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Veteran of Franco-Prussian War

John Fredrick Woerlen

"Fred Woerlen"

Born - November 3, 1848

Noerdhagen, Bayern, Germany

Immigrated -1876

Married - August 9, 1877

Nebraska City, Otoe County, Nebraska

Died - Tuesday, April 15, 1913

Nemaha County, Nebraska

Buried - Thursday, April 17, 1913

Evangelical Lutheran Zion Cemetery

Johnson, Nemaha County, Nebraska




 Fred & Anna Woerlen




Fred & Anna Woerlen

 Fredrick Woerlen was one of the early settlers in Nemaha County immigrating from Germany.

The Woerlen name is traced back to 1536 in Norlinger, Germany.


Fred Woerlen immigrated to the U. S. around 1874. He married Anna Folkerts of Schnappe, Germany in Nebraska City in 1877. They lived on a farm 2-1/2 miles north of Johnson that Fred purchased. Papers from the treasurer's office, Nemaha County, Brownville, November 1877 show Fred paid $23.30 in real estate taxes for the NE 1/4 of Section 31-6-13. Fred also purchased the adjoining quarter to the west. This quarter and the adjoining quarter to the south were homesteaded by two brothers (names unknown) who built one house on the half mile line to lay claim to both quarters. Consequently, there is an offset in the property line.

Fred farmed until his death in 1913.


After Fred's death, his son Adolph farmed the original home place and another son George, farmed the adjoining quarter to the west.


Allan (son of Adolph) still farms the home place and it was given recognition as being in the same family for 100 years in 1984 at the Nemaha County fair. George's land is now owned by his daughter, Delores (Mrs. Carl) Franzen

of York, Nebraska.


An original prairie field on the George Woerlen quarter still show the

 ruts of the Nebraska City and Blue River wagon trail. 


Fred and Anna were the parents of six children, all of whom attended

a county school called Elk Grove, located 1/2 mile north of the

Woerlen home place.

After Fred's death, Anna and daughter Minnie, moved to a house

 in Johnson in 1927.

Fred was one of the charter members of Zion Lutheran church northwest of Johnson, organized in 1882.

Fred and Anna are buried in the church cemetery.






Last Tuesday, April 15, at 12:50 a.m., Mr. J. F. Woerlen finished his

last earthly battle and passed to the great beyond.


Mr. Woerlen was born in Noerdhagen, Bayern, Germany,

 November 3, 1848.

From the 6tb to his 14th year he attended the school of his native city.

After this he was confirmed in the Lutheran faith, adhering to it

up to the time of his death.


In 1870-71 when the great war broke out between Germany and France,

 he was called to arms and served his county as a cavalry man.


In 1873, he came to America, settling on a farm that he occupied

up to the time of his death.

He was married to Miss Anna Folkerts, August 9, 1877.

To this union seven children were born, 4 girls and 3 boys,

one child, a girl died in early infancy.

Mr. Woerlen was one of the founders of the Lutheran Zion

Congregation in 1883.


To his family he was a true husband and father; to his neighbors

 a peaceable and helping friend.

The last twelve weeks of Mr. Woerlen's life was a time of great

suffering being confined to his bed all that time.


Thursday at 2:00 p.m. the funeral services were held at the Evangelical Lutheran Zion church by Rev. C. Deubler, after which the body

was laid to rest in the adjoining cemetery.

He leaves his wife, 6 children; 4 grandchildren and a large circle

of friends to mourn his death.


The duration of his life was 64 years, 5 months and 11 days.

The Johnson News

April 18, 1913



Wife - Anna (Folkerts) Woerlen

Born - February 18, 1856

Schnappe, Hanover, Germany

Immigrated -1875

 Died - Wednesday, April 1, 1936

Buried - Friday, April 3, 1936

Evangelical Lutheran Zion Cemetery

Johnson, Nemaha County, Nebraska







Dies At Her Home Wednesday Afternoon,

 After Extended Illness

Mrs. Anna Woerlen, pioneer  women of this community, who has been seriously ill for the past several months, passed away at her home in Johnson, at 4:25 o'clock, Wednesday afternoon. Mrs. Woerlen was eighty years old and had led a very active life before she had been taken ill, February 3rd, and her condition had grown continually worse to the time of her death, which was caused by a complication of diseases.

Funeral services will be held at the home, Friday afternoon, at 1:30 o'clock.

Mrs. Woerlen's obituary and the account of the funeral

will appear in the paper next week.

The Johnson News


April 2, 1936





Mrs. Anna Woerlen,

Resident of This Section Since 1877,

Lived Useful Life

Last week's issue carried the news of the death of Mrs. Anna Woerlen

and announced that the account of the funeral with obituary would be published this week.


