SYNOPSIS & NOTES

August 6, 2016: Children of William and Augusta, midwives, baby food, pride and joy, mortal illness and grief, seven made it through early childhood
August 14, 2016: The automobile enters the scene.  Terrible roads, constant flat tires, unreliable…but…mobility, immense impact on life.
August 21, 2016:  A German-American farm boy from near Niagara Falls becomes a minister and is sent to far away Wisconsin to a country church.  He must have a car and acquires one for $35 from a cousin – it is third-hand and a pile of junk.  He deals with the car, falls in love and becomes a member of the Wisconsin clan.
September 16, 2016: Four Wisconsin Germans make a trip to California to visit their Uncle Carl & Aunt Emelia Nieman who moved there upon retirement from Northern Wisconsin farming.  The roads and services between Wisconsin and California were awful – very likely they shipped their car (Cadillac) and took the train.
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The blog progresses on weekends on a chronological basis.  Source material is from oral history, church records, visits to Germany, and the internet.  Please contribute any comments and thoughts that you may have – the comments box is at the bottom of each post.  See “Helpful Hints” at the top right of the page and thank you for your interest.

EARLY 20TH CENTURY – PART 4 – FROM OX CART TO CADILLAC – FOUR WISCONSIN GERMANS TOUR CALIFORNIA

us-j-nieman-travel-img3936

Contents © 2016 Harold Pfohl

EARLY 20TH CENTURY – PART 4 – FROM OX CART TO CADILLAC.  DIRT ROADS, GOLDEN GATE, OIL WELLS, AND A PHONE CALL IN THE DESERT – FOUR WISCONSIN GERMANS TOUR CALIFORNIA

Fig 069 MM 04 hp fam negs 02282013 10 copy

A BRIEF DIGRESSION FROM THE LUEDER FAMILY ABOVE TO THEIR TOURING RELATIVES

Although the primary focus for the story of rural German-American life in the early part of 20th century is the William and Augusta Lueder family, this post will digress for purposes of illustrating the incredible pace and degree of change under way by the relating the travels of Augusta’s Nieman relatives.

The speed of change in all aspects of life was phenomenal. Many different technological developments were essential for this.  The most visible impact was seen in the very rapid evolution of the automobile with the many advances in engineering and all of the associated infrastructure.  Roads, bridges, gas stations, oil wells, refineries, traffic control, etc., all of this existed but in the most primitive way, suitable for horse drawn conveyances, prior to the mass ownership and usage of cars.

The Niemans seem to have had strong family bonds but were widely scattered.  This resulted in occasional visits over great distances.  We will look at an auto trip to California in 1921 taken by Augusta’s brothers, John and Charlie Nieman, and their cousin, Ed Fromm with his wife, Alice.  They visited their Uncle Carl, Aunt Emelia, and their Cousin Augusta Ebert, her husband Theodore Ebert and their family.

SCATTERED CHILDREN OF THE IMMIGRANTS

Children of the immigrants and parents of our travelers:

       Johann Nieman & Sophie Fromm         Fred Fromm & Alvina Nieman…

Sophie and Fred were siblings as were Johann and Alvina.

THE TOURING FOURSOME

Grandchildren of the immigrants who were children of the above two couples:

John & Charles Nieman and their cousin & business partner, Ed Fromm & his wife, Alice, nee Krause.  At the time of the auto tour John and Charlie were 53 and 52 respectively.  Ed and Alice were ten to 15 years younger.

WHERE THEY LIVED IN 1921

auto map 1918 RR NIEMAN TOUR.jpg

Source-David Rumsey Map Collection

  1. Johann & Sophia Nieman were in Cedarburg, Wisconsin.
  2. Fred Fromm & Alvina Nieman Fromm were in Hamburg, Wisconsin. Alvina’s brother Carl, his wife, Emelia, and their children and grandchildren lived there.
  3. In 1916, Carl and Emelia moved from Hamburg to Santa Cruz, California where their daughter, Augusta Nieman Ebert and her husband Theodore lived.

STAYING IN TOUCH

Family members travelled when they could to spend time with siblings and close relatives.

wis-slide-nieman-old-img3068

Photo from about 1905 – 1910 – Left: Johann, Sophie, and Carl Niemann. The two ladies are unknown. Sitting on the porch railing – Charlie Nieman. On the right, leaning on the porch railing, Andrew Fromm, Sophie’s younger brother.

Carl Niemann returned from Hamburg, Wisconsin 200 miles to the home place where he was a boy and where eldest brother, Johann lived.  The location is the Pioneer Farm on Pioneer Road west of Cedarburg.

Charlie is Johann and Sophie’s second son, and nephew of Carl Niemann and of Andrew Fromm. Andrew farmed virtually next door to his much loved sister Sophie.

wi-hermansv-travel-img3932

Johann and Sophie traveled 200 miles to Hermansville Michigan in 1911 to visit their daughter Alvina (niece to Alvina Fromm) and her husband, Albert Pipkorn and the grandchildren.

JOHN NIEMAN TRAVELLING IN 1909

As John Nieman prospered and gain the means to do so, he enjoyed traveling for its own sake.

USA J NIEMAN TRAVEL IMG3953.jpg

Mammoth Cave KY, Feb 5, 1909 – John Nieman with mustache at top center in light coat. Presumably, the odd outer wear and lanterns were provided by the Cave tour operators to protect clothing against moisture and dirt in the cave.  John’s wife, Martha, seldom traveled with him.

1916 – UNCLE CARL AND AUNT EMELIA NIEMAN ABANDON NORTHERN WISCONSIN WINTER FOR BALMY SANTA CRUZ, CALIFORNIA

wis-slide-nieman-old-img3017

Carl and Emelia Nieman farmed in Hamburg, Northern Wisconsin.  By January of 1916, Carl was 63 years old about to turn 64, and Emelia was 59, about to turn 60, and they were considering retiring.

Their daughter, Augusta, had married a man named Theodore Ebert.  Theodore and Augusta Ebert and their family had moved from Hamburg, Wisconsin to Santa Cruz, California, in 1914.

Winter in Wisconsin could be brutal – see the photos below.

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Bridge Rd., Three miles west of Cedarburg, February 7, 1965

Winter farther north was even worse.

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Northern Wisconsin

Santa Cruz was more attractive.

santa cruz 1920s.jpg

Source – etsy.com

Theo and Augusta persuaded Carl and Emelia that the congenial Santa Cruz climate was far preferable to that of Wisconsin for their old age.

In January of 1916, they left behind their farm, children, grandchildren, sisters, nephews, nieces and friends, church, and home of a lifetime.  It could not have been easy.

California was lightly populated at that time and land was cheap, so Carl and Emelia, newly retired but still quite vigorous and anything but idle, bought the equivalent of a city block in Santa Cruz and continued to enjoy farming on a very small scale in town with fruit trees, goats, and pigs. Carl lived until 1939, and Emelia until 1947.

This provided an excellent excuse for their nephews, John and Charlie Nieman, and Ed Fromm along with Ed’s wife, Alice, to make a grand auto tour to California. The vehicle was John’s 1920 Cadillac.  Ed had grown up very near his Uncle Carl and Aunt Emelia and no doubt was especially eager to see them.

WHAT WERE THE ROADS LIKE?  THE BEST ROADMAP IN 1918 WAS A RAND MCNALLY HIGHWAY OVERLAY ON A RAILROAD MAP

auto map 1918.JPG

Source-David Rumsey Map Collection

auto map 1918 RR.JPG

Source-David Rumsey Map Collection

The red thick lines are major highways/trails, with each one having a name, e.g., Lincoln Highway.

auto map 1918 RR Nebr.JPG

Source-David Rumsey Map Collection

Enlarged example – Nebraska.  The black lines are all railroad lines.  Red = highways and it is fair to assume that most of those were dirt roads

US ARMY CONVOY – COAST TO COAST EXPEDITION OF 80 TRUCKS IN 1919

We have an excellent idea of the traveling conditions confronting the Nieman – Fromm adventure. In 1919 the US Army sent an 80 truck convoy on a transcontinental trip from Washington DC to San Francisco.  Very likely the army used the above map.  Dwight Eisenhower, a Lt. Colonel at the time, joined the expedition. The link below accesses a most interesting article summarizing the military convoy’s experiences. In brief, traveling through the Western states was an awful experience: horrible roads, with poor and often distant services.

1919 US Army Transcontinental Truck Convoy – Eisenhower

Excerpts from the linked article by Sarah Laskow in the above link:

1919 US Army convoy.jpg

Downing Collection, Eisenhower Archives

Average speed – six miles/hour.  Some days, much less.

“In 1919, he traveled with the military in a motor convoy across the country, from D.C. to San Francisco, in “the largest aggregation of motor vehicles ever started on a trip of such length,” the New York Times reported.”

“Soon, driving from coast to coast would become mythologized as one of the key American experiences. But in 1919, it was a terrible, torturous endeavor.”

“In 62 days, more than 80 trucks, cars and motorcycles made their way along the planned route of the Lincoln Highway, one of the first cross-country highways ever built. They crossed plains, mountains and deserts on roads that, up until Nebraska, were surprisingly well made. But once the convoy hit the West, the trucks started getting stuck in ditches, sand and mud, for hours at a time. By Utah, the conditions of the roads were so bad, it almost stopped the convoy altogether.”

“…before the convoy reached California, its personnel would be forced to camp on twisty mountain roads, ration water and spend hours pushing their vehicles along otherwise impassable stretches. Like the oxen of western pioneers, the cars and trucks often died.” 

“…about 6 miles an hour—is what the convoy would average in its crawl across the country.”

“The convoy made it to San Francisco six days behind schedule. The trip, overall, was a triumph, and the governor of California threw a celebratory dinner featuring clam chowder, salmon, fried chicken, sweet potatoes, Turkish melon, and cigars.” 

“But by the end of the trip, the official observer reported later, “the officers of the Convoy were thoroughly convinced that all transcontinental highways should be construed and maintained by the Federal Government.” As Eisenhower put it, “there was a great deal of sentiment for the improving of highways,” and on that point, “the trip was an undoubted success.”

…transcontinental railways had reached the Pacific in the mid-1800s, and in 1876, an express made it from New York to San Francisco in just 83 hours.”

And, from Wikipedia  (emphsis added):  US Army Transcontinental Motor Convoy

“…230 road incidents (stops for adjustments, extrications, breakdowns, & accidents) resulting in 9 vehicles retiring, the convoy of ‘24 expeditionary officers, 15 War Department staff observation officers, and 258 enlisted men’ had 21 injured en route who did not complete the trip. …

 

Photograph_of_the_1919_Transcontinental_Motor_Convoy.jpg

1919 Motor Transport Corps convoy car at a service station in a western desert town.

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The convoy broke and repaired 88 wooden bridges (14 in Wyoming), and ‘practically’ all roadways were unpaved from Illinois through Nevada. The convoy logged 3,250 mi (5,230 km) miles in 573.5 hours (5.67mph avg) and 6 rest days without convoy travel were used. Convoy delays required extra encampments and, at Oakland, California, the convoy was 7 days behind schedule (ferrying the next morning on the last travel day).”

HOW DID OUR ADVENTURERS TRAVEL?

By 1921 John and Charlie were 53 and 52 years old respectively. Ed and Alice were perhaps 10 to 15 years younger. Ed and John had become the largest fur farmers in the world for the most luxurious and popular fur – silver fox. They were dominant businessmen in their industry. Charlie, who farmed for a living, had invested with brother John and while not in their league financially Charlie was very well off as a result.

The US Army trip was widely publicized and our adventurers were surely familiar with the conditions experienced by the convoy.

With that in mind, it seems unlikely that at their age and with the considerable means at their disposal that they would have undertaken a trip through the West that had all of the associated miseries reported by the army’s convoy. It is difficult to imagine this affluent foursome struggling with a stuck vehicle, incessant dust and dirt, poor accommodations, mechanical breakdowns, etc. for 1000 miles over the Great Plains and the Great Basin region.

Examining their trip photos, it is noteworthy that no images of the Rockies, plains, mountain passes, etc. are shown. It may be fair to assume that they shipped their Cadillac to San Francisco from Cedarburg or Milwaukee and crossed the country in style and comfort in a first-class Pullman sleeper. A rail trip likely took three days and enabled them to experience the grand scenery of the Rockies of the far West in comfort with good food, little stress and sound sleep in the Pullman.

calif-highway-overlay-1918-stitch

Source-David Rumsey Map Collection

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Source-David Rumsey Map Collection

West Coast Highways in 1919 – all lines other than red are RR.

IN 69 YEARS – FROM OX CART TO CADILLAC

The men knew their immigrant Fromm and Niemann grandparents well.  In 1852 their Niemann grandparents made their way North of Milwaukee to Germantown and then to Cedarburg via oxcart.

wiki commonsrural-ox-cart-2.jpg

Source – wikicommons

69 years later, in 1921, the grandchildren toured in a 1920 Cadillac – rather different from the oxcart.

The only evidence that we have of the trip is a handful of photos.  However, upon examination they tell a lot.

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Nieman photo

1920 Cadillac Type 59 Four-Passenger Phaeton.  The C on the grill suggested the possibility of a Cadillac.  Search on the internet turned up the exact model of car.  Modern photos of a restored antique are provided in the footnotes.

No windshield wipers are visible

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The license plate was Wisconsin, 1921.

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Nieman photo

Note the side curtains.  The only glass window was in the front.  The spokes on the wheels were wooden.

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Nieman photo – Alice Fromm by the car.

The car had no trunk for luggage.  Their luggage was fastened to the “running board” on the driver’s side of the car – visible in the image above.

The 1920 Cadillac was a very expensive and powerful (60 hp) car for its day and presumably reliable.  It was perfect for touring California scenery with the top down.

SAN FRANCISCO

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Nieman photo

The Golden Gate from the Pacific side long before the bridge.  The view is taken looking north from the Presidio military reservation at the Golden Gate.

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Nieman photo

The gun emplacements facing west to the ocean still held cannon (enlargement from the previous photo)

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Nieman photo

John, Alice, and Charlie in the midst of eucalyptus trees.  Golden Gate Park in San Francisco has an abundance of these trees.  This image may have been taken there.

Their heavy clothing suggests that the trip was made during the winter.

From the internet – photos of San Francisco in the 1920s.  Our travelers would have seen similar sights.

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Source – sanfranciscodays.com

 

San Francisco was rebuilt in a hurry after the great 1906 earthquake and fire.  The above image is a mere 15 years later.

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Source – pinterest

Financial district

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Source – pinterest

Chinatown

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Source – william edward dassonville

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Source – pinterest.com

A 1920s stoplight in San Francisco

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source: delcampe.net

Alcatraz was a famed prison and a prominent scene in the San Francisco Bay.

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Nieman photo

Very likely Muir Woods National Monument, created January 9, 1908 by President Roosevelt.  The monument was readily accessible from San Francisco via ferry to the North Bay and then the Pacific Coast Hwy.  There are no redwoods in Southern California.

Muir Woods.jpg

Source – Pinterest.com

VISITING UNCLE CARL & TANTE EMELIA NIEMAN AND COUSIN ‘GUSTA EBERT IN SANTA CRUZ, CALIFORNIA 

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Nieman photo – note the dirt road in town.

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L-R: Ed Fromm, his wife Alice, Theodore Ebert (seated), his wife, Augusta Nieman Ebert, John (seated), Uncle Carl Nieman (Augusta’s father), and Charlie.

Best guess – this was the home of Theodore and Augusta.

John loved to travel but his wife, Martha, did not.  He would often invite Brother Charlie to join him. John and Charlie twice made trips to California, touring and visiting their Uncle Carl and Cousin Augusta.

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Nieman photo – again note the dirt road and ruts in 1921 Santa Cruz in town.  Amazing.

