Johann Jakob Horning, 18211873 (aged 52 years)

Johann Jakob /Horning/
Given names
Johann Jakob
John /Jacob/
Given names
Birth February 16, 1821 28 30
Christening February 18, 1821 28 30 (aged 2 days)


Birth of a sisterJohanetta Elisabet Horning
May 13, 1825 (aged 4 years)

Birth of a sisterChristine Philippine Horning
August 28, 1826 (aged 5 years)

Death of a paternal grandfatherJohann Georg Hornung
April 25, 1829 (aged 8 years)
Emigration 1830 (aged 8 years)
Residence 1842 (aged 20 years)
MarriageAnna GoodView this family
October 3, 1850 (aged 29 years)
Birth of a daughterKatherina Horning
July 9, 1851 (aged 30 years)

Death of a daughterKatherina Horning
about 1851 (aged 29 years)

Birth of a sonJohn H. Horning
July 29, 1852 (aged 31 years)

Residence 1853 (aged 31 years)
Birth of a sonAbraham A. Horning
November 23, 1853 (aged 32 years)

Birth of a daughterLydia J. Horning
April 30, 1855 (aged 34 years)

Birth of a sonSamuel Horning
December 19, 1856 (aged 35 years)
Death of a fatherJohann Anton Horning
March 22, 1857 (aged 36 years)
Residence 1858 (aged 36 years)
Birth of a sonJacob G. Horning
September 13, 1858 (aged 37 years)

Birth of a daughterAnna E. Horning
April 25, 1860 (aged 39 years)

Birth of a sonIsaac Horning
January 13, 1862 (aged 40 years)

Birth of a daughterLeah Horning
January 13, 1862 (aged 40 years)

Death of a motherCatharina Margaretha Neuroth
1862 (aged 40 years)
Residence 1864 (aged 42 years)
Birth of a sonJoseph Horning
May 1, 1864 (aged 43 years)

Direct Line

Religion 1864 (aged 42 years)

Birth of a sonHenry Horning
November 24, 1866 (aged 45 years)

Birth of a daughterSarah Elisabeth Horning
December 28, 1870 (aged 49 years)

Death March 25, 1873 (aged 52 years)
Family with parents
Birth: March 21, 1792 26 34Spachbrücken, Hessen, Germany
Death: March 22, 1857Chambersburgh, Pennsylvania, USA
Marriage: October 18, 1810Spachbrücken, Hessen, Germany
2 months
elder sister
20 months
elder sister
3 years
elder brother
18 months
elder brother
3 years
elder sister
0 months
elder sister
21 months
Birth: February 16, 1821 28 30Spachbrücken, Hessen, Germany
Death: March 25, 1873Shambaugh, Iowa, USA
4 years
younger sister
16 months
younger sister
Family with Anna Good
Birth: February 16, 1821 28 30Spachbrücken, Hessen, Germany
Death: March 25, 1873Shambaugh, Iowa, USA
Birth: October 23, 1826 42 41Fairfield Co., Ohio, USA
Death: January 17, 1897Shambaugh, Iowa, USA
Marriage: October 3, 1850Hocking Co., Ohio, USA
9 months
13 months
16 months
17 months
Birth: April 30, 1855 34 28
Death: March 4, 1901
20 months
Birth: December 19, 1856 35 30Frederick Co., Virginia, USA
Death: July 6, 1925Nampa, Idaho, USA
21 months
Birth: September 13, 1858 37 31
Death: January 16, 1932
20 months
21 months
0 months
2 years
Birth: May 1, 1864 43 37
Death: December 16, 1938
3 years
Birth: November 24, 1866 45 40
Death: December 13, 1938
4 years
Shared note

Ray H. Burley wrote this letter to Mrs. Krell in Spachbruken, Germany, dated January 10, 1960. Maude Elizabeth Horning Burley, Granddaughter of Johann Jakob Hornung, is the Mother of Ray Howard Burley of Stillwater, OK, and helped him to compile the following information.

