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John Adolph Grotelueschen was third born of A. Johann Grotelueschen and
Anna Catherine Loseke Grotelueschen’s eleven children.  John Adolph was called
Adolph by his family and friends.  He was born on December 29, 1871, in the log
cabin house of his family in Bismark Township.  Adolph was born prematurely.  He
was so small he fit into an eight cup coffee pot in his first weeks.  Adolph appeared
fragile and sickly in his childhood years.  The log cabin provided little shelter from
the outside elements.  It was said that Adolph’s health improved tremendously
when the family moved to a newly built wood frame house 300 feet southwest of the
log cabin.
Christ Lutheran Church and School were organized in 1871, the year of Ad-
olph’s birth.  The life of the church was a vital part of Adolph’s life throughout his
years.  He was baptized there Feb. 25, 1872, confirmed on April 18, 1886, married
to Mathilda on Oct. 22, 1896, and to Katie on Feb. 26, 1911.  He died on Mar. 28,
1961, and was buried in Christ Lutheran Cemetery on April 1, 1961.  Adolph was
educated in Christ Lutheran German School, with all education totally in German. 
He spent his youth on the home farm where he was instructed not only in the work
of the fields, but in life values of industry, honesty, frugality, and other Christian vir-
tues.  The rod was not spared for Adolph at home or in school.
Adolph’s father, A. Johann, bought
a 238 acre farm for them from Henry Wise,
an Englishman, for $5,750.00 on March 10,
1891.  On Oct. 22, 1896, Adolph was united
in marriage to Mathilda Wilke.  Adolph was
given 160 acres of the old Wise farm land
on the north side of the road; his brother
Louis was given the land on the south side
of the road.  Later, Louis sold his portion of
the land to his brother Adolph.
Hardships were companions of the
pioneers.  Adolph survived blizzards,
drought, and famine.  In the early 1900’s
Adolph returned home from the wedding
and dinner of his brother Otto to do his
chores.  As he was nearing his farm, he
saw a red glow come from his farm and re-
alized that his barn was on fire.  His first
concern was to save the horses.  By the
time he had driven the horses out and car-
ried out the small calves one by one, the
barn was a total loss.  In the traditional pio-
neer spirit the neighbors came together
for a barn raising shortly thereafter.
Adolph and Mathilda Wilke Grotelueschen
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