Selma Meier Deeke

Does MPHS have photographs: yes

Address in MP:                                           

Birth Date: 6/19/1903

Death Date: 12/22/1991

Spouse: Edwin Deeke (b. 7/25/1898 d. 10/03/1986)


Interesting information on life, career, accomplishments:

The Deeke family moved to Elk Grove in 1865 when Henry Deeke bought their farm from Bernhard Recker and his wife. The Recker’s had purchased the land from the U.S. Government following the opening of the north eastern Illinois for white settlement after the conclusion of Black Hawks War. The Deeke’s, like many of the German immigrants, bought a farm that had already been cleared, rather than clearing virgin land. Henry Deeke paid $740 for 70 acres of farm land. Adjusted for inflation that would be $9,200 today, so even adjusted for inflation that was a good deal. Perhaps the Recker’s had not had a good time farming or had encountered some other trouble. Henry owned this land until 1896 when he sold roughly 40 acres of it to his son Herman Deeke for $1,000 (or $23,300 today).
The Meier Family lived in Cook County at least back into the 1890s, although they probably go back to the 1860s. The first member of the Meier family that we have records on is George Meier. He was born April 23, 1869 and married Sophie Busse, sister of William and George, in around 1889 or 1890. They had six children, who had an unusual affinity for marring siblings. Their oldest son, William Louis married Hermina Rohlwing and at the wedding his brother, Louis, met Hermina’s sister Anna and the two were married three years later. Similarly, Edwin Meier married Edna Oltendorf, while his youngest brother, Raymond, married her sister Elta Oltendorf. The female children broke off on their own, with Christine marring Adolph Busse and Selma marring Edwin Deeke.
Selma grew up on the family farm and attended Saint John Lutheran School. She had Paul Meeske as her teacher and eventually married Edwin Deeke. Edwin was the son of Herman and would have grown up on the farm discussed above. He most likely also went to Saint John School and was taught by Paul Meeske. Selma and Edwin farmed, mostly raising food for themselves but also some milk and potatoes and onions for sale. They had four children Vernon, Wallace, Delila, and Diane.

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