Out of Emden, Germany

By Way of Minook, Illinois

And on to Flathead County, Montana

The John Tonjes Dieken Family

John Tonjes Dieken married Afine Adelaide Luhn in JAN 1864 in Emden, Germany, and came to America in 1866. John and Afine settled in Minook, Woodford Co., IL.  John was a baker by trade.  The couple was active in their church and were among the "charter" members of the first German language church, St. Paul's Evangelical, established in the Woodford County area.

John Tonjes died 4 APR 1881 at the Jacksonville State Hospital, Jacksonville, IL.  He was admitted 31 JUL 1878 and, according to records, was "noisy, hilarious, and talkative."  He died of apoplexy.

Afine was pregnant with the couple's twin daughters, Anna and Etta, when John was admitted.  They were born the following January, 1879.

Record of John Tonjes Dieken's birth (11 DEC 1841) is handwritten at the bottom of a xerox copy of a photograph of him sent to me by granddaughter Edith Lewis Taylor (daughter of Anna Ella Dieken Lewis Ross.)  I believe this date was written on the back of the original photograph.

Material received in 1996, originating with Wendy Van Roekel, gave his birthdate as 4 DEC 1828.

Afina Adelaide Luhn

Afina Adelaide Luhn was born 20 JAN 1845 at Emden, Germany.  We should remember that "Grandma" Freese, as the popular and respected matriarch was known re in the Columbia Falls, MT, area, was once a young newly-married immigrant girl full of hope coming to America.  As the notes for her husband above hint, life was not always easy for the woman who eventually became the mother of ten children.

After her husband Johnís death, Afina married Henry J. Freeze on 14 OCT 1881, at St. Paul's Evangelical Church at Minook, IL.  Henry was apparently willing to take on a widow with five young daughters and a son.  In fact, Henry and Afine added four more daughters to the family.

Henry and Afine and their family of nine girls and a boy packed up and left Minook, IL, on 2 MAY 1889 and travelled by train to Montana.  They settled first at the mining town of Marysville, where they lived for five years.

They came to the Flathead Valley in 1894 -- "Pa and Leida came first" and then the others.  They settled on a farm in the Bad Rock community outside Columbia Falls.  Henry died 12 MAR 1921 at Bad Rock.  He is buried at the Fairview Cemetery outside Columbia Falls.

An active  member of the Seventh Day Adventist Church at the time of her death, Afina died 26 JUN 1930 at Columbia Falls.   She is buried at Fairview Cemetery with her husband Henry. Afine was 85 years old, the mother of ten children, 36 grandchildren, and 21 great grandchildren.

Afina and John T. Dieken were the parents of:

            Hilda, born 17 AUG 1864;

            Johann Karl, born 1 DEC 1867; died 27 AUG 1869;

            John Charles, born 23 SEP 1869; died 24 MAR 1947 at Seattle, WA;

            Margaret Adelaide, born 8 DEC 1871;

            Johann Heinrich, born 20 JAN 1872; died 27 MAR 1874;

            John Henry, born 27 MAR 1874; died 27 MAR 1874 (sic);

            Leida C., born 2 JUL 1876;

            Anna Ella, born 29 JAN 1879, twin;

            Henrietta, born 29 JAN 1879, twin.

Afina and Henry Freese were the parents of:

            Anna ,born 2 OCT 1884;

            Elizabeth A., born 10 JAN 1884;

            Clara G., born 10 OCT 1885;

            Theresa H., 1 APR 1888.

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