The Boßecker Newsletter

Volume 2 Issue 3 Summer 1997



Front Row [Left - Right]: Emilie (Bosecker) Vogel, Frederika (Graesch) Bosecker, Franz {Frank} Bosecker & Ida (Bosecker) Wiebking.
Second Row [Left - Right]: Barbara (Bosecker) Kleinschmidt, Gustav Bosecker, Emma (Bosecker)(Lancaster) Lacer, Frank Bosecker Jr., Helena Bosecker.
Back Row [Left - Right]: Martha (Bosecker) Bringwald & Fred Strauss.


This month The Boßecker Newsletter will direct its attention to the 3rd son of the immigrants Johannes & Louisa (Thomin) Boßecker.

Franz Peter Bosecker was born in Preble Township in Adams County, Indiana on a Sunday, 17 June 1849. A week later, on 24 Jun 1849, the baby was baptized at Zion Lutheran Church-Friedheim also in Preble Township in Adams County, Indiana.

Above is the baptism as written in Zion-Friedheim's Parish Record.

I believe the above translates to:

17th June Franz Peter 24th June
the father: Johannes Boßecker
the mother: Louisa, born Tomin
the sponsors. 1) Casper Sander 2) Peter Boßecker

For some reason the usual tradition of using both sponsor's names to christen the child was not utilized by the parents.

So what was the relationship of the sponsors to Johannes and Louisa? In the 1850 census, Casper Sander is the next entry after Johannes's family; he was a close neighbor. Peter Boßecker's exact relationship with Johannes is still unknown but I think it is fair to say that they were closely related; most likely a brother, an uncle or a 1st cousin.

I do think it is significant that the immigrant, Peter Boßecker, was involved in the sacrament. I believe it shows that there was interaction between the Johannes and Peter Boßecker families despite the fact that they lived some distance apart.

At the time of his birth, Franz (Frank) was the 5th child born to Johannes & Louisa and the second since the family arrived in the United States. During the next 17 years Louisa had 9 more children!

It is difficult for me to imagine what it must have been like to live in this house as more and more children arrived. The eldest child of the family, Caroline, was 8 years old when Frank was born. The only other girl in the family had died shortly after the family's arrival in the USA. No doubt Caroline was expected to do a lot of the domestic chores and to help with the younger children. Another girl did not arrive at the household until Caroline was 15 years old.

While I suspect that Frank and the other boys had to help inside also, they probably helped their father with the crops and animals on the farm.

In the 1850 agricultural census, Johannes has 25 acres of ground that is improved and 35 acres unimproved. Over the next 10 years an additional 15 acres is cleared. I suspect that Frank and his brothers would have helped with this task as they got older.

In 1869, Frank and his older brother Lewis [1843-1901] are living in Fort Wayne. Frank is working as a helper in a railroad blacksmith shop. Lewis is working as a carpenter with Peter Boßecker's son Charles [1834 -1900].

The following year Frank's brothers, Lewis, William [1847-1914] and Henry [1852-1887] are all living in Fort Wayne and Frank has moved back with his parents in Adams County. Perhaps Johannes asked Frank to come back to help with the farm... or perhaps Frank missed seeing a girl that he had met at church in Adams County. The young lady's name was Margaretha Friedericka Graesch [1853 - 1934] and she was known as Friedericka.

Below is Friederike's baptism as written in Zion-Friedheim's Parish Record.

I believe it translates to:

13th December Margaretha Friedericka 26th December
the father: Johannes Gräsch the mother: Gertraud born Guttemuth
the sponsors. Margaretha Gräsch and Friedericka Feiler

In 1871, Frank's father and Friedericka's father moved their families to near Cowling Station in Wabash County, IL. Here these families, along with others, formed a new church which became St John's German Evangelical Lutheran of Cowling, IL.

On 4 Apr 1872, Frank and Friedericka were wed by Pastor George Mohr in the 2nd wedding recorded in St John's Parish Register. Pastor Mohr had become Frank's brother-in-law when he married Frank's sister, Louise Bosecker, in the first marriage recorded in St John's records.