 "We know little about the lives of the brother and three sisters of Johann Jakob Hornung who came to America with him and their parents.  We do know that there are many Horning families living near Chambersburgh and Ephrata, Pennsylvania.

 Last summer my mother loaned me a photograph album which my grandfather owned.  One picture was of Charlotte Dorothea Hornung, born on June 11, 1819, in Spachbruken.  It is the only picture of a member of my great-grandfather's generation that we have knowledge of.

 Charlotte Dorothe Hornung married a man name "Link", and on one picture is the note "The Links lived in Philadelphia".  Many people of that name live in Philadelphia today.   I have written letters to some of them, but have not been able to establish the family connection as yet.

 I sent a copy of an article about my great-grandfather which mentioned that Johann Jakob Hornung went to live on a farm neat Chambersburgh when he was 12 years old.  He seems to have decided at an early age that he wished to become a framer, and apparently he was never interested in following any other occupation.

 He farmed in Ohio, was married to Anna Good in Ohio, and most of his children were born there.

 We do not know why he chose southwest Iowa as the family's new home.  However, at that time new lands were constantly being opened up for settlement, and there was much emigration from the eastern states to the states west of the Mississippi river.

 The U.S. Government was quite desirous that the new lands be settled, and large tracts were sold at a very low prices to companies which were organized for the purpose of attracting settlers.  Other large tracts were given to railroads.  And much land was sold by the U.S. Government direct to individual farmers."

 "My mother says that thirteen families together made the long journey from Ohio to southwest Iowa.  They brought their household goods, probably a few farming tools, and other possessions in wagons drawn by horses.  That was a journey equal to the distance across Europe!  Thirty miles or 50 kilometers per day must have been a good day's travel. Surely the children must have wondered when and if they would ever reach their new home.

 When they came to Iowa, in 1864, the state had been established only about 18 years.  Surveyors had laid out the boundaries of Page County only 12 years earlier.  Only 23 years earlier, at a point where two streams met, about 8 kilometers Southeast of where Johann Jakob Hornung and his family were to make their home, two brothers had made the very first settlement in the land which was to become Page County.

 In 1864 there were yet people who remembered when the Indians lived in Iowa or came back to hunt wild animals for food.  (I have two stone "tomahawks", or axes, that were made and used by the Indians and were found about two miles from the Hornung farm.)

 And so the Hornung family came to Southwest Iowa.  We can only guess as to how they fared during their first months in their new home. Perhaps they and the twelve other families lived with people who had come earlier, or perhaps they established a large camp and lived somewhat as Germans or Americans do when they go for a summer outing to a lake or woods.

 Johann Jakob Hornung bought about 300 acres.  It is certain that he bought it for much less than such land would cost today.  Perhaps he paid as little as $1.00 or about four DM, per acre. ......

 I am sure that one reason Johann Jakob Hornung chose that land was the nearness of trees, for firewood and for building material, along the river which is called the "Nodaway".

 He began construction of a house in 1865.  That house, or the ruin of it which remains, is located on the east side of a hill.  That gave some protection from cold weather.  The house is not visible from the main road, U.S. Highway 71.  The lane to the house can yet be seen.  It is very quiet there, and probably  Johan Jakob Hornung sat many times on the porch of his home and looked out over his fields, when it was evening and the day's work was finished.

 We know that one of the carpenters who helped build the house was J. W. McKinley.  He was the grandfather of Ira McKinley, for many years a neighbor of my father and mother when they lived on a farm.

 We know that Johann Jakob must have gone to the land along the river and cut down trees.  From oak trees he hewed out the large beams that yet are in the ruin of the house.  He cut down walnut trees and took the logs to a sawmill and had boards sawed for use in the window and door frames.

 However, he must have had to drive a wagon and team of horses a far distance to Maryville, Missouri, or perhaps to Clarinda, Iowa, to obtain other boards, bricks, glass for windows, nails, and hardware.

