Friedrich Heinrich Drees, 1875 Friedrich Heinrich Drees
1852 - 1936

BORN: 13 Dec 1852
         Beiren, Dono, Westfalia
CONFIRMED: Palm Sunday, 1867
MARRIED: Anne Katherine Ilsabein BRUENGER
         09 May 1875
         Dortmund, Westfalia
         16 May 1909
         Woodruff, Kansas
DIED: 04 Jan 1936
         Daykin, Nebraska

Frederick Heinrich Drees was born in the Bieren-Dono region of Westfalia and later moved to Dortmund to work in the mines before emigrating to America.

Frederick attended 8 years of school, graduating in 1867, the same year that he was confirmed. It was the custom in Germany at this time for the oldest boy to inherit the farm and pay the other siblings an "equal share" of the inheritance. If the eldest son married well, this was not a problem, but if not then the right of enheritance was passed to the next oldest child, and so on. In this case, one of Frederick's sisters married well and her husband took over the farm.

When Frederick was 20 he moved to Dortmund to work in the mines. It was here that he met Anna Bruenger, his future wife, who was working as a cook for the miners. They married on May 9th 1875.

Frederick and Anna moved to Herne-Holsterhausen in 1878-9 where 5 new mines were opening up. Work in the mines was dangerous work and it was while recovering from a broken leg in a mining accident that he and Anna began contemplating emigrating to America.

Many Germans came to America in the years between 1880 and 1890, riding a wave of emigration fever. Those who had emigrated before sent home letters of encouragement to their friends and family - stories of cheap land and opportunity. Frederick's brother August and his family were the first of the Drees Family to move, settling near Daykin, Nebraska in 1883. Frederick emigrated to Daykin a year later with his wife, four small children and his sister Elizabeth.

Their ship, either the Elbe or the Fulda, left Bremen on March 12th 1884 and arrived in New York on March 29th. Frederick became so sick on the trip that his family became afraid he would die, which frightened them because the did not want his body thrown overboard.

Fred and August Drees bought 160 acres just east of Daykin, which they divided. At first, both families shared a sod house. Fred got a job that kept him away during the week. August farmed the land with the help of Fred's wife, Anna. August's wife maintained the house and nursed two babies, her own and Annas. After a few years, Fred was able to build a wood-frame house on the land.

Life was difficult the first several years they lived in America. They worked long hours and lacked many simple items such as soap or coffee - they drank a beverage made from roasted wheat as a substitute. Fred bought a shoe making machine for August who took over the enterprise for the whole family. The children were teased by some of the local children who called them the "Wooden shoe Dutch". Frederick and Anna had three more children after moving to America, one of whom (Hannah) died from whooping cough.

Ethel and Albert Drees, 1931

The Frederick Drees family attended church at Tobias when they first arrived in Daykin, but were instramental in founding Saint John's Lutheran Church in 1888.

Frederick's wife Anna died in 1906. Soon thereafter, he moved to Woodruff, Kansas to be with his eldest son Fred. While in Woodruff, he met Lisse Kirchoff and they were married in 1909. Fred and Lisse moved back to Daykin in 1920, Fred having retired from active farming.

Frederick Heinrich Drees died on January 4th, 1936 in Daykin, Nebraska and is buried at St. Johns Cemetary, located about a half mile east of Daykin.


WIVES of Frederick Drees:
    Anne Katherine Ilsabein Bruenger
    Lisstet Rakop Kirchoff

PARENTS of Frederick Drees:
    Johann Heinrich DREES
    Anne Margaret Ilsabein SCHIERENBECK

CHILDREN of Frederick Drees and Anne Bruenger:
   1. Fredrich Heinrich DREES Jr

   2. Herman Heinrich DREES
   3. Anne Marie Louise (BRINGEWATT)
   4. Henry August DREES
   5. Anna Katarina Emma (MASCHMANN)
   6. Johanna "Hannah" Marie DREES
   7. Gustav DREES

CHILDREN of Frederick Drees and Lisstet Kirchoff:


  A Genealogy and History for the Family of Albert and Ethel Drees, by Donna Widenhoefer
  The Drees Family Tree, Book II, by Elsie Spicer
  1900 U.S. Federal Census for Jefferson Co., NE
  1910 U.S. Federal Census for Walnut, Phillips Co., KS
  1920 U.S. Federal Census for Jefferson Co., NE
  1930 U.S. Federal Census for Jefferson Co., NE
  WEB: Find A Grave