Obit: Rondorf, Joseph (1855 - 1939)

Transcriber:  Steven Lavey


Surnames: Rondorf, Dorn, Richardson, Fleming, Zickert, Grosnick, Davis, Turner, Mortimer, Anderson, Buchholz, Smith, Roth, Schmitz, Seiger, Trinkes, Buffington, Schell, Gassen, Acerman, Hollander, Bans

----Source: The Loyal Tribune, January 19, 193,: Loyal, Wisconsin, Hilarious Rondorf Letters provided by Lynda (Dorn) Clark

Obituary Notice

Joseph Rondorf was born in Dane County, Wisconsin, August 16, 1855 (to Hilarius and Anna Rondorf) and passed away at the home of his daughter, Mrs. (Mamie) Archie Dorn, in the Town of Loyal, on January 8, 1939, being 83 years, 4 months old. The cause of his death was old age complications. In June 1860, his parents and family moved to Monroe County, Wisconsin where he was married on May 18, 1880 to Miss Odelia Algra of Melvina, Wisconsin. They lived in Monroe County two years, then moved in 1882 to Clark County and settled ion a piece of land in the Town of York. There the deceased lived until 1935 when he went to live with his daughter. Mr. Rondorf's wife died on January 21, 1913. In 1922 he was married to Mrs. Ella Richardson who died a few years later. The deceased is survived by two children, Mamie, Mrs. Archie Dorn, Loyal and Rella Rondorf, Mound, Minnesota, three grandchildren, Dale, Lowell, and Lucille Dorn, and one brother, Matt Rondorf, Greenwood, Wisconsin. He was preceded in death by three brothers and one sister and two children who died in infancy. Funeral services were held Wednesday at 1:00 P.M. form the home of his daughter and 2:00 o'clock at the M.E. Church at York Center, the Rev. R. J. Fleming of Loyal conducting the services. He was laid to rest in the family lot in the York Center Cemetery. The pall bearers were Walter Rowe, R.A. Zickert, Henry Grosnick, John Davis, Abie Turner and Jesse Mortimer all of York Center. The flower girls were Doris and Helen Anderson, Arlene and Vera Buchholz, Evelyn Smith and Bernadine Roth. Among the relatives attending the funeral from away were Mr. & Mrs. R. J. Rondorf, Mound, Minnesota; Mr. & Mrs. Hilarius Rondorf, Shawno; Mr. & Mrs. F. W. Schmitz, Sparta; Mr. William Rondorf, Thief River Falls, Minnesota; Mr. Casper H. Schmitz, Mrs. Peter Seiger, Mr. Henry Trinkes and Mr. William Trinkes, all of LaCrosse; Mr. & Mrs. Matt Rondorf, Mr. & Mrs. Joe Rondorf and Mr. Alfred Rondorf of Greenwood; Mr. & Mrs. Dale Dorn of Milwaukee; Mr. & Mrs. William Rondorf and son Dale, Mr. & Mrs. George Buffington, Marshfield; and Mr. & Mrs. Lowell Dorn of Fairchild.

Biographical Information

Bio: Rondorf, Hilarious (1828 - 1891)

1880 Federal Census, Jefferson, Monroe, Wisconsin, United States

Hilarius Rondorf, 52 yr. old, married male
Occupation: Farmer 
Birthplace: Germany
Father's Birthplace: Germany
Mother's Birthplace: Germany

Household Members
Hilarius Rondorf Self M 52 Germany
Anna M Rondorf Wife F 49 Germany
Joseph Rondorf Son M 24 Wisconsin, United States
Henry Rondorf Son M 21 Wisconsin, United States
Hilarius Rondorf Son M 18 Wisconsin, United States
Mathias Rondorf Son M 10 Wisconsin, United States
Odilia Rondorf Daughter-in-law F 18 Wisconsin, United States
William Rondorf Son M 13 Wisconsin, United States

The following letters were written by Hilarious Rondorf on March 24 1887, February 28, 1882, March 22, 1890, and November 1, 1890.



