Early Settlers in Wellington

(Reprinted with Permission)

From: THE AVERY HOUSE COLLECTION

BLEHM and DEINES

Mrs. Margaret Deines and Mrs. Kathryn Blehm, sisters-in-law, share an interesting history. Both ladies recalled that their families originated in Germany, but were taken out of Germany and into Russia in the 18th century.

In 1898, Margaret’s parents immigrated to the United States and settled first in Kansas to work in the beet fields. Soon after they packed all their belongings in a boxcar bound for Colorado and settled in the Wellington area to work with sugar beets again. It was in Wellington that Margaret was born in 1903. She recalled that as a young girl, Fort Collins had only a few stores and banks.

Kathryn was born in Russia and her family tried unsuccessfully to immigrate to the United States four times. Because Kathryn and her brothers had trachoma, an eye disease, they were refused admittance. They returned three times to Russia. On their fourth attempt, they settled in Buenos Aires for four years before finally gaining admittance to the United States in 1909. Even then Kathryn had to sneak past medical examiners aided by a doctor friend because her eye disease still was not cured. Kathryn was 14 years old.

Kathryn’s family, like Margaret’s, went to Kansas and worked in the beet fields. After the bitter winter of 1912, they were forced to search for a better home. They also came by boxcar and lived in a tiny two-room shanty in Laporte, Colorado, where they worked again in the beet fields.

Later the Deines and Blehm families became farmers and knew each other well. So close did the two families become that Margaret married Kathryn’s brother, George; and Kathryn married Margaret’s brother, Pete. Two other Deines daughters also married two other Blehm sons. On December 28, 1922, Margaret Blehm and George Deines were married in a double wedding along with Margaret’s brother who married George’s sister. Then on December 15, 1923, both couples gave birth to daughters. On the same day, George’s father and mother also became parents of a boy!

Material given by Margaret Deines and Kathryn Blehm

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The Avery House Collection: Recipes and Biographical Sketches, first published in 1976, was reprinted in 2015 by Poudre Landmarks Foundation. The book is available for $12 by emailing Vicki Woods at vicki@poudrelandmarks.org and proceeds from the sale of this book support the work of the Poudre Landmarks Foundation.

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