Electronic transcription by Tom L. McFarland, July 2003, original spelling and capitalization retained.
This document was written in 1981 and has been substantially modified by Betty Wilson in 2003
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CONTENTS (index created by Tom McFarland in 2003)

Page 1 Preface
Page 4 Original Index of Contents
Page 5 The Mickel Nenno Family History
Page 7 The Pax Papers
Page 9 The Black Nenno
Page 9 The "Miracle Well"
Page 15 Alsace-Lorraine
Page 16-26 Census forms for Mickel Nenno Family
Page 17 Mickel and Catherine Nenno Biography
Page 27 Nickolas and Barbara Nenno Biography
Page 29-41 Census forms for Neno-Forness family
Page 46-61 Census forms for Oliver Vincent Nenno
Page 62 Victor and Mary Anne Nenno Biography
Page 75 Clyde W. Sr. and Cathryn Nenno Biography
Page 84 Man of the Year 73) : It's Nenno
Page 85-114 Census Forms for family of Clyde Wm Nenno Sr
Page 116-7 Maps of Allegeny 1869
Page 118 Joseph J. Nenno : Autobiography of his early life
Page 138 John Nenno Immigrant family
Page 144 Genealogy Records of the John Nenno Family
Page 147 Naturalization Papers of the John Nenno Family
Page 163 Joseph Nenno Immigrant Family

Nenno Family History
Genealogy Records Researched
Orma Bloomingdale Carls
Elizabeth Nenno Wilson

Family Biographys
by Elizabeth Nenno Wilson
Dedicated to Clyde W. Nenno and Richard J. Nenno

Page 1


"If a person doesn't know where he comes from, he has no way of knowing how far he can go" quoted from a history Professor, from St. Bonaventure, a university at Allegany.

This is the genealogical record of a family, but more than that, it is a record of how they lived and what they did in their lifetimes.My father, Clyde W. Nenno and his brother, Richard, wanted a history written about the Nenno family, not just when they were born, married, and died, but a history of how they lived and what they did in their lifetimes.

This family history is not a result of Alex Halley's book, "Roots", of his television series, based on his book, that created a craze in the United States, of people seeking their "roots". This history was started in 1933 by Joseph J. Nenno - 1942, a grandson of the immigrant, Mickel Nenno. Joseph was a very successful businessman, who wrote a history of his family, and how it was to grow up in Allegany in the late 1800's, as one of a family of ten sons and two daughters. His story is in this book. It is a beautiful tribute to his parents.

The genealogical record was started many years ago by Orma Bloomingdale Carls, who lives in Allegany. She didn't start it because her 8 children had the name, Nenno, her husband, James Carls, is a direct descendent of the immigrant Mickel Nenno, but as Orma said, "The Nenno family is such an interesting family to research". Orma was out stumbling over tombstones and calling descendents of Mickel Nenno, long before it became popular to look up your family tree. Of course, Uncle Dick was after her all the time too. To have a history of the Nenno family written was a lifetime obsession for him, and he had no children of his own.

Page 2

It was Orma who discovered there was another Nenno immigrant family, the John Nenno Family, that also settled in Erie County, came to this country in 1833. When I was researching the Mickel Nenno family, I would find information about that family. Their story is in this book and also the story of Nenno, Wisconsin.

A large contributor to our history is Edward Nenno, of Tuscon, Arizona and Deming, New Mexico, a descendent of Mickel Nenno. Edward, a retired Air Force Career man, admits spending as much as $600 a month, calling Nenno familys across the United States. It is his hobby, he loves it. He never lived in Allegany or even knew any Nennos except his own immediate family, yet he was looking for Nennos, even overseas during his Air Force career. To him goes the credit of finding many of the Nennos who contributed to this history. Edward found that there was yet another Nenno immigrant family, but of that family we have little information, except that they came from the same place, we know they are related.

However, to find all the Nenno descendants and find out when they were born and died was not the wish of Clyde and Richard Nenno. They wanted the stories of their lives. It was fortunate that their father, Victor, bought the Nickolas Nenno family Homestead, and that they liked to listen to all the family storys, told by their nine uncles and their father.

Page 3

On Sundays, they congregated back to the home they grew up in, along with their large familys. I can remember that dining room table, four people could sit across the width, it had to be twenty feet long. It was a massive oak table, with huge carved legs at the four corners. Everything was big, they were large stature people.

The information for the biographys, in this book, I wrote about my ancestors was contributed by many people, and came from many sources, largely of course, they are the memorys of my father. My father was interviewed many times, when the town of Allegany wrote their Sesquicentenial Book, to be published in 1981.

The sources of information I listed on another page are all true, I made many trips to the Mormon Library in Williamsville, rented many microfilm tapes, they have to order them out of Salt Lake City. I spent a lot of time in the Genealogy Dept. of the Erie County Library and Erie County Hall, and the historians at Cheektowaga gave me a lot of their time. Of course, I must give credit to my husband, who paid for all this research, our name is not Nenno, nor is it our son's. I wrote this book as a tribute to my father. He is a great man and wonderful father.

The biograhys are true to the best of my knowledge. I would elaborate on them, but the Nenno family was great enough, No one would have to embellish what they did.

Elizabeth Nenno Wilson
March 21, 1981

Photograph albums dating back to 1888, are in the possession of the Clyde W. Nenno family and the James R. Carls family, both of Allegeny, N.Y. (Leo J. Nenno in 2003)

Page 4


Page 1 Preface
Page 4 Sources of Information
Page 5 The Mickel Nenno Family History
Page 15 Alsace-Lorraine
Page 16 thru 114 Genealogy Records of the Mickel Nenno Family
Page 17 Mickel and Catherine Nenno Biography
Page 27 Nickolas and Barbara Nenno Biography
Page 62 Victor and Mary Anne Nenno Biography
Page 75 Clyde W. Sr. and Cathryn Nenno Biography
Page 115 Forness Family Genealogy records
Page 116-7 Maps of Allegeny 1869
Page 136 Early Real Estate Records of Nenno Familys
Page 118 Joseph J. Nenno Autobiography and story of his early life (1933)
Page 84 Man of the Year 73) : It's Nenno
Page 138 John Nenno Immigrant family
Page 144 Genealogy Records of the John Nenno Family
Page 147 Naturalization Papers of the John Nenno Family
Page 163 Joseph Nenno Immigrant Family
Last page Future research

Photograph albums dating back to 1888 in the possession of the Leo Nenno family, Olean, N.Y.

Page 5

The Mickel Nenno Family

This history of the Mickel Nenno Family will for the most part, be about our ancestors. It will not be about every descendant of the family. We know a few more facts in 1981, than we did in 1978 and 1979, when I wrote the biographys of my grandfathers. This took a lot of research, but hopefully our decesndants will know more about the history of their family.

In the 1855 Census, Mickel Nenno states that he and his wife were born in Alsace-Lorrainne, Prussia, that he was a carpenter, and that he and his family had been in Cheektowaga at least twelve years. His second oldest child, Catherine, was born there in 1843. Five other children would be born there, the eighth child would be born in Allegany in 1857. His oldest child, Nickolas, was born in Europe in 1837, we found in later census records.

We do not know the year he came to this country, he did not come in thru the Port of New York. Family Lore says that he, wife Catherine, and son Nickolas, came in thru a seaport in Canada, and then entered the United States. We have not been able to research Canadian records, thus far, However, since historians say Family Lore should never be discounted, we can assume he came to Canada from Europe, he definitely did not come into the Port of New York. Microfilm records of the Port of New York, 1800 to 1859.

The land records at Erie County Hall indicate that he bought property on the Old Cuyuga Creek Road, now Dick Road, on Sept. 13, 1847 for $380, on June 6, 1853, he purchased adjoining land. He sold a small piece of the property to the New York Central Railroad.

