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Theresa (Schulte)and Otto Ahrens

My Schulte family tree begins with John Henrick Schulte who had a daughter THERESA. I don't know very much about the Schulte side of the family.

All we have is a few lines written by my Grandmother, Teresa Schulte Ahrens, in a reunion diary that has been kept for years and years. It said that Theresa Schulte was the daughter of John Schulte and Mary Birch . It said Mary's father was a full-blooded Indian Chief of the Winnebago Tribe.

I haven't researched this yet so I have no idea who the chief actually was at that time or if this was just a family story. She stated when her father was seriously injured in an accident, Mary fled. She said she was put in a convent until she was about 15 years old. Then her father took her to live with him and her step-mother in Chicago.


I have had a wall come down since I posted that part of the page and have found out more about my Great Grandfather's side of the family from the family of my great grandfather's brother, Joseph Bernard Schulte, who remained in Germany. There are still lots of mysteries about John to find since his family lost contact with him at some point after he came to the USA.

After his father died in 1881 his mom, Maria Agnes Steltonpohl Schulte, and 3 of his siblings moved from Steinfeld, Harpen Village, (Lower Saxony) Oldenburg, Germany to Ottoville, Putnam County, Ohio. One brother remained in Germany. John had to have come over to the states earlier since my grandmother was born in Illinois in 1871. I also have to question that his sister Josephine came with his mother because I already have her living in Ohio in 1880. I recently received a picture of Theresa from the cousins in Germany. What a wonderful gift to receive....My grandmother's picture as a child! The picture was taken in Chicago, Illinois. She looks the same as she did in her wedding picture only younger. It also shows how much one of her daughters and some of the grandaughters look like her.

Using the 1880 census, I found Theresa living in Putnam County Ohio with the Clement Wehri family. Josephine Schulte was married to one of the sons, Frank Wehri. I have found out that Josephine is her aunt, the sister of John Schulte. So at some point before the Wehris moved to Minnesota they took in the niece of their daughter-in-law to live with them. I have not found records of her being in an orphanage or the story of her Native American mother.

The Schulte family was Catholic so possibly she was cared for by nuns for part of her life. In the early 1880s the Wehri family moved from Ohio to Minnesota so on the trip is where I suspect they dropped Theresa in Chicago to live with her father.

In 1880 John Henrick married Sophie Mellis in Chicago so that gave him a stepmother for his daughter. I have found no records showing that grandma had any siblings. John is buried at Wunders Cemetery in Chicago with his wife Sophie.

Theresa did housework for wealthy families until she married Otto Ahrens on April 23, 1892 in Chicago.

Their first daughter was born and died as an infant in Chicago so they lived there till they moved down to Chebanse, Illinois area to farm on the Ahrens farm where Otto grew up. All the rest of their children were born on the farm.

My Schulte Family

1. Laurentis Schulte b. 1659 m. Anna Margretha Kenkel b. 1679

Arnold Caspar Schulte b. 1696 d. 1778

2. Arnold Caspar Schulte m. Anna Maria Hermhusen b.1702


Arend Caspar Schulte b. 1737

3. Arend Caspar Schulte m. Anna Margaretha Neencamp b. 1743 d. 1813


Herman Gerd Schulte b. 1774

4. Herman Gerd Schulte m. Marie Agnes Luebke b. 1785 d.1857


Herman Anton Schulte b. August 23, 1806 d.

5. Herman Anton Schulte b. August 23, 1806 in Steinfeld , Harpen village, (Lower Saxony) Oldenburg, Germany d. Steinfeld , Harpen village, (Lower Saxony) Oldenburg, Germany m. Maria Agnes Steltonpohl b. August 25, 1819 Steinfeld/Harpendorf ,( Niedersachsen), Germany d. December 28, 1891 Ottoville, Putnam County, Ohio


John Henrick Schulte b. September 09, 1842 Steinfeld , Harpen village, (Lower Saxony) Oldenburg, Germany d. November 24, 1903 Chicago, Cook County, Illinois m. Mary Birch ? m2. Sophie Mellis

Josephine Schulte b. October 09, 1853 Steinfeld , Harpen village, (Lower Saxony) Oldenburg, Germany d. June 03, 1927 St. Clem, North Dakota m. Frank Wehri

Maria-Elizabeth Schulte b. February 04, 1851 Steinfeld , Harpen village, (Lower Saxony. Oldenburg, Germany d. August 02, 1929 Clover Dale, Ohio m. Clemens Kamphus

Anton 'Anthony' Schulte b. October 11, 1859 1851 Steinfeld , Harpen village, (Lower Saxony. Oldenburg, Germany d. May 06, 1936 Putnam or Allen County, Ohio m. Agnes 'Elizabeth' Vorst m2 . Mary Ann Beining 1898

Joseph 'Josef' Bernard Schulte b. August 15, 1848 d. 1935 1851 Steinfeld , Harpen village, (Lower Saxony. Oldenburg, Germany m. Wilhemina Trenkamp

6. John Henrick Schulte m. Mary before 1872.

Maria Theresa Schulte

7. Maria Theresa Schulte M. Otto Ahrens

Cook County Marriage License

John Schulte

Name John Schulte

Age 37

Birth Year (Estimated) 1843

Birth Date 1843

Spouse's Name Sophie Mellis

Spouse's Age 45

Spouse's Birth Year (Estimated) 1835

Spouse's Birth Date 1835

License Type Marriage

Event Date 18 Dec 1880

Event Place Cook, Illinois

Additional Relatives Y


"Illinois, Cook County Marriages, 1871-1920,"


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