Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Music Concert

Original flyer advertisement for the "Olde Folkes Concerte" on December 19, 1879,  in Somers, Wisconsin
(Source:  Scan of original flyer courtesy of Robert Swartz.)

Back of the flyer for the "Old Folkes Concerte" on December 19, 1879, in Somers, Wisconsin
(Source: Scan of original flyer courtesy of Robert Swartz. Copyright. All Rights Reserved. July 2012)

Newspaper Announcement
"An Olde Folkes Concerte" will be given by the friends of Somers Oakwood Cemetery Association at the Presbyterian Church in Somers on Friday evening, December 19, 1879.  Conducted by Miss Talbot of Racine, assisted by members of her class in Racine, and home talent.  Tickets, 25 cents."
(Source:  Racine Argus, publication date December 11, 1879)

Friday, July 13, 2012



1908 partial map of Somers Township, Kenosha County
Section 16, A. Gitzlaff 78.50 acre parcel

1905 Wisconsin State Census - Somers Township, Kenosha County, Wisconsin
August Gitzlaff, head of household, born about 1858 in Germany
Father's Name:  Christopher Gitzlaff
Spouse's Name:  Augusta Gitzlaff
Louisa, born 1887
Ella, born 1889
Melvina, born 1891
William, born 1894
August, born 1896
Gertrude, born 1900
Also living with August Gitzlass included in this census:  Christopher Gitzlaff, born 1814 and widowed father of August.

U.S. Naturalization Records
August Gitzlaff, born about 1858 in Germany
Arrived in New York June 1866.

Gitzlaff "In the News"
"Miss Lizzie Gitzlaff of Evanston, Illinois spent the weekend with her parents, Mr. and Mrs. August Gitzlaff."
(Source:  Racine Journal October 31, 1917)

"Mrs. Gitzlaff died at the home of her son, August Gitzlaff on Friday after an illness of a few days.  The funeral was held from the house Sunday afternoon."
(Source:  Racine Journal September 21, 1899)

"Little Eddie, the youngest son of Mr. and Mrs. August Gitzlaff died on Thursday evening of pheumonia."
(Source:  Racine Journal Feb. 10, 1898)

"John Denig is digging a well for August Gitzlaff."
(Source:  Racine Journal October 11, 1900)

"Mr. August Gitzlaff will build a large barn this spring.  The building will be 30x70."
(Source:  Racine Journal March 14, 1907)

"Mr. August Gitzlaff received a carload of lumber last week for his new barn.  B.F. Yule has the contract for the building."
(Source:  Racine Journal March 27, 1907)

"August Gitzlaff of Kenosha formerly of Somers met with a serious accident at the Pfenning warehouse where he works one day last week.  Mr. Gitzlaff is suffering from several broken ribs and other injuries."
(Source:  Racine Journal March 23, 1921)

"Peter M. Anderson and August Gitzlaff will leave on Tuesday for a two month visit in Europe, the former to Denmark and the later to Germany."
(Source:  Racine Journal December 12, 1911)

"Miss Lizzie Gitzlaff has return to Evanston, Illinois after a visit with her parents, Mr. and Mrs. August Gitzlaff."
(Source:  Racine Journal July 8, 1915)

"Willie Gitzlaff, son of Mr. and Mrs. August Gitzlaff, recently graduated from the College of Commerce in Kenosha and has accepted a position with the First National Bank of Kenosha."
(Source:  Racine Journal October 3, 1911)

"Messrs. August and John Gitzlaff attended the funeral of their uncle, Mr. August Schulz at North Milwaukee on Friday."
(Source:  Racine Journal Feb. 21, 1902)

"Miss Ella Augusta Gitzlaff, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. August Gitzlaff, died Wednesday afternoon, November 21, 1917 following an operation at the Kenosha Hospital.  The deceased was born in Somers in 1889 and has lived near the village all of her life.  She was a young woman of the highest character, of a sympathetic and loving disposition and highly esteemed by a large circle of friends.  To mourn her death there survives her father and mother, three sisters, Misses Lizzie, Malvina and Gertrude Gitzlaff and two brothers, William and August Gitzlaff.  The funeral services were held from the late home Saturday afternoon, followed by services at the Paris Lutheran Church.  Interment at the Lutheran Cemetery."
(Source:  Racine Journal, November 28, 1917)

"John Gitzlaff died at the home of his son, Mr. August Gitzlaff, Wednesday, after a short illness.  Death was due to the natural breaking down of advanced years.  The deceased was born in Germany July 14, 1815 and came to this country in 1866.  After living in Milwaukee two years, he came to Somers where he resided until the time of his death.  He was a good citizen, a man respected and honored by all who knew him.  Two sons survive, August Gitzlaff of Somers and John Gitzlaff of Bristol.  The funeral services were held from his late home on Saturday afternoon.  Interment in the Paris Lutheran Cemetery."
(Source:  Racine Daily, May 27, 1907)

