February 25, 2013

Henry Pflaumer, son of Jacob and Anna Maria Hokenberger Pflaumer

Information on the first family of Jacob Pflaumer and Anna Marie Hokenberger was little known among the grandchildren (my mother-in-law and siblings). In fact, they often said that only one brother survived from the 8 children of Jacob and his first wife.  When, in fact, two sons survived - Henry and John.       This photo may be of Henry and his wife, Katherine Spohn - it was among the Pflaumer things and we know that son alone moved to Missouri.
Heinrich Pflaumer was born in Elsenz, Germany on August 22, 1837, and immigrated to the United States in 1854 with his parents.  He appeared in the 1860 census with his family in Smithfield Township, Dekalb County, IN, at the age of 22.  A militia enrollment of Dekalb County in about 1863, in the midst of the Civil War, (a roll of able-bodied white, male citizens over 18 years and under 45 years, subject to military duty), listed Henry Pflaumer, 25, and his brother, John 19, farmers.  The militia was a local group designated to protect their home county against invasion by the enemy.

In 1869, Henry left his Indiana home and headed for Missouri, and in 1870, purchased farm land just east of Craig, Missouri.  (The woman he would eventually marry, Katherine, was born on April 23, 1868 in Nebraska.)  I have not been able to find him in the 1870 census, but in 1880, he was living alone, at 35, on his acreage.

On May 14, 1889, he married Katherine C. Spohn when he was about 51 and she was 21.  By 1900, the census taker located them in Union Township, Holt County, Missouri, just east of the Big Tarkis River. They had two children: John L., 4, born in January 1896, and Mary L., 3, born in April 1897.  Two more children would be added to the family: George H. and Francis C.
The Holt County Sentinel (Oregon, MO) reported on September 3, 1909:
"Mrs. Henry Pflaumer was taken quite sick the first of the week.  Her daughter, Miss Mary, has been quite ill of typhoid for the past month.  The Pflaumers have engaged a nurse, Miss Hattie Burtch, of St. Joseph, to care for the girl during her illness, but the nurse was also stricken by sickness and had to return to her home.  Another nurse was secured Tuesday evening.  At last reports, both were improving." (Craig Leader)

Another insight into the family was shown in the Holt County Sentinel of September 10, 1915:
"James Steele and John Pflaumer left on the 'Flyer' Tuesday evenng, for Fayette, Mo. where they will enter Central College for the winter's work.  Steele spent last winter as a student in Central, but this will be the first term for Pflaumer.  We are glad to see our boys from the High school show an ambition to be thoroughly prepared for life's battle..."

When Henry was 82, the census taker visited him for the last time on his farm.  In the family in 1920, along with Henry, were Catherine, 51, George H., 16 and the young Frances, 13.  Henry's brother, John, 76, was living there, too, having been widowed.

Henry Pflaumer died on December 21, 1921. His obituary (source not labeled):
"Death of Henry Pflaumer
Henry Pflaumer, a long time resident of this vicinity,died at his home in Craig early Friday morning, after an illness extending over many months.  Death was due to general debility and the infirmities of old age.
Henry Pflaumer was born in Baden, Germany, August 22, 1837, and was 84 years, 3 months and 17 days old at the time of his death.  He lived in Germany until he was fourteen years of age.  His family emigrated to the United States in 1851, landing in New York City, having been on the water for 36 days, quite a difference from the fast going ocean liners of today.
The family first settled on a farm in Ohio, where they spent a year, when they moved to Dekalb county, Ind.  Here the family lived until 1865 when they moved to a farm near Fort Wayne, Ind.  He lived with his family until 1869, when he moved to Holt county.  The following year he bought the farm east of Craig and has owned and operated it ever since, with the exception of the past few years when his health was such that he turned it over to his oldest son.
On May 14, 1889, he was united in marriage to Miss Katherine C. Spohn of Craig.  To this union four children - John, Mary, George, and Francis- were born, who with their mother, survive. He also is survived by a brother, John Pflaumer of Elkhart, Ind. who has been making his home with him for the past two years.
He was one of eight children in his family, all of whom are gone but the one brother who survives.  His father died twelve years ago, and was 97 years of age at the time of his death.
In early life, Mr. Pflaumer united with the German Reform church and kept his membership after coming to this country.  After his marriage, he united with the Presbyterian church in Craig and remained a member the rest of his life.  He was a good Christian man and the world will miss him. 
The funeral services were held at the Presbyterian church last Sunday afternoon, conducted by his former pastor, Rev. L. P. Parker.  Burial was in the Odd Fellows cemetery."

