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RENWICK and LUVERNE (Humboldt County)

Renwick MainStreet
Humboldt Congregational Church
View from Swiss Cemetery Renwick
Renwick Swiss Cemetery
Renwick Iowa 2016
Lu Verne Iowa 2016
Schneider Oswald Barn Renwick

One of the largest Glarner settlement outside of the New Glarus area was the farming settlement near Renwick, Humboldt County, Iowa and nearby Lu Verne, on the boarder of Humboldt and Kossuth Counties, Iowa. These are two small towns in rural central Iowa. There is a very tiny "Swiss Cemetery" in the middle of the county and two other larger village cemeteries. The flat Iowa prairie here couldn't be more different than the alps, but land was inexpensive, fertile and easy to farm.  Of course, it was hard work and there were challenges (harsh winters and hot summers, prairie fires, tornados, etc.).

The Original Pioneer Settlers of Humboldt County from Glarus

Paulus Altmann (1855-1945) from Engi emigrated 1881 together with his mother Barbara Margaretha Altmann née Kläsi (1821-1898) and his siblings Jost Altmann (1846-1906), Dietrich (1849-1924), Johann Thomas (1858-1936), Leonhard (1860-1890), Barbara (1862-1910) and Jakob (1863-1952) to America and settled near Vernon, where he was united in marriage 1890 to Ursula Baumgartner (1862-1950) who also immigrated 1890 from Engi to Humboldt county. The couple had 5 sons, John (1892-1892), Paul (1893-1981), Henry (1895-1979), Jacob Wilhelm (1900-1981) and William Joachim (1904-1976) and 4 daughters, Ursula (1891-1989), Elizabeth Anne (1896-1974), Dorothy (1898-1967) and Magdalene Margaret (1907-).


Martin Baumgartner (1871-1931) from Engi emigrated 1891 to America and settled near Monticello, Wisconsin, where he was united in marriage 1892 to Fannie Hammerly (1867-1950). In 1894 they came to Renwick where they settled on their farm northwest of Renwick. The couple had one son, John (1893-1966) and two daughters, Euphemia / Famie (1896-1985) and Barbara (1900-1995). Famie married Paul Altmann (1893-1981), whose parents immigrated from Engi to Humboldt county in 1881. Barbara married James Herbert Kelling and were childless.


Mathias Baumgartner (1845-1914) emigrated 1867 together with his wife Euphemia Baumgartner née Weiss (1843-1870) and their children Conrad (1866-1947) and Katie (1866-1959) from Engi to Green, Wisconsin. Euphemia died about 1870 in Wisconsin and Mathias married shortly thereafter Cleophea (Cloe) Zimmermann (1853-1936) who was born in New Glarus to Fred Zimmermann (1823-1899) and Fannie Zimmermann née Rhyner (1821-1860). Mathias and Cloe settled later in Humboldt county and had two sons, Mathias (1885-1954) and Fred (1896-1971) and 6 daughters, Verena (1873-1927) who married Samuel Oswald Zentner (1872-1951), Cora (1876-1935), Nellie (1881-1903), Eva (1883-1955), Libbie (1888-1965) and Minnie (1891-1980).


Gabriel Blesi (1850-1921) immigrated 1870 to America and settled in Ohio. In 1878 he was united in marriage with Anna Freitag (1856-1928) whose parents Johann Jakob Freitag (1809-1887) and Maria Anna Freitag née Schiesser (1812-1893) immigrated 1845 to Wisconsin. The first four years the couple resided in Wisconsin, then they moved to Renwick, where they lived until 1918 when they went to reside with their daughter at Kasson, Minnesota. The couple had 5 sons, Jacob (1879-1964), Rudolph Ruben (1883-1969), Edward (1884-1914), William(1887-1958) and Henry Gabriel (1895-1946) and one daughter Mamie (1889-1988).


Dietrich Elmer (1829-1910) from Matt emigrated with his wife Barbara Elmer née Stauffacher (1846-1930) and his son Konrad (1866-1949) to America in 1867 and settled first near Monroe, Wisconsin. In 1869 he moved to Renwick and farmed there until 1886 when he moved to Hebron, North Dakota. Besides Konrad, the couple had 3 more sons, John (1867-1960), Henry (1880-1962) and Joseph (1881-1958) and 3 daughters. Barbara (1870-1960), the first-born child in Renwick, married Dietrich Elmer (1867-1948), Magdalena (1872-1911) married Jacob Fred Elmer (1870-1951) and Regula / Rachel (1876-1926) married Heinrich Hefti (1871-1930).


