Dearborn Times Herald -Wednesday, November 26,1975 Legacy of local Germans remains
Editor's Note: This is yet another in a series of articles by Times-Herald staffer, Helene J. Pierce investigating Dearborn's ethnic make-up and heritage. This series will appear weekly, and is tied in with the Bicentennial celebration.
WHEN THE GERMAN PIONEERS CAME TO SPRINGWELLS TOWNSHIP and Greenfield they found the Ottawas, Pottowatornies and Chippewa Indians living along the' Rouge River. They had to learn to live on whatever was readily available in their new surroundings. The earth was their treasure and farmers toiled the new ground in a never-ceasing struggle to wrestle a living from it. Gone are these pioneers but their legacy remains. '
As the writer of this series I'm convinced that much good will come from it. It has not only been approved by the Dearborn Bicentennial Commission and added to the Bicentennial Master Register files, but has caused much enthusiasm in looking up family records and making scrap books among those I've interviewed.
ONE YOUNG MAN with a complete family history is David Reckinger, 26, son of Mr. and Mrs. Dennis Reckinger, a member of the Detroit and Dearborn Genealogical Research Society. In his book on his ancestors, descendants and relatives is a copy of a deed to 76.32 acres of land purchased by Francois and Magdalena Reckinger for $5,900. Francois is buried under Schaefer road. When the street was widened it was Magdalena's wish that his remains be in its original burial ground. Also in David's possession are his grandmother Tillie's holy cards of early pioneers who died, a copy of the Nicholas Reckinger Will, and the family coat of arms.
David is the grandson of Tillie (Odelia Boehmer) and Howard Reckinger, close friends of the Ford family. Tillie was the daughter of Anthony and Mary Catherine (Korte) Boehmer who had five children - Casper married Rose Schaefer; Joseph, Flossie Reckinger; Mary, John Schlaff, Tillie, Howard Reckinger; and Matt, Anna Reuter.
Mary Korte's mother was Elizabeth Maurer; her father John Peter Korte, the first to settle in this area in 1837 on a farm across what is now ' the St. Alphonsus Activities Building. It was later sold to John Horger who came in 1839.
The Reckingers were descendants of early pioneer families - the Horgers, Theisens, Espers, Schlaffs, Reuters, and Henn for whom our east Dearborn streets have been named.