Sophia Fink died 26 October 1919

Sophia Fink was born 8 February 1861 in Leipzig, Bessarabia, Russia, the daughter of Joseph Fink and Katharina Weist.  Although she was born in Russia, her parents were Germans.  On 18 December, 1881, in Tarutino, Russia, she married Christoph Hintz, son of Johann Friedrich Hintz and Louisa Nuske, also Germans.

Sophia’s first child, Samuel, was born in Leipzig in 1882.  In 1885, Sophia immigrated with her husband and son, her mother-in-law, sister-in-law Susannah, and brother-in-law Martin (all the living members of Christoph’s family who had not either died or immigrated).  They sailed from Bremman to New York on the ship EMS. 

The family went first to South Dakota, where Christoph’s brother Christian lived, then moved with him to Hebron, North Dakota, where the next three sons were born – Adolph in 1886, John in 1890, and Reinhold in 1892.  The Hintz family had a homestead in the north of Elgin called Antelope Creek.  The town of Leipzig was established here – named for their home town in Russia.  However, the railroad route passed by six miles to the south, and most of the town relocated to New Leipzig. 

Sophia’s husband was a farmer, worked on the railroad, and also helped build the Old Stone Church in old Leipzig.  More children were born Leipzig – Robert in 1894, Fredrich in 1896, twins Amelia and Wilhelm in 1898, and Anna Marie in 1900.  Wilhelm died at age 18 months of burns received when he got too close to a fire or stove, and his clothing caught on fire. 

Sophia’s husband died four days before Anna Marie was born, leaving her with eight children to raise from age 18 to newborn. 

The 1910 census lists Sophia at the homestead.  Her older two sons had married, but John, Reinhold, Robert, Fred, Amelia and Anna were still at home. 

Sophia died 26 October 1919 in Leipzig, after having a stroke at her home.  She is buried at the Lutheran cemetery in Elgin. 

Her obituary said that she had eleven children, but I have only identified nine.  She also had two surviving brothers and two sisters, but they were not named in the obituary. 



Johann Friedrich Hintz married Louisa Nuske 5 October 1842

Johann Hintz was born 23 October 1821 in Leipzig, Bessarabia, Russia, the first of eight children of Adam Hintz and Julianna Weiss.  Adam and Julianna were both born in Poland, but were of German descent, and gone to Leipzig to take advantage of opportunities there.  Czarina Catherine the Great had been recruiting Germans to help settle Russia, and provide a buffer zone between the established Russian cities and potential invaders from outside the country.  These settlers were supposed to be able to keep their language, culture, and religion, and be exempt from serving in the Russian military services. 

Louisa Nusske was born 12 April 1825 in Leipzig, daughter of Gottfried Nusske and Amelia Bierwagon.  The name is sometimes spelled Nußke.  Her parents were also ethnic Germans in Russia.  Her father died when she was 13. 

Johann and Louisa were married on 5 October 1842 in Leipzig.  They eventually had 13 children:  Anna Justina, Karolina, Adam, Christian, Carl, Dorothea, Louisa, Christoph, Christina, Susanna, Samuel, Gottfried, and Martin.  Karolina died at age 14, Adam at 3, Carl and Dorothea at 2, Christina at 12, all in Russia.  The other children married.  Christian, the eldest son, immigrated to America, and eventually to South Dakota.  He paved the way for siblings Gottfried, Josta, Louisa, and Samuel to follow.  Young Louisa (Mrs. Gottlieb Roehl) died in 1878. 

Johann Friedrich Hintz died 5 February 1885 in Russia.  I don’t know if he had planned to move to America, but the remainder of the family emigrated after his death.  Louisa arrived in New York on the ship EMS on 7 November 1885, with her son Christoph his wife Sophia, their son Samuel, her daughter Susanna, and son Martin.  They joined Christian in South Dakota, then moved to the Hebron, North Dakota area. 

Louisa’s daughter Anna Justina Klaus died in 1888.  Son Gottfried died in 1889. 

Louisa had a 160-acre homestead in her own name, and her sons also had homesteads.  The 1900 census shows Louisa, age 75, living adjacent to son Christian, and his family. The record did not give a town name, but a location of Township 137, Range 90, Christiana Roehl, age 72, lived with her.  This was in the Antelope Creek area north of the town of Elgin.  Louisa’s son Christoph died in 1900.

