Catherine Riedesel was born April 28, 1871 in Wunderthausen in the house Kirchstumpfs/Am Kloster which lies outside the main village. Its name comes from the cloister for nuns that existed nearby in the Middle Ages. She was the fifth of seven children of Georg Herman and Elisabeth (Homrighausen) Riedesel. Another Catherine born three years earlier died at the age of two.
At the age of 14 she sailed for New York on the ship “Donau” out of Bremen, arriving on November 20, 1885. Most likely she lived with her brother Henry Herman who had arrived two years earlier and settled in Kansas City, Missouri. On the same ship were two other young women from Wunderthausen: Catherine Lache (Schusters) and Dina Homrighausen (Schäfers). A ‘Kate Riedesel’ is listed as a cook in an 1892 Kansas City, Missouri, directory and this is most likely her.
On December 23, 1896 she married Edward Thomas Mitchell. They had five children that I know of. Catherine and Edward lived in various places in Kansas, Tennessee, Missouri and Oklahoma. He died in 1932 but Catherine lived to the remarkable age of 101. Her last place of residence was Baxter Springs, Kansas, where she died November 22, 1972. She and her husband are buried in the Newman Cemetery in Ottawa County, Oklahoma.