Friday, November 18, 2011


Partial 1877 Map of  Somers Township, Kenosha County
Leonard Thelen parcel Section 23
Peter Thelen parcel Section 14
Click on map for closer view.
Leonard Thelen
Leonard Thelen received his education in the parochial schools of his native country, and became a drayman there.  He was born in Prussia in 1820 and was the son of Christopher and Mary Eva (Siegel) Thelen.  Christopher died in Prussia in middle life and his widow, Mary Eva, came to America and lived with Gerhard, one of her seven sons and she lived to the age of eighty-four years.
In his native country of Prussia, Leonard Thelen was a soldier in the regular army.  He married Miss Lucy Fuhrman, who was born in 1828 also from Prussia.  Lucy was the daughter of Peter Fuhrman, a native of Germany, who came to America and settled in Caledonia Township at an early day and engaged in farming.  Peter Fuhrman died at the age of eighty-four years in Caledonia.
Leonard Thelen came to America in 1842 and settled in Caledonia Township where he followed farming for a time, and later ran a grocery store in the Town of Raymond.  He resumed farming later in Somers Township, purchasing a farm of 170 acres.  He died there in 1903, aged eighty-three years, ten months.  His wife still survives, and is now seventy-nine years old.  Both were members of the Catholic Church.
Leonard and Lucy had 6 children:  Mary who lived in Somers with her mother, Lucy after the death of Leonard; Peter who died at 51 years old; George who died at age of 24; Nicholas C. who lived in Mt. Pleasant; Agatha who lived in Milwaukee and was the wife of Fred Klanz; and John Peter who died at age 20.
(Source:  Biographical Record of Representative Men in Racine and Kenosha Counties, J.H. Beers & Co., Chicago 1906)

Leonard Thelen
Home in 1900:  Somers, Kenosha County
Age:  79
Birth Date:  July 1819
Birthplace:  Germany
Immigration Year:  1845
Spouse:  Lucy Thelen
Marriage Year:  1846
(Source:  1900 U.S. Federal Census)

More  About Leonard Thelen
"Of late there has been a considerable amount published in numerous papers concerning the Will of the late Leonard Thelen of Somers Township and the fact that his daughter, Agatha Gluntz, of Milwaukee, has contested the same.  Palmer & Gittings of Racine have been engaged and present the proponents, viz: Nicholas Thelen, the administrator, Mary Thelen and the widow of Peter Thelen.
The deceased was an old farmer of Racine and Kenosha Counties, and managed by hard work to accumulated a small fortune, but the estate, all told, is not worth over $12,000, instead of $30,000.
The wife of Mr. Thelen, before he died, became hopelessly insane.  There were four children, Nicholas, Peter, Mary and Agatha, and Peter died, leaving a widow and children.
Agatha left the farm and attended the St. Catherine's academy in Racine, her father paying $300 per year.  The girl decided that she wanted to become a sister, but shortly before the time she left the convent she had considerable trouble, but afterward married Mr. Gluntz.  Leonard Thelen left two Wills.  In the first Will he left Agatha $500.  This was in 1886, and the Will was witnessed by Judge Hand and D.H. Flett and others.  The balance of the estate went to his son, Nicholas, daughter Mary and the children of Peter.  In 1901 another Will was made in which he again left $500 to Agatha; 70 acres of land to Mary; 50 acres to Nicholas, and 50 acres to Peter's widow, so long as she should live, each of the last three to stand a third of the expense of caring for the mother who is insane.   When the Will was presented for probate in the county court of Kenosha, Mrs. Gluntz and her husband were present and made no objection.  Afterward she wanted a copy of the Will and it was furnished.  She claimed it was unfair and retained attorneys and objected to the action of the county court."
(Source:  Racine Journal New, publication date September 1, 1903)

Nicholas C. Thelen
Nicholas C. Thelen was reared in Caledonia Township at his father's farm, and attended the district and parochial schools.  He lived at home until he reached manhood and then married and worked for one year for Hugh Gorton, on his farm in Mt. Pleasant, receiving therefor $250.00.  He then rented "Billy" Smith's farm in Somers Township for one year, after which he located on a fifty-acre farm which his father had willed to him, in Somers Township, and there he spent one year.  He then went to work as foreman on the farm of J.I. Case, in Mt. Pleasant, remaining there nine years, the next two years being spent as a renter on H.S. Durand's farm.  He then rented a place of Daniel Bull for two years, and then took Judge Doolittle's place for three years.  He then purchased his present place, of thirty-five acres, which is finely improved, and here he does general farming and gardening.  He is also well known as an expert dealer in horses.  As a citizen and a man his integrity is unquestioned.
On September 7, 1880. Mr. Thelen married Miss Matilda Hennecke, daughter of John and Carolina (Biex) Hennecke, and one son was born to this union, Leonard J.  Mr. and Mrs. Thelen are members of St. Mary's Catholic Church in Racine.  Politically he is independent.
(Source: Biographical Record of Representative Men in Racine and Kenosha Counties, J.H. Beers & Co., Chicago 1906)

Beix or Biex
The parents of Mrs. Thelen were natives of Germany, where the father was a contractor.  They came to America in 1854, settling in Mt. Pleasant township, where he bought thirty acres of land and later added twenty thereto making fifty acres in all.  In connection with his agricultural pursuits he did considerable masonry work.  Here he spent the balance of his life, and died in 1885, aged seventy-five years, his wife passing away in 1903, aged eighty-two years.  They had seven children, two sons and five daughters:  William, who is on the old homestead; Pauline, deceased, who was the wife of William Cramer of Iowa; Christina, the wife of Frank Fischer of Mt. Angel, Oregon; Henry, on the old homestead; Mary, the wife of Carl Behr of Racine; Matilda, Mrs. Thelen; and Theresa, the wife of Adam Funk of Mt. Pleasant Township.
William Hennecke, the paternal grandfather of Mrs. Thelen, was a shoemaker by occupation, and a native of Germany, where he died well advanced in years.  He and his wife had eight children.
On the maternal side, Mrs. Thelen's grandfather was Henry Biex, also a native of Germany, who conducted a small farm in that country. Carolina Biex was the daughter of John and Gertrude Biex, pioneers of Somers Township, Section 1, Map date 1887.   He died there aged sixty-five years.  His wife was Anna Marie (Druecke) Biex, and they had four children, all of whom are now deceased.
(Source:  Biographical Record of Prominent and Representative Men of Racine and Kenosha Counties, J.H. Beers & Co., 1906)

Nicholas C. Thelen inherited from his father 50 acres in Somers Township. On September 7, 1880, Nicholas married Miss Mathilda Hennecke, daughter of John and Carolina (Biex) Hennecke.
Nicholas and Mathilda Thelen had seven children: William, who is on the old homestead, Pauline, deceased, Christian, Henry on the old homestead, Mary, and Theresa.
1887 Map – W. Thelen, 20 acres
1908 Map (See Section 23 Margaret 40 acres and Mary Thelen 70 acres)
1908 Map (See Section 6-East W. Thelen 20 acres)

Peter Thelen
Peter Thelen owned 10 acres in Somers Township.  He was born June, 1850 and was the son of Leonard and Lucy (Fuhrman) Thelen.  He married (Margaret) Maggie Mongew or Mongen in 1875.  Known children: Mary C., George J., Nicholas C., Josephine E., and Edward C.  Peter Thelen died August 15, 1900.
1887 Map – 10 acres in name of Peter Thelen

Leonard Thelen, born 1877, was the son of Peter and (Margaret) Maggie Thelen.
1908 Map – 10 acres in the name of Leonard Thelen

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