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Diana, Goddess of the Hunt for Ancestors!
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Johann Friederich Joseph STROEBE
Franziska WEIMER
Husband:  Johann Friederich Joseph STROEBE / STROBE
Birth:  15 Nov 1830 or Sep 1831, Grossbreitenbach, Ilm-Kries, Thuringia, DEU
Death:  5 Mar 1923, on Stroebe Island, Menasha Twp., Winnebago Co., WI
Occupation:  farmer
Migration:  22 Jul 1841, Bremen to New York on the ship, Helena
Father:  Johann Christian Gunther STROEBE
Mother:  Johanne Elizabethe Louise WILD
Marriage:  1856
Wife:  Franziska / Francisca / Frances WEIMER / WYMER
Birth:  May 1844, Nassau, DEU
Death:  1929, presumably on Stroebe Island, Menasha Twp., Winnebago Co., WI
Brother:  Friederich / Frederick "Fritz" WEIMER, b. 1827/8, Nassau, DEU
Father:  Lewis / Louis WEIMER  (c1800- )
Mother:  Susanna __?__ (c1800- )
born in KS:
1.  [Adolph?] Otto STROEBE, b. Sep 1857

born in the Village of Brown Deer, Granville Twp., Milwaukee Co., WI:
2.  Hannah / Hanna / "Hannschen" / Della STROEBE, b. 1860; m. Mr. BRIGGS
3.  Edmond / Edward STROEBE, b. 1862/3
4.  Emma STROEBE, b. 1866

born on Stroebe Island, Menasha Twp., Winnebago Co., WI:
5.  Harry H. STROEBE, b. 1868
6.  Frank C. STROEBE, b. 1871
7.  Henryette / Henriette STROEBE, b. 1873

Geographical Note:  the Duchy of Nassau is, today, partly in Hesse and partly in the Rhineland-Palatinate.
Keywords for search engines:  genealogy; FRG, Germany, Deutschland, Großbreitenbach, Thüringen, Saxony, Saxonia, Sachsen, Hessen, Rheinland-Pfalz; USA, US, United States, Kansas, Wisconsin

Sources (n.b., Appleton, Grand Chute Twp., Outagamie Co., is adjacent to and north of Menasha Twp., Winnebago Co., i.e., on opposite sides of the county line):

1.  Marriage Record:

2.  1850 Census Every-Name-Index/Images (online at Ancestry.com):  Joseph "STRAVER" (æ 21, b. Germany) is living in Germantown, Washington Co., WI (p. 101A), with his parents (q.v.).  Francisca WEIMER (æ 13, b. Germany) is living in Germantown, Washington Co., WI (p. 93A), with her parents, Lewis WEIMER (æ 50, b. Germany) and Susanna (æ 50, b. Germany), plus siblings, including older brother, "Fritz" WEIMER (æ 22, b. Germany) ["Fritz" is the pet form of Friederich].

3.  1860 Census Every-Name-Index/Images (online at Ancestry.com, Image #46 of 72):  West Granville P.O., Granville Twp., Milwaukee Co., WI, Roll M653_1420 (Book 1), p. 305, PN 43, 312/310, enumerated 15 Jun 1860, official enumeration date 1 Jun 1860 (extracted by Diana Gale Matthiesen):¤
Patrick OBrien 45 M   Farmer 3200 120 Ireland
Margaret   " 30 F   wife     "
Ellen      "  8 F         Mass
Patrick    "  2 M         Wisconsin
Michael 3/12 M         "
John Korninder 10 M         Bohemia
Joseph Strebel 28 M   Tavern Keeper 1200 500 Saxony
Francisca  " 23 F   wife     Nassau
Adolph     "  3 M         Wisconsin
Handschen  " 1/12 F         "
Rudolph Gunther 35 M   Laborer     Hesse Darmstadt
Obviously, our subjects were not the informants for this record, which we would not expect them to be as tenants; as is typical in the case of boarders, the information supplied by the landlord is not entirely accurate.  Could Otto have been Adolph Otto?  "Hannschen" is the diminutive (pet form) of Hanna, which is the German form of English Hannah.

