Richfield Historical Society

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Who is Justina?

According to the Gregorian calendar, Justina was born on Wednesday the 8th of May in 1765, at Schwabsburg, a German village near Nierstein. Her father, Balthasar, worked as a school custodian at Schwabsburg and was born 15 miles southwest of Schwabsburg, at Gau-Heppenheim. At the time the village was called “Heppenheim im Loch” and Balthasar’s father was born there as well. Balthasar married Anna Christina Kessel from Schwabsburg in 1754. A few days after the birth of their third child in 1758, Anna died. Five months later Balthasar married Anna Rosina Borngaesser, Justina’s mother. Justina was the fourth of Anna Rosina’s eight children.

When Justina was 20 years of age, she married Caspar Alleborn, the son of George Friedrich Alleborn and Anna Sidonia Naab. Caspar was 34 and they had three boys and one girl together. In 1797, Caspar passed away. His youngest son was almost one, and he was only 45 years old. Justina did her best to raise the children and in 1805 she had another child. Because she was a widow and unmarried, the child was given her maiden name. She called him John (Johannes). John grew Johann Messer Playing the Violin up to be a musician and barber and in 1834 he married Katharina Charlotta Mayer from Nierstein. In 1835 their first son Peter was born, but only lived one day. They had three more boys and one girl. John Messer, his wife and their four children arrived in New York on the 2nd of June in 1846 on the ship Motoka. Justina Elisabetha Margaretha Messer Alleborn died at Schwabsburg on the 24th of May in 1852. She was 87 years old.


Note: Justina Messer Alleborn was the mother of John Messer who built the Messer sawmill in Richfield, WI.

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