Casper and Marianna (Gribnau) Hirsch

Casper and Marianna Hirsch were of German descent but very proud to become Americans.  They valued their life in America.  They cameCasper, Marianna and John to America because they could see a better future and believed they could adapt to the American way of life.  Casper and Marianna retained their heritage, but displayed it only in their home.  When their children went to school it was important they learn the English language; German was only spoken at home if they wished.  We, the descendants of Casper and Marianna Hirsch can be very proud of them for the life they gave us in this world.

Casper was born January 6, 1865, in Rastadt, Russia to Jacob and Catherine (Matz) Hirsch.  Casper died January 31, 1931, in Milwaukee, Wisconsin.  He is buried at St. Philomene Cemetery in Birnamwood, Wisconsin.  Marianna Gribnau was born to Phillip Gribnau (her mother is unknown) on February 2, 1871 in Rastadt, Russia and died August 24, 1924, in Gilette, Wisconsin.  She is buried in Eland Junction, Wisconsin.

Casper Hirsch married Marianna Gribnau in 1890.  Casper, Marianna and baby Regine came to the United States via Ellis Island on Apr 16, 1892, from Hamburg, Germany on The Dania.  He was 27 years old and the first person in his family to move to America.  Casper and Marianna spent several years in New York.  The hope of owning land, free land in a free country was the magnet which attracted Casper and his family to the Great Northwest between 1900 and 1902. 

On December 12, 1910, Casper and Marianna donated six acres of land around Taylor, ND for a country church – St. Philip’s Catholic Church – to hold services for the German speaking immigrants.  Shortly after the church was completed, Casper established a Grocery and Hardware store nearby. 

On May 11, 1911, a U.S. Post office was annexed to the General store.  The station was called Hirschville in commemoration of its founder, Casper Hirsch. 

From 1911 to 1912 the store took in $3,224.17.  Casper stated that it was little enough, but his family alone needed a store because thirteen people (including not only his family but others that lived with him) ate almost everything.  He stated that life would have been worse had they not had the store.  They threshed 208 bushels of flax from 36 acres, 83 bushels of wheat from 75 acres, and 8 bushels of oats from 22 acres.  He hired his brother Johannes to help farm the land and paid him $200 for the year.

In a letter from Casper Hirsch dated January 19, 1912, to his sister Susanna and her husband Raphael Mosbrucker he explained that he was tired of North Dakota.  He wanted to sell out and return to New York.  His thoughts were to buy one or two houses and not have to freeze as much as they did in North Dakota.  He encouraged his sister and brother-in-law to join him in New York as it was “much Hoffman Hotel Eland, WIbetter than” North Dakota.

Casper and Marianna never made it back to New York.  Between 1912 and 1923 he purchased the Hoffman Hotel in Eland, Wisconsin. They resided in Wisconsin until their deaths. 

Casper and Marianna Hirsch had 7 children:

Regine  b. Aug 11, 1891 in Rastadt, Russia  d. Jan 17, 1945
Catharina  b. Mar 9, 1896 in Long Island, NY d. Jul 12, 1967
Mary  b. Dec 1897 in Long Island, NY d. *
Elisabeth   b. Aug 24, 1899 in Long Island, NY  d. Jan 15, 1988
Margaretha b. Dec 1, 1901 in Hirschville, ND d. Apr 30, 1961
Theresia b. May 31, 1903 in Hirschville, ND d. Jan 23, 1954 in Milwaukee, WI
John  b. Feb 11, 1909 in Hirschville, ND d. Sep 11, 1965 in Milwaukee, WI
 * 1900 Census was the last known documented source that referenced Mary.  Elisabeth shared a story with Ruth (Schneck) Hirsch that a sister had fallen out of a window in New York to her death.