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Henry Dencker was born on March 7, 1853, in Germany where he received his education.  For some time he worked as a cook on transatlantic ships.  He moved to New Jersey in 1878.  He married Lucretia Vlerebome (see Verebome) on May 20, 1885 in New Jersey.  Around 1890 they moved with their family to Brighton, Washington County, Iowa.  In Brighton, Henry was Sunday School Superintendent for many years.  Lucrita was born in New Jersey on May 30, 1855.  She passed away on Feb. 2, 1912 in Brighton.  He moved to Rock Island, Illinois in 1918.  He was employed at the Tarpy restaurant.  Henry died May 28, 1928 in Rock Island.

Left to Right:  Lucretia, Anna Elizabeth, Henry, Little Grace on Lucretias lap, Sarah (Sadie) and ?

The following is an excerpt from the news clipping of Henry's death.


"Drinks Large Quantity of Deadly Poision while under Influence of Liquor"

"Henry Dencker, 75 years old, committed suicide last night in the home of his daughter, Mrs. Sadie Simpson, 2213 Fifth Avenue, Rock Island, by swallowing a potent poison.  He was under the influence of liquor at the time, according to the testimony given by the daughter at the inquest conducted this morning in the Knox Mortuary by Corronor John F. McBerry.

Dencker had been drinking for the last two weeks and was out of work, Mrs. Simpson said.  She said he seemed to be in good health otherwise and expressed the opinion that his drinking had caused him to take his own life.

She disclosed that Dencker had a number of times made attempts to kill himself since the death of his wife 17 years ago.

When Dencker arrived home last evening, he was intoxicated his daughter said, and showed anger over the thought that she was working too hard.  He left shortly after refusing food and went to the business district.  On his return he went to his room and about 15 minutes later Mrs. Simpson heard the body fall to the floor.

She went to his assistance and found him suffering.  As she helped him into bed, he told her what he had done.  It was bout 8:30 o'clock.

Dr. Joseph de Silva, who was called to attend him, testified that the amount of poison swallowed was sufficient to have killed 500 sturdy men.  Dencker had taken it in a solution with water."

He was buried in Brighton cemetery in Brighton, Iowa.  The following are Henry and Lucretia Dencker's children:

  1. Anna Elizabeth was born in New Jersey in 1879.  She married William F. Stockman on Sept. 13, 1897.  She died on May 14, 1926 (see "FOUL PLAY" section for Annas death)
  2. Sarah Coru was born in June, 1887 in New Jersey
  3. Margaret was born in New Jersey in 1888/  She died on May 9, 1906
  4. Emma was born on Feb. 18, 1891 in Washington County, Iowa.  She died of TB in 1926.
  5. Georgia was born on Feb. 18, 1892 in Washington County, Iowa.  She died in 1895
  6. Louis was born in Dec. 1893 in Washington, Iowa
  7. Grace Opel was born on Aug 30, 1897 in Brighton, Iowa.  She married Ernest Maitlen on March 1, 1916.  She died May 31, 1973


Sarah Coru Dencker was born on June 26, 1887 in New Jersey.  She moved to Washington County as a little girl and attended rural schools for her education.  She married George Lyman Simpson (see Simpson) in 1907 in Washington County, Iowa.  In 1919 she moved to Rockford, and in 1922 she moved to Rock Island, Illinois, where she resided for 15 years.  For the last 21 years of her life she lived in the Cable and Taylor Ridge communities in Illinois.

In Oct. of 1937 she married Herman Johannsen also in Washington, Iowa.  She was a member of Bethel Assembly of God and the Woman's Missionary Council fo the church.

Herman Johannsen was born in Germany.  He came to the United States before WWI.  He farmed in Taylor Ridge, Rock Island County, Illinois.  He died in 1981 not having children.  Sarah died in Davenport, Iowa in 1963.

Children of Sarah and George Simpson:

  1. Otto
  2. Grace Pauline was born on Sept 1, 1909 in Washington, Iowa
  3. Georgia died at three years of age.  (In the "In Memory of Section" you can see her picture)
  4. Iva died at 9 months.
  5. Beatrice married Arivd Olson

Left to Right:  Bea and Grace with mother Sarah Dencker Simpson


Grace Simpson (see Simpson) married William F. Clough (see Clough)


Debbie Clough (see Clough) married Barry P. Gerischer (see Gerischer)


Rebekah Gerischer married Lio Iloilo

Erik Gerischer married Jennifer Garrison



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