Paris Lutheran Cemetery, Paris Township, Kenosha County, Wisconsin
(Source:  Photo courtesy of USGenWebArchivesProjectWisconsin by Larry & Linda Kopet)


Edward Tabbert
Edward E. Tabbert, 84, died at Memorial Hospital Saturday night following a short illness.  He was born in Racine on December 26, 1891, the son of the late Mr. and Mrs. Herman Tabbert, and attended school in Somers Township.
On August 11, 1915, he married Eleanor J. Gardinier who died on March 20, 1964.  Mr. Tabbert was a carpenter and also operated a radio and television repair shop before his retirement in 1962.
He was a member of the Somers United Church of Christ, the Modern Woodmen, the Somers Volunteer Firemen Retirees, and the Senior Citizens.
Survivors are a son, Donald E., and a daughter, Mrs. Kenneth (Jane) Bohm, both of Somers; seven grandchildren; three great-grandchildren, and a brother, George A., Springstead, Wisconsin.  He was preceded in death by four brothers and two sisters.
(Source:  Racine Journal May 29, 1976)

Mrs. Edward Tabbert
Mrs. Edward Tabbert, 77, a lifelong resident of Somers, died at her home this morning following a long illness.
She was born Lillian Gardinier in Somers on June 6, 1886, the daughter of the late Mr. and Mrs. Ellsworth Gardinier, Sr.  She attended Wood Road School.
On August 11, 1915, she married Edward J. Tabbert.  She was a member of the Somers United Congregational Church, the Pilgrim's Daughters of the Church, and of the Royal Neighbors of America.
Survivors are her husband; one son, Donald E. Tabbert, and one daughter, Mrs. Kenneth (Jane) Bohm, both of Somers; six grandchildren; four brothers, Samuel Gardinier, Little Prairie, Wisconsin and Ellsworth J., Jr., Irving, and Thomas, all of Somers, and three sisters, Mrs. Tina Dorey and Mrs. Frank (Lillian) Ehmke, both of Kenosha, and Mrs. Peter (Myrtle) Lauer, Somers.  She was preceded in death by one sister, Miss Joan Gardinier.
(Source:  Racine Journal March 20, 1964)

Partial 1899 Map of Somers Township, Kenosha County
H. Tabbert parcel of 57.66 acres (located on Highway E or Somers Road, east of Highway 31 on south side of road

The family of Herman and Theresa Tabbert.  Circa 1940
Seated on the left, Otto; Theresa Tabbert; Ted seated on the right
Standing in the back left, Ernie; center is Edward; and right is George
(Source: Photo courtesy of Ernest "Bunkie" Tabbert)

Herman Tabbert
1900 U.S. Federal Census (Home in Somers)
Head of Household:  Herman Tabbert, born in Germany
Spouse:  Tracy, born in Germany April 1860
Marriage:  1885
Immigration Year:  1871
Otto, born November 1885
Theodore, born August 1889
Edward, born December 1891
Ernest, born January 1899

George Tabbert
(Source: Photo courtesy of Ernest "Bunkie" Tabbert)

Ernie and Theresa (mother) Tabbert (widow of Herman)
(Source: Photo courtesy of Ernest "Bunkie" Tabbert)

Herman Tabbert Obituary
Herman Tabbert, Who Served Ten years In the Army of Germany, Died at His Home Tuesday
Herman Tabbert, a man widely known among the Germans of the County on account of his long service in the German Army, died suddenly at his home in the Town of Somers, five miles northwest of Kenosha on Tuesday evening.  Death resulted from pneumonia.  The deceased had been ill but a short time.  He had been ailing on Monday but he remained at work on the farm.  Tuesday morning he was forced to go to bed and he sank rapidly until the end came.
The deceased was 68 years of age.  He was born in Germany, January 21, 1839 and when he reached his majority he enlisted in the Army of the Kaiser.  The next ten years of his life was given to fighting the battles of the Fatherland.  His first service was in the War between Denmark and Germany in 1863-1864 (Denmark-German War 1864)  and after this contest had been settled he marched with the German Army in the Austrian-Prussian War (Austrian-Prussian War).  He finished up his service as a soldier by fighting in the Franco-Prussian War (Franco-Prussian War).  After the close of the Franco-Prussian War in 1870, Tabbert resigned from the Army and was officially thanked by the Kaiser for the service he had rendered his native land.  He came at once to this country and after residing for a time near Madison, he came to the Town of Somers.
The deceased was famous on account of the way he had preserved his youthful appearance.  While nearly three score and ten when he died he appeared to be a man under forty years of age.  It was his boast that, notwithstanding the strenuous life he had led in peace and war, he had no gray hairs on his head and his face showed no signs of wrinkles.
Tabbert is survived by a widow, and seven children.  The funeral will be held from the late residence on Friday and interment will be at the family plot at Oakwood Cemetery in Somers, Wisconsin
(Source:  Kenosha News, March 13, 1907)

