We’ve been looking at Annie Burkey’s life prior to her marriage to Joe Rademacher. I just got an email this morning from one of Dale’s cousins, Janine, who passed along this story about the family’s life in Julesburg.
During the time that the Burkey’s were living in Julesburg, a band of gypsies with their horses and wagons approached the house. At that time, it was rumored that gypsies would steal children. With that in mind, their mother, Ottilia, took the children, Hattie and Tillie among them, upstairs and hid them in the bedroom and told them to stay put. Ottilia gave the gypsies some bread and they eventually moved on. Ottilia did notice a blond haired child in the group; gypsies were a dark haired/skinned people.
Janine confirmed with her mom that the children hid “upstairs”, which doesn’t quite make sense for a sod house. However, it’s entirely possible that a traditional wood frame house was built during the time that the family lived there.
Janine passed along another tidbit about the Ottilia’s migration to America:
What is interesting, is that Grandma Tillie (as we knew her) told Mom a story on the migration of our family. She said that the family owned land in Germany and that they sold their land in Germany to a “shyster” for a thousand(?) acres in America the “Land of Milk and Honey”.
This confirms what Sister Marie Gerard told us, that a crooked land agent was involved in selling them land in Nebraska.
Thank you Janine, for sending along these stories.
I have plans to travel to Nebraska in mid-June and intend to stop by the site of the Burkey family’s homestead near Julesburg. I’ll post photos and details when that happens!