Almost exactly 9 months later, on 3 Jan 1873, Frank & Friedericka's first child was born. Hannah Louise Gertraud (Bosecker) Strauss [1873 - 1895] was baptised at St John's on 26 Jan 1873.

Frank and Friedericka lived in Wabash County for the next 7 years during which time they had 2 more children, Gustav Johannes Bosecker [1875 - 1945] and Franz Peter Valentine Bosecker [1877 - 1958].

In late 1879 Frank moved his family to Vincennes, IN. The Boseckers were gone from Wabash County, IL for about a year. For at least part of that time the Boseckers lived on the south-west corner of 8th and Shelby street while Frank took up the trade of butcher. This location is within a block of St John's Lutheran Church of Vincennes, IN and it appears that the Boseckers attended church there during the time they resided in Vincennes as we find the birth, baptism and death of Heinrich Wilhelm Bosecker recorded in the parish records of this church.

Heinrich Wilhelm Bosecker was born on New Years Eve 1879 and baptised on 11 Jan 1880. Three months later, on March 8th, the parish records note that little Heinrich Wilhelm passed away and was buried the following day. The location of his grave is unknown.

By November of 1880 Frank and his family have returned to Wabash County, IL. The records of St John's German Evangelical Lutheran of Cowling, IL note that Frank & Friedericka took communion in April of 1879 and then did not partake again until November of 1880.

Heinrich Wilhelm was the last son born to Frank and Friedericka. During the next 14 years 6 daughters arrived: Emma Susanna (Bosecker)(Lancaster) Lacer [1881 - 1971], Ida Katharina (Bosecker) Wiebking [1883 - 1956], Barbara Louise Wilhelmina (Bosecker) Kleinschmidt [1886 - 1954], Helena Sophia Margaretha Bosecker [1889 - 1962], Martha Marie Anna (Bosecker) Bringwald [1891 - 1988] and Emilie Anna Barbara (Bosecker) Vogel [1895 - 1969].Out of 10 children born to Frank & Friedericka, 9 survived to adulthood.

On 15 Nov 1894 Frank & Friedericka's oldest child, Hannah, married Karl Wilhlem Strauss [1869 - ?]. On 29 Mar 1895, Hannah gave birth to a son, Friedrich (Fred) Matthias Strauss [1895 - 1975]. About 4 months later Hannah died.

I can't imagine how Frank & Friedericka dealt with this tragedy. As Friedericka was 8 months pregnant when her oldest child passed away, there was little time to grieve. In the 1900 census, Fred Strauss is listed as a member of Frank & Friedericka's household. All the evidence that I have collected so far seems to indicate that Fred was raised in the Frank Bosecker household.

Instead of aunts and uncles, Fred Strauss had the relationship of brothers and sisters. Indeed, as noted above, Friedericka is pregnant when Hanna (Bosecker) Strauss dies. Fred's aunt (Frank & Friedericka's youngest daughter), Emilie Anna Barbara (Bosecker) Vogel was 4 months younger than Fred! So Frank & Friedericka, at the ages of 46 & 41 respectively, begin raising the equivalent of twins!

The 1890's must have been stressful times for Frank & Friedericka. Friedericka's mother, Gertrude (Guthemuth) Graesch [1811-1891] died on 6 Jan 1891. Friedericka's father, John Graesch [1812-1884] had died a bit earlier on 19 Apr 1884. As mentioned above Hannah died in 1895. On 23 Sep 1896 Frank's father, Johannes Boßecker [1816-1896] died and on 17 Feb 1898 Frank's mother, Louisa (Thomin) Boßecker [1823-1898] died.

Daughter Hannah and both sets of parents are buried at the St John's Lutheran cemetery just north of Cowling, IL.

Over the next few years Frank & Friedericka were present for all of their children's weddings. Gustav was married on 20 Apr 1898, Emma on 10 Aug 1901, Ida on 26 May 1903, Frank Jr. on 25 Aug 1904, Martha on 14 Sep 1913, Emilie on 21 Sep 1919 & Barbara on 15 Feb 1920.

