Old Photos

Leuenberger Family – From Switzerland to Solon Iowa

Today I share with you a family photograph of the Leuenberger family, taken about 1891 or 1892, in Solon, Johnson County, Iowa.  These are Ritchey’s great-great-grandparents, Jacob Leuenberger, born in Switzerland about 1829, and Margarite Streich, also born in Switzerland August 7, 1845.  The couple raised a family of ten children, including my husband’s great-grandmother, Rosa.

This photograph shows the Leuenberger’s on their family farm.  Jacob Leuenberger is about 61 and Margarite is 45.  Standing beside his father is Delia Jacob, about 5.  Bertha M. is to her mother’s right; Jacob Henry, youngest, about 2, sits on the left.  Daughter Emma Lavinia stands in the center of the photo, with younger brother William close by.  The oldest son, John, stand by the buggy.  The three older sisters are difficult to make out from this photo.  I believe they are Ellen, Maggie and Rosa – one daughter, possibly Mary, the eldest, is not with the family.  All the children married and had families except William.  He lived with brothers and sisters after his parents passed away.

This is a good example of a mid-west farm family of the late 19th century.  There were many immigrants to this area of our country.  Note the neat farmhouse and barn – nothing fancy, but sturdy.  The family had enough horses for their buggies and work – note two more towards the back of the barn.

Margarite Streich came to New York from Switzerland on the ship Mercury, arriving November 23, 1865, coming from Le Harve.

Jacob Leuenberger arrived in this country May 13, 1868, traveling on the ship Bellona, captained by W. H. Pinkham.  It came to the port of New York from London and Le Harve.  There were many Swiss on this ship, along with Germans and French.

Each arrived on their own – there were no family members listed as passengers.  Were family members already in the United States?  Did each make it on their own from New York to Solon, Iowa (just north of Iowa City)?  However it happened, they married in Johnson County, Iowa, May 27, 1869.  They lived the rest of their lives in Solon and are buried in Oakland Cemetery.

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  1. Just reading this. My husband’s grandmother was Lena Leuenberger from Switzerland. She married Herman Reichenbach and they lived in Louisville, Kentucky. Wonder if she was kin to these guys…..will have to do some research.

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