4.  1870 Census Every-Name-Index/Images (online at Ancestry.com, Image #7 of 79):  Winchester P.O., Town[ship] of Menasha, Winnebago Co., WI, Roll M593_1745, p. 42A, PN 7, 52/48, enumerated 6 Jun 1870, official enumeration date 1 Jun 1870 (extracted by Diana Gale Matthiesen):¤
Strobe Joseph 36 M W Farmer 2000 500 Saxony
______ Frances 28 F W Keeping house     Nassau
______ Otto 12 M W att school     Kansas
______ Hannah  9 F W att school     Wisconsin
______ Edward  7 M W att school     Wisconsin
______ Harry  2 M W Att home     Wisconsin
Adam Michael 40 M W no occupation     Prussia
Where's Emma?  Listed next to Frances's brother, Frederick WEIMAR (æ 43, b. Nassau; wife Elizabeth, æ 33, b. Nassau).

5.  1880 Census Every-Name-Index/Images (online at Ancestry.com, Image #7 of 15):  Town[ship] of Menasha, Winnebago Co., WI, Roll T9_1452 (Book 2), p. 36C, PN 7, SD 4, ED 201, enumerated 5 Jun 1880, official enumeration date 1 Jun 1880 (extracted by Diana Gale Matthiesen):¤
1880:  for an explanation of the column headings, please see
What the Numbers in the Federal Census Mean (missing columns contained no data).
2 3 4 5 6 8 9 10 13 21 24 25 26
56 Stroebe Joseph W M 47     / Farmer   Prussia Prussia Prussia
  Stroebe Francis W F 40 Wife   / Keeping house   Prussia Prussia Prussia
  _______ Otto W M 22 Son /   Peddler   Kansas Prussia Prussia
  _______ Hannah W F 19 Dau /       Wisconsin Prussia Prussia
  _______ Edmond W M 16 Son /   Clerk in Store   Wisconsin Prussia Prussia
  _______ Emma W F 13 Dau /       Wisconsin Prussia Prussia
[next page]
56 Stroebe Harry W M 12 Son /   Works on Farm / Wisconsin Prussia Prussia
  _______ Frank W M  9 Son /     / Wisconsin Prussia Prussia
  _______ Henryette W F  5 Dau /     / Wisconsin Prussia Prussia
  Adam Michael W M 55 Boarder /   Trapper   Prussia Prussia Prussia
Emma was not with them in the 1870 census.  Is she adopted?

6.  1890 Census:  the 1890 Census Population Schedules were destroyed.

7.  1900 Census Every-Name-Index/Images (online at Ancestry.com, Image #11 of 14):  Menasha Town[ship], Winnebago Co., WI, Roll T623_1824 (Book 1), p. 93A, SN 6, SD 3, ED 124, enumerated __ Jun 1900, official enumeration date 1 Jun 1900 (extracted by Diana Gale Matthiesen):¤
1900:  for an explanation of the column headings, please see What the Numbers in the Federal Census Mean (missing columns contained no data).
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 19 20 22 23 24 25 26 27 28
109 113 Strobe Joseph Head W M Sep 1831 68 M 44     Ger Ger Ger 1850 50 Farmer   Y Y Y O F F 106
    Strobe Frances Wife W F May 1844 56 M 44 7 7 Ger Ger Ger 1850 50     Y Y Y        
    Strobe Harry Son W M Feb 1871 29 S       Wis Ger Ger     Farm Laborer 0 Y Y Y        
    Strobe Frank Son W M Mar 1874 26 S       Wis Ger Ger     Farm Laborer 0 Y Y Y        
Based on other sources, all the birthyears and ages are wrong.

