Lutjen Janssen Brandt (1829-1903)

Lutjen Janssen Brandt was born on July 18, 1829 in Iherenerfeld, Ostfriesland, Germany to Jan Willems Brand and Antje Alberts Jacobs Roskam. The youngest of a family of nine children, he fell in love with and married Gretje Deborah DeBuhr, who lived in the nearby town of Potshausen with her parents, Harm Janssen DeBuhr and Hilke Wessels Boden. Her ancestors were said to be French.

Four children were born to Lutjen and Gretje in Germany: Herman, John, Minnie and Louis. Lutjen then decided to make a new life in the United States. Gretje’s brother, Johann DeBuhr and his wife, Aafke Harms Eekhoff, decided to come with them. The group sailed on the ship "New York" from Bremen, arriving in the city of New York on April 13, 1865 and moved west to Ashgrove, Illinois. It appears that, either on purpose or through administrative error, "Brand" became "Brandt" with the arrival in the new country. The youngest son, Louis, unfortunately, passed away in 1871.

In 1877, Lutjen and Gretje decided to move further west. Johann and Aafke DeBuhr, who had stayed nearby for a dozen years, chose to stay in Illinois, but later moved to Aplington, Iowa. Lutjen and Gretje settled in Glenvil.

Lutjen had been reasonably prosperous and apparently had money to work with. He not only bought passage for his family, he also bought land soon after their arrival and bought again when the family arrived in Glenvil. He purchased the southwest quarter of Glenvil section 29 (south of the village) from a land speculator in 1880. Other parcels (the northeast quarter of Glenvil section 7 and the northwest quarter of section 29) also came into Brandt ownership, but the exact dates of these purchases remain to be ferreted out from the Clay County Courthouse.

In the new country, Lutjen and Gretje had five more children. The first born, Anna, lived only to the age of two, but the following four survived to adulthood. Following Anna’s birth, there were William, Louis, Charles, and Anna; Louis and Anna’s names recalled their earlier siblings. Only Anna was born in Nebraska, so the 500-mile move across Iowa and Nebraska must have been quite an undertaking.

Lutjen died in 1903 and is buried in the Glenvil Cemetery. John and Herman, the two oldest children, married and moved to Idaho. William (known as Will) became the first rural mail carrier working out of Ayr, but later did his brothers one better by moving all the way to California. Minnie found her husband, Enno Uden, in Glenvil and remained there. Enno, an implement dealer, founded the Bank of Glenvil together with his father-in-law, Lutjen, and his brother-in-law, Louis. Louis married a neighbor, Clara Newell, and worked in the bank with Enno for several years before moving to Hastings between 1914 and 1918. And finally, Anna, the youngest, married Clara Newell’s brother, Albert. Albert and Anna Newell lived next door to Louis and Clara Brandt on First Street in Glenvil and almost all of their children were born there, so the families became quite close.

In 1911, Charles bought a Buick automobile. At one point that winter it appeared to be out of order, so he went out the garage to work on it. He was later found in the garage, asphyxiated by carbon monoxide, a much under-appreciated danger in those days. A marvelous old photo exists of Gretje surrounded by her surviving children at Charles’ funeral. She passed away in late 1915.

Following Lutjen’s death in 1903, Gretje moved into Glenvil village and lived with Louis and Clara Brandt. Most of the land that Lutjen had worked for more than twenty years was sold, but the southwest quarter of section 29 was handed down and, today, it remains in the family.


Louis Brandt - Glenvil Bank Interior

Brandt Family

Contact - Jan Young


March 04, 2013