Gerhard Wilhelmus Hospel

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Gerhard Wilhelmus Hospel

Also Known As: "Gerd"
Birthplace: Wehl, Doetinchem, Gelderland, The Netherlands
Death: Died in Milwaukee, WI, USA
Cause of death: Heart Attack
Place of Burial: Milwaukee, Milwakee, Co, WI, USA
Immediate Family:

Son of Johannes Hendrikus Hospel and Henrika Hospel
Husband of <private> Elshoff
Father of Johannes Gerhard Hospel; Theodor Hospel; <private> Hospel and Wilhelm H Hospel
Brother of Wilhelmus Gerhardus Hospel; Maria Theodora Hospel; Bernardus Joseph Hospel; Hendricus Hospel; Theodora Johanna Hospel and 3 others

Occupation: Farmer
Managed by: Johannes Gerhard Hospel
Last Updated:

About Gerhard Wilhelmus Hospel

Gerhard was an indusrtrious man. He had been working in Holland on a farm of a relative during his early 20s. He lived close to the German border and had many contacts in Germany. He traded as a side line and during that time it was horses. They would bring them across the border into Germany. It became a dangerous (it was illicid profit) part time job so he decided to go to the USA in 1926. He worked in Milwakukee, in a foundry on the South side. He saved some money and when the economy turned in the USA he went back to Holland in 1932 and visited his contacts from before. He also met Theodora Elshoff again now a grown woman through an acquaintance, Anton Elshoff. She was running a farm with her brothers Theodor and Aloys in the German area of Elten. Well the economy was not too good here either and they started to think and Gerhard and Theodora felt like getting married after a short six week courting. He had some money and she had some inventory, horses, pigs, cows and machinery for the farm that made it possible to start a farm (Hufschen Hof) in Keeken, Germany. They did well. They had 4 sons from 1933 to 1940 and were very succesful in the farming. But the WW II and Nazi Regime caused some problems. Gerhard still was a Dutch citizen and could not purschase the farm. In 1944 all the people in the area had to move, evacuate because of potential high water from the Rhein river but also the fear that dikes of the river could be broken open with explosives and all the low land would be inundated. The German Government also requested that all the cattle and pigs and horses be moved inland because the front of WW II was about to come through. Some animals were kept and moved to Warbeyen, Theodora's home when she was a child. Her brother Theodor was managing this old family farm and invited them, saying "we have to make it possible for my sister and family to be safe". The American Airforce destroyed by bombarding the nearby City of Kleve, a 700 year old city with a Castel and great churches and about 20,000 people. These relatives from Kleve, family Bernhard Elshoff also moved into the farm living quarters, making the place a congested but safe place to be out of the range of the war, almost. The German Army and the Allied, (US, Canadian) Army exchanged attilery fire costantly with some shells hitting the houses. There were no lives lost but many a night all the families lived in a basement that had one foot of water in it. The water entered the basement because of flodding. They pumped it out , 24-7,during this period until the high water from the Rhine receeded. The beds were elevated on boxes to keep from getting wet when sleeping. The Allied Army finally occupied the town of Warbeyen, the Germans were pushed further into Germany, East, yet the danger remained high and the Occupation Forces removed all the people in the town of Warbyen to Bedburg-Hau, about 30 miles away from the front. On May 7th 1945, the German Governments agreed to stop the fighting. WW II came to an end. It was still cool but Spring was on the way. The danger was removed after some 4 weeks in camp and Gerhard and Theodora were invited to take over a farm that had belonged to a Nazzi (Heinrich van Straaten, Dueffelward) who had fled into the center of Germany. The legal ramifications were enormous and when Heinrich van Straaten came back, after the war, he was first given no rights to the farm. A new law was passed (Entnazifizierung which translates that most of the Nazzies were vorgiven) in about 1946 or 1947 which gave the Nazis the right to get the property back. It took until 1948, and another farm was assigned to Gerhard and Theodora and bought it. It worked well for 2 years and the two gave up farming, and bought a small house in Kleve. (Gerhard was 57 or 58 and Theodora was 49 years old). By now, they decided to go to the USA. It was 1950. The entire family wanted to go and they waited for 5 year until their 'quota was up'. The entire family arrived in Milwaukee, Wisconsin in March of 1955. Everyone started to work and going back to school for learning American English. Two sons (Johannes and Aloys, was an officer) served in the American Army. Two sons went on for higher education and graduated from University of Wisconsin (Johannes) and University of Marquette, (Aloys). Life was getting better after all the war experience, legal problems, and poor conditions after the WW II. All the sons became succesful and the couple, Gerhard and Theodora rented a small house in Milwaukee. They traveled back to Germany for the purpose of visiting the relatives and old friends. This was great fun for them. They also enjoyed the grand children, a total of 10.

