Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Tombstone Tuesday - the Bogenrief children

When he was about 11 years old, my great-grandfather Fred Buss moved with his family  from Wards Grove, Jo Daviess County, Illinois to Douglas Township, Sac County, Iowa.  Their friends and neighbors from Illinois, Solomon and Sophia (Phillips) Bogenrief had moved there a few years before and apparently encouraged them to come, too.

Fred mentions the Bogenriefs several times in his life story.  The first is in the opening, which I quoted from the other day.
This day I will write the history of my life to my four children: Elsie, Ella, Edith, and Hubert-all born on the farm in Douglas Township on section fifteen (15) south-west quarter, Sac County Iowa. Your mother was born on the north-east quarter of the same section in the same township, in 1877. I went to school with her brothers and sisters in Illinois seven or eight years before she was born. She had one sister about my age whose name was Elizabeth. We were in the same class and studied from the same book and I thought she was the nicest girl in school. But she died of typhoid fever October 3, 1880 in Iowa on section fifteen (15) in Douglas Township and I waited seventeen years and then I married her youngest sister, Maude Bogenrief in 1897. We spent forty-one years of happy life together and then she passed away and left me alone in this wide world like I was the first thirty-four years of my life.
I discovered the University of Iowa has some wonderful online digital archives of county maps.  I hadn't discovered a land patent in Iowa for the Buss family, so I thought I'd take a look at the 1907 Sac County Atlas, which included plat maps for each of the townships.  I found the Buss farm, just where Fred said it was, in the SW corner of section 15.

Fred helped build the church in section 16. My grandmother went to the school in section 9.
Fred had acquired more land by then, as you can see. The Peter Adolphsen farm, sandwiched between the two chunks of land Fred owned, actually belonged to Fred's little sister Lizzie. Lizzie and Peter Adolphsen, an immigrant from Sweden, had married in Dec 1897, but Peter died in 1905, leaving her a widow with three children at age 32.  In the 1870s, the Bogenriefs lived in the NE quarter-section owned by Ernest Markley in 1908, and that's where my great-grandmother, Maud Bogenrief was born.

By 1885, the Bogenriefs had moved south to Cedar Township.

I happened upon photos of Sol and Sophia's headstone this weekend as I searched Sac County cemeteries on the  FindaGrave website.

Photo by Sheila Bunting
There were also links to related individuals.  One was for a daughter, Amelia, who I had seen on the 1870 census (when they were still in Illinois) and who had just turned a year old. I hadn't seen her after that, so until I happened upon this photo and the links, I hadn't known anything else about her. Amelia apparently died in 1874, and there is a note that the headstone was broken.  No photo was supplied.

Then I saw a link for Elizabeth.

Notice the crooked, broken headstone
Elizabeth Bogenrief, 1864-1880
The information I got from FindaGrave got me filling in some dates for these two Bogenrief sisters.  That's when I realized there was a Bogenrief boy, Adam, b. abt 1867, who had also disappeared off the census before 1880.  I did another search for any Bogenriefs buried in Sac County and found that Adam was apparently buried in the same plot, but has no marker.

Solomon and Sophia Bogenrief had at least nine children, only six of whom survived to adulthood.  I don't know why it makes me especially sad to see the three who died were consecutive children.

John, b. Jul 1855
Catherine b. Jan 1857
Benjamin b. Dec 1858
Samuel b. Oct 1862
Elizabeth b. Aug 1864 d. Oct 1880
Adam b. abt 1867 d. bet 1870 and 1880
Amelia b. abt 1869 d. Mar 1874
George b Mar 1872
Mary Maud b. Jan 1877 (my great grandmother)

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