8.  1910 Census Every-Name-Index/Images (online at Ancestry.com, Image #17 of 17):  Menasha Town[ship], Winnebago Co., WI, Roll T624_1743 (Book 2), p. 222A, SN 9A, SD 7, ED 122, enumerated 4 May 1910, official enumeration date 15 Apr 1910 (extracted by Diana Gale Matthiesen):¤
1910:  for an explanation of the column headings, please see What the Numbers in the Federal Census Mean (missing columns contained no data).
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 12 13 14 17 18 19 23 24
131 131 Strobe Joseph Head M W 82 M1 52 Ger German Ger German Ger German Eng none Own Income Y Y
    ______ Frances Wife F W 72 M1 52 Ger German Ger German Ger German Eng none   Y Y
Listed next to sons, Frank and Harry STROBE, who are next to son, Otto STROBE.

9.  1920 Census Every-Name-Index/Images (online at Ancestry.com, Image #9 of 14):  North County Line [Road], Menasha Town[ship], Winnebago Co., WI, Roll T625_2023 (Book 2), p. 5A, SN 5A, SD 5, ED 150, enumerated 21 Jan 1920, official enumeration date 1 Jan 1920 (extracted by Diana Gale Matthiesen):¤
1920:  for an explanation of the column headings, please see What the Numbers in the Federal Census Mean (missing columns contained no data).
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 17 18 19/21/23 20/22/24 25 26
* X 97 100 Stroebe Joseph Head F M W 90 M 1850 Na 1855 Y Y Saxony Ger German Y None
      _______ Francis Wife     F W 81 M 1847 Na 1853 Y Y Saxony Ger German Y None
*North County Line
Listed between sons, Harry H. STROEBE and Frank C. STROEBE.

10a.  Anon.  Tuesday, 6 Mar 1923.  "DEATHS: STROEBE FUNERAL."  Appleton Post-Crescent (Appleton, WI), p. 12 (online at Ancestry.com):
Funderal services for Joseph Stroebe, who died Monday morning, will be held from his home at 2 o'clock Wednesday afternoon and from Riverside chapel at 3 o'clock.  Dr. H. E. Peabody will have charge of the services.

10b.  Anon.  Tuesday, 17 Apr 1928.  "PARTIES." Appleton Post-Crescent (Appleton, WI), p. 9 (online at Ancestry.com):
Four generations were present at the party given for Mrs. Joseph "Grandma" Stroebe Sunday afternoon, in honor of her eighty ninth birthday anniversary.  Supper was served to 25 guests and an old fashioned musical was presented in the evening.  Mrs. Stroebe has three sons and three daughters, they are Harry Stroebe, Frank Stroebe, Mrs. Della Briggs, Mrs. Herman Everetts, Otto Stroebe of Los Angeles and Mrs. Leigh Bryan of Canada.

10c.  Lillian Mackesy.  Sunday, 1 Apr 1962.  "Wilderness Homestead of Joseph Stroebe to Leave Family's Hands after 96 Years." Appleton Post-Crescent (Appleton, WI) v. LIX, n. 85, p. D5 (online at Ancestry.com):
Wilderness Homestead of Joseph Stroebe To Leave Family's Hands After 96 Years

Residential Development Planned For 50 Families of 46-Acre Tract

Post-Crescent Staff Writer

It was a soft, midsummer day in 1866 when strapping 6-foot Joseph Stroebe pulled his ox team to a holt on the road between Appleton and Neenah.  There, across the wide patch of marsh and open stream, at the point where the Fox river widens into Little Lake Butte des Morts, lay the family's new island home.  High on top of the hill, too far away to be seen and obscured by the island's heavy timber and tangled brush, stood the modest log cabin Joseph had built several weeks earlier.

He turned anxiously toward his pretty, flaxen-haired wife, Frances.  She sat holding their sleeping year-old son, Edward, in her arms.  Behind the couple, in the back of the wagon with all their possessions and supplies, were their other children, Otto, nearly 8, Della, 5, and Emma, 3.

Grown Up On Farms

It was important to Joseph that his wife like these 92 acres of wilderness as much as he did.  They both had grown up on farms in Washington County, but it was Joseph who loved the outdoors.  He could hunt and trap with the best of woodsmen and enjoyed the hard life of the pioneer.  He had traveled the famous Oregon-California trail twice, in 1849 and 1854, in search of gold with two of Frances' brothers and two of his own.

