The village of Freistatt was founded in 1874, and nearly fifty years later Irwin and Margaret Groh represented four families when they married there. This book traces the back story and legacies of these four families and their roles in founding and developing the town. This slice of Americana covers the ancestors and descendants of these families. New light shines on all of Freistatt's founders, and the book measures the initiative of spirit and openness to the future that pulled German immigrants to new lives in the United States.

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Ancestors and descendants

Asher, Seigel, Wheaton and Rust Families in the 19th, 20th and 21st Centuries

This book covers three immigrant families who came to the United States in the 19th century to make new lives, and a fourth clan already living in the states. The Ashers arrived from Scotland, the Rust-Hanson family from Norway, and Simon Seigel from Germany along with his spouse from England. Already located in the Northeast, the Wheaton family and its Andrew component made a singular contribution to later descendants.

The book traces the back story, legacies and offspring of these families, along with their contributions to American and Canadian history. The lives of descendants included service in the Civil War and two World Wars, and contributions in medicine, business, education, religion, the arts and social care. The work has over a thousand photos that supplement biographical information on nearly a thousand individuals and six hundred and fifty families.

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more about the author

John Groh received his doctorate from the University of Chicago and brings a wealth of experience to his writing. A pastor, professor and real estate investor, he retired from the USAF Reserve as a colonel. He has written two published volumes about the USAF Chaplain Service in the 1970's and 1980's, and other books and articles for a total of eight books. 

John's Other books

Life Goals: How to Discover and Achieve Your Own (1994)

Millennial Bowl (1986)

Air Force Chaplains, 1971-1980 (1986)

Facilitators of the Free Exercise of Religion: Air Force Chaplains, 1981-1990 (1991)

Nineteenth Century German Protestantism (1982)