The Jacobsen Family

The Jacobsen Family
Compiled by WGS Members Jim and Karen Hansen

Claus Jacobsen (Great-great-grandfather of Jim Hansen) died at the home of his son, Henry, on the Bunge farm three miles northwest of Avoca, Wednesday, October 9, aged 86 years and 9 months. The funeral services will be held Friday at his late home at 1:30 o’clock and internment in the Avoca cemetery.

Claus Jacobsen was born in Germany, came to America on the 7th day of October, 1887 locating at Avoca where he has always resided bringing a family of wife and two boys and one daughter.

Mrs. Jacobsen passed away in February 1908, leaving her husband with six children, two girls and four boys.

About fourteen years ago Mr. Jacobsen received a paralytic stroke from which he never recovered. He had been making his home with his children and the last three years he has lived with his son, Henry.

Last July Mr. Jacobsen met with a serious accident. In going from one room to another, he opened the wrong door which lead to a cellar, falling the full length of the stairs, injuring him quite severely.

Mr. Jacobsen leaves two daughters, Mrs. John Thomsen, of Avoca, Mrs. Annie Cohrt of Danby, Iowa, Henry, Hans and Fred Jacobsen of Avoca and Claus Jacobsen of Valentine, Nebraska. All of whom have the sympathy of their large circle of friends. (The Avoca Journal-Herald, October 10, 1918)


Seated L to R: Claus, Marie Catharine (Oehlert), Claus Heinrich Jacobsen, Max Henry Standing: Annie Cohrt, Hans, Fred, Catherine Thomsen

Marie Katherine Jacobsen (Jim’s Great-great-grandmother), wife of Claus Henry Jacobsen, died at the home of her daughter, Mrs. John Thomsen, in Pleasant Township, Thursday morning, February 13, 1908.

Deceased was born in Dorpstedt, Schleswig, Germany, March 24, 1836, where she grew to womanhood.

She then removed to Ostenfeld where she was married June 26, 1859.

Mrs. Jacobsen was the mother of eight children, six of whom together with her husband are left to mourn her.

The surviving children are: Mrs. Thomsen, Henry, Claus, Hans and Fritz Jacobsen, all of Avoca, and Mrs. John Cohrt of Schleswig, Iowa.

Mrs. Jacobsen had been an invalid for thirty-two years, but her final illness began the first of February.

The funeral services were held Saturday at the Lutheran church in Avoca. (The Avoca Journal-Herald, February 20, 1908)

Max Henry Jacobsen (Jim’s Great-grandfather) died at the home of his daughter, Mrs. Ernest Holtz, near Avoca, Wednesday, April 6, 1938, aged 72 years, 3 months, and 24 days.

Short services were held at the farm home before the body was brought to the First Lutheran Church where services were held at 2 o’clock Friday afternoon, Rev. Joseph Gerlt officiating.

Max Heinrich Jacobsen was born January 12, 1866, in Ostenfeldt, near Husum, Germany, and was baptized in the name of the Triune God, on February 9, the same year of his birth.

He received his education in Hollingsted, Germany, and was confirmed on Palm Sunday, 1881.

He worked on a farm for a year before leaving the home of his parents on April 9, 1882, and sailed on the Suevia from Hamburg, on April 12 for America.

He landed in New York April 28, 1882, and immediately took the train for Avoca, arriving here May 2, 1882.

For nine years he followed farming near Avoca, beginning with wages as low as $75 per year; the second year he received $100, and with his savings had a sister come to America in 1884, a brother in 1885 and his parents, a sister and brother in 1887.

With his parents he lived in Tama County two years, returning to Avoca in 1891, and started farming for himself.

On March 18, 1892 he was united in marriage to Miss Marie Grahlherr. To this union four children were born, three daughters and one son.

In 1900 Mr. and Mrs. Jacobsen moved onto the L. J. Bunge farm in Shelby County where they lived for 26 years, after which they moved to a farm northeast of Avoca where they lived several years. Mrs. Jacobsen was president of the Lutheran Ladies Aid, for several years, before she passed away.

In 1931 Mr. Jacobsen retired from actual farming life, making his home with his son and daughters. It was at the home of his daughter, Mrs. Bertha Holtz, where he passed away.

He was preceded in death by his wife and two sisters, Mrs. John Thomsen, Mrs. John Cohrt and two brothers, Claus and Hans.

There remains to mourn his death three daughters, Mrs. Rudolph Hamdorf, of Corley, Mrs. Ernest Holtz, and Mrs. Otto Peters of Avoca, one son, Herman, of Ida Grove, one brother, Fred W. Jacobsen of Avoca, and 26 grandchildren, and 3 great-grandchildren.

Mr. Jacobsen was a naturalized citizen of the United States for over 50 years. He was a member of the Claus Guild and the Lutheran church.

Max Jacobsen spent the greater part of his life in and around Avoca. He was a good father and fine neighbor. His friends were many, he helped many a young man over the rocky road by good fatherly advice and assistance. He never forgot a friend or a kind act.

In his passing the people of this vicinity have lost one of their real pioneer farmers and citizens who helped in many ways to make the community a better place for us all to live.

We extend our sympathy to the bereaved family. (The Avoca Journal-Herald, April 14, 1938)


Seated, L to R: Max Henry, Bertha Holtz, Marie Luise

Standing: Elfrieda Hamdorf, Herman, Annie Peters

Mrs. M. Henry Jacobsen (Jim’s Great-grandmother) passed away at her home northeast of Avoca Monday, November 25, 1929 at 8:20 a.m. at the age of 57 years, 10 months and 11 days.

Funeral services were held from the First Evangelical Lutheran Church Wednesday at 2 p.m. and the body laid to rest in the Avoca cemetery.

Marie Louise Wilhelmine Grahlher was born January 14, 1872 at Oberhode, Hannover, Germany, and was baptized and confirmed in the Lutheran church.

She grew up and attended school in her home town and at the age of eighteen, in 1890, she came to this country and came to Shelby County.

On March 18, 1892, she was united in marriage with Max Henry Jacobsen. Four children were born to this union Mrs. Freda Hamdorf, Mrs. Bertha Holtz, Mrs. Anna Peters and Herman Jacobsen, all of whom live in this community.

Mrs. Jacobsen was a member of the Lutheran church of Avoca and the Ladies’ Aid society, being president of the society for a number of years.

She was a member of the Royal Neighbor lodge of Avoca also. She loved farm life and has always lived on a farm. She was a good wife and mother, her cheery disposition made her home life very happy and cheerful, a good neighbor and friend and ever willing to help others.

For some time she had been ailing and last June submitted to an operation from which she recovered rapidly and regained her usual health nicely.

On August 31 she suffered a stroke while in town and was critically ill for several days at the home of Mr. and Mrs. John Oehlertz in Avoca, but she seemed to recover quite rapidly and again seemed in good health.

About three weeks ago those closely associated with her noticed a change for the worse coming gradually, although she herself did not realize the change. During the past few days it was noticed she was sinking rapidly and another stroke ended her life.

Surviving are the husband, M. Henry Jacobsen, the four children and 23 grandchildren.

Four sisters and two brothers are living in Germany, many other more distant relatives and friends who will miss her smiling face and cheery greetings. (The Avoca Journal-Herald, November 28, 1929)