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Gerhard Wilhelmus Hospel's Timeline

February 4, 1897
Doetinchem, Gelderland, The Netherlands

The history of Wehl, Netherlands is of interest as shown in the following link:

- 1911
Age 5
- 1932
Age 28
Milwaukee, WI, USA

Gerhard had many friends that left or had left for the USA at that time. Anton Elshoff, Herman Heister, Herman van Dillen, Aloys Elshoff, come to mind. It was the future for a man to find work and have freedom.
1926 Gerhard Hospel emmigrated to the USA.
He went to the city of Milwaukee and worked for "Drop Forge" (sp?) Co. He stayed there for 6 years and when the economy turned bad in the USA, he went back to Germany to see his friend Anton Elshoff in Kleve and also to his parents in Holland. Anton Elshoff had already returned to German.

April 28, 1929
Age 32
Veldhoven, North Brabant, The Netherlands

Details Hans, provided by Piet Hospel Netherland, my cousin.

II’am rather convinced that following persons are on the picture.
Picture is dated 28-04-1929: Marriage of Wilhelm Reinders and Theodora Hospel (your aunt) Start from Top Left to Right:

In the enclosure, I numbered the persons, as follows:.
1: Theodor Veldkamp, husband of Maria Theodora Hospel(no 10)
2: Bernardus Josephus Hospel
3: Antonius Johannes Hospel
4: Wilhelmus Gerardus Hospel
5: Jan Hospel
6: Hendricus Joseph Hospel
7: Maria Martina Smolders, wife of Wilhelmus Hospel (no 4)
8: Johanna Elisabeth Hospel, future wife of Theodorus Reinders
9: Johanna Pieternella van der Graaf, wife of Hendricus Hospel (no relation to # 6
10: Maria Theodora Hospel, wife of no 1.
11: Bernardina Hospel ( future wife of Anthonius Gerhardus Reinders)
Seated: from Left to Right:
12: Father of bridegroom
13: Mother of bride groom
14: Bridegroom Wilhelmus Reinders
15: Bride: Theodora Hospel
16: Hendrika Bulsing: our grandmother
17: Johannes Hendrikus Hospel: our grandfather
18: Grad Veldkamp ( boy, just visible in front of his mother at the right)
All direct members of the family , plus the spouses at that time are on the picture.(except Gerhard Hospel, who was at that time in the USA)
All the best
Kind rgds

February 10, 1932
- February 28, 1932
Age 35
Kleve, North Rhine-Westphalia, Germany

The Economy in the USA had been bad in 1931-1932. Gerhard wanted to visit Germany again and decided to leave Milwaukee. When he arrived in Kleve, he visited Anton Elshoff, now the Manager of the Kolpinghause in Kleve. They talked and remembered the USA but also taked about the future. Anton told him that he would marry Elisabeth Elshoff. Gerhard lamented, well I have no one. But Anton suggested to meet his cousin, Theodora Elshoff in Warbeyen, a daughter of Johann Elshoff.
They visited the Johann Elshoff family in Warbeyen and for many reasons Theodora and Gerhard were attracted to each other. The courting was short, 6 weeks and they decided to get married. Gerhard had saved some money in the USA and Theodora had a large inventory of farm equipment and live cattle, hourses and pigs. They started the farm in Keeken, (Hufschenhof) in the spring of 1932.
They married April 20, 1932.

April 20, 1932
Age 35
Kleve, North Rhine-Westphalia, Germany

Gerhard came back from the USA after 6 years of work in Milwaukee, USA. He visited Anton Elshoff in Kleve. Anton also had returned from Milwaukee to see his girl friend Elisabeth Bernz. They were engaged. Anton explained that he was going to marry her now. He had been engaged for a long time. Gerhard replied, well I have no one. Anton then explained that he had a cousin about 25 years old and she would be the right women for him. Gerhard and Anton met with Theodora Elshoff and Gerhard and Theodora were right for each other. The two were both ready for marriage because 6 weeks later they got married. My mother explained to me: "it went all so quick". They had an opportunity to start a farm of 50 hectare (about 125 acers) in Keeken, Huschenhof and since my mother had a lot of inventory, cows horses, pigs, etc and Gerhard had some money, the jumped to the chance and started the farm in spring of 1932. They were extremly successfull.

- 1934
Age 36
Kleve, North Rhine-Westphalia, Germany

The occasion was to celebrate life and perhaps the company, and the success of the farming. Johannes was about 1 year old hiding behind the bottle of wine.

- 1935
Age 37
Kleve, North Rhine-Westphalia, Germany

The visitors, I was told came from Holland. I checked with one relative in Holland and he explained that these people were not Gerhard's brothers. So it remains a mystery. The year is estimated. The boy, Johannes, seemed to be about 2 years old.

- 1935
Age 37
Kleve, North Rhine-Westphalia, Germany

These heavy horses were the right animals for the heavy farm work. The were strong, durable, patient, inteligent, and performed perfectly. There were no tractors.