Yet Frances had not been too sure about leaving their prosperous little store in Brown Deer, near Milwaukee, where Joseph also had been postmaster.  Not with four youngsters.  She and Joseph had homesteaded in Kansas for three and a half years after their marriage in 1856, but Frances was happy when they returned with baby son Otto to Wisconsin, once more near family and friends.  She had liked the store because she enjoyed being with people.

Frances didn't disappoint her husband as she gazed with open delight at her beautiful, scenic home.  Everywhere she looked there were wild flowers in bloom.  Birds of all descriptions were in the water, on the shore, flashing through the tall island trees or winging through the air.  Wild rice plants grew in abundance in marsh and stream, their tall stalks heavy with the promise of a big harvest in late summer.

Indian Welcome

It was then that Joseph knew that the Caldwell Island he had bought had become Stroebe's Island for good.  He either stepped to the shore to call a friendly "halloo" to the Indians he knew were camping on the island or the Indians saw the newcomers first and came across the water in canoes to welcome the little family.  The band helped unload the oxcart and paddled the Stroebes and all their belongings from the mainland to their new home.

From that day until now for 96 years only members of the Strobe family have owned the island.  This year the picture has changed with the north 46 acres being platted for a planned, residential development for between 40 and 50 families.

Pioneers Joseph and Frances lived out their full lives on the island.  Joseph was 92 when he died in 1923 and his wife was two months short of reching 90 when death came in 1929.  They had lived there together for more than half a century, farming, rearing their family of seven children and enjoying the beauty and bounty of their land.  Three of their children were born on the island Harry in 1868, Frank in 1871 and Henriette in 1873.

Divided Equally

When Joseph reached the age of 72, in 1902, he relinquished the island to Harry and Frank, the two sons who stayed on the land to help their father operate the place.  The sons also loved the island and after Frank married Anna Nelson of Appleton and Harry wed her sister, Mildred, all three families made their homes there.

Today the two porperties that were divided equally by the brothers in the early 1930s are owned by their widows.  Mrs. Mildred Stroebe lives in the 46-acre tract that is now in the process of a subdivision development.  Mrs. Ann Stroebe, two of her daughters and sons-in-law, Mr. and Mrs. Clarence Doberstein, and Mr. and Mrs. Alfred Heuer, live on the south half of the island.  There are no plans to develop this portion of the homestead.  The Doberteins operate Island Haven, the business established by Frank Stroebe about 1932 on the bluff where the original log cabin stood.

In a way, island life has done a turnabout since its earliest days.  In the beginning it was a true wilderness, isolated and difficult to reach because it was completely surrounded by water.  That's what Joseph wanted.  Yet later, it was he who started the island's resort era that had its colorful heyday at the turn of the century.

Wilderness Period

During its wilderness period, life had to be self-sufficient.  That first winter was the hardest to prepare for, since cows, horses, sheep and hogs had to be brought to the island.  Joseph and any helpers he could find driving them ahead of them, through the water and marsh and onto the land.  Shelters had to be built, the heavy timber cleared for whatever planting could be done.  It was necessary for the couple to depend on such produce they could buy from other settlers, the nearest of whom were several miles away.  They bought flour, potatoes and grain for the animals.

The cabin, carefully framed and roofed, was filled with their belongings.  There were hooks to hold the kettles in the fireplace, bedding, spinning wheel, loom and carding machine, dishes, chairs and utensils.  Animal skins, a tribute to Joseph's marksmanship, were spread upon the floor and beds were made from fragrant pine.

Precious bricks were carried all the way from Milwaukee in that oxcart to make an outdoor oven for baking bread and cakes and for roasting meats.  Frances tenderly carried "mother" yeast from civilization to make her first batch of bread in the new oven.

Berries that ripened on a thousand bushes were picked for drying, along with the wild plums, mandrakes and ground cherries.  But when winter came, the family was snug in its island refuge.

