Note: John Henry, the third son of Heinrich and Marie was born on November 27, 1853 in Cincinnati, Ohio. As a child he became a member of the German Lutheran church in Cincinnati, Ohio. He moved with his family to Guttenberg in Clayton County, Iowa about 1885. John Henry and Mary Peppmuller were married on July 3, 1874 in Guttenberg. John was twenty years old. Mary born on September 20, 1853 was also twenty. John Henry came to the Spencer area in October of 1881 with his father, and two older brothers. After establishing themselves, they returned in the spring of 1882 to Guttenberg Iowa, about four hundred miles to the east, to bring their families and their belongings to Dakota Territory. The entire family party arriving in Dakota Territory consisted of eight adults and eight children. The eight children ranged in age from the oldest, seventeen years, to the youngest, one year and four months. The family consisted of Heinrich and Marie,their sons, daughters-in-law, and grand children; Henry and Anna Gertrude, their six children, Henry seventeen, George fourteen, Fred thirteen, Lydia seven, Edward five, and Agusta one year and four months; William and Anna and their daughter Lena ten; John Henry and Mary and their two children George seven and Louisa five. John Henry landed at Bridgewater with his entire possessions, on the twenty-eighth day of March 1882 having very little property and a nearly exhausted treasury. The homestead was located one and one half miles south and a half mile west of Spencer. Their first dwelling was an inconveniently constructed affair measuring twelve by sixteen feet, one story in height. In this the family made their home for many years, and yet while it was scarcely adequate to furnish meager shelter to themselves, they very frequently and generously divided accommodations, with those who passed their way at meal time or bed time. The homestead was near the Old Indian Trail between Flandreau and Yankton. They made many friends with the Indians. Louisa, who was later known as Lizzie has told her grandchildren about meeting and shaking hands with Chief Sitting Bull. For years, John and Mary struggled on against adversity. One time they almost gave up the battle. Finally the tide turned in their favor. In a few years they realized the beginning of prosperity. In place of the humble twelve by sixteen shanty stood a fine frame house, one of the nicest in the county. They developed a fine farm and were able to provide well for their seven children. My mother, Muriel, remembered John Henry as her colorful,kind, grandfather, who liked to whittle and had a fondness for horses. His favorite horse was Old Nance. John Henry and Mary had eight children, George Henry born August 14, 1875, and Louisa Mary "Liz" born July 17, 1877, were born in Guttenberg, Iowa. A son Louis died in infancy. John Peter born, may 26, 1883, Emmett Gustave born July 25, 1885 and Mary Laura "Mayme" born March 15, 1888 were born near Spencer when it was Dakota Territory. The last two children, Jessica Minnie born September 25, 1990 and Lloyd born June 24, 1897 were born after Dakota Territory became the state of South Dakota. John Henry's obituary states: "Mr. Muters was a respected man in the community, who was looked up to for his honesty and trustworthiness. He was one of the old pioneers of sturdy stock, who came here to settle this wilderness, who together with his wife have done their share in the building up of this community. He was fortunate in having as a helpmate, a devoted wife who was his constant companion and guide. Mr Muters had been active until quite recently. About a year ago he began to fail and had been "failing" more or less ever since. For the past two weeks he had to stay in bed. On his 75th birthday, November 27,1928 he passed away. His maker came knowing that he had lived long enough. He has spent a useful life. He has worked hard, he has deserved a rest." After John Henry died, his son Lloyd farmed the homestead. Mary moved into Spencer where she shared a house with Agusta Muters Hamilton. Agusta Muters, was the daughter of Henry Muters, and the niece of John Henry. I, Orvie Townsend, remember Grandma Mary Muters, my great grand mother, as I visited her many times with my mother. My mother was particularly fond of her. Grandma spoke with a German accent and spoke in German when she did not want children to know what she was saying, I thought she was crabby, but mom assured me " that was just her way, she was a very kind and affectionate person". Grandma Muters made patchwork quilts and I recall that when she had her quilting frames set up, there wasn't much room left in her little combination living room and kitchen. It was a very "homey" place; I liked to go there. She had a couple of clocks that intrigued me as a child. One of them had a glass pane in the bottom, probably covering the pendulum. She liked to put a picture behind the glass. One time she put a picture in it that I had given to her. She had another that was a mantle clock that was a dark color and rather ornate. I have wondered where the clocks are today and if they still remain in the family. Mary Elizabeth Peppmuller died in 1941 at the age of eighty-eight. She is buried beside her husband John Henry, in the cemetery south of Spencer. The cemetery is about a half mile from their old homestead. Their farm buildings have been torn down. The only existing landmark today on the old homestead is a silo which was not there at the time John Henry and Mary lived there. August 19,1993 O.T.
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