Fred and Elsa Althoff family

Our Althoff Ancestry

Celebrating the lives and history of
Fred and Elsa Althoff

Fred Althoff
(30 Mar 1879 - 21 May 1969)

Parents:  Ludwig Althoff
               Rosa Schauer                                      
Siblings:  Emil Althoff
              Wilhelmine (Minnie) Althoff                            
               Thersa Althoff
               Otillie Althoff
               Theodore Althoff
Elsa Kruse Althoff
(18 May 1887 - 5 Feb 1990)

Parents:        Wilhelm (William)Christoph Kruse            
                     Eliese Wilma Kaemper

Siblings:        Alma Dora Kruse
                    Fred Herman Kruse
                    Louis Henry Kruse
                    Paul William Kruse
                    Freda A. Kruse
                    Peter Rudolph Kruse
                    Lesette (Lezetta) Elizabeth Kruse
                    Walter Henry William Kruse
                    Rose Theresa Kruse
                    Helen Marie Kruse

Half siblings: Adaline Kruse
                    Theodore Kruse
                    Gustav Kruse
                    Emalie Kruse

(LINK to KRUSE family file)

Fred and Elsa were married on January 27, 1907

Children of Fred and Elsa:

                                                                                         Albert William Althoff     (1908 - 1999)
                                                                                         Theodore Emil Althoff     (1910 - 1987)
                                                                                         Harold Louis Althoff        (1911 - 1998)  
                                                                                         Elmer August Althoff       (1913 - 1998)
                                                                                         Louise Rebecca Althoff   (1915)       
                                                                                         Hertha Helen Althoff       (1917)  
                                                                                         Irma Rosabel Althoff       (1920)
                                                                                         Paul Erhardt Althoff        (1924)

                                                                      (Click on hyperlinks to move to a webpage for that person.)

Read Fred's history
Read Elsa's history

View Fred and Elsa Althoff family photo file
View Althoff family scrapbook (documents)
View ALTHOFF/KRUSE Extended family and friends history and photos

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Fred Althoff, our immigrant ancestor. A mini history.

This "mini history" is being written by Fred's great granddaughter, who has a great interest in family history, but was only eight years old when Fred died. This information is thus gleaned from some minimal family data published for an Althoff family reunion and research of census data gleaned from genealogy resource services on-line. I would love to fill in the "blanks" and certainly hear about any errors from anyone who reaches this webpage that has personal stories to share. Please feel free to contact me at [email protected],  A. Brohmer

Freidrich William Althoff was born in "Germany" (with notes of "W. Prussia" found on 1930 census data) on March 30, 1879. Most of the listings we have for him list him as Fred, though sometimes his full and proper name of Freidrich, or the Americanized Fredrick or Frederick were used. Germany at the time Fred was born was not as we think of it today, rather it was going through pains of unification following the "German civil war" between the kingdom of Hanover and the empire of Prussia in 1866. It may be that the unsettled nature of the "country" of Germany at this time was what brought so many German immigrants to America. Of course, in America, the homestead act of 1862 offered the promise of land to those who could tame it, and that was a tremendous draw as well. Fred was just 16 years old when he made the trip to America.(1) No information is available as to his port of entry or the ship he travelled on The earliest record of Fred that we have on census data is in 1900, five years after his arrival. We find Fred living with the August Rosnow family in Ward township, Moody county, South Dakota. Family history data tells us of Fred's sister Minnie, whose married name was Rosnow, so we can conclude that he was living with his sister and her family. Fred was listed as "Frederick" on this census. His relationship to the head of household was listed as "hand" and his occupation was listed as "Farm laborer." Fred was 21 years old at the time of the 1900 census.
The 1920 U.S. census tells us that he was "naturalized" in 1907, the same year that he was married. No sign of Fred is seen on the 1910 census. At the 1920 census, Fred was married and living in Kanabec county, Minnesota with wife Elsa and six of their eight children. Their census "address" at this time was "Comfort township, Kanabec county, Minnesota." (The address of the "family farm" was always known as Mora, which is listed on official record as being in "Arthur" township, so it is unclear as to whether the family moved at some time, or whether this is the farm known to Fred and Elsa's kin as their family farm. Maybe some of you Minnesota relatives can help us out here.) Fred's occupation is listed as "farmer" on the 1920 census and "dairy farmer" on the 1930 census. However, one family member told me a story remembered about Fred Althoff that is substantiated by a World War 1 draft registration card completed by him. On September 12, 1918, when the card was filled out, Fred listed his occupation as a carpenter and his employer as "self." The family story related by Fred's grandson recalled that Fred had been a carpenter, but developed an allergy which caused him to turn instead to farming.  On the registration card, Fred listed his nearest relative as "Elsie Althoff, wife." (This researcher had not known about "grandma's" nickname, Elsie, which was confirmed in several records!) LINK TO SCRAPBOOK to see a copy of this and other records. One photo passed down through Althoff family members was of a baby who died in infancy. Noted on the back was that the baby was "Aunt Minnie's baby," who had been named Elsa Marie, after Elsa (Kruse Althoff). It was also noted on the back of the photo that Elsa had been "working for" the Rosnow family at the time the baby was born and baptized. We can only speculate whether this might be the way that Fred and Elsa met, or perhaps if Fred and Elsa already knew each other, this may be how she got the "job."  

Mention has been made of Fred's sister Minnie. You may not know that Fred's brother Emil, sister Thersa and sister Ottilie are also found in Minnesota. Link to the ALTHOFF/KRUSE Extended Family and Friends history and photo files for more on the ROSNOW, PENK and RUTZ families as well as a word about other families whose lives have been interwoven with Fred and Elsa in the locations of Moody county, South Dakota, Pipestone county, Minnesota, and Kanabec and Whited counties in Minnesota. These include the  RUTZEN, KAEMPER and LOMKER families.

(1) U.S. census data, 1900, 1920 and 1930 all asked for "Year of immigration to the United States."

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