L-R Ed Fromm, Emelia Nieman, Carl Nieman, Theodore Ebert, John Nieman, Charlie Nieman

Best guess – this was the home of Carl and Emelia.  The fence and plantings are consistent with a mini-farm having animals and produce.

LOS ANGELES

The coastal road, Hwy 1, was not completed during the 1920s.  The route through the Big Sur where mountains plunge down to the sea was costly and difficult to build.  The travelers may have taken the Pacific Coastal Hwy, although portions of that were likely rather rough as well.

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Source –  sfsdhistory.com

Pacific Hwy under construction in the 1920s – source – sfsdhistory.com

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Source – museumsanfernandovalley.blogspot.com

The roads in the Central Valley were good.  They may have taken the “Midland Trail.”  But, perhaps for time, comfort and convenience, they may have shipped the car via rail to LA, and then continued touring.

If they took the Midland Trail, the quality was quite good for much of the road.

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Los Angeles skyline in the 1920s, source – Wikipedia

The oil industry in LA was booming.

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Nieman photo

The oil wells (probably at Signal Hill) in the Los Angeles Basin were extraordinarily productive and quite a sight to see – derricks pumping oil into the far distance.  The Cadillac is parked at the lower left in the photo.

Oil_Well_Gas_Station.jpg

A Los Angeles Gas Station -Source – waterandpower.org

There were many oil companies, many refineries and the quality of gasoline was inconsistent – sometimes just plain poor.

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Nieman photo

This image was part of the collection that was reviewed and copied.  It is not certain that this was part of the trip – but it may have been taken in the Los Angeles harbor.

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Nieman photo

The terrain resembles the Mojave Desert.  The foursome headed eastward through the southern desert.

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Note the locomotive and cars in the left background.

Fig 082 MM BK 043 0079+09 0075 Tending to Business Early 1920s.jpg

Nieman photo

How extraordinary – a phone in the desert!  This may have been in New Mexico or Arizona.  The mountains in the background do not resemble those seen in Southern California.

The caller is likely either John or Ed, both of whose business interests would have required attention.  Given the extent of those interests, the demands on their time, and the very primitive condition of roads and services, perhaps after seeing a bit of the Southwest, e.g., Grand Canyon? (but no photos in the collection!), they shipped the Cadillac home by rail and speedily returned in comfort and their daily life.

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Today we take the infrastructure surrounding the automobile for granted – fine highways, service stations, lodging, traffic controls, etc.  As is obvious from the above, matters were quite different in 1921.  

Oakland_Chevrolet_factory_c.1917.jpg

 

One day’s output (!!!) at the Chevrolet factory in Southern California – Source – Wikipedia

The mind-boggling growth of auto ownership and the cultural and economic impact of the auto created great pressure on the various levels of government to rapidly improve the automotive infrastructure.  The comparable modern event that comes to mind with astonishingly rapid technological evolution and adoption by the masses is the internet and personal computing.  However, that event of today is not as visible as the automobile and all of its associated infrastructure.  The change in culture caused by the auto was much more profound.  The auto provided a degree of personal freedom without historical precedence.

We will revisit travel in a later post and the progress in a few years is remarkable.

NEXT – MAKING A LIVING ON LUEDER’S FARM

Continue reading

EARLY 20th CENTURY – PART 3 -JOHN’S MODEL T (JUNK) – A NEW YORK FARM BOY, & HIS GERMAN-WISCONSIN ROMANCE

Contents © 2016 Harold Pfohl

EARLY 20TH CENTURY – PART 3 – JOHN’S WRETCHED MODEL T  – OR – HOW A NEW YORK FARM BOY BECAME PART OF A WISCONSIN GERMAN-AMERICAN CLAN

John and Eleonore Pfohl lived on a farm 8 miles east of Niagara Falls, New York. They were members of the large community of German “Old Lutherans” who had emigrated to the United States in the late 1830s and in the 1840s. The community was insular and very conservative in its religion. Life was centered on the church. The leading figure in their life was their pastor who in this case was a grandson of the man who had led the emigration out of Germany more than half a century before.

Most of the children born into the community went to parochial school and the language of instruction was German. The dialect was heavily influenced by French and has been compared to Flemish. The ancestors of the people from the emigrant region (north of Berlin) had a very large number of French forebears, Huguenots, French Protestants who had fled France at a time of persecution and slaughter in the 1600s.

John and Eleonore had eight children at the time of the photo below, around 1918.  They had a ninth in 1923.  Their first language was German.

John Eleaonore Pfuhl family before 1923 img620_resize.jpgJohn Jr., the subject of this post, is the 14 year old boy standing second from the left.

hp3 26 13 Mom's slides 3 copy 1c sepia_resize.jpgTheir parochial school.

John had ambition. He decided he too wanted to be a minister which was the highest calling that he could imagine.  It was very unusual for anyone within their community to attend school beyond the eighth grade and John’s ambition was extraordinary.

He had graduated from the eight-grade parochial school but needed at least one year of high school in order to get into the college/seminary.  After staying home on the farm for a year or two, he made the decision to pursue his dream.  He attended the public high school eight miles away in Niagara Falls. A railroad bordered their farm. Every morning John flagged down a train which stopped, picked him up and transported him into Niagara.

003_011_school john attended niagara copy_resize.jpgThe high school in Niagara Falls.

003_013_01 growing up 0024 copy_resize.jpgHe entered Martin Luther seminary in Buffalo when he was 17 in 1921. It was a combination college and seminary, had one building, four professors, and one poor overworked woman who both kept house and cooked for the young men and the professors.  The student dormitory was in the attic.

01 Pop seminary & Random Lake_resize.jpgJohn as a student

We know a fair amount about his experiences since he began keeping a daily diary after entering the college/seminary.  He wanted to record his extraordinary experience.  It includes some entries that are dismaying, e.g.:

003_021_pop diary 1926  xray3 tues nov 16.jpgHe had a problem with sore throats and decided to see a physician about it. He was prescribed a treatment of 10 tonsil x-rays after which they were supposed to have disappeared!  Quacks have always existed and medicine has made some progress since then.

Living in Buffalo was a cultural awakening for him.  He enjoyed ushering at the concert hall and one of the thrills of a lifetime for him was listening to a performance by one of the greatest violinists of all time, Fritz Kreisler.  In addition to his facility in German and English, he learned Greek and Hebrew, and loved reading history.

Although he had considerable experience driving, John couldn’t afford a car while he was at the seminary.  Others had autos and car trips were common outings for the young men. His diary records one pleasure trip of 100 miles that his fellow seminarians took:

1927 11 14 & 15.jpg“… Started out for Pennsylvania – Nanticoke. Having gone 100 miles they had a dozen flat tires already. Two new tires brought them back.”

Flat tires were an everyday occurrence.  Tires were high pressure akin to today’s bicycle tires (but of much poorer quality) and the dirt roads were full of bits and pieces of metal, e.g., lost horse shoe nails. The writer’s father-in-law (born in 1905 in Minnesota) noted that Minnesota dirt roads were traveled by government trucks with powerful electromagnets on their bumpers which collected huge quantities of metal, hopefully reducing the frequency of flat tires.

14 Pop seminary & Random Lake_resize.jpgJohn on the right. Note the road.

13 Pop seminary & Random Lake_resize.jpgAnother outing – again note the road.

WESTWARD HO! ABOARD THE MICHIGAN CENTRAL RR – INTERNSHIP IN DISTANT WISCONSIN

Completion of the requirements for becoming an ordained minister included serving as an intern at a church.  He did this at a tiny country church near Random Lake, Wisconsin.

US 1932 david rumsey copy copy.jpgSource – David Rumsey Collection

January 30, 1928 – John headed 750 miles west to Wisconsin to serve as the pastor for a German Lutheran country church near the town of Random Lake, about 40 miles north of Milwaukee.

1928 1 30 & 31.jpgIt is interesting to note the total travel time – 16 ½ hours.  Total fare:  $11.55. The 1920s were the heyday of train travel with excellent connections and on-time performance.  One wonders if Amtrak would do as well today, nearly 90 years later.

The contrast between Buffalo and Random Lake was dramatic.

LOC Buff Labor Day 4a08405uBuffalo – Labor Day parade, around 1900 -The population in 1930 was around 550,000.  Source – Library of Congress.

random lake wis russ waters ~1909.jpg Random Lake in 1909.  Population in 1930 was 576 –  Source – Russ Waters, Cedarburg

This wasn’t Buffalo.

003_035_Glenrose Infant hi res0028 copy_resize.jpgA car had become a necessity.  His cousin and fellow seminarian, Edgar Milleville, had been serving the Random Lake church just before John and owned a much used third hand Model T Ford. He handed that off to John.  It should have been handed off to the junk yard.

AFTER A RELATIVELY SHORT PERIOD OF INTERNSHIP – JOHN WAS ORDAINED AS A MINISTER.  HE RETURNED TO RANDOM LAKE TO SERVE THE CONGREGATION ON A PERMANENT BASIS

1923 Endeavor 03Three cousins in their graduation year – from seminary yearbook, the “Endeavor.”  The family name was originally Pfühl and was changed by John, siblings and cousins to Pfohl early in the 20th Century.

hp3 26 13 Mom's slides 4 copy 4a sepia copy.jpgHis favorite professor delivered the sermon at John’s ordination as a minister.  The rite took place at John’s home church in the country near Niagara Falls.  Note the very Germanic interior.

003_031_John Pfohl ordination photo0001_edited-3 copy_resize.jpgThe culmination of seven years in Buffalo at the Martin Luther Seminary and internship in Wisconsin

NOW – THE BEAST!

hp 020113 6 1928 final_resize print.jpgJohn’s first car – a third-hand Model T coupe, in his yard at Random Lake Wisconsin, early 1928

 A LITANY OF AUTOMOTIVE WOE – MINISTER & MECHANIC – DIARY ENTRIES, FEBRUARY 2 – MARCH 4, 1928 – 31 DAYS OF MECHANICAL MISERY

John never, ever cursed or used foul language – never.  BUT…if anything ever pushed him to the brink – it was this pile of intermittently mobile junk.

Below, a series of excerpts from his diary from early 1928 – the mechanical grief is so endless that it actually becomes laughable even while empathizing with the misery the young man experienced:

1928 2 1 & 2 copyFebruary 2, 1928 – “Fixed radiator leak. Leo Hoessel helped me with it.”

1928 2 3 & 4 copyFebruary 3, 1928 – “Had a flat tire.”

February 4, 1928 – “Had another flat tire. Fixed tire.”

1928 2 5 & 6 copyFebruary 5, 1928 – Cranked for over an hour from 10:30 – 11:30 trying to get the coupe started – finally.”

February 6, 1928 – “Was quite disgusted with the Ford coupe, because the starting was so hard. At the dinner table at Brusewitz (a neighbor) I was told, the timer might be to blame, so I cleaned it – but talk about a dirty timer, it surely was. Also gave the starter an adjustment, so that it works again. Fixed tire, and went to random Lake to get some tire tube repair.”

1928 2 9 & 10 copyFebruary 9, 1928 – “Then on the way to Random Lake again most of the steep hills the Ford would not make in high. Ran out of gas at my mailbox.”

February 10, 1928 – “Left their place at 9 PM. But had some time getting home the Ford was balky, smashed the glass in the left door.”

1928 2 13 & 14 copyFebruary 13, 1928 – “Otto Bruesewitz brought the new timer, put it on, and the old Ford acts like herself for a change. Went to Random Lake in no time, plenty of speed now.”

1928 2 15 & 16 copyFebruary 15, 1928 – “Fixed tire & inner tube. Radiator leaks again.”

February 16, 1928 – Left for home at seven was home around eight. Came home with fenders down on the tires – broken spring. The roads are terribly dug up, ruts as deep as 8 to 10 inches.”

1928 2 19 & 20 copyFebruary 20, 1928 – “Mr. Jerome Moll gave me a secondhand Ford spring for the front. Only one leaf unbroken in the spring when I came home from Cedarburg last Thursday.”

1928 2 21 & 22 copyFebruary 22nd 1928 – “Put in the spring on the front of the Ford replacing the broken one.”

1928 2 23 & 24 copyFebruary 23, 1928 – “Had the leak in the radiator soldered – $.25. Had some alcohol put in – $.95. But it boiled out before I got home. Let out what was left in the radiator and found the next morning it was one piece of ice.”

1928 2 27 & 28 copyFebruary 28, 1928 – “Had a blowout on front tire.”

1928 3 4 & 5 copyMarch 4, 1928 – “Went down with coupe. Had alcohol in the radiator, so need not worry about the cold temperature that chilled the air.”

March 5, 1928 – “The Ford swung so much since I put the new spring, front, under that I was in danger of tipping over at times. I investigated the matter and found the clip which is holding it was loose. Tightened it.”

JOHN PAYS HIS COUSIN $35 FOR THE BEAST

John eventually scraped together the money to purchase the car from his cousin – $35.

1928 4 13 & 14 copyApril 13, 1928 – “Sent Edgar Milleville check of $35.50 for his coupe $35 for coupe, $3.00 for gloves, minus $2 which he owed me for ethics book.”

That he had the mechanical skills to do the various repairs must have been due to being raised on a farm and having to repair a variety of farm equipment as a boy.

A MODEL T HIGH PERFORMANCE RUN – MILWAUKEE TO RANDOM LAKE (and how his shirts were laundered)

1927 11 14 & 15 copy.jpgJuly 17, 1928 – “Got up at 10 minutes after seven. Left Milwaukee at 20 after seven for Random Lake to teach school. Drove out in an hour and 10 minutes. A distance of 40 miles. (But it meant a boiling radiator).”

And then this:  “Sent my shirts home to be laundered.”  Sent them from Wisconsin to New York, home to rural Niagara Falls!

JOHN’S FAMILY SENDS SISTER MARTHA WEST TO HELP THE HOPELESS BACHELOR SURVIVE

John was not cut out to be a competent bachelor.  Mechanic? yes. Preacher? yes.  Bachelor?  no way.

003_040_Pop at Sem hi res0025 copy_resize.jpgJohn was living out of cans and sending laundry 750 miles to his home in New York.  Likely his mother came to the conclusion that this was nuts and that her son needed some serious help.  The postal service was excellent, but…ye gawds!  His competence at independent living was obviously limited.  The solution was to send younger sister, Martha, 22 yrs. old, west to keep house and cook for him.  It was an adventure for her, and a necessity for him.  It worked.

MEANWHILE, BACK IN THE PULPIT – GERMAN-AMERICA IN TRANSITION

The young minister was fluent in both German and English.  In 1928 his very Germanic congregation in Wisconsin still employed German as its first tongue.  However, English was slowly moving in.  His sermons and the church service were conducted four Sundays per month in German supplemented by one English service.  Below are first page manuscripts of his sermons for Easter Sunday, April 8, 1928 – one in German and one in English.

Click to enlarge

In examining these two pages, it is evident that he had two different Biblical texts for his two sermons and that they were quite separate.  The English sermon was not simply a translation of the German sermon – preparation of two sermons required considerable extra work.

John also served a small congregation in the nearby village of Waldo.  Those services were usually in English.

A BLIND DATE WITH WILLIAM AND AUGUSTA LUEDER’S YOUNGEST DAUGHTER, CORDELIA – LIFE IN WISCONSIN GETS MORE INTERESTING

Elda 3 ring bndr img062.jpgWilliam and Augusta’s youngest daughter, Cordelia, 19 years old, 1929

WIS JOHN COR IMG3563.jpgSunday, August 25, 1929 – Met Miss Cordelia Lueder, her sister & boyfriend at the home of Erich’s friend, went to Wisconsin State Fairgrounds in Erich’s Chevrolet.  Enjoyed the evening.

