THE ANDRESEN FAMILY
BY KAREN HANSEN
Five years ago I received a query from Ron Andresen, looking for any information on his family. His great-great-great grandfather was Peter Flohrs Andresen, who was married to Frauken Christina Wolf Andresen. They had a son Hinrich (Henry) C. Andresen, who married Louisa (Lucy) Hansen Andresen. All four of them are listed on the large Andresen stone pictured here.
Peter F.’s obituary says that he was born on March 16, 1820 in Witzwort, Schleswig-Holstein, Germany and died at the home of his son 3 ½ miles north of Walnut on October 27, 1899. Mr. Andresen came to this country in 1869 and lived at Davenport, Iowa about four years. He then moved to his farm just over the line in Shelby County, and for nearly 20 years, he was one of the prosperous farmers of this section. He purchased a small property in Walnut several years before his death and they moved in with their son one month before Peter’s passing.
Frauken Wolf was Peter’s second wife, called Mrs. Henry Andresen, Sr. in her obituary and Peter was called Henry Andresen, Sr. She and Peter both died at the home of their son Henry in Monroe Township, Shelby County. Both had funeral services at Henry’s home and at the German Church. Frauken passed on December 9, 1901 at the age of 84 years 1 month and 5 days.
Peter and Frauken’s only child was Henry, who was born in Wityward (probably Witzwort), Schleswig-Holstein, Germany on February 6, 1863. His obituary does not agree with his father’s on when they lived where. It says they came to the U. S. in 1871, lived in Davenport five years, moved to Avoca and farmed for a year before moving to the farm his father bought in Monroe Township. Henry and Lucy Hansen were married on February 26, 1886. He farmed the home place until 1903, when he retired and moved to Walnut. He was on the Walnut Town Council for 4 years and was active in the Evangelical Lutheran Church. Henry passed away on December 31, 1921, three weeks after contracting pneumonia; he was 58 years, 10 months and 25 days old.
Lucia (Lucy on her gravestone) Hansen was born on January 11, 1862 in Bredstedt, Schleswig-Holstein to Otto and Anna Hansen, who are buried in the same lot as Lucy. She came to the U. S. in 1883 and married Henry Andresen. Like her husband, she was an ardent lover of her church and worked hard for it. Death came on November 17, 1935 after a long period of illness. She was 73 years, 10 months, and 6 days old.
More information on the family was found at www.rootdigger.de. Peter Flohrs Andresen, son of Juergen and Margaretha Dorothea Jansen, did emigrate in the spring of 1869, without his family. He had his son Lorenz Hinrich follow in the summer of 1869, along with his stepson Johann Ludwig Asmus, son of Detlef Andres Asmus and Frauke Christine Wolf.
Peter Flohrs had first married Catharina Jacobs, so both Peter and Frauke(n) had been married previously. Peter picked up the rest of his family in 1871: wife Frauke, and his children: Peter, born 1849; Catharina Dorothea, born 1854; Maria Elisabeth, born 1858; and Hinrich, born 1863; also his stepson Detlef Andres Asmus and a step-grandchild Margaretha Dorothea Sierks.
There are many more of the Andresens buried in the Layton Township Cemetery. In the April 2020 ACR, I told about Ron and Kevin Andresen and their family visiting Walnut to see the restoration of the Andresen stone and visit the Walnut Creek Historical Museum. They were very pleased with what they saw and we hope they will visit again.
When I sent this article to Ron Andresen to approve, he asked me to add the following: On behalf of the Andresen family, I want to thank Karen and Jim Hansen on their tireless efforts to preserve the history of the Andresen family in Walnut. Karen was very accommodating to help me research the Andresen history; Jim was a master chaperone when our family visited the restored tombstone this spring and Jim and Karen were both relentless in the pursuit to restore the Peter Andresen and family tombstone. As you can tell by the picture, the Hansen’s made sure the tombstone represented the strength that the Andresen family is known for in Eastern Iowa. Well done, faithful servants! God bless! Ron Andresen and the rest of the Andresen family.
Jim and I are humbled by their gratitude and thankful that they also made a donation for the cemetery restoration project.