Nor Stayed His Tears

This is the Arthur and Katie German House in Adams County, Washington. Arthur moved from Michigan in 1896 and homesteaded on this land. A few years later, he met Katie Thiel, who would become his wife in 1902.

Katie’s parents were German immigrants who moved from Nebraska to Walla Walla in the early 1880s. They banded together with sixteen other families, all Russian and German immigrants living in Nebraska. As a company, they traveled the Oregon Trail, crossing the prairies and mountains in covered wagons.

The Thiels arrived in the Ritzville area in 1883 and Katie was born a year later – only the second white child born in the region. Her family farmed on land four miles north of Ritzville.

In 1889, Arthur German and his parents arrived in Adams County. After meeting and marrying Katie, the couple farmed on her parents’ land until they could afford the place pictured here.

While living there, they had four sons – Joel, Harold, Gilbert and Robert. But it was only Joel, the oldest, who remained in the county. From 1911 until they retired in 1928, they farmed on this land.

Upon their retirement to Ritzville, Joel and his wife Mollie took over the farm. There, they raised two children, Lois and Tom. They retired in 1957 and moved to Ritzville. Their son Tom and his wife LoAnne then took over the farm, though it seems unlikely they continued to live in this house. Tom died in 2005. LoAnne is still alive.


‘Nor Stayed His Tears’

Camera: Argus/Cosina STL1000 (c1971)
Lens: Industar 50-2
Film: Kodak Direct Positive Pan (5246) (x-07/1977); 64ISO
Process: HC-110 100+1; 60mins

Rehn Road, Adams County, Washington


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