Page 6

The old tracks can be seen there today. On both deeds, his signature is written with a fine hand, his wife Catherine signed with an "X". Note, he signed his name , Nenno. In the index records, the name Nenno, is listed with many different spellings.

The people in the community, he settled in, called themselves, Alsatian-French, but they spoke German. It was evident in the book "The Chapel", they all came from the same vicinity in Alsace, they were devout Catholics. The Forness Family, called then Fornes, would also live in the same community, see Census records 1855, but they were not landowners in Cheektowaga.

Nenno Family Lore has always held that Mickel Nenno helped build a church. (It turned out to be a chapel) He lived in Cheektowaga at the time the chapel was started, and in the immediate vicinity, right around the corner, Land Records.

The Chapel has since been made a National Historic Site in 1978. I attended the Dedication Ceremonies and also purchased the book " The Chapel", co-authored by Dr. Ronald Batt.

It is a matter of record (land deeds) that Joseph Batt donated three acres of land to Bishop Timon on April 1, 1851, for the construction of a Chapel, School, and cemetery, with Bishop Timon's stipulation, it could not be used as a church. The people were still obligated to be members of St. Peter and Pauls Church in Williamsville. The was to be no Sunday Masses and week-day masses and burials were to be at the descretion of the priest in Williamsville. In later years, Bishop Timon was to have so many problems with those Alsation-French, he was known to state, he wished the place would burn down.

Page 7

By June 14, 1851, a school was completed at a cost of $76.39, built by about thirty citizens in the immediate vicinity, on July 10, 1853, the cornerstone for the chape3l was layed. Only the Sanctuary of the Chapel as we see it today, was built from used bricks, hauled from the old St. Peter and Paul Church in Williamsville. Joseph Batt was a stone mason.

The "Pax Papers", the only written records from that time, written in German, translated, say, quote "They (regulations) prove that Bishop Timon gave permission to Mr. Batt, alone, to build the chapel and to no others, although it is PROVED that Mr. Batt did not build it alone and did NOT more, than others of that settlement." Joseph Batt and Mickel Nenno were immediate neighbors. In accordance with a 45 minute telephone conversation with Dr. Ronald Batt on April 16, 1979, he states most of the book was written from Family Lore and that of other familys in the area at that time. There are no official records from that time except the "Pax Papers" written by a priest of that era, a Rev. George Pax. These papers were written in German. An interpreter was allowed to copy them for the book. The name, Nenno, was not mentioned in the book, but Mickel Nenno left Cheektowaga in 1856, as did Dr. Batt said and also the historian, Julia Rhinestein, most of the book was written from the family lore of the familys, who stayed in the area. Fr. Setlock, the priest in charge of the chapel, says there is a Nenno buried in the chapel Cemetery, but I haven't had time to look for it. It could be a child of Mickel Nenno.

Page 8

On October 1, 1856, (Land Records) Mickel and Catherine sold their land in Cheektowaga for $2,620, the same land he had bought for $460, minus #175 tract he had sold to the N.Y.C. Railroad. Historians in Niagra County and Cheektowaga have told me, he was a very wealthy man, at the time, considering in those times, the wages for a farm hand were $5 a month.

Family Lore relates that they walked to Allegany, but historians tell me, the adults walked but their belongings and small children rode in a "dog cart" pulled by a horse or an ox. The trails were not wide enough for a wagon. We don't know what month. Their last child was born in Allegany in 1857.

We don't know what month they bought the two tracts of land on the South Nine Mile Road in Allegany, the mortgage was satisfied in December of 1856. Land records. I've always wondered if the Forness family didn't come at the same time, Joseph Fornes was to buy the neighboring property on the south Nine Mile. Have never checked the records, of when he bought the property. In the 1855 census, he too was in Cheektowaga. On April 15, 1859, Nickolas Nenno, the oldest child was to marry the daughter of Joseph Forness.

In April of 1860, Mickel was to turn all his property in Allegany over to his second oldest child, Catherine Nenno (Land Records), she was 17 years old at the time. She later married Michael Zister. On the 1869 Maps (after the death of Mickel and Catherine) the owners of the propertry were listed as Zister. We do know that Mickel's wife, Catherine was to die the next year, July 4, 1861 and leave six children under the age of 15. To Cathrine, must have fallen the duty of raising them, Mickel died in Allegany 5 yearslater, July 2, 1866. Both are buried in St. Bonaventure's cemetery.

Page 9

Land records are incompete, we don't know what year Nickolas and Barbara bought the land for their home on the Birch Run Road, it is on the 1869 map. However, Records show they bought more land in March of 1870 and May of 1876. They were to be the parents of ten sons and two daughters, they were large stature people, the girls were over 6 feet tall. Joseph Nenno's account of how his father bought food and shoes for his family is astounding. He did a lot of living in his 52 years. He was a carpenter, a farmer, a lumberman, even ran a ferry across the Allegany River, before there was a bridge, held public office, and was very much a part of his children's lives. He died when he was building a pump house over an oil well, he was a victim of heart disease, and the fumes killed him. There are two accounts of Nickolas, written is this book, one by his son, Joseph, and one by me.

There is another interesting story about Nickolas, for the people, who found some black people with their name. The account is that when he was floating a large log raft down the Allegany River to Pittsburg, (that's how they moved logs in those days) he found an escaped slave along the river bank, near Pittsburg. He took the escaped slave on the raft, with the provision, he would help unload the logs. He did, and after the logs were sold, he walked back to Allegany with Nickolas. He stayed on being Nickolas's carpenter's helper until the Civil War. It is said that Nickolas paid this former slave $600 to go the the Civil War in his place. That was no disgrace in those days, all Centennial Historys tell how much one man paid another to go in his place. Today you have to be a Congress Man's son, then it was a matter of affluence and choice.

Page 10

After the Civil War, the black man walked back to Allegany, with a Mr. Atherton, a neighbor of Nickolas, also a carpenter, and he worked for both of them. In later years, the black man wanted to move to the north-eastern part of the state. Before he left, he asked Nickolas if he could have his name and Nickolas agreed to it. He must have had descendants. They show up all over the United States, as do the Nennos of our own family.

I don't have much knowledge of the other children of Mickel. The only one I ever saw was Uncle "Big" Mike, he lived with my randfather for a time, we saw him every day, then. He was even bigger than granddad, and my grandfather was bigger then my father, and that's big. He was a handsome man, with pure white hair, not heavy, like the other Nennos. He went south with the sons of Nickolas Nenno to the oil fields of West Virginia and Ohio, but returned to Allegany because of illness. His only son would die at age 44 from drinking poisonous well water. Son, Lewis was a farmer and an oil man, he lived on the Birch Run Road, too. His family will have to write his story.

The son I heard the most about was Peter. He was a giant of a man, reportedly, between 6'6" and 5'8" tall. He owned a stockyard along the Allegany River, and also a retail meat business. My father always talked about the cleanliness of the market, he also sent fresh meat out every day on wagons. All Nennos talk about his great strength and the way he ate. He could pick up a full barrel. The Nenno's size must have been out of the ordinary i those days since the historian from Niagara County told me the average height of a man, during the time of the Civil War was 5'6.5".

Page 11

We have our own story about Peter Nenno. When my father and mother became engaged to be married, my mother had to go to Sunday Dinner at my father's home to meet his family. Apparently, she rode the streetcar from Olean to Allegany. When the family had gathered around to meet the prospective bride, my mother had to tell of her experience on the streetcar, when this huge man had got on the streetcar, and had tilted the whole streetcar. She told how enormous he was, had the biggest face, the biggest nose, and the biggest ears, she had ever seen. Of course the family all laughed, they knew she had seen uncle Pete. He must have been a giant among men in those days. Note, my Mother was used to seeing big people, her father was 6'4" tall. They had to remove the front bay window to get his casket in and out of the house, the door wasn't wide enough. For the benefit of the young, wakes were held at home in those days.

Peter's son Raephel continued his father's retail meat business.

