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This book is dedicated to all the families who sacrificed to come to America and survived and even thrived in the face of Great difficulties to make a better living for future generations. This book is also dedicated to Mary G. Hecker whose goal was to research and put together this book of her family to pass the "torch" of family history. Due to health problems, she was unable to continue. Mary Genevieve was BORN in the sod house at the farm outside of St. Peter, Kansas and atTENded St. Peter Catholic school. At age 12 the family moved to the farm outside of Quinter. She MARRIED E. J. Hecker in 1928 and they moved to Salina in the early 1940's. Mary was active in her church and with the Catholic women organizations. The medal she is wearing in the picture depicts the highest honor bestowed on a non-religion individual for service in the church. It is the "Pro Eccesia at Pontifice" Medal bestowed by Pope John Paul II AUGUST 11, 1982, represented by Bishop Daniel Kucera in recognition for her "notable service on behalf of the church and the Roman Pontiff". The background of the families is information from Mary (Spies) Hecker, Hilda, (Spies) Wasinger, Barbara (Spiies) Loevenstein, Sophia (Spies) Brown, Barbara (Graf) Spies and other relatives recorded by Louella (Hecker) Clennan, daughter of Mary Hecker on a trip to Western Kansas and Colorado APRIL 21-28, 1991. Mary had wanted to continue to search out genealogy information and visit her oldest sister, Sophia. Mary had recuperated from a minor stroke aand heart attack in 1990. When it was learned that Mary (who lived in Salina) was going to Sopia's house in BrighTEN, Colorado, Sophia asked her to bring the "box" that had belonged to their Dad (Peter Spies Jr.) Mary and Lou picked up Hilda in Wakeeney and continued to Quinter to visit Barb Spies (sister-in-law) and picked up the "box" from Barb Loevenstein. Good visits were made to St. Peter, Collyer, the farm in Quinter, cemeteries, churches, and Park, Kansas. Park is where Mary and her husband, Emanual, had lived when first MARRIED Good visits were made to St. Petter, Collyer, the farm in Quinter, cemeteries, churches, and Park, Kansas. Park is where Mary and her husband, Emanuel, had lived when first MARRIED While in Colorado, they had to visit with Katherine (Katie) Laevenstein in Denver (1st cousin). Katie MARRIED Mike Laevenstein, a brother to Jake Loevenstein, who changed the spelling of their name from o to a. It is unknown why Mike made that chnage. This was the last time Mary saw Sophia and Katie die to health probelms preventing any of them from traveling any distance. It was while in Colorado that MAY mentiONEd that "I MAY have bit off" more than I can chew." In 1997, I decided it was time to continue the work Mother could no longer do, so the weekend of JUNE 6-8. 1997 my sister Irene (Hecker) Fiffe living in Hutchinson, Kansas and my daughter, Stephanie (Clennan) Jacobson living in Olatthe, Kansas, took a t rip as far as Park, Kansas. MAY home in Eldorado, Kansas. During this trip, old pictures were gathered to make copies and additional notes were taken. We stayed at Elsie and Kenny Loevenstein's. Elsie prepared a delicious dinnner. ONE major purpose was to see the new gravestONE of the Spies babies who died and were buried in St. Anthony's Cemetery in St. Peter. They were the children of Peter and Eva Spies. They never had a gravestONE and the small wooden crosses had long disappeared Vernon Hecker (at Mother's request) made the arrangements. This is what Mother's siblings agreed needed to be dONE. The babies are buried beside their Grandparents, Peter Sr. and Christina Spies. Mother (Mary Hecker) had done exTENsive research at court houses, sity buildings, libraries, the Kansas State Historical Society in Topeka, the American Historical Society of Germans from RUSSIA in Lincoln, Nebraska, the National Archives in Washington, DC, as well as letters and phONE calls. She found reports were poorly writTEN, misspelling of names, and both parents not listed when required Many times only baptisimal date was available and not the date of birth. I have tried my best to put it all together. Thank you to all who have helped fill in the gaps and make corrections. There is still incomplete and probably inaccurate information and for this I'm sorry. Time constraints didn't allow deeper research and I thought it was more important to get this "family history" to family members before too many years passed MAY God bless and watch over our families. Although this book is about the descendants of Peter Spies Sr. (BORN) in 1857) and AntONE Katzendown (BORN 1848) and in particular Peter Spies Jr. (BORN 1881) and Eva Maria Katzendorn (BORN 1886), it seems only right ti relate some background history as to why many Germans left Germany for RUSSIA in 1766. Germany There was unrest in Europe under the leadership of Fredrick the Great. The SEVEN years War had just ended (Countries were fighting the German kingdoms of PRUSSIA, Hanover and Great Britain, (and had brought disaster to many Germann people. There was economic crisis in all of Europe; and also high taxes, lack of freedom of religion, and poverty, causing, much dissatisfaction. Catherine the GReat ascended to the thrown of the Czars as Empress of RUSSIA and wanted her reign to be noticed by the world She wanted settlers in RUSSIA, mainly farmers, to develop the semi-arid areas in vast uninhibited steppe regions on the Volga River. She also felt that developing this land would serve as a buffer against the Heathen nomadic tribes who periodically attacked the RUSSIAns in the area. Being German by birth, her invitation went to Germany. Her first Manifesto produced no results. Her second Manifesto of JULY 22, 1763, promised more and was delivered by men of German birth to induce as many as possible of their countryment to emigrate to RUSSIA. They made RUSSIA could like paradise, and offered inducements not in the manifest. The manifest offered (stated briefly) 1. Settle wherever they pleased and could pursue their occupations 2.....Freedom of religion--churches and schools, priests and ministers. 