Herman Tabbert
Oakwood Cemetery, Somers Township, Kenosha County
(Source:  Photo courtesy of USGenWebArchivesProjectWisconsin by Larry & Linda Kopet)

Theresa Tabbert
(Born April 17, 1860 in Germany.  Date of death March 10, 1957.  Theresa is the daughter of Augustin Ackermann.)
Oakwood Cemetery, Somers Township, Kenosha County
(Source: Photo courtesy of USGenWebArchivesProjectWisconsinby Larry & Linda Kopet)

SSGT. Theodore Tabbert.  Final rank of Col.
(Source:  Photo courtesy of Ernest "Bunkie" Tabbert)

SSGT. Theodore Tabbert. Final rank of Col.
(Source: Photo courtesy of Ernest "Bunkie" Tabbert)

Theodore and Ethel Tabbert
Oakwood Cemetery, Somers Township, Kenosha County
(Source: Photo courtesy of USGenWebArchivesProjectWisconsin by Larry & Linda Kopet)

Edward Tabbert
(Source: Photo courtesy of Ernest "Bunkie" Tabbert)

Edward and Elenor Tabbert
Oakwood Cemetery, Somers Township, Kenosha County
(Source: Photo courtesy of USGenWebArchivesProjectWisconsin by Larry & Linda Kopet)

Somers, Wisconsin Volunteer Fire Department
Click on image to enlarge.

Men on Left Fire Truck:  Standing behind the left headlamp is Ed Wade, to his right is Archie Bush, Jim Nueloff, and Bob Thomas sitting in the driver seat.  Standing with the light suit is Pete Lauer, Wendy Rhodes and Mac McNeil.  The man behind the first aid box is Fred Helding and behind him in the dark suit is Roger Prange.

Men on the Right Fire Truck: In front of the truck is Ernie Tabbert.  Seated on the lieft is George Yunk and in the driver seat is Ed Tabbert.  The man with the helmet is Fritz Heide and to his right is Ed Tabbert.  The men standing are from the left, Ed Prange, Ted Tabbert, George Tabbert, Louie Wilcox, and Franklin Thom.
(Source:  Photo courtesy of Ernest "Bunkie" Tabbert)

Original news clipping courtesy of Ernest "Bunkie" Tabbert
Man comforting Fritz Heide on stretcher is Glenn Swartz.
Click on new article for larger view
(Source: Kenosha News, March 29, 1949)

Tank Vehicle Tips Racing to Big Grass Fire
Two Somers Township volunteer firemen were killed and two others injured yesterday afternoon when a 1,000 gallon tank truck overturned going to a grass fire.
The injured men were Fritz Heide, 50, Rt. 4, Hughes Rd., the driver, and George Yunk, 48, Rt. 4, Box 570.  Heide suffered internal injuries and Yunk received injuries to his head and right shoulder.  Attendants at St. Catherine's Hospital reported their condition as "fair" this morning.
Coroner Jay B. Glerum said Tabbert and Friedrich were riding on the back end of the truck when it left the station house in Somers village.  The tanker failed to make a left turn at the intersection of County Trunk E and the Wood Road, skidded on loose gravel and overturned in the east ditch.  County Trunk E dead-ends at the Wood Road.
Glerum said a sudden shift of the water load could have caused the truck to tip.
Tabbert was killed instantly when he was trapped beneath the water tank.  Friedrich was also pinned by the truck but was freed by sheriff's deputies and taken unconscious to St. Catherine's Hospital.  He died several hours later at 5:30 p.m.
The sheriff's department received a report of a large grass fire at the Wood Road, and the Corbett Road at 2:15 p.m.  Five minutes later William Thompson, a resident a quarter of a mile from the intersection telephoned that he had heard a crash and thought the fire truck turned over.
Deputies James Marshall and Leland Chartier, driving to the fire, arrived on the crash scene within two minutes.  Chartier transported Friedrich and Yunk to St. Catherine's Hospital.  Heide was taken to the hospital a short time later in another ambulance.  The sheriff's officers were assisted by City Policemen Dominic Mattioli and Jospeh Voleska.
The Somers volunteer fire department operates a pump truck and a tank truck to carry a water supply.  In answering the alarm yesterday, the pump truck took a different route than the tanker, and firemen on the pumper did not learn of the tragic accident until they returned from the fire.
Tabbert was born in Racine, August 9, 1889, the son of Mr. and Mrs. Herman Tabbert.  He attended the Winslow School in Racine and the Washington Grade School in Somers and during his early years he farmed on the Tabbert homestead in Somers Township.
A colorful military career was followed by Tabbert after he joined the U.S. Army on July 21, 1913.  He was commissioned a first lieutenant and served overseas with Troop K, 14th Cavalry, 341 Field Artillery during World War I.  He was wounded twice and after the war was discharged from service June 25, 1919.
Upon his return to Somers, Tabbert was employed at the Somers Post Office and later worked as a carpenter.  He rejoined the armed forces on October 29, 1940, and was commissioned a colonel.  He fought in the Balles of Naples-Foggia and Rome-Arno during his two and a half years overseas.  He was wounded in fighting at Naples and received the purple Heart.  He was discharged on August 20, 1946.
Tabbert married Miss Ethel Helding on December 25, 1917.  The couple have one son, Evan T. Tabbert, a student at Oregon State College, and one daughter, Mrs. Elmer R. Yates, of Urbana, Illinois.  He was a member of Masonic Lodge No. 47, F. & A.M., the Acacia Club and the Army Officers Reserve.
Also surviving are his mother, Mrs. Theresa Tabbert, Somers; five brothers, Otto of Milwaukee, and Herman, Edward, Ernest and George, all of Somers.  One sister, Mrs. Selma Retert, preceded him in death.