I was not able to find Louisa in the 1910 census.  She died 19 November 1913.


Robert C Hintz died 20 August 1946

Robert Hintz was born 3 June 1894 in Leipzig, North Dakota, the fifth of nine children of Christoph Hintz and Sophia Fink.  His parents were ethnic Germans from Russia who had come to the US in 1885, and homesteaded in Leipzig, north of Elgin.  His younger brother Wilhelm died at age 18 months, in 1899.

The 1900 census lists the Hintz family at Township 135 in Morton County (now part of Grant County.)  Christoph was a farmer.  He died later that year.  The 1910 census lists the family at the same location.  Sophia was the head of household.  Samuel and Adolf had married and moved out.  John, Reinhold, Robert, Emilie, and Anna were still at home.  Robert was confirmed at the Hope Lutheran Church in Leipzig ND on March 15, 1908. 

By the time of the 1915 state census, Robert was on his own, in Taylor, Stark county. Taylor is a small town that dates back to 1882, and currently has a population of about 150, but is near the larger town of Dickenson.  (In 2000, the population density of Taylor was 300 people per square mile, but the town was only 1/2 mile square!)   The census did not list occupations.  Robert attended business college in Fargo.  Robert registered for the WW1 draft while living in Taylor.  His occupation was assistant cashier at Taylor State Bank.  He was described as medium height, medium build, blue eyes, light brown hair, no disabilities, and single. 

Robert C. Hintz is listed on the Grant County Veterans Memorial as having served in WWI.   He is listed in “Roster of the Men and Women who served in the Army or Naval Service (including the Marine Corps) of the United States or its Allies from the State of North Dakota in the World War, 1917-1918 Volume 2”  Robert C. Hintz Army #: 87,500 Registrant: yes, Stark county Birth Place: New Leipzig, N. Dak. Birth Date: 03 Jun 1894 Parent’s Origin: of Russian parents Occupation: banker Comment: enlisted in Company K, 1st Infantry, North Dakota National Guard, at Dickinson, on June 11, 1917; served in Company K, 1st Infantry, North Dakota National Guard (Company K, 164th Infantry), to June 27, 1918; 3rd Army Headquarters Company, Service Battalion, to Feb. 3, 1919; Headquarters, 139th Military Police Battalion, to discharge. Grades: Corporal, Oct. 1, 1917; Battalion Sergeant Major, Oct. 7, 1918; overseas from Dec. 15, 1917, to June 29, 1919. Discharged at Camp Devens, Mass., on July 1, 1919, as a Battalion Sergeant Major.

Robert returned to North Dakota after the war, and in 1920 lived in Dunn Center.  He was able to read and write, and lived in a boarding house while working as a cashier’s assistant at the bank.   During his lifetime, he also taught school and clerked in a store.  Dunn Center was only formed in 1914, and even today has a population of only about 150 people.

On 7 April 1923, Robert married Lena L Diehl, at her sister’s home in Modesto, CA.  The 1925 ND state census lists Robert and Lena in Dunn Center.  It doesn’t list addresses or occupations. 

The 1930 census lists Robert and Lena in Dunn Center.  This census asks for age at first marriage (as opposed to number of years married.)   Robert was married at age 29, or in 1925.  Lena’s age at first marriage was 18.  In the census, she claims to be 34, or born in 1896, so was 18 in 1914.  I actually have her birth year as 1888, so a marriage at 18 would have been in 1906.  Either way, this doesn’t match the 1923 marriage date, so it appears that this was her second marriage, and I do not know if Diehl is her maiden or first married name.  Robert was a land agent in a realtor’s office.  Lena was the post mistress in the post office.  Robert and Lena adopted a daughter they named Jeanette, who was born in 1926. 

Robert died 20 August 1946 in Fargo.  Lena died in 1960.

Adam Hintz married Julianna Weiss 26 July 1818

Adam Hintz was born 15 August 1799, and Julianna Weiss was born in 1802, both in Poland.  Both were of German descent, but I do not know their parents.  Adam and Julianna were part of the recruitment and migration of Germans to Russia, encouraged by Catherine the Great to come settle her country, and to provide a buffer against some of Russia’s neighbors. tells the story of Germans in Russia. Leipzig was founded in 1815, Zerpnevoye is current the Russian name. 