The daughters of Mickel and Catherine stayed in Allegany with the exception of Barbara, who married William Nesselbush, and moved to Buffalo. Catherine married Mickael Zister, Mary married Joseph Riehler, and Lena married Albert Green.

Of the children of Nickolas and Barbara, I know a little, their son Victor was my grandfather. Most of the sons, like my grandfather were to be Pioneers in the oil fields of West Virginia, Virginia, and Ohio. However, they all returned to work in the Bradford Oil Fields of Wester N.Y., also the gas fields. Most of them were owners of their own drilling companys. They, for the most part owned large farms, but most of them were primarily business men. My grandfather also owned a feed and grist mill, he later owned an Oil Conttracting Business with my father, Clyde Nenno and his son, Richard, Victor J. Nenno and Sons, Oil Drilling Contractors.

Page 12

They were deep well drillers and had big steel derricks, I can remember them. Joseph Nenno was taken out of school at an early age and apprenticed to a store keeper, Nickolas thought one of hos sons should be a merchant. He was indeed a very successful one. He owned one of the biggest clothing stores in Olean. He owned a large home in Olean, a beautiful cottage at Cuiba Lake, with the biggest power boat around. He started to write the Nenno Family History but all we can find is his autobiography, and the story of his youth, it is in this book. He had no children. Nickolas oldest son, John died at age 36, and left small children. Of the family life of the others, I know very little, my father used to talk of them, and of course I grew up most of the people I saw every day were related to me in one way or another, the only thing I didn't realize was just how many were. I didn't know until Orma started her genealogical research, some of the people I was related to..

Not only were the descendants of Mickel and Catherine Berwanger Nenno to become doctors, lawyers, and merchant chiefs, they were to be oil men, farmers, supervisors in industry, power and light and telephone companys, nuns, teachers, writters, businessmen, bankers, career Army men, ship masters, politicians, newspaper people, orange plantation owners, even "Man of the Year".

I wish I knew the story of all of them, I like to think of my father as a culmination of all of them. He did so many things in his lifetime, my brothers and sisters are in awe of him even today. I am including his story in this book, of course the whole thing was written because I think he is so great.

Page 13

William Nenno, son of Nickolas, drilled the second "Miracle" gas well, for the famed Fr. Baker. There were two wells, behind where the Hospital now stands. There are no official records on either well, they were destroyed in a fire in the Administration Building in 1913. We don't know if Will Nenno drilled the first "miracle" Well in 1891, but we do know he drilled the second well after 1900. Of course, most writters deliberately leave out the second well, it spoils their story of a "Miracle". However one of the earliest memories of Clyde Nenno, born in 1900, when automobiles were few, was as a small boy, he had his first ride, a long one, to Lackawanna, to see the gas well his Uncles were drilling for Fr. Baker, it was a day indelibly etched in his mind.

Because of the discrepencys in the storys, I started inquiring around the older familys in Lackawanna, I found my father's account to be true, then when the "Anthonian" Magazine came out, written by the Franciscan Friars, devoted to the story of Fr, Baker, there was further proof.

Quoted from the "Amthonian", "The first well drilled by Fr, Baker, he called "The Victoria Well", in honor of Our Lady of Victory. The well provided gas for several years for the institutions and also to homes in the immediate vicinity, to whom Fr. Baker sold the gas. The well went dry. He drilled again, and to this day, the second well continues to provide fuel for the institutions that comprise Our Lady of Victory."

Anyone, who has ancestor, that lived in Lackawanna at the time knows other wells were drilled, and were productive, the Beres Family Well, for instance, it is still producing gas. However, in most of the accounts written about Fr, Baker, only the first well, that failed, was written up, and as a "miracle".

Page 14

It is small wonder that Monsignor Mc Pherson, who was there at the time of Fr. Baker, refused to show the locations of the wells, to the Lackawanna Historians, Mr. Osbourne and Mr. Emmerling, who wrote about the first well, and were instrumental in erecting an historical sign on Ridge Road, commemorating the first well. Furthermore, Will Nenno drilled gas wells in Orchard Park, Hamburg, along the Lake Shore, even in Delaware Park, it is unfortunate that the memory of such a great man as Fr. Baker, should be tarnished by an evasion of the truth, but then it does make a nice story. We try not to take much licence about the Nenno Family.

Another interesting story about the sons of Nickolas Nenno concerns his son, Charles, who moved to California. The date of the newspaper is January 6, 1929. The headline is "Nenno Purchases Citrus Property". The article says, " Believing is the future of Anaheim, Mr. and Mrs. C.J. Nenno, long residents of this city today announced the purchase of the G.M. Simpson citrus ranch on South East Street, about one mile south of the city. Mr. and Mrs. Nenno expect to move with their family some time this week to take up residence in the modern 8-room jouse which stands on the property. There are eight acres on the ranch all planted to bearing orange trees. While the consideration was not made public, it was announced the deal was strictly cash. Several years ago, the late G,M. Simpson was reported to have paid $65,000 for the property."

It makes you wonder how he came up wih that much cash, that is a lot of money in 1981. Several of Charles brothers visited this ranch from Allegany.

Page 15 (Description of Alsace-Lorraine photocopied from an encyclopediua)

Page 16 moved 2 pages down

Page 17

March 8, 1979 Elizabeth Nenno Wilson Information at the time

Michael and Catherine Nenno state in the 1855 New York State Census that they were born in Prussia, however, it is known because of the Franco-Prussian wars, Alsace-Lorraine was under the rule of Germany at he time they came here. Michael was born in 1809 and Catherine was born in either 1814 or 1816, the age on the census records vary, from 1855 to 1860. All family lore indicates they came from Alsace, the part of Alsace-Lorraine that kept the German customs, however the name is believed to be French in origin. Many Germans and Alsatian were known to come to this country at that time because of the oppressive conditions that existed in Germany at that time in History.

Michael became a Naturalized Citizen, and was able to write beautifully, his wife, Catherine, signed her name with a mark on Real Estate Papers.

Michael stated in 1855 Census he was at [the] same address for 12 years, but also states his son, Nickolas was born in Cheektowaga in 1837, in Erie County, he bought his first land in Cheektowaga on September 13, 1847, part of the Holland land grant, Lot # II in the 7th range for $380. On January 6, 1853, he bought # IO in the II/7 range for $80. The land was bounded by the Cayuga Creek Road, the main trail or road that led to everywhere in the area. It was once the major Indian Trail. This was researched by Elizabeth Wilson in the land Records at Erie County Hall on Feb, 21st and March 8th 1979.

In accordance with records at the Erie County Library in the Historical Records of Cheektowaga, the territory belonged to the Iroquois Indian Nation, but was taken over by a group of men, who formed the Holland Land Company, who surveyed it and divided it up into Lots of many acres, with different ranges. They sold the land from 3 cents and acre to $2 and acre. The land was dense forest, and they were primarily interested in getting it cleared . The land was covered with Crabapple trees, besides the huge Oaks and Beechnut trees.

The population at this early time in the 1830s was of German and Alsatian-French descent. They lived in log cabins covered with bark or split lumber called shakes. There was a bounty on wolves and the pioneers were paid 75 cents for wolves ears.

Page 18

There were no churches in the area in that time, however there were many Franciscan Priests, who were there trying to convert the Indians, it can be assumed they christened the children of the early settlers. A chapel was built by the donation of Joseph Batt, Our Lady, Help of Chistians, for Thanksgiving for a safe journey to this country. It was a stormy voyage. He was from Morschweiler, Alsace, Germany, left Havre, France October 20, 1836 and reached the Port of New York February 2, 1837. Michael Nenno might well have helped build that chapel, he was a carpenter by trade, and he was known to be in Cheektowaga at the time.

