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Lennertz and Paulus Biography
Nickolas and Elizabeth Lennertz left Germany because of their minor children. The government would have taken them over. Kaiser Wilhelm of the Hohenzollern Court were in charge of the government.
Nickolas and Elizabeth (Paulus) Lennertz both lived in Baden, Germany. Nickolas was born in 1815 and Elizabeth in 1818. They were married in the Roman Catholic Church In Baden and lived in the same town. To this union, twelve children were born. They all lived in Baden, Germany. Nine of these children died before their parents came to America. The oldest son, Jacob, came to America with his parents. Nickolas and his wife, Elizabeth, and his brother, Jacob, came to America with several other families in 1846 by way of LeHavre, France, where they sailed for New York. When they arrived in New York, they took the Hudson River Boat to Albany and then transferred to the Erie Canal boats which took six days to reach Buffalo. Another steamboat took them to Chicago in four days. From Chicago they again traveled by covered wagons and arrived at the forty acres which they rented from the Wabash and Erie Canal for 16 years. They bought this same land or property in 1856 for $1.25 an acre. This property is located on 57th and Liverpool Road in what was then Hobart Township. It is located 1.5 miles east of Broadway in Gary, Indiana. He later bought some land north and east of the homestead on 49th Ave. in Hobart Township and some more south of the home near the John Schnabel farm on the road to Merrillville in Ross township and lived there during the Civil War days. Three of their children lived to an advanced age; they were Jacob, Mathias, and William.
The first log house Nickolas built was a little west of the Homestead. He then built another log house when they built two roads in front and on the south side of the farm. He built sheds, a silo, horse and cow barns, corncribs, hay shed, hen house, granary, smoke house, cellar and summer kitchen. A spring well was built and the water piped into the milk house. These buildings were about 130 years old. He had cows, calves, steers, and also raised hogs for their meat. His sons, Mathias, and William took them to the Stock Market in Chicago. Their grain consisted of corn, wheat, oats, barley, hay, rye, and alfalfa. They had fruit trees-apple, pear, cherry, mulberry, peach. They bound their grain by hand with twine until they acquired some farm tools.
Nickolas and Elizabeth went to Sts. Peter and Paul Roman Catholic Church In Turkey Creek, and they are buried in Sts. Peter and Paul cemetery- Nickolas in 1886 and Elizabeth in 1904. The first church was made of logs and the next one was made of stone. There was an old frame school, also a frame house for the priests and another frame house for the tea-chers. The new brick church was built in 1916 on Harrison St. in Ross Township. The first log church was built where Sts. Peter and Paul cemetery now stands. They heated these old buildings with a wood stove. The new church and school was more centrally located for the parish members. All the Lennertz children attended grade school at Sts. Peter and Paul school.
Jacob Lennertz Family: Their son Jacob married Teresa Adler (of Turkey Creek). They had five children and lived near the homestead for a while after their marriage. They then moved to Joplin, Missouri, and lived there until his death at an advanced ape. Some of his children and grandchildren lived in the Gary and Hammond area, and the rest lived in Joplin, Missouri.
Their son, Mathias, lived on the homestead for a while. He married Barbara Hoffman, and they then moved to Merrillville on the Lennertz property Ross Township. He learned the blacksmith trade in Hobart from William Scholler and went into the blacksmith business in Merrillville. They had six daughters and three sons, and all lived to an advanced age.
Submitted By Thomas E. Darga
Email - darga@umich.edu