Marx D. Hauberg.

Memoirs of Marx D. Hauberg : being a personal narrative of the immigration of his parents and their children from Schleswig-Holstein, 1848; a year's life and travel via New York, Pittsburgh; in Tennessee, Alabama and Kentucky, and life in Rock Island County, Ill., and Scott County, Iowa, 1849 to 192 online

. (page 1 of 12)
Online LibraryMarx D. HaubergMemoirs of Marx D. Hauberg : being a personal narrative of the immigration of his parents and their children from Schleswig-Holstein, 1848; a year's life and travel via New York, Pittsburgh; in Tennessee, Alabama and Kentucky, and life in Rock Island County, Ill., and Scott County, Iowa, 1849 to 192 → online text (page 1 of 12)
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COUNTY, IOWA, 1849 TO 1 923

Privately printed






UR people were Schleswig-Holsteiners. I
as born September 29, 1837, in Lustigen

that time Denmark, now Prussia, Ger-
many.. When I was one year old my folks moved
to Kieler Raisdorf. I went to school when I was seven
years old, with a song book and primer under my arm.
I went to school there three years. When I was eight
years old I broke my right leg, close to the body, from
which I lay in bed five weeks and five weeks I walked
on crutches.

School would open in the morning with song and
prayer ; then the teacher would exhort and explain dif-
ferent phrases from the Bible for a half hour — the
same as in Sunday School here in America. I never
had an arithmetic nor a geography in school. We had
to learn so many verses of a hymn and of the Bible
every week. When there was a funeral in the village
the school children sang at the house, before the corpse
was taken to the church. The church was at Preetz,



one German mile away. It would be four and one-half
miles in America. Everybody walked.

Father worked mostly in the timber. It was called
the "Vogelsang" forest. This land belonged to the
Government. Enough timber was cut in the fall to

The Public School which I attended, 1844 to 18-17, inclusive
.11 Raisdorf.

supply the demand, and during the year young trees
were planted to equal or exceed the number cut down
in the fall. The last three years we were there I helped
father plant young trees, one year old. Father dug the
holes and I set the trees in. Oak, beech, ash and willow
were planted mostly. Father was in charge of the
work, and when more men were needed he superin-
tended them. The nursery where they planted the
seeds and started the trees had a high fence around it
so the deer could not get in and crop off the young


trees. The fence was a high dirt bank or wall, five or
six feet high with brush growing on top of it so the
deer could not jump over it. They had lots of deer
there, and they were so tame I got 'within just a few
yards of one of them one time.

They had three markets a year in Kiel. "Fastlom"
or Shrove Tuesday on the 14th of February, " Johannis"
or St. John's Market on June 24th, and "Magalis" or
St. Michael's Market on the 29th of September, They
sold everything imaginable : horses, cattle, hogs, veget-
ables, clothing, boots, shoes, harness, wood, turf, coal,
fruits, etc. It was customary at the June Market for
people who did not have much to buy a pig, and in
September four or five would club together and buy a
beef cow.

It was the custom for the women to go to market.






n ti

i*™itf p f^p *' ^

Village scene, Raisdorf. My uncle, Marx Hauberg, lived in
the thatched cottage in the left foreground.


Mother would come home carrying a little pig under
her arm. It would be tied up in a sack, and we chil-
dren would play with it. We fed the pig slop, ground
barley and peas, and goat's milk. Every poor family
kept a goat for milk. By Christmas time the pig would
have grown to a weight of 200 pounds or more and
would be butchered. Father would go in with four or
five neighbors and buy a beef. He knew how to butcher
and they would share the meat. They would take turn
about carrying the hide to Kiel and stop at every
"Gasthaus" for a drink. They would sell the hide
and divide the money.

At Christmas time we children would make what
was called a "Rummel pot," made by stretching a blad-
der across the mouth of an earthen jar and having a
stick run through it. When you worked the stick it
gave off a loud noise. You could hear it nearly half
a mile. A crowd of fifteen or twenty of us would get
together and go from house to house with these rum-
mel-pots or drums. We would rattle them and then
sing Christmas carols and then wait for the folks to
come out and give us something. Sometimes they gave
us "Meh," a drink made with honey, or they would
give us a "Sesling" which was one cent.