RATTLING OFF TO CEDARBURG TO LUEDER’S FARM – ROMANCE BECKONS

random lk rumsey 1924Source – David Rumsey Collection – 1924 Rand McNally Auto Trails map

John decided that he wanted to see that girl again, so, uninvited, he mounted his wretched steed and made it to Cedarburg – 24 miles with rattling somewhat the worse by the time he found Lueder’s farm.

hp 04 15 2013 3-c2 sepia_resizeHe clanked, popped and wheezed into the driveway to a houseful of people.  Erwin Graese, who was dating Cordelia’s sister, Viola, came out and asked John if he needed to take that thing to a garage.

But, success!  John’s diary entry:

WIS JOHN COR IMG3564Sunday, September 8, 1929 – Took a chance at finding the Miss.  Spent the evening with Miss C. Lueder, Cedarburg, Wis.  Saw picture: “The Fall of Eve” at the Eureka (Port Washington).

It was Cordelia’s first “talkie”

1929 Mom goes to talkies0001Sept 8, Sunday – “In evening, Viola, Erwin, Rev. Pfohl and I were to show in Port Washington – heard talkies first time.”

Legend had it that his Model T transmission malfunctioned, that he was left with no forward gears and had to return 24 miles to Random Lake in reverse, driving backward.  While his incredible difficulties with that car make this plausible, Cordelia vigorously denied it in later years.

TIME TO GET SERIOUS!  DUMP THE JUNKER

John had vowed that when he met a girl that he really, really liked he would get a new car. He was smitten by Cordelia. The immediate consequence of which was the purchase of a brand-new Model A Ford.

hp 020113 7 1929 Baby Lincoln final sepia+5_resize.jpegJohn’s new Model A – his “Baby Lincoln”

Pops diaries car #30001.jpgTuesday, September 24, 1929 – “Hot.  Payed for the new Ford ($605.00 coach)  Allowance for old car $125, Balance $480.  Borrowed $380 from bank of Random Lake, Wis.  Mr. F Broetzmann signed the note.  Note bears 6% int.  46 miles the car had run, gasoline tank showed ¾ full.  Wrote Miss C. Lueder a note, asking whether she would accept a visit.”

Pops diaries car #30003

“Would you enjoy spending an evening together?”

Pops diaries car #30004

“I would surely like to have you come over Sunday evening.  I was both surprised and glad to receive your letter.”

Pops diaries car #30002Friday, September 27, 1929 – “A letter from Miss C. Lueder!  An invitation to come to see her Sunday evening.  The best letter that the box had for me in a long time.  Wonder whether she thinks I have a new Ford and wants a ride in it or whether she would like to have me come to visit with her?”

002_043_1929 Sept Cordelia John Random Lake parsonage_edited-1September 1929 – on one of their first dates.

JOHN’S MODEL A STRATEGY WORKED!

A year later:

mom pop book scans0002

Oct 15, 1930 wedding bower_edited-2 crp1The wedding reception was held in William and Augusta’s Lueder’s home.  A corner was specially decorated and reserved for the bride and groom.

click to enlarge

They lived happily ever after and spoke in German when they were mad at their kids.

NEXT – TRAVEL

 

 

EARLY 20th CENTURY – PART 2 – “35 mph HE DROVE? NO WONDER HE’S DEAD” THE AUTOMOBILE ENTERS THE SCENE

Contents © 2016, Harold Pfohl

For location, see: Farm of Wm & Augusta – 1915 plat map

For family members, see:1900 – 1930s – GUIDE TO THE WILLIAM & AUGUSTA LUEDER FAMILY

EARLY 20th CENTURY – PART 2 – THE AUTOMOBILE ENTERS THE SCENE

“fünfunddreißig Meilen pro Stunde fuhr er? kein Wunder, dass er tot ist.”  “35 mph he drove?  No wonder he’s dead!”

russ waters PhotoScan (64) copySource – Russ Waters, Cedarburg

THE AUTOMOBILE VS THE BUGGY

Fig 047 0eIMG0031 Rhoda Scan 02262013 2 copy_edited-2In the 1890s the Fromms in West Bend visited their in-laws, the Niemans,  22 miles away in Cedarburg for a wedding. The trip in a crowded carriage took most of a day. William and Augusta and their family visited West Bend after they had purchased an Overland touring car. The 22-mile trip might have taken the Overland somewhat more than an hour – perhaps two. The distance had ceased to be formidable.

It became practical for young people to frequently attend parties or dances ten miles distant, and to see and date someone living that far away. As cars and roads improved, adventurous souls undertook trips that were unthinkable to their parents when they were the same age.

While the auto was immensely popular, it was in a stage of rapid engineering evolution and cars were neither safe nor reliable. Many problems existed that often unfortunately manifested themselves on the road: leaking radiators, broken springs, frequent flat tires, hard starting, shorts in the electrical system, etc.

EXCITEMENT AT THE FARM – LUEDERS BUY THEIR FIRST CAR – AN “OVERLAND”

Fig 078c Overland ad.jpgIf the telephone, radio, electric light and electrically powered appliances were revolutionary in their impact, the auto was cataclysmic. The Lueders’ first vehicle was the Overland touring car purchased in 1915/16, seating for five but they stuffed in the entire family, Ma, Pa, and seven kids.  The children had to get out and push if a hill was too steep, e.g. Holy Hill. During inclement weather, the top would be raised and side curtains would be attached. The side curtains were windows that were typically made from transparent isinglass, a soft, rollable plastic-like material.

Willys – Overland (same company that made the Jeep in WW II) produced several “touring” cars during 1915.  Assuming that William and Augusta purchased the least expensive, that would have been the Overland 81 series.  No hand cranking!  The car had an electric starter.  The starters (along with much else) weren’t entirely reliable so most had an auxiliary removable crank as well.

OVERLAND MODEL 81 SPECThe Automobile Trade Journal reviewed the Overland – for continuation of the above see source – Google Books – digitized.  Automobile Trade Journal – Overland Review

Fig 078b grandpa lueder's 1st auto registr copy copyWisconsin 1916 vehicle registration for the Lueder Overland

It didn’t take long for Wisconsin State laws and regulations to be enacted.  Note the “Horse Power” at 35!!  Son Gerald said the Overland at 25 mph was “moving right along.” It required low gear when facing a stiff west wind heading home from Cedarburg with Pa, Ma, and seven kids.

Fig 078 Gerald at Wheel of Overland About 1923-24 resized crp1Gerald Lueder at the wheel of the Overland – about 1926 – 27

L-R: Harold, Cordelia, and Elda Lueder, cousins Lila Fromm and Evelyn Fromm, with Mrs. Ella (Walter) Fromm, and Ma, Augusta Lueder, in the back seat and cousin Helen Fromm standing at the right front. The others are unknown.

hp 01 10 2014 16 copy 1 crp2 copyThe first license plate that William kept is dated 1916.  For many years the state issued new plates annually.  William kept his and nailed them up in a shed.

UPGRADE!!!  LIFE IS GOOD!  PROSPERITY AND PURCHASE OF A “CHRYSLER FOUR”

mom's early diaries0001_resize.jpgBeginning in 1924 at age 14, Cordelia kept a daily diary.  From a 1926 entry: “In afternoon sowed first early peas.  Erwin Mueller (Lueder sibling’s first cousin) was appointed Highway Commissioner (plowed and repaired roads for Cedarburg Township).  He fixed our road this afternoon.  Wegner was here & sold us our Chrysler Four Sedan.”

chrysler fourThe drum brakes were external contracting on the drum, a rather curious arrangement.

By contrast with the Overland, the Chrysler Four was regarded as a powerful modern machine with a cruising speed of 35 mph.  Cordelia Lueder, as a little child, overheard a phone conversation in German that her mother Augusta was having with Cordelia’s Tante Anna Lueder: “Fünfunddreißig meilen pro stunde fuhr er? Kein wunder, dass er tot ist.”  “35 mph he drove! No wonder he’s dead!”

From “classiccardatabase.com, picking the lowest cost version: Chrysler 4F 58 Series price tag was $845.  The car weighed 2,300 lbs. and had balloon tires (as opposed to the high pressure tires of the Overland).  Per Wiki the engine generated 38 hp.

Fig 121A fine car was a source of pride.  Sunday morning departing the farm, going to church in the Chrysler Four.

L-R: Harold Gerald, Cordelia, Edgar, Mother Augusta, behind her, Father William, Renata and fiancée/husband Erich Heckendorf.

A CAR FOR SON EDGAR – 1929 WHIPPET COUPE

whippet 15350

28whippet2drCoupe4cyl3spd_CountryclassiccarsSource – antiqueau.net – modern photo

In 1929, William bought a Whippet coupe for his eldest son, Edgar.  the Whippet, emulating its speedy namesake dog, would tear along at 40 mph!  From “classiccardatabase.com:”  price – $535.

OVERLAND, CHRYSLER, AND WHIPPET AT LUEDER’S FARM – 1930

Fig 079 Overland, Chrysler, & Whippet Lueder's Farm 1930The family automobiles – 1930 – L-R: Overland – 1916, Chrysler Four – 1926, Whippet – 1929

Fig 79b Elda 3 ring bndr img067 1930 platesThe family automobiles – 1930 – L-R: Whippet, Chrysler Four, Overland 

WHIPPET, FIRE AND THE 1933 CHICAGO WORLD’S FAIR

Gerald loved cars and used Edgar’s Whippet so much and so hard that he soon wore it out. By 1934, the piston rings on the Whippet were in bad shape. After stopping and idling for a bit at the Bridge St. and Granville Rd. Creamery, (a quarter-mile from Lueder’s farm), such a cloud of smoke ensued upon accelerating, that the vehicle was entirely hidden from view by family watching the car from the farm.

CED CHIC MAP 1924.jpg

auto trails 1924 titleSource – David Rumsey Collection – 1924 Rand McNally Commercial Atlas – Following the early maps took some work.

The family was watching Edgar, Gerald, and their brother-in-law, Erwin Graese, leave for the World’s Fair in Chicago. The Whippet consumed nearly two gallons of drain oil on the round trip to Chicago – about 200 miles. The addition of oil was so frequent that Gerald ran a filler pipe through a hole he cut in the engine hood for convenience. At one stop sign in Chicago, another motorist frantically tried to tell them that their car was on fire!

Fig 080 MM BK 1933 Chicago World's Fair.jpgThe 1933 Chicago World’s Fair – “100 years of Progress”

William and Augusta’s sons, Edgar and Gerald Lueder, and their brother-in-law, Erwin Graese, had a great time at the World’s Fair.  They were there for two days.  To save money, they slept in the car – three men in a two-door coupe – by removing the rear car seat (rumble seat) and barrier to the trunk, and then sleeping with the length of their bodies stretched from the trunk through the passenger area. During the night, the trunk lid came down on Erwin’s head, which did nothing for his humor nor for his enjoyment of the fair.

To imagine a World’s Fair, think of Disney World on a smaller scale, with exhibits from many different countries and varying industries.  It was high entertainment and a destination for millions of people.

HARD STARTING – OFTEN CANTANKEROUS

Fig 083b V600 Wet Ignition at Barn Raising June 8, 1923.jpg copyModel T – Wet ignition at the barn raising, June 8, 1923

Early vehicles were often miserable to deal with. Charlie Fromm and Ed Lueders, cousins of the family, were helping with the barn raising for William and Augusta on a rainy day. The Model T’s ignition system did not like the moisture and the car refused to start.

AWFUL ROADS – A COMMON MISERY

cropped-002_023_0077-stuck-on-a-date-feb-1925-resized1.jpgStuck on a date – February 1925

Renata Lueder. Brother Edgar and friends were on an outing. The roads were often in terrible condition since they had not been designed to take the pounding that cars give. The scene portrayed was a common one, especially during the spring when frost and rain joined forces to weaken and soften the roads, turning them to mud. A team of horses usually rescued the unfortunates.

hp 04 15 2013 -a2 copy.jpgLueder’s dirt road, aka Bridge Rd. – clearly a dirt, not even graveled – in front of William and Augusta’s home three miles west of Cedarburg – 1926

NEARBY TOLL ROAD

MM BK 034 0079+01 Edw Rappold 06 south of donges bay rd Mequon copy resized.jpgSouth of Donges Bay Road in Mequon, a few miles south of Cedarburg.  Source – Edw. Rappold

Hopefully, the toll ensured a much better road than that shown in the preceding image!  However, looking at the foreground that might well not have been the case.

FLAT TIRES, FLAT TIRES, AND MORE FLAT TIRES

1927 11 14 & 15 markedFlat tires (plural for sure) were a constant, expected hazard.  The writer’s father as a seminary student in Buffalo, NY, noted in his diary on Nov., 14, 1927 that several of his friends on an outing:  “…started out for Pa. Nanticoke.  Having gone 100 miles they had a dozen flat tires already.  Two new tires brought them back.”

And the next day a bit of a triumph for other classmates:  “…were taking a trip to Hanover (Ontario).  They started out at 4:30 and arrived there at 12:30 with only a flat tire or two.”

Tires were high pressure (70-80 psi) similar to today’s touring bicycle tires and were therefore more susceptible to sharp rocks and debris than softer balloon tires that came into use later.  The dirt and gravel roads of that era were full of metal, e.g., many horseshoe nails, and much other small junk that didn’t affect horse traffic in the least but that readily punctured auto tires.  Additionally, the tires of that era were in the earliest stages of development and were of very poor quality when compared to today’s tires.

RACING IN CEDARBURG

Edw Rappold 08 60 mph tops bunns klug & shorty erdmann copy resized bSource – Edw. Rappold – 60 mph tops – “Bunns” Klug & “Shorty” Erdmann in the lead.  Cedarburg race track – fairgrounds.

Early racing required both a driver and a mechanic in the car while racing.  The mechanic operated a fuel pump during the race among other duties.  See footnote: Riding Mechanic

Fig 86 MM 0079 The Overland - a Hot Rod July 1932_resize.jpgThe Overland – a hot rod?  July 1932 – not quite “Bunns” Klug and “Shorty” Erdman…

Son, Gerald, had fun chopping the body off the Overland and then driving his friends around. DOT regulations and Ralph Nader were decades in the future.  Not quite “Bunns Klug and Shorty Erdman” at 60 mph, but fun.

PARTYING WAS VASTLY ENHANCED BY THE EASE OF COVERING DISTANCE WITH A CAR

Fig 085 002_025_0078b flappers may 22 1927 resized copy copy.jpgWilliam and Augusta’s daughters and two nieces, flapper sisters and cousins – 1927.  L-R: Dtr. Viola, cousin Erna, dtr. Elda, cousin Anita, and dtr. Cordelia Lueder. All set to party in the 20’s!

Elda 3 ring bndr img058_edited-1 b.jpgA car was a necessity for Edgar’s romance of Alice Heckendorf – distance between the farms was considerable.  A truly weird aspect of the courtship: they dated eight years before getting married, and on every single date, they were followed by Art Heckendorf, Alice’s brother.  More on that in a future post.

Elda 3 ring bndr img072.jpgL-R: Cordelia, Elda, with newlyweds – Erich Heckendorf and Renata Lueder Heckendorf and Cousin Erwin Mueller – October 21, 1927.

Cousin Erwin Mueller stopped by the morning after the wedding party celebrating the marriage of Lueder daughter, Renata, to Erich Heckendorf.

Elda 3 ring bndr img068L-R: Erich Heckendorf, Cordelia, Viola, and Elda Lueder, and Cousin Erwin Mueller

Cousin Erwin was the Highway Commissioner for Cedarburg Township and also the only employee of the commission.  The truck was the sole capital asset the Township had other than its schools.  Note the hard tires on the truck – no tubes, no air, and no flat tires, very slow speed – makes a lot of sense.

Prior to this, the township had a horse-drawn grader that was also used in winter to clear roads.  Erwin sometimes employed his cousin and close friend, William and Augusta’s eldest son, Edgar, to help with that chore which was far more physical than driving a truck.

