EAST OTTER TAIL COUNTY VOL II 1994
JOSEPH AND ANNA MARIA (FRITZ) NAU
Joseph Nau was born in Wheeling, West Virginia (Marshall County). His father, Paul, was an iron worker from Schlesswig, Germany, who worked in the local mills. In 1881, Joseph married Anna Maria Fritz (born 1854 in Loudenville, Ohio). Along with his father Paul and a brother Henry, they moved from Ashland County, Ohio to Otto Township (Otter Tail County, Minnesota) about 1884. They purchased the farm of Frank Staab (presently owned by Mrs Lorenz Martinson) on the northeast shore of Rush Lake. Joe Nau was a conscientious farmer who toiled on his 240 acres. He was a meticulous dresser and was always seen publicly wearing a white shirt, vest and tie. His wife Anna Maria, was an avid gardener and kept a large garden that supplied the family with food throughout the year. As with many of her neighbors, her greatest strengths were reflected in her well-tended family and the successful passing of her skills to her children. This, in time when self-sufficiency and first-hand efforts were more immediately reflected in the health of your family and the clothes that they wore than today. Although she spoke English well, her use of German grammar structure and phrases was a focus of good-natured teasing by their numerous and enlightened grandchildren.
Joe and Anna Maria ("Mary") had eight children: Thecla (1883), Leo (1885), Agatha (1887), Clemence (1891), Theresa (1892), twins Odo and Bebe (1889), and Joseph (1895).
Thecla Nau married William Hemmelgarn of Burketsville, Ohio (the brother of Joe Hemmelgarn of Perham) and moved back to Ohio with him. Leo Nau also moved to Ohio where he married Victoria Stammen.
Agatha Nau was one of two children to remain in Perham area all of their lives. Agatha married Bernard ("Ben") A. Schoeneberger of Perham in 1909. She and Ben had nine children: Martin (1910), Alphonse (1911), Paul (1913), Rose (1917), Mary Ann (1919), Vincent (1921), Martha (1923), Elizabeth (1925), and Agnes (1928). Agatha (Nau) was known for her loving and unflappable nature amidst a large rambunctious family. Three of their children, Martin, Al and Paul also spent their lives in Perham. Martin and Al continued and expanded Schoeneberger's Furniture and Funeral Home. Paul practiced medicine in the Perham are for many years and was highly regarded by the many area citizens whose lives he literally touched. The conference room in the Perham hospital is dedicated in his memory.
Clemence Nau married Blanche Daiker and briefly farmed south of the junction of Highway 10 and the Otter Tail River east of Perham. They later moved to St. Cloud, MN, where Clemence worked for many years as a stone polisher for a local quarry.
Theresa ("Tracy") Nau was the second child of Joe and Mary to spend her life in Perham area. She married Arnold Boedigheimer, also of Rush Lake. They took over the Nau family farm after the death of her father in 1920. The had six children: Clarence (1919), Gerald (1921), Herbert (1923), Donald (1925), Arnold (1927), and Pauline (1932). Clarence and Gerald remained in the Perham area. Clarence Boedigheimer was postmaster in Perham for many years.
The three youngest children of Joe and Mary Nau died in infancy from childhood maladies. Twins, Odo and Bede Nau (1889) were buried in Pioneer Cemetery at St. Lawrence on Rush Lake, Joseph (1895) is buried at St. Joseph's cemetery.
Joseph Nau died in 1920 and Anna Maria (Fritz) Nau died in 1927. Both are buried at St. Henry's Cemetery in Perham.
Submitted by Philip Schoeneberger