Scott Co, Iowa USGenWeb Project
Note: Martha Blocker has informed me that the name of the ship was Harriet. It
was of the type Bark, and is listed as the Bark Harriet in the United States National Archives.
---Brent Hemphill (Submitter and Transcriber)
Forward to the Family Tree - Written by Gustav Adolph Kuehl
One day I was looking over some of our father's
papers and came across his diary, in which he recorded instances in his life
from the time he was born until he reached Davenport, Iowa. Then I decided
to collect what information I could about his and our mother's families. With
the help of members of the family I have collected the following
information. Here it is. There are so many names and dates that
undoubtedly there are errors. Sometimes my typewriter and I had an
argument about the spelling of a name or about a date, but my typewriter always
won out. But the information is on loose-leaf sheets so that anyone can
readily correct any error and add what information they desire.
The family name was originally spelled Kuhl, using
the German dotted or umlauted u. There is no letter or combination of
letters in the English language by means of which the sound of the German dotted
u can be pronounced. The nearest equivalent is the combination ue.
English being the language used by the United States Government, our father,
Henry Kuhl, in later years, used the equivalent ue, instead of the German
umlauted, or dotted u, in signing his name. Just when he first did this is
hard to determine. The spelling Kuehl has been used by his children, and
the name pronounced as if spelled Kehl.
Introduction to the Family Tree
FIFTY YEARS AGO * 1897
Fifty years is a long time in this country, where
age comes soon to the hard working and fast living people. Fifty years
have entirely changed the surface of this part of the globe. Disappeared
has the prairie, the woods have been cut down and where the proud Indian used to
hunt, there are farms surrounded by fences. Railways traverse the country,
large cities grew up and the formerly wild West is just as civilized as the
Eastern part of this great Republic. But to whom belongs the credit for
this great change to the better? Who has done this work? Who has
made Scott County the most prosperous county of this state? We cannot but
admit that this was done by the settlers who landed at Davenport, then a small
village fifty years ago. They came from Holstein and from that part of it
which is known as the "Probstei." On April 12, 1847 they left
Hamburg on the old sailship "Henrietta", which was commanded by Capt.
Hunker. On June 8 the ship arrived in New Orleans. When the
immigrants went ashore they were offered a bounty to enlist in the Mexican
War. But they went on up the Mississippi to St. Louis, where they arrived
on June 19. On the whole trip they saw no settlement or any house along
the shores of the Great Father of Waters. On June 21 they came to
Davenport. The following is a list of those who landed in Davenport on
that memorable day fifty years ago:
Hans Stoltenberg with 12 children (5 boys & 7 girls). Among them were
Claus, Henry, and Jochim Stoltenberg, who went to California.
Claus Ladehoff, with 9 children (7 girls & 1 boy), among them Mrs. Hering
(widow of James Hering), Mrs. Haller and Mrs. Lage.
Wulf Hahn with 1 child.
Asmus Maas with 2 children.
Hans Schneckloth (91 years old now) with 3 children (among them Mrs. Fritz
Claus Hagedorn with 4 children.
Peter Lage with one child.
Carl Markow with one child.
Peter Arp with seven children.
Franz Hahn with one child.
Henry Wulf with one child.
The unmarried were:
When they landed, there were houses in Davenport
up to Warren Street. The Hirschl homestead was at that time the residence
of a lawyer named Cook. Some houses were up to Seventh Street. It
was very hard for married people to find lodgings and Hans Stoltenberg and Claus
Ladehoff had to move two and one half miles out on the Hickory Grove Road where
they lived in a blockhouse which they called "Sorgenfrei". There
were two flour mills at that time in the county - one at Rockingham and one
steam mill at Davenport, which A. C. Fulton built about the time when these
settlers arrived. Flour was sold in barrels only and cost $7.00 per
barrel. The first yoke of oxen that one of the settlers (Claus Ladehoff)
bought from John Friday's father cost $30.00. Horses were sold at
$45.00. A cow cost $9.00. The only one who understood some English
was Herr Lafrentz, who acted as interpreter as well as he understood it.
Money was very scarce. You could earn one dollar per day and if you worked
by the month you could get $10.00 per month, with board and $20.00 per month
without board. Farmers were very poor and couldn't afford to buy a new
suit nor could they pay any hands. Before these settlers came here from
the Probstei the following were already here: Heinrich Vieths (1836),
Heinrichs and Claus Mundt (1845), Johann Hagge (1844), he had a farm near
Gilbreath's school house. Claus Steffen, Jochim Steffen, Claus Lamp, Claus
Hinrich and Peter Puck (1846), and Jochim Schoel (1846).