Friedrich was born in Kenosha on March 25, 1918, and received his early education at the Burr Oak School in Somers and the Friedens Evangelical Lutheran School.
He was employed at the Nash-Kelvinator Company for a time and later operated a garage in the village of Somers.
On April 20, 1940, Friedrich married Miss LaVerne Rose Huck.  He was a member of United Auto Workers Local No. 72 and the Ke-Nash-A Club.
Surviving besides his wife are one son, Allen Herbert, and three daughters, Lois Dorothy, Donna LaVerne and Karen Rose, all of school age and younger.  Also surviving are his mother, Mrs. Caroline Kuehn of Racine and two sisters, Mrs. William Z. Dassler and Mrs. Herman J. Hess, both of Racine.  His father and one sister, Mrs. Virginia Pofahl, preceded him in death.
Friedrich served with the Army Air Corps during World War II.
(Source:  Kenosha News, March 29, 1949)

Photo of Somers Fire Department Tanker Crash, March 1949
(Source:  Photo courtesy of Robert Swartz.  Received July 2012)

Tabbert's "In the News"
The Altar: Gardiner - Tabbert
"A pretty home wedding took place Wednesday, August 11, 1915, at the home of Mr. and Mrs. Ellsworth Gardiner, in the Town of Somers, Wisconsin when their daughter, Eleanor, was united in marriage to Edward Tabbert, son of Mrs. Theresa Tabbert.
The parlors of the home were handsomely decorated in green and white. It was exactly 4 o'clock when Miss Grace Harcus, cousin of the bride, struck up Mendelsohn's wedding march on the piano. The bridal party came down the stairway, following the Rev. C.F. Geiger of the Somers Presbyterian Church and took their positions under a large white wedding bell composed of flowers and smilax. 85 invited guests attended.
The bride's dress was a beautiful creation of white silk voile and she carried a shower bouquet of daisies. Miss Myrtle Gardiner, sister of the bride, was maid of honor, and the groom's brother was best man. Miss Irene Yance of Kenosha, cousin of the bride, was bridesmaid and Ernest Tabbert and Irving Gardiner groomsman. A wedding supper was served in the dining room, which was also decorated in green and white.
Mr. and Mrs. Tabbert, after a short wedding trip, will make Somers their home upon their return."
(Source: Racine Journal August 18, 1915)

Military Wedding at Our Savior's Church
"A military wedding was solemnized at Our Savior's Church, corner of 12th and Racine Streets, at 3 o'clock on the afternoon of Christmas Day, when Miss Ethel Helding, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. N.F. Helding, 1609 Morton Avenue, and Lieut. Theodore Tabbert, of Camp Funston, Kan., son of Mrs. Theresa Tabbert, of Somers, Wisconsin were united in marriage by the Rev. N.J. Bing.
A large American flag was draped over the altar, and other American flags, together with palms and flowers, formed the decoration of the church. Only the immediate relatives and friends were present.
The wedding march from Lohengrin was played by Miss Elsie Peterson as the bridal party entered. The bride, attired in white voile, with lace over drapes and a bridal veil, and carrying a shower bouquet of bridal roses and sweet peas, was attended by her sister, Miss Lillian Helding, as maid of honor. The gown worn by Miss Helding was of white with lace trimmings, and her corsage bouquet was of pink roses and sweet peas. Edward Tabbert, brother of the groom, was the groomsman, and the ushers were William Petersen and Nels Petersen.
Following the reception which was held after the service, at the home of the bride's parents, a supper of twenty-five was served. Immediately after the reception, the young couple left for Madison. They will be gone for several days, and will then make their home in Junction City, Kan. The groom is a first lieutenant with the U.S. Field Artillery.
Harold Helding, brother of the bride, has been at Camp Custer and was to have attended the wedding. His recent transfer to New Jersey made it impossible for him to be here. Another brother, Chris Helding, was also unable to attend. He recently enlisted in the Quartermaster's Corps at Jefferson Barracks, St. Louis, Mo., and has just left for unknown parts.
Out of town guests at the wedding were: Mrs. Theresa Tabbert of Somers, Wisconsin, Mr. and Mrs. Otto Tabbert and children of Chicago, George Tabbert, Mrs. and Mrs. Edward Tabbert, Mr. and Mrs. Sam Gardiner, Mrs. and Mrs. P.H. Anderson and Mr. and Mrs. N.E. Thompson, all of Somers, Wisconsin."
(Source: Racine Journal, December 26, 1971)

