Born in Hanover, Germany to Johann and Adelheid (Witte) Wrieden. Came to US when she was 5 with her parents. Her mother died on the ship coming over and was buried at sea. married Claus Ficken on August 15, 1868. Twelve children were born to Claus and Gesche. Following her husband's death in 1915, she eventually lived with her widowed daughter Maggie.