Mathias and Susanna Reinart

Mathias was born in Mettendorf, Prussia, on 24 February 1836. He was the firstborn son of Nickolas and Anna Maria Reinart. Matbias grew up on the family farm with his one brother and three older sisters. When Mathias was 18 years of age, his father decided to move the family to the United States. After their emigration, Mathias seems to have worked on his father's farm near Caledonia, Minnesota, until the spring of 1862. On May 20 of that year, Mathias joined his father and his younger brother, John J., in becoming naturalized citizens of the United States.

Shortly afterwards, Mathias seems to have spent some time at the farm of his relations in Dubuque County, Iowa. There he began courting a young woman named Susanna Friedman. When the relationship turned to talk of marriage, Mathias decided it was time to provide a home for his future bride. He returned to Minnesota in the late winter of 1864. There, on the last day of February, he purchased 140 acres of the family farm from his father, Nicholas. The price was the grand sum of $70, little enough to pay for a piece of prime farmland in the Mississippi Bluffs region of southeastern Minnesota.

Mathias was back in Dubuque County by late March of 1864. He and Susanna Friedman took out a marriage license on the last day of March. The wedding ceremony took place five days later in the little town of Luxemburg, Iowa.

Susanna Friedman had been born on 11 July 1843 on a farm near Canton, Ohio. She was one of a dozen children born to Anton Friedman (b. 1815) and Elizabeth Wentzel (b. 1819). Her father, Anton, was a recent emigrant to the United States; he had been born and baptized in Zimbuch Parish in the town of Zell, Baden (in modem-day Germany), where vital records of his family had been registered for more than eight generations. Susanna's mother, Elizabeth, had been born in Makatamy, Pa.; she was the daughter of Andrew Wentzel and Magdalena Shup, who had arrived in Philadelphia Zell, Baden, on 16 June 1817 aboard the sailing ship Xenophone.

When Susanna was 13 years old, her parents left Ohio for Missouri. A year later, they moved to a farm near the little town of Luxemburg in Dubuque County, Iowa. It was here that Susanna met and married Mathias Reinart.

Following their marriage, Susanna and Mathias moved onto the land he had recently bought from his father in southeastern Minnesota. There Susanna gave birth to four children: Nicholas (b. 1865), Magdalena (b. 1866), Anton (b. 1868), and Josephine (b. 1870).

In 1870, the Reinarts moved to a farm near Roselle in western Iowa. Here their remaining eight children were born: Elizabeth (b. 1871), Joseph (b. 1873), William (b.1874), John Ludwig. (b. 1876), Peter (b. 1878), Mary (b. 1879), John 1882), Anna (b. 1886). Three of the children died in childhood: Anton, William and John Ludwig. Anton and William died a couple of months apart and quite likely from the same disease.

The Reinart children went to a school in Roselle that had German-speaking teachers. They learned to read in German long before they learned to read in English. The Catholic catechism was always taught in German. At home, the girls were expected to help around the house while the boys worked the fields. Back then the corn was always planted by hand. Mathias would drop the kernals in the rows, and the boys would follow along to push the soil back over each kernal.

All the children eventually grew up and married. Three of them - Nicholas, Josephine & Elizabeth moved to Texas. Mary moved to Nebraska, as did Peter for a time. All the rest remained in Iowa.

When Mathias and Susanna retired they moved to a large frame house in Halbur, Iowa. For a time they kept boarders. Mathias also became interested in local polities. In April of 1902, 27 votes were cast for incorporation of Halbur into a full-fledged Iowa town. Soon after, a caucus was held to nominate candidates for city office. Mathias was nominated for city councilman, and was subsequently elected to that office, not only in 1902, but also in every succeeding year up to and including 1906.

In June of 1914 Mathias and Susanna celebrated their Golden Wedding Anniversary. All of their children were present at the celebration.

Six years later, Mathias died of "progressive muscular dystrophy." The date was 9 August 1920, the time was 12:30 P.M. Mathias was 84 years old. He was buried in St. Augustine's Catholic Cemetery in Halbur, Iowa.

Susanna survived her husband by fifteen years. For many of those years she continued to live in the large frame house they had shared together, but towards the end of her life she asked if she could move into the home of her youngest daughter, Anna, and her husband , Charles Eich. After the move, Susanna lived only a few more months. She was found dead in bed on 23 February 1935. She was nearly 92 years old. The cause of her death was written down as "probable heart disease." Susanna was buried beside her husband, Mathias, in St. Augustine's Cemetery.

The twelve children of Mathias and Susanna were:

Children of Mathias and Susanna Reinart

1- Nicholas Reinart (1865-1934) - Married Helen Neu in 1888. Together they had six children: Susan, Margaret, Joseph, Helen, Elizabeth, Mary. Helen died in 1896, and Nicholas married Catherine Friedman in 1904. Together they also had six children: Theresa, William, Henry, Louise, Susie, Vincent.

2- Magdalena Reinert (1866-1956) - Married Michael Reck in 1888. Together they had seven children: Anna, William, Marie, Peter, Elizabeth, Joseph, George.

3- Anton Reinart (1868-1878)

4- Josephine Reinart (1870-1928) - Married William Neu. Together they had ten childen: Susan, Nickolas, Matthew, Helen, Joseph, John, William, Peter, Mary, Henry.

5- Elizabeth Reinart (1871- 1982) - Married Joseph Neu. Together they had seven children: Joseph, Catherine, Theodore, Margaret, Agnes, Michael, Alois.

6- Joseph Reinart (1873-1973) - Married Mary Picray in 1899. Married Catherine Olbertz in 1904. Together they had eight children: Viola, Isabell, Eugene, LeRoy, Arthur, Lucille, Aleta, Lucinda.

7- William Reinart (1874-1878).

8- John Reinart (1876-1877).

9- Peter Reinart (1878-1963) - Married Mary Hoffert, daughter of Anton and Augusta Hoffert, granddaughter of John and Fredricka Meisel. Together they had five children: Gladys, Monica, Bertille, Mary, Genevieve.

10- Mary Reinart (1879-1981) - Married John Schnieder. Together they had nine children: George, Dona, Genevieve, Agnes, Mary, Mathias, Colette, Anthony, John.

11- John Reinart (1882-1976) - Married Emma Schenking. Together they had seven children: Clarence, Harold, Hilbert, Elvira, Leo, Coletta, Melvin.

12- Anne Reinart (1886-1951) - Married Charles Eich in 1907. Together they had twelve children: Anne, Loretta, Alvin, Alvira, Evelyn, Lucy, Raymond, Helen, Estelle, Catherine, Herbert, Mildred.

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