"Mrs. Herman Tabbert has received two newspapers, with the A.E.F. from a cousin in oversea service that are full of interest. Extracts from a couple of letters received by Mr. and Mrs. Chris Rasmussen, from their son, Cook Axel Rasmussen of the 340th Company:
Somewhere in France, August 28 and 30, 1918,
Dear Parents and Brother:
Many thanks for your letters and card received, also for money order. Do not need money so long as we get plenty to eat and drink. We also get tobacco and matches. The government issues us Bull Durham every two days. Say, but this is a fine country, we have our camp in a pretty little village. Some men are sleeping in barns. Our stores are set up under some large chestnut trees. This is the life. I'll soon be as brown as an Indian. The evenings here are lively so we can see till nine o'clock. I saw Soren Sorensen yesterday while on a hike. It is nothing for us to hike ten to twelve miles with full pack. When you write tell me all about the war as we are so far away from it that we do not know what is going on. I like this country. Farmers are stocking their grain - fine stocks. Saw several McCormick grain binders. Have just come from taking a bath. We walked about two miles to a creek - 70 men of us - and washed our clothes and hung them on the fences. We are getting quite expert in this line. When we came back to the dear old "Journal-News" was waiting for me, though a month old it was full of news for me and the other Racine boys. Am busy cooking and drilling gravel and lime stone are found to depth of ten feet. A great deal of alfalfa is raised but main crop is grapes. Just think I have soon been in service one year - the year has gone fast and I am proud to be with the boys. The best education a man can get. Give regards to all my friends. Axel Rasmussen."
(Source: Racine Journal September 27, 1918)

"A little daughter was born to Lieut. and Mrs. Theodore Tabbert on Saturday, November 30th in Racine. Lieut. Tabbert of the 34th Field Artillery, 89 Div., is overseas."
(Source: Racine Journal December 7, 1918)

"Herman Tabbert has sold his property in the village to Mr. Montague of the Burlington Road. It is rumoured that Matt Uhlman has purchased the Montague farm on the Burlington Road."
(Source: Racine Journal December 11, 1916)

"Theodore Tabbert, son of Mrs. Theresa Tabbert, was recently appointed First Lieut. in the U.S. Army and is now training at the officer's training school at Fort McIntosh, Texas."
(Source: Racine Journal May 26, 1917)

"Ernest Tabbert left with Troop E, Wisconsin First Cavalry for Camp Douglas on Monday."
(Source: Racine Journal July 25, 1917)

"Lieut. Theodore Tabbert has returned home from overseas. He has been in army service for several years. Mrs. Theresa Tabbert entertained at a family gathering in honor of the return home of her two sons, Theodore and Ernest Tabbert."
(Source: Racine Journal June 9, 1919)

"Theodore Tabbert, who has been in Chicago for some time, has returned home and will work with William Lauer at the carpenter trade for the summer."
(Source: Racine Journal April 30, 1912)

"Edward Tabbert, wireless operator on The Indiana, spent Sunday with his mother."
(Source: Racine Journal October 9, 1912)

"Theodore Tabbert has been appointed Sergeant in the U.S. Army is now stationed at Fort McIntyre, Texas. Edward Tabbert, one of Somers most prominent young men, is now on his way to England as wireless operator on board of the of the large ocean liners."
(Source: Racine Journal December 23, 1914)

"Herman Tabbert is doing some painting in No. 7 school house this week."
(Source: Racine Journal December 26, 1912)

"Edward Tabbert, one of our Somers boys is now located near the Mexican border as wireless operator on board a large steamer. He spent several weeks at Panama recently."
(Source: Racine Journal, December 4, 1913)

"Mr. Herman Tabbert fell from the loft in the barn Saturday and was severely bruised. Dr. Almfelt is attending."
(Source: Racine Weekly December 28, 1906)
"Mr. Herman Tabbert is doing the painting on the Presbyterian Church."
(Source: Racine Daily April 16, 1907)

"O.C. Tabbert of Wadsworth is spending his vacation home."
(Source: Racine Daily, August 8, 1905)

"Our local paper hanger and painter, Herman Tabbert, has been working this spring on the new home of Mr. and Mrs. Chris Jensen. Mr. Tabbert has the latest samples and from now on will be ready to give prompt service."
(Source: Racine Journal, March 10, 1908)

"Mrs. Myron A. Gould spent Thursday with her daughter, Mrs. Otto Tabbert, at Franksville."
(Source: Racine Daily February 15, 1910)

"Otto Tabbert who holds a responsible position with the Chicago, Milwaukee and St. Paul Railway company in Chicago spent Sunday with his mother."
(Source: Racine Journal April 13, 1909)

