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Lina Grotelueschen Hillen was
the fourth of five children born to Hinrich
and Catharina Margaretha Ruther.  Lina
was born at Haast-Sage, Oldenburg,
Germany, on October 15, 1860.  She was
born and grew up on a farm that is still
being farmed by the Grotelueschen fam-
ily at this writing.
Lina became engaged to Heinrich
(Henry) Hillen in 1887.  Henry, born Feb-
ruary 27, 1857, in Oldenburg, Germany,
immigrated to Columbus, Nebraska, in
March of 1888.  During the first year he
lived in America, he worked for Henry
Asche, who lived near Leigh, Nebraska. 
Lina did not come with him to America
because she knew her mother did not
have long to live.  She would not leave
her mother in Germany.  She waited until
after her mother’s death on Good Fri-
day, March 30, 1888, before coming to
America.  Lina was getting ready to
come to America when she heard of an-
other tragedy in her family.  Her brother
Ludwig, and her brother Fritz and his
wife and three children were burned to
death in a barn fire in Arlington, Ne-
braska, in May, 1888.  She hesitated to
come, but she had made a promise to
join her fiancé, Henry Hillen, in America. 
She felt honor bound to keep her prom-
Lina sailed for America in September of 1888.  She came to Columbus, Ne-
braska, and spent the first winter living with her Uncle John (A. Johann) and Aunt
Anna Grotelueschen, near Columbus, Nebraska.  Her Uncle John and Aunt Anna
had a family of ten and always had room for more.  During the winter Lina lived with
them, there were 21 people living in their country home.
Lina and Henry Hillen were married on February 8, 1889, at Christ Lutheran 
Church, near Columbus, Nebraska.  They started farming on the Winnekamp place. 
Lina inherited the estate of her two brothers who were burned in the Arlington fire. 
This 120 acre farm was valued at $20.00 an acre.  She also received $300.00 in
cash.  Her brother George (Johann Georg) and her father Hinrich received
$1,800.00 from the estate.  Her father Hinrich came to America in 1889 to help set-
tle the estate of his sons Ludwig and Fritz.
Lina Grotelueschen Hillen’s parents
Catherina Margaretha Ruther Grotelueschen
Hinrich Grotelueschen    
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