Jacob Fred Elmer (1870-1951) immigrated from Matt with his parents in April 1881 and lived on a farm near Monroe, Green, Wisconsin, until his mother’s death in 1889. He then accompanied together with his brother Dietrich Elmer (1867-1948) his uncle Christopher Elmer (1835-1913) to Nebraska. In the spring of 1890, he and his uncle bought a farm three miles west of Renwick. In 1891 he married Magdalena Elmer (1872-1911). In 1899 the couple moved to Hebron, North Dakota, where they purchased land on which they lived the rest of their lives.


Christopher Elmer (1835-1913) was married 1861 to Barbara Stauffacher (1836-1901) which union was blessed with 2 sons and 1 daughter. 1872 the marriage was divorced and Christoper emigrated to America, living in Wisconsin, Iowa and Dakota before he came with his nephews Jacob Fred and Dietrich Elmer to Renwick.


Peter C. Figi (1845-1918) immigrated 1865 with his wife Anna Magdalena Figi née Hefti (1842-1881) from Haslen to America and settled in Pittsburgh, Allegheny where Sibilla (1865-1944), Agatha (1870-1917) and Regula (1871-1874) were born. About 1873 the family moved to Humboldt county and settled in Lu Verne, where Regula Anna (1877-1974), Peter Sebastian (1878-1902) and Sebastian John (1878-1879) were born. Anna Magdalena died 1881 in Vernon and Peter remarried Lydia Bäbler (1858-1936) whose parents Heinrich Bäbler (1829-1903) and Barbara Bäbler née Baumgartner (1829-1895) immigrated 1854 from Engi to Wisconsin. Lydia and Peter had a daughter Lydia Magdalena (1886-1967). The couple moved about 1904 from Lu Verne to Waterloo, Black Hawk county where they lived until both passed away.


Sebastian Paulus (Paul) Figi (1880-1925) was born in New Glarus to Paulus Figi (1838-1911) and Anna Katharina Figi née Hefti (1840-1914) who emigrated 1868 from Haslen to New Glarus. Paul moved about 1905 to Renwick and married there Anna Maria Luchsinger (1887-1955) who was born in Nebraska to Fred Luchsinger (1843-1896) and Rosina Hefti (2849-1893) who emigrated in the 1870ies to Nebraska. Paul and Anna Marie had one daughter Ruth Ann McCurry née Figi (1919-2019). 


Johann Heinrich (Henry) Freitag (1858-1942) emigrated 1866 with his parents Johann Jakob Freitag (1832-1910) and Anna Freitag née Kubli (1834-1890) from Elm first to Wisconsin and then further to Humboldt county. Henry married 1882 in Renwick Anna Dorothea Freitag (1864-1958) who was born in New Glarus to Jakob Freitag (1833-1914) and Sara Freitag née Blumer (1841-1925). Henry and Anna had one son, Wendell (1886-1940) and 3 daughters, Anna Sarah (1883-1964), Mamie Dorothea (1893-1976) and Pearl Alma (1896-1998). Anna Sarah married 1902 in Humboldt Peter S. Luchsinger (1882-1935) who was born in Nebraska to Fred Luchsinger (1843-1896) and Rosina Luchsinger née Hefti (1849-1893) who emigrated in the mid 1870ies to Amerika. Fred and Rosina married 1877 in New Glarus and moved later to Platte, Nebraska. Peter and Anna Sarah had one son, George Peter (1909-1909) and two daughters, Dorothy Rosella (1903-) and Pearl Anna (1905-1997).


Heinrich (Henry) Hefti (1871-1930) immigrated 1891 together with his younger brother John Hefti (1874-1960) from Haslen to America and settled near Renwick and in 1901 moved on his farm northwest of Renwick, where he resided until his death. Henry married 1901 Regula (Rachel) Elmer (1876-1926). The couple had 4 sons, Henry Charles (1902-1993), Dietrich Sebastian (1904-1972), John Joseph (1907-1992) and Peter Elmer (1909-2003) and one daughter Rachel (1912-1989).


