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home : news : history November 24, 2015

6/27/2013 7:20:00 PM
I Remember
By Charles Wall

Last week I was preparing to attend a family reunion which included my relatives in the Pribbenow family. I remembered my greatgrandparents F. A. F. and Friederike Pribbenow.

F. A. F. Prebbenow was born near Stettin in the northeast part of Germany in 1856. In his younger years F. A. F. worked around his parents home and at his parent's store. Then he worked as a common laborer, later as a railroad section hand, and then as a freight checker in a Stettin rail and ship depot. Then for three years he operated a small grocery and general merchandise store. In Stettin he met Friederike Harenburg, who was working as a domestic servant, and they were married October 4, 1889. The text for the wedding ceremony was Genesis 32:26 - "I will not let you go unless you bless me!"

Friederike's father was a shoemaker. Her mother's father was a shepherd. Her church was Lutheran.

Her parents died when she was young. At age 14 she went to work in other people's homes as a domestic.

Freiderike's favorite employer was Frau Olga Piper (pronounced Peeper). Even after Freiderike was married and moved to the United States they still corresponded with each other. Freiderike always had a picture of Frau Piper hanging in her home.

It was also a family tradition that Freiderike worked as a pastry cook in Kaiser Wilhelm's palace. She once gave one of her granddaughters a spoon that was supposed to have come from the royal kitchen.

After F. A. F. and Freiderike were married, they lived with F. A. F.'s parents for a short time. This did not work out well because the parents did not approve of Friederike because she was a domestic servant. They had another lady picked out for F. A. F.

In later years all of us children and grandchildren did not agree with those parents. We knew that Grandmother Friederike was wonderful!

F. A. F. developed a desire to visit his oldest brother Carl who had left Germany and moved to the United States before F. A. F. was born.

On November 1, 1882, F. A. F. and Friederike and their first child, Carl, age 1 1/ 2, left Germany and arrived in New York City, November 18, 1882. They had this travel information written in their family Bible.

They traveled by train to Arago, Nebraska where they met S. A. F.'s brother Carl. Carl had acquired quite a bit of farm land in Nebraska and Kansas, so F. A. F. worked on the farm. In 1884, F. A. F. and family moved to another of Carl's farms near Goff, Kansas.

In 1891, they heard of farm land available in Oklahoma. By covered wagon they moved in January 1892 and purchased a 160 acre relinquishment from a homesteader southeast of Carne, Oklahoma. By that time, F. A. F. and friederike had five children. One of the children was Loise, who later married C. E. Wall (C. E. and Loise were my grandparents).

The farm was heavily timbered. It had a log cabin. The family worked hard to clear the land and raise crops.

Two more children were born after they moved to Oklahoma.

F.A. F. earned some extra income hauling freight and provisions from Guthrie to Chandler, because there was no railroad in Chandler in those early years. The round trip took three days, and he would receive $4 per trip, sometimes paid in provisions rather than in cash,

In 1901, the family had saved enough money to repay a loan to Carl of $800. F. A. F. and Friederike and their youngest child traveled by train to Nebraska to pay back the loan to F. A. F.'s brother Carl. Carl's wife gave Friederike a beautiful comforter she had made and filled with real wool. Friederike treasured this comforter all her life.

Twenty years ago some of my relatives researched this information, and I appreciate their work.

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