The History of the

Gustav Reidel Family

Donated by Denise Ervasti


Gustav Frederick Reidel/Riedell was born 26 Aug 1859 in Posen, Posen, Germany (now Poznan', Poland), to Gustav Frederich Reidel and Henrietta Kampf/Kempf. [The father born 4 Oct 1834 in Schleisin/Silesia Germany (now Slasz, Poland) and died 19 Apr 1893 in Rock Island, Rock Island Co., IL,
with burial in the Immanuel Lutheran Cemetary in Rock Island on 21 Apr 1893. He was a postal worker in Germany.  He married his wife in Germany, probably @1855.  Henrietta Kampf/Kempf was born on 12 Aug 1834/5 in Posen, Posen, Germany (now Poland) and died 18 Mar 1920 in Rock Island, and is buried in
the same cemetary.  They immigrated around 1885, after their sons .] Gustav married Ernestina Wadtke/Wottke in Germany (some say on shipboard) around 1881, which is also the date of Gustav's immigration. Gustav died 6 Mar 1934 in Barron, Barron County, WI and is buried in the Wayside Cemetary in Barron.  His wife, Ernestina, was born 4 Apr 1863, possibly in Berlin, Germany, the daughter of August Wadtke. She immigrated in 1882, with their first child. Ernestina died 17 Mar 1939 in Barron, and is buried in the same cemetary, next to her husband. Census records indicate that Gustav, the son, was a naturalized citizen. I believe that the dates of immigration for Gustav then  his wife & daughter, and that daughters birth in Germany, suggest that they married in Germany, and he left very shortly after for the US, and then sent for wife and daughter. (Or they all had their dates wrong? and came at the same time?)

Gustav and Ernestina first lived in Rock Island then near Plainfield, IL, then moved to Fulda, MN. They next  moved near Hillsdale, Barron Co., WI. They again moved to St. Paul, MN, but moved back to WI, and finally settled into a house in Barron, across the street from the present day Dairy Queen (2001). In the 1892-93 city directory for Rock Island, IL we find Frederick (the father) residing at 1417  42nd St., Gustav (the son) residing at 1301 44th St., and siblings Herman and Hulda living with the father (Frederick).

The spelling change in the name from Reidel to Riedell, seems to have been initiated by Gustav and Ernestina's children before WW II. How much before that date, one can not know for sure, but I believe that after WW I, their German heritage was too difficult to advertise to their neighbors. Grandaughters of Gustav and Ernestina, remember the use of German language in prayers up to World War II.

The children of Gustave and Henrietta were:


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