Michael and Catherine were to be the parents of eight children, seven were born in Cheektowaga and the last in Allegany, N.Y. in 1857. Their oldest son, Nickolas, was 18 in 1855 and in that year, he walked to Allegany, N.Y., at the time called Burton, he must have convinced his father to come there, because on October 1, 1856, Michael sold all his land in Cheektowaga to George Van Campen for the sum of $ 2,620. He had sold a small srtip earlier in February of 1854, 66 ft. in width and 86 1/2 feet long to the New York Central Railroad for $170. He must have started for Allegany in that year with small children and what he could take with them.

Michael Nenno is thought to have been closely associated with the Joseph W. Forness family, they were in Cheektowaga the same number of years, although Joseph Forness was not a land owner in Cheektowaga. They must have come to Allegany at about the same time, maybe even together because on April 15, 1859, Nickolas, son of Michael and Catherine, the daughter of Joseph Forness were married in Allegany. Joseph Forness was born in Strasbourg, Alsace, Germany at that time, when he came to this country. He left from Bordeaux, France.

There was another Michael Nenno in Cheektowaga at the time of the 1855 census, he also states he was born in Prussia, he was the son of John Nenno, who settled in the town of Langford area. He was a farmer. John states he was born in Alsace-Lorraine, Prussia. This Michael returned to the Town of Langford before 1858.

Catherine died in Allegany on July 2, 1861. Michael Nenno died also in Allegany on July 4, 1866. Both are buried in St. Bonaventure's Cemetery in Allegany, N.Y.

Page 16 a census form for the family of Michael Nenno and Catherine Berwanger and their 8 children. See family tree

Page 19 Census form for family of Nickolas Joseph Nenno and Barbara Forness
Page 20 Census form for family of Michael Zister and Catherine Nenno
Page 21 Census form for family of Joseph Riehler and Mary Nenno
Page 22 Census form for family of Louis Nenno and Frances Riehler
Page 23 Census form for family of Albert Green and Lena Nenno
Page 24 Census form for family of Peter J. Nenno and Barbara Dewes
Page 25 Census form for family of Michael C. Nenno and Margaret C. Klice
Page 26 Census form for family of William Nesselbush and Barbara Nenno

Page 27

Note: An account was written of the lives of Nickolas and Barbara Nenno by their son, Joseph J. Nenno, in the year 1933. His profile of Nickolas and Barbara Nenno was a more intimate rememberance of the life, he and his brothers and sisters lived with their parents. It can be found in its entirety, in the back of this book.

This profile of Nickolas and Barbara Forness Nenno is more of an historical account.

Nickolas Nenno was born June 5, 1837 in Cheektowaga, N.Y., a suburb of Buffalo in Erie County. He was the eldest child of the eight children of Michael and Catherine Nenno, Immigrants, who came to this country in the year 18___.

In the 1855 New York Census of Cheektowaga, Nickolas was listed as being eighteen years old and living at that address for the last twelve years, as were his parents and brothers and sisters. In accordance with research conducted by Elizabeth Nenno Wilson on February 21, 1979 at Erie County Hall, that land was a Part of the Holland Land Grant, and consisted of lot #II, in the 7th range purchased in 1847, and lot #IO in II/7 range purchased in 1853 by Michael and Catherine Nenno.

The same year, 1855, at the age of eighteen, Nickolas walked to Allegany, N.Y., which at that time was known as Burton. Allegany was to become his home, and also that of his parents. Michael and Catherine were to come to Allegany the next year, with their remaining six children. Their last child was born in Allegany in the year 1857. Family Lore has it that they walked to Allegany with all these young children, as recounted by their son, Michael, who was born in 1854, who must have been a small child at the time.

On April 15, 1859 Nickolas married Barbara Forness in Allegany. Barbara was also born in Cheektowaga, the eldest daughter of Joseph Forness (Joseph W. Fornes- also Furnace), who is a biographical Sketch, states that he was born in Strasburg, Prussia (Germany). Barbara was born January 12, 1838. The two familys were known to have been closely associated in Cheektowaga, and known to have come to Allegany at the same time.

Page 28

Nickolas and Barbara were to be the parents of twelve children, ten sons and two daughters. They were all to be over six feet tall, including the girls, and all would weigh over two hundred pounds. Nickolas was known to be of stern temperment with his children, he was an industrious man and meticulous about his personal apprearance, he demanded the same qualitys of his children. His children went to school, were well fed and clothed. Most of the childrens clothes were made by Barbara, she colored the yarn to make stockings, mittens, sweaters, and caps for all those children. She baked the bread to feed them and cooked huge quantities of food everyday. They consumed a barrel of flour evry month, besides 10 pounds of sugar, a pound of tea and coffee every month. Nickolas was known to be a keen shopper for his family. He carried a notebook and a ruler in his pocket, he measured his children's feet, recorded the measurements in his notebook, and bought shoes and boots in quantities, at a good price. With the expence of raising such a large family, he was still known to lend money to storekeepers at 4% interest when the banks were allowing 3%.

Nickolas Nenno was a farmer, a lumberman, and a carpenter. He operated a ferry boat across the Allegany River before the bridge was built, his Homestead and many other were separated from the Village of Allegany by the river. He is believed to have bought the Homestead of the Birch Run Road, where they raised their family around 1867. They cleared the land and built the home and also cleared the land for farming. In accordance with old maps in existence in Allegany, he was also known to own tracts of land in the upper Birch Run area, and also in Chipmonk, N.Y., downriver from Allegany.

On February 15, 1890 Nickolas Nenno was killed by a fall from the top of a tank house, he was building on the Zinc Farm on an oilwell site. He was fifty-two years old. He left five children under the age of twenty-one, the youngest being only eleven years of age. His funeral was held at the church he was said to have built in the Village of Allegany, St. Nickolas Church, he is buried in St. Bonaventure's Cemetery.

Barbara Nenno died April 26, 1918 at the age of 80, surviving Nickolas by 28 years. She is also buried in St. Bonaventure's Cemetery, in Allegany.

Page 29 Census form for family of John N. Nenno (son of Nickolas J. Nenno and Barbara Forness) and Margaret
Page 30 Census form for family of William F. Nenno and Margaret Firkel
Page 31 Census form for family of William McCabe and Mary M. Nenno
Page 32 Census form for family of George L. Nenno and Mayme Murray (Jane)
Page 33 Census form for family of Michael W. Nenno and Catherine Murray (no children)
Page 34 Census form for family of Joseph J. Nenno and Vita Hall (no children)
Page 35 Census form for family of Victor Joseph Nenno and Mary Anne Martiny
Page 36 Census form for family of Thomas Hughes and Lena K. Nenno
Page 37 Census form for family of Francis (Frank) A. Nenno and Elizabeth Dinsmore
Page 38 Census form for family of Frederick S. Nenno and Catherine O'Meara
Page 35 Census form for family of Charles J. Nenno and Marie Kenney
Page 40 (paraphrase of census form for family of Charles Nenno and Marie Kenny)
Page 41 Census form for family of Edward W. Nenno and Nellie McNeary

Page 42 Additions to data for families of
[1] Catherine Nenno and Michael Zister,
[2] Theresa Zister and Wm. Riehler [3] Lena Nenno and Albert Green,
[4] Ernest F. Green and Verdabel Spencer, [5] Ernestine Green and John Forness
[6] Edwin C. Green and Marie Simmons

Page 43 Additions to data for families of
[1] Oliver Nenno and Margaret C.
[2] Mildred Nenno and Charles Sullivan, [3] Gertrude Nesselbush,
[4] Regina Neselbush and James Tabb, [5] Frank Nesselbush and Nell Sirdevan,
[6] Charles Nesselbush and Jesse

Page 44 Additions to data for families of Julius P. Nenno and Evelyn,
[2] Leo Nenno and Mayme Hatfield, [3] Ida Nenno and Patrick O'Meara,
[4] Rose Nenno and John Nutt, Raphael Nenno and Magdalena Karl

Page 45 Additions to data for the 4 children of Louis, son of Catherine and Michael Nenno, and the 3 children of Lena Nenno and Albert Green

