yutan, and attended Yutan School. He married Laura Heldt, daughter of George and Mary (Plambeck) Heldt June 10, 1918. He served in the army at Fort Riley, Kansas and Fort Des Moines, Iowa and has been a member of the American Legion Post 262 at Yutan.

   Laura Hollst was born two miles south and ½ mile west of Yutan Sept. 24, 1899. She went to school at rural dist. 8. She had brothers, John, of Decatur City, Iowa; William (deceased) Fremont, Nebr; Herbert, (deceased) Omaha, Nebr.; Lizzie (Heldt) Jensen (deceased) of Ogallala, Nebr; Lema (Heldt) Miller (deceased), Yutan; Rose (Heldt) Ballou, Fairfield, Iowa; Doris (Heldt) Miller, (deceased), Osceola, Iowa; Erma (Heldt) Williams, Papillion, Nebr.

   Hans and Laura had a son Glenn born Nov. 24, 1918. Laura passed away Jan. 27, 1922.

   Hans lived on a farm near the Burlington railroad on highway 92 for about twenty years. He farmed on both sides of the railroad and both sides of the highway.

   Glenn was stricken with polio in October 1923, and was left paralyzed and unable to walk. Since then Ann Heldt, Glenn's aunt, stayed with them until 1977, when she fell, and is now a patient at the Saunders County Care Center. She was housekeeper and foster mother to Glenn.

   Glenn attended twelve years of school at Yutan and graduated in 1937. His father took him to school every morning and noon, carrying him up the stairs for high school classes. Sometimes one of the high school boys would carry him within the building.

   Glenn did not have a wheel chair until 1956, although he couldn't walk since age 6 or 7. He had a small shetland pony that he rode and drove. He and his father have lived on a farm S.W. of Yutan for the last 44 years. They have enjoyed the high school athletics, in fact, did not miss a game for many years. They also go to the University of Nebraska basketball and football games. They are staunch "Big Red" fans. Attending the horse and dog races is also a hobby. They have met and made a host of friends over the years.

   Note: Glenn is an inspiration to all who know him. He always has a ready smile, is friendly and interested in people. He knows more family history than most of us. A tribute to a great father, and to Aunt Ann who gave many many years to look after them.

DALE HOLTORF

   Dale was the last of Freda and Thomas Holtorf's twins. He and his twin sister, Dorothy, were born December 18, 1923 on a farm four miles north of Malmo. His family consisted of a set of triplets, who died at birth, three sets of twins and one single child. Dale's father died when he was eighteen months old and the family moved from the farm into Malmo.

The Dale Holtorf Family
The Dale Holtorf Family. Back Row: Randall Holtorf, Roger Holtorf, Russell; Front Row: Leanne, Lavonne, Mrs. Holtorf, Dale and Scott in arms.

   This was a close-knit family. They worked together, played together, survived the great depression and the loss of their father by helping each other.

   Dale was a member of the Lutheran Church and for some time they were janitors of the church. In those days this meant firing a furnace and ringing the bell. Until the late 50's the bell was rung every Saturday at exactly 6 P.M. When a member died the bell was tolled for each year of the member's life.

   Dale attended 12 years of school in Malmo, and graduated in 1941. He was inducted into the Army in March of 1943 and spent most of his time in the service in the South Pacific. He was discharged in July of 1945.

   When he was out of the service, he bought a 1946 Willys Jeep and went to the Lexington area and baled hay. Dale and the Jeep also followed the wheat harvest from Texas to North Dakota.

   Dale attended the University of Nebraska and there he met Shirley Andersen, the daughter of Chris and Edna Andersen of Big Springs, Nebr. She attended the University and was working at the time they met. They were married in 1948.

   After Dale and Shirley were married they moved to Chetek, Wisconsin where Dale was a school supply salesman. In 1949, they moved to Malmo and Dale became the Rural Letter Carrier, a job he had until the time of his death in 1971.