Frank Peter Bosecker died on Christmas Eve 1921. The Parish Records noted the cause as herzschlag or heart attack. He was buried on 27 Dec 1921 in St John's Lutheran Cemetery just north of Cowling, IL.

On 5 Jul 1934, Friedericka (Graesch) Bosecker died. Again the Parish Records attributed the death to herzschlag. She was buried next to her husband on 8 Jul 1934.


Here are a couple more Boßecker descendant veterans that I missed in the last 2 issues.

George Washington Bosecker [1876-1930], United States Army, B-2 Arkansas Infantry
Spanish-American War.
Grandson of Johannes Boßecker.

Lloyd Bosecker [Born: 1932], United States Army,
Korean War. GG-Grandson of Johannes Boßecker.


It seems appropriate to note members of the family who have been ministers. I would appreciate information from my readers detailing family members who have been involved in this calling. A list similar to the Boßecker veterans list will be published in the future.


The St Johns Evangelical Lutheran Church located at Cowling, IL no longer is an active congregation. The building that housed the congregation is gone. Does anyone have a photograph of the church?


Elizabeth Ann (Betty) Buss [24 May 1935 - 6 Mar 1997], gg-granddaughter of Johannes Boßecker passed away at Edina, MN at the age of 61 years, 9 months and 10 days.

Frank Lonergan [11 Sep 1922 - 31 May 1997], great-grandson-in-law of Johannes Boßecker passed away at the age of 74 years, 8 months and 20 days.


Jacob Ryan Dodrill, gggg-grandson of Karl Boßecker, was born in Seattle, WA on 11 Mar 1997.

The following ggggg-grandchildren of Peter Boßecker are the first known triplets to occur in the family.

Born on 27 May 1997 in Columbus, OH:

Michaela Claire Boseker
Hannah Kate Boseker
James Jared Boseker

Taylor Danielle Paul, gggg-grandaughter of Johannes Boßecker was born on 12 Jul 1997.


Al Buss, brother of the late "Betty" Buss, informed me in early June that he has found a set of labeled photographs of Johannes & Louisa (Thomin) Boßecker in the effects of his late sister. It seems that Betty had a few old family photographs and I examined them in mid July while on a layover in Minneapolis-St Paul, MN (Al & Audry (Quick) Buss were kind enough to bring the photos over to my hotel for me to look at during my short visit.)

In addition to the photos of the immigrant, there were photographs of Maria Louise (Bosecker) Mohr [1854-1943], Ida Margaretha (Bosecker) Graesch [1861-1943], George Valentine Kirsch Sr [1837-1917], Christinea (Fink)(Rodrian) Kirsch [1840-1919], George Valentine Kirsch Jr [1872-1960], Karl Wilhelm Bosecker [1876-1960], Ida Marie Sophie (Bosecker) Koch [1881-1968], Katharina Maria (Kirsch) Hering [1888-1917], Karl Valentine Kirsch [1889-1974], Anna Christine (Kirsch) Reisinger [1891-1952] & Emma Christine Elisabeth (Kirsch) Broeker [1893-1960].

I am in the process of making copies of these photographs and some will be published in future newsletters as well as posted on The Boßecker Web Site on the internet.


The Boßecker Web site on the internet has generated some promising leads.

One comes from Robert Thomin of Hamilton, OH. As my readers may recall, the immigrant Johannes Boßecker's wife's maiden name was Thomin. Indeed, Robert Thomin traces his Thomin ancestors back to Veilsdorf, Germany, the same village in Germany that the Boßeckers came from.

Robert is in contact with Thomins in Germany and I hope that these folks will provide some new information on the Boßeckers while they were in Germany.

Another development comes from Germany itself. I received an e-mail message from a fellow by the name of Steve Noon. Steve is an American married to a German woman who has Boßeckers in her family tree. What makes this information even more intriguing is the fact that these Boßeckers lived only a couple of miles south of Veilsdorf, Germany. Again, I hope that these contacts will lead to more information on the Boßeckers before they left Germany.

This page was posted on 14 Sep 1997.

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