Page 46 Partial hand-drawn tree for family of Oliver Vincent Nenno
Page 47 Census form family of Oliver Vincent Nenno and Clara Oaks
Page 48 Census form for family of Robert W. Stephens and Ruth Murriel Nenno
Page 49 Census form for family of Claude Michael Nenno and Pauline Emma Ronolder
Page 50 Census form for family of Robert W. Nenno and Rita Sheridan
Page 51 Census form for family of Donald Nenno, M.D. and Barbara Bathke
Page 52 Census form for Mary K. Nenno, unmarried
Page 53 Census form for family of William C. Nenno, M.D. and Shirley Richter
Page 54 Census form for Donald J. Nenno
Page 55 Census form for family of Richard W. Nenno and Mary Ellen Volk
Page 56 Census form for family of Nathaniel Hatford Winship and Marianne Nenno
Page 57 Census form for family of Joseph Nenno and Geneva Forness
Page 58 Census form for family of John Pounds and Teresa Nenno
Page 59 Census form for Beatrice Nenno (no children)
Page 60 Census form for family of John Nenno and Veronica McCabe
Page 61 Census form for family of Jacob L. Farrell and Genevieve Nenno

Page 62

Victor J. Nenno was born in Allegany, N.Y. on July 25, 1869 on the Nickolas Nenno homestead on the Birch Run Road. He was the seventh child of the ten sons and two daughters of Nickolas and Barbara Forness Nenno. His early years were spent in school and working around the family homestead under the stern discipline of his father, but the family ate well and were dressed well. The entire family was of exceptional height and large stature, a trait inherited from their immediate ancestors.

In those early years, the Nenno brothers loved to fight, especially Victor, it was their favorite pastime. His nickname became "The Drake". Even in his old age, when he caused many an automobile accident, by the manner in which he drove a car, the other people envolved, were only too eager to insist that the accident was all their fault when this huge man would alight from his car, waving his cane aound to express himself, and he was a big man even in his old age, he stood straight and tall.

In his teen years, his father sent Victor to the West Virginia Oil fields to join his older brothers, who were pioneers in opening up the Oil fields in West Virginia, Kentucky, and Ohio, with instructions to his older sons "Not to let Victor get killed." They wrote back to their father, they could not even keep track of Victor. He was a very strong young man and became known in the Oil towns and Camps as a great fighter (Bar room style), a Bar Room Fighter in those days meant boxing, wrestling, kicking, gouging, biting, just anything as explained by his sons years later, to this writter, and by Victor himself when he told the stories of his youth. As his reputation spread thru out the Oil Camps, there had to come a time when it would be an honor to fight Vic and win. A problem developed when Victor was in a bar-room one night and a man challenged him to fight and Victor knocked him out with one blow. "His Secret", as he told in later years, was to get in the first blow. However, this particular man got up and came back with a gun. Victor tried to dodge the bullets from behind a pot-bellied stove, but was shot up badly.

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He carried a few of those bullets in his legs all his life. He recovered and went on to work in the Oil Fields. His skill was in being able to drill an oil well in West Virginia and not have it cave in and for that ability, the Leonard Oil Company gave him a share in a successful well.

On October 25, 1893, he married Mary Ann Martiny, the daughter of John and Mary Kemmer Martiny at St. Nickolas Church in Allegany. Mary Ann was born in Allegany [on] March 13, 1871. Victor and Mary had eight children, two of whom died in infancy.

After their marriage, Victor and Mary returned to the Oil Fields of West Virginia and Ohio where he built a home. Their first two sons were born in Witten, Ohio. In 1897 they returned to Allegany and bought the old Homestead from his mother. The rest of their children were born there. He worked in the Oil Fields and farmed. In 1907 he was injured badly in a drilling accident and was years recovering, after a long hospital stay. He eventually returned to the oil fields and ran his farm. He bought a Feed and Grist Mill on the western edge of Main Street in Allegany that he operated with the help of his sons for many years.

Mary Ann Martiny Nenno graduated from St. Elizabeth;s Academy in Allegany, and will be remembered always for her pictures and portraits, that hang today in the homes of her children and grandchildren. They are prized possessions. When her family thinks of her, they think of flowers, she covered the lawns of the farm with them. Mary Ann died November 24, 1933 at the age of 62 of Congestive Heart Failure, an ailment she suffered from for years.

Victor and his sons Richard and Clyde formed the "Victor J. Nenno and Sons Oil Well Drilling Company" in 1924. They lost their business in 1933 in the great depression, as did so many others at that time.

After the death of Mary Ann, Veronica, one of his daughters, and her family lived with Victor for a short time, and then bought a home of their own and resumed their own family life. Victor lived on in the homestead, spending part of each day with the children of his son, Clyde, Victor had a weakness for children, he loved them and they loved him. He would keep them entertained for hours, with his storys of his early days in the Oil Towns of West Virginia and other parts of the South. He was an integral part of their lives, when Clyde's children were young. He had his own place at the table. There were six children, so he never ran out of children to talk to.

Page 64

On February 7, 1935 Victor married Augusta Hamm, who was born in Allegany on February 7, 1895. The marriage was short lived, Augusta died five years later at he age of forty-five in August of 1940. While married to Augusta, Victor lived in her family home in the village of Allegany and rented the homestead. After Augusta died he sold the homestead and built a home on the 10 acres of land he owned next to the home of his son, Clyde. After Clyde moved to Olean, because he needed a bigger house for such a large family, Victor continued to live in that houser for a few years and in 1947, sold it and bought the "Barney Mayer" homestead at 31 East Main Street in the Village of Allegany. At his age he could not handle such a large place and in that year sold it to his son, Clyde.

On August 13, 1947, his son, Clyde, was on vacation and he spent the day with Victor, fixing up the apartment in the house, where Victor made his home. Victor was happy that day, whistling and singing as father and son hammered and sawed all day long. He loved being with Clyde. Clyde went home for dinner with his family in Olean and was shortly summoned back. Victor had been sitting in his rocking chair on his porch, on a pleassant summer evening with an old friend talking about old days. His last words were " when I was down in West Virginia" and he stopped. He died of a massive stroke at the age of 78, he outlived all his nine brothers and two sisters.

Victor is buried in St. Bonaventure's Cemetery, next to his Mary Ann, the Mother of his children.

Page 65 Census form for family of Harry Joseph Nenno and Hazel Allen
Page 66 Census form for family of Richard Nenno and Suzanne Daugherty (no children)
Page 67 Census form for family of Richard Francis Carls and Veronica E. Nenno
Page 68 Census form for family of Clyde William Nenno and Catherine Isabelle Wilson
Page 69 Census form for family of Cecil Toennis and Margrete Nenno (no children)
Page 70 Census form for Mary E. Nenno
Page 71 Census form for William Nenno (died at age 6 months)
Page 72 Census form for Eugene Nenno
Page 73 Census form for family of James Richard Carls and Orma B. Bloomingdale
Page 74 Census form for family of Andre Lepine and Geraldine Carls

Page 75

Clyde W. Nenno Sr. was born in Allegany, N.Y. on September 17, 1900, The fourth child of the six children of Victor J. Nenno and Mary Ann Martiny Nenno. He was to spend the greater part of his life in Allegany. He attended St. Bonaventure's Parocial School, He attended high school at St. Bonaventure's College that had a high school at that time. While in high school, he played football and boxed, however he left high school at the age of sixteen, his family needed his financial aid because his father was unable to work for many years because of a severe injury his father suffered working in the Oil Fields. After Clyde had to leave school, he worked in the Feed Mill his family operated, drove Teams of Horses, worked the family farm, and later started to work in the Oil Fields in that region and the Pennsylvania Oil Fields.

On June 6. 1922, Clyde married Cathryn Isabelle Wilson, Daughter of Matthew C. and Catherine Linehan Wilson. They were married at St. John's Church on Olean, the home parrish of Cathryn's parents. Cathryn was the fourth child of the nine children of Matthew and Catherine, one of the two daughters of that large family. Catherine graduated from Olean High School in January of 1922, the same year, she was married.

