Steinauer Family in the United States

Category: Obituaries

Johanna Ochsner

May 25, 1988

Johanna Ochsner died on 12 April 1988 shortly before her 90th birthday after a time of suffering of several weeks. She was a teacher of handicraft and housekeeping and well known in the village and countryside. Johanna was born 30 September 1898 in St. Sebastian called the “Alte Wiege” (Old Cradle) in the house of her Great-Grand Uncle Melchior Kaelin (1829 – 1897) the well-known “Wiegae Melk”. She was the only daughter of Postman Meinrad Ochsner (1863 – 1953) and Josepha Kaelin 1856 – 1932). She led a simple life in her youth at Luegeten and Waid and went to school in Einsiedeln. Later she attended a finishing school in Bulle (in the French speaking part of Switzerland) and then studied at the Housekeeper and Handicraft College in St. Gallen to become a teacher.

In 1922 she was elected to the “Viertelsschule” and village school and was teacher there until 1975. She was known to be an accurate and well-meaning teacher. Many old people of Einsiedeln remember her going on foot to the “Viertelsschulen”.

Johanna loved everything beautiful in nature and art and had an open eye for our nearer home country. She not only climbed 350 times the Hochetzel and knew all of Switzerland well especially the Tessin and the Wallis which were her favorite regions. Her big passion besides walking in free nature was the far away USA. She never wanted to visit “The New World” and so she compensated by writing often to her American relations. She was also proud that her relations visited her almost every year. She cherished her Great-Grand Uncle of her Mother’s side, the Pioneer of Emigrants from Einsiedeln, Joseph Alois Steinauer (1834 – 1907), “S’Ankaedrueselers”, whom she knew personally from his visits to Einsiedeln.

Joseph Alois Steinauer was originally from “Langruetibach”. He was the youngest of seven children and could go to school only 3 years as he had to help his family financially because his father died in 1849. By looking after the goats in Waegital and Kloental and giving a hand to the woodcutters.

There was no future for him in Einsiedeln and as many did in these bad years he made his mind up to emigrate to America in 1852 when he was only 18 years old. He possessed a mere few “Batzen” (coins) and the emigration fee of 10 Louisdors was provided by the community of Binzen. There was no friend and no acquaintance to help the young emigrant in the far away land. He went to the states Kentucky, Indiana and Wisconsin. By letters he convinced his brothers Anton (1820 – 1891) and Nikolaus (1825 – 1890) to join him in the USA. The three of them went to Nebraska. It took them 3 weeks to get from Louisville to the state of Nebraska with their 2 horses, 1 cart and some agricultural equipment. They travelled in stages of 25 miles per day to Nebraska where Uncle Sam had plenty of land for everybody at that time. They settled in the non urbanized region of Pawnee County near the planned Pacific Railway New York – San Francisco.

The Steinauer brothers urbanized and fertilized the land and built-up farms for cattlebreeding, corn, fruit and vineyards. They were almost continuously threatened by the Indians.

They named their growing settlement “Steinauer” a Catholic little town which is still in full economic bloom and where many of their offspring live today.

Johanna Ochsner was fascinated by this spirit of the pioneers. This may be because she herself had some mercenary’s blood in her from her father’s side (S’Waenimichels).

Johanna Ochsner was a representative of the old times of Einsiedeln. She loved her kin and was very fond of young people and open for anything new to the end of her life. May she rest in the peace of God.

Nell Woods Steinauer

May 16, 1968

Mrs. Nell Woods Steinauer was born near Steinauer, Nebraska on May 16, 1880. She was one of six children born to John and Charlotte Woods. In her early years she was employed at Edees Dry Goods store in Pawnee City.

She and Frank M. Steinauer were married in the Catholic Church in St. Joseph, Missouri on Aug 11, 1915. To this union one daughter was born. Her name was Lois Frances.

Nell and Frank lived their married life in Steinauer. Frank was President of the Steinauer Bank after his father, Joseph passed away.

After Frank passed away Nell moved to Lincoln, Nebraska. Later she moved to Seattle where her daughter lived. Nell passed away in Seattle on May 16, 1968 at the age of 88 years. She leaves to mourn her daughter, Lois, son-in-law Robert Caldwell, and two grandsons Robert and Barry.

Funeral services were at the Presbyterian Church. She is buried at the Acacia Mausoleum in Seattle, WA.

John Obrist

Sep 10, 1964

John Obrist, 95, Steinauer, died at 4:14 o’clock Thursday morning, Sept. 10, 1964, at the home of his son, Charles Obrist, at Steinauer.

He had been in failing health for over five years and bedfast for the past eight months.

Mr. Obrist was born March 22, 1869, in the Cold Point neighborhood near Steinauer, the son of the late Frederick and Maria Obrist. He lived in the Cold Point vicinity until 1912 when he and his family moved to a farm home bordering the village of Steinauer so he could give his children the advantage of attending the new St. Anthony’s school.