John Hefti (1874-1960) immigrated 1891 together with his elder brother Henry Hefti (1871-1930) from Leuggelbach to America and settled near Renwick. He married 1898 Bertha Maurer (1880-1942). The couple farmed near Renwick and had 5 sons, Albert John (1901-1987), William Edward (1904-1988), Walter Lawrence (1906-1989), Gilbert Clarence (1909-1989) and Edwin Wilson (1911-1994) and 3 daughters, Marie Elizabeth (1900-1994) who married 1920 John Conrad Zimmermann (1893-1969) whose grandmother Maria Zimmermann née Jenny immigrated 1847 with her parents to New Glarus, Wilma Madelyn (1906-1997) and Helen (1914-1982) who married Dudley Rudolf Blesie (1914-1992) a grandchild of immigrant Gabriel Blesi (1850-1921).


Joachim Kläsi/Klaessy (1848-1920) immigrated 1864 from Luchsingen to America and located at New Glarus at which place in 1871 he was united in marriage to Anna Katharina Luchsinger (1851-1929) who emigrated with her parents already 1856 to New Glarus. She was born in Oslo, Norway from where her parents moved to America. In 1891 Joachim moved with his family to Iowa and located on a farm north of Renwick, moving to town in 1914, where he resided the time of his death. The couple had 3 sons, Fridolin (1882-1894), Samuel (1888-1949) and Fridolin (1895-1941) and 4 daughters, Ida (1877-1951), who married John L. Stauffacher (1869-1926), Emma (1879-1958) who married Henry E. Blum (1873-1948), Verena (1885-1959) and Ottellia (1890-1986).


Joachim Klaessy’s older brother Johannes (John) Kläsi / Klasse (1838-1915) emigrated after his divorce from Rosina Kläsi (1838-1893) 1876 from Luchsingen to America and married 1882 in Humboldt county Barbara Bräm (1852-1921) with whom he had one son Fred J. (1885-1958).


Fridolin Kläsi/Klasse (1838-1914) immigrated 1856 from Luchsingen to America and located at Wisconsin where he was united in marriage to Barbara Freitag (1849-1908), daughter of immigrant Johann Jakob Freitag (1809-1887) and Mary Freitag née Schieser (1812-1893) who immigrated already 1845. The couple settled at New Glarus until they moved about 1874 to Renwick. They had in total 15 children. 7 sons, Samuel (1865-1941), Johann Jakob (1866-1886), Frederick William (1873-1955), George Henry (1878-1956), Peter (1884-1884), Peter (1887-1887) and Henry K. (1894-1981) and 8 daughters, Mary (1868-1953) who married Henry Norder, Kathrina (1869-1917), Barbara Marjorie (1871-1958) who married Jakob E. Stauffacher, Anna (1875-1962), Emma (1876-1970), Christina (1879-1957), Rosina (1885-1926) and Elizabeth (1890-1970).


Mathäus (Matthew) Luchsinger (1814-1878) immigrated 1873 from Engi to Humboldt county together with his wife and the younger children Jacob (1855-1916), Henry (1859-1947) and Paul (1862-1903). The first-born Maria Stauffacher née Luchsinger (1838-1871) emigrated already 1864 with her husband Niklaus Stauffacher (1823-1883) to Humboldt county and son Mathäus (1842-1920) emigrated already 1865 to America and married 1875 Louse Mary Meier (1856-1918) in Humboldt county.

Dietrich Marti (1847-1922) immigrated with his parents Johannes Marti (1818-19119 and Anna Maria Marti née Stauffacher (1815-1890) in 1864 from Engi to New Glarus, Wisconsin. Dietrich married 1877 in New Glarus Anna Katharina (Amy) Steussy (1858-1939). The young couple moved about 1880 from Wisconsin to Humboldt county and settled in Lu Verne. They had 9 sons, John Dietrich (1877-1964) who went back to New Glarus and married Barbara Hoesly (1877-1928), Jacob Otto (1881-1962), Mathias Sylvester (1883-1962), Adam Emil (1884-1962), Edward Conrad (1888-1957) who married Anna M. Elmer (1891-1979), William Albert (1890-1970) who married Maria B. Elmer (1893-1983), George Samuel (1891-1975), Henry Andrew (1892-1983) and Fritz Alfred (1898-1982) and 4 daughters, Mary Kathryn (1879-1922), Emma E. (1886-1967), Anna Magdalena (1895-1926) and Ella Elisabeth (1896-1918).