March 14th, 1848, we had a sale in the forenoon and
sold our household goods, had dinner with Uncle Marx,
father's oldest brother, and that afternoon went to
Kiel. A young man by the name of Roggenkampf
hauled our trunks and boxes. We staid over night with



mother's brother, Clement Griese. This same day
Schleswig-Holstein had its first battle, as rebels, with
Denmark for the same reason that America rebelled
against England in 1775. Father's youngest brother,
Joachim, and a brother of the man who brought us to

The Stadt Kirche at Preetz which we attended.

Kiel were in that battle in a Dragoon Regiment, Cav-
alry. After this man had brought us to Kiel that
afternoon he rode out to the battlefield, returned to
Kiel the next morning about fifteen minutes before
train time, and reported both young men were all
right. Father wanted to know how his brother had
fared in the battle.

We left Kiel at 9:30 in the morning and arrived in
Hamburg at 11 :30 and had dinner and supper with


mother's oldest brother, Marx Griese, a blacksmith by
trade. After supper we went to the wharf, where a
boat was waiting to take us to the ship in the harbor.
Mother bid her two brothers goodbye for the last
time. Mother took it pretty hard. We got on the

The Smithj oi Marx Clemenl Griese, nrrj grandfather, ;\t
Elmschi nhagen, Holstein.

ship just before dark. The other people who were
going with us were already there, thirty-five in all.
We were seven in our family, including mother's sister
Doris, father and mother, brother Jergem Detlef, my
two sisters Doris and Lena, and myself.

The ship left the harbor somtime during the night.
The next morning, when we got on deck, we could just
see a glimpse of the land back of us. We came in a
sail-ship to New York in thirty-five days. One night,



during the voyage, a terrific storm took the top off the
hatch and the water just poured in on us. Before they
could get the top on again we were in two feet of
water. There were from three to four hundred pas-
sengers down there; and if there were any who had
never prayed to God before, they prayed that night.

We were in quarantine in New York harbor one
day, there being three sick people on board. Mother's
sister, Doris, was one of them. We stayed in New
York three days. The second day mother's sister
was released from the hospital. We left New York
in the afternoon and arrived in Philadelphia the next
morning, where we stayed a day and a night, leaving
in a railroad car drawn by two horses through the
city. Outside of the city the cars were hooked onto
a locomotive that took us as far as the mountains.
There the cars were attached to a cable and pulled
up the mountain. There were three passenger cars.
Half way up the mountain Ave met three coal cars
coming down. On top of the mountain the cars were
again drawn by a locomotive for a short distance ;
then we went down the mountain without the loco-

When we got over the mountains we travelled on
a canal boat for two days, then on the train again
for a while, then on a canal boat again for three days
to Pittsburg. On the last boat we met about an equal
number of Irish immigrants. They and the Germans
got into a fight, the Irish women fought the same as



the men, and the boatmen put up a partition of soap
boxes. We stayed in Pittsburg a day and a night.
Here the women saw yellow corn meal for the first
time, and remarked "How wise the people are in
America; they mix the eggs right with the flour; we
must have some of that." When they got it they baked
pancakes. Nobody liked the pancakes, and they thought
it was a 'sell'.

From Pittsburg we went down the Ohio River on
a steam boat to Paducah, Kentucky, and stayed there
three days, then got on a boat again and went up the
Tennessee River to Tuscumbia, Alabama, where we
stayed over night, and the next morning got on the
train to go to Decatur, Alabama, a distance of forty
miles. We boarded the train about 8 o'clock that
morning and rode all day, stayed over night in a little
town, and arrived in Decatur about 11 o'clock a. m.
the next day (one day and a half to travel forty miles) .
There were no coaches, only flat cars, and we sat on
boxes. The roadbed was like all other railroad beds;
but the rails were two-by-fours of wood nailed to the
ties, with a wagon tire spiked to the rails. It was
blackberry time and we boys would get off and pick
a cap-full of blackberries, then run and catch up with
the train and get on. When the engineer saw us he
would speed up ; then the cars would get off the track
and it would take some time to get them on again.
There was an extra car with hand-spikes, blocks and
six negroes to put cars back on the tracks.



