March 3, 2013

John Pflaumer, son of Jacob Pflaumer and Anna Maria Hokenberger

Just as his brother, Henry, did, John Pflaumer, second surviving son of the first marriage of Jacob Pflaumer, served briefly in the Dekalb County militia before leaving home for Elkhart County, Indiana.  Born on September 13, 1843 in Elsenz, Baden, Germany, John must have been eager to snatch up some farmland of his own and to settle down.

On June 29, 1865, he did just that, marrying Catharine Pontius, a local girl from Elkhart County.  The couple bought land eventually and settled in Baugo Township.  
 I have searched and searched, but cannot find them in the 1870 census, although I'm almost certain they were in Elkhart County, Indiana somewhere with their then three year old daughter, Lodema, born in 1867.  

Just as Henry in Missouri left a clue that he communicated with his father and half-siblings back home  by sending photos to them, John's family left but one very subtle clue.
A previous post described an old autograph book owned by my husband's grandfather, George Edward, John's half brother.  Look what was in it...
His niece, Lodema, signed the book in 1892!  The one and only clue found of their communications.

In the 1880 census, Lodema is labeled as a son, age 13 - a definite error.  A second child, Henry Arvine, 6, had joined the family.  One child, Mary E, born in 1870, died in 1878, at the age of 7.  (Just another interesting fact...George Edward named one of his sons, Lawrence Arvine in 1903.  Such an unusual name.  I don't think it was just coincidence. Henry had named his sons after his brother, John, and half brother, George. John named his only son after his brother, Henry.)  John was a farmer and owned his own farm.

By 1900, Lodema was married to LeRoy Chauncey Haney and had moved to Michigan, his home state.  At home with John, 56, and Catherine, 56, were Henry A. and his new wife, Della M. (Gangwer).  The newlyweds had not yet been married a year.  John was still farming and Henry was working as carpenter, according to that census.

In 1910, it was just John and Catherine, 66, on the farm.  Sadly, Catherine would die that same year.  An ad in the June 1918, Elkhart Truth newspaper leads me to believe John might have moved in with his daughter and son-in-law for awhile.  The ad read:
"For Sale. 55 acres half mile north of Jamestown.  Inquire 128 Apple Ave, Benton Harbor, Mich.  John Pflaumer.  According to the city directory of that city, that was the address of Lodema and Leroy.

In 1920, the census taker found John living with his brother, Henry, and wife in Holt County, Missouri.  Henry was declining and would die the next year.  According to John's obituary, he went back home and returned again in 1927 to live with Henry's widow and family. John died in Missouri the next year and was brought back to Elkhart for burial.
John Pflaumer's obituary - an Elkhart, IN newspaper, name unknown:
The funeral of John Pflaumer, 85, a former resident of this vicinity who died Friday at Craig, Mo., will be held Sunday, with services at 1:30 p.m. at the Zelle funeral home, 221 West Lexington avenue, and burial at the Noffsinger cemetery west of Jamestown.  The Rev. E. L. Ferris of the Methodist Protestant church will officiate.
The body, accompanied by John and George Pflaumer , of Craig, nephews of the deceased, arrived here this afternoon.  Death was due to intestinal trouble, after a brief illness.
Mr. Pflaumer is survived by a daughter, Mrs. Lodema Haney of South Bend, and a son, Arbine (Arvine) Pflaumer of New York State.  His wife, Catherine Pontius Pflaumer, died in 1910.  Soon after her death, Mr. Pflaumer sold his Baugo township farm and bought property on West Indiana avenue, Elkhart.  There he spent what portions of his time that were not occupied with extended visits to his children and relatives.  In May 1927, he went to Craig to visit the widow and children of his brother, Henry, who had died some time before.  He had since made his home with them.
He was born in Baden-Baden, Germany in 1843, and when four years old was brought to America by his parents, Mr. and Mrs. Jacob Pflaumer.  The family settled in Dekalb county, but the son located in Baugo township in early life and there married a daughter of a pioneer couple, Mr. and Mrs. Samuel Pontius.
During his active years, Mr. Pflaumer was prominent in the affairs of Baugo township."

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