Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Swartz, Frederick August and John Jacob

John F. Swartz homestead
Somers Township
(Source:  Photo courtesy of Robert Swartz.  Copyright January 2012.  All Rights Reserved.)

John J. and Emma Swartz
(Source: Photo courtesy of Robert Swartz. Copyright 2012. All Rights Reserved.)

Frederick August Schwarz
Frederick August Schwarz was born in 1804 in Usingen, Germany.  He was the son of Johann Philipp Schwarz.
Frederick was united in marriage in 1825 to Miss Marie Christianne Enders, who was born in Heringen, Nassau, Germany.  Of this union, six children were born:
Wilhelm (William) born about 1828
Katharine Christiane born about 1830
Christian August born about 1832
Marie Katharine born about 1835
Marie (Wilhelmina) Christiane born about 1835
Johann (John) Jacob, born January 9, 1842

"According to a letter from William Schwartz, written in 1899, the family sailed from Antwerp, Belgium on about March 15, 1849. They arrived in New Orleans, about mid-May.  In the July 7 Missouri Republican, there was printed a report from the German Society which indicated that during March, April, and May, there were 4,520 German emigrants who arrived in America.  Of that number, 3,520 had come via New Orleans.  From New Orleans, the Swartz family traveled up the Mississippi River to St. Louis.  They arrived facing a cholera epidemic where Frederick's wife, Marie Christianne, died.  Marie was buried in St. Louis."
(Source: Photo courtesy of Robert Swartz. Copyright 2012. All Rights Reserved.)

Immigration Story Told
On July 24, 1924, John Frederick Swartz told his sixteen year old son, Glenn, the story of the Schwarz family journey from Germany.  That evening, Glenn wrote the story down so he would not forget it.
"The following may seem queer to some but it was new to me when I first heard it today while we (Pa and I) were picking cherries, and so I am writing it down, knowing it will be interesting later.
John Swartz, my father's grandfather (it was actually Frederick August) came to America in 1849.  While in Germany, he was rather well-to-do but hearing of wonderful chances in America, he decided to come over.  And so, he packed his belongings and with his family (his wife, William and John Jacob) set out for America.  He took with him a relative and two other men, who agreed to work out their passage bill later.
In those days, ocean travel was very different from now.  It also took much longer and living conditions were disagreeable.  Also each family had to carry its own provisions and had to cook there.  As these provisions had to be of a nature which could be kept for a long time, they cost a great deal.
Grandfather (John Jacob) was then seven years old and his brother William, some older.  The family first went to St. Louis.  Here a cholera plague started and my great-grandmother died, also two of the men whom had come over with them, and the third ran away.  And so my great-grandfather not only lost the amount he had spent to bring them over, but also had to bury them.  He then decided to go to Milwaukee and so he packed his goods on a canal boat and headed for Chicago by way of what is now the Chicago Drainage Canal.  On the way, my grandfather had a touch of the cholera and was nursed by his brother, William.  When they arrived at Chicago, they took a boat to Milwaukee where their baggage was dumped on the pier.  My great-grandfather now had just one dollar left.  A dray man came along, loaded up the luggage and asked where to do.  They told him to go anywhere a dollar would take them.  He drove up what is now Grand Avenue and dumped off the luggage on a side hill by the Milwaukee River.  At the time, Milwaukee was a little burg and any land that did not have a house on was free to anyone.  There was only one other shanty on the hill so the three put up a canvas and settled down.  They soon were able to gather enough drift boards to build a little shanty.  All worked.  William worked at a slaughter house from which he was occasionally able to bring home a beef's head.  Grandfather worked up a piece of ground into a garden.  The next summer someone came wanting to buy land and the garden and shack was sold to him for $50.  With this money and with what they had made during the winter, they came to Southport (Kenosha)."

With the proceeds from the shanty sale, they moved to the City of Kenosha.  Glenn Swartz recalled being told that John Jacob, age seven, and his sister Wilhelmina, age eleven, gathered wild strawberries on the prairie and sold them in Kenosha for $0.25.  On October 15, 1851, Frederick August purchased a lot on Broad Street (now 45th Street).  He owned this land until August 14, 1858, when he sold it to William.  Glenn Swartz (1924) reported that Frederick August then purchased land in Section 12 of Somers Township.  This land was referred to as the "Stanbridge farm" and was located on the corner of what is now Wood Road and Dorey Road.
(Source: Photo courtesy of Robert Swartz. Copyright January 2012. All Rights Reserved.)

