Remembrance of Peter and Dora

by Grandson Fr. James Koenigsfeld oldest son of Lawrence and Marcella.


I first got acquainted with Grandpa Peter's life when I visited Germany for the first time in 1986.  I was traveling to Schmeltz in the Saarbrucken area  to look for Peter's ancestry. To my amazement I found the family tree roots burrowing all the way into the year 1695.Peter was born in 1872. The family left Germany in 1879 when Peter was 7 years old. As the newspaper report for the time said, the family left Bupprich/Huttersdorf in the Schmeltz region near Saarlouis in SW Germany with 1300 Taler (German dollars: the value of which I'm not sure of). The family came through New York City and immediately set out for Iowa. There were times when the family lived in Wisconsin, but most of their lives were centered around Ionia, Charles City, and Roseville. One newspaper article that came out in the late 1880's reported that Peter had found a den of wolves along Flood Creek west of Roseville and had taken proper care of them, whatever that meant...


It was harder to find information about Grandma Dora or "Grandma King" as we called her. She was born August 29, 1872. Her mother's name was Catherine Andres who was born in 1845 and died in 1931. Her father was Michael Wolf who was born in 1833 in Alsace-Lorraine, France. His parents were German. His family came to the U.S. when he was five years old. Michael died in 1905.


 Peter and Dora were married February 28th, 1905. They had six children: Lawrence, Clarence, John, Magdalen, and twins Daniel & Dorothy (Sister Agnes Marie). I remember very little about Grandpa because he died when I was only three, but I have some very strong images of him. Once he walked down to our house on the old Adolph Vala place 1/4 mile south of the Roseville Store. He carried a loaf of bread and a bunch of grapes and gave them to "Ma" for supper. Another time he took me fishing down to Flood Creek.  He let me carry the can of worms. I remember the grass on Adolph's pasture being very green and lush, something quite unusual on that sandy hill soil.  He and Grandma always had a canary in that room they had downstairs in the store.  It was their living room, dining room and kitchen. That canary would sing his heart out until they threw the cloth over the cage at night.  And Grandpa would smoke his big pipe and just be there.


Grandma King lived for 9 more years after Grandpa died in 1945.   She was a quiet person and didn't say much.  She used to wash her long gray hair at the hand pump outside the store and then wring it our with her hands and then flip the hair back over her head. The beads of water would fly off her hair in the sunlight.


Another vivid memory for me was something that happened the year before she died. She died. She was motionless, no breathing, no life. Dad hollered at me to get Fr. Kirchhoff from the rectory across the highway. Fr. ran over to the store and as he was anointing her with the Last Rites, her eyes opened and she started breathing. It was a pretty awesome night for an 11 year old boy. Even Dad and Fr.Kirchhoff were amazed.


The Roseville Store was their home. When it's up at the Cedar Valley Engine Club, I'll still always remember it as the home of Grandpa & Grandma.


I hope others who have memories of Peter and Dora will write to us so we can share them.


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