Ernestine Pauline Wopshal Kienitz
Ernestine Pauline Caroline Wopshal Kienitz, has a history that moves beyond the pioneers with English bloodlines. She is the daughter and wife of a different group of immigrants, the Germans. Someone once said that the English bought land to speculate, the Germans bought land to farm and keep in the family. The major part of the 114 acre farm that Pauline and her husband, Gustav, bought in 1877 is still in the family 136 yrs later in 2013, although, not a great deal of farming is done there today.
Pauline was born 21 Mar 1850 in Kolmar, Posen, Germany. She wasn’t found as a single woman in the Census records, but, on the 27 Apr 1871, at the age of 20 yrs. she married the new German immigrant, Gustav Augustus Kienitz in La Porte County, Indiana. Gustav was Catholic and Pauline was Protestant. In spite of those differences, the family numbered 9 living children when a picture was taken in 1894 of the family (minus the oldest boy) in front of their home. In the picture each family member seems to be showing you their dearest possession. The little girl has her dolls, the mother, her child, the second girl, her pretty hat, another girl her guitar, the older boys, their horses, Grandma, her spinning wheel.
The year after this picture was taken, on 19 Apr 1895, Pauline died, in childbirth the family says, of malaria the news article says. Whatever caused Pauline’s death, her 10th child, a new-born daughter, died, too, within days of her mother and is buried here beside her. And why is she buried here, at Low Cemetery? Why not in Greenwood Cemetery where her husband and children are? Times were different then. Pauline was not Catholic and could not be buried in the Catholic part of Greenwood where her family would be buried. Maybe she had liked this little cemetery out in the country, not far from her home. Maybe her family felt she was nearer to them and their farm. But, here she lies and here we are today, remembering her.
Pictures and some of this information came by way of Jeanne Kienitz Galloy who lives on the farm today.
Researched and presented by Dorothy Germain Palmer, 6/11/2013