"Cards of Thanks.  The family of the deceased return their heartfelt thanks to the neighbors and friends for their assistance during the sickness, death and burial of husband, father, and only brother, and are ready to return the kindness at any time when needed.  Mrs. Catherine Pflaumer and children, and brother, John."

Catherine died in 1945.  It was good to know that these first sons kept in touch with their father by sending photos and perhaps letters.

February 22, 2013

Jacob Pflaumer, Great-Grandfather - Part Two

On August 20, 1872, two land transfers were recorded.  Jacob Pflaumer sold land to Peter Amstutz, according to the Allen County, IN Deed Index.  I have not looked up that deed to know the acreage.  
The document to the left recorded a purchase of 50 acres of land from Caroline C. and Jacob Henney in Section 14 of Springfield Township, Allen County, IN.

The paper is in pristine condition, which is remarkable for its age, and is complete with original stamps.  Jacob paid the goodly price of $2400 or $48 an acre for this land.

 Just before purchasing what would be his home place in Allen County, Jacob and Catherine welcomed their first child, William H.  Three years later, daughter Katherine (Katie) was born, and in 1878, the final child, a son, George Edward joined the family.  

 By the time of the 1880 census, Jacob was 67 years old and was still farming.  Kate, at 36, was surely helping him, as well as raising William - 9, Katie - 6, and young George E.  - 2.  Although we have no 1890 census to consult, other records show that William married in 1893 and Katie in 1895, leaving just young George E. to help at home.

In 1900, Jacob, 87, and Katherine, 56, had been married 30 years and had to be quite dependent on George, who was still at home at 22.  However, he, too, married in 1901 and left the home place.  Young Katie divorced in 1905 and moved back home with her parents.

 Jacob Pflaumer, blind at the end of his life, died on October 14, 1909.  Several different obituaries were printed:

--The Fort Wayne Sentinel, Saturday, October 16, 1909, p. 2
Jacob Pflaumer Expires in Springfield Township
Lacking but a single day of completing his 97th year, Jacob Pflaumer, believed to have been the oldest resident of Springfield Township, died at his home there Thursday night.  The aged man had been in failing health for some time, and death was due to the infirmities of his years.
Mr. Pflaumer was born in Germany October 15, 1812.  He came with his wife to America in 1854, arriving in Stark county, Ohio, May 18, of that year.  In November of that same year Mr. Pflaumer moved to Dekalb county, Ind. and eleven years later to Springfield township, where he spent the remainder of his long life.
Mr. Pflaumer was twice married.  Of the eight children born to the first union, but two are living. These are Henry Pflaumer, of Craig,Mo. and John Pflaumer, of Elkhart county,this state.  Mr. Pflaumer's wife died in 1857.  In 1870 Mr. Pflaumer made a visit to his old home in Germany, and while there was united in marriage to Catherine Hoffman, who survives, with three children - William Pflaumer of Fort Wayne; Catherine Pflaumer of Springfield township, and Edward Pflaumer of Dekalb county.  The deceased was a highly respected citizen and a member of the German Reformed church in Springfield township.
Funeral services Sunday morning at 10 o'clock from the residence and at 11 o'clock from the Scipio church; interment at Scipio cemetery."

(*Jacob may have come ahead to find a home in Dekalb County and filed his first papers for citizenship while here, moving his family later on. It was not uncommon for the husband to go ahead to ready land and a home for his family. The papers exist on file for his naturalization in Dekalb County.  Also, this article stated that the move from Dekalb to Allen County was made in 1865 which is helpful.  In error, the article stated that Jacob and Katherine were married in Germany.  She came as a single woman to the U.S. with the name Hoffman, and their marriage is recorded in Allen County, Indiana records.)

St. Joe News, October 1909
"Mr. Jacob Pflaumer, who lived one mile north of the old Dutch church southeast of here, died on last Thursday, October 14. He was born in Baden, Germany, October 14, 1812.  He had lived to the ripe old age of 97 years, and the last three years of his life were unpleasant, having been entirely blind.  The funeral was held last Sunday at the Scipio church and burial at Scipio cemetery.  Rev. Mohler of Harlan officiating.  Elza Kinsey, funeral director."

