On August 21, 1890, Rolf Jacob Fecht of Wiessens, Germany, received a citation from the German Army for his excellent marksmanship. After his service in the army, he wanted to go to America, the land of opportunity, where some of his relatives had gone. Rolf was afraid he would have to go back in the army again, and he didn't want any part of it. Rolf married Fentke Maria Jansses of Holtrop, Germany, April 16, 1893, in the German Lutheran Church in Bremenhol, Germany. On April 28, 1893, Rolf, Fentke, and his younger brother, Albert, 16, set sail for America, arriving at the Port of Baltimore on the steamship Dresden.
The family went to Carthage, Illinois. Their entire family was born in the United States. The first seven children were born in or around Carthage, Hancock County, Illinois. The family moved from Illinois in 1907, relocating near Wilcox, Nebraska. Later they moved to the Huntley, Nebraska, area. The last four children were born in Nebraska.
Albert Jacob Fecht, the 16-year-old immigrant, married Anna Katherine Helmrich on February 12, 1902, at Camp Point, Illinois. In 1907, Albert and Anna moved with Rolf's family to Wilcox, Nebraska, and later moved to Caney, Kansas.
The two brothers, Rolf Jacob and Albert Jacob Fecht, who came to the United States together, were again united in death. Rolf and Albert passed away at the same hour, day and year: Tuesday, July 13, 1954, at 9:30 a.m. Services were conducted on the following Friday, one in Nebraska and the other in Kansas.
These two brothers spent 61 years in America and never returned to their homeland, Germany, not even for a visit.
Back in 1955 a call went out from the editors of the then CAPPER’s Weekly asking for readers to send in articles on true pioneers. Hundreds of letters came pouring in from early settlers and their children, many now in their 80s and 90s, and from grandchildren of settlers, all with tales to tell. So many articles were received that a decision was made to create a book, and in 1956, the first My Folks title – My Folks Came in a Covered Wagon – hit the shelves. Nine other books have since been published in the My Folks series, all filled to the brim with true tales from CAPPER’s readers, and we are proud to make those stories available to our growing online community.