Johann Grenz Information

Born: October 17, 1884 - Gueldendorf, South Russia
Died:  May 7, 1952
Father:  Gottlieb Grenz
Mother: Maria M. Renz
Married:  February 28, 1908 - Herreid, South Dakota
Spouse: Wilhelmina "Minnie" Renz
Born: July 28, 1886 - Artas, South Dakota
Father: Carl Renz
Mother:  Elisabeth Fried


Johann Grenz

Johann (John) Grenz was born on October 17, 1884 in Gildendorf, Russia.  He was the son of Gottlieb and Christina (Hogue) Grenz.  He came to America with his family in 1905.  Wihelmina (Minnie) Renz was born july 28, 1886 at Artas, SD  the daughter of Carl and Elisabeth (Fred) Renz.  John and Minnie were married Feb 28, 1908. After their marriage, they settled on a farm 14 miles west of Hazelton near Livona.  This was the former Bill Baker place.  They lived there until 1945 when they moved to Hazelton.  Edwin Schiermeister currently lives on this farmstead.  John and Minnie adopted a son, Theodore, who was born September 16, 1914.  Minnie passed away May 29, 1951, John died May 7, 1952 in a tractor accident, and Teddy passed away June 19, 1980

Hazelton Centennial History Book 1903-2003 page 340 ____________________________________________

Sailed from Liverpool, England, 29 Nov 1905 and arrived Philadelphia Dec 13, 1905, SS Noordland, Per Philadelphia passenger lists,, declaration of intent state this was a freight ship.


Johann Grenz had brown hair and gray eyes.


Internment In Hazelton Cemetery, North Dakota




A Short History - John

John was the first child born to Gottlieb and Christina (Hogue) Grenz.  He was born 17 October 1884 at Gildendorf, Russia and emigrated with his parents to the U. S. in 1905.

John met Minnie Renz in South Dakota.  She was born on 28 July, 1886 at Artas, South Dakota, the daughter of Carl and Elisabeth (Fried) Renz.  Minnie attended school at Artas.

John and Minnie were married at Herreid, SD on 28 Feb. 1908.  After their marriage, they settled on a farm 14 miles west of Hazelton, ND, near Livona in Emmons County.  They lived there until 1945, when they moved to Hazelton.  Their original farm is currently owned by the Edwin Schiermeister family ( 1992).

They adopted a son, Theodore, who was born in 1914.

Great-nephew Rodney Grenz recalls that John was an excellent carpenter, a very hard worker, and had a bit of a temper!  His hands were so hard and calloused that it was said that he could drive nails with his bare hands.  He also loved to dance.

A typical incident to illustrate John's temper was a time when R.J. Opp had a grain binder on which the knotter had quite working.  He asked John to help him fix it.   Although they worked on it for many hours, they could not get it to work.  John was so frustrated that he took a hammer and broke the knotter into small pieces and then gave R. J. Opp $10 and told him to buy a new one!

John took many things to the blacksmith shop to be fixed and when the blacksmith asked what had happened, John would say, "Never Mind!  Just fix it!"

Minnie died 29 May, 1951 at Bismarck, after being hospitalized for three days.  She was 64 years old at the time of her death.

John was killed in a tractor accident on 7 May, 1952.  He was on his way to Hazelton with his tractor from a field west of town.  According to Sheriff Anton Andres, who investigated the accident, it appeared that a plow share had fallen off the tractor about a mile west of Hazelton and John had stopped to pick it up.  Apparently he did not set the brakes and the tractor rolled over him,  a long pin in the drawbar caught his clothing and dragged him 205 ft. before the tractor backed into a ditch.  In backing across the ditch, the pin evidently released him and the front wheels passed over his body! When the tractor hit the high opposite side of the ditch, it again rolled forward and passed over his body again.  John Stoller, Jr. came by short time later and found the tractor with he motor still running. 

John was 68 years old at the time of his death


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