Using the church records from Elsenz, which have been made available by the Church of the Latter Day Saints, some genealogists have traced this Pflaumer line back into the beginning of the 1600's.  Such family trees may be found on ancestry.com.  I, personally, have not done that research and will not report it here.

February 20, 2013

Jacob Pflaumer, Great-Grandfather - Part One

Born in the village of Elsenz, southeast of Heidelberg in Baden, Germany, Jacob Pflaumer joined a large family of Pflaumers who lived in the region.  According to Evangelisch (Lutheran) church records, he was baptized on November 13, 1812.  Family records have his birthday as October 15, 1812.  Not much is known of his early years as the child of Jacob Pflaumer (Sr.) and wife Anna Maria Wolf until his marriage is recorded in 1835.  Jacob married Anna Maria Hokenberger on April 5, 1835.

Children came often to the couple, bringing both joy and sorrow.  The first child, Johann Georg, was born on March 28, 1836 and he did not survive the year.

Heinrich was born on August 22, 1837 and christened on August 27th.
The couple named a second baby Johann Georg in 1839, but that child did not survive.
On September 29, 1841, Johannes Pflaumer was born and christened on October 3rd.
Johann, Katharina, another Johann Georg (who did not survive) and Louise followed -
8 children in all.  It's my belief that all three sons named Johann Georg died young.

When the family immigrated in 1854, only five of the eight children were living.  The manifest for the ship, Hemisphere, that departed from LeHavre, France, named the following:
Pflaumer, Jacob, 41, farmer, from Baden
Pflaumer, Anna Mar., 42
Pflaumer, Hinr, 15  (Heinrich)
Pflaumer, Jacob, 13  (possibly Johann Jacob)
Pflaumer, Johannes, 9  (John)
Pflaumer, Cathe, 8  (Catherine/Katherine)
Pflaumer, Louise, 9/12  (only 9 months old)

The ship pulled into the port of New York City on May 8, 1854.

Jacob's obituary stated that the family first went to Stark County, Ohio, just south of Akron and arrived there by May 18, 1854, just two weeks after arriving in the United States. They didn't stay long because Jacob filed his first papers for naturalization in Dekalb County, Indiana on May 31, 1854.  On those, he stated that he emigrated from Baden at the port at Havre de Grasse.  It is possible that just Jacob went on to Indiana first to locate land to purchase and to build a home for his family.  This was a common practice in those early days of settlement.

The family had settled in Smithfield Township in Dekalb County when the census enumerator dropped by on July 9, 1860.  Jacob, 48, reported that he owned real estate valued at $700 and had personal goods worth $100.  With him were Henry (Heinrich) - 22, Jacob - 20, John - 16, and Catherine - 14.  He had three boys to help work the farm and Catherine to keep house.  Jacob's obituary stated that his wife, Anna, died in 1857 and Louise apparently also died, but I have not been able to find any record of this nor a tombstone.  Some early birth/death records of Dekalb County prior to 1882 were burned in a courthouse fire, so the facts of this may never be known. 

In 1863, Jacob Pflaumer became a United States citizen.  That record, found in Dekalb County, states:
"The State of Indiana, Dekalb County, sct:
To All To Whom These Presents Shall Come - Greeting:
Know Ye, that at the October Term, in the year eighteen hundred and sixty three of the Circuit Court of the County of Dekalb, aforesaid, Jacob Pflaumer, made the proof and took the oath to support the Constitution of the United States, and the oath of Allegiance required by law, before said Court, and was then, that is to say, on the 27th day of October 1863, by said Court, duly admitted a Citizen of the United States.
In Witness of Which, I, Jno. Ralston, Clerk of Said Court, hereunto affix the Seal thereof, and subscribe my name at Auburn this 16th day of November, 1863.l
Signed, Jno. Ralston, Clerk"

Jacob was involved in selling real estate in Smithfield Township to John Cobaugh on July 13, 1866.
The family lore says that all of Henry's children by his first wife, except two, died of typhoid fever. In fact, one family record said that only one survived, but it is now known that two sons of the first marriage survived into old age.  I can find no record of the children  Jacob or first Catherine after 1860.  The only surviving sons of this first marriage were Henry and John.

