Thursday, April 14, 2011

Mr. Baessler Buys the Farm

And, for a change, we have a long-timer coming into the Ainsworth area: Michael Baessler, Jr. That is to say, I have hopes of his being a long-timer — his name will still be on that farm when the 1939 Plat Book goes to press, and I call 20 years a fairly long time,* and furthermore I may yet learn that he owned the land even longer than that.

The land in question is a parcel of about 30 acres on the north side of the Lincoln Highway, just west of the Village of Deep River.

(Click on image to enlarge)

Michael bought the land from Charles Granzow. Charles had bought it nine years earlier from Mary Giese, widow of August Giese. The Gieses owned the land as early as 1891, but I don't know when they bought it. In 1874 it appears that the land was owned by some member of the Wood family.

Anyway, Charles Granzow decided he'd rather live in Hobart, so he put the farm up for sale. Michael decided he wanted a smaller farm than his father's old place, where he'd been farming, so he bought Charles' 30 acres, and sold off some of his livestock and equipment in preparation for the downsizing.

The old Baessler farm was just over the line in Porter County. I don't know when the family arrived there — sometime between 1855 (when Michael Sr. came over from Germany) and 1870. I'm having a hard time figuring out how many wives Michael Sr. had. In 1870 he was married to a Wilhelmina; in 1880 his wife's name was Lowesia, but she was the same age as Wilhelmina would have been. Lowesia was Michael Jr.'s mother (or maybe they both were). By 1890 Lowesia and Wilhelmina were dead (or was dead), and Michael Sr. married Johanna, widow of John Schumacher and mother of Augusta Schumacher Sauter Fiester. Michael Jr.'s older brother, John, had been farming in the Ainsworth vicinity for some time. In 1915 John's daughter Minnie married Henry Bodamer, George's son and Ben's nephew.**

So now we have Michael Jr. and his nice little family joining the population of the Ainsworth-Deep River area. In 1918 Michael Jr. was about 43 years old. He and his 40-year-old wife, Emma (maiden name unknown) had been married since 1899, and had four children, Irma, Walter, Martha and Helen, ranging in age from 17 to about two.

I don't know much about them. Since I haven't heard of any scandal in the family, I'll assume for the moment that they are the sort of respectable, law-abiding and fortunate people who make for very boring blogs. But we can always hope for better things.

*Except when it applies to me. I moved here 20 years ago, and I'm a newbie.
**I'm so glad I'm not a genealogist.

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[8/25/2013 update: The Dewell Family archivist writes in with the following information:
My research indicates that the first wife of Michael Baessler Sr (1839-1920) was Wilhelmine Stutman (Stuthman, Stuttman). I believe she was the eldest sister of Anna Stutman who was married to Frederick Schavey. So Henry C. Schavey and Michael Baessler Jr were cousins.

It appears that all these guys traded farms among cousins, sons, and every relative they could find.

I think Michael Baessler Sr did have three wives. 1) Wilhelmine (1847-1875), 2 ) Louisa Hendricks (1841-1889) and 3) Johanna Schumacher (1835-1913).

Also, the Indiana Marriage lists show that Michael Baessler Jr's wife was Emma Sonntag. They married 1 Oct 1898 in Lake County.

1870 Census.
1874 Plat Map.
1880 Census.
1891 Plat Book.
1900 Census.
1910 Census.
1920 Census.
1926 Plat Book.
1939 Plat Book.
♦ "Bodamer-Baessler." Hobart Gazette 15 Oct. 1915.
♦ "Local and Personal." Hobart News 17 Jan. 1918.
♦ "Local Drifts." Hobart Gazette 25 Jan. 1918.
♦ "Mrs. Baessler Passes Away." Hobart Gazette 6 June 1913.
♦ "Public Sale." Hobart Gazette 18 Jan. 1918.
♦ "Public Sale." Hobart News 17 Jan. 1918.
♦ "Public Sale." Hobart News 24 Jan. 1918.


Janice said...

Your post made me laugh! I make attempts at genealogy and was so happy when I figured out that my grand aunt Henrietta Lee was the "Etty Anny" that was listed on an earlier census.

Ainsworthiana said...

I've been surprised at how informal these people sometimes were with the census-takers -- seems as if they just gave whatever nickname they happened to go by at the time.