March 1887


Dear Children,


I will here now write from my traveling day-book from Germany over the ocean to New York and I wish that this either of my children would translate this in English and put it on the opposite blanks space.


That while I and you mother were the first one that emigrated from Germany to North America by the name of Rondorf and that the coming generation may know where the name derived from.


I, your father, Hilarious Rondorf, was born in Bergheim (a village) in the district of Selberg, government district Keeln in the Province of Reinprenssen, Germany, Europe, and also is you mother, Ann Maria.  Her family's name is Schell.  My father's name was Mathias Rondorf.  My mother's family name was Anna Margaretha Gassen.


You mother's father's name was Henry Schell and her mother's family name was Elisabetha Scheitz.  I, your father, was born Dec. 23, 1828, and your mother was born July 28, 1830, and we married May the 18th, 1851.  And we lived in Bergheim in our house with my father (Mathias) until he died.  Then we sold our little land and house and started on the 23rd day of April 1854 in Loeln with the railroad to Antwarpan, and from there on a sail-ship, Leopold 1, to New York.


Dear Children, To make a trip across the ocean now on a steamer it takes only a short time, about two weeks, from Europe to America.  So I will describe to you our travel across the ocean, which I and you mother, with our daughter Lizzie, which was 21 months old, which I take from my day book as follows:


On the 27th day of April 1854 until the 20th day of June we were on the ship.  Before we landed in New York we had a good chance to take a good view at the ocean because she went slow and some days hardly no wind.  We were so accustomed on the ship that we thought we were at home on it and if the victuals and water had not been so poor it would have gone better.


We enjoyed a great deal of the time in dances, theatres and other amusements but the seasickness kept us on the hard bed a good many days.  After a 63 day journey we landed in New York.  Then started on the railroad to Madison, Wisconsin.  We had no relatives or friends in this country so it was the same wherever we went, and so we were in a strange country without relatives or friends and no money.  A man by the name of Acerman pitied us and took us along on his farm in the town of Roxbury, Dane County, Wisconsin and he allowed us to live in his house for free of charge for a time so we had a place for shelter.


Then we, I and you mother, worked for other folks until the 15th day of May 1856.  They we moved to town Perry, Dane County, Wisconsin and we worked until we had money enough to buy us 80 acres of land.  The rest we bought later and on the 1st of June, 1860 we moved on the land in the town of Jefferson, Monroe County, Wis.


The only brother I had died the 15th of January 1860 in Italy in the city of Sussary on the Island of Saruenien.  He was a professor in a city in Spain.  On account of being consumptive he went to Italy in the hope of getting better.


The first years we were here it went quite hard for us because we paid all our money for the land and had to work for our daily bread.  At the same time the war broke out when all business was poor and an uncertain thing.


While we were poor yet and the children small I stayed away from the war but I thought if the fatherland is in danger I must go too.  So I started the 19th of February 1865 and joined the Regiment Company K, Wisconsin Vol.  We were stationed all the time at Athens, Alabama.  I enlisted for the town of Sparta and received $3000 and came back home again on the 12th day of October the same year.  My family was all well yet but I was sick and through the influence of the southern climate soon thereafter got the bilious fever which laid me up on the bed a couple of weeks.


We had six children, Lizzie, was born the 16th day of June 1852 in Bergheim, Germany.  Joseph was born the 16th day of August 1855 in the town of Roxbury, Dane County, Wis.  Henry was born the 26th day of October 1858 in the town of Perry, Dane County, Wis.  Hilarious was born on the 23rd day of February 1862 in the town of Jefferson, Monroe County, Wis.  Willie was born the 18th of November 1866 in the town of Jefferson, Monroe County, Wis.  Mathias was born the 4th day of May 1870 in the town of Jefferson, Monroe County, Wis.

I passed over a space of time of 16 years in which mothering happened only that in this time our daughter Lizzie and our son Joseph have married and our son Hilarious is trying to get a position on the railroad as operator.  And our son Henry is preparing himself to go to Minnesota this spring where he has a farm.


