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Our History

Chapter One

How many families can trace even a part of their family tree back for two centuries? Not many, I'm sure. While going through some of Mom's books and pictures, I found some records of the Dieker family tree back to the late 1600's. I will try to give a brief genealogy of what I found.

Johann Heinrich Dieker was born in Geshner, Westphalia, Germany in 1703. He married Maria Bruning in 1732. Their son, Johann Herman, was born in 1741. He married Anna M. Einck in 1763. There were no records of these wives' families or birthdates. Johann and Anna M. Dieker's son, Johann Bernard, was born in 1770. He married Anna C. Zanfer in 1797. She was born in 1763. Their son, Johann Bernard, was born in 1798 and married Anna M. Schuck in 1824. Their son, Bernard Heinrich, was born in 1827. He married Anna M Zanfer in 1855. She was born in 1833. Their son, Johann Bernard Dieker was born in 1859. So far the family is still in Germany. But it is this generation that came to America and settled in the Quincy, Illinois, area. Johann Bernard Dieker became known as John B. Dieker in America. He married Elizabeth Maas on March 4, 1886 in St. Francis Church in Quincy. They are the parents of Henry B. Dieker, the patriarch of our family.

So where are the 1600's? When we look back on the wives' branch of the family tree, the grandparents of Anna C. Zanfer were Johann Zanfer and Mararite Duvenbeike Zanfer. They were both born in 1697.

Looking back on Henry's mother we find that she was not actually a Maas at all. Here's the story. Lambert Maas was born around 1618 and married Elske Blomers in February of 1666. She was born around 1627. They had a daughter, Margaretha in 1668 and a son, John in 1674. Back in those days, the first child was heir apparent no matter if it was a male or female. So when Margaretha was married to William Stripping on January 22, 1692, he took her name so that the family name would remain on the land and holdings. Well, Margaretha died in 1698 before they had any children. And he inherited everything. But he still kept the name when he married Anna Grete Dapper on October 7, 1699. So actually, all of the people in our family should have the last name of Stripping instead of Maas.

To get to Henry's mother, we will follow William's line like this. His son, Johannes Maas, who was born on May 17, 1720, married Anna Catherine Heeck in 1753. She was born in 1729. They had a son, Johann Wilhelm, who was born on November 20, 1769. He married Elizabeth Boink on October 31, 1797. She was born on July 25, 1768. Their son was Johann Bernard who was born in Gescher, Westphalia, Germany on October 14, 1802. Her married Anna Klosterman on July 26, 1831, who was born on May 15, 1820, also in Germany. This is the generation that came to America. Their son, John Gerhard Maas, was born on May 29, 1933, in Adams County, Illinois, and married Christina Tuebber on August 02, 1859. She was born in Stadtlohn, Westphalia, Germany on August 14, 1831. Elizabeth C. Maas was the 4th of nine children of this couple and was Henry's mother. She was born on November 19, 1865, and she and John B. Dieker were married on March 04, 1886.

With this information we can assume that the families might have known each other in Germany. The Dieker family came to Quincy between the years of 1862 and 1876. They were farmers and resided in Melrose Township in Adams County, Illinois. Some of the family members are buried in St. Anthony's Cemetery.

There is a story that has been passed down that says that the Dieker Family brought the Measles to America. When they were getting ready to come to America the baby of Bernard Heinrich and Anna Maria Lanfer Dieker had the measles. They knew that they would not let them board the ship if they knew he was sick. Anna, being a smart German woman, made sure the baby was overly tired and sleeping when it was time for them to board. When they were boarding the ship, the guy asked to see the baby and Anna refused saying that if he woke up the baby, he would start to cry and there would be hell to pay because it took her such a long time to get him to sleep. The guy let her pass. By the time they were in the middle of the ocean, the entire ship had come down with a Measles outbreak. Although some people were in quarantine at the harbor, the Dieker family was free to go on their way.

The following information regarding the family of Bertha Rose Mast Dieker, wife of Henry, was taken from the book Maas Schricke Heritage by Frank Altgilbers, dated July 1, 1985. Ignatius Schricke was born in 1766 in Holugen, Germany. Maria Josefa Gerlach was born in 1775 in the same town. They were married in St. Johannes Church in 1795. They were the parents of eleven children. One of their daughters, Maria Katherine, was born in Holugen in 1814. She married John August Mast in 1840.

John August Mast was from the town of Brahme, Germany; a town near Holugen. He was born in 1814. At the time of his marriage to Maria Katherine in 1840, his father, Adam Mast was decease and was formerly a bricklayer by trade. August John was a Master-Roof, a Thatcher by trade. He was the only member of his immediate family to have come to America.

August John's son, John Mast, testified in military papers that his parents were living in Germany about the year 1851 when they moved from that country to Marion County, Missouri, USA. They brought him and his older sister with them. Two younger children died at sea. In another military testimony, Maria Catherine Schricke Mast state that "I had eight children by m husband, six living and two dead. My said husband and I did not come over to this country together; he came first - about a year and a half before I did. I forget the year now, but my daughter Justine was ten years old when I came." Justine was born in 1841.