MM BK 055 0087 After the Fox Farm Party June 24, 1936_resizeHard partying with nasty consequences.  Unscathed!!  After the fox farm party, June 24, 1936

Neighbor and friend, Bill Wendt, left an excellent party at the Nieman Fox Farm in an advanced state of relaxation.  His worn-out Chrysler had steering knuckles held together with baling wire (this was decades before state inspections were required). He walked away from this unscathed.  Incredible!

In their parents’ generation, transportation after similar partying occurred with horse and buggy.

WINTER WAS TOUGH

hp 020313 15 final sepia+6 crp1.jpgAt the end of the Lueder driveway – a Model T made it through the snow.

08 CEDAR ERICH RENATA  CRP1 IMG2446Model T of Erich Heckendorf and Renata Lueder Heckendorf.  The high clearance of the Model T and chains helped.

hp 020313 6b copy_resizeErwin Mueller’s Township truck snowplowing at Lueder’s driveway – likely the blizzard of 1936 which shut the region down.  The truck was much improved over the one shown previously.

0085 Meanwhile Back in Cedarburg copy_resizeBridge Rd., west of Cedarburg.  Milk had to get to the creameries and the roads were impassible – winter of 1936.  Most farmers still had teams and wagons/sleds.  They were needed.

NEXT – JOHN’S MODEL T

FOOTNOTES:

AUTO RACING – THE RIDING MECHANIC:

“A riding mechanic was a mechanic that rode along with a race car during races, and who was tasked with maintaining, monitoring, and repairing the car during the race. The various duties included manually pumping oil and fuel, checking tire wear, observing gauges, and even massaging the driver’s hands.  They also communicated with the pits and spotted from inside the car.   If the car ran out of fuel, or otherwise broke down, the riding mechanic was usually responsible for running back to the pits to fetch fuel or the necessary spare parts.”

Source – Wikipedia

PRIDE IN CAR OWNERSHIP

Fromm bros mark sel hist soc bSource – Mark Seliger, Hamburg, WI

Far north – Hamburg, Wisconsin – Fromm’s first car.  Augusta’s Uncle Fred Fromm and her Nieman uncles and aunts settled in Hamburg, Wisconsin.  Uncle Fred bought a car in 1911.  Quite the elegant vehicle.  One wonders where and how Fred had it maintained given the relative isolation and very small population of Hamburg in 1911.

Below, two fine pictures from the Lueder family archives that speak of pride in one’s automobile:

Fig 084b hp 020113 13 final sepia+6_resize_4At the Graese farm, not far from Cedarburg.  Frau und Mann, a pipe, a jug, their boy, likely the hired hand, and their very own automobile.  Life is good!

The boy, Erwin Graese, married into the Lueder family – husband to the Lueder’s daughter, Viola.

Fig 084c hp 020113 14 final sepia+6_resize_4Also at the Graese farm – person unknown, proudly posed with his Model T.  Classic image.

EARLY 20TH CENTURY – PART 1 – THE LITTLE ONES – PRIDE, BABY FOOD, GRIEF

Contents © 2016 Harold Pfohl

For location, see: Farm of Wm & Augusta – 1915 plat map

PART 1 – THE WILLIAM AND AUGUSTA – THE CHILDREN

Augusta and William planned to have two children.  That didn’t work.

OCTOBER 20, 1927 – DAUGHTER RENATA’S WEDDING DAY

Fig 069 MM 04 hp fam negs 02282013 10 copyLeft to right: Augusta, age 53; William, 56; Edgar, 27; Renata, 25; Elda, 23; Viola, 18; Cordelia, 17; Gerald, 15; and Harold, 11.

 

wm & augusta fam illus.XLS

MIDWIFE/HOME BIRTH

Midwife birth-chair-made-from-husband.jpgAll of Augusta’s babies were born at home.

Having children was much more hazardous than it is now. Both Augusta Lueder and her sister, in Northern Michigan, Alvina Pipkorn, had fine families, but childhood illnesses were a mortal threat and mothers sometimes died giving birth. William and Augusta had nine children of which seven reached maturity with no childbirth problems for Augusta except for one miscarriage. For this the couple was profoundly grateful.

Their good fortune failed them thirty years later.  More on that in a future post.  The practice and science of medicine was nothing like as sophisticated and capable as it is now.

TODDLERS AND PREGNANCIES

Fig 028 hp slides 03062013-12 blog.jpgAt the old home where William grew up.  L-R: William Lueder and little Edgar, Augusta Lueder, brother Otto Lueders and his baby Linda, Otto’s wife Anna Lueders, Minnie Mintzlaff Nieman, and in the background, Tom “the Irishman” Mitchell (neighbor immediately to the west) – William & Augusta eventually purchased 40 acres of his land.

Both Anna and Minnie were expecting at the time. Little Edgar, and later his sisters, Renata and Elda, were told that “Old Doc” Hurth brought the baby in his satchel.  Edgar was also told that cows got their calves by scratching in the straw by the cow stanchions, and that chickens had a hole under their wing where the eggs came out.

Irish Tom and German William were best of friends and sometimes shared a trip to town to relieve the boredom. Going three miles to Cedarburg with a team of horses and wagon could be tedious, taking an hour each way. Tom and William often shared a wagon and had a good time. Tom would arrive at Lueder’s farm greeting William with “Hey you damned Dutchman” which would be met with a grin and “Hey you damned Irishman.” William, smoking a pipe, and Tom, chewing tobacco, climbed into a wagon and drove off puffing, spitting, and laughing.

CHILDREN’S STUDIO PORTRAITS

Fig 68b hp 04-23-2013 28 - Copy sepia.jpgThe first studio portrait – Edgar and Renata, about 1903.

Copies of this would be sent to various family members and friends.  Going to the time, trouble and expense of a studio portrait was manifest evidence of the great pride that William and Augusta had in their two children.

001_016_GRWG UP renata, edgar, elda 1910_014_resizeThe second and last children’s studio portrait.  L – R: Renata, Edgar, and Elda,

Viola (Ollie), born in 1908, was to have been included in the photo, but objected violently to having her picture taken and in a state of tears remained off camera.

The studio portrait was a solemn and formal occasion!  However, more children kept coming and they gave up on studio portraits.  The novelty had worn off.  Enough already.  There are no other family studio portraits.

BABY FOOD

Gerberbaby

NOPE  – The families made their own baby food.

Rural mothers did not have the option of going to a grocery store or supermarket in order to buy baby food, assuming that Gerber’s or some equivalent was making it back then.  The solution was simple.  Augusta (and we can safely assume Alvina as well) chewed the food first and then fed the chewed food to the infant – for nine infants.  Perhaps William helped?  If so, maybe with a little cigar or pipe tobacco taste in the chewed up beans?  Maybe not.

“…the practice appears to confer certain nutritional and immunological benefits to the infant,[4] provided that the caretaker is in good health and not infected by pathogens.”  (Source: Wiki)

WIS HIST SEARS FOOD CHPPR IMG3567.jpgSource – 1902 Sears catalogue – Bounty Books

A food chopper likely helped in making baby food. This device was an immensely utilitarian kitchen tool and would have helped to provide crushed material to feed to an infant or very small child.  One fed the meat or fruit or whatever into the top, the handle turned an auger which forced the material through the grate of choice resulting in hamburger, crushed fruit, potatoes, etc.  It was a most utilitarian precursor to blenders and Cuisinarts, and was used for many decades well past mid-century.

BABY CLOTHES

Augusta, a skilled seamstress, made the children’s clothes. Shoes and underwear came from Sears, whose catalogue was an invaluable resource for all rural people. Commuting to and from town with horse and wagon was such a slow process that casual shopping was impractical. Anything ordered from Sears either came by mail or, if large and cumbersome, was delivered by horse and wagon to the purchaser’s farm.

HOW COULD AUGUSTA POSSIBLY HAVE MANAGED?

The answer is simple.  The older girls helped out with raising the little ones, and the boys helped with chores for Ma, and later as they grew stronger with chores for Pa.  One strong memory of the younger girls, Viola and Cordelia, was of their older sister Elda “potching” them, i.e., slapping them on the head.  Nothing serious, just a warning that nonsense would not be tolerated.

DISCIPLINE

William never spanked his children.  Somehow, both parents earned the respect and love of the children, and discipline was never a serious problem.

SISTER  ALVINA PIPKORN IN HERMANSVILLE, MI., ANNOUNCES THE BIRTH OF LESTER – OCTOBER 17, 1907

Fig 072 MM BK 018 0072 Alvina Announces Birth of Lester Pipkorn Oct 1907 copyTelephones were not yet available in rural Cedarburg and Hermansville, Michigan. Even if phones were in use in Alvina’s home, long distance calls at that time were very expensive and were rarely made by people with limited means. Telegrams were also expensive and neither Alvina nor Augusta could spare the money. As a result, Alvina sent a postcard to her sister.

Note the various languages used on the postcard heading.  Perhaps it was emblematic of the immigrants in the US from all over Northern Europe.  It is also interesting to see from the postmarks that it took only one day to get from the post office in Michigan to Cedarburg. The USPS was excellent although it certainly helped that both Hermansville,  and Cedarburg were well served by rail.

PIPKORN ELMER & LESTER  IMG2851Alvina’s children: baby Lester on the left, big brother Elmer on the right.  About 1908 – Elmer was five years old.

POSTCARD FROM ALVINA CONGRATULATING AUGUSTA ON THE BIRTH OF A DAUGHTER, CORDELIA – JANUARY 1910

hp 3 25 ced exhib 5 copy 4b_resizeAugusta did not get a phone until 1912. Somehow, Alvina way up in Hermansville quickly received word of Augusta’s new baby and promptly sent congratulations. Alvina missed her Cedarburg family a great deal, and the longing lasted for decades.

OCTOBER, 1911 – LESTER PIPKORN

Fig 074 Oct 1911 MM BK 022 0074 Lester Pipkorn Oct 1911 Lester PipkornAlvina’s Lester died of spinal meningitis at the age of four. She brought her little boy home to Cedarburg where he lay in state in the home of her brother, John Nieman. It was commonplace for the body of a family member to lie in state in the family home. This was the case with Lester’s first cousin, Hortensia Lueder (below) as well. The custom prevailed into the 1940’s among some families.

NOVEMBER, 1911 – HORTENSIA LUEDER

Fig 075 Hortensia Lueder Nov 1911_017 copyWilliam and Augusta’s baby Hortensia (b. April 29, 1911, d. November 7, 1911) died of whooping cough.

Augusta, William and children went to a party at brother Otto Lueders, and Baby Hortensia was placed on a bed to nap. Another woman arrived with her child, sick with whooping cough, and placed it next to Hortensia, who caught the disease and died. When the time came for the funeral and burial, William and Augusta were driven in a carriage to Cedarburg, holding the tiny casket on their laps.

William and Augusta almost lost Renata when she was born prematurely on June 23, 1902. Charlie Nieman and Minnie Mintzlaff were rushed to the Lueders on their wedding night to act as baptismal sponsors (Godparents) for Renata since it was thought that she would not live.

A few years later the Lueders almost lost Viola (b. 1908) as an infant to diphtheria. “Old Doc” (Oscar J.) Hurth said that he had one medicine left, and if that didn’t work, the baby would die.  Viola (Ollie) outlived all of her siblings, passing away in 2007 at the age of 99.

MARCH 10, 1914 – RAYMOND STARVED TO DEATH

Fig 076 Death Notice Raymond Lueder March 1914c_016 A precious one from us has gone

A voice we loved is stilled

A place is vacant in our home

Which never can be filled

God in his wisdom has recalled

The boon his love had given

And though the body slumbers here

The soul is safe in heaven

Augusta’s baby Raymond (b. November 6, 1913, d. March 10, 1914) starved to death. He apparently had a malformed esophagus and could not take in enough food to live. The anesthesia, antibiotics, and surgical skills necessary to alleviate the malformation did not exist.

Infant mortality was brutally high. Even so, the records at this time were much improved over a century earlier, when Augusta’s grandfather Joachim Niemann, born in 1818, was the sole child of five to survive to adulthood.

A CHILD’S PLEADING EYES

Many years, later, Augusta told her adult daughters that the hardest thing she had ever experienced was looking into her baby’s eyes which were pleading for help–which she was utterly unable to give.

THE LAST ONE – “OUR LITTLE BAREFOOT BOY”

cedarb exhib 02262013 15b sepia_resize.jpegThe photo is from a postcard sent by Augusta to her sister Alvina in 1918.  “This is our little barefoot boy, the pet of the family.  This was taken last fall threshing time Harold then being 21 months of age.”

Photo postcards of a family snapshot were available from the film processors and were in frequent use.

A FEW YEARS LATER – SEVEN MADE IT THROUGH EARLY CHILDHOOD

img071 copy 2About 1923-24.  L-R: Gerald, Viola, Harold, Elda, Edgar, Cordelia, Renata

Seven of William and Augusta’s nine children survived childhood hazards.

FAMILY AT THE FARM

hp 04-23-2013 31 sepia_resizeToddler Harold in front, brother Gerald in back, and cousin, son of Willie and Martha (Lueder) Mueller – Martha was William’s sister.  The cousins grew up with a very close relationship.

hp 04 15 2013 6-b2 copy sepia resized crp1Children on the farm with a cousin and a friend.

Front L-R: Viola, Cordelia, Gerald and Renata, Top L-R: a friend, Elda with her hands on Harold, and a Lueder cousin.

Elda 3 ring bndr img069.jpgHarold (left) and a friend with a lamb

hp 04 15 2013 5-b1 copy sepia_resize_2Harold, Elda, and Viola with a sheep and a lamb.

hp 05 22 2013 8 copy_resize crp1L-R: Harold, Cordelia, Viola, Gerald, and Rover.

PROUD FATHER, PROUD SON – WILLIAM AND EDGAR

Fig 071 Wm & son Edgar About 1919 - mayber earlier - Ed was 19A note on the photo indicates a date of 1919, but that is hard to believe given that Edgar would have been 19 years old.  Several members of the family experienced deferred adolescence which is a genetic trait that has been passed down.  Perhaps it was around 1916?  Sixteen years of age?  William would have been 45 then.

MA LUEDER WITH HER BOYS AND THE EVER PRESENT ROVER

hp 04 15 2013 5-d2 copy sepia_2_resize_2L-R: Harold, Gerald, “Ma,” Edgar

THE BROOD

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Around 1924 – L-R: Gerald, Renata, Cordelia, William, Viola, Harold, Augusta, Edgar, Elda

The farm was a great place to grow up. The land provided endless room for children to play, to interact with nature, to contribute to the work of seeding, growing, and harvesting, and to build relationships with and understand animals – horses, cattle, chickens, sheep, and especially their boon companion, the dog Rover.  The siblings were very close to each other and also had a great relationship with their nearby cousins. Relatives, friends, and their children were constantly coming and going to and from the Lueder household. Growing up on the farm was a treasured memory among the siblings in their later years.

NEXT – PART 2 – THE AUTOMOBILE AND SOCIAL LIFE

III. EARLY 20th CENTURY – OVERVIEW

Contents © 2016 Harold Pfohl

The story of this era is told through the family of William and Augusta Lueder, who were grandchildren of the immigrant families, Fromm, Nieman, Lüders and Brüss.

Click on image to enlarge – Augusta and William Lueder at their wedding in 1899 and 28 years later in 1927 at the wedding of their eldest daughter, Renata

Click on maps to enlarge – The family lived three miles west of Cedarburg on a 135 acre dairy farm.

SECTION III OVERVIEW

The children who blessed the marriages at the turn of the century were born into an era of the most profound change.  At the time of their birth and childhood, the Industrial Revolution was affecting virtually every aspect of their lives.

