Johann Georg Riedesel was born December 5, 1842 in Wunderthausen in the house known as Weymers. He was the second of six known children of Ludwig Heinrich and Anna Elisabeth (Kroh) Riedesel and was in line to take over the house when his older sister married into another house.
George–as he was known in America–was not only the last of three brothers to emigrate to America, but his family was the last group of Riedesels to leave Wunderthausen. The wave of German emigration had peaked around 1880 so the family’s departure in 1906 was unusual in several respects.
On November 24, 1872, George married Katherine Riedesel from the house called Rüsselsbach outside of Wunderthausen itself. She was born there on September 22, 1854. Her father had been born in Wunderthausen. Between 1874 and 1895 George and Katherine had eleven children that I know of. As far as I know, Weymers house had a reasonable amount of land and the family was of at least middle standing in the community.
Even before George was married, his two younger brothers Johann Heinrich (Henry) and Georg Friedrich (Fred) had gone to America. “Everyone” had relatives of some kind in America. One of them was a Georg Ludwig (George) Kroh who settled eventually in Wheatland, married the daughter of earlier emigrants and had a family. When his wife died in 1899, George Kroh sold his property and came back to Wunderthausen with his children. Soon, though, he had married one of daughters of George and Katherine Riedesel. This was Emilie Lisette (known as Lisetta) who was born in 1879. The young couple had one child in Wunderthausen but before she was even a year old, the Kroh family was on a boat for America. They settled in Wheatland (again).
In 1903, daughter Luise traveled to America and Wheatland. Then in 1906 the rest of the family made the move. George was already 64 years old! They traveled on the ship Rhein out of Bremen, landing in New York on October 25, 1906. George took over a farm outside of Wheatland. Sadly, Katherine did not even enjoy two years of this new life, dying on April 11, 1908. George, though, lived until January 9, 1927. Both are buried in St. Paul’s cemetery at Wheatland.
Photos and Documents
- George with his brothers Henry and Fred
- George, Katherine and most of the family about the time of their emigration. It is quite possible that this was taken in Germany as their two daughters who went to America first are not present.
- George (born Johann Georg) with his parents in Germany
- The family in front of Weymers house just before they left for America
- I believe this this map show the land owned by George Riedesel near Wheatland as of 1925.