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.

Thursday, December 2, 2010

On Vine Street, St. Joe Michigan

Corner of Vine Street and Park Avenue

The Batkes and Links both lived on Vine Street in St. Joseph, Michigan.  Although they each lived at other addresses in St. Joseph, when they finally settled in, Henry Batke and his family moved into 614 Vine Street and Jacob Link and his family lived at 626 Vine Street.  Vine Street is now part of the historic area of St. Joseph.

Today, even though both original homes have been replaced with new larger homes, many older homes still remain giving Vine Street, just three blocks from Lake Michigan, the feel of the time when the Batkes and Links lived there.

The Batke home is marked with a green X and the Link home with a red X.

626 Vine Street, New Home

View looking out (west) from 626 Vine Street
down Pearl Street toward Lake Michigan

View from 626 Vine Street looking south toward 714 Vine Street

714 Vine Street, New House

Looking north from 714 towards 626 Vine Street

Silver Beach, on Lake Michigan,
just three blocks from where the Batkes and Links lived

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