Got California Milk? – Part 1

I have been sitting on a story for a while that I have been anxious to tell, but it is one that I really don’t think can be done well in just one post.  Therefore, I have decide to cut the story into pieces and tell it a little bit at a time.  Today will be the first installment.

The story starts with Johann Claus Stueve coming to America in the 1860’s.  He settled in the Frohna area and worked a farm near that town.  Johann had three different wives, Rebeka von Glahn, Maria Luehrs, and Maria Wichern.  Those three wives gave him 14 children, a few of which did not live past childhood.  One of those children is the subject of today’s story.  His name was Heinrich Gottfried Stueve, who was born on April 7, 1888 to Johann’s third wife, Maria (Wichern) Stueve.

Henry was married twice.  The first wife was Lydia Koenig who was from New Wells.  The marriage took place in 1912 at Immanuel Lutheran Church in New Wells.

Stueve/Koenig marriage license

Lydia gave Henry three boys before she died in 1919.  Not long before she died, Henry filled out this World War I draft registration form.  Family stories are told about how the three young boys were cared for by other members of Henry’s family until he remarried.

Henry Stueve – WWI draft registration

Henry remarried in 1921.  His second wife was Ella Lohmann from Farrar.

Stueve/Lohmann marriage license

We have a photo that was taken at Henry’s second wedding.

Henry and Ella (Lohmann) Stueve

Henry fathered 15 more children with Ella.  Only one that I know of died in infancy.  It is also the case that only five of the eighteen children were girls.  There were plenty of Stueve boys to carry forth the family name into the next generation.

Henry Stueve had a 300 acre dairy farm, and he expected his boys to learn the milking business early in life.  There are some more family stories that say the boys were already assigned a cow to milk at the age of six.  They learned early on what it meant to put in a good hard day’s work.

This is just a beginning to this story.  You will have to wait to another day to hear the rest.  I will leave you today with this sneak peak at what is coming.  Here is a photo of the Stueve family which was taken in 1957.  Henry and Ella are in the middle of the front row.


I cannot guarantee when the next part of this story will be published.  I have more research to do.  I can tell you this.  It is a pretty amazing story.




3 thoughts on “Got California Milk? – Part 1

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