This begins the first in a series of excerpts from Personal History of Sister M. Julitta.
[My notes and observations are given in bracketed italics.]
My parents, both born and reared in Guttenberg, Iowa, were among the early settlers of southeastern South Dakota. My father, William Naescher, was the oldest of three; and mother, whole maiden name was Caroline Nipp, was the only girl and oldest of seven children. [The parents of both William and Caroline were immigrants from Liechtenstein.] In 1879 my parents were married in Guttenberg, Father Albers performing the ceremony. About this time mother’s folks decided to go West. They took up land claims in the beautiful James River valley about eleven miles north of Yankton and, at once, began to make improvements; and my parents, who followed soon after, put up their temporary home close by. Here, on July 27, 1881, I was born, their first child. I was baptized in the little country church of Mayfield and given the name Mary Catherine.
Father, mother and two of mother’s brothers took up claims about forty miles northwest of their primitive home. [The brothers were Alois “Louis” Nipp (1861-1939) and probably Emil Nipp (1862-1908). Here and other places in her writing S. Julitta frequently refers to a person by their relationship rather than by name.] After my father had broken and fenced the land, planted the required number of trees and put up substantial buildings, standing today, he had the farm worked by hands while he himself ran a creamery. This, however, was not of long standing for in the spring of 1886 he took a chill and within several days died of pneumonia. A few days previous my little brother had succumbed to the same disease. [William Naescher, the father, died 20 June 1886, the little brother was Edward Naescher, aged 21 months, died 17 June 1886.] I little realized what this loss meant but I was panic stricken when they put my papa and buddy into the same big hole.
[Both William Naescher and Edward Naescher are buried at St. Stephen’s Catholic Cemetery in Bridgewater, South Dakota.]