Spinning Yarns

Mama would often tell stories about family. One person she would often talk about was her great grandfather, William (Wilhelm) Strassburg. William was born in Prussia on January 9, 1861 to August Fredrick Strassburg and Mary Eva Mudth.

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SS Weser

According to the tales, William told his grand daughter, he came to this country when he was just a small boy. He told my mom that he snuck on board a ship and traveled alone. According to mama, he had a broken arm that did not heal correctly; he told her that he received this injury in World War I while fighting for his new country that he loved so very much.

Other tales spoken about this grandfather proclaimed that he was quite the ladies man. He had married several times and had numerous girlfriends. According to mom, he had land in Canada although I never found any documentation. Mama and my grandmother adored this man. My Aunt Jan, however, thought he was ill-mannered and malicious. According to my aunt, he put a burr under her pony’s saddle when she was a child.

Well, the tales he told my mama were quite untrue. He arrived in this country with his parents and his siblings on June 17, 1867 when he was six years old. His family sailed on the SS Weser. The ship sailed from Bremen, Germany and sailed to New York City, New York. Through my research, I have yet to discover where he had served in the military. And from what I do know, many German nationals were not able to serve their country through the war efforts. In addition, grandfather Strassburg would have been in his mid fifties during the time of war.

According to the Federal Census Records of 1870 and 1880, my grandfather William lived in Hamtrack, Wayne, Michigan. In 1895, the Kansas Census Records of 1895 show that my grandfather is married and living with my grandmother Ellsa in Cherryvale, Montgomery, Kansans. In the 1910 Federal Census, William is living in Gunnison, Colorado with his wife, Mary, his daughter, Annie, and his granddaughter, Elva Bryant. These records also indicate that he is a farm laborer, and that is a naturalized citizen. In the 1920 Federal Census records, my grandfather is still living in Gunnison and working a farm laborer. By 1930, he has moved to Iola, Gunnison, Colorado, and he is still working as a farm hand.

From research, I have found that he was married at least tree times. First he married my great-great grandmother, Ellsa La Duke in 1876. She died on January 28, 1898. William married Mary Shay on May 13, 1898 in Windsor, Ontario, Canada. On November 15, 1927, he married Laura Hoag in Gunnison, Colorado. And I remember all the pictures with Grandfather Strassburg and all of his women. I remember telling mom and grandma that I didn’t see what all the fuss was about because he wasn’t a very handsome man, and I could not fathom how all the women could fall for him when they knew he liked “to circulate.” But my grandmother and my mom told me he had a wonderful personality and that everyone enjoyed spending time with him. After viewing all the pictures and all of his women, I guess, at least, that part must have been true!
Spinning Yarns


New York, Passenger Lists, 1820-1957

SS Weser

Arrival: June 17, 1867

Port of Departure Bremen, Germany
Destination United States of America
Port of Arrival New York, New York

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Federal Census Records

1870 United States Federal Census

Hamtramck, Wayne, Michigan

August Strassburg 48
Mary Strassburg 45
Charles Strassburg 17
Frederick Strassburg 15
Anna Strassburg 13
Leopold Strassburg 11
William Strassburg 9
Louis Strassburg 5
Otto Strassburg 2
Hulda Strassburg 5/12

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1880 United States Federal Census

Hamtramck, Wayne, Michigan

Mary Strassburge 53
William Strassburge 19
Louis Strassburge 15
Otto Strassburge 12
Hulta Strassburge 10

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Kansas State Census Collection, 1855-1925 – 1 Mar 1895

Cherryvale, Montgomery, Kansas

Wm Strassburg 34
Elsie Strassburg 32
Wm Strassburg 10
Frankie Strassburg 8
Annie Strassburg 3
Herman Strassburg 6 Mo

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Back row: William Jr., Mabel,and Frank – Front row: Herman, William holding Earl, and Annie

1910 United States Federal Census

Precinct 5, Gunnison, Colorado

Lower Gunnison Valley

William Strausburg 49
Mary Strausburg 56
Anna Bryant 18
Elva Bryant 1

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Marriage Records

Ontario, Canada, Marriages, 1801-1928, 1933-1934

William Strassburg and Mary Shay

13 May 1898

Essex, Ontario, Canada

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Colorado, County Marriages and State Indexes, 1862-2006

William Strassburg and Laura Hoag

15 Nov 1927

Gunnison, Gunnison, Colorado, USA



Family Photo



strassburg family
Seated:  August Fredrick Strassburg, Maria Eva Mudth, Anna ~ Standing in back:  Leopold and William ~ Standing left: Louis and Otto ~ Standing on right: Hulda


IMG_20170614_0007 (1)


William Strasuburg, boys unknown, not sure were photo was taken although he was living in Gunnison, Colorado later in his life.  The landscape resembles the western slope of Colorado.





Works Cited

  • “1870 United States Federal Census.” Ancestry.com Operations, Inc., 2009, search.ancestry.com/search/db.aspx?dbid=7163. Accessed 30 Apr. 2017.
  • “1880 United States Federal Census.” Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations Inc, 2010. 1880 U.S. Census Index Provided by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, search.ancestry.com/search/db.aspx?dbid=6742. Accessed 30 Apr. 2017.
  • “1910 United States Federal Census.” Ancestry.com, Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations Inc, 2006.Original Data – Thirteenth Census of the United States, 1910 (NARA Microfilm Publication T624, 1,178 Rolls). Records of the Bureau of the Census, Record Group 29. National Archives, search. ancestry. com/ search/ db. aspx?dbid=7884.  Accessed 30 Apr. 2017.
  • “1920 United States Federal Census.” Ancestry.com, Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations Inc, 2010. Images Reproduced by FamilySearch.Original Data – Fourteenth Census of the United States, 1920. (NARA Microfilm Publication T625, 2076 Rolls). Records of the Bureau of the Census, search. ancestry.com /search/ db.aspx?dbid=6061. Accessed 30 Apr. 2017.
  • “1930 United States Federal Census.” Ancestry, Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations Inc, 2002.Original Data – United States of America, Bureau of the Census. Fifteenth Census of the United States, 1930. Washington, D.C.: National Archives and Records Administration, search.ancestry.com/search/db.aspx?dbid=6224.  Accessed 30 Apr. 2017.
  • Beine, Joe. “New York Passenger Lists Quick Guide 1820-1957.” New York Passenger Lists Quick Guide 1820-1957, Ancestry.com Operations Inc, 2010, http://www.genesearch.com/newyork/. Accessed 30 Apr. 2017.
  • Ancestry, Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com. Original Data: Family Tree Files Submitted by Ancestry Members., http://www.ancestry.com/family-tree/tree. Accessed 1 May 2016.
  • Colorado, County Marriages and State Indexes, 1862-2006, Ancestry.com Operations Inc, 2016, search.ancestry.com/search/db.aspx?dbid=61366. Accessed 30 Apr. 2017.
  • Kansas State Census Collection, 1855-1925, Online Publication – Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations Inc, 2009., search.ancestry.com/search/DB.aspx?dbid=1088.   Accessed 30 Apr. 2017.
  • Ontario, Canada, Marriages, 1801-1928, 1933-1934, Ancestry.com Operations Inc, 2010, search.ancestry.com/search/db.aspx?dbid=7921. Accessed 30 Apr. 2017.
  • U.S. City Directories, 1822-1995, Ancestry.com Operations Inc, 2011, search.ancestry.com/search/db.aspx?dbid=2469. Accessed 30 Apr. 2017.

5 thoughts on “Spinning Yarns

  1. While I think you are right about the military service you may want to see if he served during the Spanish American War. We all have family “stories” that keep us busy running down the details.


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