John Rhyner (1858-after 1940) was born in Green county, Wisconsin. His parents Johannes Rhyner (1827-1860) and Anna Rhyner née Schneider (1829-) emigrated in 1852 from Elm to Green county, moved in 1864 to Iowa and settled in Lake Township, Humboldt. In 1884 John Rhyner jun. bought a farm in Lake Township where he remained for some time. Then he bought a farm of 160 acres in Vernon Township. He married Ella Zuberbühler November 14, 1898 and to them five sons have been born, Dewey (1899-1975), Elwin John (1901-1981), Leonard (1903-), George H. (1905-1964) and John Marshall (1907-2007).

Henry Rhyner (1851-1912) was the eldest son of John (1827-1860) and Anna Rhyner née Schneider (1829-) and the brother of John Rhyner. He came with his parents to Green County, Wisconsin in 1852 and remained there until 1864, when he came with his family to Humboldt, Iowa and settled in Lake township. He walked the entire distance, driving a herd of cattle and was one month making the journey. In 1878 he went to Dodge Center where he remained three years. Returning to Hardy, Iowa, he worked for a railroad company for three years. He was employed by a grain elevator company for nine years but worked later again for the railroad company. He married Rosina Blum on September 25, 1876 and five children have been born to them, William Fred (1878-1932), Samuel (1879-1917) who died during WWI, Georg (1880-after 1940), Anna (1881-1892) and Ora (1885-1892).


Oswald Schneider (1847-1919) immigrated 1882 with his wife Anna Schneider née Bäbler (1850-1935) and son Oswald (1880-1937) from Elm to Renwick. The couple had 3 in Humboldt born sons, John (1884-1953), Henry (1888-1963) and Christopher (1891-) and one daughter Magdalena (1888-).

Fridolin Speich (1837-1902) immigrated 1864 with his first wife Magdalena Speich née Stauffacher (1836-1873) and his daughter Elsbeth (1862-1945) and son Johannes (1863-1934) from Matt first to New Glarus where daughter Barbara (1864-1954) was born and later in 1865 to Renwick. The couple farmed near Renwick and had two additional daughters and sons born in Humboldt county, Magdalena (1866-1949), Ursula/Celia (1868-1890), Jacob (1869-) and Fred (1872-). Magdalena died 1873 and Fridolin remarried in 1888 Verena Weiss née Marti (1858-1935). The couple had 3 daughters, Fannie (1891-1966), Celia (1895-1971) and Mary (1899-1981) and 2 sons, Antone (1892-1970) and Nicholas (1897-).

Elisabeth (Lizzie) Stauffacher (1862-1942) came to America when she was two years old with her parents Esajas Stauffacher (1826-1899) and Margaretha Stauffacher née Hämmerli (1832-1910) and other members of the family and they located near Monroe, Wisconsin, where she received her early education and grew to womanhood. In the year of 1889 she came to Renwick, Iowa. She married 1892 Elmer Martin Church (1867-1909) and resided in Renwick until shortly before she died when she went to Mason City to live with her daughter Jennie Elvira Witham. Her sister Mary Stauffacher (1868-1959) went with her to Renwick and married there 1889 Meinrad Bäbler (1861-1948).In the fall of 1889 they bought a farm near Hardy, Iowa, on which they made their home for 12 years. Then they sold and bought nearer Renwick and lived there 8 years. Then sold out and bought a home in Renwick in 1910. They lived there until Meinrad Babler's death in 1948. Mary Babler continued to live there until September 19, 1955 when she went to live with her niece, Lottie May Steven, near Emmetsburg where she remained until her death.


Johannes (John) Stauffacher (1835-1874) immigrated from Matt to Wisconsin about 1863 and married 1864 in New Glarus Anna Katharina Norder (1846-1871), immigrant daughter of Jakob Norder (1815-1891) and Anna Katharina Norder née Altmann (1817-1880). The couple moved shortly after the marriage to Renwick and had there 4 sons, Jakob (1866-1866), Jakob (1868-1947), Dietrich (1869-1967) and John G. (1871-1939) and one daughter Anna Katharina (1865-1936). Anna Katharina died young in 1871 (most probably as a consequence of the birth of John G.) and John died 3 years later. After the death of their parents the children were brought to Wisconsin and stayed there. Jakob and Dietrich are buried in New Glarus and John G. settled in North Dakota.

