John Gerlach Reifenrath


John Gerlach Reifenrath

Cedar County, Nebraska, USA
Death 21 Mar 1956 (aged 86)
Wynot, Cedar County, Nebraska, USA
Burial Saint James, Cedar County, Nebraska, USA
Memorial ID 47386657 View Source
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SS. Philip & James Catholic Church, Observing 96 Years of Catholic Faith, 1906-2000, Page 86

John Gerlach and Julia Helena (Imoehl) Reifenrath

John G. Reifenrath was born October 6, 1869. His parents were Gerlach and Mary (Schmidt) Reifenrath who, homesteaded in Brookey Bottom in the early 1890's. He married Julia Helena Imoehl. She was born June 26, 1892 in Festina, Iowa. John and Julia were married in Festina, Iowa on October 22, 1900. They had 10 children Mary (Leander Gerleman), Lavina, Helen (Sister M. Aelreda), Rosalia (Francis Wieseler), Barbara (Louis Wieseler), Beatrice (Vincent Walters), Agatha (John J. Goeden), Alphons, Angela (Isadore Gubbels), and Joseph (Madonna Potts).

Julia died August 19, 1978, two months after her 96th birthday. John died March 21, 1956, on the feast of St. Benedict. He was 86 years old. Both are buried in SS. Philip and James Cemetery.


SS. Philip & James Catholic Church, Observing 96 Years of Catholic Faith, 1904-2000, Pages 87-88

A Writing by John G. Reifenrath, March 27, 1935

The following is a memoir as it was written by John G. Reifenrath when he was 65 years old. He had had only one year of schooling. This writing was found after his death and is reproduced here just as he wrote it.

just 54 years ago today March 27, 1891 the hard winter and lots of snow was when the Missure river whent on a rampage when the thick ice broke and gorged from near West Point up the river to Yankton, South Dakota and but all the low lands along the river under water and the riter of this was born on the Brooky Bottom where the water was from 4 to 20 ft. deap all over the bottom and the watter came so fast that people had no time save hardly anything. my Father allway an early riser and when he got up in the morning and heard the terabol roar from river but it was to dark to see anything but about 6 o'clock he wake us up and told Mother that the river was making an unusually loud rocked and Father went out doing chorse and Mother started to git Breakfast and while she was doing that she looked out throug the window to the North and she saw the water coming from the river from 2 to 4 ft. high. well then everything was excited. father was in the barn feeding the horsas and calves when it strock and he turned horsas loos and opened the barn and fastened the door so the horsas could git out and then he started for the house. he had to go throug the watter till over his hips and the watter wa so swift that he would have mist the house if if had not bin for the close line which was fastened to the house and a post of the cattal yard by the by this time he got in the house then was 2 ft. of water in the house Mother and I and my oldest Sister caried everything upstairs that we could cary and a box heating stove and took window pain out for the stove pip to go through. but in the afternoon the watter went down somewat down and Swan Anderson and Peat Wigger from lime crik came to git us but as the watter was going town we did not feel like going and they thought so to for thair was lots of dry spots arount the yard than so we could feel the stock but it did not last long for during the night to the 28th the water started to rise until it was again about 2 ft. deep in the house and it turned very cold with a ferce North West wint and it froze ice all over the bottom, cottle and horses were standing in the water middal belly deep froze in olive cottle starving in the water standing for about 11 days and than it got warm and the water took another rise of about of about 2 1/2 ft. which stayed up for about 1 day and then the gorge broke but most of the people where out of the bottom for people from all over the country helped getting them out which was quite difficult job on account of the ice. And when the watter went down with a roar when some of the buildings went My Uncle Pete Reifenrath buildings where all swept away and allso the C,Satories and all thair stock was swiped away and thair places where left bair and the Brooky Brothers, Frank and Charly lost all thair stock except the buildings and my Father lost all his cottle 64 head and some 70 hogs and 3 head of horsas and around 500 bu. of wheat and all the other farmers lost more or les of thair stock. John G. Reifenrath, Wynot Nebraska


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