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Berne Zwingli Church
Berne Zwingli Church 2
Berne Cemetery

Berne, Dodge County in Minnesota is another settlement where we find Glarner settlers. Although the name is Berne, there were many Glarner families who settled in that area. There is a Zwingli Church and a country cemetery where one find many Glarner names. 

The village of Berne in Milton Township, Dodge County, was laid out in the spring of 1856 by Rudolph Schmid and Jacob Klossner in the vicinity of their sawmill, which was on section 17. The village was first named Buchanan in honor of the presidential candidate, but in the same year a post office was established there and the name was changed to Berne.

1872 the Zwingli United Church of Christ was built nearby Milton Township in a Gothic revival style. The church was amplified in 1894.

The Original Pioneer Settlers of Berne from Glarus

Amongst the first settlers in Milton Township and Berne, Dodge County in Minnesota were Jacob Stussy (1831-1912) and Margreth Jenny (1835-1898) and sons Fred (1860-1915), Jacob (1871-1947), John (1874-1947) and William (1876-) and daughters Barbara (1859-1925), Emma (1867-1957) and Margaret (1869-1922). Jacob emigrated in 1866 from Switzerland to the area with his family and farmed in Milton Township. The family inter married with family members from the Frederick Andrist (1828-1905) family which emigrated 1869 from Zweisimmen, Canton Berne, to the Milton area. 

Another pioneer settler is Oswald Baumgartner (1796-1878). He immigrated from Switzerland in 1846 to the States, traveled to the Midwest and lived for a time in New Glarus, where he built the New Glarus Hotel. He then moved on to Berne, Dodge County with his sons Melchior (1824-1906), Rudolf (1825-1903), Oswald (1840-1909) and his daughter Dorothea (1843-1915). Two of his daughters, Anna (1830-1856) and Salome (1835-1918) remained in New Glarus and married there two Glarners. His son Melchior worked first in New Glarus as a carpenter and kept the hotel of his father. In the spring of 162 he came to Milton and bought a farm on section 9. In two years he sold his farm and bought forty acres on section 17. In 1866 he bought the Farmers’ Home at Mantorville, which he conducted as a hotel for 5 years. In 1872 he was elected postmaster at Berne. Son Rudolf went to Trempealeau, Wisconsin and run a farm there and Oswald was a Carpenter nearby in Winona, Minnesota. Joseph Stussy (1831-1904) born in Linthal and son of emigrant Fred Stüssi and Ursula Stüssi née Zweifel, emigrated 1853 to America and married about 1861 Margaretha Baumgartner (1832-1921), the daughter of pioneer settler Oswald Baumgartner. The couple hat 2 sons, Fred J.  (1869-1954) and Joseph W. (1872-1937) and 6 daughters.

Johann Jakob Baumgartner (1827-1911) and his wife Elsbeth Weiss (1821-1903) immigrated 1856 first to New Glarus and moved then in spring of 1862 to Berne, Dodge County where they lived permanently. The couple had 3 sons, Johann Jakob (1850-), Rudolf (1854-) and John, and 2 daughters, Anna Katharina (1852-1916) who married Godfred Andrist and Barbara (1857-1915) who married Jakob J. Stucki.

Jacob Baebler (1871-1970) immigrated 1895 from Switzerland first to New Glarus and then further to Goodhue in Minnesota. There he married a Swiss girl from Lucerne called Bertha. The couple had 3 sons, Arnold Henry (1905 who died young of lockjaw and buried in Berne Cemetery), Loren Jakob (18915-1984) and Willis Wilbur (1919-1935 who also is buried in Berne Cemetery). Jacob Baebler separated from Bertha and moved later to San Bernardino, California where he died.


Balthasar Blumer (1845-1891) immigrated about 1870 from Nidfurn to Dodge county together with his wife Rosina Schmid (1844-1928) and son Mathias (1869-1929). The couple settled in Mantorville and 3 sons were born there, Henry (1874-1931), John (1978-1941) and Balthasar (1879-1941) as well as one daughter Rosa (1871-1963). Son Balthasar married Phillipphena Figy.