Fig 069 MM 04 hp fam negs 02282013 10 copy.jpg

Augusta and William Lueder and their children, Edgar, Renata, Elda, Viola, Cordelia, Gerald, and Harold   Photo: October 20, 1927, at the Lueder home.  At the time of their wedding they had decided to have two children.  They had nine; two died in infancy.

For William and Augusta, farm and house work were labor intensive.

WIS LUEDERS SEARS STOVE IMG3554.jpg

Source – Sears 1902 catalogue – Bounty Books

Cooking was done on a wood stove.

 

Click on images to enlarge – Outhouse/privy – Lueders had a two seater.  Severe weather or illness required other means. The commode – “Does not have to be emptied until filled no matter how long it stands.”  ???!!!!  Good grief.

Source – Sears 1902 catalogue – Bounty Books

Click on images to enlarge – There was no plumbing and laundry was still done by hand albeit vastly improved vs the washboards used by their grandparent immigrants.

WIS LUEDERS SEARS STOVE IMG3557

Source – Sears 1902 catalogue – Bounty Books

Rooms were lit by kerosene and gas lanterns.

The industrial revolution was progressing rapidly and the family had the benefits of farm machinery that greatly improved productivity, e.g., the reaper, threshing machine, drill (for seeding grain), steam engine, etc., but great physical labor was very much required.

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Edgar Lueder seeding a field with a “drill.”  Photo from the 1920s.

Casey and Dixie were the horses, faithful servants and friends for many years but eventually food for the foxes on Nieman’s Cedarburg fur farm.  Rover, the dog, was omnipresent for many years.

WIS GPA LUEDER GERMAN MAG  IMG2895WIS GPA LUEDER GERMAN MAG  IMG2894 resize blogNews and entertainment came with the German daily paper, The Milwaukee Herald.  The family also subscribed to “Die Abendschule” (The Evening School).

wolf hunters j o curwood.JPG

The Wisconsin Agriculturalist, a weekly, published a chapter per issue from exciting pulp novels. Two well remembered by daughter Cordelia were “Wolf Hunters” (about the gold rush in Alaska), and “North of Fifty Three (about a school teacher north of the Brooks Range in Alaska) both by James Oliver Curwood. The romantic imagery and drama sent children’s pulses racing and Cordelia awaited each new chapter coming in the mail with eager anticipation.

Toys were homemade. Eldest son, Edgar, built his own out of wood and scrap metal. These were often miniature farm implements that he powered via a six-foot tall windmill that he had built. When mother wasn’t home and aware of what he was up to, he powered his toy machines with her sewing machine treadle.

By the time William and Augusta’s children were teens and young adults, gasoline engines and electricity were commonplace, creating relief from arduous hand labor, providing rapid personal transportation, speeding communications, and expanding entertainment.

phone antique

The Lueders obtained a phone in 1908.

Fig 078c Overland ad.jpg

And an “Overland” car in 1915.

Samson tractor ad

Source – Foroactivo

They bought a Samson tractor in 1922, and were wired for electricity in 1927. Along with electricity came lighting, an electric oven, and radio.

milwaukee brewers

Source – chudnowmusuem.org – Milwaukee Brewers AAA Baseball Team

With a radio William became addicted to the Milwaukee Brewers, an early AAA class baseball club.

* * * * *

CHANGE – INEVITABLE DEMISE OF GERMAN LANGUAGE AND CULTURE

The scope of change was so radical that even though the German-American community north of Milwaukee was very large, its demise as a separate, distinct culture was inevitable, particularly after two world wars during which Germany was the enemy.

The language chosen for church services provides an indication of the decline. German services were often held four Sundays per month with one English service per month during the 1930’s.    During the 1940’s, the reverse was true, and only the elderly attended the German services, taking comfort in liturgy, hymns, sacraments, and sermons provided in the language of their youth. Today, church services in German are non-existent.

SOME THINGS DON’T CHANGE

hard cider 2

Children always get into what they shouldn’t.  Otto Lueder was assisting brother William to add a structure to a chicken coop.  This congenial joint effort was helped along by a pail of hard cider.  Edgar as a very little boy observed the elders, drank from the cider pail, imitating them and soon couldn’t walk.  He announced “Ich kann aber noch gaut gut sehen!” (But I can still see straight!)

NEXT – THE FAMILY – PRIDE, JOY, AND GRIEF

1890s/1900 PART 7 – NORTH WOODS – SEEKING ONE’S FORTUNE – RELIGIOUS EXILE

Fig 042 eIMG0028 final orig hue dupd

Contents © 2016 by Harold Pfohl

ASSIMILATION – LIFE IN FAR AWAY PLACES – 1) SEEKING ONES FORTUNE & 2) SELF EXILE – DESTINATION NORTHERN MICHIGAN, LOGGING COUNTRY

After the passage of 50 years the Germanic culture and language were still very strong and vital in the Cedarburg region. Among the people in this multigenerational tale John Nieman Jr. is the individual most likely to have first become fully assimilated.  His youngest sister, Alvina, and her husband, Albert assimilated rapidly as well.

The assumption that this is the case is based on their departure from Cedarburg and immersion in an American melting pot, the logging industry.

SEEKING ONE’S FORTUNE – JOHN NIEMAN, Jr.

In the 1850s and ’60s Joachim and Marie Nieman were extraordinarily entrepreneurial immigrants, pioneering five or six farms in their lifetime.  Their grandson, John Nieman, Jr., inherited their entrepreneurial drive and after great personal tragedy, went into the northern wilderness and built the beginnings of a fortune.  John may be a good candidate for the blog as the first person among all those descended from the immigrants to become fully assimilated.  He surely retained a good bit of German culture, but was a hard driving and successful American businessman and financier.

0001c Joachim Niemann & grandson John F. Nieman late 1880s

Joachim Niemann and his grandson, John Nieman

John married his childhood sweetheart, Annie Thesfeldt.  She died eight weeks after the wedding – a crushing blow for the young man..

 

Fig 059 eIMG0042 northwoods

November 22, 1891 – Annie was 21, and John, 23

HEADING NORTH INTO LOGGING COUNTRY

John remained in Cedarburg for a couple of years. He had started out as a teacher and perhaps he spent that time as a teacher as well.  Sometime before February of 1894 he headed up to Hermansville, Michigan, 200 miles from Cedarburg.

WIS RUMSEY RAND MCN 1897  copy

Source – David Rumsey Collection

THE CEDARBURG THAT JOHN LEFT BEHIND

John was departing from a community that had been improving its culture, commerce, industry and finance for nearly half a century.  It was also in close proximity to a major city, Milwaukee.  It was a thriving, prosperous place to live.

Cedarburg 1892 Map industry 1Cedarburg 1892 Map industry 2

Courtesy – Cedarburg Cultural Center

Courtesy – Edw. Rappold (click to enlarge)

HERMANSVILLE, MICHIGAN DURING JOHN’S TIME THERE

(A note on the photographs: Charlie Nieman appears to have visited his brother John in what was then remote Hermansville, Michigan in 1899, 1902, and 1905. On at least one of those occasions he took family members along. Charlie took numerous photographs of the area and the operations there).

Hermansville was a boom-town created to service the logging industry much as mining towns were created in the far West to service silver and gold mines that were discovered in the latter part of the 1800s. It was a logging version of a gold rush and the lumberjacks that John and his partner dealt with were a rough bunch.

WIS SLIDE NIEMAN HERMANSVILLE MI OLD IMG3106

The District School

WIS SLIDE NIEMAN HERMANSVILLE MI OLD IMG3102 copyWIS SLIDE NIEMAN HERMANSVILLE MI OLD IMG3108

Photos of Hermansville, MI around 1905 – by Charlie Nieman – Bleak

There wasn’t much up there other than trees, trees, and more trees, lumberjacks, sawmills, milling operations and the commerce required to support that.  However, that industry was substantial.

LOGGING CAMPS

WIS SLIDE NIEMAN HERMANSVILLE MI OLD IMG3105 copy.jpg

Woods in the vicinity of Hermansville around 1905 – photo by John’s brother, Charlie Nieman – family in the horse-drawn sleigh on the right.

In the North woods John and his brother-in-law and partner, William Buch, opened a “merchandising plant” that catered to the needs of the community and also operated a logging camp, “Camp Buch.”  This was a radical contrast to being a teacher in very civilized well-settled Cedarburg.

WIS SLIDE NIEMAN HERMANSVILLE IMG3056 copy

WIS SLIDE NIEMAN HERMANSVILLE IMG3056 copy crp1

Mealtime At Camp Buch, Hermansville, MI Jan 2 1905…John Nieman (mustache and black cap just to the left of center), Minnie Mintzlaff Nieman, Dora Nieman (cousin from Hamburg, WI)

Charlie took the picture, Minnie was his wife. Photo taken in 1905, at which time John was 37 & Charlie was 36.

WIS SLIDE NIEMAN HERMANSVILLE IMG3063

Wendt’s logging camp, Hermansville, MI., 1902 John Nieman 3rd from right, holding the child.  Wendt was a friend.

WIS SLIDE NIEMAN HERMANSVILLE IMG3060

1902 – August Wendt & crew, logging in Hermansville, MI.  John Nieman at the top of the pile of the logs, 2nd from right.

loggingcampbunkhouse_langladecountyhistoricalsociety

Typical bunkhouse interior – Source – Langlade Co. Historical Society

JOHN NIEMAN AT THE SAWMILL

Fig 041

John Nieman is the figure right of center with a mustache and a cap, leaning against the logs. Lumbering in Northern Wisconsin was a huge business involving large numbers of people and large quantities of equipment. (See footnote at bottom of post – Lumbering in Wisconsin)

WIS SLIDE NIEMAN HERMANSVILLE MI OLD IMG3109

Fig 041b John N at lumber camp copy

John at the sawmill.

HARDWOOD FLOORING FACTORY

WIS SLIDE NIEMAN HERMANSVILLE MI OLD IMG3110

Wisconsin Land & Lumber Company’s hardwood flooring factory in Hermansville

* * * * * *

Logging began in the region as a result of activity by the Wisconsin Land and Lumber Company. The first facility was a sawmill preparing pine for shipment south in Wisconsin. The property owned by the company also had significant stands of hardwood trees on it. At the time there was no ready means of making use of the hardwood lumber.

The company was a pioneer in the invention of machinery to mill hardwood into flooring which was not an easy task. Their success in that regard made possible the mass production of acceptable, readily usable hardwood flooring.  A sizable factory for that purpose was completed in 1888. (Source – Bently Historical Library – University Of Michigan – see footnote Lumbering in Wisconsin  at the bottom of this post for more on the company)

* * * * * *

During the era of peak operation annual rail traffic amounted to 10,000 carloads of either logs and lumber arriving or finished product leaving.

BUCH & NIEMAN MERCHANDISING PLANT, HERMANSVILLE, MICHIGAN

WIS SLIDE NIEMAN HERMANSVILLE IMG3061

The Buch & Nieman “merchandising plant,” about 1899 – John is the mustachioed figure at the right of the doorway.

WIS SLIDE NIEMAN HERMANSVILLE MI OLD IMG3111

Examining the photo carefully it is clear that the building had been expanded by the time of this photo, 1902.  The District School is in the background.

WIS SLIDE NIEMAN HERMANSVILLE MI OLD IMG3103

Photo from the District School, looking south, 1902 – Buch & Nieman store on the left.

DESOLATION

lumbering environ cvr page

In the 1860s, the state created a commission to assess the deforestation in Wisconsin. The findings were completely disregarded.

Fig 042 eIMG0028 final orig hue dupd

Road leading out of Hermansville, MI, about 1899

The ecological and environmental costs were huge.  This did not stop until the exploitation of the enormous forests had progressed so far that further logging was no longer profitable.  Vast areas of Wisconsin and northern Michigan were effectively ruined by logging practices that had no consideration whatever for the effect on the environment.

JOHN RETURNS TO CEDARBURG

John left Hermansville to return to Cedarburg in 1906, where he became one of the leading figures in business and finance in the surrounding region.  He continued to apply his business skills successfully by building and operating two canning factories, a bank, a savings and loan, and a fur farm.  John must have inherited a large dose of his pioneering entrepreneurial Grandfather Joachim Niemann’s genes. – Joachim and his wife, Marie, pioneered six farms.  John built several sizable businesses and eventually one huge business as the largest producer of silver fox furs in the world.

WIS CEDAR JOHN NIEMAN IMG2520

John in his late 30s/early 40s –

Fig 043b hp slides 04 11 13 1-3-b copy

Farm Machinery Junkyard at the Heart of Cedarburg – 1907

Fig 043 eIMG0029 final sepia+6

Site of John’s future home.  Note the boardwalk in 1907.

Fig 045bcedarburg from hill, 1910 copy crp

Courtesy – Edw. Rappold

John’s new home in Cedarburg.

John built a large, fine home immediately across Washington Ave. from, St. Francis Catholic Church. At the time that he purchased the land for the home an agricultural junkyard occupied the site, with remnant buildings from a defunct farm that had been swallowed by the expanding town.

He soon became involved in Hermansville again but this time as a fur rancher raising silver fox.  He continued to live in Cedarburg.

From “The Escanaba Daily Press, Dec. 15, 1946” (three years after John’s death):

“The Nieman ranches represent the largest fox raising business in the United States. Fromm Brothers of Hamburg, Wis., is the second largest, but the Fromms have the largest mink ranch in the country, pelting upwards of 20,000 mink annually.

At one time, the Niemans were financially interested in Fromms. John F. Nieman, founder of the Nieman chain, conducted a general store in Hermansville for 10 years around the turn of the century. Disposing of his Hermansville business, he left that community with about $50,000, {about $1.3 million in 2016 value} and went, to Ozaukee County, Wis. where he invested in farmlands, and established canneries and banks at Thiensville and Cedarburg. His cousins, the Fromm boys— Walter, Henry, Arthur and Edward—operated a ginseng farm at Hamburg for some years, and got dabbling in fox raising about 1912. Nieman helped with the early financing of the Fromm ranch operations.”

ALVINA NIEMAN AND ALBERT PIPKORN – HEAD NORTH TO POWERS, MICHIGAN

 In the previous post we saw Nieman family having a beautiful wedding in 1901 for daughter Alvina and her husband Albert Pipkorn.

0057 Wedding Alvina Nieman & Albert Pipkorn Oct 6, 1901_2 northwds.jpg

 Something was amiss that caused them to move from the rich farming country in Southeast Wisconsin.  Apparently it had to do with religion.  According to oral history the Pipkorn family and the Nieman family came from different sects of the Lutheran Church and the disputes over dogma were intolerable.  The resulting interfamilial acrimony caused Albert and Alvina to leave the region in 1903-04 and head north to a less contentious environment.  They moved to Powers, Michigan which is located very close to Hermansville and Alvina’s very successful brother, John.  By the time Albert and Alvina arrived, John had been in business in Hermansville for about 10 years.

NIEMAN INhermansville powers mi copy

Albert and Alvina, emulating brother John, opened a store in Powers.  However, it was a very small town with only a few hundred people.  The opportunity for prosperity was very limited.  Hermansville was something of a bustling metropolis compared to Powers.

WIS SLIDE NIEMAN HERMANSVILLE IMG3057

Powers Michigan.  Albert and Alvina’s store on the center right with the white horse in front.

Albert and Alvina’s store – click to enlarge

It was not particularly successful so Alvina eventually provided room and board to teachers.  She was remembered for having put in incredibly long hours for washing and cooking for her boarders.

WIS SLIDE NIEMAN HERMANSVILLE IMG3059

Albert and Alvina in front of their home in Powers, Michigan.

WIS SLIDE NIEMAN HERMANSVILLE IMG3058

Pipkorn home, Powers, Michigan – after the passage of a few years and the addition of children.

