Killian John Finkner married Magdalena Hemrich in 1878. In 1882, he brought his wife and two small daughters, Lena and Marie, to America. Adam Finkner and his wife, Rosina, traveled with them, as did Rosina's brothers, Ferdinand and Frederick Diehm. Magdalena, responsible for the care of her two small and presumably active daughters, was probably very glad to have another woman, Rosina, in the group, both for the help she might offer and the companionship she would provide. Their ship docked at Philadelphia on March 14, 1882. The trip to Nebraska was by train to Beatrice, the stop nearest their destination, then by wagon to a neighborhood southwest of Sterling to the home of people whom they knew. Michael Finkner had come to the United States a year earlier and was working in this neighborhood. Adam and Rosina settled in this community which had been named "Hopewell" by the earliest settlers.
Killian and his family settled a few miles farther to the southwest but still in the Sterling area. Nine more children were born to them while living in this home. Here, as in other farm homes of that era, everyone helped with the work, including the children. This was before 'mechanization' and Magdalena often walked down the rows in the field dropping potato 'eyes' in the furrows. This was the usual way of planting though occasionally a small hole was dug with shovel or stick and the 'eye' dropped in this. Potatoes were a necessary food item and were eaten from early summer when the first small potatoes were large enough to be removed from the 'hill' and used, until the last potato from the mature crop, stored in a basement or root cellar, was used the following spring.
A visit to "Uncle Killians" was an event in the lives of the children of Michael and Adam. The distance was far enough that an early start must be made, with horsedrawn wagon or buggy as transportation. Upon arrival, the children enjoyed playing with their cousins while the parents discussed crops and families. The noon meal was always enjoyed but it seemed that only minutes passed by before it was time to go home, for home chores had to be attended to before bedtime.
About 1899, Killian and his family moved to a farm in the Pickrell, Nebraska, area. Their youngest child, Millard, was born while they were living here.
In the early 1900's, several of the older children, including Lydia, Minnie, and Ed, homesteaded land in Colorado. In 1911, Killian, Magdalena, and the other children moved to Colorado and made their home near Akron. In 1929, after their children were all settled in their own homes, Killian and Magdalena moved to California where they remained until their deaths in 1940.
The descendants of Killian and Magdalena are scattered from coast to coast and almost from border to border. Ed, Lydia, Minnie, and Millard all live near Akron. August lives in Ft. Collins, Colorado, and their children are scattered from California to North Carolina, Oregon to New York, and South Dakota to New Mexico. Five of the daughters, Lena, Marie, Bertha, Ethel, and Ruth have made their homes in California. Some of their descendants live on the west coast but others are living as ar away as Massachusetts, Washington, D. C., and Georgia.
The next generation shows a variety of occupations and professions. There are farmers, ranchers, secretaries, musicians, school teachers and college professors, accountants, engineers, veterinarians, and others. At this time, some of the young men are serving in the military forces.
This family has truly left its imprint on the lives it has touched and done much to 'make America better'.
The above text was taken from "The Finkner Family Tree" by William Hobert Finkner, Meryl Ramsey Finkner and Olan Earl Finkner.