We write our children once more and may be the last item that they will meet together in our house which they also did on the 11, 12th and 13th of March 1887.  We had the pleasure to meet in our house together and may be the last time that they slept together in our house.


Dear Children, On account of your children we left Germany, our fatherland, to find a better home for you.  We have done what we could and so good as we thought and we wish that all of you may succeed.  We command you that you shall love each other as brothers and sisters.  And should one of you in later life have bad luck, help one another as good as is each ones means allows and lead a course of life that you need not be ashamed of for the people.  And keep the remembrance of your parents sacred after our death.


February 28, 1882.  I have now decided and made a testament in to my son Willie who shall stay with us and where we will pass our old days.  Dear Willie or any of my children is appointed to see that I and your mother shall receive a respectful funeral and with not too great expenses.  And according to our religious idea we will not be buried on the Catholic Cemetery and therefore see that we will receive a resting place on the town cemetery.  If a person blesses us or condemns us it make me no difference for we trust in God who will be us all our judge.  While I am a member of the Masonic Lodge number 60 in Sparta so notify after my death of of the members that I am dead and during my life it was my wish that I should be buried by the brethren of the Masonic Rite.  And I wish that my son Willie after my and your mother's death would erect a monument of any description except a slab.


So beloved children if you see our corpse lay before you so think it was our aim through mine and your mother's whole life to educate you children as respectable folks and make you happy and I hope  we have succeeded.  And should your mother outlive me I command you especially Willie to tak care of her as good as you can, as your mother and the rest of her life make it as comfortable to her as you can.


March 22, 1890.  My beloved wife Anna Maria and your mother died this morning at 1:30 o'clock.  And now we are alone in this world.  How the future will be, God knows.


November 1, 1890.  Dear Willie and Mathias should I die soon, see that I receive a respectable funeral.  And fear it not for me for I love and bless you and all my children, and wish you all good luck in this life.  I would like to stay with you but God's will will be done.  After my death erect a monument on my grave on the fronts side put the following words:

  Here rest in peace

 Hilarious Rondorf

Born Dec. 23, 1828

In Bergheim, Reinprenssen

Died Jan. 15, 1891(?)

Formerly a member of Company K

46 Wisconsin Infantry Vol.

(On the other side)

True God have mercy on me


Original Letter: [1]  [2]  [3]

(Click to enlarge)



Wisconsin Death Records


Obit: Rondorf, Hilarious (1828 - 1891)


Hilarius Rondorf
Event Type: Death
Event Date: 10 Jan 1891 (?)
Event Place: Monroe, Wisconsin
Page: 0075


SAINT MARY’S RIDGE CATHOLIC CEMETERY, Cashton, Monroe County, Wisconsin Burials, 26418 County Hwy U

Rondorf, Anna M. 1891-1892
Rondorf, Elizabeth 1872-1924
Rondorf, H. 1830-1890
Rondorf, Herman J. 1895-1895
Rondorf, Hilarius 1828-1891
Rondorf, Wm. 1866-1932


Wisconsin Marriage Records


BioM: Algra, Ottilie (1880)


Joseph Rondorf
Spouse's Name: Ottilie Algra
Event Date: 18 May 1880
Event Place: Monroe, Wisconsin
Father's Name: Hilarius Rondorf
Mother's Name: Anna Maria Ischell
Spouse's Father's Name: Hank Algra
Spouse's Mother's Name: Petronella Hollander




BioM: Goette, Maria (1893)


Hilarius Rondorf
Spouse's Name: Maria Goette
Event Date: 09 May 1893
Event Place: Monroe, Wisconsin
Father's Name: Hilarius Rondorf
Mother's Name: Maria Scholl
Spouse's Father's Name: John Goette
Spouse's Mother's Name: Maria Basenach




BioM: Bans, Frederica (1896)


Mathias Rondarf
Spouse's Name: Frederica Bans
Event Date: 01 Sep 1896
Event Place: Monroe, Wisconsin
Father's Name: Hilarius Rondorf
Mother's Name: Anna M. Schell
Spouse's Father's Name: William Bans
Spouse's Mother's Name: Mary Schotten 




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