Visiting my grandparents

Last Saturday, we attended the funeral of my Uncle Marvin Meidinger. Not only was he brother to my mother, but he was everybody’s favorite uncle. We had just celebrated his 80th birthday. We are so mourning his passing. Never one to complain, Marvin was always joking around and telling stories and making comments on the state of affairs. Naturally, we all agreed that the Germans from Russia could do a great job of fixing this country. I say that with a grin.

Marvin was buried in the cemetery of my grandparents, Albert and Emma Meidinger. The last time we did a family history book, we included photos of the New Kassel Church. The building is no longer there, but I wanted my children and future generations to be able to find the cemetery and visit the final resting place of their ancestors.

Albert and EmmaAccording to my information, the church was built in 1905 and incorporated in 1911. It was destroyed by fire in March of 1938 and rebuilt that same years. In 1979, New Kassel merged with two other churches and formed the United Church of Christ in Wishek.  It is located 11 miles north of Zeeland.

The black and white photo was taken in 1969 and the color photo in 1980.

I have always loved visiting cemeteries and was very pleased to find this one on a hot summers day.

New Kassel

There’s a new sign at the gate, but the church is no longer there. I do remember attending church there and wondering why it was filled with all my relatives. I guess now I understand. Most of them live along that very road and Grandma Meidinger was very diligent with their studies. They had to learn the Catechism in German. They gathered every evening after supper for religious studies…it was important to them to keep the faith. In the black and white photo below, my grandmother (with her hat) is standing in the crowd. I’m sure there are others I would recognize if I studied the picture closely. Uncle Marvin, Grandma and Grandpa and all the rest – until we meet again in Heaven.

new kassel church 1964 copyZeelandChurch


About spidersue

Working on books, working, gardening, baking, canning, knitting, crocheting, reading, walking, getting older, getting wiser, love my children, love love love my grandchildren.
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3 Responses to Visiting my grandparents

  1. Donna Eszlinger says:

    Sue,, so sorry to hear about the death of your uncle, But also glad that you have such good memories of family times,, those are the things that make us smile on the days that we find we miss them the most. our sympathies to you and your family


  2. Laura Wiest Kourajian says:

    Hi Sue. The Wiests (my ancestors) hailed from New Kassel Evangelical and Reformed Church, too. Not sure it’s the same one. Not sure I could find it again, but it was south and west of Wishek, along a county road with the Alvin Wiest and Ferdinand Wiest farms. There were only a half dozen or so graves, and I thought they were all Wiests (including my great grandfather, Karl, who homesteaded) except for two Woehls (spelled Wohl, with the umlaut). Church was gone, but there was a small storage building.


    • Prairie Legacy - German Russian Country says:

      If I should get back there I will look more carefully at the stones on the other side of the cemetery. It has to be the same one. Are you related to Randy Woehl? He sent us some awesome photos of his family for the book.


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