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History Book

In the 1930s, a federal program during the administration of President Franklin Delano Roosevelt, appointed people to conduct oral history interviews across the country.

In Paynesville, Clarence Chisholm conducted over 100 interviews with local citizens. These selections from those interviews were printed throughout 2000 in The Paynesville Press.

Copies of the interviews were provided by the Paynesville Area Historical Society.


Voices of the Past - Samuel Nehring

Samuel Nehring was born in Germany on Dec. 19, 1833. He had four brothers and three sisters. They were: John, Christ, Michael, Ferdinand, Sophie (Nehring) Heitke, Agustie (Nehring) Frank, and Mrs. Ferdinand Gehrke.

After Samuel came to America, he made his home in Monroe, Wis. At this place, he was married to Hannah L. Arndt. One child was born to this union, a son Julius on May 18, 1860. His mother, Hannah (Arndt) Nehring passed away the same day. She was buried in the cemetery at Monroe. Julius was cared for by a neighbor woman until his father, Samuel, was married the second time.

The family settled in Onike, Stevens County, Illinois, in 1861 and then came to Zion Township, Stearns County, Minnesota, in 1865.

On June 18, 1885, Julius was united in marriage to Augusta Plantikow. The ceremony took place in the Salem Church, Zion Township. After their marriage, they began farming on 160 acres of land in Paynesville Township. They remained on this farm until 1904, when Julius retired and moved into Paynesville with his family. Julius and Augusta were the parents of four children: Ervin H., Roda and Lilah (twin girls), and Orlanda.

Julius passed away at his home in Paynesville on Feb. 8, 1927. He was laid to rest in Zion Cemetery.

Samuel Nehring's second marriage was to Anna D. Butt, who was born in Germany in 1843. Nine children were born of this union. They are Matilda, John, Elizabeth, George who died in infancy, Lydia, Emanuel, Ida, Annie, and Josephine. Only four were alive in 1937: Matilda and Lydia who lived in St. Paul, Annie who lived in Duluth, and John in Paynesville.

Anna passed away the spring of 1879 following the birth of Josephine. She was buried in the Salem Cemetery. John Nehring married Wilhelmina Henneman of Trevor, Wis., on June 25, 1893. Wilhelmina was the daughter of Christ and Augusta (Luck) Henneman and was born in Germany. John was a painter by trade.

Mary Lueck was Samuel Nehring's third wife. She was also born in Germany and came to America in the fall of 1881. They were married on Dec. 18, 1881, in St. Cloud. They lived on the old farm in Section 21 of Zion Township. Five children were of this union: Emil, Paul, Mabel, Howard, and a child who died in infancy. In 1937, Emil lived in Bowbells, N.D., Mabel and Howard lived in St. Paul, and Paul in Paynesville.

Paul Nehring married Esther Frank, daughter of William and Louisa (Arndt) Frank on Dec. 19, 1912. They had two daughters, Madeline and Winifred. Paul was an engineer at the North American Creamery Association of Paynesville.

Samuel and Mary (Lueck) Nehring lived on their farm in Zion Township 25 years before moving into the village of Paynesville in April 1906. Shortly after they came to town, Samuel passed away. His death occurred on Aug. 6, 1906, and he was laid to rest in the Salem Cemetery.

Mary remained in Paynesville until 1918 when she married Edward Michaelis on Aug. 18, 1918. They went to Cooperstown, N.D., to live and Mary rented out her home in Paynesville.

Edward Michaelis was born in Germany in 1842. When he was 19 years old, he went to Canada where he stayed for eight years before coming to Cooperstown. He was a very prosperous farmer, owning quite a number of farms besides several places in town. After his marriage to Mary, he rented out all his land and lived in town.

Edward passed away on Dec. 16, 1927, and was laid to rest in the cemetery at Cooperstown.

After Edward's death, Mary left North Dakota and lived with her children in St. Paul for 10 years. In the spring of 1937, she moved back to her home in Paynesville.

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