We stayed at Decatur two days, waiting for a
steamboat to take us to Kingston, Tennessee, fifty
miles below Knoxville. We left Decatur June 21st.
The weather was very hot. We were on the boat three
days. The last day, the 23rd, my younger sister,
Lena, died. She was three years old. A young boy,
two years old, died; and an old lady, coming with her
son's family, after sweeping the floor, sat down in
a chair to rest and died with the broom in her hand.
All three were buried in the Presbyterian Cemetery
at Kingston on June 24th, 1848. A Methodist Prot-
estant minister by the name of George Yost preached
the funeral sermon. We still have his certificate of

We stayed in Kingston two days ; then moved to
Wartburg, about twenty miles from Kingston, with
three mule teams, six mules to a team. We forded
one river. In Wartburg, where we stayed three weeks,
we saw our first Fourth of July celebration. We did
not understand the meaning of the noise in the mor-
ning. I had to find out. I could already understand
some English and talk a little.

There was nothing doing in Wartburg, so fathter
and a man by the name of Pender, went to Knoxville
to work. They helped make pipes and lay them.
Logs from one and one-half to two feet thick, with
holes bored through them, laid end to end, were used
to pipe water to the city from a spring some distance



We had lived in Wartburg about three weeks when
the boss came, a man by the name of Nerga. My
folks, while in Germany, had hired out to work for
this man in America. He had a big farm in Germany.
American agents told him he could do better in Ame-
rica ; that he had better sell and come to Tennessee ;
Tennessee was mountainous ; there were gold, silver,
copper, zinc, lead, coal — all kinds of minerals in
the mountains ; all that was lacking was labor to get
it out. So Nerga sold his farm for $50,000.00 and
hired men in Germany to get out the gold and silver.
He hired six married men with families, four single
men, two young maiden ladies. These men had var-
ious occupations — one was a carpenter, one was a
millwright and a miller, one was a blacksmith, one,
a shoemaker, one a weaver, one a forester (father was
the forester) and the rest were farmers; in fact, they
were all Jacks-of -all-trades.

Nerga bought a farm ten miles above Kingston
on the Tennessee River — three thousand acres. About
four hundred acres were bottom land, three islands
in the river, and the rest was mountain land, the right,
and the ferry boat also — it was called Penrock Ferry
— for $30,000.00. He got all the implements, horses,
cattle, hogs, poultry and the Post Office in the bargain.
Tennesee being a slave state, the man he bought of
had slaves. When the men and negroes had moved
out, we moved in.

There was a blacksmith shop close to the river, tools



and all, also in the bargain. All the mechanics had
brought their tools with them from Germany, so the
blacksmith shop was well stocked with tools. The
blacksmith went right to work and had all the work
he could do.

Father superintended the farm work for about three
or four weeks, until the other fellows learned what
to do. After that he helped the blacksmith and ran
the ferry-boat, which was rowed across the river
with oars.

I went to school in a private house for six weeks.
The man who taught me was from the North. He
was the only native American I knew who could read
and write. He was also a Justice of the Peace. His
name was Graves. Mr. Nerga had a large house, with
one big room, and I taught school in that room. I did
not know much, but my pupils knew less. I knew
about as much then as I know now. I also acted as
Postmaster. I was the only one in the bunch who
could speak and read English. I was also interpreter
for the boss. Every Saturday I went to Kingston
on horseback, ten miles, to get the mail. When the
boss had business anywhere, I went along to talk for
him. I was a good scholar in Germany for a boy
ten years old. We learned the English letters in school
there. In writing and reading, all I had to do was
to translate them, and that was not hard to do.

We all lived in a log cabin, with a big fire place
and a large wooden chimney. Everybody cooked and


baked in the fire place in a kettle. Our chimney
caught fire twice while we lived there and we had
to push it over, to keep the house from burning up,
and build a new one. It was built of split sticks
plastered with clay.

When we had lived there about nine months the
blacksmith and father got into a mix-up with some
moonshiners from over the river. The blacksmith and
father were ironing a wagon box across the road from
the shop. These moonshiners had six horses hitched
to their wagon and drove squarely against the wagon
box that father and the blacksmith were working on.
The blacksmith said to the moonshiners (there were
two of them) in German, "I should think the road is
wide enough to go by without running over the box",
when one of the fellows jumped at the blacksmith, to
hit him with his fist; but he was too slow. The black-
smith picked him up and threw him against a rail
fence. The rail broke and the fellow's head went be-
tween the upper and lower rails and his face was
skinned. The upper rail had to be lifted to get the
fellow out.