   Dale was always busy and believed that Malmo was an ideal place to live and raise a family. He and his wife were busy, not only with their family, but with community activities, church, school, Legion and Auxiliary and the Village. Dale was very interested in the children. He had a grade school basketball team and arranged for a skating pond in Malmo. He always had time to play with his children and urged them to be good citizens and to enjoy the world around them as he did.

   Dale and Shirley had six children. Russell is now with the Forest Service in Pendelton, Oregon. Roger works for the Environmental Protection Agency and lives in Vienna, Virginia. Randall is at home. LeaAnne lives in Omaha. LaVonne is a registered nurse in Seattle, Washington. Then there is Scott, still in elementary school.

   Shirley still lives in the family home where Dale grew up and continues to keep very active and is trying to finish raising the family that Dale enjoyed. Submitted by Shirley Holtorf

FRANCIS H. HOLTORF

   Francis H. Holtorf was born Dec. 21, 1899, near Malmo, Nebraska, the son of Jurgen and Wiebke Knuth Holtorf. He was next to the youngest of nine children. He graduated from Wahoo High School and attended the University of Nebraska. He worked for his father at the family's grain elevator, in Malmo, and then sold cars, in Wahoo.

   On October 16, 1929, he married Anna Wagner, at Trinity Lutheran Church, Grand Island, Nebraska. They lived in Grand Island where he worked for the American Crystal Sugar Co., and then the Chicago Lumber Company. In 1933, they moved to a farm near Worms, Nebraska. He became postmaster at St. Libory, Nebraska, in 1941. In 1951, he transferred to the Chapman, Nebraska, post office where he was the rural mail carrier until his retirement, in 1965. That year they moved to St. Paul, Nebraska. He was a charter member of Christ Lutheran Church there.

   They had two daughters, Patricia Ann (Mrs. LaVerne Paulsen) St. Paul, Nebraska; and LaVonne Frances (Mrs. Charles Yeager) Bloomfield, Nebraska.

   They had two grandchildren, Beverly Ann Paulsen Brown (Mrs. Harry Brown) Marina, California; and Charles Yeager Jr., Bloomfield, Nebraska.

   They had one great-grandchild, Nicholas Daniel Brown, Marina, California.

   Francis H. Holtorf died May 13, 1981, at the Howard County Memorial Hospital, St. Paul, Nebraska, and was buried at Westlawn Cemetery, Grand Island, Nebr., on May 16, 1981. Submitted by Mrs. Francis H. Holtorf.

FREDA HOLTORF

   Freda was born December 17, 1891 to Evald and Mathilda Brdenberg in Omaha. She was the second of four children, a sister, Amy, ten years older, and twin sisters, Ella and Ida, two years younger.

The Freda Holtorf Family
The Freda Holtorf Family. Back Row, Left to Right: Dale, Bernadine, Bernard; Front Row: Dorothy, Freda, Twila Belle, Racheal and Clarisse.

   As a small child, her family moved to Colorado. Life as the daughter of a miner and prospector was not easy. They lived in the towns of Idaho Springs, Georgetown and Cripple Creek. The mountains were not remembered as scenic beauty but a place where the family lived under less than desirable conditions.

   When she was 18 she came to Malmo to stay with her grandparents, the Charles Smiths. Here she met Thomas Holtorf who lived across the street.

   Thomas Holtorf was the son of J.H. and Weibke Holtorf. He was born November 23, 1890. As a small boy, he lived on the farm and, later, the family moved into Malmo.

   Freda worked as a housekeeper for three years in Omaha for the Norman family. When they moved to Portland, Oregon, she went with them and lived there for two years.

   Tom Holtorf pursued her to Oregon and they were married February 19, 1915 in Denver, Colorado. After their marriage they came to live on the Holtorf family farm four miles north of Malmo. On this farm their 10 children were born. The first-born were triplets. They died shortly after birth. This was the beginning of a series of multiple births. In 1918, twins, Claresse and Rachel, were born. The twins, Bernard and Bernardine, were born in 1920. 1922 was the birth of the only single child, Twila Belle. The last of the twins were Dale and Dorothy, born in 1923. This was Freda's family.

