The reason I am searching Karl Wilkening is he was the nephew of my 3x great-grandfather Johann "Conrad Schwake".
There are few different Conrad Schwake in the USA in the 1800s, but my ancestor moved to and buried in Rice County, Minnesota. Conrad was born in Germany possible Hanover area on Dec 25, 1801; died in Wheeling Township, Rice County, Minnesota Dec. 31, 1881.
I have a story that was given to me that Karl Wilkening carried Conrad Schwake on a ship leaving for American (unsure where) in 1857. The story goes that "Conrad Schwake was so crippled with arthritis that it was necessary for him to be carried on boat by his nephew, Karl Wilkening who was an army deserter. Soldiers came on board calling Karl's name but he never responded, and thus was able to come to America."
I have found records of the Schwake family in Schaumburg Emigrants 1820 - 1914, but none with Karl Wilkening. I know that Schwake family a farm in Cook County, Illinois for maybe two years, and then move to Minnesota. I have been able to find all of the children of Conrad's, but one.
The reason why I am search Iowa is because in addition to the story it mentions that Conrad's great-granddaughter's recalled visiting with with the grandson of Karl in Iowa in the 1970s. I have no more information on where in Iowa, name or age of the grandson.