The 1870 census - no Jacob Pflaumer to be found.  Henry and John had moved on by this time (more on that later), so Jacob was left alone.  His obituary and family stories stated that he went back to Germany in 1870 to find a wife from his village.  I have found no passenger records/ passport to support this, but I believe it to be true because there is a record of his future wife's immigration.

On October 6, 1870, the spinster, Catherina Hoffman, arrived on the ship, City of Limerick, into the port of New York City.  Soon after setting foot on U.S. soil and arriving in Indiana, she and Jacob Pflaumer were married on October 11, 1870 in Allen County, IN.

They obtained the license and married the same day.  She was 27 years old and he was 58. The couple would remain together for almost 40 years.

February 17, 2013

The Old Autograph Book

Among the many possessions saved of Edward Pflaumer's was this old, quickly disintegrating autograph book.  The oldest autograph written in it dates from November 1889, when Ed was 11.  It was probably his last year of schooling.  The latest autograph dates to 1899.

This touching one was written by his older sister, Katie:
 "March 2, 1891 - Mr Eddie
Remember friend the coming years
May bring their sorrows, joys and tears.
But there's a fairer brighter home
Beyond the portals of the tomb.
Yours with respect, Miss Katie Pflaumer, Hall's Corners, Ind."

Eddie would have been 11 when these verses were written to him.
" January 1890 - To Eddie,
Some people are so very funny
But I never could be so
So I'll just sign my name
Tis the funniest thing I know.
From your schoolmate, Nettie May Betz   Me remember"

"January 3, 1890 - To Eddie
When the golden sun is setting
and your mind from care is free,
when of others you are thinking, 
will you sometimes think of me.  Lizzie Files Beery"

Some pages had additional decorations added, like the one above.  I'm not sure what the lines and dots mean.  Anyone know?

Some of the entries were very spiritually based.
"Spencerville, Ind.  Dec. 30, 1889
I wish you health
I wish you wealth
I wish you gold in store
I wish you Heaven after death
What could I wish you more.
Annie Snyder"

"January 20, 1890 - Eddie
When comes the King in royal might
To crush the wrong and crown the right
When all the saints in glory meet
No more to die, no more to weep
When thrones are set and crowns are given
With all the rich rewards of heaven
Oh! in that heavenly by and by
What's done for God can never die."
Gerta Kinsey
Harlan, Ind."   

The autograph book - an interesting memento of a young man's life. 

February 15, 2013

George Edward Pflaumer, Grandfather

The young man, Ed Pflaumer
He hated the name, George.
His signature was almost always
"Ed Pflaumer" and in his youth,
he was probably known as "Eddie."
The inscriptions in his autograph
book tell us that.

When George Edward Pflaumer was born on February 13, 1878, his father was already 65 years old.  Ed was the youngest of his father's three children by a significantly younger second wife.  Born in Allen County, Indiana, Ed's whole life was spent there and in Dekalb County.  He lived the farm life with his parents and older siblings, William H. and Katherine.  By virtue of his father's age, one could assume that the children took on farm responsibilities early in their youth.

In the 1880 census, Ed appeared at the age of 2 with siblings, William, 9, and Katie, 6.  By 1900, Ed was the only child still at home with his parents.  In 1900, his father was 87 years old and undoubtedly, Ed, at 22, was running the home farm.

On February 6, 1901, when 23, Edward Pflaumer married Geneva (Eva) Hollabaugh, 22, a local girl.  According to a short family history written by their daughter, the couple moved right away to Fort Wayne where their first child, Laverne Ellsworth, was born in July 1901.  In the spring of 1902, stated the history, the couple moved to the Hollabaugh Homestead, east of the Dill's Bridge in Spencer Township on the Spencerville-Hicksville Road, Dekalb County, IN, several miles from the Pflaumer home farm.  There, seven other children were born to the couple: Lawrence Arvine (1903), Ethel Marie (1904), an infant son who died at birth (1906), Ernest Edward (1907), Violette Irene (1909), Floyd W.(1914) and Russell W. (1916).

 Edward's father died in 1909 at the age of 97, and since his brother lived in Fort Wayne, Ed spent time helping his mother and sister handle their affairs on the home place.  

On February 14, 1915, Ed was received into membership of the St. Mark's Evangelical Lutheran Church in St. Joe, Indiana, by adult confirmation.  He was quite active all his life in this congregation, serving on the Church Council and in other capacities.  His funeral biography stated, "He will be remembered in the congregation, especially for the ease with which he was able to make visitors feel at home in the church services.