After they were married they moved into their very own home that Clyde had built while they were engaged to be married. He built that home on the site, he had always dreamed of building a home on, since he was a child. That home was on the South Nine Mile Road in Allegany, N.Y., on the banks of the Allegany River. Four of their six children were to be born while they lived in that house.

In the year 1924, Clyde, his brother Richard, and his father, Victor formed a partnership in a "Deep Oil Well Drilling Business", under the name "Victor J. Nenno and Sons". In the year 1928, Clyde built another house at Knapps Creek, N.Y., to be closer to the Bradford Oil Fields. Two of their sons were to be born while they lived in that town. At the time five of his brothers and sisters lived on one side of thestreet. His business, like most others, failed during the "Great Depression" and they lost their drilling equipment. Clyde lost both his homes too in 1933.

Page 76

Clyde and Cathryn moved their family back to Nine Mile Road in Allegany, he had to rent the very house that he had built. Their last child was born there.

The following years created many struggles and heartaches, trying to feed and care for a large family of six children, with no work available. At this time Cathryn became critically ill and after many hospital stays, Clyde had to raise the money for Cathryn to have surgery at the Cleveland Clinic. After a period, when her children thought she would never return, she recovered to raise her children.

Their children did not have to bear the privations that other children suffered at that time in history, there was no work too menial or too difficult for Clyde to work at to feed his family. He cultivated huge gardens to feed his family and to sell at the markets, he raised and slaughtered cattle to sell and feed his family. He even worked on a road gang, building roads for the "Public Works Dept." for $15 a week. There was no welfare or Unemployment Insurance in those days, if you couldn't find any work, you stood in soup lines or sold apples on street corners and many people went hungry. Clyde and Cathryn's children never knew hunger and were well clothed. As one son said later in life "I never knew we were poor." Because of Clyde's great love of horses, the family even owned a horse, a "Pekins", at this time that Clyde entered in "Horse-Pulling Contests" and that the children could ride. Clyde's children thought he was the "greatest", they would all stand at the window waiting for his arrival home to shower him with love and affection.

Clyde and Cathryn were much loved and respected by their family. Clyde had the opinion that if a child did not believe what you said at the age of two, he never would believe you. Their children also believed that if they told you something once, there was no way you could change their minds, as to what you were allowed to do. Yet years later, one of their sons said "That's one thing about Daddy, he always had time to talk". They had no problems with their children.

Page 77

As the "Depression" eased, Clyde was employed by the "Freeborn Equipment Company repairing "Diesel" engines for a number of years, and then returned to the Oil Fields. In the year 1942, he was employed by Dresser Clark as a power and light Supervisor and retired in that capacity in September of 1965. In the year 1942, they had moved their family to Olean. About this time the older children started to get married.

In 1956, Clyde built a cottage at Rockville Lake for the enjoyment of his children and their many grandchildren. There were many good times at that place, many family gatherings, nearly every week-end, something was going on. There were two power boats, one for water skiing, and a smaller one for the enjoyment of the smaller grandchildren. One grandson was known to call the place, "Paradiseville". There was always lots of food, lots of beer, lots of people, and so many kids, not just their own grandchildren. Clyde was called "Popeye" by many of his Grandchildren, an affectionate name, thought of by his two younger sons, because of his resemblance to the cartoon character, of the time, known for his strength, when they saw their huge father with his big hands, carrying around his bald, nightgown-clad infant grandchildren.

In the year 1947, he bought the house at 31 East Main Street in Allegany from his father, Victor, and in 1948 Clyde and Cathryn moved their family into this big house. He made this big home into three apartments, continuing to live there until his retirement in 1965, thereafter they spent the winters in Bradenton, Florida and back to Allegany in the summer months. In 1978, they sold this house to their son Clyde Jr. and his wife Delores, but maintained a summer home in one of the smaller apartments.

Clyde and Cathryn lived at a time of more Social and Economic changes than any generation in the history of the world. They lived from the age of gaslights and travel by horses and trains, to the modern age of electricity, to the age of the automobile, to the infancy of airplanes, to the building of the massive jet planes, thru the development of Atomic Energy to the time astronauts would travel in outer space, and man would walk on the moon, and would put "Outer-Space" Missles on Mars to send information to our space laboratories. They lived to see many changes in their lifetime.

Page 78

On June 4, 1972, Clyde and Catherine celebrated their 50th Wedding Anniversary. A Wedding Mass was celebratewd at St. Bonaventure's Church in Allegany, attended by all their children, their spouses, their grandchildren and many relatives and friends, their Wedding Vows were not renewed, as is customary on such an occasion, because as Clyde explained to the Pastor, Father Ronald, "I never broke my original Vows". A breakfast followed at the Holiday Inn.

Later in the day, Clyde and Cathryn were honored by their children at a large Reception, given by their children, with hundreds of people attending at the Knights of Columbus Hall in Allegany. Formal Invitations were sent out, Newspaper Invitations were written, Signs were posted, everyone who ever knew them was invited to attend and honor them on this Great Occastion. There was a catered Buffet and an Open Bar, everyone had a good time. People came from all over. One of the greatest points of interest at the reception was a large bulliton board with pictures of their life together, there was even a picture of their first date. It was a great day in their lives.

Page 79 Census form for family of Donald James Wilson and Elizabeth Helen Nenno
Page 80 Census form for family of Brenton Harold Diffenderfer and Mary Lucille Nenno
Page 81 Census form for family of Donald James Wilson and Elizabeth Helen Nenno
Page 82 Census form for family of William Edward Nenno and Sonya Lee McInroy
Page 83 Census form for family of Clyde William Nenno, Jr. and Delores Moszak

Page 84 Photocopy of a newspaper page from the (Olean, N.Y.?) Times Herald showing Leo Nenno and his 3 sons skiing. Leo Nenno was awarded the Times Herald Sportsman of the Year award by this newspaper in 1973. For dating puposes, son Tommy is age 16, Jerry is age 15, and Mike is age 13.

Page 85 Census form for family of Leo Joseph Nenno and Patricia Sowenski (subject of Pg 84 above)
Page 86 Census form for family of Michael Brenton Wilson and Katherine Helen Ritzmann
Page 87 Census form for family of Warren Fabian and Joan M. Diffenderfer
Page 88 Census form for family of James Brenton Diffenderfer and Anne Marie Kendzior
Page 89 Census form for John Clyde Diffenderfer
Page 90 Census form for family of Raymond Paul Diffenderfer and Julie Hall
Page 91 Census form for Gordon Owen Diffenderfer
Page 92 Census form for family of James Leo Banks and Mary Catherine Meyers
Page 93 Census form for Timothy Nenno
Page 94 Census form for family of William Jay Nenno and Roberta Warner (no children)
Page 95 Census form for Kim Marie Nenno
Page 96 Census form for Daniel Nenno
Page 97 Census form for Amy Jo Nenno
Page 98 Census form for Patrick William Nenno
Page 99 Census form for Nancy Ann Nenno
Page 100 Census form for Edward Michael Nenno
Page 101 Census form for Thomas Nenno
Page 102 Census form for Gerald Nenno
Page 103 Census form for Michael Nenno
Page 104 Census form for Adam David Wilson
Page 105 Census form for Kristoffer James Wilson
Page 106 Census form for Warren Fabian
Page 107 Census form for Vincent O'Keefe
Page 108 Census form for Michael James Diffenderfer (son of James Brenton)
Page 109 Census form for Stephen Diffenderfer (son of James Brenton Diffenderfer)
Page 110 Census form for Dionna Marie Diffenderfer (daughter of Raymond Paul Diffenderfer)
Page 111 Census form for Molly Jo Diffenderfer (daughter of Raymond Paul Diffenderfer)
Page 112 Census form for Kristine Diffenderfer (daughter of Raymond Paul Diffenderfer)
Page 113 Census form for Jennifer Ann Woehrle (daughter of Nancy Ann Nenno)
Page 114 Census form for family of Edward H. Nenno and Margaret Gibbs
Page 115 Census form for Joseph Forness (Furnace)(Fornes) and Hellen Forness (parents of Barbara Forness (maiden name not given)
Page 116 and 117 are 1869 Plat maps of Allegany, showing the locations of property owned by Victor Nenno, Clyde Nenno Sr., Clyde Nenno Jr., M. Nenno, and N. Nenno

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Elizabeth Wilson Family tree

Page 118 Title page for what follows, with only words "EULOGY dedicated to my Father and Mother" together with a photocopy of a photo of about 15 barely visible people, signed "JN"

Page 119


With the coming of the New Year, I have thought I might write a new chapter upon the white pages of Lifes book. This is my first attempt to write anything regarding our Family Tree.

