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Written by Dorothy Craig Fitzgerald

 

Gottlieb and Caroline Miller Schlaser

Our ancestors came to America from the province of Posen, Kingdom of Prussia. Gottlieb Schlese was born 30 April 1840 at Sophienberg, Posen, Germany. Caroline Mueller's birth was 24 September 1844, at Scherlanke, Posen, Germany. Borders of countries and the names of people and towns often changed. These towns are now Zofiowka and Grodzisk, Posan, Poland. Schlese was Americanized to Schlaser and Mueller became Miller.

Gottlieb Schlaser arrived in New York harbor on 1 September 1864. After disembarking he was approached by a gentleman who offered him a substantial sum to enlist as his surrogate. Gottlieb declined. He wanted to see what he would be fighting for. by the time he reached St. Louis the Civil War had ended.

Caroline Miller was sixteen when in 1860, she immigrated to Rippon, Wisconsin. After three years she arrived in Keokuk County, Iowa. Her sister, Wilhelmina (Mrs. Wilhelm Schultz) and a brother, John Gustave Miller came to America later.

Among Caroline's belongings were rhubarb roots that she had brought from Germany. Today these heirloom plants can be foundi n gardens of family and friends.

Gottlieb and Caroline were married 7 March 1870 in Keokuk County and settled in the German community east of What Cheer, Iowa. They were farmers and members of the Lutheran Church.

In 1880, they purchased a farm in the Keenersburg community. Their eight children were Frederick Herman (1872-1950), Samuel Gottfried (1873-1895), Bertha Mathilde (1876-1877), Ernestine Wilhelmina Durbin (1878-1963), Ida Theresa Beever (1880-1985), Johann Gustave (1883-1943), Wilhelm August (1886-1943), and Heinrich Rudolph (1891-1979).

They also raised Frederick's youngest daughter, Ella Irene, since the age of 4 months. Gottlieb died 19 November 1927 and Caroline died 10 November 1915.

Frederick Herman Schlaser married Mrs. Sarah Roby nee Watts on 25 December 1894. She had two children, Clara and Jacob Holmes Roby. Herman and Sarah's children were Charles, Roy, Lula, Pearl, and Ella. Sarah died 13 August 1904 and Herman on 4 April 1950. They are buried in Sixteen Cemetery.

Our parents were Ella Irene Schlaser (30 March 1904) and Arthur Edgar Craig (1 September 1903). They met when a group from What Cheer came to the farm to gather hazelnuts. Mom often said she picked the biggest nut in the patch. They were married 20 February 1929 and resided in What Cheer until buying her home place in 1944. The children of this union are Earl Eugene, Florence Lucile, Dorothy Marie, Kathryn Lorena, Arthur Dean, Duane Le Verne, and Leonard Merlyn. Mom died on 5 February 1956, and Dad on 28 April 1999. They are buried at the Prairie Hill Cemetery in Prarie Hill, Missouri.

We have fond memories of being the fourth generation to live on the Schlaser farm. Most of us attended the same one-room school (Keenersburg Van Buren #2) as our Mom and Grandpa Schlaser.



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