Note the addition of storm windows, e.g., the large window on the ground floor at the left side of house. It was common practice at the turn-of-the-century to construct homes without any insulation. Adding storm windows would’ve helped to reduce the chill of the northern winter.

Albert, unfortunately, developed a serious alcohol problem. On one occasion, Alvina had hidden some schnapps to use in assuaging her pain during an impending childbirth. When the time came to deliver, the schnapps was missing and she learned that Albert had found and drunk it. On another occasion he chased her around the house with a butcher knife while intoxicated. At some point the problem must have come under control because he lived to an old age, worked hard and had a fine family.

Understandably, Alvina deeply missed her home, large extended family there and her many friends in Cedarburg.  She would write to her sister Augusta begging for word of Cedarburg and home.

Alvina to Augusta 120719240001

Letter – Alvina to sister, Augusta, December 7, 1924

“It surely felt good to hear a little home news once; you don’t realize how precious home news is when a person is far away and alone amongst strangers otherwise you would probably write to me more often.”

Alvina to Augusta 120719240003

“I have seen you so little since I have left home that whenever my thoughts dwell around there it is when you and I were young. There does not seem to be a spot anywhere on the old homestead where my thoughts cannot ponder and see some memories. ‘Oh for days of yore – Mother’s love and Home.’”

The 1910 census shows them as having moved to Hermansville.  Albert started farming again although the land in the far north was nothing like as rich and fertile as that which they had left in Cedarburg.

* * * * * *

More on John, Alvina and Albert in the 20th Century, Section III of the tale.

NEXT – SECTION III – EARLY 20TH CENTURY

* * * * * *

Continue reading

1890s/1900 PART 6 – THREE WEDDINGS, CATASTROPHE, TWO FUNERALS, NORTHERN RELIGIOUS EXILE, AND A PRUSSIAN PASTOR

rites of passage featured image

Contents © 2016 by Harold Pfohl

THREE NIEMAN WEDDINGS, CATASTROPHE, TWO FUNERALS, RELIGIOUS DISPUTE, NORTHERN EXILE, AND A PRUSSIAN LUTHERAN MINISTER

GUIDE TO THE FAMILIES

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The central Nieman figures in this post are John Jr., Augusta, and Alvina.  The central Lueder figures are Otto, William and father Joachim

REFERENCE MAPS – FOR EVENTS OCCURING IN THIS POST – click on map to enlarge

Source – David Rumsey Collection & Steve Lueders

Cedarburg 1892 Map blog resize
1892 map – population 1890: 1361, population 1900: 1626

Source – Cedarburg Cultural Center

CATHOLICISM AND LUTHERANISM ARE THE PREDOMINANT RELIGIONS

Catholicism and Lutheranism were the dominant religions in Germanic Cedarburg.  St. Francis Borgia, a beautiful Catholic church with classic German architecture dominated the southern height of Washington Ave.  Three substantial Lutheran churches served the community.

Church was central to the lives of most people for sanctifying rites of passage, comforting sorrow, and worship. For the typical dairy farming family working seven days a week, Sunday at church was a morning of rest and joy, meeting extended family and lifelong friends. German Lutherans were a very musical people, and the Church provided the finest music available, except for the occasional performance of the local band. The large pipe organ, the choir, and the congregation indulged in a variety of religious work anchored by the great German hymns, which included masterpieces sifted through the centuries from composers such as Bach and Handel.

THE CHURCHES OF CEDARBURG – 1892

Cedarburg 1892 Map st francis borgia
St. Francis Borgia Catholic
Cedarburg 1892 Map Immanuel Lutheran wash ave
Immanuel Lutheran
Cedarburg 1892 Map Trinity Lutheran
Trinity Lutheran
Driefaltigkeitskirche Kirche harvest fest. copy
Interior of Trinity Lutheran on the occasion of Harvest Festival/Thanksgiving for good harvests.
Cedarburg 1892 Map Immanuel Lutheran
1st Immanuel Lutheran

SPEAK ENGLISH!!

Usage of German as the first language was widespread in the Cedarburg region.  “In 1889, a state law was passed that caused a lot of anxiety and anger among Catholic and Lutheran German congregations.” The law was referred to as the Bennett Bill.  The provision in the bill that thoroughly aroused Germanic Wisconsin declared that “no school shall be regarded as a school unless there shall be taught reading, writing, arithmetic, and United States history in the English language.” The uproar was sufficiently loud that the bill was repealed in 1891.

It is of interest to note that the Constitution of Immanuel Lutheran Church (home church to the Lueder and Nieman families) decreed that the German language was to be the only language used in the worship services. Furthermore, the pastor at Immanuel Lutheran for 46 years, Rev. Strassburger, spoke only German.  However, demand for services in English began to increase and in 1901 he facilitated this with the outcome that in 1904 steps were taken to establish an English Language Lutheran Church in Cedarburg.  Immanuel played a role, although small, in the establishment of the English congregation.

(Source –  Rev. Franklin Krueger,  “A Journey in Faith – Immanuel Lutheran Church, © 2002)

 AUGUSTA NIEMAN – THE CHILD GROWS AND CELEBRATES HER PASSAGE INTO ADOLESCENCE

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Two-year-old Augusta with parents Sophia and Johann

WIS SLIDE NIEMAN AUGUSTA LITTLE IMG3549 blog

About the time Augusta would have entered first grade?  1880?

0053 Confirmation of Augusta Nieman March 25 1888_2

Augusta’s confirmation photo

CONFIRMATION OF AUGUSTA NIEMAN – MARCH 25, 1888

 The Lutheran Church required its children to become knowledgeable about the fundamentals of their faith and to affirm that creed in Confirmation. This not only celebrated the religious commitment of the youth, but also implicitly provided a formal, solemn recognition of puberty with its incipient adulthood, responsibilities, and commitments.  Augusta was confirmed on Sunday, March 25, 1888.

Note fourteen-year-old Augusta’s diminutive size; the back of the sedan chair is well above her waist. A curious genetic quirk frequently pops up among the descendants of Johann and Johanna Fromm. The rapid growth associated with early teen years is delayed by as much as two years. Ultimate growth is usually very normal, e.g. the writer has a nephew (great grandson of Augusta) who weighed 90 lbs. at his Confirmation, the smallest of about 30 Confirmands, including girls. He finally began growing in his junior year in high school and matured at 5′ 11″ tall weighing 180 lbs.

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Augusta Nieman’s Confirmation Certificate.  The certificate was carefully and beautifully framed and hung in the Nieman home. The heading reads “Commemorating Your Confirmation Day”

ROMANCE, A VERY OLD STORY – OTTO LUEDERS’ LIBIDO GETS THE BETTER OF HIS BRAINS – 1894

 Fig 021 eIMG0009

Alvina and Augusta Nieman had a cousin in their Northern Hamburg, Wisconsin, family also named Augusta. She was tall and called “Grote (big) ‘Gusta” to distinguish her from the Cedarburg Augustine who was small and referred to as “Klein (little) ‘Gusta.”

Cousin Augusta, aka “Big ‘Gusta”, center in the photo, made the long trip south from Hamburg Wisconsin near Wausau to visit the ancestral Pioneer farm and her first cousins Alvina (left) and Augusta, aka “Little ‘Gusta,” (right).

THE GRASS IS ALWAYS GREENER ON THE OTHER SIDE OF THE FENCE

At the time of “Big ‘Gusta’s trip south to her Nieman cousins, Otto Lueders was courting a very attractive “Little ‘Gusta.”

Otto saw “Big ‘Gusta.”

His eyes widened, his libido took control and he abandoned “Little ‘Gusta” chasing in hot pursuit of the northern beauty.

Well………..that had consequences.

ID Fig 046 eIMG0030 work_edited-1 ID

 

Otto’s younger brother William had long liked “Little Gusta” a great deal.  He sized up the situation and wasted no time in paying court to her.  That attention to her had positive results.

 

Fig 051 Mintzlaffs - John Mintzlaff 21st B'day 1896
“Little ‘Gusta” Nieman and William Lueder

The northern beauty, “Big ‘Gusta,” boarded the train to far distant Hamburg, waved goodbye to Cedarburg and Otto was left holding the bag.  She eventually wound up in Santa Cruz, California.

WEDDING OF WILLIAM LUEDER AND AUGUSTA NIEMAN – NOVEMBER 5, 1899

Fig 060 0055 Wedding Wm Lueder & Augusta Nieman November 5, 1899 copy
Attendants, left to right are:  Martha Lueder, Alvina Nieman, Albert Pipkorn, Minnie Mintzlaff, Charlie Nieman, and Willie Mueller

Interestingly, and not surprisingly, Otto was not in William and Augusta’s wedding party. However, the brothers were neighbors and remained close, often helping each other out on their adjoining farms and spent many a social hour together.

NOT TONIGHT, DEAR.  I HAVE A HEADACHE

WIS SLIDE LUEDER OLD IMG3047

What a lovely wedding portrait! Unfortunately, the beauty of the day and the joy of the wedding was marred that evening by a curse that plagued William all his adult life. After five years of courtship, the poor man came down with a migraine on the evening of his marriage.

SOON AFTER THE WEDDING –  MORTAL ILLNESS,  LAND SALE TO OTTO AND THEN A FUNERAL – JOACHIM LUEDER

Williams’s father was mortally ill with cancer. He seemed quite well at the November 5 wedding, but the cancer had seriously weakened him. His decline was rapid and his wife, Albertina, thought that it was a result of exposure at the wedding. He died December 15. Albertina, (who was described as a very difficult person) implied that William and Augusta were to blame for Joachim’s death.  Not good.  They looked at each other after Joachim’s death and said “Now what do we do?”  They lived on the home farm with Albertina, which must have been emotionally very tough to deal with.

William’s siblings had left home: Albert and Otto had their own farms, and Martha had married Willie Mueller.

Sick as he was, he ensured that his son, Otto, had a portion of his land to farm. The document below is the deed that Joachim and Albertina signed on November 29, 1899, two weeks before he died, selling a piece of their holdings to Otto for $6,000.  The sale was witnessed by daughter, Martha.

Warranty Deed Joachim to Otto 1 of 3 finalWarranty Deed Joachim to Otto final

Warranty Deed Joachim to Otto signat 2

Source – Steve Lueders

MEMORIAL CARD – DECEMBER 15, 1899

Fig 061 cedarb exhib 02262013 6 copy

In the absence of telephones, and given that the Postal Service was quite good, it was custom to send out a memorial card to friends and relatives to notify them of a death in the family.

Note that the memorial card is in English.  Joachim had long before anglicized his name.  Perhaps the avoidance of German on the card was to honor his philosophy of adapting to the new country.  German services continued in his church for decades after he died, and his children spoke German and English.

The obituary for Joachim:

 

WIS SLIDE LUEDER OLD IMG3050 copy
Joachim Lueders

Joachim Lueders Death Notice Cedarburg News copy

Source – Steve Lueders

Joachim had a most extraordinary life filled with both grief and achievement. He left his homeland at age 25 with a young wife, with his parents, Johann and Eva Dorothea, and with his brother and his brother’s wife. He and his wife had three children. His wife died, and their three children died. He remarried and his first child with his second wife died. He persisted and became a very successful farmer, a pillar of the community, and a leader in his church.  To have such a positive influence on the community, considering what he had endured, he must have been a remarkable man.

Wedding photos are shown below for Joachim and Albertina’s other children, Otto, Albert, and Martha:  Click on an image to enlarge it.

JOHN NIEMAN, JR. – YOUNG LOVE, WEDDING, AND CATASTROPHE.

WIS SLIDE NIEMAN JOHN CHARLES BOYS IMG3548 blog

Brothers Charles and John Nieman as children

Fig 003 0001c Joachim Niemann & grandson John F. Nieman late 1880s copy
Photo likely around 1888.  Joachim is shown with his grandson, John Nieman, (spelled with one “n”) the son of Johann Niemann II. Johann appears to be about 70.  John would have been 20 yrs old.

THE WEDDING OF JOHN NIEMAN AND ANNIE THESFELDT – NOVEMBER 22, 1891

Click on images below to enlarge.

Sweethearts – John Nieman, Jr., and Annie Thesfeldt

Fig 059 eIMG0042 final orig hue

Attendants, L-R: ?, Otto Lueders, Martha Thesfeldt, Charles Nieman, Augusta Nieman, and Charles Thierman.

John and Annie were very much in love and were married on November 22, 1891 when Annie was 21 and John was 23. Catastrophe struck soon after.  Annie became ill and died on Friday, January 15, 1892, only eight weeks after the marriage. Her young sister-in-law, Augusta Nieman, took care of her and also became ill, but survived. It is thought that Annie was a victim of typhoid or perhaps scarlet fever.

JOHN HEADS TO THE NORTH WOODS, LUMBER COUNTRY

Had Annie lived, what would his life have been like? One suspects that a very young, happily married family man would have been likely to take a more prosaic course in life than John ultimately did. John started out life as a schoolteacher.  He became a tycoon.  He headed up to the lumber camps (in 1894, sometime before February), perhaps to bury his anguish in work.  John and a partner named Buch were successful in establishing lumbering operations and a company store in Hermansville, Michigan. They were very successful.  More on that next week.

WIS SLIDE NIEMAN HERMANSVILLE IMG3056 copy

WIS SLIDE NIEMAN HERMANSVILLE IMG3056 copy crp1

John at a lumber camp with his sister-in-law, Minnie Mintzlaff Nieman (Charlie’s wife) next to him.

JOHN MARRIES HIS SISTER-IN-LAW, MARTHA THESFELDT – THEIR MINISTER REFUSES TO PERFORM THE CEREMONY

hp 4 2 13 ced exhib 05 copy 2 c copy

Martha Thesfeldt, Annie’s younger sister, had always been sweet on John.

WIS SLIDE NIEMAN WEDG OLD IMG3086 copy

On June 7, 1897, John married Martha. Their minister refused to conduct the wedding, holding that it was immoral for John to marry his deceased wife’s sister.  What was the theological rationale behind that?  Who married them?  We have no answer for that.

John in this photo is a very different young man from the youth depicted in the previous photos.  He was a very young widower, spent years in the North-wood’s, was involved in a lumber camp (tough, hard-boiled men) and ran a company store.  John had made a lot of money and was at the beginning of an extraordinarily successful business career.

Fig 045bcedarburg from hill, 1910 copy

John and Martha lived in Cedarburg.  In the old postcard above (around 1910) their home is on the immediate left in the foreground.  By the time they reached middle age, John had accumulated a substantial fortune; he was in fact a tycoon in the region.

John Nieman residence

Martha was modestly eccentric. She had been a farm girl and loved it. She insisted on keeping chickens in back of the house in Cedarburg and carrying eggs to the store to sell. For a time, she even kept a cow, but that was a bit too much for John and the cow wound up at the William and Augusta Lueder farm, was named Nieman, and was assigned to niece Cordelia to milk.

Martha’s health was a bit touchy.  So, in the heart of Cedarburg John had a concrete underground tunnel built from their home to a concrete and brick chicken coop in order that Martha could go to her chicken coop without being exposed to inclement weather. One can imagine John, the brilliant, astute businessman, shaking his head at the profit and loss associated with the sale of those eggs.

Apparently, in keeping up with her local friends her practice of sewing bloomers from flour sacks really irritated him.  He tore them up!  “What if we have an accident and people see what wealthy John Nieman’s wife is wearing?”  Flour sacks were made of fine muslin with interesting patterns for the buyers to reuse as raw material for sewing clothes.  This was common practice in the farm community.

Martha’s modest eccentricity was probably due to her love of her friends. Purchasing feed and selling eggs and milk would have given her an ongoing reason to regularly meet and talk with people who had been her friends all of her life.  The activity also gave her life some meaning separate from her family and from John’s extraordinary achievements.  She had a wonderful sense of humor, making jokes at her own expense; she was a favorite among her Lueder nephews and nieces.