I trust my efforts will not be criticized to severely. You appreciate this is all Home-Made and briefly sketched of less than three thousand words, to the interest only of my Brothers and Sisters.

And it is my wish that the contents here enclosed will not go outside the immediate members of our Family circle.

Jan. 1934

J.J. Nenno

Page 120

To My Father

Only A Dad with a tired face,
Coming Home from the daily race,
Bringing little of gold or fame,
To show how well He has played the game,
But glad in His heart that His own rejoice,
To see Him come and to hear His voice.

Only A Dad with a brood of Twelve,
One of ten Million Men or More,
Plodding along in the daily strife,
Bearing the whips and the scorns of life,
with never a whimper of pain or hate,
For the sake of those at Home await.

Only a Dad neither rich nor proud,
Merely one of the surging crowd,
Failing, Striving from day to day,
Facing whatever may come his way,
Silent whenever the harsh condemn,
A bearing it all for the love of them.

Only A Dad but he gives His all,
To smoothe the way for his children Small,
Doing with courage stern and grim,
The deeds that His Father did for Him,
This is the line for him I have penned,
Only A Dad but The Best of Men.

Page 121

To Mother

IN the dark womb where I began,
My Mothers life Made Me a Man,
Through all the Months of human birth,
Her beauty fed my common earth,
I can not see, nor breath, nor stir,
But through the death of some of Her,
Down in the darkness of the grave,
She can see the life she gave,
For all Her love She can not tell,
Whether I use it ill or well,
If the grave gates could be undone,
She would not know her little Son,
I am so grown, If we should meet,
She would pass by me in the Street
unless my Souls face let Her see,
My sense of what she did for me.
What have I done to keep in mind,
My debt to Her and Womankind
What have I done or tried or said
In thanks to that dear Woman dead.

[It is not clear who authored the above 2 poems. Superimposed on Page 121 is the note: "It was the reading of this poetry that inspired me to write this Eulogy to my Mother and Father. JN"]

Page 122


TO Our Dear Mother who gave birth to twelve Children, All were physically perfect. All lived and grew to Manhood and Womanhood, each weighed two hundred pounds and upward. All were Married and owned a Home. They were all cared for, Nursed, Bathed, and dressed Not by a nurse or Maid but by Our Own Dear Sweet Mother.

Who was it that made your clothes and mended the holes and sewed on the buttons. It was none other than Our Dear Mother.

Who was it that colored the yarns and knit the stockings, Mittens and Caps too, for fourteen, It was Dear Mother.

Who was it that came up stairs to your chamber long after you had been asleep at night and bent over you and breathed a prayer, and tucked in the blankets that kept you warm thru the long cold night of a half century ago.

Page 123

Our own Dear Mother

Who was it that combed you hair and filled your lunch basket and put your books in your hand and got you started for school on time. It was Dear Mother.

Who's hands was it that kneaded the dough and baked the bread that nourished your body that made you physically fit to go out into The World and "Do Battle".

There will be Many Stars in Her crown. Our Dear Mother. She died on April 26, 1918. That beautiful spring Morning at the age of eighty one years, Thirty years after the passing of Our Dear Father. His sudden death was such a shock to all and came at the age of fifty two, while He [was] in the prime of Life. (the first death in Our Family). Now the first limb was severed from Our Family Tree. In September 1889 was the last roll call for Our Family, all responded to roll-call and A Family-Reunion and a Family photograph was taken. When Father died the light in our Home went out. All became very sad. There was a new responsibility for each and every -

Page 124

How vividly do I recall that beautiful bright day of February 13th 1890. The last time I saw Father alive. He had driven to Olean and on his return He got two letters from the Post Office, both of them urgent business letters and required prompt answers. He came into the store (at Allegany) and asked me to read them, after reading them I asked Him if he wanted me to reply to them. Yes said He you are my Secretary. In less than ten minutes replies to both were in the mail. The manner in which I scratched the paragraphs on paper did please my Dad, And that smile he gave me, and "Thank you". I shall never forget it. This was over two score of years ago and my fingers were nimble and letter writing was easy then. While Dad did much serious thinking He always enjoyed Wit and humor to the utmost. Father had limited advantages in the way of education, but he was endowed with more than the average Mentality.

Dad was a good provider, seldom did we ever have a shortage of Flour, Sugar, Coffee, and vegetables. Never complaining.

Page 125

I have heard every month ten pounds of sugar, a pound of Coffee and a pound of tea every week. Our Family larder was always well stocked. Father was a good buyer, and never was He in the market for cheap merchandise. No silver toungued Salesman could "Kid Him" into buying something He did not want even at a reduced price. Dad always carried a memorandum book in His (podah?). I recall His taking measurements of our feet with a ruler and these measurements were all registered in order on his book, so when He went to purchase Boots and Shoes for The Family He had a knowledge of the sizes wanted. He often bought from Six to ten pairs at a time, and seldom did we have to make exchanges. This was a great source of enjoyment to Dad. Father as The Head of a Family of 14 realized His position keenly and never faltered The responsibility that was His.

A family of fourteen living under one roof is like a vast organization of Men working in a factory. It must have a manager and a well perfecred organization and one responsible at the...

Page 126

...Always smoothe in the Nenno Household, But with love and cooperation the turbulent waters were soon calmed. Father a carpenter by trade died with a Saw-in-hand, working for His children. Father was kind, industrious, sober, patient, and of stern temperment. His word was law to His Children. He was deeply interested in every one of them. His one greatest desire and ambition in life was to see His Sons and Daughters work and prosper. I am sure this desire was fulfilled to His Satisfaction. In the latter years of Fathers life He gave much time as a servant of the public. (His Sons were not so inclined) He took a great interest in civic affairs. He held many public offices, (Commisioner?) of Highways and was a member of the Town Auditing Board. And was Overseer of the poor at the time of His death. in Feby 1890. The writer of this epistle was appointed to fill the the unex[ired term of His Office. Father was active in Fraternal affairs being President of the C-M-B-A at the time He passed away. Father was a charitible and efficient officer of the Poor. No Man, Woman, or Child ever came to..

Page 127

Our Home and received the utmost consideration. The best evidence that Father died happy, was given by Mother. She said as Father was leaving the house (to go to the Oil Well to build a tank house), He was throwing a hammer up in the air and catching it while walking up the road.

If Dad was ever unhappy It was when he had no work to do, and none in view. No Father ever had greater love for his Family, Nor is there anything more to be admired in A Man than He who makes a Home and rears a family. Works and plans and wants to see his children all advance to something a step higher than the ordinary walks of life. I owe a debt of gratitude to my Father and Mother that I can never pay. I am exceedingly greatful that my Dad insisted on my taking a job as a clerk in a store when I was only fourteen years of age, to leave school then and to have only two winters of night school as a finish of my education was very hard.

But it was Fathers wish and I could not refuse him. He said he wanted one merchant in the family. "Oh how flattering that seemed".