It had been our privilege the past two months to keep our readers informed as the the condition of Mrs. Woerlen's health. It was discouraging to note her gradual decline since February 3rd, when she fell in such a manner as to fracture a hip, the resulting severe pain together with pneumonia and complications culminating in her death, Wednesday afternoon,

 April 1st, 1936.


Funeral services were held Friday afternoon, April 3rd, at the home and at Zion Lutheran church with Rev. R. H. Riensche, pastor, in charge.

Besides the congregation there assembled friends and relatives from near and far who came to pay their last tribute to this good woman. The pallbearers included, Fred Piper, Edwin Bray, Frank Gerdes,

 William W. Ihrig, Arthur Bruggermann and Chas. E. Wagner.

 Interment was made in church cemetery.


Anna Margaretha, daughter of Geroke and Gretchen Folkerts, was born, February 18, 1856, in the town of Schnappe, province of Hanover, Germany. Here she spent her first 18 years, receiving her education and being confirmed in the Lutheran faith.


 In 1874, she came to America, making her home with relatives in the Nebraska City section. August 9th, 1877, she was united in marriage to Frederick Woerlen. The young couple establishing their home on a farm,

two miles north of the newly established town of Johnson. Here they lived happily for many years, rearing their fine family and playing an important part in the life of the community. They were both charter members of Zion Lutheran Church, assisting in its organization some 54 years ago and each remaining zealous in its behalf until their death.


 Mr. and Mrs. Woerlen were the parents of seven children, one of whom, a daughter, Louise, died in early childhood.

The surviving sons and daughters are: Mrs. Emma Kaiser, Phillipsburg, Kansas; Minnie Woerlen, Johnson; Fred Woerlen, Sarcoxie, Missouri; \

Mrs. John Fritsch (Margaret), Sterling; Adolph and George Woerlen, Johnson. Besides these there are the three daughter-in-laws, one son-in-law, 14 grandchildren, one great grandchild; also four brothers, Henry Folkerts, of Talmage, John and George Folkerts, of Kansas,

and H.J. Folkerts of Washington.


Following the death of her husband in 1913, Mrs. Woerlen continued to reside in the old home, operating the farm with the help of her family until some nine years ago when she and her daughter, Minnie, moved to Johnson. Here in the beautiful and modern home, she lived very happily until the past few weeks of pain and suffering. This home was the scene of many delightful family gatherings, the last of which was the celebration of Mrs. Woerlen's 80th birthday, February 15th.


Mrs. Woerlen was a kindly lady, very energetic and intelligent. It was our privilege to have visited with her on numerous occasions and we learned much from her of Pioneer incidents and of early events. She was a wonderful mother, a splendid neighbor and a fine citizen in the highest sense of the word. She will be sadly missed by her family and by all who knew her.

 This community owed her as to all pioneers, a lasting debt for the

 noble life just ended.


The Johnson News


April 9,1936





Daughter - Emma R. (Woerlen) Kaiser

Born - January 21,1879

Johnson, Nemaha County, Nebraska


Daughter - Minnie M. Woerlen

Born - August1881 - Nebraska

Never Married

Died -1963


Son - John Fred Woerlen Jr.

Born - May 17,1883

Johnson, Nemaha County, Nebraska

Married - February 25, 1909

Nemaha County, Nebraska

Died - August 29,1962

Wife - Minnie (Volker) Woerlen

Born - March 18, 1889  -  Died - June 18,  1962

Daughter  -Oleta M. (Woerlen) Bray   Born -1914 - Nebraska

Son -Orville Woerlen

Born - February 2, 1919 - Nebraska

Died - April 4, 1942

Father - Franz Robert Volker

Born - January 25, 1850  - Hansfelde, Pommern, Prussia

Died - July 24, 1922  - Johnson, Nemaha County, Nebraska

Mother - Anna (Fritsch) Volker

Born- September 14,1856  ~ Died - May 2, 1939


Daughter - Anna  Margaretha (Woerlen) Fritsch

"Margaret Fritsch"

Born - December 3,1886 - Nebraska

Died - November 1969

Husband - John Fritsch


Son - Adolph Carl Woerlen

Born - March 28,1894

Johnson, Nemaha County, Nebraska

Died - 1949

Wife -Ella Woerlen

Born - June 9,1901  ~ Died - February1981


Son - George August Woerlen

Born - October 2,1895

Johnson, Nemaha County, Nebraska

Married - March 5, 1922

Zion Lutheran Church

Johnson, Nemaha County, Nebraska

Died - August 21, 1978

Wife - Wilhelmina C. (Kanzmeir) Woerlen

Born - February 12, 1897   ~ Died - January 15, 1971



Father - Woerlen

Mother - Unknown



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