Meat No Problem

Meat was no problem.  The island nearby and river abounded in wild game and fish.  Joseph could take his guns from the wall any day and get wild turkeys, squirrels, deer, duck or geese.  Wild pigeons and brown heads literally darkened the skies during their migratory seasons.

As the boys grew up they helped with the farming and learned to become expert with gun and fishpole.  One of the sons helped Joseph build a floating bridge over the swamp from mainland to island.  It was made of 60-foot stringers and rought hewn logs.  Sturdy enough to hold the weight of a team, it was unsteady and gave the feeling of constant uphill travel.

When the log cabin burned in 1890, Joseph replaced [it] with a cottage nearby and established the earliest Stroebe resort on the cabin site.  Bowling on the green was the popular sport of the day and Sunday brought many excursionists on the riverboat Fawn from its landing in Appleton (Lehman's landing at the present Lutz Park).  The little boat made regular trips on schedule and usually had a crowd aboard, ready to spend the day picknicking and bowling at the now popular Stroebe's Island.

Resort Business

Harry was working on the riverboats at this time and he built a small wharf out into the water so he could meet his boats there and receive small parties of visitors.  Thus the resort business expanded, with Harry opening a resort of his own in 1911 on the lower, north end of the island.  He had the river dredged for a dock site and built a long pier to accommodate the large excursion steamers that plied the Fox and Lake Winnebato.  The poular side-wheeler, Leander Choate, Fountain City, The Evelyn, Thistle and Mayflower were among them.

The wilderness era of the island was gone and a new one had begun.  Stroebe's Island was the place to go.  Its wooded shores, park-like greens for bowling and pavilions and grassy knolls for picnicking attracted old and young, families and courting couples.

Harry ran his business for 3 years, then retired.  Leased since 1941, the business was rounding out its 50th year when Mrs. Stroebe closed it to make way for the new development plans.  Harry died at 88 in 1957.  His brother Frank was 75 when he died in 1946.

10d.  Anon.  Sunday 18 Mar 1962.  "Old Stroebe Island Resort Will Be Razed."  Appleton Post-Crescent (Appleton-Neenah-Menasha, WI) v. LIX, n. 71, p. D1 (online at Ancestry.com):
Old Stroebe Island Resort Will be Razed
Historic Area Will Become Subdivision
Plans are underway for the residential development of the north half of Stroebe's Island owned by Mrs. Mildred Stroebe, widow of the late Harry Stroebe Sr.

The development marks the end of nearly a century of family ownership of the 93-acre property that juts into the Fox River at the head of Little Lake Butte des Morts.

It also brings to a close the resort business established in 1911 by Harry Stroebe.  Island Inn will cease operations and the building will be razed.

The resort, now 50 years old, will close April 1.  For the past 20 years it has been operated by John Gmeinweiser.  All furnishings and fixtures in the inn and cottages were sold by auction Thursday.  The buildings will be razed soon.

Part of Homestead

Only 46 acres of the original Stroebe homestead are involved in the development project.  Island Haven, established by the late Frank Stroebe and now operated by his daughter and son-in-law, Mr. and Mrs. Clarence Doberstein, will continue in business.  Island Haven is located on the bluff on the south end of the island.

"My mother, Mrs. Anna Stroebe," does not plan to divide her half into plots yet, as far as I know," said Mrs. Clarence Doberstein Saturday.

Pioneer Joseph Stroebe, who settled with his family on the island in 1866, turned the property over to his two sons, Harry and Frank, in 1902.  About 1932, the brothers divided the island property.

Work Started

According to Mrs. Stroebe, the north end of the island has been surveyed and all the summer cottages have been torn down.  The residential area will accomodate between 40 and 50 homes, she said.  Seven of the lots have been sold and one residence has been constructed.

All the homes will have access to the water with the marshy area at the back of the island to be dredged to service the houses on that side of the island.

One of the features of the development will be a special recreation area for the whole community of dwellings.  Only part of the northern half is subdivided now, Mrs. Stroebe said.

10e.  There are many other articles about STROEBE family members in the Appleton papers online at Ancestry.com.

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