Henry Busse

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Address in MP: 

Birth Date: 1829

Death Date: 1917


Spouse: Marie Behrens 6/1/1841- 7/29/1912

Children:  Marie, Henry C., Louis, Fred, Martin, Alvina, Wilhelmine

Interesting information on life, career, accomplishments:

Henry Busse was the first member of the Busse Family to arrive in America. He was the third child of Friedrich and Johanna and therefore would have not inherited the family land in Hanover, (today part of Germany). He set out for America to make his fortune in 1847 and ended up working as a farm hand outside of Sheboygan, Wisconsin, an area with a large German speaking population. He sent letters back to Hanover telling of the land, freedom and other German speaking Lutherans and encouraging his family to emigrate. Friedrich and Johanna came on his advice.

In 1849, Henry decided to try his hand at prospecting for gold in California. He set off with long time friend Christian Henjes and associate Thomas Grupe. The three traveled by wagon across the country. It was a hard trip, with fears of attacks by Native Americans and other prospectors. At one point they were forced to float their wagon across a river by putting wooden rails on the side of the wagon. The wagon made it across, but floated three miles downstream while crossing because of the strong current.

Henry made a small fortune of $6,000 in the seven months he was in California. Adjusted for inflation, this would be about $135,000 today. He traveled home in style, taking a boat around South America rather than traveling over land by wagon. He purchased a 150 acre farm with the money he had made and settled down to a comfortable life as a farmer.

He married Marie Behrens in 1857 and gave her a fine white shawl he had purchased during his travels. This shawl still exists today, although it was died black long ago and was cut into four pieces, one piece was kept by Marie Behrens Busse with the other three were given to their three daughters.

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