When the August John Mast family came to America they settled in the area around Monroe City, Missouri.  They came to Adams County, Illinois, in 1856 or 1857.  They settled in Melrose Township and lived the rest of their lives there except for the time when August John was in the Civil War.  He was 48 years old when he enlisted in Company A 119th Regiment of Illinois Infantry Volunteers.  He enlisted in 1862 in Quincy, Illinois.  He was discharged in 1863 at Memphis, Tennessee.  While guarding the rail roads in the rear army of General Grant on the line of the Ohio and Mobile and Mississippi Rail Road, August fell through a trestle work onto the road.  He fell fifteen feet onto the frozen road.  He was treated at a hospital in Humbodt, Tennessee for a hernia and discharged there, After being discharged, he contacted chronic diarrhea and was unable to do manual labor.  He had bouts from ten to twelve times a year, greatly reducing his weight.  He would never agree to send for a doctor and treated himself with home remedies.  He died from this on October 14, 1876.   

Bernard Mast was the youngest son of August and Maria Catherine Mast.  He was born in Melrose Township in 1857.  Julia Koetters was born March 4, 1871, in Omaha, Nebraska to Gerhard and Katherine Lanfer Koetters.   She was one of five children.  She and Bernard Mast were married February 11, 1890, in St. Anthony’s Church in Quincy, Illinois.

Bernard Mast purchased 15 acres of land that was originally owned b his parents in December 1889, and from those having interest in this property in 1890.  He later sold his farm and moved to another in Quincy, Illinois, in 1891.  Bernard and Julia Koetters Mast lived in a small house on North 18th Street across from Calvary Cemetery.  The house is still there, however, it has gone through many renovations over the years.  Bernard and Julia adopted a baby girl they named Bertha Rose.  She was born on May 17, 1893.  Bertha was a slight woman with long brown hair and blue eyes. 

I remember visiting great-grandma Julia at her house in the mid 1950’s.  She raised chickens which ran around her yard and in and out of her house.  She made her own wine and always had home made oatmeal cookies for us.  She had dark tan rugged skin and wore long dresses.  I remember she was always yelling at “dem damn shickins!”  I loved my great grandma.

Henry B. Dieker was born on January 8, 1887, the eldest of ten children.  He was a tall lanky man with thick, wavy brown hair and sparkling blue.  He was ruggedly handsome, too.  He grew up on the family farm on north 5th street in Quincy.  Henry and Bertha Rose Mast were married on September 24, 1913, in St. John’s Catholic Church in Quincy.  They farmed on his father’s homestead.  Together they had ten children, seven girls and three boys.  My mom’s best memory of her mother was watching her brush her long hair in the sun and singing “Keep pushing until those clouds go away.”

In the winter of 1929, Bertha contracted pneumonia.  Without modern medicine, she died at home on January 4, 1929.  Henry was left with his ten children to raise, the youngest being on two years old.  Although Henry’s sisters offered to take some of the children, Henry promised to keep the family together.

John and Frances Resch Kansteiner moved to Quincy from Mt. Sterling, Illinois, after their marriage.  They lived on the east edge of Quincy.  John worked in the factory at Incubator Works making incubators for baby chickens.  Their daughter, Ruth, was born on May 15, 1897.  She was one of six children and attended St. Francis School in Quincy.

Ruth married Bernard Terwelp in Quincy on November 17, 1917.  They had two children and lived in east Adams County.  Bernard was a farmer.  As a result of a wood chopping accident, Bernard died from infection on August 21, 1923.  For a time, Ruth and her children, Andrew and Rita, lived in a house near the corner of East Broadway and St. Joseph’s Road.

Henry and Ruth met at a dance at St. Joseph’s Church.  After a very short courtship, they were married at St. Joseph’s on March 4, 1933.  The raised their 12 children together through the hardships of the depression.  The family lived on a farm east of Quincy Regional Airport.  Many of Henry’s children have gone back to the farm from time to time to remember the “good ol’ days”.

Henry worked hard as a farmer with Ruth kept the household and children in order.  The children attended Prairie School about a mile west of their home.  After the children were grown and gone, Henry and Ruth moved to a farmhouse on Columbus Road just off of I-172.  Ruth’s children, Andrew and Rita still love near this home.

Henry loved his children and grandchildren very much.  He loved to play cards.  In his later years he contracted emphysema and after a long struggle he died in St. Mary’s Hospital on April 23, 1959.  Henry had 72 grandchildren.  Ruth worked for many years at the Quincy Clinic (now Quincy Medical Group) in the laundry room.  She moved to a smaller home in town and later lived with her daughter.  She died on February 25, 1981, from a stroke.

Chapter Two

There are so many stories that my mom told me of her childhood. I will write as many of these as I can remember as time allows. So please come back often to see what's new.

Also, if your parents ever told stories, please send them to me so I can add them here, too.


Email me with your stories or leave me a message in the guestbook and I will get back to you. As said on the front page, this is a work in progress so come back often. And help me make this a great family web site.

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