Ferdinand A. Altenow - Alta M. Preson Bio - Hand County, South Dakota

Alta Maria Preson was born in Meadville, Pennsylvania in 1860, and came with her parents to a farm near Orient, South Dakota in 1886, and from there to St. Lawrence where she made her home with Dr. and Mrs. W.E. Adams, her sister.  She did dressmaking.  Dr. Adams had first practiced dentistry in Miller before moving to St. Lawrence.

She married F. A. 'Fred' Altenow May 16, 1889 at Roscoe, South Dakota.  She was a good wife and mother and was always ready to help others in her community and church.

She died in St. Lawrence December 4, 1919 during the flu epidemic and is buried in the St. Lawrence Cemetery.
Hand County, South Dakota Genealogy & Family Research
~ Bios ~
Ferdinand August Altenow & Alta Maria Preson Altenow

St. Lawrence, South Dakota
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F. A. Altenow Family
Alta Maria - Mabel Emma - Ferdinand (Fred) August
c. 1885 *
* Mable born May 5, 1890 - appears age 5 or younger
** Mable married James M. Magness Dec. 17, 1913
Ferdinand August Altenow was born November 23, 1861 near Kustrin, in the Province of Brandenburgh, Germany. He was the second of four sons born to Ferdinand Ludwig and Emelia (Knopke) Altenow. 

In the spring of 1870, at age nine, he sailed from Bremen to the United States with his parents and brothers Gustave and Wilhelm R. (another brother died before leaving Germany). After a stormy passage of seven weeks they landed in New York, going directly to Sibley County, Minnesota, where they settled near Henderson. A few years later they moved to Hutchinson.

He received his education in the public schools of Germany, Henderson and Hastings. *1)  At the age of 18 he bagan his apprenticeship with a blacksmith in Hutchinson.  Three years later he moved to St. Lawrence, South Dakota where he practiced his trade and operated a farm when he was 21 years old.

About four years later he started the Altenow store, handling hardware and implements, later adding a full line of merchandise.

Fred married Alta Maria Preson on May 16, 1889 at Roscoe, South Dakota.  They had two children.

Mabel Emma was born May 5, 1890 at St. Lawrence. She married James M. Magness in St. Lawrence, December 17, 1913. 

Frances Emilia was born August 23, 1895. *2)  She died in 1897 and is buried in St. Lawrence Cemetery. 

Also buried in the Altenow plot is their grandson, Raymond Fred Magness, son of Mabel & Jim.  He was born February 13, 1915 and died that year.

Alta died December 4, 1919 during the flu epidemic  and is buried in the St. Lawrence Cemetery.

After the death of his wife, Fred entered the real estate business.  Two years later he moved to Mount Vernon, South Dakota where he puchased a general merchandise store.  He married Myrtle Estelle Bromwell on April 17, 1923 at Mount Vernon, after which they moved to Anaheim, California.  He had purchased a vineyard there eleven years previous and had it developed into an orange grove.

Fred was baptized a Lutheran in Germany, confirmed in the German Lutheran Church at Henderson, Minnesota, but later he became a member of the Presbyterian church.  He was an elder and Sunday School Superintendent in St. Lawrence.

He helped organize the First State Bank of St. Lawrence and was vice president throughout its existence.

Fred was always deeply interested in politics.  He served as City Treasurer and City Trustee.  He was also a Republican Representative to the State Legislature of South Dakota.

His chief interests in life were his work, church and his family.  He attained success through hard work, determination and perserverence.  He made a host of friends during his lifetime due his friendly and pleasant disposition.

F. A. Altenow died March 28, 1939 and is buried in Anaheim, California. * 3)
- - - - -
* 1.) I think this should be Hutchinson
* 2.)
Bio stated 1896, but stone says 1895.

* 3.) Wife #2 whereabouts unknown
Last modified by Carolyn S. Rosemore 4 Nov 2005