William and Sophia (Behrens) Gansebom 1.Generation
William Henry Gansebom, another of Pierce County's pioneers, was among those sturdy early settlers who foresaw a great future for this section of the state. He was born at Holdenstedt, Province Hannover, Germany, on Jan. 29, 1862. Baptized in the Lutheran faith in his infancy, he received his religious education in his home congregation and was confirmed of the age of 14.
An earnest desire to make his permanent home in the New World was the impulse for William's leaving the fatherland at the age of 23 in 1885. Arriving in America, he first spent a year and a half near Arcadia, Ia. In 1886, he journeyed westward and set foot in Pierce County, living in the City of Pierce for half a year. For five years he lived near Hadar.
In 1888, William was united in marriage to Sophia Behrens, born at Hamerstorf, Province Hannover, Germany. Three sons and three daughters were born to them - Otto, Willie, August, Mrs. Otto (Amanda) Kumm (she later married Carl Schumacher and then John Miller), Mrs. Harry (Ella) Moots and Mrs. Ed (Rose) Koehler. Rose is the last remaining heir of William and Sophia. She is now residing in Wausa.
In 1891, William purchased a piece of raw prairie south of Osmond where he spent the balance of his farm life. In 1924, the Ganseboms moved to Osmond and the last 11 years of William's life were spent in the town of Osmond.
William was of the hardy stock that feared not the hardships of pioneer days. After landing in this country, he was first employed on the Henry Grunwald farm near Pierce, then labored with a construction crew on the Pierce-Creighton extension of the Northwestern Railroad. Sensing the independent life of farming and seeing great possibilities as the reward for industry and keen management, William purchased land south of Osmond where two of his sons, August and Willie, lived. Delmer and Marlin Gansebom, sons of August and Willie, respectively, now live on the farms. Next year, the home place where Delmer now resides will have been in the family 100 years. Fortune favored William and he acquired much land and worldly goods. He was able to leave a farm for each of his children. He believed in building for permanency and the farms owned by him were models of their kind. The first building on the homestead was used as the house and barn. It is still standing and is being used as a calf barn at the time of this writing.
After having lived on the land south of Osmond for 31 years, William moved to Osmond where he erected a commodious and modern home, now the home of Laura Nierman.
William's admiration for agriculture is best stated in his words expressed and recorded in his obituary as is the rest of this history, "I live in the city, but my heart is in the farms."
William was a well-liked individual. He was congenial and entertaining. He often went barefoot. Many people have remarked how he traveled to town with horse and wagon with his shoes sitting on the seat beside him. Late in life, he made a trip to the fatherland and, upon his return home, expressed his appreciation of the land of unbounded opportunities that had made possible the wealth he acquired.
At the time of William's death, he was survived by 27 grandchildren, all residing in the Osmond vicinity. He also had one brother in Germany. William was 73 years of age when he died in May of 1935. He is buried in Immanuel Lutheran Cemetery.
Sophia lived alone until the last four years of her life when she was a resident of a nursing home in Norfolk. She died in 1952 and is buried beside her husband.