"Miss Gladys Gould, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Myron A. Gould, and Mr. Otto Tabbert were united in marriage at a Congregation Church in Chicago Wednesday, November 10. Mr. and Mrs. Tabbert will reside in Chicago."
(Source: Racine Daily November 16, 1909)

"Theodore Tabbert has accepted a position as fireman on the Chicago, Milwaukee, and St. Paul Railroad. Edward Tabbert has accepted a position as signal man of the St. Railway. "
(Source: Racine Daily September 7, 1910)

"The Presbyterian parsonage is being improved by a coat of paint. Ed Tabbert is doing the work."
(Source: Racine Journal September 28, 1909)

"Tabbert brothers are painting Chris Rasmussen's buildings."
(Source: Racine Journal June 23, 1908)

"Mr. Otto Tabbert, an operator in the Union Depot, Chicago, spent Sunday with friends in Somers."
(Source: Racine Daily June 9, 1908)

"Jacob Biehn's new house is receiving its final coat of paint. Herman Tabbert is doing the work."
(Source: Racine Daily June 12, 1907)

"Mrs. Tabbert is building a new house in the village."
(Source: Racine Daily August 2, 1910)

"Otto Tabbert, who has been a telegraph operator at Somers for some years has accepted a position in the general manager's office in Chicago."
(Source: Racine Daily May 26, 1908)

"Tabbert-Schori Marriage"
Miss Virginia Tabbert, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Otto Tabbert of Milwaukee, and Robert Schori were married Saturday, Sept. 18, 1948 in the Washington Park Presbyterian Church in Milwaukee.
Those from Somers who attended the wedding reception at the Stratford Arms Hotel, were Messrs. and Mmes. Edward E. Tabbert, Kenneth Bohm, Geroge Tabbert, Donald Tabbert, Edwin Pocan, Howard Bowman, and Mrs. Theodore Tabbert.
(Source:  Racine News September 21, 1948)

Thursday, July 5, 2012

Neumiller Tower

Kenosha News (possible 1991 publication)
Click on article for larger view.
Tower built near turn of the century by Matt Rasmussen "The Cabbage King" of Somers.
(Source:  Original news clipping courtesy of Ernest "Bunkie" Tabbert.)

Kenosha News (possible 1991 publication)
Click on article for larger view.
Tower built near turn of the century by Matt Rasmussen "The Cabbage King" of Somers.
(Source: Original news clipping courtesy of Ernest "Bunkie" Tabbert.)

Barley Crops

Barley Rolls From Farm Fields
Harvest and shipment of small grains has started in the county.
Somers, Wisconsin

(Source:  The original news clipping is courtesy of Ernest "Bunkie" Tabbert.  There is no date on the clippings except the photo credit to "Evening News Photos".  Mr. Tabbert estimates the circa to be the 1940's-1950's.)
This photo shows farm trucks piled high with barley awaiting loading onto Milwaukee road boxcars at Somers Village.  The grain started flowing with three cars loaded Monday, two yesterday and an estimated four cars today.
The view of the photo is looking north east.  The white building at the top right is the sour kraut factory and opposite the factory on the west side of the tracks is the Somers Depot.

(Source: The original news clipping is courtesy of Ernest "Bunkie" Tabbert. There is no date on the clippings except the photo credit to "Evening News Photos". Mr. Tabbert estimates the circa to be the 1940's-1950's.)
Oats, rye, and wheat shipments will follow the barley in quick succession.  The photo on the left shows Hugh Cox, Somers Feed and Seed dealer, uses a Steinlite moisture tester to find the moisture content of the barley berries.  he reports the grain is dry but that the berries are not plump this year probably due to early season draught.  The photo at the right show truck-to-tank-to-car is the triple play loading process with a blowing apparatus that saves hand shovel labor.


Kenosha News September 1952
Record Tomato Crop At Somers
(Source:  Original news clipping courtesy of Ernest "Bunkie" Tabbert)
The freight station at Somers has been the scene of much activity the past two weeks as this year's record tomato crop, over 8,000 tons, was shipped to canneries.  The left photo shows a truckload of tomatoes being inspected by Joseph Peek, federal inspector for the state.With Peek are Bernard, left, and Frank Lichter, Somers, who harvested the tomatoes on their farm.
The right photo, Carl Iverson of Somers, receives a receipt for his truckload of tomatoes from Mrs. Lura Brunet, Somers, who acted as Weigh master.

Kenosha News September 1952
Record Tomato Crop At Somers
(Source: Original news clipping courtesy of Ernest "Bunkie" Tabbert)
C.D. Ruthe, Somers Station Agent, and Donald Tiedman, a canning company representative, are shown checking a loaded box car in the left photo.  Shown on the right photo are Frank Lichter on the left and Thomas Birchell on the right, both Somers farmers of long standing, reminisce about tomato crops of other years when local farmers were not as fortunate.  Lichter stated this was his best tomato harvest since 1935.