Page 128

Of all the errors that I made, and there were many, Dad backed me up on everyone to the limit. I shall never forget an incident that happened while I was with Willard and Smith. I was about 18 years old this was about in 1895. The Skating Rink in Allegany was about the only place of pastime and pleasure. I had been in the habit of going over a week and coming home about 10-30 P.M. (Then living at Willards) I never had a night key so Erastus Willard would get up and let me in. One night on returning home I was unable to awaken anybody, so I went into the store and stayed with the Boys. Erastus did not like this, and the first time Father came into the store, Willard called Him into the office and had a talk with him. When I came home the following Sunday, Father invited me out on the lawn. We sat under a tree. (I recall this all too vividly) He asked me if I knew what Mr. Willard wanted of him, "Now I thought I was in for it". He told me what Erastus had said about my staying out nights at the Skating Rink until 10-30. Then Father said what do you think I told Him (Now my knees were striking together).

Page 129

My Boys and they had never gotten me into any trouble. Now my heart grew lighter and I was breathing normal again.

Dad always wanted all of us to have a good time. And He demanded something more than that, of every one of us. A few months ago we were invited to Willards Home for a dinner. I asked Mrs. Willard if I might sit at the same end of the table that I did when I was there (Then a youth of 16) that was over fifty years ago. She granted my request and when we entered the dining-room I saw she had stacked the plates at my end. You can sit right there and serve all. And so I did sit at the very table that I did over half a century ago. Oh if I could but turn back the pages of time, To the Golden days of yesterday.

Many of us have exceeded the average allotted time of Man (three score and ten). Father and Mother is waiting for us at the end of the road, soon we will be on our Journey to meet them on the other shore and all that will be left behind in memory of us will be the footprints in the Sands of time.

Page 130

Fathers personal apperance was always good. I have reference to his dress, His clean face and hands, and his well groomed head of hair. He set a very good example for his many Sons and Daughters to follow. I have always felt that a good personality was a great asset to anyone. I am sure that every human being has more respect for self and you are better physically for being clean and well groomed. You never saw your Dads Clothes hang over the back of a chair from day to day - but were in his wardrobe in an orderly manner. He provided a large closet for his sons at the head of the stairs with ample Shelves and Hooks to take care of all our requirements. Dad would never go to town unshaven, and I recall just before leaving home, he always would put a clean linen handkerchief in his pocket. Brother Charles once said (when a youth in school) that when God made The world and made one-fourth land and three-fourths water, that was a good hint for people to wash and keep clean. Cleanliness is next to Godliness. Dad did all kinds of work and labor, and I dont recall that I ever saw him....

Page 131

I am very sure that my Brothers and Sisters will bear me out in this statement. Many times I became uneasy in the store and wanted to quit and tackle something else, but Dad would always reason with me. Never once did he say that I must stay. My Dad was the best friend I ever had.

Once he clipped some little verses out of a magazine, and gave them to me to read. It compared Labor to Business and ran as follows, ("Stick to the Bush") you get into a ditch, dig and shovel dirt all day, that is called labor -- you take a piece of goods off from the shelf worth a dollar a yard and sell it for one dollar and twenty five cents, that is business.

Dad was always encouraging me by telling me how well I was getting on, and that I was next in line for advancement. These words had carried much weight and did much to influence me to hold my position. When Willard and Smith disolved partnership in 1886, I went to live with Mr. Smith with an advance in salary to $37.50 per month, or $450 per year and my board. (and my board was much) I ate as only "A Nenno" can, The quality and quanity was not lacking and so I ....

Page 132

...Only took up what I needed to exist on, and at the end of each year I had a complete settlement. Mr. Smith paid me in gold. One year the largest amount I had coming was $85.00. This I received all in gold and as I was not twenty one years of age I took it Home and gave it to Dad, he gave me back ten dollars. Then before I left home that day he asked me what I was going to do with the ten dollars. He had it all planned out, and it worked well, and it was not very long before I had a certificate in Dye Brothers Bank drawing 3 percent interest. This was my financial start in life. Financing Our Home and keeping The Family pocket-book filled was no small task. In the latter years instead of Father having big bills at the stores, overdue. I recall that he was loaning money to Mr. Smith, taking his notes at different times for sums up to two hundred dollars at 4 per cent interest. I never remember of any of us going to a store for groceries or supplies, that there was any question about our credit. Dad always valued his credit....

Page 133

In conclusion, I want to say that I have read somewhere that the pen is mightier than the sword.

I have had some ambitions to master the pen, and if I had pursued it more in my youth. It might been valuable to me now in my declining years, you will recognize the Family photograph on the front cover.

Read - Reflect - Remember - Return to

J.J. Nenno

Page 134

The Situation today

If you should ask me, I would tell you, I am sure that every citizen of these United States is effected by the Shrinkage of resources and incomes. It hit very hard here.

We can thank our lucky Stars that we have had Men like Our dear President Herbert Hoover and Franklin Roosevelt - at "The Helm" in Washington to guide the Ship thru the present crisis. They have had the situation well in hand. There is one way as I see it, that we can regain that lost confidence in all Mankind. That is, for all the Powers of the World to disarm.

Then there will arise a new confidence and faith in Our People. I have listened to many very bright, and scholarly Men discuss The present day situation. Their Arguments were very sane, but not....

It is all an Act of Providence, and is to deep for Man to fathom. I have a deep conviction that the one wise and omnipotent God has brought His Judgement upon the Wicked - Wayward - World. I say this with all sincerity and with the utmost reverence for He, who is the giver of every good and perfect gift.

1933     J.J. Nenno

Joseph J. Nenno

Page 135 and 136 Real Estate transactions of the Nenno Family in Erie County (N.Y.), 1809-1859

Page 137 (or some earlier page) may be missing

Pages 138 to 143 An account of the John Nenno family duplicating a history written by Emily Covert Roscoe

Page 144 Census form for family of "Jean" Nenno and Barbara Kunzler

Unnumbered Page Census form for family of Andrew Nenno and Magdalena Johanssen
and for family of Michael Nenno and Elizabeth (?)
and for the family of Peter Nenno and Mary Ann (?)

Page 145 Census form for family of Andrew Nenno and Magdalena Johanssen
Page 146 Census form for family of Frank Nenno and Catherine (?)
Page 147 Naturalization papers for John Nenno
Page 148 Naturalization papers for Andrew Nenno dated March 3, 1848 (similar to papers for John above) photocopied from Erie County (N.Y.) Hall
Page 149 Naturalization papers for Michael Nenno dated March 1848 (similar to papers for Andrew above) photocopied from Erie County (N.Y.) Hall
Page 150 Passenger list on the ship Ange Gardien researched at the Mormon Library, Williamsville, N.Y.
Page 151 A review of the immigration of Jean Nenno, and a list of those family members who immigrated with him
Page 152 appears to duplicate information on unnumbered page between 144 and 145 above
Page 153 Census form for family of Frank Nenno, son of Andrew and Magdalena Nenno, (8 children incl Edward A. and Leo N.)
Page 154 missing
Page 155 Census form for family of Nicholas Nenno and Margaret Bauer
Page 156 Census form for family of John Nicholas Nenno and Agathe Berchler and Margaretha Lynch
Page 157 Census form for family of John J. Nenno and Bertha Zastrow
Page 158 Census form for family of Michael Benjamin Nenno and Jydia Theurer
Page 159 Census form for family of Clarence Michael Nenno and (?)
Page 160 Census form for family of Charlie Adam Nenno and Marie Sinclair
Page 161 Census form for family of Lewis Martin Nenno and Irma (?)
Page 162 Map showing Beaver Dam and Nenno, Wis., contributed by Mary Lou Nenno
Page 163 Census form for family of Joseph Nenno (born in Germany) and Miss Rickter
Page 164 Census form for family of Clayton Edward Nenno and Elizabeth Bertha Richardson
Page 165 Census form for family of Clayton Edward and Virginia Lee Mosher

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