The moonshiners were loaded with alcohol and were
going to Kingston. In Kingston they got a warrant
and had father and the blacksmith arrested for murder
— or trying to commit murder. The man's face was
scratched up, all bloody and his clothes too. He had
not washed the blood from his face or his clothes and
looked as if somebody had tried to murder him.



The next morning after the mix-up a constable and
two more men came from across the river and arrested
father and the blacksmith. They brought two extra
horses for the two to ride. One of the men came after
me — I was at home. He told me to come along ; that
they had the two arrested, and wanted me to talk for
them. "Get right on here, behind me," he said and
I got on. They used their own ferry boat to ferry us
over the river. There were two ferry boats — one on
each side of the river. Each ferried across what came
on his side but took nothing back with him. It was
getting dark. We rode about eight miles through the
timber and it got dark as pitch. The man I rode with
was ahead, the criminals next, and the constable and
the other fellow brought up the rear.

Everything was ready for the trial. The Squire
read the warrant, then asked them if they were guilty.
I said "No". "Bub, how do you know", said the
Squire, "ask them"? I said "I know they wont plead
guilty." Then the Squire said, "Proceed; go ahead."
He said to the two moonshiners, "Get up, hold up
your hands", and swore them in. They had no lawyer.
The squire asked the questions. When they were
through telling their story, he told father and the
blacksmith to get up and hold up their hands. I said,
"Do you want me too?" He said, "No, you are too
young." I think the two of them did not understand
a word he said.

Father told mother the whole story in the evening



of the day it happened, while we were eating supper,
and I took it all in. When the man who was hurt was
telling his story — how the blacksmith threw him
against the fence and broke it — I said, "Didn't you
try to hit him first?" The Squire said, "Bub, you
keep still." I said, "Yes, he did." The Squire said,
"Bub, if you don't keep still I will put you in the other
room." I said, "He did," and he put me in the other
room. I was not sorry, for his family lived there
and the lady asked me if I had had supper. I said
"No," and she gave me something to eat : corn bread
and fried pork.

"While I was eating the Squire came in and told me
to come back. The lady said, "Let him eat his supper."
"All right," said the Squire, and he stayed there and
asked me all I knew about the case and I told him what
father had told mother at the supper table — how it
happened. When we got back in the Court room he
told father he was clear — he did not find him guilty.
"I find you guilty and put you under $1,000.00 bond,"
he said to Penter, the blacksmith. Then he told
father and me we could go home.

Father said to me, "Tell the Squire we want a horse
to ride home." I told him and he said, "I have no
horse." I told father what he said. Father said, "Tell
him we had a horse to ride when we came here and we
want one to ride back home." I told the Squire this.
Then he told one of the men there to let us have a
horse; so we got a horse but no saddle. Father said,



"Tell him we want a saddle." I told the Squire this
and he said to the fellow, "Get him a saddle," and he
did. The Squire said, "Bub, you tell the boss to come
over tomorrow and sign a bond and the blacksmith
can go back home with you."

When we got to the river we tied the horse to the
rail fence and took their skiff to cross the river. To
get to our home we had to pass the home of the boss
and father stopped to tell him what the squire had
said. This was about 3 :00 o'clock in the morning.
At about 7:00 o'clock the boss sent for me. He was
all ready; told me to get on. I told him we should
take another horse with us for the blacksmith to ride
home. He got another horse and I rode it. Father
ferried us across the river. We took the horse with
us that we had tied to the fence, but it broke away
and ran home. When we got there the boss signed
and the blacksmith came home with us.

Everything was all right for about three or four
weeks, then Court opened. Squire Graves, our neigh-
bor, told the blacksmith he had to go to Kingston ;
Court was in session. Father and I went with him.
I was to do the talking. Squire Graves also went with
us. He was the Court Bailiff. They found a doctor
in Kingston who could speak German, so they had no
more use for me in Court.

Father and the blacksmith walked to and from
Kingston every morning and evening during Court
— ten miles — and reported to the boss. The second



day the doctor told them they should make application
to become citizens of the United States, which they did.
When they reported this to the boss in the evening,
he said, "I did that the day before — I did not tell you
to do that. That puts you on an equal footing with me.
You had better get out."

