Obituary of Gottlob Krumm, from the Decorah Republican, January 21, 1892


The passing Away of One of the Very First Settlers of the County

KRUMM – at his home in Fort Atkinson on Wednesday, Jan. 13th, 1892

For a number of years Mr. Krumm has been afflicted with rheumatism, and a few years ago it assumed a dropsical form which finally terminated in his death. The funeral was held at the Baptist church on Friday, the 15th. Notwithstanding the inclemency of the weather the church was filled to overflowing. Rev. Henry Hess, pastor of the German Congregational Church officiated, selecting for his text Revelations 21:7. His sermon, although delivered in the German language, was listened to with marked attention.

A brief biographical sketch of Mr. Krumm’s life would not be out of place. While but a humble farmer his name and fame is known over northern Iowa. Mr. Krumm was born in Nuertingen, Wuerttemberg, Germany, Nov 6th, 1817, and was married to Miss Barbara R. Fischer Jan. 6th, 1845. When he emigrated to America his wife, two small children and a younger brother accompanied him. They were 47 days on the ocean, landing at New York City. From there they went by slow conveyance to Pittsburg, Pa., where they boarded a west bound boat on the Ohio river for St. Louis. Here they transferred to another boat for the upper Mississippi, landing at Prairie du Chien some time in the month of May, 1848. Leaving his family at the Prairie, Mr. Krumm took "Foot & Walker’s" line, prospecting for a home. On arriving at the Fort he found a nice spring of water and an old deserted Indian wigwam nearby. He took possession at once, and leaving a fresh footprint so that no one would jump his claim, he hastened back to the Prairie for his family. After some little delay he secured the best conveyance the country afforded (that was a yoke of oxen and a lumber wagon,) and a man to drive it, loaded on his whole outfit and started for his new home. He arrived June 1st, 1848, and took formal possession of the deserted wigwam. The livery man charged him $18 for the trip, leaving him with about $80 in money to live on until he could till his land and raise a crop. His first act was to erect a small log house with fire place and chimney attachments. At that time it was the best mansion Winneshiek county possessed. In the winter following he made a trip for supplies with an ox team and sled to Prairie du Chien, that being the nearest point and post office. This trip took eleven days. While returning a severe snowstorm came up, but knowing the landmarks, one of which, near Calmar, has been known as Whiskey Grove ever since its discovery, he kept on. After passing the grove he lost his way. As night was coming on Mr. Krumm unhitched his oxen, chained them to the sled, and taking off his boots wrapped his feet in some sacks, and sat all night watching for daylight to come, and rubbing his limbs to keep them from freezing. The mercury was 30 degrees below zero. When he could see where he was he found himself on Falck’s hill only two miles from his home, which was in sight. It was the longest night he ever experienced.

In the fall of 1846 he took his first grist to a mill located on the Wapsie river, about 15 miles below Independence. This was the nearest mill and he made the journey in eleven days. Mrs. Krumm had to run wheat through a coffee mill to make flour to live on while her husband was gone. We have not time nor space to relate all the trials and privations Mr. Krumm went through during his pioneer life. Suffice it to say that he succeeded in acquiring a goodly portion of this world’s goods, erecting a fine residence near the site of the old wigwam where he enjoyed many happy hours with his family during the later days of his life. He did not leave his fatherland to better himself financially. He left an excellent position as master mechanic in a cotton factory, consequently he commanded good wages. His relations did all they could to induce him to stay, but no – he said, "I am going to ‘the land of the free and the home of the brave.’ I have been a slave long enough." In 1886 he returned to Germany for his health, but while there suffered more than in America, and in spite of the entreaties of his friends he returned to "his America," as he expressed it. He said, "I am not going to leave my bones in Germany."

His pleasant smile and unbounded hospitality will long be remembered by every emigrant who had the good fortune to cross his threshold. But he is gone, leaving behind his estimable wife in declining years but good health and spirits, a family of seven children, his only brother, Mr. Gottlieb Krumm who is living in Jackson township, and three sisters, Mrs. Chas Meyer, of Festina, another in Philadelphia, and one in Germany.

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Obituary of Gottlob Krumm
Copyright 1998 by Bill Price
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