   In May of 1925, Tom became ill and died, leaving Freda with seven children. She left the farm and moved into Malmo.

   She kept her family together with sheer determination and hard work. She milked cows, sold milk, raised a big garden, canned her fruits, vegetables and meat, sold Wahoo Newspapers and won a Model T for her efforts. The children always helped one another and her. Freda was a very good cook and they were always well-fed and adequately clothed.

   The church was always an important part of Freda's life. She joined the Lutheran Church after she was married and has been a member ever since.

   Her children attended Luther College and the girls taught school. Some are still teaching or have retired.

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Francis and Anna Holtorf Family
Francis and Anna Holtorf -- Daughters: Patricia Ann (Holtorf) Paulsen, LaVonne Frances (Holtorf) Yeager.

   In her later years, she enjoyed her handwork, something she had little time for in the earlier years. She has crocheted about eighty afghans.

   These seven children have given her 22 grandchildren and 39 great-grandchildren.

   Two of her children have died, Dorothy at the age of 34 and Dale age 48.

   At the age of 91, she is still independent and will be remembered by all who knew and loved her as a determined and truly grand lady.

GENE HOLTORF

   Gene Holtorf was born April 28, 1945, the son of Jerald and Ruth (Hoffmann). His formative years were spent on the family farm 5½ miles southwest of Cedar Bluffs, Nebraska. His elementary education was at District 61. In 1962, Gene was graduated from Cedar Bluffs High School and continued his formal education at Wayne State College, where he received his BA in 1966. He has subsequently received degrees from Florida State University and the University of Nebraska. On January 5, 1975, Gene was united in marriage to Marcellyn Mulder. Marcy was born on May 30, 1951 to Emery and Joan Mulder in Adrian, Minnesota. Gene and Marcy have two children, Jerry (September 23, 1976) and Theresa (June 15, 1979).

   Gene is a Registered Professional Engineer and Ass't Professor at the University of Nebraska. Marcy is a Registered Nurse employed at Bryan Memorial Hospital in Lincoln, where she works in intensive and coronary care units. Gene and Marcy are active members of Christ Lutheran Church, Lincoln, and at the present time Gene is serving as an Elder of that congregation. The family resides at 121 Fifth Avenue, Ceresco, Nebraska. Submitted by Jerald Holtorf

J.H. HOLTORF

   J.H. (Jurgen) Holtorf and Wiebke Knuth were born in the same village, Alt-Bennebeck, Schleswig-Holstein, Germany. They were baptized in the Kropp Lutheran Church. He was also confirmed there.

   Wiebke, age nine, arrived in Saunders County, Nebraska from Germany, with her parents, Hans and Wiebke (Meggers) Knuth, and her brother, Peter, September, 1874. Jurgen Holtorf arrived in Iowa in 1880. In 1883, he traveled west into Saunders County. He bought a 90-acre farm in Chester precinct. Jurgen Holtorf and Wiebke Knuth were married February 19, 1886 and lived on their farm north of Prague. About 1892, he bought 240 acres in Douglas precinct. In 1899, he bought the Malmo Grain & Stock Company; erected a residence on six lots in Block 11, and in February, 1900, the family moved into Malmo.

   The older children attended school in District 75. All went to Malmo Public School. The Holtorfs reared nine children; Jurgen, Mathilda, Hans John, Thomas, Ernest, Clara, Josephine, Francis and Pauline. Pauline was born in Malmo in 1909.

   A new elevator was built in 1903. The elevator was sold to The Farmer's Union in 1915. A few years later The Union engaged him as manager. He served as manager until his death, April 14, 1923. He was sixty-one years old.

   In 1911, Mr. Holtorf bought his first automobile. Actually, he traded a number of horses for the Pope-Toledo, a bright red car with brass trimmings.