 It is some of the walnut boards which I now have, and I also have one of the door latches from the house.

 When I last visited the ruin of the house, I set down the floor plan.  In the upstairs were two bedrooms (bettzimer).

 I was in this house about 35 years ago, before it fell to ruin. There was a cupboard in a corner of the living room, and my mother said that my great-grandmother used to keep her tobacco and her clay pipe in that cupboard.

 There was a large spring near the house, and he built a small shelter over it.  Stone jars of milk and butter were set in the cold water.  Also near the house, he built a brick oven.  My mother remembers her aunts baking bread in that oven.

 There was much wild fruit --- grapes, strawberries, and plums --- in the new country.  Possibly Johann Jakob did not plant an orchard at once.  However, that was done later, and when my mother was a little girls and visited her grandmother there were many boxes of apples in the cellar.

 They had a garden, as did all farm families, and they kept a flock of chickens.  I am sure that all of the family worked hard, and tried to produce on the farm as much of their food as possible.

 Johann Jakob Hornung probably grew corn (maize), wheat, and oats. Probably he cut prairie grass for hay for his livestock, though in later years, after his death, his sons may have grown what we call "red clover" and even "alfalfa" (lucerne).

 What we now call "barbed wire" and "woven wire" had not been invented during his lifetime.  So perhaps on the farm he built some fences of split wooden rails, or boards, or of stone.  We know that sometime on the farm, in an early day, low trees which we call "hedge" or "osage orange" or "bois d' arc" were set out in rows to make a think fence.  They are growing there yet.  And where it was not practical to establish a fence, probably the younger children herded the cattle to keep them out of the growing crops.

 In my lifetime, the Nodaway River has come high in time of heavy rain and has flooded much land.  We know of no such difficulty when Johann Jakob Hornung lived there, but it must have been so.

 An early-day books says "The only plows the early settlers had were called 'bull plows'.  The mold-boards (or plowshares) generally were made of wood, but some were half wood and half iron".  Probably he brought such a plow to Iowa.  Grass doubtless was cut with a hand scythe, raked by hand, and loaded on a wagon with a pitchfork.

 A barn was built on the farm at an early day, and was built so well that it stood till a few years ago.

 The Hornung family probably did not travel far from their home, for the roads were very poor and surely were almost impassable in rainy weather.  When my great-grandfather lived, the family must have traveled in their farm wagon drawn by horses.   There was a water power mill a few miles away, on the Nodaway River, and they must have taken wheat there to be ground into flour.

 My mother says that the thirteen families which came together from Ohio were all of the Mennonite faith.  Their pastor was man whose last name was "Good" (a brother of my great-grandmosther).  My mother says that in the early time people of the Mennonite faith did not build a church, but held worship services in the home of one of their number.

 However, these Mennonites later held some of their services in the Church of God, a denomination which has some connection with the Mennonite faith.  And in the time that I can remember, the Mennonites of that community has their own church building, and that building still stands.

 When my great-grandmother died, in 1898, her funeral was held in the Church of God at Shambaugh, and a Mennonite pastor came from Ohio to conduct the service.

 As early as 1860, there was interest in building a railroad in Page County.  Railroads were very important in developing new country. However, it was not till 1871 that one was built across the county.  In 1872 another was built.  It ran from north to south, across the Hornung farm, and passed with a few meters of the home.  That railroad was removed about 20 years ago.

 We do not know much of the health problems of those early days.  But certainly it was more difficult to obtain the services of a physician than now.  Much less was known about medicine, and people did not have the expectation of living so long as in this day.  Small-pox was a problem.  (My grandmother's parents died of smallpox in that community when she was quite young).  Many infants died.  When Johann Jakob Hornung died, he was only 52 years old.  We do not know the cause of his death.

 Near the old house is a large tree which quite possibly was there in his lifetime, and I enclose a picture of it.  We have also a vine, which we call "trumpet vine" because of the shape of the flower, which came from the old home.

