The Thiesfeld and Bargmann families lived in a rural area of Germany near Hannover. The Thiesfelds lived in Fredelake and Schierholz, both part of the parish of Wechold. The Bargmanns came from the nearby town of Eitzendorf. The families emigrated from Germany to Minnesota where the young couple eventually met and married.
Heinrich Friedrich Dietrich Thiesfeld was born May 12, 1861, at Fredelake, Wechold, Hannover, Germany and died May 31, 1935 in Glencoe, McLeod, Minnesota. He arrived in the US on September 16, 1871 with his parents and sisters. We assume the family left Germany for financial reasons. His parents were Johann Heinrich Thiesfeld and Christina Elisabeth Rebbe. Sadly, Christina died May 12, 1872, just a short time after coming to America. Johann Heinrich Thiesfeld later married Sophie Hoffmeier.
Anna Dorothea Bargmann was born May 17, 1872 in Eitzendorf, Hannover, Germany, to Otto Hermann Diedrich Bargmann and Wilhelmina Anna Maria Meyer. Wilhelmina died in 1872 shortly after the birth of her twins. It was 1879 when Hermann came to the US and later sent for his family. They lived first at Tinley Park, Illinois, before moving on to Minnesota between 1891 and 1893. They farmed near Biscay, McLeod Co., Minnesota. Anna Dorothea Bargmann Thiesfeld died July 9, 1941 in Glencoe.
Heinrich Friedrich Dietrich Thiesfeld and Anna Dorothea Bargmann married April 7, 1893, in Hamburg, Carver Co., Minnesota. They were the parents of Henry, Sophie, Marie, Dick, Minnie, Christina, Martin and Arnold.
Life on their Minnesota farm was a lot like life on a German farm of that time period. They were hard workers, getting up early and working until 9 PM, with 3 hours in the heat of the day for a nap. They worked hard and they ate hearty meals. By modern standards, the food was swimming in grease. They had a smokehouse where they made their own bacon and sausage. Meals generally included lots of meat, potatoes and gravy. They canned green beans and pickles, and made sauerkraut. They braided onions and stored cabbage and carrots. The cookie jar was always full. The concept of a Minnesota ‘little lunch’ with a groaning table was in full force on their farm. There was an ice house to keep ice which was cut in the winter for summer use.
The daily schedule was get up, milk the cows, eat breakfast, do farm work, have a huge dinner at noon followed by a 3 hour nap and then work until 9 PM followed by supper.
Sunday afternoons they read the newspaper, visited family and friends and played a card game called Schaffskopf. After dinner the men would talk around the table while the women visited in the living room.
Everything they did, church, school, newspapers, was all in German. The eight children were born and raised in Minnesota, but spoke German. When Dick grew up and married, his oldest children spoke only German. Dick’s oldest daughter was the great-granddaughter of the original emigrants. When she first went to school, she came home with a note saying she needed to learn English.
Front Row left to right: Arnold Thiesfeld, Anna Thiesfeld, Martin Thiesfeld, Dietrich Thiesfeld, Dietrich (Dick) Thiesfeld
Back Row leflt to right: Sophie (Thiesfeld) Brelje, Marie (Thiesfeld) Hanson, Henry Thiesfeld, Wilhelmine (Thiesfeld) Mackenthun, Christine (Thiesfeld) Brelje