   Mr. Holtorf was a Democrat, taking an active interest in politics and civic affairs. He served fifteen years as Director of the Malmo School, nine years on the Village Board. The family belonged to St. John's Lutheran Church. The children were baptized and confirmed there. He was a deacon of the church many years until his death in 1923.

   Mr. Holtorf's parents had three sons and three daughters; Jurgen, John, Hans, Christina, Hainke and Wiebke. Only John followed his brother to America. John married and the family settled on a farm near Wakefield, Nebraska in Wayne County.

   Mrs. Holtorf lived eighteen years after her husband's death. She was a diabetic and semi-invalid for many years. Her daughters, Mathilda and Josephine and her husband, lived with her. She died Jan. 11, 1941. Mr. and Mrs. Holtorf are buried in Mariposa Union Cemetery.

   Mrs. Holtorf arrived in America when the country was getting over the 1872 and 1874 depression and drought. She experienced prairie fires, grasshoppers, drought and even an occasional band of Indians. One time a band of Indians foraged some chickens, demanded a ham, etc. A young Indian brave grabbed her braids, shook them, laughed and then rode off to join the others. Mother cried. She was ten or so.

   Mrs. Holtorf said, "To me these depression years are not as bad as those I experienced as a girl. We are not so isolated. Our neighbors are closer. We have telephones, cars, radios, newspapers. True, not everyone has all these advantages, but nearly all of us enjoy some of them." By Josephine Holtorf Jenny

J.H. Holtorf Residence
J.H. Holtorf Residence Built 1899

J.H. HOLTORF 1886-1960

   Jurgen Hendrick Holtorf (Jerry) was born on a farm north of Prague, Nebraska, August 17, 1886. He was the oldest child of Jurgen Henry and Wiebke (Knuth) Holtorf.

   At an early age his parents moved to a farm north of Malmo and, at the age of twelve, the family moved into Malmo, Nebraska.

   His formal education was in the public school in this general area and was confirmed into the Lutheran Faith.

   Theresa (Petersen) Holtorf and Jurgen H. Holtorf were united in marriage June 26, 1912 at the home of the bride's parents, Christian and Marie Petersen, south of Cedar Bluffs, Nebraska.

   The young couple lived in Malmo where Jerry worked for the Holtorf Grain Company.

   In the spring of 1916, they moved to a farm south of Cedar Bluffs, where they lived until retiring, and then moved into Cedar Bluffs.

   To this union two sons were born: Jurgen H. (Jerald) Holtorf, May 1st, 1913; and Melvin C. Holtorf, October 4th, 1916.

   During his lifetime he served on many boards both on the Precinct and County level, the Commodity Credit and Farmers Union Insurance Company, to name a few.

   Jerry Holtorf passed away August 8th, 1960 at the age of 73 years and 11 months. His widow,

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Theresa C. Holtorf, passed away Sept. 4th, 1968 at the age of 82 years 10 months. They are buried in the family plot in Union Cemetery south of Cedar Bluffs, Nebraska.

JURGEN (JERALD) HOLTORF

   Jerald Holtorf was born on May 1, 1913 at Malmo, Nebraska to Jurgen (Jerry) and Theresa (Petersen) Holtorf. At the age of three, he, together with his parents, moved to a farm 5 miles southwest of Cedar Bluffs, Nebraska, which was owned by Christian Petersen, Theresa's father, who was a country blacksmith.

   Jerald's formal education consists of 8 years of elementary education at District 61, and 4 years of high school, culminating in his graduation from Cedar Bluffs High School in 1931.

   At a very young age he helped his father with the farming, driving 4 head of horses ahead of a harrow and walking behind it. He also remembers having a run-away.

   Wanting to continue his education, but because of hard times, he remained at home to help his father farm.

   Jerald has worked part-time for the ASCS in Wahoo, measuring land, creeks, curves and gullies. He has also served as an assistant to the County Assessor for a number of years. He also worked at Omaha Steel in the early '40's.

   Music was, and still is, his favorite past-time, and he has played saxophone with a number of the area dance bands.