What a change since those days. If the old men,
who came here in 1847, looked over the country they are hardly able to recognize
the old land marks. The old courthouse is gone, the streets are paved and
the roads in the country are good and can be passed at all seasons. Many
of those old German settlers have joined the silent majority and their sons and
their grandsons have taken their places. But they aren't forgotten and
Davenport and Scott County are an everlasting monument of German industry and
Henry Kuehl's diary - Translated by Gustav Adolph Kuehl from German
I was born on the 9th of May 1826 in Barsbeck,
Kirchgut Schoenberg, Herzogthum Holstein, Konegreich Dannemark, born. As I
10 years old came, went I to a Bauern Transtorf and stayed with him. After
this I went to a Bauern in Witch by name of Hans Gottsch and stayed 4 years with
him. I received in a year 6 -- and in the last year 10 --. As I
became 16 years old I was Eingesegnet, or confirmed. After that I went to
a Toghermeister to be taught. Here I went every summer to Rabsaatarbeit,
earned about - - per year, 25 - -. At the end of 4 years I had earned 200
- -. Now I was 21 years of age. I had my trade fully learned.
Now with my countrymen I went to North America.
On March 30, 1847 I traveled from Barsbeck to
Rensburg. I stayed only one day in Rensburg. From there I took the
train to Hamburg. However, because of an unfavorable wind, we had still to
stay there till Monday, April 12th.
At 11 o'clock in the morning, we lifted anchor and
sailed to Gloeckstadt. It was a friendly day and a fresh breeze blew into
our sails. Everybody was pleased and gay; on leaving we fired six
canons. On the second day we rode at anchor at Gloeckstadt. On April
15th the wind went to S.E. and we lifted anchor. A fresh breeze blew and
we soon entered the North Sea. Now sea sickness came up. Until now
nobody had felt anything of it. One lay here, another lay there for a
place where he could spit. Captain and Helmsman said that some overcame it
more easily but others had to fight it harder. I suffered little of
it. I went to bed at 4 o'clock and slept till the next morning. With
the help of a fortunate wind the North Sea was soon Passed through. On
April 17th we had the pleasure to look at England with the naked eye. We
had aboard a pilot from Hamburg. He went ashore at Dover in England.
All followed him with their eyes longingly. Several of wrote letters to
their left friends and acquaintances which he offered to take care of. On
April 18th we had a favorable wind. On the 19th we were pleased to hear
from our Captain that we already had passed half of the Channel. On the
20th a lull occurred and we hardly moved from the spot. Now we were at our
leisure to look at all the fishing boats. One day we could count more than
a hundred. Sometimes they approached us closely enough to make a deal with
them, but they asked so unreasonably that we did not buy anything from them.
The next page is missing.
and prayer. We had songs and a sermon. After the service was over,
we had dancing or a baptism on the deck. On the 3rd of May we saw a large
fish. It jumped merrily out of the water, and again we had some dancing or
a baptism. We made 42 miles that day. On May 4th we enjoyed
wonderful weather, but the wind came from the S.W. and we could make only 5
miles in a watch. We also sighted a brig on this day, and we had not seen
any ships for 8 days. Up to here we lost 2 hours on this day and now our
trip went along fast. The wind came usually from the North till May 18 (or
16). On this evening the wind came from the East and we noticed we entered
Ost...?. From now on we had always the same wind and we enjoyed a very
happy trip. Every day we sighted a lot of flying fish. On the 19th
of May we hit upon the 50th degree west longitude. On the 20th a strong
breeze blew and we could make 9 miles in a watch. The wind still came from
the East and on the first Whitsunday at 2 o'clock in the night, we were pleased
to sight land. On the 29th we sighted St. Domingo. Now we were on
the 73rd degree west longitude. On the 30th we sighted Jamaica. The
shore line was high and rocky. We had now always a favorable wind, but
only a moderate breeze was blowing. On June 2nd we sighted Cuba. We
traveled very close along the shore and as far as the eye could reach the island
was covered with bushes. We noticed also some houses close to the beach
but we did not sight any people. Here we sighted 5 ships. This was
something new to us because for a long time we had not seen so many
together. We hit upon the 83rd degree west longitude and 23 north
latitude. The heat is rising with every day and now we have already 40
degrees in the air and 22 degrees in the water. The Helmsman caught a big
dolphin, which had yellow stripes over its entire body and offered a fine
sight. However, it soon lost its color and became white. It weighed
approximately 15 pounds. From now on we had only a moderate breeze and we
had to stay four days in the Mexican Bay. On Sunday morning a steamship
approached us from the front. We arrived at New Orleans on June 8, 1847,
we proceeded up the Mississippi River and landed at St. Louis June 19th.
Then we proceeded on up the Mississippi River and reached Davenport, Iowa
Monday, June 21st. The name of the sailing ship on which we came over was
Henrietta, with captain Hunker in charge. The fare from Hamburg to New
Orleans was 92 marks or $29.45. Fare from New Orleans to St. Louis was
$2.50 without board and fare from St. Louis to Davenport was $1.00 without