Tuesday, March 3, 2015

Four Generations

2015-3-3. img949
(Click on image to enlarge)
Image courtesy of the Hobart Historical Society and Fred Ols.

From left to right: Martin Ols, Herbert Ols (Martin's oldest child, born April 1914), Bertha Ols (Martin's mother), Christian Wischman (Bertha's father). The photo is estimated to date to around 1915-1916.

This photo was taken near the end of Christ Wischman's life: he died in the spring of 1917. Here is his obituary from the Hobart Gazette of March 16, 1917:
Christ Wischmann, who has been ill for a couple of months, died at his home in the Ryan subdivision yesterday morning, March 15, following an attack of pneumonia, aged 78 years last November. He was born in Germany, Nov. 27, 1838, and came to this country in 1867. He lived a number of years in Hobart following his coming here, but most of his years thereafter were spent in Milwaukee and on a farm nearby. His last residence in Hobart has been about eight years.

He is survived by wife and three sons, William, Arthur and Frank, by his third marriage; a son, Christ, Jr., who lives in Wisconsin, by a second marriage, and a daughter, Mrs. Henry Ols of Gary, by his first marriage; besides a brother and a sister, William Wischmann and Mrs. Christ Passow, who reside in Hobart. Fred Wischmann, who lives here, is a nephew.

The funeral will be held this week Saturday from the German Evangelical Lutheran church at 2 o'clock. The burial will be at Crown Hill.
His first wife's name was Mina — probably short for Wilhelmina; maiden name unknown. That marriage also produced a son, Robert, who died in 1887 per the genealogy compiled by Fred Ols. It may be Mina's gravestone in the Hobart Cemetery, bearing a date of death of Jan. 26, 1872, and an age of 30 years, 9 months and 12 days, per the Northwest Indiana Genealogical Society's transcription. In 1873, in Lake County, Indiana, Christ married Amalia* Schroeder, and sometime before 1880 they moved to Milwaukee, Wisconsin. By that time they had three children: Herman (whose fate is unknown**), Martha,*** and Christ Jr., named in the obituary as a survivor. In 1891, Christ Sr. married another Amelia, and by 1900 they were farming in Juneau County, Wisconsin, and had five children: Willie, Louie, Charlie, Arthur and Frank. Louie apparently died between 1900 and 1905. In 1910 the family was still in Wisconsin, but they must have moved to Hobart very soon after the census, if the Gazette could reasonably attribute about eight years' recent residence to Christ. Charley Wischman died in Hobart in 1914 at the age of 21 (the cause of death being tuberculosis), and is buried in Crown Hill Cemetery under the name Wishman, as is his father.

That more or less accounts for Christ's wives and children at the time of his death. His son Arthur would not outlive him by long: he died of Spanish flu in September 1918. Here is Arthur's obituary, from the Hobart Gazette of October 4, 1918:

2015-3-3. Arthur Wischman obituary
(Click on image to enlarge)

*Her name is given as "Mina" in the marriage record transcription, but "Amalia" in the 1880 census.
**He died in December 1910 according to a very helpful family tree compiled by the Dewell family archivist on Ancestry.com, but I have not been able to find any independent confirmation of this. I doubt that the Herman Wischman buried in Crown Hill Cemetery is Christ's son, since his birth year (1883) doesn't jibe with the 1880 census.
***This was not the Martha Wischman who married William Dewell, and died of the Spanish flu in 1918; that Martha was the daughter of Christ's brother William. (Thanks to the DeWell family archivist for straightening me out on that!)

1870 Census.
1880 Census.
1900 Census.
1910 Census.
♦ "Additional Local News." Hobart Gazette 25 Dec. 1914.
♦ Ancestry.com. Wisconsin, State Censuses, 1895 and 1905 [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations Inc, 2007.
♦ "Funeral of Christ Wischman Held Saturday Afternoon." Hobart News 22 Mar. 1917.
Indiana Marriage Collection.
Indiana WPA Death Records Index.

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