N. A. Rainbolt and his swamp

Got Lost in His Own Swamp

To be lost on your own farm in a tamarack swamp for several hours, groping about in the darkness, stumbling through mud and water, without a sign of life anywhere, with the daylight shut out by the heavy foliage of the tamarack trees, is no fun.  This happened to N. A. Rainbolt of Norfolk a few weeks ago on his own farm in Wisconsin, where he spent some time fishing.

Mr. Rainbolt returned from his trip recently and relates the story.  One bright afternoon, in search of white pine trees which were reported growing on a portion of his place, he entered the swamp believing the trees to be on the other side of the marsh.  The swamp he thought was but a small one and he continued his way across the mud and water, over the little knolls of grass which grows in these swamps.  After walking for some length of time he found that he was in total darkness and had come across his own footsteps.  He had been walking around in a circle and after making observations, found he was lost in the swamp.  He continued walking and after about an hour’s hard work saw a ray of light between the trees.  He reached the other end of the swamp and climbed a hill and found he had wandered a great distance from the lake upon which his land borders.

After more investigations Mr. Rainbolt discovered a stream  which entered the swamp and also found that it was too deep to cross and it would be necessary for him to go back through the tamarack swamp to get home.  He boldly plunged into the thick underbrush and high growth of weeds through the swamp.  In his blind march through the muck, making little headway, leaping over little knolls of grass which protected him from sinking into the mud, he came upon an old log bridge, which had been built over forty years ago.  He crossed the bridge which was very solid and had been used as a wagon bridge in the old logging days.  He also discovered that the bridge spanned the stream which came from the lake and had he not discovered it he would hardly have been able to cross the stream.

He continued in the darkness through the swamp and soon light appeared.  But it was dusk.  He had been wandering through the swamp all afternoon.  He soon found the road and says he never felt happier in his life than when his feet touched the guideway toward home.  After relating his adventure to the farmer on his land, he found that no one in that neighborhood had ever heard of the old bridge.  Source:  The Norfolk Weekly News-Journal, Friday, June 24, 1910, page 7.



John F. W. L. Strate

John Strate

John Frederick William Ludolf Strate was born at Lieme, Lippe Detmold, Germany, January 7, 1822.  He died near Hoskins, Wayne county, Neb., April 10, 1910, at  12 m. aged 88 years, 3 months and 3 days.  His death was caused by old age and pneumonia.

For some years the deceased had been feeble and ailing as the consequences of old age, but for six days only was he confined to his bed, when death relieved him from all earthly pain and woe.

Mr. Strate came to this country from Germany, in company with his wife, the 15th day of May 1870, making their home from the first in this vicinity.  In the old country Mr. Strate was a brick maker by trade, but took a homestead in this country and devoted himself to farming ever after.  He was one fo the early settlers of his neighborhood and, consequently, endured all the hardships of pioneer life.  The first years of his sojourning in this country were unusually trying, hail and drouth visiting  and destroying to a great extent the promising fields of grain.

The deceased brother was one of the founders and main stays of the Reformed congregation, three miles southwest of Hoskins, and for some years an officer of that church.  He remained a faithful member of the same to the end, although in late years he was not able to attend services and take an active part in the affairs of the congregation on account of failing health and strength.

Mr. Frederick Strate was joined in holy matrimony with his surviving wife, Augustge Sophia, whose maiden names was Dreves, February 4, 1866, in Germany.  This union was blessed with nine children, seven sons and two daughters, three of who have preceded their father in death, two sons and one daughter, one of the sons having died in the old country.  Those who are left to mourn the loss of a loving husband and father are: his bereaved widow, fives sons, Frederick, jr., Simon, Carl, Ernest and William, and one daughter, Mrs. Sophia Knebel, all of whom are living in this vicinity.  Besides theses there are four daughters-in-law, one son-in-law and eleven grandchildren, also more distant relatives and many friends.  May their loss be his gain.

Funeral services were held at the Reformed church near Hoskins on Wednesday afternoon, April 13, after which interment was made at the cemetery of said congregation, Rev. Emil F. Franz, officiating.   Source:  The Norfolk Weekly News-Journal, Friday, April 22, 1910, page 6.


Bernhard Stolle

Bernhard Stolle, Oldest Resident, 92 Years Old


Bernhard Stolle, Battle Creek’s oldest pioneer farmer, celebrated his ninety-second birthday anniversary last Saturday with his children, his grandchildren and his great grandchildren at the old home place a few miles southwest of Battle Creek.

Mr. Stolle came from Milwaukee, Wisconsin, in 1870 and has since lived on the place which he homesteaded sixty-seven years ago.  Though he admits this is “quite a spell of weather we’re having now,” he has seen so much of blizzards, floods, drouths and grasshoppers during his four score and twelve years on the old hemispehere that he is inclined to be content as he calls to mind seasons and things which were deucedly bad or a blamed sight worse.

Until a few years ago when the ravages of old age began an onslaught, the old gentleman rarely knew a sick day, or even now he is surprisingly active mentally and physically for one of his age.

Incidentally, Mr. Stolle read the first issue of the Enterprise published in May, 1886, and was our oldest subscriber for forty-nine years.  Failing eyesight now prevents him from reading it , he says.——Battle Creek Enterprise.   Source:  Meadow Grove News, Thursday, Jan. 28, 1937, page 1.