Niklaus Stauffacher (1823-1883) immigrated 1864 with his wife Maria Stauffacher née Luchsinger (1838-1871) and his 3 children, Eufemia (1860-), Dietrich (1862-1929) and Mathaeus (1864-1924) from Matt to Renwick. 

Rudolf Stauffacher (1841-1917), whose grandfather Rudolf Stauffacher (1794-1858) and father (Johann Peter Stauffacher (1820-1897) belonged to the pioneer settlers in New Glarus, married 1871 in Waukon, Alamakee county, Iowa, Eva George (1849-1931). Eva’s mother was Barbara Blum (1833-1868) who emigrated 1847 to Wisconsin and married there Emanuel George (1825-1900). Rudolf and Eva moved after the marriage to Humboldt county and farmed near Renwick until about 1890 before they then further moved to Niles, Floyed county in Iowa. The couple had 5 sons, Peter (1873-1876), Emanuel (1874-1925), Samuel (1876-1934), Werner (1882-1969) and Sydney (1884-1955) and two daughters, Fannie (1876-1945) and Anna Matilda (1879-1967).

Samuel David Steussy (1854-1924), born in New Glarus to Melchior Steussy (1823-1897) and Katharina Steussy née Legler (1833-1889) who emigrated 1845 to Amerika, married 1881 in Missouri Rosina (Rosa) Pfeiffer (1862-1944) born in Green City, Sullivan, Missouri to Johann Heinrich Pfeiffer (1823-1892) who emigrated 1855 with his parents from Mollis to Amerika. Samuel and Rosa had 4 sons, Henry Melchior (1883-1960), Samuel Edward (1884-1958), Alvin David (1889-1973) and Aaron Wilhelm (1896-1972) and one daughter Anna Levina (1886-1982).

Samuels younger brother Fridolin Steussy (1870-1930) married 1896 in Lu Verne Elsa Amanda Ristau (1878-1956). The couple had 3 sons, Reinhold Julius Melchior (1896-1989), Evert Fridolin (1899-1987) and Melbern L. (1910-1944) and one daughter Martha E. (1903-1976).

Heinrich (Henry) Weiss (1851-1888) emigrated with his parents Jakob Weiss (1817-1885) and Susanna Weiss née Disch (1821-1885) from Engi to America in 1871/72. He died in Humboldt county and is buried in Renwick.

Samuel Oswald Zentner (1872-1951) emigrated 1881 to Amerika and married 1894 in Lu Verne Verena Baumgartner (1873-1927 – see above). The couple had 4 sons, Samuel Oswald (1895-1968), William Mathias (1897-1966), Walter Henry (1903-1969) and John Frederick (1914-1979) and 3 daughters, Cloe Verena (1900-1984), Martha Mary (1906-2003), Berta Wilma (1909-1992).

Adam Edward Zweifel (1858-1923), born in New Glarus to Adam Zweifel (1819-1900) and Verena Zweifel née Dürst (1826-1865) who emigrated 1853 to New Glarus, married 1886 in Humboldt county Mary Elzora Foster (1865-1933). They had 3 sons, James Albert (1891-1990), John Henry (1893-1987) and Adam Foster (1901-1960) and 4 daughters, Anna Mae (1887-1951), Hattie Elizabeth (1891-1990), Mary Lois (1897-1971) and Esther Verena (1899-1979). 

Adam’s older sister Magdalena Zweifel (1854-1935) married Heinrich (John Henry) Klasse (1845-1897) who emigrated 1868. The couple had 3 sons, John Henry (1874-1932), Adam Edward (1878-1961) and Leon (1897-1918) and one daughter, Anna Barbara (1881-1951).

Adam’s older brother Johannes (John) Zweifel (1857-1926) married 1895 in Humboldt county Augusta Caroline Ruehl (1867-1937). They had 3 sons, John (1897-1897), Fred John (1905-1959) and Henry Thomas (1908-1986) and one daughter, Louise A. (1903-1996).

The younger sister Ursula Julia Zweifel (1861-1887) married 1880 in Vernon Karl William Meier (1851-1938). The couple had 2 daughters and one son.

Useful Links for Renwick and Luverne

Link to the Platbook Vernon Township, Luverne, Renwick 1896

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