Adam and Julianna were married on 26 July 1818 in Leipzig, Akkerman District, Bessarabia, Russia.  Adam and Julianna had eight children.  Three died as infants.  Their children died in Russia.  When the Germans settled in Russia, they were supposed to be able to keep their own language, religions and schools, and not have to serve in the Russian military.  In two generations, those conditions changed, and many of Adam’s grandchildren left Russia and went to the United States and Canada.   The following is a timeline for the community of Liepzig.  The land was owned by General Subanajew and the cabinet advisor known as Chanov who broke the land into 60 desjantines or about 65 acres of land.  

  • 1814 /15 – German-Russian village of Leipzig was officially established 128 families. Many were Separatists, a religious movement of the times.  The village was named in honor of those who fought in the Battle of Leipzig (18 Oct 1813) under the victorious Tsar Alexander I and Napoleon’s Army.  Each colonist received: a yoke of oxen; one cow; one wooden wagon; plow; harrow; spade; pick; two sickles; hammer; food stuff; daily allowance of 5 kopecks per person.
  • 1815 the villagers who were part of the Lutheran community was taken into the Parish of Tarutino
  • 1821 to 1823 failed harvest
  • 1826 Grasshopper Plague
  • 1823 Livestock Epidemic
  • 1827 Report showed the village had achieved: The homes were: only one house of stone;12 wicker [reed] houses which had been plastered; 3 were sod houses; 2 earthen houses; 100 wells; 126 orchards and vineyards; Domestic Animals: 254 horses; 1118 cattle; 644 sheep Grasshopper Plague repeated
  • 1829 School was completed
  • 1831 Cholera Epidemic
  • 1833 Failed Harvest Livestock Epidemic 
  • 1843 Fifteen more families joined the Leipzig colony from 1847 Grasshopper Plague
  • 1848 Cholera Epidemic
  • 1855 Cholera Epidemic Livestock Epidemic
  • 1860 There is mentioned that immigration from Leipzig had already started
  • 1868 Second school was completed There is mention that teachers had been given homes in which to live…
  • 1885 The last family members of Johann Friedrich Hintz (deceased, son of Adam and Julianna) moved to the Dakota Territories. 
  • 1894 Administration District Offices were built or were in the process of being built as needed due to having the local train depot for the area….
  • 1913 to 1915 the railroad between Leipzig and Akkerman which ended in Vladivostok, Siberia…. was completed in time for the soldiers to be transported for WW I
  • 1920 King Ferdinand I von Hohenzollern and his Queen visited Leipzig Parish
  • 1927 Report: Houses: 963 stone and brick houses; 648 horse stables; 502 barns; 135 dripping wells; 121 artesian wells; 995 houses; 1239 cattle; 3801 sheep; crops were: linseed (flax), Castor beans, soy beans, wheat, oats, corn
  • 2 Sept 1927 a major cloud burst caused the Kogaelnik River to churn into a “ocean of fury” and it affected Leipzig….
  • 1939 More than half of the German-Russian families had left Leipzig
  • 1940 Deportation of German-Russians from Bessarabia to Siberia, Middle Asia, or German-occupied Poland. 


Fredrich Hintz died 6 July 1963

Fred Hintz was born 12 March 1896 in Leipzig, ND.  He was the sixth of nine children of Christoph Hintz and Sophia Fink, ethnic Germans from Russia who came to the US in 1885.  Fred’s father was a farmer and railroad worker.  In 1900, Fred was living with the rest of the family in Antelope Creek near Leipzig.  Christoph died when Fred was only four years old. 

In 1910, he lived with Sophia and the unmarried siblings at the homestead in Antelope Creek.  He grew up and attended school at Old Leipzig.  (When the railroad went through the area, most of the town moved, buildings and all, several miles south to what became New Leipzig, and what remained in the original location was then called Old Leipzig.)

Fred registered for the WW1 draft from Grant county ND, but I have no indication that he was called to serve. 

