Ludwig Heinrich Riedesel was born July 23, 1834 in Wunderthausen. He was the second of eleven children–and the oldest boy–of Gabriel and Anna Elisabeth (Müsse) Riedesel of the house known as Bergmanns or Gabels. As many as six of the children eventually went to America (of the eight who grew to adulthood). It says something that he chose to emigrate even though he would have been the heir to the property (his one older sibling having already gone to America).
I believe that he traveled to New Orleans on the ship Auguste out of Bremen which arrived on October 20, 1854. According to family tradition, he worked his way up the Mississippi by digging wells and working as a mason. Eventually he got to Davenport and then to the growing settlement of Wunderthäuser living around Wheatland. This included his older sister Wilhelmine who had married into the large family of Johann Georg (George Sr.) Schneider and had perhaps traveled with them to the New World in the late 1840s.
Around 1856, Henry (as he was known) married another of the Schneider daughters, Elisabeth Florentine. She was born January 20, 1841 in Wunderthausen and was known as Flora. The couple was to have 13 children, all but one of whom grew to adulthood. I believe that Henry farmed in section 18 of the Spring Rock Township.
For unknown reasons, they relocated to Carroll County, Iowa, near the small town of Lanesboro about 1891 (Flora’s sister Catherine and brother-in-law, J. Ludwig Riedesel, had left the Wheatland area for Carroll County some years before). Henry’s land was in section 2 of the Jasper Township. He did not live to enjoy many years in this new home, dying July 17,1898. Flora lived to be honored as a founding member of St. Paul’s church in Wheatland when it celebrated the 50th year of its founding in 1911. She eventually died April 9, 1920. Both are buried at the East Liberty cemetery in Carroll County.
Photos and Documents
- Gravestone in East Liberty Cemetery
- Flora (Schneider) Riedesel in her old age
- Henry Riedesel and Flora had a son, Philip Henry (b. 1859), who married Ida Ristine. This photo shows the four children of Henry and Ida: Phillip, Ethel, Flora, and Henry.
- Son William also had a large family. This portrait is of their seven sons.
- Map of Jasper Township of Carroll County in 1906 showing where Henry’s land was