Johann Frederick Reher was born February 1st, 1840 in Bebensee, Segeberg province,
In 1863, Johann was untied in wedlock with Miss Sophia Vogt in Negennboetel, Segeberg province. Sophia was born June 12, 1842. That same year, 1863, Johann was called to serve in the 16th infantry regiment at
Economic conditions were poor for nations as well as individual families. The continent was over-populated and there was extreme competition for its resources. The future was bleak and there seemed no relief in sight. Custom dictated that the oldest son inherited all his father’s property, so younger children often immigrated when they heard toe promises of free land. Having land to farm of their very own was a dream that brought many German immigrants to
Letters to the old country from early settlers gave glowing accounts of life and opportunity in the new land and urged family and friends to join them. The first group of settlers in
(Above, to the right is an 1870s handbill... below is an add found in an 1870s Grand Island Daily Independent newspaper.)
Emigrants were advised to sell everything, because what they would need most was money. Without weeping, they must leave behind their home, the family treasures, the domestic animals, the machinery, and Grandma. Men were urged to take heavy clothes for work that didn’t show dirt, a suit, and plenty of warm clothing. Women were told to go with a minimum of clothing because the styles were so different in the new country that they would want to buy clothes when they arrived. Can we even imagine leaving all that is familiar, all of our possessions and family, our mothers and fathers, most likely never to see them again?
Two children were born to Johann & Sophia in
The trip from
Once the Rehers arrived in
The Reher families came directly to Grand Island and settled down, arriving in America during what was called the “Panic of 1873” a nation-wide depression triggered by reckless speculation in railroad expansion. This was followed in the
On February 18th, 1878, Johann Reher bought 120 acres from Henry Niehaus for $1100,00 located in section 36, township 11, range 9, in
In 1896, Johann Reher married Sophia Rohlf Schuller. (Below is a picture of Johann and Sophia Rohlf Reher... I have no pictures of Sophia Vogt, the first wife.) Sophia had immigrated to
Johann & Sophia (Schuller) Reher lived on the old Schuller place (located just a block south of
On Oct 1, 1917, Johann sold the farm to Ernest for $10,000 and later Ernest bought 40 acres from Dietrick Schwieger to make it 160 acres total. Johann died on November 24, 1924 at the age of 84 years. About three months before his death, he became totally blind and unfortunately about ten days before his death, he missed his chair and fell, fracturing a hip. Johann was one of the oldest and most widely known on the island. He had been a resident for 51 years.
Minnie Stoltenberg Reher died August 21, 1939. Ernest Reher died June 20, 1945.
No footnotes... information gotten from my Aunt Frieda Buettner who didn't site her sources, from the Hall County History Book, obituaries, and newspaper articles... some paragraphs copied word for word.