Ruby Emma Blohm Neal, born October 1, 1898

From the memoir of Ruby Neal:

My grandparents on both sides came from Germany. Grandpa Blohm came in 1872 after the Franco-Prussian War. He did not believe in the compulsory military training in Germany when a boy became 18, so he came to American with his family of 7 boys and 2 girls. He was born in Germany in 1824, named Martin Christian. He died Sept. 25, 1883 at the age of 59. Grandma Blohm was born Oct. 19, 1828 and died in 1883, Feb. 22, at the age of 55 years. They had to locate where there was timber for fuel and also water. They both died without ever seeing a grandchild and are buried in the Hamlin Cemetery near Macksburg [Madison County, Iowa].

. . . . The sons were all butchers except one, who was a miner in Colorado. Dad [George Amus Blohm] invested some money in the mine and all he got out of it was a middle name for my youngest brother, Frank Delwood Blohm. It was known as the Delwood Mining and Leasing Co. . . .

My mother came from Germany at about the age 3. She had a sister, Christine, and the two younger brothers were born in American: Pete and John Ohrt.

I was born in Dexter [Iowa] on Oct. 1, 1898 in the house where two of the Blohms still live. (1975) The first 3 years of my schooling I went to the school that was later made into a large home, when we moved to the new school which still stands, but is being replaced by a much larger, modern school (1975) and the old one will be torn down.



I was the 8th in a family of 11 children – 4 girls and 7 boys. My oldest brother died when he was about 21. He had never been very strong – had asthma all his life. (1978 – No one left in the old home so it was sold – for 80 years no one except a Blohm had lived in that house.)



  1. Wonderful post. Sheila Morris just wrote about her German immigrant family, too, and I was commenting that for as many Americans of German origins as there are we have a paltry amount written about their immigrant stories. I think the world wars made us turn away from them a bit, and it’s such a shame because they were a huge part of what “made America.” My paternal grandmother and her family came from Budesheim, right outside Bingen, on the Rhine. And my maternal grandmother’s mother’s family came from Prussia.

    • In Iowa (and probably other places), during WWI German immigrants were suspect because they still spoke German, even their church services were held in a foreign tongue. None came through my ancestors, but maybe that was because three older Blohm brothers served in WWI and two in WWII. My husband’s latest ancestors to arrive in the US also came from Germany, 1870s, were among the Pennsylvania “Dutch” before coming to Iowa after the Civil War.

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