Tomato Yield In This Area Huge Success
"Tomato growers from this area are wearing smiles these days, in sharp contrast to their frowns the past two years.
Top-quality ripe tomatoes are pouring through the Somers freight station in record volume as harvesting of the best commercial crop in years nears completion.
Heavy yields, lack of disease, and a good price spell success at the market for tomato farmers here.  Disease all but destroyed the crop in 1950 and 1951.
Shipments through the Somers Station are expected to reach a total of well over 8,000 tons.  At $32 a ton, this means tomatoes will bring an income of about $264,000 to Kenosha and Racine County truck farmers.
The average yield has been about 11 tons an acre, it is reported.  Over 750 acres were planted this summer.
All told, the 1952 crop probably will surpass the 1949 harvest.  Blight, which wiped out the bulk of the tomatoes in the past two years, had little effect this year.  Warm, dry weather gave the disease no chance to thrive.  Ideal conditions for the spread of blight are muggy, cloudy days and cool nights.
State experts call this year's crop the finest in several years.  Fifteen thousand hampers, or half a million pounds of tomatoes, a day have been shipped from fields in the southeastern Wisconsin region.
Racine and Kenosha counties lead the state in production of commercial tomatoes.  The biggest portion of the crop grown here is produced for canning companies.  Part of the harvest is processed in Wisconsin, but a large segment goes to canneries in adjoining states.
(Source:  Kenosha News, September 1952)

"The oat crop which is now being threshed is the heaviest in years.  Some prices are yielding as high as sixty and non yet reported have hone less than forty bushels per acre.
(Source:  Racine Journal Aug. 18, 1905)

"Our entertaining farmer, M.A. Rasmussen had about forty boys from Kenosha every day last week helping him gather his onion sets of which he will have about 2,000 bushels."
(Source:  Racine Journal, Aug. 18, 1905)

"Although but little grain has been threshed, the yield so far is satisfactory, as high as 50 to 60 bushels per acre being reported."
(Source:  Racine Journal Aug. 18, 1905)

"Mmes. Frank Thomas, John Swartz, and Ben Robinson, all of the Berryville, were among those awarded ribbons for the best iris blooms at the Kenosha County Garden Club show, held at the Kenosha County Courthouse Tuesday evening."
(Source:  Racine Journal June 23, 1934)

Somers Fire Dept.

Kenosha News March 8, 1978
Click on image to enlarge.
(Source: Original news clipping courtesy of Ernest "Bunky" Tabbert)

Somers, Wisconsin Volunteer Fire Department
Click on image to enlarge.
Men on the Fire Truck on the Left:  Standing behind headlight is Ed Wade, to the right, Archie Bush, Jim Nueloff, Bob Thomas with crossed hand and dark suit, Pete Lauer man standing in light suit and tie, to the right of him Wendy Rhodes and Mac NcNeil.  In front of the first aid kit is Fred Helding.

Men on the Fire Truck on the Right:  Man in front of truck is Ernie Tabbert.  Seated in the truck on the left is George Yunk and driving is Ed Tabbert.  Behind with the white helmet is Fritz Heide to his right is Ed Tabbert.  Standing left is Ed Prange, Ted Tabbert, George Tabbert, Louie Wilcox, and Franklin Thom
(Source:  Photo courtesy of Ernest "Bunky" Tabbert)

Kenosha News March 8, 1978
Click on photo to enlarge.
(Source:  Original news clipping courtesy of Ernest "Bunky" Tabbert)

Somers "The Village"

Somers, Wisconsin
Circa about early 1920's
View of the village on Highway E or Somers Road, west of the railroad tracks, looking south west.
The first two story building was the Wirtz tavern, now known as Tina's.
The building in front of the old car is the former Somers Superette, general store.
(Source:  Original photo and identification courtesy of Ernest "Bunkie" Tabbert.)

Somers Post Office History

(Source:  "My Memories" by Minnie A.G. Ozanne. Copyright 1948.)

The First Somers Post Office
"Standing today, on the Green Bay Trail, is an old frame building that was erected in the early days of Our Town, then known as the Town of Pike, which today is the Elmer Maxwell home - then it was the George Willis tavern.
It was there the first Post Office in Our Town was established, in 1836, the year that the present U.S. Postal Organization became effective.
At that time a weekly stage coach began to run from Chicago to Milwaukee, over the "Old Indian Trail."  This office also served Southport, now Kenosha, until 1840.
"Uncle Billy" Smith carried mail by horseback from Southport to Milwaukee, over the Green Bay Trail, in the early days.  he resided on "this trail" adjoining the Township House.

First Somers Postmaster
Lute Carpenter, first Postmaster, carried mail from Kenosha, keeping the Post Office in his house (now the Edmund Fink home), at a salary of $12.00 per year.

