Pgs 808 – 809
REV. PETER HENRY DICKE, of
Washington township, Shawano county, was born in Werther, Province of Westphalia,
Prussia, April 3, 1822, and is a son of John and Margaret (Blotenberg)
Dicke. John Dicke was born in 1795, and his wife Margaret,
about the same time. Mr. Dicke was a farmer all this life, and died in
his native place about 1845, his wife, who survived him, passing away about
two years later. Their children were as follows: Peter, Henry, the subject
of these lines; John Herman, who died in St. Louis, Mo.; Frederick, William,
a farmer in Goodhue county, Minn.; Herman Henry who died in St. Louis,
Mo.; Katrina, now Mrs. Henry Meyer, of Goodhue county, Minn.; and John
Henry, who resides in St. Louis, Missouri.
Peter Henry Dicke left the schools of his native place at the
age of fourteen. He then entered the Institute in Dresden, Germany,
and remained there for five years after which he attended a missionary
academy in Nuremberg, Germany, and there commenced to study for the ministry.
At the end of two years he left Nuremberg, and on October 23, 1851, embarked
from Havre, France, for the United States on the sailing vessel "William
Tell." After a voyage of thirty-five days he landed in New York, came direct
to Fort Wayne, Ind., and immediately afterward entered the German Lutheran
Seminary in that place. Finishing his studies there one year later, he
was assigned to Frankenlust, Saginaw Co., Mich., and was ordained October
16, 1852. Mr. Dicke's next charge was in Frankentrost, Mich., where he
remained for nearly four years. He then removed to Theresa, Dodge Co.,
Wis., and was pastor there for six years and four months, having charge
of six congregations in and around that town. His next pastorate was in
Belle Plaine, Shawano county, where he located June 23, 1863.
At Fort Wayne, Ind., on October 9. 1853, the Rev. Peter Henry
Dicke was united in marriage with Miss Katrina Betzler, who was born in
Eschenbach, Kingdom of Wurtemberg, Germany, October 27, 1832, and they
have had the following named children: Caroline, deceased, who was the
wife of Rev. Mr. Stute; Henry, who married Mary Hartwig, and is an industrial
teacher on the Keshena Indian Reservation, in Shawano county; Mary, now
Mrs. John Krieger, of Sioux City, Iowa; Paulina, who married Rev.
Mr. Runge, of Charter Oak, Iowa; Frederick, now deceased; Herman, who died
in infancy; Hermina, who married Rev. H. Daib, of Merrill, Lincoln
Co., Wis.; Anna, at home; William, in Merrill, Wis.; Charles and John,
at home; Julia, who resides at Sioux City, and Clara, at home.
The parents of Mrs. Dicke, John George and Margaret (Straub)
Bethel, were born in 1800 and 1805, respectively. Their daughter, Katrina
(Mrs. Dicke), came with them to the United States in the spring of 1849,
the family embarking at Havre, France, on the sailing vessel "Switzerland,"
and landing in New York after a voyage of thirty days, thence coming directly
to Indiana, and settling in Fort Wayne. Mr. Betzler followed the occupation
of a gardener. He died in Fort Wayne in 1872, his wife, who preceded him
to the grave, dying in 1851. They had the following named children: Anna
Maria, now Mrs. George Schust, of Fort Wayne; Margaret, now deceased, who
was the wife of George Stoll; Katrina, now Mrs. Dicke; and John George,
who died at the age of eighteen.
After locating in Belle Plaine, Rev. Mr. Dicke built a church,
and he was the first and only preacher in this part of the country. Later
he assumed charge of congregations in the following named places: Pella,
Grant, Shawano, Hartland, Richmond, Herman, Seneca, Almon, Washington,
and Howe townships, all in Shawano county; Bear Creek and Larrabee townships,
in Waupaca county; and Gillett, in Oconto county. He also preached in New
London, Waupaca county, for a year and a half, and had two congregations
in several of the places enumerated. He traveled during the week and on
Sunday to the different localities, holding services in each; journeyed
a great deal on horseback at times, the roads not being in a suitable condition
for vehicles, and was out in about all kinds of weather. In this way he
traveled for years, and but for his strong and robust constitution could
hardly have withstood such hardships. In 1874 Rev. Mr. Dicke became established
upon the property where he now lives, having purchased it from the government
while he was in Belle Plaine. He has 131 acres. His first house, built
of logs, he occupied but a short time, then moved into his present home.
In politics he is a stanch Democrat. He is venerable in appearance, with
white hair and beard, and is a kind-hearted and genial man.