Last time we talked about the Kreifels family, I introduced you to Elizabeth Kreifels’ great-grandfather, Mathias Blommer. He came to America in 1840 with his wife and eight children. Although the Blommers originally settled in Lisle Town, Missouri, they soon settled in Loose Creek, Missouri. Here they found an established community of Rheinlander Germans. The Blommer family stayed there for 14 years before moving north to Stearns County, Minnesota.
The Rheinlander Germans of Loose Creek seemed to have formed a rather close-knit community. The town retains a German identity today, and descendants of the town’s original inhabitants still live there. They are very proud of their German origins and they maintain many traditions and celebrations from the old country. Their German Heritage Society hosts a celebration every four years and there are usually visiting guests from Germany. On another four-year rotation, Loose Creek residents make a pilgrimage to Germany as well.
Dale and I made a trip to Loose Creek in 1996 to attend the German Heritage Day that was held that year. We traveled with Dale’s parents Louis and Joan and our son Jeff. (We figured it was a bad idea to bring all 3 boys with us, and an equally bad idea to leave all 3 with their other grandma. So we brought our middle son Jeff and left the other two behind. I’m pretty sure Jeff thought he got the short end on this deal…) When we arrived, we met up with Louis’ cousin Roger Meredith and his wife Mayola. Roger, Louis, Dale and Jeff are all descendants of Mathias Blommer.
The day began with a celebration Mass at the beautiful Immaculate Conception Church in Loose Creek. We got there early and had the opportunity to view the German Settler’s Memorial and were thrilled to find Mathias Blommer and his family prominently listed. The Mass was surprisingly emotional. Portions of the Mass and some of the hymns were in German, and mention was made of the two World Wars that separated friends and families. The Mass was followed by a community banquet with lots of great German food on the menu. We were introduced as special guests, having come from so far away and descended from one of the earliest settlers.
Their most recent celebration was in 2012 (see an article about it here) and their next one will be in 2016.
Next time we’ll take a look at the records of the Blommer family from their time in Missouri.
Here are a few pictures from our trip to Loose Creek.