OCTOBER 6, 1901 – JOHANN & SOPHIE THROW A BLOWOUT FOR THEIR YOUNGEST DAUGHTER’S WEDDING… BUT, SOME QUESTIONS

0057 Wedding Alvina Nieman & Albert Pipkorn Oct 6, 1901_2

Alvina married Albert Pipkorn

Fig 062b Wedding Alvina

It is a beautiful, but most curious wedding party – where are Alvina’s siblings, John, Charlie and Augusta?  Why weren’t they among the attendants?  And yet her Fromm cousin was part of the wedding party (second from left in back).  His father was Henry Fromm (Sophie Nieman’s brother) who had been ostracized from the Fromm family many years before for converting to Catholicism.

Below is a photograph of Alvina’s Uncle Henry Fromm and his family with her male cousin in the back. Henry occasionally came out to visit his Cedarburg relatives. Perhaps by the turn-of-the-century with the passage of many decades at least his sister Sophie was reconciled to him.

Fig 016 henry fromm family_edited-1 copy_edited-1

Henry Fromm and family

HOME FROM THE WEDDING CEREMONY – ALBERT AND ALVINA

Fig 063 Home from the Wedding Ceremony copy

The photo shows a matched pair of white horses, elegant closed coach, and a driver up front – the wedding limousine of 1901.

THE COOKS, AT THE WEDDING RECEPTION

Fig 064

The tall woman in the white striped blouse standing just to the right of center is Emma Fromm (nee Lueders), an aunt to the bride, Alvina. Emma’s sister, Mrs. Wilhelmina Mintzlaff, is seated second from left. Wilhelmina’s daughter, Minnie, eventually married Charlie Nieman, brother of the bride and photographer for many of the pictures in this section.

THE BARTENDERS AT THE WEDDING RECEPTION

Fig 065 Bartenders Albert & Alvina Wedding Reception

Charlie Nieman, in the center, is clearly having a great time at his little sister’s wedding. What shape were these bartenders in by the end of the day?

THE WAITRESSES FOR THE WEDDING RECEPTION

Fig 066 Waitresses Albert & Alvina Wedding Reception

Second from the left, standing is Minnie Mintzlaff. A year after Alvina & Albert’s wedding, on June 23, 1902, she married Charlie Nieman. They had been courting for seven years. Finally, Minnie insisted on getting married.  Charlie wanted to know why she was in such an all fired hurry!

Then, after that long seven year wait, their wedding night was disrupted by a call at night to come and be baptismal Godparents for niece Renata, born prematurely to Charlie’s sister Augusta and William Lueder.  It was thought the infant might die, and hence baptism with Godparents present was requested in haste.

WEDDING PARTY AND GUESTS AT THE NIEMAN HOME; ALBERT AND ALVINA’S WEDDING RECEPTION

Fig 067WIS SLIDE NIEMAN PIPKORN WEDG HARTWIG WEDG OLD IMG3094

Upon examination, this turns out to be a rather strange picture. Where are all the women? Although some are to be seen, the sea of felt hats and suits behind the wedding couple swamps them.  The writer raised this question with his aunts and was informed without a moment’s hesitation that the women, as usual, were in the house doing all the work.

MARRIAGE TO A HEATHEN (DEPENDING ON YOUR POINT OF VIEW) – AND ESCAPE (OR EXILE?) TO THE FAR NORTH – POWERS MICHIGAN

WIS RUMSEY RAND MCN 1897 B

In 1904, Albert and Alvina moved to Powers, Michigan, near Hermansville, which given the transportation of the day was pretty much the remote boondocks. The move occurred because Albert and Alvina came from different sects of the Lutheran church. Each sect thought the other was heathen, therefore hell-bound and that imputation caused friction. This did not make for domestic tranquility with the in- laws, so they left the area.

Alvina’s older brother, John Nieman, Jr., had done very well in opening a store in Hermansville in the 1890s serving the lumberjacks and then also operating a lumber camp. Perhaps Albert and Alvina thought they might repeat John’s experience.  In any event, they headed for Powers, Michigan, lumber country, home to a few hundred people, a lot of wildlife, and vast space.

WIS SLIDE NIEMAN HERMANSVILLE IMG3057
Powers, Michigan

Albert and Alvina operated a store in Powers. It is the storefront on the right in the photograph above with the horse in front of it.  It was not particularly successful so as years passed by, in order to make ends meet Alvina provided room and board first to teachers, and later to workers at the nearby Hiawatha Fur Farms during the winter pelting season when many temporary employees came to the area. Alvina is remembered as having put in incredibly long hours cooking and washing for her boarders. More on the fur farm when we get to the early years of the 20th Century. Hiawatha Fur Farms was owned and operated by her brother John in later years.

Albert, unfortunately, developed a serious alcohol problem. On one occasion, Alvina had hidden some schnapps to use in assuaging her pain during an impending childbirth. When the time came to deliver, the schnapps was missing and she learned that Albert had found and drunk it. On another occasion he chased her around the house with a butcher knife while intoxicated. At some point the problem came under control because he lived to an old age and they had a fine family.

Understandably, Alvina was profoundly homesick for Cedarburg for many years, and would write to Augusta begging for word of Cedarburg and home.

RELIGIOUS LEADER, SHEPHERD OF THE SPIRITUAL FLOCK, REV. ERNST GOTTLIEB STRASSBURGER (1850-1926) AND HIS WIFE, FREDA MARIE (1859-1935)

Fig 056 eIMG0039 final sepia+7_edited-1
Pastor Strassburger & wife Marie appear to be in their 50s which would place this photo around the turn of the Century
Elmer Confirmation Class 1918 crp1 copy
Pastor Strassburger, 68 years of age with his confirmation class of 1918

Source – Steve Lueders

The photo depicts a formidable, stern visage.  Who was he? In brief, a very good man.

Reverend Strassburger was pastor of Immanuel Lutheran Church for forty-six years, arriving in 1873 and retiring in 1919. He officiated at the funerals of most of the immigrants and baptized many of their great grandchildren.

While within our great cities social intercourse was fluid and cultural change was comparatively rapid, much of rural and small town America either adhered to or aspired to rather rigorous religious codes.  Within the large German-American community in Wisconsin these codes were Lutheran and Catholic.  Change in rural Wisconsin was also occurring, but it was slow and was met with great resistance.

The German Lutheran church was the root of morality and religion for its members. It was an authoritarian entity, requiring people to obey God’s law, which was enforced by the preaching of hellfire and damnation and by the profound disapproval of the congregation when accepted religious precepts were publicly violated, e.g. illegitimate birth.  Pastor Strassburger was not radically conservative.  He was simply a part of the culture of his time and place, occupying a position of moral leadership and setting moral standards. He and his fellow ministers and the priest at St. Francis Borgia were among the most respected people of their community, and are deserving of great respect from us in retrospect for their conscientious honorable service.

But, Pastor Strassburger also preached forgiveness, compassion and the love of God. He provided comfort to those who suffered, solace to mourners and he sanctified the rites of passage of the congregation.

Ernst Strassburger was born in Bichburg, Saxony, on February 6, 1850, the youngest of eight children.  His father was an officer in the king’s mines.  He planned to become a minister, but his studies were interrupted by rumors of impending war.  On Christmas Day, 1869, he fled to America, his destination being Wartburg Lutheran Seminary in St. Sebold, Iowa.  In 1870 his name was indeed on the draft list for the Franco-Prussian War.  In America he was destitute, to the extent that he was reduced at one point to begging on the streets of St. Sebold.  He regarded his three years at the seminary as the happiest of his life.

He was called from the seminary to the ministry at Immanuel Lutheran in Cedarburg as an assistant pastor and was ordained there.  The congregation’s principal pastor, Rev. Habel, had fallen out of a carriage, was severely injured and needed help in performing his duties.  Reverend Habel never recovered, and Reverend Strassburger soon assumed full pastoral responsibilities.

He married and had a son; unfortunately his first wife died in 1877.  He remarried (to Marie in the photo) and had a daughter.  Reverend Strassburger was highly regarded by his colleagues, and was elected treasurer of the Synod, and later was President (today, Bishop) for eight years of the Wisconsin District of the Iowa Synod of the Lutheran Church.

(Source –  Rev. Franklin Krueger,  “A Journey in Faith – Immanuel Lutheran Church, © 2002)

MY CHICKENS ARE STARVING

WIS SLIDE FROMM ANDREW OLD IMG3099 copy copyFig 057

The card is from Reverend Strassburger to William Lueder: “My chickens are starving, where is the grain you promised me?” William was a kind man and generous with what little he had. The grain clearly had been forgotten. The card is dated in the 1920s, at which time Rev. Strassburger was retired, and virtually without income even though he had devoted his entire professional lifetime to his congregation. This was normal.

Pastors with such deep commitment to God and congregation were frequently to be found in the service of the German Lutheran community.

Prior to refrigeration and high-speed transport of fresh foods, it was commonplace in farm communities for a minister to keep a few chickens, a cow and a horse. These were necessary for fresh eggs, meat, milk, and transportation. The ministers’ salaries were miniscule and they depended on their congregations for frequent donations of necessities to have a bearable life.

This was not a problem. Many members gave a small portion of their produce frequently and willingly to help the family on whom they so depended for steadfast spiritual guidance in an uncertain world. Such gifts were a gift to the church, a gift to God, and an expression of thanks to the minister.

Reverend Strassburger passed away at noon on July 29, 1926 never having gained advantage in material goods, but with the knowledge that he had justly earned the love, affection, and respect of hundreds if not thousands of people in a lifetime of selfless service.

NEXT WEEK – LUMBERING IN THE MICHIGAN PENINSULA

 

 

 

1890S/1900 PART 5 – SOCIAL LIFE – 4TH OF JULY, PARTY TIME, FAMILY VISITS

Fig 051 Mintzlaffs - John Mintzlaff 21st B'day 1896

Contents © 2016 by Harold Pfohl

For a guide to the Nieman and Lueder families see link: 1890s/1900 – GUIDE TO THE NIEMAN AND LUEDER FAMILIES

PART 5 – CELEBRATING THE 4TH OF JULY, HUMORLESS GERMANS (!!??), PARTY TIME (TOWNSHIP COP INCLUDED), GRANDMA VISITS MISSOURI, MUSIC CIRCLE

4th of July, 1899

7178812_1_l.jpg

Charlie Nieman went to festivities on the Milwaukee waterfront and to a large parade and lugged along his big view camera and tripod.

Interurb & train to MKE ca000039
Cedarburg depot – a short distance from Charlie Nieman’s farm

It was easy for Charlie to get downtown – 20 miles from his farm home.  He would have boarded the train in Cedarburg.  The terminal in Milwaukee was right on the lakefront which couldn’t have been more convenient.

Milwaukee 1898
Downtown Milwaukee – turn of the century

 

Milwaukee 1891 rumsey copy
Depot in Milwaukee – right on the lakefront – Lake Michigan

Source – David Rumsey Collection

Fig 55 cedarb exhib 02262013 1
Photo by Charlie Nieman at Juneau Park looking toward the lakefront depot

Two photos below by Charlie of the festivities – 1899

hp 4 2 13 ced exhib 04 copy 3 a

Given the large amount of bunting on display on the parade route this was very likely a fourth of July celebration.

Fig 54 eIMG0037

Then, as now, Milwaukee loved a good time. There is a familiar sense about the street scene, but the waterfront at Juneau Park has changed so radically as to be altogether strange.

Party Time

GERMAN copy.jpg

From an article in the Economist, May 3rd, 2016

https://www.1843magazine.com/ideas/the-daily/being-german-is-no-laughing-matter

Hmmmm…really?  Well, we do have the girl with the rolling pin on the right threatening guy beneath her.  That’s Charlie Nieman on the left with the big moustache and closed eyes.

hp 4 2 13 ced exhib 04 copy 4 a copy.jpg

I can’t speak for today’s Germans, but laughter is the thing that I remember most about my German-American aunts and uncles.  Many a meal around the farm table with relatives was punctuated with hilariouis family or neighbor tales and laughter.  My old Aunt Elda Lueder whose education stopped at the 8th grade, who never married, had a rather tough life, but was one of the funniest people I’ve ever known.

Harold Pfohl

* * * * **

The German-American community was gregarious, musical, fun loving, and resourceful.  Every community had its public park with bandstand in the center, and numerous people played a musical instrument of some sort.  It was common to gather together to make music.  Churches, schools, and taverns functioned as major social centers.

How can you meet, gather, party, have a few beers and not laugh?  The social circle was geographically small given the constraints of horse and buggy for travel.  Neighbors and extended family were frequently present.  They would stop by to borrow something that was needed in the household or on the farm, just to say hi and have dinner (the noon meal), or to party in the evenings.  A birthday resulted in a household full of neighbors and relatives, which was a very common, totally informal social event characterized by clouds of cigar and pipe smoke filling the rooms, sheepshead (card game) for pennies occupying a number of the men, a bit of beer, and plenty of coffee, coffee cake and more.

TV, radio, telephone, automobile, stereo, CD players, etc. were non-existent.

Flashlight Party – 1899

Young men and women partied harder than the older folks – and Charlie Nieman recorded the more memorable events.

Fig 050 eIMG0033 final sepia+7.jpg
“Flashlight Party” – 1899

Police at the party!!!  The balding man in the upper right is named Beckman.  He was also the town cop. Charlie Nieman is the man in the center right with the girl on his lap.

* * * * * *

It doesn’t seem that law and order were matters of great difficulty in 1890’s German-America. The partiers appear to be having a great time, and in the event of excessive drinking, the horse often knew the way home. Collisions at the speed of a walking horse seldom had nasty consequences. Few farmers could afford the luxury of a saddle or carriage horse so the plow horse did double duty pulling the buggy.

GOOD FRIENDS

Fig 046 eIMG0030 work_edited-1.jpg
Officer Beckman, Charlie Nieman, and William Lueder – late 1890s

Friends. This trio has an air of fun and mischief. Beckman was the town cop, Charlie had a great sense of humor, and William loved a practical joke.

A creamery operated a quarter-mile from William’s farm at the northwest corner of Bridge St. and Granville Rd. Somehow he managed to place a 50-gallon drum over the creamery chimney without being seen. The next morning, the operator became monumentally frustrated when he found it impossible to light the fire in the creamery boiler.

On Halloween, William played on the profound superstition of a neighbor named Mitchell, who was happily sitting in front of his fireplace, when, thanks to William, a goose came down the chimney and erupted into the room. Mitchell flew out the door frightened out of his wits.

William also enjoyed deflating a braggart. He had a neighbor who incessantly prattled about the superiority of one of his fruit trees, how much better it was than anything that anyone else had. On a night when the fruit had ripened to perfection, William and an accomplice who was equally offended by the bragging spread blankets under the tree, shook off all of the fruit, and carted it away. William mellowed as the years passed and he is remembered as “an awfully nice man.”

Charlie loved to laugh.  Typical of Charlie’s dry humor was his observation on humanity: “There are all kinds of people in the world but none that are completely round.”

Family Get-Together to Celebrate a Wedding in 1901

Ten Fromm family members travel by a carriage to Cedarburg to visit sister Sophie, her husband, Johann Nieman and family for a wedding –likely Sophie and Johann’s youngest daughter, Alvina, to Albert Pipkorn  in 1901.

WIS SLIDE FROMM NIEMAN OLD IMG3074.jpg

Fromm’s at the William Fromm home on Glacier Drive NW of West Bend.  Judging from the hats and dresses, this may well have been a photo from the same trip to Cedarburg as the following two images.  This was probably taken at the outset of the trip.  It is unlikely that they would have had the energy for this to have been taken at the end of a daylong tiresome, dirty, cramped return journey of ten people in that buggy.