Fred married Emma Schmidt on 23 February, 1919, in Elgin ND.  They lived with his widowed mother for a time.  In 1920, they lived at Fourth and Maine in Elgin.  Fred was a machinist and had his own shop.  They had one daughter. Fred and his family were listed in the 1925 state census, but this document doesn’t provide information such as addresses or occupations.

Fred also worked as a carpenter, and built several homes in Elgin.  Fred bought a new Chevy in 1930, and a young lad in town wondered how he could afford it in those times.  But he made some pocket money by “simonizing” the new car for Fred.

Fred operated the Elgin Cream Station several years and Bridgeman Russell Co. Cream Station for 2 1/2 years, ending in 1935.  Fred was mayor of Elgin 1934-1936, and 1944-1946. He was also alderman for 11 years.   In 1945, he moved his cream station to the former Reinke Meat Market on Main Street.  Forget-Me-Nots were sold to raise money for veterans, and Mayor Hintz set aside Sept. 1, 1945 for the drive. Fred also operated the movies at the Elgin theater. Fred and Emma moved to Springville, NY, to be near their daughter and family.  He built many houses in Springville, and had not completed his own new home before passing away from a heart attack.

He died 6 July 1963, at age 63 and Emma died 16 September 2003, at age 104.  They are buried in Maplewood Cemetery in Springville, NY, near their daughter Lillian and her husband Robert Kessler. 


Anna Marie Hintz died 3 July 1985

Anna Marie Hintz was born 19 October 1900 in Leipzig, ND, the last of nine children of Christoph Hintz and Sophia Fink, who were ethnic Germans from Russia.  Anna Marie’s father died four days before she was born.  Her parents had homesteaded near Liepzig, north of Elgin.  Before her father died, he was a farmer and also worked on the railroad. 

In 1910, Anna lived with her mother and siblings at the homestead.  Anna was confirmed at Hope Lutheran Church on March 28, 1915.  Anna received her Christian and Public School education in Leipzig.  In 1919, Anna took a secretarial course at Dakota Business College in Fargo ND.  In the 1920 census, she was living with her brother Adolph. 

She was employed by various banks in North Dakota until 1923.  Anna and Alfred “David” Plewes were married by her brother, Pastor Reinhold Hintz, in Stoughton Saskatchewan on 20 December 1923.  David was the son of John Plewes and Eliza Thompson, and had been born 12 march 1887 in Artemesia, Ontario.

The couple went to David’s homestead in the Monchy area of Saskatchewan, which he had homesteaded in 1912.  In 1924, David and Anna moved to Orkney, Sask.  They were the first residents of the village.  They had a son and daughter.  Following her husband’s death, in 1966, Anna continued to manage his insurance business as well as the affairs of the farm, which had been rented out.  She retired in 1975, and took up residence in Pioneer Lodge in Orkney.  Anna was always active in church.  Anna was a member of the Lutheran Church in Orkney, she taught Sunday school and held confirmation classes.  Anna died 3 July 1985 in Orkney.

Reinhold Hintz b 1 July 1892

Reinhold Hintz was born 1 July 1892, in Hebron ND, the fourth of nine children of Christoph Hintz and Sophia Hintz.  Christoph and Sophia were Germans from Russia, and had come to the US in 1885.  The family lived for a short time in South Dakota, then went to North Dakota, eventually settling on a homestead north of Elgin, on Antelope Creek. 

In the 1900 census, Reinhold was listed with his family.  This sparsely settled area didn’t have a town name, but was designated Township 135 Range 89, in Morton county.  His father was listed as a farmer, and Reinhold was listed as “at school”.  Reinhold’s father died later that year.

Reinhold was confirmed at Hope Lutheran Church in Leipzig ND on March 24, 1907.  In 1910, Reinhold lived with his mother and siblings, who were listed at farmers still at Township 135 Range 89. 

Reinhold registered for the World War 1 draft.  At the time, he was a student of divinity at Phalen Lutheran Seminary, in St Paul, MN.  He became a Lutheran minister, and his first call was to Kincaid, Saskatchewan in 1919. Kincaid is a very small farming community in the southern part of the province.   He is recorded in US to Canada Border Crossings as passing through the check station at North Portal, Saskatchewan, on 10 July 1919.  His occupation was listed as “missionary.”

