Nicholas and Anna Maria Reinart

Nicholas Reinart, Jr. was born near Mettendorf, Luxemburg, in about 1795. He was the second child of Nicholas Reinart, Sr. and Margaretha Poth. The young couples' first child, a girl named Katharina, had been born two years earlier, but had lived only two days. Margaretha herself was the elder Nicholas' second wife. He had married his first wife, Katharina Zeyer, on 9 December 1788. Before her untimely death in the early 1890's, Katharina had given him a son named Hubert.

Young Nicholas Reinart, Jr. and his half-brother Hubert seem to have grown up on a farm near the little village of Mettendorf. Mettendorf itself was situated in eastern Luxemburg on the river Enz. Surrounding it were a series of gentle, rolling hills where the borders of Luxemburg, Belgium and Germany met. Twenty-five miles to the southeast was the ancient city of Trier, originally the capital of the Germanic Treveri tribe. Trier was later captured by the Romans and then by the Franks. In 1797 it became a part of France; in 1815 it was annexed by Prussia. Four years later the surrounding Luxemburgian countryside - including the village of Mettendorf - was also annexed into that part of Prussia known as the Rhineland.

It is thought that Nicholas Reinart, Jr. remained on the farm of his father until his own marriage at the age of 31. The date was 1 February 1826. The place was the village of Mettendorf. The bride was 26-year-old Anna Maria Hoffman from the nearby town of Hoisthum. Anna Maria was the daughter of Mathias Hoffman and Anna Maria Lehners.

After their marriage, Nicholas and his new bride seem to have settled down on a farm near Mettendorf. Their first child, Anna Catherine, was born a year later. Five more children followed: Elizabeth (1829), Magdalena (1832), Mathias (1836) and John J.(1838).

Nicholas continued farming near Mettendorf for another 28 years. Then in the mid-1850's (when already nearly 60 years of age) Nicholas inexplicably sold his farm and set sail for the United States. Perhaps the move was necessitated by religious persecution, perhaps simply by the urging of family members who had already emigrated. Whatever the reason, Nicholas and his entire family left Mettendorf in 1854 never to return. Nicholas' wife, Anna Maria, was already well past middle age and their children were nearly all grown. Anna Catherine, the oldest, was 27 and perhaps already married to her husband, William Schwinden. Elizabeth was 25, Mathias was 18 and John J. was nearing 16. It is not known what became of the third daughter, Magdalena.

On reaching American shores, the Reinart family traveled by train to Dubuque County, Iowa, where they seem to have stayed for a time with close family relations. But by the spring of 1856 Nicholas had purchased 360 acres of farmland in Houston County, Minnersota, for $1.25 an acre. The farm was near the newly-founded town of Caledonia, a small, mostly Irish settlement along the Mississippi River in the southeastern comer of the state.

By the fall of 1856 Nicholas had made his mark on a "Declaration of Intent," signifying his desire to become a United States citizen: "I Nicolas Rainard do declare on oath that it is bona fide my intention to become a citizen of the United States and to renounce forever all allegiance to all and any foreign prince and sovereignty whatsover and particularly to Frederic William Emperor of Prussia and Germany whereof I was a subject. x Nicolas Rainard."

Nicholas Reinart & family were listed in the 1860 U.S. Census as living near the town of Caledonia, Mayville Township, Houston County, Minnesota. Nicholas was listed as 64 years of age, Anna Maria as 60, and their sons Mathias as 23 and John as 21. Also listed was another John Reinart, 25 years old. This second John was probably one of Nicholas' nephews.

By the 1970 U.S. Census, Anna Maria was no longer listed, indicating that she had died sometime between 1860 and 1870. Nicholas was listed as living with his son, John, who by then had married a woman named Josephine Bouquet and fathered four children.

Five years later, Nicholas Reinart, Jr. made out his last will and testament. By then he was living at the home of his daughter Elizabeth and her husband, Philip Dimmer. The will named Elizabeth as the sole beneficiary, since his two sons, Mathias and John J., as well as his other daughter, Anna Catherine, had already received their inheritance. He named his son-in-law, Philip Dimmer, as the executor of his last will and testament.

Nicholas Reinart, Jr. died just two days after signing his last will and testament. He was 80 years old. He was laid to rest beside his wife Anna Maria at St. Mary's Catholic Cemetery in Caledonia, Minnesota.

The four surviving children of Nicholas and Anna Maria were:

1- Mathias Reinart (married Susanna Friedman)

2- John J. Reinart (married Josephine Bouquet)

3- Anna Katherine Reinart (married William Schwinden)

4- Elizabeth Reinart (married Philip Dimmer)

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