1887 partial map of Somers Township
Section 12,  J.J. Schwartz parcel

Partial 1861 Map of Somers Township
Section 12, W. Schwarz parcel
1908 Partial Somers Township Map
Section 12, J.J. Schwartz parcel

Civil War:  John Jacob and his brother William
Tullahoma, Tenn. on March 24, 1864.  On April 19, at Fayetteville, Tenn. he transferred from Company I to Company B so he was in the same unit as his brother, William.
His first combat was on May 15, 1864 at Resaca, Georgia.  On May 25, at Dallas, Georgia, the regiment suffered a number of casualties.  In Company B, one was killed and fifteen were wounded, including John Jacob's brother, William.
On April 1, 1865, he was promoted to Corporal.  The Third Wisconsin was on Sherman's "March to the Sea" and marched in the "Grand Review" through Washington, D.C.
They encamped at Camp Slocum through early June, 1865.  On June 11, they left for home.  They took a train and the steamer, "Nevada", to Louisville, Kentucky where they arrived on June 16.  They encamped in a beech tree grove three miles southeast of the city.  On July 18, the regiment mustered out and on July 21 everyone crossed the Ohio River and took trains back to Wisconsin, arriving in Madison on July 24, 1865.  On the Company muster-out roll, it indicates that John Jacob owed the government $84.63 for clothing allotments and that he was owed $120 in bounty payments.
(Source: Story courtesy of Robert Swartz. Copyright 2012. All Rights Reserved.)

Family Civil War Stories
Some stories from the war have been passed down through the generations.  In some cases, it is not certain whether the incidents happened to John Jacob or his brother, William.  Two incidents were attributed to John Jacob.  One was that he was once hit by a minnie ball in the buckle of a strap, but not injured.  The second incident may be related to the first.  It was said that he was once carrying one end of a stretcher, carrying a wounded man.  A strap broke and as he stumbled forward, a ball went through his kepi.
Another story had to do with the division of food.  When Sherman's army went through South Carolina and North Carolina, they were very hard pressed for food because much of the land was pine forest, rather than the productive farms that they had found in Georgia.  They took to eating horses and devised a lottery system to decide who would get which parts of the horse.  The men were grouped in "mess" units and each mess unit would be able to decide if they wanted to keep the part of the horse that was up for consideration, or pass on it.  One time John's mess unit got the horses head.  They put it in a cauldron to boil.  The horse's head would roll around in the boiler water and sometimes an eye would come to the surface and "wink".  The "winking" was probably a muscular contraction related to going from one temperature to another, but it was remembered as unsettling to see your dinner winking at you.
John Jacob became a member of the Grand Army of the Republic on May 21, 1900.
(Source: Story courtesy of Robert Swartz. Copyright 2012. All Rights Reserved.)

William and John Jacob Swatz
Civil War uniforms
(Source: Photo courtesy of Robert Swartz. Copyright 2012. All Rights Reserved.)

John Jacob Swartz
John Jacob Swartz was born January 9, 1842 in Heringen, Nassau, Germany. He is the son of Frederick August Scharz and Marie Christianne Enders Schwarz. John Jacob came to America with his family in 1849.
John Jacob was united in marriage to Emma Becker, daughter of Johann Becker and Marie Fries Becker, on November 6, 1866 at the Immanuel Methodist Church in Kenosha, Wisconsin. Emma Becker was born February 15, 1846 in Friedewald, Germany.
After working nine years in the construction trade in Kenosha, Jacob purchased a farm in Somers Township and began fruit growing. A ten acre apple orchard was planted in addition to cherries, grapes, currants, gooseberries, and the Swartz farm was one of the first to plant red raspberries in Kenosha County.
(Source: Story courtesy of Robert Swartz. Copyright 2012. All Rights Reserved.)

John J. Swartz
(Source: Photo courtesy of Robert Swartz. Copyright February 2012. All Rights Reserved.)

Emma Becker Swartz (Mrs. John Jacob)
(Source: Photo courtesy of Robert Swartz. Copyright February 2012. All Rights Reserved.)

John Jacob, Emma, and daughter Emma
(Source: Photo courtesy of Robert Swartz. Copyright February 2012. All Rights Reserved.)

