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Michael Krueger Family, 11-25-1880

Standing:  Louisa, Adolph, Gustavus, and Rudolph
Seated:  Herman, Dorothea, and Michael

Trip To America


The Story of Michael Krueger and His Wife Dorothea


Emigration Date – 30 April 1872


Written by

Gustav Krueger, Sr.  in 1921


Translated by

Bertha (Krueger) Bartusch in 1984


            Father and Mother left our home, the Boinwarter #125 at Yager by Jeser, in Greifswalde Province, Pommern, Germany and traveled to America on the sailboat “Carl” and landed in New York on 18th June 1872.  Was on the boat six weeks from the 3rd of May, 1872.  Came to Waldenburg, [Macomb County] Michigan in July 1872 with the whole family.  There were six children and mother and father.  Children’s ages at the time were:


                                                Herman             17 years

                                                Gustav              13 years

                                                Louise                 7 years

                                                Rudolph              3 years

                                                Adolph                5 years

                                                Minnie                 5 months


            We lived for a while with an Uncle, Carl Papke, but it didn’t last too long, so father looked for a different place to live.  He found an old barracks, where the wind blew thru… That was in the Summer, but in Winter, it was terrible…so cold we nearly froze…it was very bad and that was supposed to be the “Land of Plenty”.  There was no work… and the pay was small…Father got work by farmers for 75 cents or $1.00 for a days work.  We were “blood poor”, didn’t have anything.  As it was Father had $50.00 in debts and a big family to support.


            We didn’t have a bed, a chair, or stove, but gradually a few pieces that Father nailed together from a few boards.  Our parents bought an old stove at an auction to do some cooking, so then we could eat.  Then Herman had to work in a job in Utica, Michigan to learn a trade by Herman Kaps.  He worked for little pay…Father became acquainted and got a job in an old saw mill, got $1.25 a day, but money he got seldom but had to be satisfied.  I had to go one year in the German/English school as I was 13 years old and was confirmed in Waldenburg in 1873, by Pastor F. Bohling.  Then Father and I looked for work at Father’s request with farmers and he found work too.  This was for a farmer, a “Macklinberger” for $4.00 a month by Wilhelm Hirschback.  That was really very little but was one less at the table so I could at least earn my keep.  There I worked all Summer.  Louise, Adolph and Rudolph had to go to school.


            Gradually things went a little better.  Father got more acquainted with the farmers.  He was a Mason Cement worker, so he got better pay.  The house we lived in Father built himself.  It was a one room house about 12’ by 16’.  It was made of raw lumber, made from a loan from the saw mill.  Inside was brick and cement but it shielded from the wind and cold.  We lived there until 1877.


            I worked 1 years at Mount Clemens in a “Garbere” that means hides, for $7.00 a month and in summer I worked for Henry Schroitzer by Disko, then in Winter and Summer for Mr. Timothy Lockwood at Washington, Macomb County.  Herman, after his apprentice of 3 years or so, left there and came to Grand Rapids in 1875 and our parents sold the 12 acre land and house and again we traveled in 1877 also to Grand Rapids.  After the work for farmers was ended on the 10th of November 1877, Mr. Lockwood took me to Mt. Clemens, and in the evening 6 p.m. the train pulled in.  Now we were all together again.


            Father bought a one story house at 618 Clancy St., N.E. for $600.00.  The house was too small but we got along several years and in Summer 1881, we made the house larger and added one more story and raised the roof and in this house my wife, Wilhelmina Hensch, and I were married the 20th of June 1881 by Pastor Koch of Immanuel Lutheran Church.  Father worked where ever he found work.  Herman worked at the ax factory where father and I worked the first Winter, then in the Adolph Leiteld Iron works over 4 years as a machinist apprentice.  Herman started his own business as a blacksmith on Wealthy Ave.  He gave that up too and started something else…as a photographer.  That he had as a paying business until his death in 1918.  I had for my part 20 years for the Perkins Machine Shop, 6 months in Oshkosh, Wisconsin for the Chalmers Iron Works, 13 years for Fox Machine Co. of Grand Rapids (they made type-writers), 4 years for Valley City Co. and also had a family to support.


Edward & Anna (Kleider) Krueger, 05-06-1913

Edward F. Krueger

Carl Krueger

William (Willie) Krueger

Anna Krueger


Chester Township
Ottawa County
Michigan, USA