The Extended Batke Family with Link neighbors

The Extended Batke Family with Link neighbors
Pictured in the photo: (Back row, standing, left to right) Herman Fredrick, Anna Batke, Henry Batke, Sr., Selma Batke, Henry Robert Batke, William Batke and Arthur Engler. (Front row/sitting, left to right) Donald Fredrick, Robert Fredrick, Katherine Batke Fredrick, Ruth Batke, Edwin Batke, Katherine Reck Batke, Jerald Batke, Edna Kwiatkowski Batke, Mary Batke Engler and Elaine Engler. Taken c1940, possibly to celebrate Henry and Katherine’s 30th wedding anniversary, October 22, 1940. Photo courtesy: Don Fredrick.

About Henry Batke and Katherine Reck

Heinrich Batke, the son of Martin Batke (c1848-b1912) and Anna Lock (1848-1939) was born in Chortitza, Russia on September 7, 1877. Also in Russia, Catharina Reck was born on October 14, 1890. Her parents were John Reck and Renata Shirk. Henry and Katherine married in Russia on September 22, 1910. On July 13, 1912, Henry, his wife and seven month old daughter, Katherine, sailed from the Port of Bremen, Germany on the ship Pallanza. They traveled to Quebec City, Canada arriving on July 28, 1912. They immediately left on a special Canadian Pacific Railroad train to Saskatchewan, Canada. The Batkes homesteaded in Lydiard, Moose Jaw, Saskatchewan between 1913 and 1918. On October 3, 1917 Henry Batke became a citizen of Canada. Due to England's sovereignty over Canada, he became a British citizen. Finding farming in Canada difficult, on December 7, 1921 the Batke family, now also including Mary, William and Selma, left for Yellow Pine, Alabama. After the birth of Anna and much hardship in Alabama, the family moved to St. Joseph, Michigan where children Henry, Ruth and Edwin were born. Henry, a furniture maker in Russia, became a machine operator at the 1900 Corporation, a fore-runner of Whirlpool, in St. Joseph. After Henry's death on April 7, 1949, Katherine Reck Batke married Gustav Schmeichel in 1959. Katherine Reck Batke Schmeichel died at the Claremont Nursing Home in Benton, Michigan on October 28, 1979.

Saturday, October 9, 2010

Link and Batke Burial Place, Riverview Cemetery

Riverview Cemetery is located in historic St. Joseph, Michigan atop a wooded bluff that overlooks the St. Joseph River.  Originally, Riverview Cemetery was a site of five acres, purchased by the City of St. Joseph from the late Adelbert Birdsey in 1912.  Twenty five acres were added in 1934 as well as a chapel and a superintendent's building with offices and restrooms.  In 1938, eight more acres were added to complete the cemetery.  Today, Riverview includes over 40 acres.  The cemetery is located 3 miles south of downtown St. Joseph on M63 (Niles Road).    Source: Riverview Cemetery promotional brochure.

The senior Batkes and Links are buried in Riverview.  Just as in life, the Batkes and Links are close in death.


The grave markers for Henry Batke and Katherine Reck Batke Schmeichel lay side-by-side in Riverview Cemetery.  In the booklet Cemeteries of Berrien County, Michigan: Riverview, published by The Berrien County Genealogical Society, no other Batkes are listed.

Henry and Katherine are buried in Section 3, Lot 449, Graves 2&3.  Katherine's second husband, Gustav Schmeichel who died on September 7, 1960, just one year after their marriage, is also buried in Riverview.  He is buried with his first wife, Caroline, in Secton D, Lot 22, Graves 1&2.

The GPS for the Batke graves is: N42° 03' 51.6"; W086° 27' 52.4"


Jacob and Mary Phillips Link, also buried side-by-side, are in the oldest section of Riverview Cemetery.  Their graves are in Section 1, Lot 649, Graves 1&4.

In addition to Jacob and Mary, the only other Link listed as buried in Riverside is Carolyn Ann Link, believed to be their granddaughter and daughter of Raymond and Ellen Link.  Her birth and death date is provided as September 24, 1949.

The GPS for Mary and Jacob's graves is: N42° 03' 54.7"; W086° 27' 53.6"

This photo was taken standing at the Batke graves looking toward the Link graves.  The graves are approximately 300 feet from each other. The Batkes and Links are about the same distance apart as when they lived on Vine Street.
To see the relationship between the Batke and Link grave sites, double click on photo.

Photos courtesy: Elaine McIntyre Beaudoin

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