 Do your grandmother and Mr. Konrad Hornung recall stories of the days when Johann Anton Hornung and his family set out for the United States?  We would be interested in all information, no matter how trivial or unverified.  I have a book "The Story of The Mennonites", which says that many of the Mennonites who emigrated from Germany took boat on the Rhine and traveled down to the sea to take a ship.  We think that the Hornung family must have come the port of Philadelphia, then traveled up the Schuylkill river valley to Chambersburgh.  I hope to eventually see records of ships and passengers that arrived in Philadelphia."

Yours very truly, /s/ Ray H. Burley Ray H. Burley

Shared note


Christened as "Johann Jacob Hornung," Jacob, a twin, came to America with his parents from Germany in 1830. Desiring to be a farmer, at age 12, he worked on the farm of George Hoffman. On April 15, 1842, George Hoffman moved to Canal Winchester, Franklin County, Ohio. Jacob probably went with them at this time. In 1853, Jacob bought a farm and lived there until 1858 . He then moved his family to Allen Co., Ohio, about 4-1/2 miles from Lima. In the fall of 1864, he went to Page Co., Iowa, by covered wagon with John S. Good, who was his wife Anna's brother, Henry Hoffman, and 10 other families. They settled south of Shambaugh, Iowa, on what is now highway 71. They built a house there in 1865. It was torn down in about 1965. In the election of 1864, Jacob voted for Abraham Lincoln. By 1870, they had dropped the "u" and changed it to "i", now consistently spelling the name "Horning." He was a member of the Mennonite Church for over 21 years. He died of "lung fever" (pneumonia), age 52. Lowell Horning has their spinning wheel beautifully displayed in his home.

ANNA HORNING, the widow of Jacob Horning, furnishes us with a remarkable example of what can be accomplished by a hard-working, practical woman. Jacob Horning was born in Hesse-Darmstadt, Germany, February 16, 1821, and is a son of Anthony and Katherine Margarethe Horning. His father emigrated to America in 1830, and settled in Chambersburgh, Pennsylvania. He was a man of some property, and was greatly respected by all who knew him. Jacob Horning during his childhood had a desire to become a farmer, and at the age of twelve years he went to live on the farm of George Hoffman near Chambersburgh. At the age of twenty-one years he went to Franklin County, Ohio, and at the age of twenty-nine he was married to Miss Anna Good, a daughter of Joseph and Magdalena (Campbell) Good. The maternal ancestors came from Ireland, and there is a tradition that a large amount of property in Ireland belongs to the heirs of a brother and sister who were brought to this country by a stranger. Mr. and Mrs. Horning had twelve children born to them: Katherine, who died in infancy; John H., who married Hattie Butler; Abraham A., who married Hester Berry; Lydia J., Samuel, who married Fannie Gehman, Jacob R., who married Tina -------; Annie E., who is the wife of Benjamin Furgeson; Isaac and Leah, twins', Joseph, Henry and Sarah E. In 1853 Mr. Horning bought a farm in Franklin County, Ohio, where he lived until 1858. He then went to Allen County, Ohio, and located on a farm four and a half miles from [page 721] Lima; there he remained until 1864, and in that year he emigrated to Iowa and settled on the farm where his widow and children now reside. It consists of 302 acres of choice land, and is well improved in every respect. Both Mr. and Mrs. Horning were members of the Mennonite Church, and he died in the full faith and hope of a better life to come. He was a very industrious, economical young man, and labored earnestly to make a home for his family. He was quiet and unassuming in his manner and took no part in public affairs. He died March 25, 1873, aged fifty-two years, one month, and nine days. He was universally respected and was deeply mourned by his family and a wide circle of friends. He left a fine estate to his family and the heritage of an honorable life and an unsullied name. After the death of her husband Mrs. Horning settled up the estate, and although she met with some reverses, she has been very successful in her dealings; she has brought up her children to habits of industry and economy and in the principles of the Christian religion, and she may well be praised for the excellent manner in which she has fulfilled her task.