Küster is a Germanic name meaning sexton or churchwarden. It can be further traced to the late latin word 'custor' which meant guard or warden.

The Canton of Bern lies in the northwest portion of the Swiss Federation. While populated by both French and Germanic peoples, the German-speakers outnumber the French by about 4-to-1. The canton is predominantly Protestant and was one of the first to affiliate with the Swiss Reformed Church created by Ulrich Zwingli in the 1520s. While the Catholic and Protestant cantons of Switzerland often fought amongst themselves, they realized that the greater threat came from their larger neighbors that surrounded them on all sides.

In 1848, the Swiss Federation took its current form with the city of Bern as its capital. By this time, the areas of Switzerland near Bern, Zurich and Lucerne were among the most industrialized in Europe (after Britain). It was also at about this time that a great wave of people started emigrating out of Switzerland. About 400,000 people left between 1850 and 1910, largely for economic reasons.

Samuel Kuster, son of Christian Kuster, was born in the Canton of Bern in 1836. Little is known about his childhood, other than that he received what was referred to as a standard education. In 1860 Samuel and Nicolas Kuster immigrated to America, arriving in New York City on March 5th. It is unclear if Nicolas and Samuel were brothers or cousins.



The Kuster Family in America

By the onset of the American Civil War in 1861, Samuel was living outside Cincinnati, Ohio, where he soon met and wed his wife, a Canadian-born girl of French and English parents, and they started a family. Samuel, Mary and their three children move to Iowa in 1869. Five more children would be born to them during the next decade or so that they spent in Iowa and one more after moving to Minnesota.



Christian Kuster
b. Abt 1811

Samuel Kuster
1836 - 1918

Samuel immigrates from Switzerland to the United States in 1860.
Frank C. Kuster
1872 - 1955

Frank spends his early years moving from job to job before the cost of raising a family causes him to settle down into farming.
Ethel Viola Kuster
1905 - 1984

Ethel marries into the Drees family, much to the surprise of her parents and siblings, who consider her new inlaws much too stern.


Names Index

DREES, Albert Jr.
DREES, Barbara
DREES, Donald
DREES, Doris
DREES, Dorothy
DREES, Ethel
DREES, John
DREES, Mary
HOOEY, Mary
KULESZA, Barbara
KUSTER, Berdella
KUSTER, Charles

KUSTER, Emma
KUSTER, Ethel
KUSTER, Frank
KUSTER, Frank Jr.
KUSTER, Frederick Henry
KUSTER, Frederick Paul
KUSTER, George
KUSTER, Henry
KUSTER, Lloyd
KUSTER, Lois
KUSTER, Raymond
KUSTER, Ruth

KUSTER, Samuel
KUSTER, Samuel David
KUSTER, Walter
LAGERBERG, Ruth
MAIER, Lois
PEDERSON, Barbara
RACHOW, Doris
RACHOW, Mark
RUDISUHLE, Emma
SCHROETER, Dorothy
SCHROETER, Shawn

Thanks to Donna Widenhoefer for her recollections and research on the Kuster family as contained in 'A Genealogy and History for the Family of Albert and Ethel Drees' (2000).