Johannes (John) Dürst (1835-1910) immigrated 1882 with his wife Anna Magdalena Grob (1834-1890) and his family from Linthal to Berne, Dodge county. John farmed in Berne until his wife died in 1890 and then moved to Long Creek, Oregon where he died. The couple had 4 sons, John (1862-1952), Niklaus (1868-1868), Nicholas (1874-1961) and Henry James (1879-1967) and 2 daughters, Margaretha (1861-1898) who married Gottfried Gubelman and Anna Magdalena (1865-1922) who married Fred Stuessy.

Johann Jakob Figi (1830-1885) immigrated about 1850 to Wisconsin where he married Maria Magdalena Legler in 1861. The couple moved to Berne, Dodge where they had 2 sons, Jacob (1881-1953) and Robert William (1883-1953) and 3 daughters, Anna (1862-1909), Kathryn Louise (1877-1947) and Phillipphena (1879-1916).

Josua Glarner (1806-1889) immigrated 1853 after the death of his wife Anna Glarner née Figi (21801-1853) first to New Glarus and then further to Berne, Dodge county. Daughter Elisabeth (1831-1915) married 1865 in New Glarus Andreas Legler, Anna (1835-1928) married 1866 in Mantorville Josef Erath and son Jakob (1839-1911) married 1864 Amalia Dürst (1838-1920).

David Jenny/Yennie (1846-1927) immigrated first 1881 from Sool to Dodge county. His wife Maria Jenny née Zweifel (1851-1908) and the family followed two years later in 1883. The couple had 5 sons, Milton/ Melchior (1873-1947), Jacob (1874-1919), David (1884-1941), Fred William (1891-1964) and Henry (1896-1979). US born daughter Marie (1888-1976) married first Floyd Campbell and after his death William Trickey.

George Knobel (1843-1913) emigrated with his brother Balthasar (1834-1912) in 1864 from Betschwanden to Wisconsin and came to Berne, Dodge county, a year later in 1865. 1870 George married Anna Zeller (1847-1926) and the couple had 2 sons, George (1876-) and Edward (1891-) and 5 daugthers. Louise (1878-1940) married Henry Blumer (1874-1931) from Mantorville (see above) and Marie (1887-1976) married Lewis Carpenter Fairbank. The Knobel farmed in West Concord and in 1911 George Knobel made a trip to Switzerland and visited the old home. Two years later he died.

Johann Ulrich Kubli (1835-1900) and Rosina Kubli née Wirth (1835-1914) immigrated together with the children to Dodge county in 1884. The couple 6 children of which two died in childhood and one died young just before they emigrated in Linthal. 1 son, Johann Ulrich (John) (1876-1947) and 2 daughters. Barbara (1862-1920) married 1882 Johann Jakob Streiff (1853-1923) who arrived 1881 from Linthal to Dodge county and Rosina (1864-1953) married 1890 Jacob Schiesser (1863-1930) who arrived 1880 in Dodge county.

Melchior Kundert (1816-1895) from Nidfurn immigrated with his family first 1854 to New Glarus and moved later from there to Pine Island, Goodhue county. The couple had 2 sons, Johann Balthasar (1837-1899) and John (1842-1926). John married Susannah Cox with whom he had 8 daughters and 2 sons Charles (1872-1959) and John E. (1882-1963).

Marcus Luchsinger (1826-1902) immigrated together with his parents 1845 to America. He and John Jacob Figy joined a wagon train and traveled to California where he had a store in Marysville, California. He did carpenter and stone work there. Marcus married 1855 in Wisconsin Regula Legler (1839-1874) and they lived in New Glarus before coming to Berne, Dodge county. In New Glarus Marcus was a blacksmith. They had a family of on son, William (2870-1938) and 6 daughters. After the death of his wife, Marcus married 1873 Catharine Legler-Bloomer, Regula’s sister.