On September 12, 1918, Ed Pflaumer faithfully filled out his World War I registration form.  At almost 40 years old with seven children, he was not a likely candidate for service!  He described himself as of medium height, medium build, light brown eyes and black hair.

Taken about 1910-1911.

 The Pflaumer family of nine were still living in the Spencerville Road house in 1920, renting the house.  The children's ages ranged from 18 down to 3.  In this census, Edward stated that his mother tongue was German, which is completely understandable as both of his parents were first generation immigrants from Germany.  Sometime in the mid-1920's, the Pflaumers moved for the last time when they purchased a farm on the Spencerville-St. Joe Road.
Six of the seven Pflaumer children went on to further their educations beyond high school.  The oldest did not and remained on the family farm until both parents were deceased and he was in middle age, when he married and left.
Edward's sister died in 1924 and his mother in 1928 and Edward was called to help settle the Pflaumer estate after the death of his mother.

Family portrait, probably about 1912-1913.  From left, Edward, Laverne, Ernest, Ethel, Lawrence, Eva and in front, Violette

By 1930, six children were still living at home.  Only Ethel, who had been teaching, left to marry.  Lawrence and Violette were also teaching; Ernest was working in a print shop; Laverne was working on the farm; and Floyd and Russell were teenagers still in school.  All of the other children went on to marry in the 1930's, except the oldest, Laverne, who married in 1947 at the age of 47.

The 1940 census gives us the information that Edward had only a 4th grade education.  The necessity of helping his elderly father on the farm certainly must have been the reason.  At that time, he owned a farm worth $3000 and he reported that he and Laverne worked 60 hours a week.
In 1942, Edward suffered a stroke, yet he was still required to register for the World War II draft during the "old man's registration" period.  It seemed obvious from his signature on that document that he struggled to sign his name or even spell it correctly.
Back Row: Russell. and ?, Joe and wife Ethel P., Laverne, Irene?- wife of Lawrence; Violette P and husband Maurice. Front: Ballard, grandson, Ed holding Jerry P., Eva
George Edward Pflaumer died on February 24, 1947.  The funeral biography stated: "Excessive work and worry brought sickness and death to Mr. Pflaumer before he could enjoy the physical comforts of his remodeled home, but not even death can deprive him of the pleasure and pride he has had in his greatest achievement, his family and grandchildren."

His obituary in the Saint Joe News on February 27, 1947:
Edward G. Pflaumer, 69, died suddenly of a paralytic stroke Tuesday morning at his home one mile north of Spencerville.  He had been ill five years.  Surviving are the wife, Eva; five sons - LaVerne, Spencerville; Lawrence, New Carlise, O.; Ernest, Tipton; Floyd, Urbana, O.; and Russell, Dekalb, Ill.; two daughters, (Mrs. Ethel Leins, Auburn and Mrs. Violette Kline, St. Joe; 11 grandchildren and one brother, William, of Fort Wayne. Funeral services will be conducted Thursday at 2 p.m. t the St. Joe Lutheran Church with the Rev. Frank Stevenson officiating. Burial will be in Riverside Cemetery, St. Joe."

February 11, 2013

Organizing the Chaos...

After my husband's mother passed away seven years ago, we spent many days clearing out and cleaning his childhood home.  The last part that we tackled was the attic, and by that time, we were both pretty tired.  So, as weary folks will do, we threw things in boxes - old things, very old things - and took them home for sorting at a future time.  
 That time is now.  It has not been an easy task.  My dining room table and floor runneth over.  But, oh the treasures...
 Old photos, the earliest dated 1865.  Documents, the earliest dated 1845.  Wedding certificates, the one below in German and pasted to a scrapbook cover. 
 Oh, yes, scrapbooks and autograph books with dates in the 1890's.  Old purses, earrings, spectacles, satchels.

 The satchel above was stuffed with estate papers.  I think there were papers from at least three estates. Account books and funeral home books, greeting cards.  
I'm sure you get the idea!  So I'm beginning with my husband's grandfather Pflaumer and working my way back in his history first and then will attempt the other lines of his family.  It may be a slow journey.  Some photos are not labeled, of course, and will probably never be identified, but many are named and those I will gladly share in case some long lost cousins come upon this blog.
Get ready for the journey.
I can't decide if this is a genealogist's blessing or curse!