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We are related. You are first person who has mentioned Kipgen. I can never seem to find
others who have this name and there just are no references on any of the ancestry boards.
Anyway I am the grandaughter of Francis William Arensdorf who lived in Roseland and then
moved to Lincoln County NE which is western NE around North Platte. There are many
Arensdorf kin in that area.
Thought you might like the following post that I saved.
We have seen specific ways in which the metaculture of Luxembourg is reflected in the
metaculture of Luxembourger settlement sites in Minnesota. Now we will turn our attention
to the best-known Luxembourgish settlement in Iowa. St. Donatus, the first Luxembourger
immigrant settlement west of the Mississippi, is located along the shores of the river,
just a dozen miles south of Dubuque, Iowa. Ironically, until recent years, St. Donatus was
mistakenly referred to as a "historic French settlement," most likely because
its original name was Tetes des Morts, a name, legend has it, that was given to it by
French missionary Father Louis Hennepin. Legend also has it that the origin of the name
lies in a battle fought on the banks of a nearby stream:
Father Louis Hennepin, according to tradition, is said to have placed the name Tetes des
Morts on the map to perpetuate the legend of the battle fought on the banks of that
stream. On a certain hill near the present site of St. Donatus, a battle was fought by the
Winnebagoes, the Sauk and the Foxes with their old enemy, the Sioux. The Sioux were
victorious and drove their enemies over a cliff into the river below. On hearing this
legend, Father Hennepin called the place "Tetes des Morts" (Hills, 79).
The first Luxembourgers, the John B. Noel family, arrived in the area in 1838 after
spending some time in the eastern part of the United States (History of Dubuque County,
712). Crossing the Mississippi River could be very dangerous, especially when, as Gonner
notes, early icing could cause shipwrecks (51). According to his account, in December
1846, ships coming up the river from New Orleans had great difficulty, and "several
thousand immigrants were stranded in Cairo, Illinois, with no money. Helpless, they
suffered greatly. Many died from dysentery" (51).
A group of immigrants from Luxembourg fared better earlier that year, arriving safely in
the Dubuque area and continuing south to Tetes des Morts. Among this group were Peter
Gehlen, Charles Hoffman, Nic and John Streff, and John and Adam Tritz, all from the Olm
and Kehlen, Luxembourg, area. The following year, 1847, they were joined by a larger group
of Luxembourger families from the Feulen and Merzig areas, among them Peter Siren, John
Freiman, Henry Anen, Adam Braun, Pete Theisen, and one of my maternal
great-great-grandfathers, Nicholas Nemmers (Tritz, 26). The immigrants' Catholic
heritage was central to their lives and, in 1848, a log cabin church was built and a
Catholic parish formed. It was given the name, St. Donatus Parish, and was "dedicated
to St. Donatus, patron and protector against storms, July 4, 1851" (Krull, 2).