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Germany, 1875

Bodo von Bülow was born June 12, 1844 at Mecklenberg, Germany. In 1868 he entered the Prussian Army and was commissioned on March 16, 1869; he was in the military riding academy from 1869 to 1872, as well as being deputy aide-de-camp in the war.

Lieutenant Bodo von Bülow, helped purchase and train the pack of harriers for His Royal Highness the Grandduke Friedrich Franz II. He was known in the world of sport as one of the foremost race riders, winning many high honors.

On Christmas day in 1870 Bodo received from his Royal Highness the Grandduke, the Mecklenburgian distinguished service medal second class and the Iron Cross second class.

In spite of winning at the races, he could not afford in the long run the inevitable high expenses of racing, not being independently wealthy. He resigned in 1873 and emigrated to the United States, settling first in Quincy, Adams County, Wisconsin, where served as an aide to a Prince, according to family tradition. Bodo has not been found in any passenger list, but a Declaration of Intent in Adams Co. states that “B. Bulow made an oath that he was born in the Empire of Germany in 1845, that he emigrated to the US, landed at the port of New York, in 1875, and renounces allegiance to William 1st, Emperor of Germany.”

Just what occurred between 1873 and 1875 is not known, but one of the dates may have been recorded incorrectly. In 1876, while living in Quincy, Bodo married Henriette Nethe in Chicago. Their first two children, born in Quincy, were Elisabeth, born 1877, and Susanna, born in 1878. Susana died seven months later.

In 1879 the Prince apparently returned to Germany, and Bodo moved his family of three to Chicago, where he took over a transport office in that city. The 1880 census lists Bodo as a Teamster. Soon after the move to Chicago, their third daughter Gertrude, was born, but she also died as an infant. Their first son, Werner, was born in 1881, followed in 1883 by Carl, and in1887 by Ernst.

Little is known of Bodo’s life in Chicago, although family tradition states that his war injuries were a source of suffering and poor health. He died on December 16, 1896, at age fifty-one, just nine years after his youngest child was born. He died of Uremia, but it is possible that his war injuries also contributed to his death.

Bodo’s death left Henriette a widow at age 49. Her oldest child, Elisabeth, was nineteen, and working as a stenographer. Werner, the oldest son, was just fifteen. It was up to him to help support the family. He learned the art of diamond cutting and got a job at Juergens and Anderson Co. in Chicago, where he became a well known diamond cutter. Carl, who was thirteen and Ernst, age nine, were probably still in school.


After most of her children were married, Henriette moved to California to live with her daughter, Elizabeth, and lived out her life there, dying in 1928. She and Bodo are both buried at Graceland Cemetery in Chicago, Illinois.


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