   On June 7, 1939, he was united in marriage with Ruth Hoffman. They have two children, Gene, who lives in Ceresco, Nebraska and Doris (Mrs. Dennis Oelschlager), who resides near Malcolm, Nebraska.

   Jerald is retired from farming. He and his wife are still on the farm place they moved to when they first started farming. The farm is located approximately 5½ miles southwest of Cedar Bluffs.

   Jerald and Ruth have been members of the St. Matthew's Lutheran Church since before their marriage, and have played an active role in the church's continued ministry. Jerald has served as the President and Secretary of the congregation and as an Elder for many years. Ruth has been very active in the Dorcas Society and has served as the President of that organization.

   The Holtorfs have been and continue to be active members of the Democratic Party, and at the present time serve as the Committeeman and Committeewoman for the South Cedar Precinct. Submitted by Gerald Holtorf

MATHILDA HOLTORF

   Wiebke Mathilda Holtorf was the second child born to Jurgen and Wiebke Knuth Holtorf on December 9, 1887. She was born in Chester Precinct, about three miles north of Prague. She lives in the Holtorf residence in Malmo, to which the family moved in February, 1900, after Mr. Holtorf had purchased the Malmo Grain Company in 1899.

Mathilda Holtorf
Mathilda Holtorf, Oct. 1976

   When Rev. and Mrs. Magnuson came to Malmo to serve the Edensburg Lutheran Church, Ada Magnuson started to instruct classes in china painting. She was very well-known for her paintings in her former home in Calif.

   Mathilda really did not want to paint china, but her instructor advised her to start with that first, as china painting requires a lot more care in painting. She said, "You see you can't do china over. What you do the first time stays." In order to obtain outside opinion, she entered her work in the Nebraska State Fair, and walked away with first, second and third class ribbons on many occasions in the professional class. She never had formal instruction in oil, but her paintings brought home ribbons from the fair, also.

   Miss Holtorf's biggest venture was painting the screen or drop curtain for the Malmo Town Hall in 1935. The Malmo American Legion and the Auxiliary, The Malmo Literary and the Village obtained the canvas, material, etc. Mathilda painted a fall woodland scene. It still hangs on the stage in the Town Hall.

   While Mathilda is no longer active with her china and oil painting, she is still an active woman. She is a charter member of the American Legion Auxiliary for sixty-two years. She served as its president several times, was president of the Seventh District of the Department of Nebraska for two years. She also is a member of the Department of Nebraska Eight and Forty. Mathilda and her sister, Josephine, take care of themselves, do their own housework and cooking. Josephine Holtorf Jenny

MELVIN C. HOLTORF

   Melvin C. Holtorf was born October 4, 1916, the son of J.H. (Jerry) Holtorf and Theresa (Petersen) Holtorf, and has one brother, J.H. (Jerald) Holtorf.

   Melvin has spent his entire life in the Cedar Bluffs vicinity. He received all of his formal schooling and graduated from Cedar Bluffs High School in May, 1933. He was baptized and later, confirmed in the Lutheran faith. After graduating from high school, he helped work on the family farm. Later, he was employed at the Omaha Steel Works.

   He was inducted in the U.S. Army during World War II, and received Basic Training at Camp Roberts, California. He joined the 70th Division at Fort Leonard Wood, Missouri. He went overseas with I Company 275 70th Division and landed in southern France. He was hospitalized in the 235 General Hospital, and then joined Headquarters Det. 54th Replacement Bn.; later, being assigned to the 65th M.P. Co. He was discharged in 1946 with the rank of Staff Sgt.

   On May 6, 1948, he was united in marriage to Leona (Jensen) Holtorf at St. Matthew's Lutheran Church in Cedar Bluffs, the church of which they are still members.

   To this union three children were born: Jacquile, Mrs. John Ronnfeldt of St. Paul, Minnesota; Bradley, Fremont; and Paul, a student at Cedar Bluffs High School.

