Augusta Wilhemina Erxleben 1854-1927
Augusta Wilhemina Erxleben was born December 7 1854 in Berlin, Germany. She was the youngest child of Samuel “Frederick” and Johanne Christian Dorthea Wilke Erxleben. Her mother died soon after her birth and her father soon married a widow with children of her own, Maria Kegel Hemmerling. On January 1, 1859 the family immigrated to America. Augusta was four years old. They settle in Ogle County, Illinois. In the 1870 census Augusta was enumerated as a domestic servant in a neighbor’s household. She married Michael Anthony Rusler, October 4, 1873 in Ogle County. He had also emigrated from Germany as a child. They moved to a farm in Brown Township, York County, Nebraska in 1877.
Augusta was the mother of ten children, eight of whom lived to adulthood. Mary Sophia
(1874) and Frank E (1876) were born in Illinois. The rest were born in Nebraska: Charles A. (1879), Joseph M (1881), George D (1882-1892), Bertha Mabel (1885), William W (1887), Earl E (1891-1891), Pearl E (1891), and Liol Otto (1895). Mary Sophia was my great great grandmother.
In the Spring of 1903, Michael and Augusta moved to Custer Co., Nebraska.
Michael died that same year in June. Augusta moved back to York County, settling in Bradshaw until 1925 when she moved in with her daughter Pearl (Wagner). She died on Tuesday, March 29, 1927 after a two week bout with influenza. She was 72 years old. Augusta was a faithful member of the Lutheran church. She was buried in Council Cemetery.
From looking at pictures I can tell Augusta was a tiny woman with a pioneer spirit. As a child she came to a foreign land. As a young mother she carved a home out of the Nebraska prairie, had ten children (and watched two of them die). And then as an older woman she once again moved to a new farm where her husband soon died, then she moved to a house in town. At the time of her husband’s death in 1903 she was 49 and still had children at home, her youngest was eight. There are many of her descendants spread all over America today and we are all proud to call her our ancestor.