Kempke family
Germany to Iowa

(page 1 generations I-II)

I have very little information on this family
& would love to know more about them.
Various spellings of the surname include

Kempke, Kampka, Kamp & Campka


Generation I

1. John  Kempke
He was born in Mechlenburg, Germany on August 12, 1826. His parents are unknown.

He married Maria Dorothea Christiane Sass in Germany. Maria was born in Luebbersdorf, Mechlenburg, Germany on September 18, 1834. Her parents are unknown.

John brought his family to America in 1862. For two years the family lived in Chicago, Ill. and then removed to the vicinity of Postville, Allamakee Co. IA, in the old Springfield settlement (which I believe is just across the county line in Winneshiek co.) I believe that a brother of Maria immigrated with them.

An 1878 list of unclaimed letters at the Postville Post-office includes the name Joham Kempke. Perhaps he is receiving correspondence from family back in Germany.

The family is enumerated on the 1880 US census in Bloomfield, Winneshiek co. IA. Their surname is given as Camp. John is a farmer, age 53, Mary is 47 and children - Fritz is 21, Augusta is 12, and Willie is 10.

John Kempke & Maria Sass family c1890

Maria's obit states that they had ten children, but only two were living at the time of her death. I suspect that the older children did not immigrate with the parents and perhaps some died young.

Maria died August 24, 1910 in IA, at 75 years of age. John died October 10, 1893. They are buried in the Postville, Iowa cemetery. The surname on the stone is spelled Kampka.

John Kempke and Maria Dorothea Sass had 10 children, only 5 are known by name:

2. Frederick Carl Johann Kempke/Kamp +
3 Augusta Kempke +
4. Louis Kempke (? - before 1910)
5. Fritz Kempke (1859 - ?)
6. William Kempke (1870 - 1898)


Generation II

2. Frederick Carl Johann Kamp

(John Kempke1)
He was born in Mecklenburg-Schwerin, Germany October 14, 1858 and came to Allamakee Co. IA with his parents abt 1862.. In the year 1873 he was confirmed in the old St. Paul's Lutheran church in Postville, IA,, being a member of the first confirmation class on record. He was a naturalized US citizen.

I believe that Fred americanized the family name from Kempke to Kamp, as he used the name Kamp through-out his adult life.

He married Louise Meier on October 24, 1882. Louise, born in Germany in 1861; was the daughter of Ludwig Meier & Charlotte Wernhardt.

They lived on a farm five miles northwest of Postville for nearly 30 years. In 1897 Fred was mentioned in the local newspaper when he bought James Russell's milk route, a team of horses and a wagon.

In 1911 they moved into the village of Postville and are living on Tilden street according to the 1920 census.

Louise died on April 1, 1937. Fred died on June 11, 1934 in Independance, IA; aged 75 years, seven months and 28 days. Cause of death was intestinal obstruction and cancer of the prostate. They are buried in the Postville, IA cemetery.

Frederick Carl Johann Kamp and Louise Meyer had 5 children:

7. William Ludwig Carl Kamp +
8. Louis Kamp +
9. Clara Kamp +
10. Ella E. Kamp (1902 - 1983)
11. Ruby Kamp (1903 - 1986)

3. Augusta Marie Kempke

(John Kempke1)

She was born in Allamakee Co. Iowa February 1, 1868.

I find this early reference in the Postville Review: -List of letters remaining uncalled for in the postoffice at Postville, Aug. 31st, 1887: Miss 'Gusta CAMPKA.

Augusta Kempke, undated

She married Ernest Groth [#9 Groth family] in Postville, Iowa on September 20, 1894. Ernest was the son of F.H.L. Groth & Caroline Hast. The marriage was performed by Rev. Rob Neuman, Ev. Luth Pastor. Their wedding photo includes Fred Blumhagen, Anna Blumhagen, Hannah Schutte Blumhagen, Ernest's sister Ida Groth and other unidentified persons.

After Ernest died in 1937, Augusta lived alone on their farm in Post twp. for several years before buying a house in Postville, where she lived until her death.

Augusta died March 5, 1947 in Postville, Allamakee Co. IA, at 79 years of age. Ernest died on June 13, 1937. They are buried in the Frankville, Winneshiek Co. IA cemetery.

Augusta Kempke and Ernest Groth had 7 children:

12. Walter Groth +
13. Esther Groth +
14. Arthur William Groth +
15. Frederick William Groth +
16. Ruth Groth +
17. Luther Charles Groth +
18. Harold Louis Groth +

  • Click here to go to
    the Groth family, generation VI. The family numbers will be different.

Next page - Generation III


This page was updated on 3/21/2003

2000, 2002 & 2003