''I will see you about it in the morning," father said.

The next morning father asked him if he meant what
he said. He said he did. Then father said to him,
"When this trial is over, we will move."

"I am sorry to see you go," said the boss, "but I
can't take back what I said."

"Well," father said, "if you don't take back what
you said we will go." The trial was put off for about
a week. Before they had a hearing the blacksmith was

When they came home that evening father asked
the boss for a yoke of oxen and a cart to haul our goods
to the river bank. He let him have a yoke.

"Will you leave Marx here with me?" he said to
father, "I will treat him as my own boy and send him
to college." Father said, "No, I will take him along."
I think father and the blacksmith had about $7.50
between them. We stayed one day on the river bank,
before a boat came down from Knoxville to take us
to Decaaur, Alabama. We then came on to Davenport,

The contract they had made in Germany with Mr.
Nerga was that each should have a house to live in,


such as was customary in the country they moved to —
which was a log house — the use of one cow, a three-
hundred pound hog and four dollars in money per
month. Mother was to have seven cents a day when
she worked, and I got five cents a day.

The kettle we brought from Tennessee, in which mother did the family cooking.

Mother's sister died of a fever about a month before
we left Tennessee.

I remember mother baked bread on the river bank
in an iron kettle. She set the kettle on hot coals,
turned the lid of the kettle upside down and put hot
coals on top. We have the kettle yet, or else my son
John H. Hauberg has it. We had two tripods. We
did all our own cooking on our travels. We came down



the river on the boat Tippicanoe. All our trunks and
boxes that we had brought with us from Germany,
and in addition two cane bottom chairs and a dog,
we carried with us to Moline. We had the dog on the
farm until he died of old age. We called him "Pack-
an", — "Take hold."

We were three days on the boat going to Decatur.
We lacked $2.50 in having enough money to pay our
fare. I told the Captain to keep one of our boxes
until he got his pay. "Take them along," he said, "you
can pay me when I come back."

Father and Penter did all kinds of work while in
Decatur, mostly digging cellars by contract ; also hand-
ling freight, it being the terminal of the railroad and
the steambot. The first time the boat came back, when
we heard it whistle in the evening as it landed, father
and I went on board and pa^d the Captain. Father
gave him three dollars and he gave father back one
dollar. "We owed you two and half," father said.
"Two dollars is enough," he said "I did not think you
would pay me so soon."

We stayed four weeks in Decatur. From there we
went to Paducah, Kentucky. We boarded the train
in the morning and got to Tuscombia, Alabama, in
the afternoon; just half the time it took us when we
made the trip from Tuscumbia to Decatur on the same
road. At Tuscumbia we took a steamboat to Paducah,
Kentucky. In paying our fare at Paducah we were
four dollars short, and father borrowed the money


from the hotel man, where we stayed when we went
to Tennessee.

At Paducah we went to the foundry to look for work.
I asked for work for the two. "What can they do?"
the boss said. I said, "This man is a blacksmith and
this man can help, or he can do almost any kind of
work around here." The boss handed me a piece of
steel and said, "Tell the blacksmith to make a cold
chisel from that."

I handed it to the blackmith and told him what the
boss said. He looked at it and said, "That is no good ;
it is burned." He threw it down and looked around
for another piece. He picked up another piece of steel
and I asked the boss if he could use that. The boss
said he could, and he made a cold chisel from that and
handed it to the boss, who tried it. It was all right.
I heard father and the blacksmith say they would like
to have a dollar a day, when we went to the foundry.

"How much does he want a day?" the boss asked.
I said, "One dollar and a half." The boss said, "All
right, he can go to work right away."

Then the boss said, "What can he do?" meaning
father. "He can help the blacksmith," I said. "How

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Online LibraryMarx D. HaubergMemoirs of Marx D. Hauberg : being a personal narrative of the immigration of his parents and their children from Schleswig-Holstein, 1848; a year's life and travel via New York, Pittsburgh; in Tennessee, Alabama and Kentucky, and life in Rock Island County, Ill., and Scott County, Iowa, 1849 to 192 → online text (page 1 of 12)