On Oct. 17, 1892, he was married to Mary Agnes Steinauer of Steinauer in St. Anthony’s church. Eleven children were born to this union.

Mrs. Obrist died at the family home in 1951.

Mr. Obrist farmed all of his life until he retired in 1953 to the home of his daughter, Miss Marcella in Steinauer. Because of Marcella’s ill health, his daughter, Mrs. Emma Vrtiska, came to care for him in 1960. He entered the hospital in January, 1964, and then in February went to the Charles Obrist home.

He became a member of St. Anthony’s Catholic church in 1892. He was a Fourth Degree Knight of Columbus and a charter member of Beatrice council 1723. He was a member of the Holy Name society of St. Anthony’s church and was president of the organization for 30 years. In 1955, he received the Papal Cross pro Ecclesia et Pontifice as an outstanding member of the Catholic church.

One son, Msgr. L. F. Obrist, Falls City and a grandson Rev. John Obrist, Lincoln, are in the priesthood; and two grandsons, Larry Obrist and Harold Obrist, are studying for the priesthood. Two daughters and one granddaughter are Benedictine nuns. They are Sisters M. Jeanette, M. Loyola and Mary Walter.

Surviving him are five daughters, Mrs. Emma Vrtiska, Steinauer, Mrs. Tom Dougherty, Burchard, Miss Marcella Obrist, Falls City, Sister M. Loyola and Sister M. Jeanette, Mount St. Scholastica convent, Atchison, Kans.; and six sons, J. W. Obrist and Msgr. L. F. Obrist, Falls City, Charles Obrist, Steinauer, Clary Obrist, Tecumseh, Gerald Obrist, Steinauer, Omer J. Obrist, Los Angeles, Calif.

Thirty grandchildren, 91 great grandchildren and five great great grandchildren also survive.

The body of Mr. Obrist was taken to Sts. Peter & Paul church in Falls City for a requiem high mass Friday morning at 10:45 o’clock. Msgr. Obrist sang the mass.

The body of Mr. Obrist was taken to St. Anthony’s church where the rosary was recited at 8 p.m. Friday.

Funeral services were held at the St. Anthony’s Catholic church in Steinauer on Saturday, Sept. 12, at 10:30 a.m. Msgr. L. F. Obrist was celebrant of the solemn requiem high mass: Father Anthony Gruesser was the deacon of the mass; Father John C. Obrist, sub-deacon; Father William Kalin, master of ceremonies; Larry and Harold Obrist, acolytes. Msgr. R. L. Wageman of Friend, who had been pastor of St. Anthony’s for 18 years, preached the sermon..

The Knights of Columbus and Holy Name Society participated in the services.

Pallbearers were grandsons of Mr. Obrist: Jerome Obrist, Charles Vrtiska, Adrian Vrtiska, Harold Dougherty, Melvin Dougherty and John Rinne.

Mrs. Anna Steinauer

Nov 18, 1960

Mrs. Anna Steinauer passed away in her home here (Steinauer) Sunday morning at 5 a,m. after a series of strokes and long illness at the age of 92 years.

Surviving are daughters: Mildred and Genevieve and Mrs. Paul Manhart; sons: Norbert of Steinauer, Dr. Richard of California and Dr. Jerome of Omaha, her husband, Nick and one son preceeded her in death.

Funeral services were held in St. Anthony’s church Tuesday moming with Requium High Mass offered by Msgr. Jerome Pokomy.

Mrs. Ida Urich

Aug 15, 1958

Ida, the daughter of Nicholas Steinauer and his wife, Maryann nee Geiger, was born Jan. 31, 1875 on the family homestead west of Steinauer, Nebr., and shortly thereaiter was presented to her Lord by the sacrament of baptism. ARer instruction in the Christian faith she was confirmed by the Rev. Herman Krieger at Pentecost, 1890.

With the exception of the past few years she lived her entire life in the Steinauer community which she had learned to love very dearly.

On Jan. 9, 1900, she was married to John Urich of this community. Three children were born to this union: John, Arthur and Esther. Esther departed this life while only a child. Mr. Urich passed away in 1938 and the son, Arthur, in 1943. One brother, Nicholas, also preceded her in death.

Mrs. Urich was a devout Christian, was faithful to her church and was always interested in the welfare of the church and its members. Although she had been in frail health for several years, she had much faith and great fortitude in times of sickness and trouble. She was possessed of a remarkable memory in connection with family ties and the birthdays and anniversaries of her relatives and friends.

A few months ago she entered the Gordon Home at Pawnee City and departed this life at the home on Friday, Aug. 15, 1958 at the age of 83 years, six months and 15 days.

She leaves to mourn her departure, her son and daughter-in-law, John and Nellie Urich of Virginia; her twin sister, Mrs. Lena Vrtiska of Pawnee City; four grandchildren; three great grandchildren and many other relatives and friends.

Funeral services were conducted from Salem Evangelical and Reformed church at Steinauer at 2 p.m. Aug 17. Interment was made in the church cemetery, with Rev. H. W. Radloff, officiating.

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