WISCONSIN 1897 RUMSEY FROMM copy

Source – David Rumsey Collection

The Fromm homestead on Glacier Drive northwest of West Bend was about 22 miles by road from the Nieman home. That was a long, long journey behind a walking team of horses in a crowded carriage. Such a trip would have been made very infrequently – perhaps once a year or less.  In time consumed, it would be comparable to a 300-400 mile journey by car today.

Fig 047 0eIMG0031 Rhoda Scan 02262013 2 copy_edited-2Trousers don’t seem to have ever been pressed.  Photo at the Nieman farm on Pioneer Rd.

Fig 048 hp 3 25 ced exhib 7 copy 4b2_edited-2-1

Augusta is pouring a drink for her Uncle William Fromm.  Aunt Anna is holding the baby and Grandmother Johanna Fromm is in the carriage with another little one. Judging from the heavy clothing it must have been a spring or autumn day and the formality of the clothes is appropriate for the wedding they attended.

MAKE YOUR OWN MUSIC

Playing “Sweethearts True.”  Paulina Mintzlaff playing the piano at the Mintzlaff home – mid to late 1890s.

Fig 053eIMG0036 final sepia+6

What a typical scene! Times and environments change but human nature alters little, even though people adapt outwardly to cope with their surroundings. Photos of loved ones surround the piano, music enriches the life, and love and romance are a central theme (strong magnification of original photo shows that the sheet music on the piano is “Sweethearts True”).

Fig 052 eIMG0035 final sepia+6
Music circle at Nieman’s home, summer 1901

Seated L-R: Otto Lueder, Alvina Nieman, and Albert Pipkorn – Alvina and Albert were married in 1901.

* * * * * *

A concertina, a violin, plenty of sheet music, and numerous voices constitute this musical group.  The pale foreheads and sunburnt cheeks of the young men are indications of the long hours of fieldwork that farming demanded in the summer.  This was surely a very welcome, hard-earned party bringing relief from labor and great enjoyment.  Judging from the party photos in this post, it is likely that the quality of the music was enhanced (or degraded!) by liquid refreshment.

Family Visit and a Death by Drowning

cedar hamburg rumsey 1897

Source – David Rumsey Collection

Family visits between Cedarburg and Hamburg were a major affair.  The distance was considerable, and likely the train fare was a serious financial consideration.

Fig 049 eIMG0032 final sepia+7
Herman Roehl, Jr., and his wife visit his Nieman first cousins in Cedarburg – late 1890s.

Herman was the son of Dorothy (Dora), Johann Niemann’s younger sister.   His first cousin, Johann’s daughter, Alvina, is kneeling on the grass.  Roehls lived in the Hamburg area of Marathon County where the immigrant Joachim Niemann’s prodigious efforts succeeded in pioneering farms for his children Maria, Carl, Alvina (aunt to the Alvina in this picture), and Dora.  Dora grew up on the Cedarburg farm, arriving there in 1852 as a five year old pioneer, and leaving in 1865 when she was eighteen.

* * * * * *

The journey from Hamburg to Cedarburg would have been most extraordinary for her son, Herman.  The distance was great and the trip was almost certainly accomplished by train.  Perhaps Herman wanted to touch his roots – to see where Grandfather (Joachim) had first established himself in America, to indulge in personal nostalgia, and to see his Uncle Johann, Tante Sophie, and his cousins.  Herman drowned in the Wisconsin River in 1913 attempting to save the lives of others from an overturned boat.

herman roehl jr. tombstone_2 copyCharlie and Minnie Nieman and their children visit cousin Herman’s grave in northern Wisconsin – sometime in the 1920s.  Herman’s widow kneels by the grave.

21ST BIRTHDAY PARTY

At Ferdinand Mintzlaff home for son John’s 21st birthday, 1896.  Neighbor to Niemans & Lueders and a cousin of the Lueders, future brother-in-law of Charlie Nieman.

Fig 051 Mintzlaffs - John Mintzlaff 21st B'day 1896

L-R, front: Martha Lueders on Willie Mueller’s lap, “Old Man” Ferdinand Mintzlaff on the floor, Augusta Nieman on William Lueder’s lap, back row: John Mintzlaff, Minnie Mintzlaff, Otto Lueders, Mrs. Wilhelmina Mintzlaff.

The Mintzlaffs and the Lueders were cousins and neighbors, and both families were very good friends with and married into the Nieman family. Martha Lueders and Willie Mueller married, Augusta Nieman and William Lueder married, and Minnie Mintzlaff married Charlie Nieman who probably took the photo. Mrs. Mintzlaff was one of Johann and Minna Lüders ‘ daughters and a first cousin to William, Otto, and Martha Lueder in the photo.

* * * * * *

Those pictured in the image are mostly extended family and neighbors.  This was the social circle dictated by practical considerations of travel.

Nieman Pioneers Travel a Great Distance in their Old Age

lockwood hamburgRR david rumsey 1901

Source – David Rumsey Collection

Joachim and Marie Niemann, the prolific immigrant pioneers of multiple farms, traveled from Hamburg, Wisconsin to visit their son, Herman and his wife Helena in Lockwood, Missouri.  This was likely in the 1890s.

Fig 005 b scan0003_edited-4
Joachim and Marie Nieman visit son Herman, his wife Helena and their children in Lockwood, Missouri

Fig 005 b scan0003 J&M

Enlargement of the previous picture.  Marie on the left and Joachim on the right.  One of Herman’s and Helena’s children in front.

It was most curious that the elderly couple separated in their late old age.  Joachim wanted to be with Herman and family, and Marie wanted to be with their children in Hamburg.  After such a dramatic lifetime together, and such extraordinary striving which met with success, they lived and died hundreds of miles apart at the end.  Maybe Joachim was tired of the Northern Wisconsin winters and wanted a climate that was at least somewhat milder.

High Spirits and a Raucous Party

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High spirits and perhaps a bit much beer.  Note the rolling pin being wielded on the right.  This photo is the only one of Charlie Nieman’s that is not well exposed.  Charlie is the gent with the moustache on the lower left.  Perhaps by the time this was taken, Charlie was in advanced party mode, and less adept than usual.

NEXT – RELIGION AND RITES OF PASSAGE

1890s/1900 PART 4 – CONTINUED – DAILY LIFE

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PART 4 – CONTINUED – DAILY LIFE – ASIDE FROM FARM WORK

Contents ©2016 by Harold Pfohl”

For a guide to the Nieman and Lueder families see link: 1890s/1900 – GUIDE TO THE NIEMAN AND LUEDER FAMILIES

The Young Adults – What Did They Do? Where Did They Go?

All of Joachim and Albertina Lueder’s children, Albert, Otto, William and Martha, became dairy farmers.  Johann and Sophie Nieman’s children were a bit more diverse: Charles and Augusta farmed, John started as a school teacher and became a businessman involved in lumbering in Hermansville, Michigan, and Alvina married a farm boy who became a storekeeper in the Michigan Peninsula very near the Wisconsin border and her brother John.

Lueder Nieman farms twnshp plat 1915 LOC
Farms of Albert, Otto, William & Martha Lueder and Charles & Augusta (md. William Lueder) Nieman

1915 Township of Cedarburg plat – source: Library of Congress

The Lueder siblings lived in close proximity and remained close as an extended family throughout their lives.  They were also close to Charlie Nieman and his wife Minnie.  Charlie and Augusta were brother and sister.  Minnie’s mother (Wilhelmina Mintzlaff nee Lueder) was a Lueder, niece and a neighbor of Joachim and Albertina.

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Hermansville, MI, short term home and beginning of business for John Nieman Jr. – Powers, MI, permanent home for Alvina Nieman.

Source – David Rumsey Collection

Education

German-Americans brought with them a culture from Germany that valued education greatly.

The homeland, especially Prussia, placed a high value on universal education.  This had its beginnings with Frederick the Great in the late 1700s.  As a result of defeat in the Napoleonic wars Prussia increased the emphasis on education as well as instituting major reforms in most other aspects of governmental affairs.

For more information on early education in Germany see footnote to this post and see Wiki link PRUSSIAN EDUCATIONAL SYSTEM

This was carried over into the German-American community in Cedarburg, but without religion as a topic in public schools.  Additionally, there was no oversight from the national level.

The Lueder and Nieman children received an 8th grade education.  Whether this was at the local one room country school, or at the parochial school in Cedarburg is not known.  High school was instituted in Cedarburg at the turn of the century which would have been too late for both families – the children were adults by then.

John Nieman Jr., started out as a school teacher.  Presumably he had some sort of education beyond 8th grade to qualify him for that.  In the earlier parts of the 20th Century “Normal” schools provided a two year course for high school graduates that qualified the students as teachers in elementary schools.  John was born in 1868, and High School in Cedarburg arrived much too late for him.

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Farm homes in relation to schools

Cedarburg Township, 1915 plat – Source:  Library of Congress

The map above shows the locations of the Johann Nieman and Joachim Lueder farms in relation to their local schools.

Lueder children:

  • Walk to Sherman School (shown as school no. 3), 1.2 miles
  • Walk to Immanuel Lutheran Parochial School, 3.7 miles
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Sherman School on Bridge Rd.

Sherman School on Western Ave.  The Lueder children may have attended this – but…this picture was taken in the early 20th century, and it is not known whether or not this building was erected as early as the 1870s and 80s when the Lueder children would have been in attendance.  An 1878 Wisconsin Atlas shows a school house in the location of the Sherman School.

Nieman children:

  • Walk to local school (shown as school no. 7), 0.4 miles
  • Walk to Parochial School, 3.4 miles

 

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Elm Tree School, School House No. 7 – Nieman’s school – ?

This picture is thought to have been of the school that the Nieman children may have attended, on Pioneer Rd. It would have been very convenient for Johann and Sophie’s children. Oral history indicates that this building was modified by an addition and is still in existence.   Note that the 1878 Wisconsin map referred to above shows a school house at the same location on Pioneer Rd. as the 1915 plat above shows as School House No. 7.

 

Fig 118b Edw Rappold 02 parochial school 1896 1926 copy
Die Zweite Kirche as Immanuel’s Parochial School

This image has appeared in previous posts.  The parochial school, formerly the second church structure for Immanuel Lutheran, served numerous students at the turn of the century, but was not so utilized early enough for the Lueder and Nieman children who were adults by then.  Nonetheless, many German-Lutheran children received all of their formal education here.

 

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Location of the Immanuel Lutheran Parochial School

Sidebar note: A curious matter regarding this map is that it shows “J. F. Niemann”
just below and to the right of the circled parochial school, but does not show Immanuel Lutheran Church at the right/East end of Western Ave.  John Nieman, Jr., bought that property at turn of the Century, and the new Immanuel Church was completed and dedicated in 1883 when John was only 15 years old.  The date of the map is not available.
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WIS SLIDE LUEDER WM SCHOOL OLD IMG3113 blog

“Pa” is William Lueder.  This may be an 8th grade graduation picture for the township – perhaps the county.  The children appear to be all the same age with the exception of the tall boys in the back left.  The only decipherable word on the sign held in front is “Cedarburg” The number of children is too large for this to have been a confirmation picture, and the age is too uniform for it to be a Sunday school picture.

 Community Service 

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Cedarburg Township Board meeting

Charlie Nieman on the left.  Church, schools, mutual assistance among neighbors in farming, isolation due to limited transport, lack of electricity – all helped to create a sense of community.  One suspects that the deliberations of this group were helped along by a beer or two – lots of gemütlichkeit, enjoyable companionship.

Augusta Nieman Becomes an Accomplished Seamstress

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Augusta spent some time studying “Ladies’ French Tailoring.”  She had exceptional aesthetic taste.

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Augusta Nieman

Augusta made her own clothes, including those shown in this photo.  In later years she made her children’s clothes as well.  She was an accomplished seamstress.

 

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Augusta’s sewing circle

Augusta is second from the left in front.

 Getting the News

German language daily papers were readily available and broadly subscribed to.

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MKE NEWSPAPER

German language publications persisted for many years and were common in the upper Midwest, e.g., the Cincinnati paper below:

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The “Abendschule” was a magazine that the Lueder family subscribed to in the early 20th Century. WIS GPA LUEDER GERMAN MAG  IMG2894 resize blog

Correspondence

With the great improvement in railroad equipment and the huge increase in trackage, the USPS became quite efficient with postcards and letters which were a comparatively fast method of communicating.

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carrie boettcher 1912

Augusta Nieman (Mrs. William Lueder at the time of this postcard) kept up a relationship with her cousin, Carrie Boettcher, who wound up in Williamsburg, Virginia from near Augusta’s Fromm grandparents northwest of West Bend.

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Postcard, Alvina Nieman Pipkorn to her sister Augusta Nieman Lueder

Near railheads, communication was swift.  The note above was penned in Michigan on February 1, 1910, in response to a letter regarding the birth in Cedarburg (200 miles distant) of Augusta’s daughter, Cordelia, on January 30th.   It took only two days for the letter to be posted in Cedarburg and arrive in Hermansville.  The USPS had accomplished a great deal over the preceding 50 years.

Northbound – Out of Farming and Into Business

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Cedarburg to Hermansville, MI – 200 miles

Source – David Rumsey Collection

John Nieman’s first wife died (more on that in a future post) and he headed to Hermansville, Michigan in the upper Peninsula with a brother-in-law by the name of William Buch to see if he could make some money from the lumber camps.

 

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Lumber country and destination for two Niemans

Source – David Rumsey Collection

John did well up there in the 1890s.  In 1901, his little sister, Alvina, and her husband, Albert Pipkorn headed up to nearby Powers, Michigan to open up a store perhaps to emulate John.  The primary motive for leaving the Cedarburg area for Alvina and Albert was religious disagreement among in-laws.

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The Buch & Nieman store in Hermansville, MI

Beginnings of a fortune for John Nieman, Jr. – Buch and Nieman, about 1899.

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John Nieman is the mustachioed figure by the doorway to the store

Enlarging the store front portion of the photo shows general merchandise for sale as well as meat.

John Nieman made a considerable fortune in his lifetime. Excepting Carl Kiekhaefer (founded and built Mercury Outboards), he has probably been Cedarburg’s most successful businessman. He started as a schoolteacher. After the death of his first wife, he moved to Hermansville, Michigan, where he opened a general store with his brother-in-law, William Buch, to serve the needs of the lumber camps. He was intensely competitive. After succeeding in his endeavors in the North woods, he returned to Cedarburg with keen ambition, a fine mind and aggressive instincts.  His business interests expanded enormously over  his lifetime.

Fig 041Fig 041b John N at lumber camp 

John Nieman is the figure right of center with a mustache and a cap, leaning against the logs. Lumbering in Northern Wisconsin was a huge business involving large numbers of people and large quantities of equipment. It was a gold rush of sorts, with vast fortunes being made. John’s fortune started there.  More on lumbering in a future post.

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Alvina’s husband Albert Pipkorn in front of their store in Powers, Michigan.  They worked hard to make a living but only with modest success.

Homesick for Cedarburg and Family for Many Years

Albert and Alvina remained there for the rest of their lives.  Alvina missed her family and Cedarburg home deeply.  She longed for news from home, and in particular, letters from her older sister, Augusta.  Augusta, married to William Lueder, was raising seven children on the farm, had hardly a moment to spare, and didn’t write her little sister as frequently as desired.

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Excerpt from letter, Alvina to sister Augusta 23 years after leaving home in Cedarburg for Powers, MI

“I have seen you so little since I have left home that whenever my thoughts dwell around there it is when you and I were young,.  There does not seem to be a spot anywhere on the old homestead where my thoughts cannot ponder and see some memories.  “Oh for days of yore – Mother’s love and Home.”

 NEXT – SOCIAL LIFE – PARTIES, TRAVEL, HOLIDAYS

 Footnote – Education in Germany

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