MRS. HENRIETTA VARWIG, a respected and esteemed resident of Jefferson township, lives on her well improved farm
of 164 acres, located in section 7. She is the widow of the late Dietrich Richard Varwig, who was a very highly
considered farmer of this township. Mrs. Varwig was born April 22, 1849, in Hanover, Germany, and is a daughter
of Frank and Katrina (Varwig) Wanker.
The parents of Mrs. Varwig emigrated to America in 1854, when she was a child of five years. They settled at New
Bremen, Auglaize County, Ohio, where they remained a year and a. half. In the old country, the father had worked
in a salt factory, but the wages had been too small to permit of his accumulating much capital, and Mrs. Varwig
has heard her mother say that when the little family reached New Bremen the sum of 15 cents was their sole capital!
They found there good, kind, German hearts, however, and Mr. Wanker found employment in a pork packing establishment
until he could select a piece of land on which to found a home. This proved to be a tract of 40 acres in the woods
in Shelby County, and the family took up its residence in a little, old log cabin. There they remained for four
years, undergoing many hardships. The father was only able to get 10 of his 40 acres cleared in the four years
he lived on the place, and then found a chance to sell out. He bought the farm for $400, and sold it for $925.
He then purchased a farm in Washington township, Mercer County, for which he paid $1,300. It is very interesting
to thus trace the prosperity of some of the old families and see how industry and economy are rewarded.
Mrs. Varwig was reared by a good mother and taught all the thrifty ways for which the German housewives are noted.
When she was 21 years of age, she was married (first) to John Maier, who had also been born in Germany. Mr. Maier
died on January 26, 1885. They had seven children, the two who still live being: William, who owns a farm of ioo
acres; and Mrs. Mena Getz, who has these children - Lizzie, Minnie, Annie, John and Henry. Mr. Maier left a farm
of 146 acres to his family.
On January 12, 1886, Mrs. Maier was united in marriage with Dietrich Richard Varwig. Mr. Varwig was born May 27,
1858, in Kirchspiel Disson, Amt Iburg, Hanover, Germany, and came to America in 1880. He joined an uncle who lived
in Washington township, Mercer County, where he worked one year and later worked for Fritz Rabe and Valentine Fortman,
in the same neighborhood. From the latter's farm he went to a suburb of Chicago, where he worked on a railroad
as a section foreman. On November 11, 1885, he came back to Mercer County and entered the employ of Mrs. Maier,
the lady he subsequently married. Five children were born to them, three of whom, two sons and a daughter, are
deceased. The surviving children are Ida and Fritz. He was also survived by sisters and brothers, namely: Mrs.
Barthold, of Chicago; Mrs. Bernard Niehaus and Mrs. Fritz Brune, of Celina; Christian, of Dayton, Ohio; and Heinrich.
In 1888 Mr. and Mrs. Varwig bought the present farm which was then all timberland. They worked hard, cleared it
and made a very fine property of it. In 1900 they built the substantial red barn, at a cost of $1,000 and a granary
that cost $300, and in 1903 erected the handsome frame residence at a cost of $1,300. It is one of the most comfortable
homes in this part of the township. Mr. Earwig did not live very long to enjoy its possession, a sad accident occurring
to him on February 27, 1903, which caused his death 12 hours later. Briefly stated, the disaster was as follows:
While assisting in repairing his wind pump, a heavy block of wood fell from the scaffolding above, striking him
on the head and rendering him unconscious. His faithful wife, who was standing near, ran to his assistance and
in a very short time had him in a carriage, conveying him to Celina to see a physician. The painful operation of
sewing up the wound in his head greatly exhausted him, and after reaching home and being tenderly cared for he
passed into sleep and never awakened again on earth.
Mr. Varwig, was a most excellent. man, a hard worker, a kind husband and father and an accommodating neighbor.
He was respected by all who knew him. He was a worthy member of the Lutheran Church, to which religious body Mrs.
Varwig also belongs.
History of Mercer County, Ohio
and Representative Citizens
Edited & Compiled by: Hon. S. S. Scranton
Published by: Biographical Publishing Company
Mercer County, Ohio Biographies
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