Poco a poco
That is what I have to remind myself as we move forward into our project. This past week both Joy and I were bogged down with health and personal setbacks so it didn’t feel like we were able to accomplish much toward our weekly goal. Part of this process is resolving those nagging questions and sorting out information internally. This week I sat down to gather all the information on Apostolic history and as I was reviewing it there was one piece that I was really struggling with. In the Apostolic history book, “Marching to Zion”, it names the first Apostolic men to settle in Morris to be Christian Moser, Christian Luthi, and Rudolph Tschudi. I learned from talking with the local historian, Rueben Luthi, that these men were related, but the connection was never really made clear. I also discovered from talking to Kevin Wulf about the history of Riverview, that the original founders of or Riverview belonged to the Luthi family. I knew this was an important piece to our story but could not put it all together. I decided to some research on Ancestry.com. What I discovered was very interesting! It turns out that Christian Moser (married to Mary Ann Luthi) and Christian Luthi were brother-in-laws and Rudolph Tschudi was the son-in-law of Christian Moser. It is from the patriarchs, Christian Luthi Sr. and Anna Christener of Bern Switzerland that the two major “ranchos” in Stevens County Riverview Dairy and Wulf Cattle can trace their beginnings. I think it will be helpful to create a “family tree” showing the lineage on our website. So, that problem was solved/organized in my mind. However, as I sat back and looked at the full lineage from the main patriarchs of this family, I was struck at the enormity of it all. Within just three generation there were hundreds of descendants. Many of the families in linage, even today, are still having families of seven or more children. The heritage is incredible. What’s also important to understand is that if you are a member of the Apostolic church you are only allowed to marry other members within the church. Over time this has created a web of relations. This week I also spent time creating a spreadsheet and map of the present-day Apostolic followers. One church in Iowa had nearly 1000 members! I’m excited to tell this story. What is especially unique about this story is that its migration continues today and is purposeful. When we think of migration in our nation we always look at Hispanics and we fail to look at ourselves. We are not so different. We have different reasons for migrating. We have different stories, backgrounds, and cultures, but when it comes right down to it – are we really that different?