Thursday, May 22, 2008

There's a Secret In My Family. David Loepp

The names most familiar with our family have been Irish, Scottish, and Welsh and of course, the Norwegian from Steve. No one really talks about my Grandma McKean being Polish, and born in a small community near Danzig, then called, Prussia. I've been thinking about him and his wife Minna Ortmann (a German girl) quite a bit since our trip back to my daughter's new home in Arkansas. We did lots of site-seeing and if there was one site I wanted to see was that of my great great grandfather's grave in Adair, Oklahoma. Oh, you guys think I was grave hopping. yep. Not! It's actually very near to where my daughter Bree lives. I found his grave all alone in a large section. I'm assuming it's a family site, because he is surrounded by no one. My grandmother Minna moved back to Hull, Iowa. His grave said, in German, Here lies our Beloved Husband and Father. Geb (birth) 29 April 1841, Gest (death) 29 Oct. 1898. Under the dates it reads and translated to: "Sorrow in our loss. Hope in our reunion." The family will be together someday, I know. He was my age when he died and probably of appendicitis. His grave stone is tall, but you can tell it's rarely visited because we had to do a lot of repair. Bree's going to check on the site after the storms. I am amazed that I found it without any directions and the cemetery is large. There were motorcycle tough guys there and they were very sad. All of them were outside the gates and walking in for a graveside funeral. I lost myself--happens often, no surprise to my family, and was jumping up and down and hugging the grave monument. I started yelling to Steve and the family. They were parked out by the big Harley dudes. "Come see, I found him!" I was still jumping up and down until my husband reminded me they only buried (still) people a couple feet from the surface because of the ground water level. I was so happy, I forgot, I wasn't thinking...there were people there grieving.

The motorcycle riders, as tough as they looked, were so sweet and also happy for me. I told them I hoped they were able to put a marker there, because someone like me will be hugging it later.

My little green book talks a lot about my Great, Great Grandfather Loepp and my Great Grandma McKean told me stories of him and the family. He was impulsive, very happy and sang beautifully. Minna, his wife was the somewhat opposite. Oh, she may have sang beautifully, as he did, because as a gift to his bride...David gave her a collection of American folksongs from his adventurous trip to America, earlier. Minna was a happy and outgoing person, but deeply religious and strict. Minna Ortmann Loepp was very educated, of course a strong woman that took care of her family and herself long after David had passed-away. She loved America.

I want all my children and grandchildren to know how precious and brave these pioneers were. And hope, I can share the little green book with them and tell them about how my great grandmother took off with a real cowboy through hostile Indian Territory and then married (whoa) in the Ouray Courthouse and homesteaded in beautiful Ridgway, Colorado.

I don't know why we don't talk more about our ancestors. It's good to collect names and stories instead of junk collections in our homes. I love genealogy and every time I see my pedigree and family group sheets, I go right into a song, "Genealogy, I Am Doing It," I didn't get my ancestors pretty voice, but I love singing that song. Kinda' like when someone says the word, "substantial", I always have to repeat that word. That's the only one, but I can't help it--even under my breath. My whole family knows that I do that. Do you think that part of my story is going in my little green book? All of this blog stuff is sounding so crazy. I didn't eat my cologne box, just for future reference.


The Knappy Crew said...

Thanks for sharing mom.....I didn't know you went grave hopping on your trip.(literally) I am glad you made an awesome discovery. Wasn't he the Coffeyville guy? BTW Tom Cruise and his family have a home in Ridgeway Colorado. Just a little FYI.

Susan said...

Yes, he's the same person. 2 ranches, a farm and a nice city house in Hull, Iowa. He worked hard & I'm sure the wife and family did as well. Tom Cruise shouldn't be in Ridgway. It's real cowboy country.

Ashley said...

Ancestry stories are always interesting especially if you literately hoping around on the graves ;).

Love your comments on my blog. I forgot that I told Larin to hold Dave's leg. I was laughing at that comment for a few minuets. I was pretty crazy. The good old days.

jenkinsfamliypost said...

i love that story. i wish i had a better memory so that i would not forget these stories and could retell them to my kids for years. thanks for sharing. thanks for doing your genealogy. i love you

Jessica Loepp said...

Hello. My name is Jessica Loepp. I was doing a search for the Loepp/Ortman family book and stumbled upon your blog. I am from Sioux City, IA ( currently living in Germany ). I am a descendant of David F. Loepp & in search for the family book. I was wondering if you had any information on obtaining a copy??