Reinhold married Ida Neumann on 2 May 1920 in Hebron ND.  They eventually had six children. All born in Canada.  In 1923, Reinhold officiated at the wedding of his youngest sister, Anna Marie Hintz to Alfred David Plewes on 20 December 1923, in Saskatchewan. 

Reinhold and Ida moved to Laporte, Sask. for four years, and then to Stoughton, Sask, for three years.  They were in Brandon, Manitoba for seven years, and Steinback, Manitoba for five years.  In 1941, Reinhold and his family moved to Goodrich, North Dakota.  He was at Evangelical Lutheran Zion Church in Kulm ND 1950-1951.  Reinhold was in the active ministry for 32 years, serving 22 of those in Canada.  Rev. Hintz resigned after his first stroke.

Reinhold died 9 August 1955 in Goodrich ND.  Ida died in 1986.  They are buried at Arthur cemetery in Arthur, ND with their children Harold and Idalia.

Adolf Hintz d 10 Jun 1966

Adolf J Hintz was born 29 September 1886, in Hebron, ND, at the home of his uncle Christian Hintz.  He was the second son (and first to be born in this country) of Christoph Hintz and Sophia Fink. Adolf’s parents were Germans from Russia, who had come to Dakota Territory in November 1885. They lived with Christian while their sod home was being built. Adolf’s older brother Samuel was born in 1882 in Leipzig, Bessarabia, Russia.  The younger siblings and born in North Dakota were Johann born in 1890, Reinhold in 1892, Robert born in 1894, Fredrich born in 1896, twins Amelia and Wilhelm born in 1898, and Anna Marie born in 1900. Wilhelm died at age 6 months from burns he received when he got too close to a fire or stove, and his clothing caught on fire.  He was buried at the Old Stone Church. 

In a history book about the area, Adolf Hintz told about a three day blizzard around Easter time, when upon getting up in the morning, they could not get out of the house because the snowdrifts were as high as the sod house and all the windows and the doors were banked shut.  In order to get out his father opened the door to the inside and shoved snow into the house until enough steps had been made in the drift so the family could get out.  Then the snow from the house was carried outside.  At the same time, his uncle, Dan Sprecher, had snow drifts banked as high as the sod barn.  Dan made a hole in the roof of the barn in order to let himself through in order to feed his horses and cattle.

Adolf’s family was counted in the 1900 census in Morton County, North Dakota.  The area was sparsely settled, and the census taker recorded the area as Township 135, Range 89, rather than giving it a town name.  The Hintz family homesteaded and lived in an area called Antelope Creek.  Adolf’s father died in 1900, five days before  his sister Anna Marie was born.  Adolf was the first person to be confirmed in Hope Lutheran Church, also known as the old stone church, in 1900, before the church was completed.

In 1903, the town of Leipzig was formed, and Adolph claimed a quarter section of land near the church, about a mile east of his mother’s place.  In 1908, Adolf was hired to clean the church for $14 a year.  About 1909, the railroad decided to built a line through the area about five miles south of Leipzig, so most of the town, except the Ebeneezer Church and Antelope School, which Adolf attended, moved to what  then came to be called New Leipzig, to be on the railroad line. 

On 31 December 1909, Adolf married Marie Stern, daughter of Christian Stern and Christine Hennich, at the home of his uncle, Christian Hintz.  The 1910 census shows that Adolf and Marie lived next door to Christian Hintz.  Adolf was a farmer and carpenter. 

Adolf and Marie had one child, Pauline, born in 1914.  Adolf was counted in the 1915 state census, living in Morton County.  Two years later, Adolf registered for the WWI draft from Elgin, Grant County, ND. As might be expected, it was difficult during this time for the Germans living in the United States, particularly those who had not yet learned to speak English.  Loyalties were questioned – were they Germans or Americans? I have no information to indicate that Adolf served in the war.

By 1920, Adolf’s neighborhood is called Antelope Creek.  The census shows that besides Marie and young Pauline, Adolf’s sister Anna also lived in the family.  Adolf was listed as a farmer with a general farm.  In 1920, Adolf and his brother Sam joined others in starting a farmer’s telegraph line.  North Dakota conducted another census in 1925, and AJ Hintz was listed in Grant County.  By this time, his sister Anna had married and moved to Saskatchewan. 

