Niels Rahbeck - the first husband-to-be of Eline
Long before Eline even met Mogens Uhrenholt, she was engaged to another man
Read the text in Danish
In the spring of 1897, Eline turned 22. And that summer was to be something special. For several years Eline had been engaged to Danish-born rev. Niels Marinus Nielsen Rahbeck from the same town, Cedar Falls, Iowa. Because of failing health he had moved to the warmer Texas, where he served as a pastor in the the United Brethren Church in the little town of Arcola.
But that summer he was home in Cedar Falls, Iowa, whe his and Eline's wedding was to be held later in the summer.
But fate wanted it different, and Niels Rahbeck died May 28 1897 after months of lung trouble. The news of his death was noticed in the Cedar Falls Gazette June 1st 1897:
"After an illness of some months of lung trouble, Rev. N.M. Rahbeck, pastor
of the United Brethren Church of Arcola, Texas, died in E. Cedar Falls
Saturday evening. Rev. Rahbeck lived in Cedar Falls several years ago, but
owing to failing health went to Texas, where he has been ever since, coming
here about six weeks since. He was a Christian man of strong character,
beloved by a large circle of friends who regret his untimely demise. The
funeral will be held next Friday afternoon."
Alas, the wedding between Eline Arildsen and Niels Rahbeck was not to be.
Three weeks before his died, May 21st 1897, Niels Rahbeck gave his last will, in which he bequeathed all his belongings, inclduding some real estate in Texas, to his fiancée Eline Arildsen. The handwritten will is today at the Cedar Falls History Society's Archive. The full text is given below. Also read the will as facsimile.
I Niels Marinus Nielsen Rahbeck of Cedar Falls Black Hawk County Iowa being of sound and disposing mind do make publish and declare this to be my last will and testament hereby revoking all wills at any time heretofore by me made.
It is my will that all my just debts and funeral expenses shall be fully paid.
All the remainder and residue of my property whether real personal or mixed of which I may die sei[ged to?] of which I may in any way be entitled shall be disposed of as follows:
1st I give devise and bequeath to Eline Marie Arildsen forty acres [16 hektar el. 0,16 km2] of real estate in Brazoria County Texas, same being all the land Lawn in the state of Texas.
2nd It is farther my will that the said Eline Marie Arildsen shall have and own all the monies and personal property of which I may die possesend of or entitled to and that all personal property shall be converted into money by my executor and the proceeds given to the said Eline Marie Arildsen.
3rd I hereby nominate and appoint as executor P. L. C. Hansen of Cedar Falls Black Hawk County Iowa and it is my will that he be exhonorated from giving bonds of such executor.
Witness my hand this 21st day of May 1897.
Niels N. Rahbeck
H. P. Sørensen, witnesses
On this 21st day of May 1897 the foregoing will was signed and executed in our presence by the said Niels Marinus Nielsen and by him declared to be his last will and testament and at his request and in his presence and in the presence of each other we have hereunter subscribed our names as witnesses thereto.
H. P. Sørensen of Cedar Falls Black Hawk County
Also read the will facsimile