Martin Christian Blohm (1824-1883)

Immigrant Generation

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Front: Lena (Blohm) Aiken, ________, Anna Agatha (Clausen) Blohm, Martin Christian Blohm, George Amus Blohm, Mary Blohm Reynolds. Back: No names. . . .

Martin Christian Blohm (1824-1883) brought his family to the U.S. when his oldest, George Amus Blohm was of age for military service. They were all born on the island of Pellworm, Schleswig-Holstein, which was part of Denmark when Martin Blohm and Anna Clausen were born. After a war between Denmark and Prussia and Austria, it became part of Prussia/Austria in 1864 and became part of the German Empire. So the Blohm children were “born in Germany.”

Martin Blohm didn’t want his sons fighting for the kaiser in the Franco-Prussian war. They came to America in 1870, settling in Madison County, Iowa.

Descendants of Martin Christian Blohm

All but Johannes were born in Pellworm, Germany.

1850 – George Amus Blohm born. Became a butcher and grocer in Dexter, Iowa. (My great grandfather.)

1851 – Mary A. Blohm born. Married John J. Reynolds, lived Madison Co., Iowa.

1852 – Mathias A. Blohm born. Became a butcher in Carroll, Iowa.

1854 – August L. Blohm born. Became a Des Moines butcher.

1856 – Martin A. Blohm born. Became a merchant.

1858 – Herman Blohm born. Lived near Ord, Madison Co., Iowa.

1860 – John J. Blohm born. Became a miner at Colorado Springs, Colorado.

1862 – Anton Blohm born. Became a butcher in Carroll, Iowa.

1864 – Caroline A. “Lena” Blohm born. Married Lou Aiken, lived at Van Meter, Iowa.

1872 – Johannes D. Blohm born in their new country, but only lived until 1874.

1883 – both parents (Martin and Anna) died. They are buried in Hamblin Cemetery, east of Macksburg, in Madison County.

George Amus Blohm, Dexter Butcher and Grocer

1885 – George Amus Blohm married Anna Marguerite Ohrt, whose family had also immigrated from Pellworm. All of their children were born at Dexter, Iowa.

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Back: Carl, Martha, Georga, Martin. Front: Ruby, Walt, Carrie, Frank, Hannah Edwin, Bill

1886 – Martin Anton Blohm born, died 1909.

1887 – Carl Detliff Blohm born. Drafted for WW I, but never got farther than Camp Dodge. Later owned the Locker Plant and Grocery store in Weldon, Iowa.

1888 – George Amus Blohm opened a butcher shop on Polk Street in Dexter. He did all of his own butchering, smoked his meat and made wieners, bologna, sausage, etc., besides rendering all of the lard.

1889 – Martha M. Blohm born. Never married.

1890 – George Albert Blohm. Drafted in WW I. Became a veterinarian.

1892 – Hannah Christine Blohm born. Married Ira Cox. Children:

1894 – Carrie Helen Blohm born. Married L. E. Marsh. Children:

1896 – William Richard (Bill) Blohm. WW I – helped build a bridge across the Rhine River. Rural mail carrier. Married Georgia. Children: Thelma Blohm, William (Bill) Blohm (veterinarian in Carroll, IA), Peggy (Blohm) Wells.

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Bill and Georgia Blohm with Peggy, Billy, and Thelma

1898 – Ruby Emma Blohm born. She was my only grandparent to finish high school, in 1916. She played basketball for Dexter. Ruby married Kenneth Neal. Children: Warren, Elizabeth (Betty Neal) Wells, Willis (Bill), Nadine (Neal) Shepherd, Marian (Neal) Beaman, Scott Carl.

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Kenneth and Ruby (Blohm) Neal Family: Warren Neal, Marian Beaman, Nadine Shepherd, Betty Wells, Bill Neal

1900 – Edwin Hoyt Blohm born. Never married. Did butchering and meat cutting for Blohm’s Grocery, and ran the locker there.

1902 – Walter Conrad Blohm born. WW II – a cook in Europe. Never married.

1904 – Frank Delwood Blohm born. Became a veterinarian in Hubbard, Iowa. (John J. Blohm, a brother of George Amus Blohm, tried his hand at gold mining in Colorado. George Amus Blohm invested in his mine, but said that all he got out of it was Frank’s middle name.) Married Mona. Children: George, Jane.

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George, Frank, Jane, and Mona

 

Blohm’s Grocery

1906 – George Amus Blohm bought the store on Dexter’s main street, where he converted it into a meat and grocery store. His oldest daughter Martha began working in the store full time soon after this when she graduated from high school. All eleven Blohm children worked in the store at some time. Walt said he began working in the store soon after he learned to walk, or so it seemed.

