Out of Emden, Germany
By Way of Minook,
And on to Flathead
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
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
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
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
born 17 AUG 1864;
Karl, born 1 DEC 1867; died 27
Charles, born 23 SEP 1869;
died 24 MAR 1947
at Seattle, WA;
Adelaide, born 8 DEC 1871;
Heinrich, born 20 JAN 1872;
died 27 MAR 1874;
Henry, born 27 MAR 1874;
died 27 MAR 1874
C., born 2 JUL 1876;
Ella, born 29 JAN 1879,
born 29 JAN 1879,
Afina and Henry Freese were the
,born 2 OCT 1884;
A., born 10 JAN 1884;
G., born 10 OCT 1885;
H., 1 APR 1888.