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Lutheran Orphanage in Fremont Nebraska, early 1900's

Lutheran Orphanage in Fremont Nebraska, early 1900's

Tom Nelson (View posts)
Posted: 7 Mar 2003 2:24AM GMT
Classification: Query
Edited: 6 Dec 2003 12:11AM GMT
Surnames: Gnuse
My grandparents, Fredia and John Gnuse ran the Lutheran
Orphanage in Fremont Ne. durning the early 1900s. My mother was adopted by them when she was 7 years old.
Is there anyone that could give me any info on a baby girl born in April of 1912 in or around this area.

Re: Lutheran Orphanage in Fremont Nebraska, early 1900's

Ruby Gardner (View posts)
Posted: 19 Sep 2003 2:35AM GMT
Classification: Query
Edited: 6 Dec 2003 12:13AM GMT
What was the name of the orphanage? Did the orphanage's ever give these children names if they were given up for adoption?

Re: Lutheran Orphanage in Fremont Nebraska, early 1900's

Posted: 11 Mar 2007 7:09PM GMT
Classification: Query
Surnames: w
would this orphange have been around the Johson, Nemaha Co., Nebraska area? would it have been still an active orphange in or around 1926? does the name "Fitsimmons House" sound familiar? it's supposed to have been an orphanage my husband's father was adopted out of.

Re: Lutheran Orphanage in Fremont Nebraska, early 1900's

Posted: 11 Mar 2007 7:10PM GMT
Classification: Query
would this have been around Johson, Nemaha Co., Nebraska area?

Re: Lutheran Orphanage in Fremont Nebraska, early 1900's

Posted: 21 Mar 2007 1:18AM GMT
Classification: Query
My husband's father (Paul) and sister (Grace) were adopted from an orphanage called Fitzsimmons House. They were adopted by a German couple: Paul Weible and Wilhelmina Barbara Weible.
Wilhelmina was baptized in the Zion Lutheram Church in 1887.
The children would most likely have been adopted in the 1920's
I think that Paul & Wilhelmina gave them their names, I don't know if the orphanage gave names to the children before being adopted

Re: Lutheran Orphanage in Fremont Nebraska, early 1900's

Posted: 2 Aug 2007 2:10AM GMT
Classification: Query
I visited Fremont this last week and ran across a Lutheran Orphanage buriel site..I really intrigued me, there was two rows of small stones that were dated 1913-14..I can't get it out of my mind. Do you have any information about this and why so many deaths that year...It was very unkept and that also bothered me, so i plan to visit it again on the 12 of this month and i'm going to pull the weeds and clean the area...I have a facination for cemetaries, i love to visit them and look at old stones. This area really captured my heart..Please if you know anything let me know. I found this website and it said that your grandparents ran the home in the early 1900's so thought you may have information or able to obtain some...Thanks for your time...My e-mail address is Once again thanks for your time, hope you find out your information you are looking for....pat patten

Ridge Cemetery burals of children from Lutheran Orphanage in Fremont Nebraska, early 1900's

Posted: 21 Aug 2008 10:04PM GMT
Classification: Query
Surnames: Rupin
Hi, Pat.

I am researching Basil RUPIN who is listed among the burials of Orphans at/near Ridge Cemetery. I'll include below the list of the orphans buried there, but I am writing to ask a few questions about your visits to the cemetery.

Did you happen to take any photos?

Your message was posted a year ago; in the interim, have you learned anything more about the orphanage or its records or the children who lived there or whether there was some sort of epidemic circa 1912-1914?

In 1900, Basil RUPIN was enumerated in NE, Dodge, Platte Twp., as an "inmate" in the household of August TRAPP, whose occupation was given as "Supt. Orphan's Home." His date of death doesn't appear in the transcription below, but I hope to discover or at least narrow down his date of death, and to identify his parents. I believe that Basil probably was a grandson of Dr. Adam RUPIN of Topeka, Kansas.

