Ernest Rode

Born: Mecklenburg, Germany – 31 Mar 1830

Died: Rock Island County, IL – 31 Jan 1909

Father: Johann Anthon Bernhard Rode

Mother: Sophia Maria Louise Rode

Spouse: Margaret Salter Rode

Great Great Grandfather Ernest Ludwig Hermann Rode

My 2nd great grandfather Ernest Rode was born on March 31, 1830 in Waren, Germany which is in Mecklenburg, a large region in northern Germany. He was a child of Johann and Sophia Rode. He was baptised in Waren, Mecklenburg, Germany on April 4, 1830. 

According to the 1900 census, Ernest arrived in the United Stated in 1852 and became a naturalized citizen. His granddaughter, Irene, said she understood that he came to America to avoid the draft in Germany. 


Whoever Will Not Defend His Homeland Should Leave It! German Conscription and Prussian Mennonite Emigration to the Great Plains, 1860-1890

 By Mark Jantzen

SEPTEMBER 2003, VOL. 58 NO. 3

 “In the course of the nineteenth century, military service became so widely accepted in Germany that those who refused to serve were no longer considered proper Germans. This new understanding of citizenship was due in part to a powerful linkage between a commitment to defend the nation and a claim to be part of the nation. Universal military conscription and universal manhood suffrage were the primary expressions of defending and belonging to the nation, a linkage that remains a crucial aspect of modern nationalism….”

Germans also came to America for freedoms they did not have in Germany. And the farmers came for available lands in the midwestern states.

The following is from:

“In a nutshell, the (Germany’s) economic development between 1852 and 1940 can be described as follows: A severe agricultural  crisis beg an in 1846-47. The bad situation lasted until 1854-55.”

In 1855 he was married to Margaret Salter in Geneseo, Henry County, Illinois. They had seven children in 15 years. This is the only photo I have of Ernst and Margaret and was probably taken around 1890 or 1900.

Ernest and Margaret Salter Rode

In the 1870 census Ernest, Margaret, Ernest 8, Fred 4, and Sophia 6, lived in Moline, Illinois and Ernest worked in a plow shop and Margaret was keeping house.

In the 1880 census and the 1900 census Ernest, Margaret, and son Louis age 9 lived in Coal Valley, Rock Island County, Illinois.

In the 1900 census Ernest and Margaret still lived in Coal Valley, Rock Island County, Illinois.

The seven children of Ernest and Margaret were:

Frank born 1855 Geneseo, IL

Henry born 1856 Davenport, IA ??, died 1941 Rock Island County, IL

Anthony born 1859 Geneseo, IL, died 1944 Bakersfield, CA

Ernest born 1862 Illinois

Sophia born 1863 Geneseo, IL, died 1938, Moline IL

Fred born 1866 Illinois, died 1880

Louis born 1871 Moline, IL, died 1942 Moline, IL

Ernest died on January 31, 1909 in Rock Island County, Illinois having lived 78 years and 10 months. He was buried in the Coal Valley Cemetery in Coal Valley, Illinois.

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© Alan 2017