Sunday, August 31, 2014

Sunday Stories - the Dutrows of McPherson County

Reading between the lines, it's easy to understand why some genealogical research is harder than others.

The History of Eugene Marion Dutrow and His Family


By Ruth Hartman, Beulah Johnson and Grace Cooksey

The family name “Dutrow” is spelled 37 different ways in the United States, but this family spells it Duddra, Dodderer, Duddarer, Dutrow and Dutreau.

John C. Dutrow (generation No. 6) and his wife, Verlinda, are our grandparents and the parents of our father, Eugene Marion Dutrow.

The numbered generations in America leading to that of our grandfather and grandmother “John Conrad and Verlinda” are:

1.      George Phillip Duddra and Veronica
2.      Conrad I Dudderer and Magdaline (Schwitzer)
3.      Conrad II Dudderer and Margarate (Panebecker)
4.      Conrad III Dudderar and Margaret (Baker)

5.      Benjamin Dudderar (Son of Conrad III) and his wife, Marion (Dutrow) who was his second Cousin
George Philip Duddra, the first Duddra to come to America came from the German Palatnite, a state near the French border. This may be the reason for so many spellings, some leaning to the German way and others to the French way. He was one of a group of religious refugees of the German Palatinate who came to America October 6, 1688, perhaps in response to an invitation by Wm. Penn to come and settle in Penn’s Grant, in what later became Pennsylvania. George, however, came later sometime between 1700 and 1722. He lived in a “dugout” which he made himself, near the creek “Society Run”, with only Indians for neighbors.

They did not have a horse or wagon but did have a cow and a sow, also some farming implements. His early homestead is in Montgomery County, Pennsylvania, about 35 miles from Philadelphia. He and his wife Veronica, are believed to be buried in a graveyard in Bertolil County, Pennsylvania. He willed all of his property to his younger son, Conrad I, with the provision that he pay the other five children. Conrad inherited the old homestead and became well educated.

Conrad II Dudderar (of generation 3) changed his name to Dutterer. It is said that he was so well fixed financially that he refused to accept pay for his services as a Captain through the Revolutionary War. In September 1777, the American Army camped on his land. Washington set up his headquarters in the house which was brick and large (still liveable in 1960) having been built in 1758-1777. When Independence was gained, neighbors came to his large house to celebrate his safe return from the war. He died in 1831 and is buried near his home. He had nine children.

Benjamin Duddarer (generation 5) was the son of Conrad III Duddarer and Margaret Baker. Benjamin married Marion Dutrow, his second cousin. They had nine children, one of them being John Conrad Dutrow, our grandfather. John Conrad was born February 1, 1827 and diet August 27, 1881. He had married Verlinda Odden of Maryland, February 23, 1853. She died in 1890. An uncle raised her as she had become an orphan as a result of the Civil War. They had leaved near Mt. Vernon, Maryland, but moved to Missouri around 1858. Both are buried at Hattler Cemetery near Altoona. They had nine children, so our father, Eugene Marion Dutrow, had four brothers and four sisters. 

Two of his brothers had tragic accidents. Edward Everett, three years old, fell into a tank of boiling molasses; Oscar, 37, never married. He was helping make a “hand-dug” well, having set a charge of dynamite to loosen the dirt. It didn’t go when they expected it to, so he went down to fix it when the explosion came, killing him. It was while the family was living at this place that Frank and Jesse James were fugitives and they had stopped at the tobacco field where my father and a brother were working, to ask directions. Father was always excited and thrilled about having seen and talked to them.


Eugene Marion Dutrow, born August 16, 1867, died April 23, 1950 at his home in Tryon, Nebraska. He had married Bertha Viola David in Illinois, September 24, 1904 and they attended the World’s Fair at St. Louis on their way back to Kansas.  

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