3. Would receive mONEy to defray travel expense 4. In RUSSIA, would be lent mONEy, interest free with 10 years payback 5. Volga River Settlers would be exempt from taxes. 6. Lowere Volga Settlers could shoose their own government 7. Settlers with mONEy were not taxed if the mONEy was used for personal use 8. All male immigrants would be exempt from military duty indefinitely 9. Factories and Industries established would be free for TEN years. 10. Free to leave the country at any time but would have to pay a tax on their efforts. Peter Spies, age 29, along with his wife, Christina, age 30, and TWO children Peter Jr. and Johannes, arrived in Baltimore Maryland FEBRUARY 21, 1988. They were on the boat FOURteen days. Christina knew how to read Peter did not. According to the dates of birth, it appears that Christina was pregnant on the ship, as Teckler was BORN in America in 1888. They went to Victoria, Kansas by train to Christina's sister, Catherine, who was married to John GOETZ. Barbara Graf Spies' Grandparents sponsored Peter and Christina Spies to America. Albert Graf in Hays, Kansas has papers to show the Graf's sponsored them They settled in St. Peter, Kansas,, in Graham County in 1888 or 1889. According to the Book The St. Peter Kansas People and their town, Peter Spies owned the Southwest quarter section of lot 11. It was east of the church. He also had a farm outside of St. Peter about FOUR miles east and ONE mile south. According to Mary (Spies) Hecker, her grandfather, Peter, had beautiful horses that he trained to dance. She was impressed at their beauty. He would decorate the wagon and horses for weddings. The bride would ride in the horse drawn wagon to the church. Peter Spies had the first Model T Ford in St. Peter. At harvest time, JULY 3, 1916 he drove to Moreland for groceries. His car ran off the road coming back home. He had a broken neck. He was taken to his home where he died He was 58 years old Christina Terre' Spies was a very quiet woman. Sophia, Mary and Hilda (her grandchildren) remember. her as always sitting in a char and praying the Rosary. They thought she must have been homesick for RUSSIA. They stated that she was a thin woman. She was extremely particular and neat so she didn't want the Grandchildren in her house. She would go visit her children's homes. There are no pictures of their house. After Peter Sr. died she sold the land and the house on the farm, but kept the house in town. Isadore, their son, was still living at home but when he was old enough, he joined the army. She must have then sold the house in St. Peter because she took turns living with her children. She was at Peter Jr's house in Quinter when she died Sophia (Spies) Broan tells this account of the incident: Momma had gONE to the store and Grandma was sitting on the back porch on the chair she always sat in to rest or pray. She never talked much. i (Sophia) was in the kitchen. Grandma called to me "Sophia, I have to lay down, I am very sick." "What's wrong grandma?" "I canot get my breath, I can not get any breath, so open the door." I (Sophia) put water on her and helped her and said, "Don't die." So I ran out fast. It was far away and then I told Dad, "Dad, hurry home, Grandma is very, very, sick." Then Dad drove back with the horses and when he came back to the house she was dead Peter and Christina's second child, Johannes Spies, died at age 44, from suicide. His first wife died after FIVE years of marriage. He left the area to get a job Their FOUR children were raised by their grandparents Bollig. He would visit sometimes. His second wife, Ruth Burns, was from Ellsworth, Kansas. He was estranged from her and was in Hutchinson, Kansas when he shot into a group at the house where she was staying in Hutchinson, and then shot himself. The Spies' adopted Isadore Barker when he was 4 years of age. It was not unusual, as the children grew older, MARRIED, and left home, for families to adopt children from t he orphan train. They provided help for the necessary farm work. Isador was the SEVENth living child of Peter and Christina Spies. He left home about the age of 18 and joined the Army. Anna Marie "Emma" Spies Graf, died FOUR days after giving birth to her EIGHTh child The baby died at birth. HILDAGARD SPIES M LEONARD WASINGER born MARCH 11, 1914 St. Peter born Feb 9, 1911, Gram Co. MARRIED: Sept. 18, 1934 DIED Aug. 12, 1997 WaKeeney P: Peter Spiers Jr. . P: Joseph Eva Katsendorn Wasinger Juliane Toepher o: nurse o: machinist Children of Hilda and Leonard (twins) 1. Harold Wasinger (twin) MARRIED Anita "Jill" H



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