Joanna Friedericke Streich (1824-1906)
Joanna Friedericke Streich was born on 08 Nov 1824 in Dobberphul, Pommern, Prussia. She was baptized in the Lutheran Church on 21 Nov 1824 in Dobberphul, Pommern, Prussia. She was the fourth child of Johann Friederick Streich and Maria Elizabeth Luise Liesener. She had three siblings, namely: Dorothea Sophia, Maria Louisa, and Gottfried.
When she was 23, Joanna married Gottfried Friederick Draeger, son of Michael Friederick Dräger and Christina Bohn, on 13 Nov 1848 in Evangelical Church, Dobberphul, Pommern, Prussia. She was known as Friedericke and he was known as Friederick.
Gottfried Friederick Draeger and Joanna Friedericke Streich had the following children:
- Carl August Ferdinand Draeger was born on 18 Sep 1849 in Dobberphul, Pommern, Prussia. He died several weeks later, on 07 Nov 1849, in Dobberphul, Pommern, Prussia.
- Emilie Friedericke Luise Draeger was born on 12 Oct 1850 in Dobberphul, Pommern, Prussia. She married Carl F. Fehlhaber on 21 May 1872 in the Town of Maine, Marathon, Wisconsin. She died on 12 Dec 1910 in the Town of Berlin, Marathon, Wisconsin, at the age of 60.
- Carl Friedrich Draeger was born on 21 Jan 1853 in Dobberphul, Pommern, Prussia. He died on 03 Jan 1855 in Dobberphul, Pommern, Prussia at 23-months old.
- August Wilhelm Draeger was born on 10 Oct 1855 in Dobberphul, Pommern, Prussia. He died on 02 Feb 1939 in Merrill, Lincoln, Wisconsin, at the age of 83.
- Charles Frederick Draeger was born on 26 Sep 1858 in Maine, Marathon, Wisconsin. He married Anna Wilhelmina Alberta Saeger on 22 Oct 1886 in Maine, Marathon, Wisconsin. He died on 05 Sep 1936 in Merrill, Lincoln, Wisconsin, at the age of 77.
- Wilhelmina “Minnie” Draeger was born on 26 Jun 1860 in Wausau, Marathon, Wisconsin. She married Hjlmar August Reuter in 1883 in Rhinelander, Oneida, Wisconsin. She died on 18 Nov 1938 in Wausau, Marathon, Wisconsin, at the age of 78.
- Mathilda Louisa Frederika Draeger was born on 20 Feb 1863 in Maine, Marathon, Wisconsin. She married William Sylvester Twomey on 27 May 1894 in Wausau, Marathon, Wisconsin. She died on 21 May 1933 in Waupaca, Waupaca, Wisconsin, at the age of 70.
The early 1850s must have been difficult for Friedericke and Friederick. Their oldest son died on 7 Nov 1849. Friedericke’s father died 27 Dec 1852. Her mother died 12 Jul 1853. Their third child, the second son, died on 3 Jan 1855. Friederick’s dad died 25 Sep 1855. His mom died a couple weeks later on 3 Oct 1855. That is a lot of loss in a very short time.
Maybe the deaths of their parents made it easier to decide to leave Prussia to resettle in America. Most people leaving Prussia, when they did, left because of economic hardships including unemployment and crop failures or to avoid wars and military service. For whatever reason, the Draegers and their two young children boarded the ship Gerhardt and sailed to America. They arrived in New York on 9 Jun 1856. They settled in Wisconsin and soon were farming on land they owned in Maine Township, Marathon County, Wisconsin. Their three youngest children were born in America. When they arrived in Wisconsin, it was just starting to be settled. The first German settlement in the Town of Maine happened in 1856, the year of their arrival. Marathon County was settled by a large number of people, including the Draegers, from Pomerania, which was then a Prussian province in what is now present-day northern Germany and Poland. Pomeranians spoke PlattDeutsch, also known as Low German, and established many Lutheran churches.
Compared to the rest of Wisconsin, Marathon County was late to be settled. It had been a lumber community and a place for transient fur traders. Those who had spent time there reported that the land wouldn’t be good for farming because it was “stony, barren, mountainous, marshy, and unhealthful for civilized people.” No one had considered that Wausau would be a permanent settlement. Once the trees were cut down, there wouldn’t be anything left to harvest. “But when clover and timothy sprang up where manure had been dropped on the logging roads, the pinery men realized that fodder at least could be raised here.” By 1850, some land had been cleared for farming, but there were only 226 acres in Marathon County under cultivation. When the Draegers arrived in 1856, they had to tame their land for farming. Katcher, in his article about the Rural Region of Wausau County, wrote, “Only with stubborn endurance could the pioneer force the root-matted land to yield to cultivation.”
They had no modern conveniences. Friedericke had to work hard to manage the house, tend to her five children, and help with the farming. The family probably planted potatoes among the trees and stumps and then harvested them in the fall, burying them beneath piles of straw, leaves and dirt to protect them from freezing in the winter. Maybe, eventually, they had a root cellar. They may have made maple syrup in the spring, drawing sap from the trees. All of the farming was originally done by hand, perhaps with the help of an ox or two. Wheat had to be hand ground. Friedericke couldn’t just run to the store if she was about to run out of flour. As the decades passed, more and more settlers came to the area and things got easier.
By the time, Friedericke and Frederick retired from farming, the population of Marathon County had exploded. The couple moved off the farm and to 418 North 1st Avenue in the city of Wausau.
Friedericke was widowed on 22 Dec 1899. After Friederick’s death, Friedericke lived at home for a while, but later lived with her daughters.
Joanna Friedericke Streich Draeger died on 03 Jan 1906 in the Town of Berlin, Marathon, Wisconsin at the home of her daughter Emilie. She was 81-years old at the time of her death. She was buried in Jan 1906 in Pine Grove Cemetery, Wausau, Marathon, Wisconsin.
Where is she in the tree?
David Katcher, History of Wausau centennial project, “The Rural Region,” p. 77, Web, 2 Nov 2017, http://digital.library.wisc.edu/1711.dl/WI.HistWausauCenten.
“Marker 552: Pomeranian Settlement in Marathon County,” Wisconsin Historical Markers, Web, 2 Nov 2017, http://www.wisconsinhistoricalmarkers.com/2014/08/marker-552-pomeranian-settlement-in.html.