Bovina, Iowa

Aerial Map of Bovina, Iowa

Aerial Map of Bovina, Iowa

Bovina was a hamlet about two miles east of the Schrier family farm in Buckingham township, Tama County, Iowa.

When I was growing up on the farm in the 1950s and 1960s, I never heard that name – “Bovina” – and indeed only discovered it after maps and Tama County history books became available online. There is a grouping of about four houses and farms at this site (see aerial photo from Google maps at right).

When I was growing up Barney and Regina Beenken’s farm was part of that group, and the Drapers lived across the road from them. Alec Green lived in a house just a bit north of them, at the intersection of what is now known as 110th Street and R Avenue.

J. R. Caldwell’s  “A History of Tama County, Iowa, Volume 1”, on page 113, elaborates about the post office: “An office was established at the north side of Buckingham [Township] called Bovina, Charles Blanchard, postmaster, and was discontinued in 1873”.

I’ve done a bit more research about Bovina, and you can find that on the Bovina Page in the Places part of this website, or you can also download a two page document on Bovina which I researched and wrote.

Posted by Bill Schrier

Blessing Parish

Blessing Church - click to see its historyWith this post, I’m inaugurating a new portion of the website – “Places“.

Certainly our Genealogy is defined by our ancestors and descendants – the people of our families.   But it is also defined by the places where we grew up, live and where our ancestors came from.     I’ll try to talk about some of these special places in blog posts and on this website.

The first one of these is Blessing Church near Hudson Iowa.  It is a Roman Catholic Church in the Archdiocese of Dubuque, and Schriers have been members since the early 1900s.   The parish was founded in 1875 and closed in 2006, but the Church building still stands and the cemetery is active, with John Schrier as sexton.

Amazingly, the name “Blessing” has no special religious significance.  The formal name of the parish is “Immaculate Conception – Blessing”, named for James Blessington, who founded the small village which once surrounded the Church.

Much more information is in the Places article on Blessing here, and in an article published about the history of the parish, which is in the Documents section or you can view it by clicking on the Church image above.

by Bill Schrier

Maria Solil (Srajer) Schrier

Maria Solil (Srajer) SchrierMaria Solil was Bill Schrier’s great grandmother.   She emigrated from Bohemia in 1884 and married Frank Srajer in 1890.  The photo at right is probably her wedding picture.

Frank and Maria lived in Traer (Iowa), Kansas, Lake Park (Iowa) and Winter Park (Florida) among other places.   Their last profession was buying the Schrier Family farm near Traer, Iowa, in 1900.  That Schrier Family Farm remains in the family today.

Learn more about Maria’s story on her page here.

Joyce Smith’s Story

Joyce SmithJoyce Smith married Ted Smith on November 18, 1966.   Ted Smith was the son of Phil and Verna Viehmeyer Smith of Vancouver, Washington.  Verna was sister to Ethel Viehmeyer Thorson.   Joyce’s step-sons are Mike Smith of Bellingham and Steve Smith of Vancouver, Washington.

Joyce was born in Dursley, England, but lived much of her life in Alaska, and passed away in Anchorage on June 27, 2012, shortly after Ted Smith passed away, on January 1, 2012.   More information on Joyce’s life is in the People section of this website here.

by Bill Schrier

Oramel K. Kreuger’s Story

Oramel K. KreugerOramel Kenneth Krueger was known as “O.K.” or sometimes “Unc” as he was uncle to many of his relatives in Seattle.  O.K. married Jessie Viehmeyer and was Kathy Thorson Schrier’s uncle.

Oramel was a social worker for the Veteran’s Administration, and published at least one article about three farming communities in Nebraska.  That article was published in the Social Service Review of the University of Chicago in 1930.

Jessie and O. K. married during the Depression.   O.K. was a lieutenant in the Army Quartermaster Corps during the war.

O.K.’s real passion was trolling for salmon, and was the subject of a photo essay in the Seattle Times on May 1, 1974.

More information about O.K. is on his page on this website.

by Bill Schrier

Ted G. Smith’s Story

Ted G. SmithTheodore George “Ted” Smith was born in Nebraska and raised in Vancouver, Washington State, but spent most of his life living and working in Alaska.   He was the State Forester, head of the State Parks Department, and a State Legislator.   Ted passed away on January 1, 2012, and his wife Joyce passed away on June 27, 2012.

I’ve put Ted’s story  in the People section of this website.  One of his most vivid legacies is a video he made as a TV advertisement when he was running for election in 1974.   It’s only 44 seconds long but pretty funny for a politician running for office.  You can view it here but it is also found on the Albums section of the website.

by Bill Schrier

Frank Joseph Schrier (Srajer)

Frank Joseph SchrierFrank Joseph Srajer was born in Bohemia in 1864, probably served in the Prussian Army, emigrated to the United States in 1884, and married Maria Solil. He lived in various places in Iowa and Kansas, finally, in 1900, purchasing the Schrier family farm near Buckingham, Iowa, which remains in the family to this day.   He also changed the spelling of his name twice, to Schreier and finally Schrier.  According to family lore that’s because he was tired of having people mispronounce it.   A number of Srajer family relatives retained the name and still live in Kansas and elsewhere.

I’ve posted Frank’s story on the people section of the website here, and posted his obituary in the obituary section here.

by Bill Schrier