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Joseph & Sophia Holtfrerich – Holy Cross Cemetery, Windthorst


The Holtfrerich story begins in Wilmesberg, Nordrhein-Westfalen, Germany with the birth of Maria Anna Sophia Hessmann on September 18, 1840. Her parents were Joan. Gerhart Heinrich Hessmann and Anna Maria Cth. Elisbeth. Middlehoff. She was one of eight children.

Joseph was born on June 24, 1841, in Borghorst, Westphalia, Germany. Sophia and Joseph were married in Germany in 1869. Later that year, their only child, Hubert, was born.


Like many families in Germany at this time, emigrating to America was an opportunity to escape an oppressive government, ongoing wars, and start anew in America.

In 1875, the Holtfrerich/Hessman families boarded a ship and headed across the ocean. Sophia’s brothers, Bernard, August, and sister, Elizabeth also came. They first settled in Covington County, Kentucky.



By 1880, everyone except Elizabeth had settled in Wheatland Twp., Ford County. She stayed in Kentucky and married. Bernard died in 1878 at the young age of 34. August married Mary Zerhusen and raised three children. August died in 1890. All are buried in Holy Family Cemetery in Windthorst.


Sophia passed away on the 15th of February 1905. She is buried in Holy Family Cemetery with her husband and brothers, Bernard, and August.

Their son, Hubert, married Emma Krumrey and had seven children. He is buried in Maple Grove Cemetery in Dodge City, Ford, Kansas.


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