Ellen Adeline Kahrs was born in Michigan, probably Centreville Twp., Leelanau Co., in 1866. She was the daughter of Claus Heinrich Kahrs and Katharina Hagenau, both of whom were born in Germany. In 1888 she married Matthew H. Spinniken, who was the Canadian son of German immigrants, and moved to the U.S. in 1865. The couple were farmers and lived in Leland Twp., Leelanau Co., MI. They had four children: Minnie C.; Edward Henry, who died in France in WWI; Albert Wilhelm; and Clara Gesena.