The 1930 census lists their town as Old Leipzig, although I don’t believe they moved.  I think that the town name changed.  Adolf served as deacon of Hope Lutheran Church. 

Adolf and Maria spent their lives farming until 1956 when they retired into the town of Elgin.  Adolf died 10 June 1966 in Elgin, of a heart attack, at his home.  He was buried at the Hope Lutheran Cemetery.  Mary died 28 April 1969.  Adolph was remembered as a “thrifty” man, who never threw anything away, and who was confirmed, married, and buried in the same suit.

Louisa Nuske born 12 April 1825

Louisa Nuske was born 12 April 1825, in Leipzig, Bessarabia, Russia. She was the daughter of Gottfired Nueske and Amelia Bierwagon.  Her father died when she was 12.  Louisa married Johann Friedrich Hintz on 5 October 1842.  The Nuske and Hintz families were both German colonists who had been recruited to settle in Russia.

Louisa had 13 children.  Five of them died as small children. Louisa’s mother died in 1880, and her husband died in 1885, in Russia.  Several of her surviving children (Justina, Louisa, and Christian) had emigrated to America to avoid having to serve in the Russian military. 

Louisa’s husband died, and three other children had already moved to the United States – Josta, Louisa, and Christian.  Louisa immigrated with her remaining living children, Samuel J. Susanna, Gottfried, and Martin, along with Christoph, his wife, and his son Sam.  They arrived on 7 November 1885, on the ship EMS. 

The 1900 census shows Louisa, age 75, living adjacent to son Christian, and his family, Township 137, Range 90, with Christiana Roehl, age 72.   It appears that Louisa had filed for a homestead, and the patent was issued in 1900, and I suspect that her sons, and/or sons-in-law helped her make the improvements needed to earn the title to the land. 

I have been unable to find Louisa in the 1910 census.  She died 19 November 1913 in Odessa, ND.

Daniel Sprecher m Susanna Hintz on 24 February 1886

Daniel Sprecher was born 11 March 1862 in Leipzig, Bessarabia, Russia, of “German from Russia” ethnicity.  His parents were Jon Friedrich Sprecher and Christina Louisa Grunning.   He came to the United States on the vessel Gellert, from Hamburg/Harve, arriving July 7, 1880.  Daniel was counted in the 1885 Dakota territorial census at Hutchinson, a farmer, living with his parents Fred and Christina.

 Susanna Hintz was born 8 January 1864, also in Leipzig, daughter of Johann Friedrich and Louisa (Nueske) Hintz, the tenth of 13 children.  After her father died, she travelled with her mother, younger brother Martin, and older brother Christoph and his wife and son, arriving 7 November 1885, on the ship EMS.  The rest of her siblings had either died in Russia, or had already emigrated to the US.

Susanna’s family went first to South Dakota, and lived with her brother Christian.  They had settled near Scotland, SD.  Daniel Sprecher married Susanna Hintz on 24 February 1886, in Scotland SD.  The families were already known to each other in the old country, as Daniel’s brother Christian had married Susanna’s sister Anna in Leipzig, before they moved to the US in the late 1870s.  Daniel and Susanna’s marriage may have been planned before he left Russia, or they may have just become reacquainted when Susanna arrived. 

In 1886, the family  moved to North Dakota, and homesteaded south of Hebron.  Daniel was a photographer.  He later relocated to Antelope Creek in 1893, in Leipzig ND.  Daniel Sprecher was the first postmaster, in 1897, with the post office in his home.  He was also the first man to administer medicine and very likely saved the lives of a few early homesteaders.

In 1900, the family was counted in Morton County, where Daniel reported his occupation as farmer.  The area was so undeveloped that rather than have a community name, the description was given as Township and Range numbers.  In 1910, the family ws listed in Morton County.  In 1920, the couple lived in Antelope with children Ben and Hulda, where he operated a general farm.  Nearby is Susanna’s nephew Sam and his family, with whom she travelled from Russia.

Daniel died 23 April 1925 in Elgin ND.  Susanna moved to Idaho where she died 9 Dec 1934 in Buhl, near Idaho Falls.  Her son Rudolph was living in Blackfoot, ID, so she was probably living with him after her husband died.

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