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George Blohm is in the middle row, fourth from left.

In the early days of the grocery and meats there were four free deliveries a day. In later years it was only two a day, and eventually was discontinued completely. A small restaurant was added.

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1918 – George A. Blohm died. (Obituary below) When his son Carl returned from military duty he took over the butchering until 1934.

1933 – During July the Barrow Gang (Bonnie and Clyde, Clyde’s brother Buck and his wife Blanche, and a driver) hid out in Dexfield Park. Buck had a severe head wound. Clyde made several trips into Dexter for food and medicine. Five days in a row he ordered a chunk of ice and “five dinners to go” from the restaurant section of the store, run by Carl Blohm and his wife. Clyde promised to take the dishes and silverware back, and he did. (Buck and Blanche were soon captured, but Bonnie, Clyde, and their driver stole a car from Fellers at their nearby farm. They returned to central Iowa the next April to rob the Stuart bank.)

1939 – Martha, Ed and Walt Blohm operated a restaurant known as the “Indian Grill.”

1940 – A locker plant was installed and Ed became the full time butcher. After 1942 it was operated as a grocery and locker in a building built in 1918.

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1942 – The Indian Grill was closed when Walt was called to the army. Martha and Ed continued to operate the grocery and locker.

Obituary of George Amus Blohm

George Amus Blohm was born June 12, 1850 in Pellworm, Duchy of Schleswig, Germany, died Nov. 9, 1918 at Dexter, Dallas County, Iowa. He was the eldest son of Martin Christian Blohm and Anna Agatha nee Clausen. In 1870 he came to this country and had his stay south of Winterset. His permanent home was to be in Dexter, where on Aug. 11, 1885 he married Anna Ohrt, who survives him. He was one of the thrifty business men of the town, conducting a meat market and later adding a grocery store. A little over a month ago he completed a new building for his stores and had barely settled down when death brought to a sudden end a life of activity.

Last Saturday noon at dinner he was saying in the happy circle of family that the war was coming to an end and that soon the boys, among them three boys of his, would come home. The home coming was to be of a different nature from that anticipated. He went about some work on his farm northeast of town where he was struck down by apoplexy. Life had ebbed away before a physician could reach the scene. What a shock to the family when their husband and father, who but a few hours ago appeared to be in the best of health, was now brought home a corpse. Who knows how near my end may be? Time speed away, and death comes on. How swiftly, oh! how suddenly, may death be here and life be gone. The world that smiled when morn was come may change for me ere close of eve. So long as earth is still my home, in peril of my death I live, My God, for Jesus’ sake I pray Thy peace may bless my dying day!

Mr. Blohm leaves to mourn his sudden departure his widow and the children Carl, Martha, George, Hanna, wife of Mr. Ira Cox, Carry, wife of Mr. Lawrence Marsh, William, Ruby, wife of Mr. Kenneth Neal, Edwin, Walter, Frank, and three grandchildren. Carl, George and William are in the service of our country, the latter being with the American Expeditionary forces in France. One son, Martin Anton, the oldest of the family, preceded his father in death nine years ago last May. There are three brothers and two sisters to survive Mr. Blohm: Anton of Carroll, Ia., John of Colorado Springs, Colorado, August of Des Moines, Iowa, Mrs. Mary Reynolds of Winterset, Iowa, and Mrs. Lena Aikins of Van Meter, Iowa.

Mr. Blohm was a life long member of the Lutheran faith, and since his coming here had joined and remained a member of the Evangelical Lutheran church of Dexter.

The funeral services were held Friday, Nov. 15, at 10:00 a.m. at the house an at 10:30 at the Lutheran Church, conducted by the pastor of the church, Rev. Hermann Schmidt. The burial took place in the Dexter cemetery.

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Advertising crock

Some information is from the History of Dexter, Iowa for Dexter’s Centennial in 1968, page 30.

Clipping called “Family Affair Through the Years,” also obituary.

Running with Bonnie and Clyde – John Neal Phillips, pages 146-149.

 

9 comments

  1. The “locker” caught my attention because we had one for years in Enosburg. People rented a locker to keep frozen meat when they’d buy, say, a quarter of a steer.

  2. I ran into an Ohrt in my research recently, but now can’t recall where! I was going to ask you what the unwed Martha did for a living, but then you answered my question. Lots of butchering and other food-related work going on in that family.

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