Jacob Schiesser (1863-1930) emigrated together with his widowed father Andreas Schiesser (1828-) and his brother Andreas (Andrew) Schiesser (1859-1930) to Dodge county. Jacob married there in 1890 Rosina Kubli (1864-1953), daughter of emigrant Johann Ulrich Kubli (1835-1900 / see above). The couple had 5 sons, Charles (1891-1938), Alfred (1892-1963), Baltz (1896-), Fritz (1900-1974) and Walter (1905-1931) and 4 daughters. Anna (1898-1987) married Albert Klossner and Louise (1902-1973) married Paul Jacob Closner (1898-1990).

Johann Melchior Schindler (1822-1879) immigrated 1872 with his second wife Susanna Freitag (1839-1910) and one daughter Rosina (1853-1887) from his first marriage with Rosina Blumer from Nidfurn to Berne, Dodge County. With Susanna he had 2 sons born in Berne, Johann Melchior (1875-1876) and Emil Rudolf (1877-1941). Emil was all his life farmer in Berne and married 1903 Effie N. Waldron and the couple had seven children. The couple had 4 sons, Harold (1902-2001), Rudolf Emil (1906-1980), John (1908-1917) and Fred Melchior (1912-1973), and 3 daughters, Myrtle (1904-1983), Hazel (1917-1970) and Margaret (1920-2009).

Samuel Speich (1846-1898) and his second wife (Anna) Rosina Speich née Zweifel (1846-1917) immigrated in 1880 to Vernon, Humboldt county in Iowa. They had two children, Mathias (1873-1942) who died in Nebraska and Katherine (1884-1921). Katherine married 1901 Swiss immigrant Alfred Blatti and the Blatti family moved together with widow Rosina Speich about 1915 to Milton, Dodge county where Rosina died 1917. Most of the Blatti families lived in Dodge and Olmsted counties.

Balthasar Streiff (1842-1916) immigrated 1864 from Linthal to Minnesota and settled in West Concord, Dodge county where he married 1874 Louise Christine Figi (1855-1940) originally from Haslen. The couple had 3 sons, Jacob (1875-1883), John Frederick (1878-1961) and Baltz Jr. (1880-1949) and3 daughters. Louise (1882-1980) married Fred Zeller and Mary (1885.1984) Edward Zeller. 

Johann Jakob (Jake) Streiff (1861-1896) immigrated about 1883 from Linthal to Berne, Dodge County and married Anna Schindler (1863-1939) in Berne. The couple had 4 sons, Henry H. (1887-1919), Thomas (1889-1964), William (1893-1893) and Jacob Henry (1896-1960), and 2 daughters, Anna Barbara Streiff Brandli (1886-1957) and Kathryn Streiff Burgess (1891-1986). Jake died young after undergoing an operation for a growth on throat, leaving Anna with a large family to raise. Sie married one year later Henry Franklin Buchs (1854-1914) with whom she had 2 daughters.

Kaspar Josef Stucky (1855-1934) immigrated 1875 from Oberurnen to Berne, Dodge County and married Catherine Bichsel, a Bernese descendant, in 1877. The couple had 3 sons, William Kaspar (1879-1963), Godfrey John (1885-1957) and Walter Chris (1887-1968), and 2 daughters, Bertha (1878-1957) and Kathie (1882-1882). Kaspar was first a cheesemaker at Buchanan and later on bought 70 acres of land in Berne, Milton and made his own cheese.

Josef Anton Stucky (1831-1878) immigrated about 1853 from Oberurnen first to New Glarus where he was a tailor. It was in a tailor shop where Anton met Ann Parkin (1838-1927), both were working in the shop. After the marriage, the young family moved about 1862 to Berne, Dodge county. Anton farmed until his tuberculosis forced him to give up farming. The couple then operated a boarding house in Mantorville for a while. Just before Anton died, the family moved back to the farm which the youngest son Peter operated. The couple had 5 sons, Fred (1859-1859), George Henry (1861-1949), Anton (1868-1954), Donovan Conrad (1871-1954) and Peter (1877-1964) and 3 daughters.

Documents about Berne, Dodge

Link to an Article about Berne from The Information Bureau of the Consulate of Switzerland in Chicago 1927



Historic Maps

Link to the Berne Plat Book 1905

Link to the Berne Plat Book 1956

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