1880 U.S. Federal Census with side notes
John Jacob and Emma were married in 1866 and six children were born of this union:
John, born about 1867 (died Feb. 19, 1961 in Somers.  Married Martha Eva Pedley)
Charles, born about 1869 (died Oct. 9, 1948 in Kenosha. Married Louisa Carrie M. Otto)
Edward, born about 1873 (died Oct. 16, 1939 in Kenosha. Married Bessie Elizabeth Hansche, daughter of John W. and Minnie Hansche of Berryville)
Emma, born about 1874 (married John Abresch of Somers Township)
Arthur, born about 1882 (died Mar. 20, 1974 in Kenosha. Married Amelia "Millie" Bittorf)
Carrie, born about 1884 (died Aug. 13, 1930 in Kenosha.  Married Benjamin Bose, son of Henry and Frederica Bose of Berryville)

The Swartz Family
Ed, Art, Charlie, Emma, John F.
(Source: Photo courtesy of Robert Swartz. Copyright January 2012. All Rights Reserved.)

Carrie Swartz, daughter of John Jacob and Emma Swartz
 Click here to read about Bose family. Carrie married Benjamin Bose, son of Henry and Frederica Bose
(Source:  Original Photo Courtesy of Robert Swartz.  Copyright February 2012.  All Rights Reserved.)

Carrie Swartz, daughter of John Jacob and Emma Swartz
Click here to view Bose family.  Carrie married Benjamin Bose, son of Henry and Frederica Bose
(Source: Original Photo Courtesy of Robert Swartz. Copyright February 2012. All Rights Reserved.)

Swartz and Hansche Wedding
"The home of Mr. and Mrs. John Hansche of Berryville was most artistically decorated last evening, the occasion being the marriage of their daughter, Miss Bessie Hansche to Mr. Edward Swartz, son of Mr. and Mrs. John Jacob Swartz of the Town of Somers. The bridal party descended the stairs and entered the parlor, taking their places under a wedding bell and canopy composed of evergreen and white roses, while Miss Anna Bose, played the wedding march. Rev. F. Kaneem, using the impressive ring service of the Methodist Episcopal Church, spoke the words which united them in the bonds of matrimony. The bride was very prettily and daintily attired in white. At the conclusion of the ceremony a sumptuous wedding supper was served. The bride is one of Berryville's most popular and charming young ladies and is very efficient in church work. The groom is one of the progressive farmers of Somers who has built a beautiful new home for his bride.
(Source: Racine Journal Times, publication date February 7, 1907)
1870 Agricultural Census for John Jacob Swartz
65 acre farm worth $1,800
Value of implements was $60.
Three horses, two milk cows, five other cattle and one pig.  Total of livestock was $440.
He produced 80 bushel of spring wheat, 150 bushel of corn and 30 bushel of oats.
He produced two pounds of wool and 250 pounds of potatoes.  Total value of market good was $8.
Cows produced 375 pounds of butter.  He grew fourteen tons of hay.
Value of all farm production was $758.

1880 Agricultural Census of Wisconsin
36 tilled acres, 15 pasture acres, 10 woodland acres and 19 unimproved acres.
Farm value $3,250.  Value of implements $200.  Value of livestock $350.
In 1879, he spent $40 to repair fences and paid $40 in wages for four weeks of hired labor.
Estimate value of all farm production was $1,000.
He mowed 15 acres of pasture and produced 20 tons of hay.
He had four horses, three milk cows, and five other cattle.  His cows dropped two calves.
He sold four cattle live and slaughtered one.
His cows produced 400 pounds of butter.
He had two pigs and 30 chickens.

John Jacob Swartz Obituary
John Jacob Swartz, one of the pioneers of the Town of Somers, died at his home near Stetson's Corners at an early hour this morning.  Death resulted from an attack of heart disease.  Mr. Swartz had been in failing health for some time but death came very suddenly.  The deceased was 71 years of age and a native of Germany.  He had resided in this country for many years and had conducted a nursery at the homestead in Somers.  He is survived by his widow, four sons and two daughters.  The children are: John, Edward, and Arthur of Somers; Charles of Kenosha; Mrs. Ben Bose and Mrs. Emma Abresch of Somers.  The funeral will be held from the German Methodist Church on Sunday afternoon, the hour to be announced Saturday.  Burial at Greenridge Cemetery.
(Source:  Kenosha Evening News, September 19, 1913)

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