   In the early 1950's, he was appointed the Rural Carrier out of Cedar Bluffs. He retired from the United States Postal Service January 12, 1979.

   He has been active in many organizations and has held many offices, namely, Rural Carriers Association, serving as State President, Vice President, Secretary, treasurer and State Steward; the Saunders County Agricultural Society for almost 20 years; present secretary of School Board 107, Cedar Bluffs. He has held all the layman offices in St. Matthew's Lutheran Church, President, Elder, Trustee, Finance Board, etc.

   He is active in veterans' organizations as a member of the D.A.V. (Disabled American Veterans), Veterans of Foreign Wars, American Legion, and Forty & Eight, and has held offices in most of them.

   He has been a 4-H leader 20 years.

   He and his family reside in Cedar Bluffs and still keeps quite active in community affairs. Submitted by Melvin Holtorf

HOLTORF-ROEHRKASSE

   Pauline Catherine Holtorf, the youngest in a family of nine, the daughter of Jurgen H. and Wiebke (Knuth) Holtorf, was born at Malmo, Nebraska on September 14, 1909. Pauline graduated from Wahoo Senior High, Luther Junior College and the University of Nebraska with a Bachelor of Science in Education, majoring in music and educational psychology. Post-graduate work was done at Kearney State.

Raymond W. Roehrkasse Family
Left: Clarice, Michael, Michael Ray and Marcy Eason; Center: Paula and Ralph Knepper and Pauline and Raymond Roehrkasse; Right: Kathryn, Glenn, Michael, Christine and David Trebelhorn.

   Raymond W. Roehrkasse of Grand Island, Nebraska and Pauline C. Holtorf were married on June 11, 1935, and have made Grand Island their home since then. Raymond graduated from Seward High School and Grand Island Business College. He became associated with the Reitan Incorporated. He was buyer and manager for forty-eight years until his retirement. Mrs. Roehrkasse was an instructor in the Grand Island Public Schools for twenty years, and a member of PACE, Classroom teacher, local state and national levels.

   Mr. Roehrkasse was recognized as Cosmopolitan of the Year, by Cosmopolitan International of Grand Island; Admiral to the Great Navy of Nebraska; Humanitarian of the Year, and received other awards.

   Pauline was named Community Leader and Noteworthy American in 1973; recognized in Who's Who In Nebraska, bicentennial 1976-77; and made Honorary Life Member of the Nebraska Congress of Parents and Teachers. She is Past President, Alpha Delta Kappa, Epsilon, Teachers' Honorary; Past Historian; and is presently serving as Legislative Chairman of the Grand Island Branch, American Association of University Women; and on Board of Directors, Grand Island Community Concert Association, presently serving as Membership Chairman.

   Mr. and Mrs. Roehrkasse are members of Trinity Lutheran Church. Raymond has served as chairman of the Board of Elders, treasurer, and other offices. He is a charter member, past president, and secretary of the Lutheran Laymen's League, and also zone officer. Raymond was a member of the Nebraska District Scholarship Board, Lutheran Church, Missouri Synod. Mrs. Roehrkasse was organist at Trinity Lutheran for fifteen years, Past President of Ruth Society and Evening Guild, and charter member of International Lutheran Women's Missionary League. Elected corresponding secretary at its organization convention in Chicago, she served on the National Board, and as Nebraska District President ten years. As charter members of the Trinity Golden Years Club, they served as the first co-chairmen.

   Mr. and Mrs. Roehrkasse are the parents of three daughters: Paula J. (Ralph) Knepper, Holdrege, Nebraska; Claire Rae (Michael) Eason, North Bend, Nebraska; and Kathryn G. (Glenn) Trebelhorn, Lincoln. They are graduates of Grand Island Senior High and Master of Music Degrees from University of Nebraska and Computer Technology. They married Nebraska University men, graduates in their respective fields of civil engineering, agriculture, and electronics. Their grandchildren are Michael G., Christine and David Trebelhorn, Lin-

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