Excerpted from Transcription of Cemetery Markers
RIDGE CEMETERY, Fremont, Dodge County, NE 68025
(west edge of Fremont, at the west end of Linden Avenue)
Part I - South Side - Pages 001-154

Orphans of the Lutheran Orphans Home, Fremont, Nebraska
Mary Antle
Otto Jirs
Martha Wobbenhorst
Florence Anderson
Donald 1907 - 1909
Nellie d 1909
Esther d 1909
Johann d 1909
Myrtel d 1909
Ashey 1909 - 1910
Basil Rupin
Elmer C 1910
George 1912 - 1913
Doswell 1912 - 1913
Harry 1911
Bessie 1910
Iola Henrietta 1913
Elisabeth 1913 - 1914
Maragareta 1913 - 1914
Uria 1913
Major Donald 1910 - 1911
Alice 1911 - 1912
Gerhard 1912 - 1913
Wilhelm 1913

[This transcription (Copyright 2000 by Clarabelle Mares, Eastern Nebraska Genealogical Society) is online at:]

Re: Ridge Cemetery burals of children from Lutheran Orphanage in Fremont Nebraska, early 1900's

Posted: 21 Aug 2008 11:46PM GMT
Classification: Query
I did take pictures, i have asked several sites and got no responses as to any epidemics that caused many loses in years listed... If you have any infor would appreciate it..I visit the site at least every 2 weeks, we decorate, clean the stones and keep an eye on "our babies" as my friend and i like to call them...My personal address is if you have any info please e-mail...thanks pat

Re: Ridge Cemetery burals of children from Lutheran Orphanage in Fremont Nebraska, early 1900's

Posted: 19 Oct 2008 1:03AM GMT
Classification: Query
My Grandmother and her 3 younger siblings lived at the Fremont orphanage for a few years after their Mother died and until their father remarried. I will have to ask Mom, but I think it was about 1913 when Grandma & her sibs were placed there.
Grandma loathed it there and said that punishments were very harsh for the slightest provocation...often for no apparent reason at all. She said they were forced to call John Gnuse "Papa Gnusi" and all feared his wrath.
Grandma was so grateful when she & her siblings were able to return home, escaping the horrors of that orphanage. It left emotional scars on her for the rest of her life. It left emotional AND physical scars on many others, as many persons in charge were reportedly extremely sadistic.

*The epidemics that occured in that time frame were:
1911-A severe and deadly heatwave in n.e. Nebraska.
1913-on March 23,(Easter Sunday) 8 tornadoes hit Nebraska & Iowa, causing 181 deaths.
1915-1916 and later- A Polio Epidemic
1918-The Spanish Flu Epidemic...there were other flu deaths reported in previous years,(Probably not spanish flu)especially in institutional settings. Spanish flu is thought to have begun previous to 1918.
In the early 1900's many vaccines were being created and used on humans without their knowledge. Some were tested on babies & children in orphanages, on inmates in penitentiaries and on the criminally insane.

What a terrible shame so many children died. I think it's lovely that you acknowlege those tiny souls with your thoughts and by your kindness in keeping their final resting place beautiful. I would really like to see photos...and of the orphanage itself, especially indoor photos. I've found only one photo of it in an online search.
So strange to think that many of our ancestors may have lived there at the same time, possibly having known one another!
Take care all!

Re: Ridge Cemetery burals of children from Lutheran Orphanage in Fremont Nebraska, early 1900's

Posted: 19 Oct 2008 1:55AM GMT
Classification: Query
Please forward me your e-mail address and i will send some pictures...Dennis and I visit the babies routinely, he lives here and checks on them twice weekly...We call them "our babies", sad so many are lost without ever being loved. Today we took a halloween candle to them and lit it and let them blow it out, bet it was the first time they ever got to blow out a candle. There are 59 stones, thanks so much for your reply, i have been able to find litte info on the orphanage, and i understand it no longer stands..Here is my personal address, if you want any pictures sent to you, have a great rest of the weekend.., again thanks !! pat
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