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Thirtyacre Family

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Alternate Spellings - Dreiszigacker, Driehingacher, Dresiegacker, Drieozrgacker (by a struggling 1880 census transcriber), Thirtyacres, Thirtyachor, Thirtyacker, Thirtyaker, Thirty-acre, Thirtyuker, Thurdacre (and probably more!)

Links - Other German Families in Eliza and New Boston Townships, Drury, Spolader, Poland, Emerson, Freise, Shaffer, Bartlett, Smith, Johnson

Contacts - We wish to thank Jan Dunlap for contributing much information to this family page. Dave Babcock has offerred to help with Washington State and German information.

Photos - Cliff Thirtyacre is also researching the family. He has posted photos of John and Sadie Lewis Thirtyacre on the Buffalo County Nebraska Rootsweb Site. He also sent a photo of Johann & Amalie Spolader Shafer Dreiszigacker, 1863 (their wedding photo) for this site.

There is an Emma Thirtyacre (1856-1928) buried in the Mercer County Farm Cemetery. Jan Dunlap sent us the County Home records saying she was admitted to the poor farm 28 Feb 1899, age 42, from Eliza, born Il, can read, not write, health is good, admitted as poor and feeble minded. Her mother is listed as Charlotte Gordon. Emma's death is listed as 7 July 1928 on her death certificate. She is buried in the Farm Cemetery (1856-1928).

Johan Lorenz Dreiszigacker is the parent of the Thirtyacre family of Eliza Township (by two different wives). He owned land in Eliza Township in sections 10 and 11 as shown on the Eliza Township plat map of 1875. Johann Lorenz Dreiszigacker was born 21 April 1812, in Prichsenstadt, Germany. The family immigrated to New Boston, Illinois, arriving 16 May 1853, where their youngest daughter, Eda Lydia, was born 25 May 1853. Johann Lorenz died 8/10/1881, age 69 years 3 months, 19 days, and is buried in the Leech Cemetery in Eliza Township. The cemetery is a little over a mile from his farm in Section 1. As can be seen in alternate spellings above, the American translation of the name did not fare well in spelling either. We have not had much luck in Illinois and Iowa marriage records, probably because of name spelling. Jan Dunlap tells us Johan's first wife was Louise Caroline Wilhelmine Freise, known as Caroline or Lena. She also tells us an interesting word of mouth story passed among neighbors. It seems that when Caroline died in 1856 her body was first buried in a plot on the family farm in Eliza Township, but when Johann wanted to marry his second wife, Amelia Spolader Shafer, she insisted that the body be removed. Leech Cemetery is a couple of miles east of the farm location and the Dreiszigacker family plot is 24 feet wide, with a width of 4 feet allowed for burials. Only Johann and his son John L. are known to be buried in the plot and both have markers. Jan has talked with an older resident of Eliza Township who had checked the lot with divining rods and feels there are more than four graves between the two stones in the lot so it is quite possible Caroline's body was moved to Leech Cemetery in 1863. A Charles Freise family came from Hanover, Germany to Eliza Township in about 1858. There may be a connection to Caroline, as young Willis Thirtyaker was working for a Freise family in 1900.

The first record we find in Mercer County is the purchase of public land by Frederick Thirtyuker - NWSW of Section 11, Township 15N Range 5W, 40 acres at 50 cents per acre on 11/2/1855. This land is part of the J. L. Driehingacher land shown on the plat map linked above. We find no further record of him in Mercer County. He was, however, named in John L. Thirtyacre's will in 1881, so was still alive at that time.

The next record we find is a marriage license for daughter Caroline Dresiegacker and James Shingledecker on 12/27/1859 in Mercer County (They were married 3 January 1860 according to her obituary). We do not find them in Mercer County in the 1860 Census but they are in Millersburg Township in 1870: James, age 34, Farmer, born Pa; Caroline, 28, born Pa (actually born Germany); Nancy F., 7; Foster, 4, Florence, 2, and Nettie, 1. According to Caroline Frances's obituary the family landed at New Boston 16 May 1853. Caroline was born 22 February 1841, at Severshausen, Hanover, Germany and died at her home in Joy, Illinois, 11 February 1919. Children listed in the obituary were Mrs. Florence Shingledecker Kiddoo of Joy (married Alonzo Kiddoo 4/27/1881); J. Foster Shingledecker of Joy; C. Clarence Shingledecker of Vermilion, SD; Frances Nettie Shingledecker, deceased; J. Edward Shingledecker of Joy; Willard M. Shingledecker, deceased; Pearl R. Shingledecker Weidner of Elmwood (married Eroy J. Weidner 9/19/1895), Il.

