The Huber Family
Friedrich & Sophie (Quast) Huber
My grandfather Friedrich Huber was born at one o'clock in the morning, November 14, 1864 in Heilbrunn, Crimea, South Russia. His parents were Daniel and Sophie (Muller) Huber, [shown here] also born in Crimea. Godparents for his November 17 baptismal were his dad's older brother Konrad Huber and his mother's sister Regina Rapp geb. Mueller - both of Heilbrunn. Konrad was Godfather to all of Daniel and Sophie's children and Regina was Godmother four times. Just as an added note, Godfather Konrad's wife Wilhelmina was also a sister to Sophie and Regina.
Grandpa Fred's brothers and sister were – Konrad 1860, twin Catharina 1860, Jakob 1862, Philipp 1867 and Christian 1869. Sadly baby Catharina only lived 8 days. Cause of death was listed as gichter. (Convulsions) This was a small family compared to other families I've researched.
All of Fred's immediate family came to America but arrived at various times up to 1890. Fred, according to records, arrived in 1889 and went to Freeman, Hutchinson County, South Dakota. His two older brothers were already there with Huber relatives that came in 1874. He stayed and worked in the Freeman area for awhile but moved to McCook County's Canistota where there he owned a blacksmith shop. (Those 1874 Hubers are from the line of my friend/cousin Frieda (Roth) Nusz, Tollefson of Menno, SD.)
All the Huber brothers were single when they left Russia but found America's South Dakota also had a wonderful selection of German-Russian ladies to court. They soon married. That is except the youngest brother Christian who was still single when he passed away in 1899. Fred eventually met his Sophie, the spunky daughter of Christian and Wilhelmina (Bader) Quast of Menno. Sophie was born June 25, 1876 in Plotzk, Bessarabia, South Russia and in May of 1877, she and her older sister Wilhelmina came to America with their parents, settling on a farm in the Menno area. Sophie's niece, who still resides in Menno, recalls her Aunt Sophie as being a really nice lady who laughed and smiled a lot. She also was strong-willed. This is the same thing my mom and my two aunts (her daughters) once told me.
November 13, 1894 was a big-step day for Grandpa Fred. He went down to the Hutchinson County Courthouse in Olivet and filled out an "Application for Marriage License!" A big-step day AND evidently a kind of mind-boggling one because he stated he was only 28 years old when in fact the next day he would be turning 30. Ei, ei. Well, what was important was that he was at least 21 and she 18 so no guardians needed to sign for them. (I think he looked younger than 30 in his picture.) On the same day, Clerk F.D. Simmons approved their Marriage License, which gave permission "To any Person Lawfully Authorized to Solemnize Marriages within said state."
Two days later on November 15, 1894, Fred and Sophie's re-e-e-ally big day arrived. Pastor J.C. Meyer, minister of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Menno, joined them in marriage. Their witnesses were Paul R.M. Hoffer, Henry Nusz, Maria Quast and Paulina Quast. Pastor Meyer, neatly and totally, filled out the Certificate of Marriage – including the signature lines where the bride and groom were supposed to sign! (Strange.) The newlyweds lived in Canistota in a home that was attached to Fred's blacksmith shop. This was not an unusual custom for the times. (The 1900 Census confirms that address.) Two adorable sons were born here: Albert in 1897, who would later marry Henrietta Guenthner, and a year later Arthur, who would wed Barbara Bauer.
A short time later, Fred and Sophie built a modest home in a residential area not too far from the shop. I took outside pictures of the house and compared them to the one my family had - it looked just the same. I found a great description of land and house in copies of tax records from later years. The names at the top of the two separate sheets got quite a reaction from me! (Oh my gawd! What are the odds?") The listed owner on the one was an "Ella" and the other had a "Wanda" as occupant. Ella is my mom's name and Wanda, well, me! Two names tied so tightly to Fred and Sophie, as a future daughter-in-law and granddaughter, show up also tied to the house the young couple built, and left, so many years ago.
For some reason they decided it was time to pull up roots, so in September of 1902 after selling his blacksmith shop and their home, Fred went to North Dakota on a land-hunting trip. Wife Sophie and their two boys had gone to stay with her parents living 10 miles South of Freeman. (Close to Menno.) Now a newspaper article I found stated that before they all left, their friends, numbering many, rushed in on them and perpetrated a complete surprise farewell party for them Saturday evening. And judging from all accounts, they had a regular good old-fashioned time. The following Tuesday Fred left. He found and purchased land in Oliver County, North Dakota, then went back to spend the winter with his family and in-laws. In 1903 he moved his family to their new farm. (According to the 1902 newspaper article, friends in Canistota were pretty sure he would come back from his land search and "probably wind up by buying a farm near Canistota and locating on it.")
There in Otter Creek, Oliver County, North Dakota three more adorable babies were born to them: Bertha (Arthur P. Goetz) 1906, Alma (Edwin Goetz) 1908 and Edward (Ella Kilber) 1914. (My parents.)
The family attended St. Paul's Lutheran Church of Otter Creek. Fred was one of the organizational members who, on February 11, 1904, signed the constitution of said church. (Organizational signing date from the Oliver County Book.)
In August of 1920 their oldest son Albert (age 23 ½ yrs) took over the farm when the Hubers decided to retire to Hazen. (My dad Edward was only 6 yrs old.) There in town, Fred worked at the blacksmith shop for several years. My mom said Sophie could "really sew." I can see that in the wedding dress she made in 1936 for Ella, son Edward's soon-to-be-bride, and many years later the wedding dress and veil she made for my doll. The family attended St. Matthew's Lutheran Church, just a block from their home on Main Street.
I love to listen to my extended family's stories and memories. We're spread out a bit in age so you can imagine the big variety we get. My only snip of "Grandpa Fred memory" is, he's sitting on the front steps with me and making nice comments while watching me color in my book. I have a few more of Grandma Sophie but the one that stands out is she sitting in her rocker, brushing her long hair over one shoulder. I asked if I could braid it. Of course I did the divide it in half and twist, twist as most little kids do at first. When it all came undone, she told me that was okay, some things were done that way but now she'd show me another way that would make it stay. No chiding or laughing, just encouragement. I was devastated the day I over–heard the lady at my aunt's door, tell her to keep me there a little longer because Grandma Huber just died. I loved her so much. For years, every night after prayers I talked to Grandma, telling her what was going on and how much I loved and missed her.
Fred and Sophie's children married and all settled close around them. Many of their descendants still reside in the area.
Fred passed away March 4, 1949 and Sophie April 4, 1951.