The lady I’m writing about today, Anna Niehaus Donahue, was a young girl of 11 when her family immigrated to America in 1886. Annie’s parents, Joseph and Gertrude Niehaus hoped for a happy and healthy life for their eight children born in Germany and the five whose births occurred in their new country. Who would imagine that 70 years after their ship landed the newspaper of the family’s adopted city, Indianapolis, Indiana, would carry a poignant story of Annie’s journey.
Anna Niehaus Donahue was my grandaunt. She’s pictured here, second from the left, with her four sisters. I don’t remember her, but it’s likely I did attend a family event with her when I was a little girl. From all accounts, she was a kind and happy person. I would be delighted to know her better.
Meanwhile, one of the ways I have come to see Anna somewhat more clearly is by the story that was shared in her city newspaper at her passing. Although I would make one correction, her father’s name was Joseph not Bernard, this is a more thorough and intimate obituary than many I have collected. It tells of a lady devoted to her large family and of her enjoyment of motherhood. Ten of her children were living when she died in 1957 at the age of 81. The Indianapolis newspaper obituary stated: “Anna Donahue, 81, was herself one of 13 children and she was mother of 13 children. She was also grandmother of 30 and great grandmother of 25. ….All her time and energy Mrs. Donahue devoted to her home and family. She enjoyed her household tasks and particularly she liked to cook. She had many old-fashioned German recipes at her fingertips. Especially she excelled at baking pies….” (Read the full obit by clicking on the item on the left.)
There’s a warm feeling in this accounting of Annie’s life. I think she would have been very happy to read it.
Thank you for reading Indiana Ties. If you have information to share about Anna Niehaus Donahue, or any of our family in common, please leave me a comment below. Are her “old-fashioned German recipes” waiting out there to be a part of our Family Recipe Friday?
A brief relationship chart for me and Annie is on the right. And, you may click the following link for further Niehaus family genealogy: Niehaus Descendants
You might also like to read these related stories:
Niehaus Family Germany Heritage Story
Gertrude Wilmsen Niehaus, Anna’s Mother
Copyright © Nancy Niehaus Hurley