In the 1860 Census in Eliza Township we find: John Thirtyacre (Johan Dreiszigacker), age 45, farmer, born Germany; Charlotte, age 22, Gy; Millet, 15, Gy; Charlie, 11, Gy, Eddie [actually Eda Lydia], 7, Gy. The boy Millet appears to be a mistranscription for daughter Amelia, as she was born about 1845 (see below). While several other German families came to Eliza Township in the same time period, we do not find the Thirtyacre family living near other German families that might indicate they came together. John Thirtyacre either came with money from Germany or was unusually astute. He owned a good deal of land and we do not see him on any of the delinquent tax lists as most families were. In the 1865 Census he is shown as owning $1500 worth of livestock, $510 worth of grain products, and 155 pounds of wool. These were enormous sums of money in that time period and he was quite a bit more prosperous than many of his neighbors.

On 11/19/1863 Johan Dreiszigacker married widow Amelia Spolader Shafer in Muscatine, Iowa. It is their wedding photo that is posted above (more below).

Daughter Charlotte was born 27 December 1838, in Germany, died 21 February 1924, in East Moline, Rock Island County, Illinois, and is buried in Chippiannock Cemetery. She married Augustus Sporleder at Muscatine, Iowa, on 24 April 1857. He was brother of Amelia Spolader Shafer Drury who married Charlotte's father in 1863. The marriage was short lived, as Augustus remarried in 1859 in Mercer County, and Charlotte was back home with her family in the 1860 Census. Apparently there were no children of this marriage. Mrs. Charlotte Spolader married Allen Gordon in Mercer County on 4/26/1863. They are found in the 1870 census in Eliza Township with Charlotte, age 29, born Hanover, [many women (and some men) seemed to get younger as the census years progressed!] They had children Lena, 6, Esther, 4, and Lewis, 3. Children of Allen and Charlotte were: Lena, born about 1864; Hester Adeline, born 5 February 1866; Lewis, born about 1867; Nettie, Elias F., and Nellie Gordon. Also in introductory notes at the top of the page see her daughter Emma Thirtyacre born 1856.

There is a marriage record for daughter Amelia Thirtyachor to Monroe Emerson, son of Oliver and Sarah Kelley Emerson of Keithsburg, on 11/24/1865, in Mercer County. An 1870 census record in Mercer County is not found for the Emersons, so they apparently left the area or were across the River in Muscatine, Iowa. John Thirtyacres's obituary (below) gives sister, Mrs. J. M. Emmerson in Keithsburg in 1907, so apparently they returned to Mercer County. Amelia died 20 February 1934, in Sacramento, California, but she is buried with her husband in Greenmound Cemetery in Keithsburg. They had children: Myron F.; Gertrude; Hester (Nettie); Olive; Mary; John (died young).

In the 1870 Census in Eliza Township we find: John L. Thirty-acre, 58, farmer, born Germany; Amelia, age 29, born Hanover; Charles, 20, born Hanover; Eady Lydia, 17, born Il; John, age 6; and James Monroe, age 1, born Illinois. Amelia was John's second wife; therefore John and James Monroe are children of Amelia and John. We find the marriage record for John L. Driesigacker to Amelia Schoper [Shafer] on 19 November 1863 in Muscatine, Iowa. Amelia (6/5/1840-7/24/1909) married James Drury 27 May 1886, and is buried with him in New Boston Cemetery. She was Amelia Spolader, daughter of Augustus and Amelia Spolader. Amelia's first husband died in the Civil War. He was Charles Shafer, Co G, 124th Il Inf from Illinois, mustered in 10 September 1862 at Camp Butler, Il and died 18 June 1863 of wounds at Memphis, Tenn. There is a Charles and Amelia Shafer in the 1860 Census in Mercer County, but they are both given as born New Jersey, so we do not know if this is the correct couple, but the age for Amelia is an approximate fit and Amelia Sportletter had married Charles Schaffer on 28 Sept 1859 in Muscatine, Iowa.

Amelia Spolader Shaffer Thirtyacre had a daughter Carrie Shaffer. She is found as Carrie Shaffer, stepdaughter, with John and Amelia in the 1880 Eliza Township Census: John L. Drieozrgacker, 68, Germ; Amelia, 40, Han; John, 15, Il; James, 11, Il; Lawrence, 5, Il; Carrie Shaffer, stepdaughter, 19, Il; George Peck, farm laborer, 22, Il. John and Amelia had an additional child, Willis, born July 1881 (more below). Jan Dunlap sent information on Carrie from her obituary. Her name was Armenia Caroline Shafer 'Carrie A', daughter of Charles Shafer and Wilhelmine Charlotte Christiane Amalie Sporleder and step-daughter of John L. Thirtyacre (Dreiszigacker) born 1 March 1861 in Millersburg, Mercer County and died 23 July 1934 at her home in New Boston, Il, age 73 yuears, 4 months, 24 days. She married 18 January 1882 to George W. Smith in Eliza, Mercer County, son of George T. Smith and Sarah Smith. George was born 15 August 1855 in Mercer, Summerset Co, Maine and died 16 May 1891 in Gibbon, Buffalo Co, Neb, age 35. George is buried in Gibbon Riverside Cemetery. Carrie's funeral was held 25 July 1934 at her home in New Boston but she is buried by her husband in Gibbon Riverside Cemetery in Lot #178. Carrie and George had children Floy A. Smith (married Edward Myers) 27 Nov 1882-3Feb 1943; Banna Mae Smith (married John George Olwein) 26 May 1885-6 Jan 1958; and Stella E. Smith (married Lloyd Bennett Shields, Sr) 1 Nov 1887-31 Oct 1966. After Carrie's husband died in 1891 the family returned to Illinois where Carrie remained the rest of her life.

