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Biography of Frederick Crete, Sr.

One of the most successful pioneer citizens of Silver City is Frederick Crete, who is a native of Hanover, Germany, where he was born in August 1833. He is a brother of John Crete, Sr., whose sketch will be found elsewhere in this volume. While still a young man Mr. Crete decided to try his fortunes in the New World, of which he had heard so much, and bidding adieu to the Fatherland and all its happy associations, he embarked on a vessel which landed him in New York city in 1852. From there he found his way to Attleboro, Massachusetts, where for some time he worked at the jewelry business. In 1858 Mr. Crete became a victim of the California fever and took a trip to the land of gold by way of the Isthmus of Panama, sailing on the steamer John L. Stephens. He remained in California until 1865, during that time studying and practicing dentistry, and then removed to Silver City, where he carried on his profession for some years. He also had a store at a place called Fairview, on Eagle Mountain. This town was burned out in 1875 and Mr. Crete lost all his property. Soon after this the great excitement caused by the discovery of gold in the Black Hills swept over the land, and our subject started with hundreds of others to test the truth of the reports. He traveled as far as Cheyenne, Wyoming, but on reaching there received some intelligence from Silver City which caused him to return, and soon afterward he started the Silver City brewery, which he has...

Biography of George Schmadeka

History was at one time almost entirely a record of wars, a tale of conquest in which armed hosts went forth to capture, pillage and destroy, but with advancing civilization it has become a very different chronicle, being now more particularly the story of the onward march of progress, the upbuilding of towns and the establishment of those enterprises and interests which contribute to man’s happiness and welfare. In pursuing the study of Idaho’s history we find that the flourishing town of Grangeville owes its existence in part to the gentleman whose name heads this sketch. He arrived on Camas prairie, July 3, 1876, and celebrated the centennial of our national existence at the place which has since been his home. Here he has kept untarnished his good name, and is accounted one of the loyal citizens of his adopted land. Mr. Schmadeka was born in Hanover, Germany, June 25, 1830, and is of stanch German lineage. He acquired his education in the Fatherland and came to the United States in 1849, then in his nineteenth year. He landed at New Orleans to find himself among a people whose manners and language were utterly unfamiliar to him, but he possessed a resolute spirit and strong-determination, and it was not long before he had gained a start in business life here. He finally joined a party emigrating to Missouri, and on the way eleven of the number died of cholera. On arriving in Missouri he secured employment at a dollar per day and board, in Lafayette County, at raising hemp and also breaking it, which is an arduous task. In...

Biography of Staas Spekker

As his name indicates, Staas Spekker, of Lewiston, the well known assessor and tax collector of Nez Perces county, is of German birth, one of the representative citizens that the Fatherland has furnished to the New World. The German element is an important one in our national existence, for its men of sterling worth, of enterprise and perseverance, have done much to promote the industrial, commercial and professional interests of the land. In his business career Mr. Spekker has manifested the sterling character of his race, and is regarded today as one of the valued citizens of northern Idaho. He was born in Hanover, Germany, March 4, 1841, was educated in the schools of that country, and during the period of his scholastic training studied the English language, so that he was familiar with the tongue of the people among whom he cast his lot in 1871. Before coming to this country, however, he had had practical experience in farming. Having attended a school of agriculture, he accepted the position of superintendent of a large estate owned by a German nobleman, and held that position until, tiring of the manners and customs of the nobility, he determined to seek a home in the land of the free. Accordingly he crossed the Atlantic and located first at Ackley, Hardin county, Iowa, where he was employed as a farm hand. Mr. Spekker was married there to Miss Mary L├Ątzsch, and immediately afterward they removed to Oregon, renting a farm in Linn county, of Judge Geary. There he remained for eight years, and by untiring industry and close application he acquired considerable...

Biography of Louis E. Eilert

The new west is eminently the home of the self-made man. Indeed, it may be said that in making himself the self-made man of the new west has built the new west up about him. Of course this means the self-made man in a collective sense. Individually self-made men like Louis E. Eilert, of Rathdrum, Kootenai County, Idaho, are units in the scheme of moral and material development and progress. Louis E. Eilert is a native of Hanover, Germany, and was born April 5, 1851, a son of Ernest and Mary Eilert, descendants from a long line of German ancestors. In 1852 Ernest Eilert started for America with his wife and his son (then about a year old), with such plans in his mind as a man will make for those whose lives he wants to make better, without regard to the sacrifices he may be called upon to make in his efforts to the end. But he was doomed to bitter disappointment at the very outset. His wife died on the voyage and was buried in the Atlantic Ocean. But still duty lay plainly enough before him. Emigrants and pioneers may not have time for mourning their dead, for they have a fight to wage for the living. One may scarcely imagine how lonely the journey was of Mr. Eilert to the new land, after that dark day in his history, and across a land to him unknown to Wisconsin, where he settled on Wood river, in Waukesha county. There the boy Louis was reared and taught a good deal about work and not much about books. The...

Biographical Sketch of Frederick Behrens

Behrens, Frederick; carpenter, contractor; born, Hanover, Germany, Mar. 17, 1857; son of Frederick and Charlotte Peters Behrens; educated, Hanover, Germany; married, Cleveland, July 6, 1883, Sophie Frese; issue, 5 children; member Verein Deutscher Krieger, Woodmen of the World, Socialer Turn...

Biographical Sketch of Gerhard Fred Meyer

Meyer, Gerhard Fred; merchant; born, Hanover, Germany, Jan. 17, 1859; son of John and Mary Heitling Meyer; married, Cleveland, 1885; private in the Germany Army; owner “Fred Meyer,” The Daisy Products, wholesale and retail.

Biography of Henry Babel

Henry Babel, deceased, formerly proprietor of the celebrated springs which bear his name, and which are now the property of his widow, was born near Hanover, Germany, on August 2, 1826. In 1845 he immigrated with his parents to America, and settled in Lebanon, Illinois, where his father and mother both died within a year. After their decease Henry went to St. Louis, Missouri, and on October 8, 1849, he married Miss Elizabeth Holadway, a native of Tennessee, a descendant of Scotch ancestry on her father’s side, and English on her mother’s. Early in May, 1850, Mr. Babel and his young wife started’ from their home in Missouri to cross the plains to California, as part of a train comprising a hundred families, nearly all of whom came with ox teams, though Mr. Babel had horse teams. The trip was a trying one to Mrs. Babel, as their eldest child, a daughter, was born en route, at Fort Laramie. They reached Salt Lake on September 17. Having lost one of their horses, and being advised that an attempt to continue their journey over the Sierra Nevada mountains so late in the season would be attended with great risk, Mr. and Mrs. Babel stopped in the Salt Lake valley, and remained there eighteen months, during which time they both worked hard to try to get a start in life. While there they at times suffered of privation, being unable to obtain some of the necessities of life, for though they had money to buy provisions with they were not to he had at any price. On leaving the valley in...

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