Stepdaughter Carrie Shaffer married George W. Smith on 1/18/1882 in Mercer County (see Smith link at the top of the page). Carrie is widowed by 1900: Eliza Township census - Carrie A. Smith, head, born March 1861, 39, widow, 3 children born and living, born Il, parents born Germany; Vanna, daughter, May 1885, 15, Il, father born Maine, mother Il, at school; Stella E. daughter, Nov 1887, 12, born NE father Maine, mother Il, at school. Another daughter Floy, age 27 is shown in the 1910 census. She was a servant for a private family and Stella was a teacher at a rural school. Carrie is no doubt the "sister" named in John Lawrence Thirtyacre's obituary below as Carrie Smith of Aledo.

Son Charles Thirtyacre owned land in Section 10 in Eliza Township on the 1875 plat map. On 12/23/1879 C. H. Thirtyacker married Mary J. Elhart, daughter of Daniel and Magdelene Ritter Ehlhart of Millersburg. Daniel Ehlhart was born in Hesse, Germany, and Magdelene in France. Mary J. Elhart Thirtyacre died 2/28/1888, age 31yr, 2m, 19d, at Gibbon, Nebraska, but is buried in Peniel Cemetery in Millersburg Township. They had one seven year old daughter at the time of Mary's death. We have nothing further on this family.

Daughter Eda (Edith) Lydia Thirtyacre was born 25 May 1853, near New Boston, shortly after the arrival of the family from Germany. She died August 15, 1913, in Rock Island County and is buried in the Drury Reynolds Cemetery. She married Benjamin Franklin Johnson, son of Minor Hargrave & Elizabeth Ann McGreer Johnson of Rock Island County, on 30 December 1879, in Muscatine, Iowa. The marriage record is as Ella Thudmon [this is the worst corruption of a name that we have found in the Iowa records online. Jan Dunlap tells us Eda testified in pension papers in 1902 that she was married at Muscatine under the name Eda Thurdacre!]. They had children: John Lawrence; Rosa Ann; Edward Cline; Roy William; Zona Florence; Bessie; and Lee Jarvis Johnson. Frank Johnson served in the Civil War in Co E of the 18th Iowa Volunteer Infantry. He is buried beside Eda in the Drury Reynolds Cemetery. More information on the Johnson page.

Son John Lawrence Thirtyacre (1864-1907) is buried in Leech Cemetery in Eliza Township. An obituary for him appeared in the May 30, 1907 Aledo Times Record. It tells us he was born in Eliza Township, August 6, 1864. In 1886 he went west, and in October of that year married Miss Sadie Lewis of Kearney, Nebraska. The obituary confirms that his mother was Mrs. James Drury. It names brothers and sisters: Willis of Muscatine, Iowa; James of Joy [Mercer Co]; Mrs. Charlotte Gordon, Muscatine, Iowa; Mrs. J. M. Shingledecker, Keithsburg; Mrs. J. M. Emmerson, Keithsburg; Mrs. Edith Johnson, Eliza; Mrs. Carrie Smith, of Aledo. John's death occurred at Ursa, Illinois in May 1907, but his body was returned to Eliza Township for burial. Four members of the Ursa Masonic order accompanied his bier, indicating he too was a Mason. John L. and Sadie Lewis Thirtyacre had children: Clifford, Roy, Myrtle, Pearl, Willis, Lueva, and John. The obituary mentions that he had sufferred for seven years and that at the end he had been completely prostrated and finally comatose. A descendant tells us that he had been in a train accident in Adams County, Illinois, but we have been unable to followup on this. Sadie Lewis Thirtyacre evidently remained in the area, as on 29 September 1911, she married Joseph L. Poland at Muscatine, Iowa (we will be putting up a Poland page).

Son James Monroe Thirtyacre was born 21 January 1870, died 22 December 1942, and is buried in Eliza Creek Cemetery with wife Susie (1872-1944). He married Susan A. Mills at Davenport, Iowa, on 18 June 1889. They had children Ora (born Nov 1891) and Beulah. In the 1900 census James Monroe is a blacksmith in Eliza Township. Beulah is not listed so may have been born after 1900.

Son Willis Thirtyacre was born 17 July 1881 in Mercer County. He is found in the 1900 census working as a farm laborer for a Freise family in Eliza Township. He married 20 December 1905 to Miss Abbie Caroline Feldman, daughter of Frederick and Fredericka Kleist Feldman, in Drury Township, Rock Island County. They had children: Maynard and Lloyd Thirtyacre. Both are buried in the Drury Reynolds Cemetery in Rock Island County.