Early Somers Post Office Locations
After a time, a group of farmers moved an old building that had been started as a grist mill and turned into a cheese factory, by a spring of clear, cold water, on the Somers Road, and Lute Carptenter moved the Post Office into this factory.  Soon afterward, Abram Bishop began carrying the mail, the volume of which had increased sufficiently to warrant increasing the salary to $20. per year.  When winter came, it was too cold in the cheese factory, so the Post was moved into the nearby blacksmith shop owned by John Smith.  The fext fall, Abram Bishop moved it into his woodshed, a short distance west.  The Post Office was two feet wide and three feet long.  A few months later Abram Bishop added a room on to his house for a store, and put the Post Office into it.  This room soon became too small for his grocery business, so he erected a store building nearby, and moved the Post Office into it, where it remained for two years.
When in 1870 the Chicago, Milwaukee, and St. Paul Railroad was built through Our Town, the village of Somers was established.  Mr. Bishop then moved to the village, taking with him his store, and the Post Office.  Later, a larger store building was erected, and the Post Office was again moved."
(Source: My Memoirs by Minnie A.G. Ozanne. Copyright 1948)

Somers Postmasters
Postmasters following Mr. Bishop were Lafayette Cook, 1885; Ward E. Bain 1889; George Biehn 1893; N.E. Thompson 1897 to 1916; Mrs. Florence Fink, 1916-1929, and Albert E. Bullamore, 1929 to the present (1936), Mrs. Eunice B. Bullamore and C.C. Ruthe.

The Post Office now (1948) is now is the Chicago, Milwaukee, and St. Paul Station house."
(Source: My Memoirs by Minnie A.G. Ozanne. Copyright 1948)

Rural delivery of mail over Route #1 was established in Somers in 1904. George Hamilton, a Spanish-American War veteran, was given the carrier's job, and he traveled the Route 30 years until February 1934, when it was discontinued.

(Source: My Memoirs by Minnie A.G. Ozanne. Copyright 1948)
George Hamilton Carrier Route No. 38 - 1904
George Hamilton has been appointed mail carrier for Route No. 38, his duties to begin on February 1. Just where the route would be laid out was a question with many, but the following is the official route as given recently and it will be published for the benefit of the Journal's readers.
From Somers east 1/2 mile, north to Percy Fink's corner, 2 miles, west to T.B. Lewis' residence, 1-1/4 miles, east to corner 1/4 mile, south 1 mile, west to W.J. Rhodes corner, 3/4 mile, north to Sniffen corner, 1 mile, west to school #4, 1-1/4 miles south to Frederick corner,3-3/4 miles, southeast to Reitenback residence 3/4, northwest to Chapin, 1-3/4 miles, north to school #56, Paris 1-3/4 miles, east to school #5, Somers 2-3/4 miles, south to George Hanson, 2-3/8 miles, southeast and east to J. Eich, 7/8 mile, north to C. Nelson corner, 1-1/2 miles, east to J. Gray corner, 1 mile, north and west 1-1/2 miles to Somers. Length of route, 25 miles.
(Source: Racine Weekly, January 14, 1904)

Ralph Pedley, Route 34
(Source:  Photo Courtesy of Robert Swartz)

Kellogg's Corners Post Office
Another Post Office in Somers Township was kept for many years in Amon T. Gould's blacksmith shop at Kellogg's Corners. The mail was placed in a box in the northwest corner of his shop, as it was brought from Winsor Station, now Sylvania. Each farmer sorted his own mail.
(Source: My Memoirs by Minnie A.G. Ozanne. Copyright 1948)

Berryville Post Office
A Post Office was kept at Berryville for many years by Mrs. Minnie Payne, Mr. and Mrs. William Scheckler, and for some time, was located in the Berryville Depot. When Nicholas Erickson, a Spanish-American veteran, was appointed mail carrier on the newly establish rural route No. #37 out from Kenosha, the Berryville Post Office was discontinued. Later No. 37 R.F.D. became R.F.D. #4."
(Article Source: Racine Journal Times, Publication January 8, 1936, by Mrs. Minnie Ozanne)

There is a new Rural Route #4 approved by the Postmaster H.J. Smith in Racine.
Route No. 4
Commencing at Station “A” Racine post office, the carrier will go thence south on Lake Road through Berryville to the School No. 11 (Berryville School) 5 miles; west to H. Linstroth, 5/8 mile; north to Piper’s corner on County Line Road, 1 mile; west one-half and east one-half, 1 mile; north to Saxe corner, 1-1/2 miles’ southwest to Burrough’s estate on County Line, 2-5/8 miles; west to F. Fink corner, 1-1/2 miles, north to F.C. Hunter corner, 1 mile; east to N. Williams corner, 1 ¾ miles; north to Hans corner, west to Chas. Bull residence, ½ mile; east ½ mile, northwester to Monroe estate, 1 ½ miles; east to Erskine corner 1 mile, south to J. Walsh corner, 1 1 /2 miles east to Karles corner, 7/8 milw; northeast to Station “A”, 1-1/2 miles.
Length of route, 24-7/8 miles.
Area covered – 18 square miles; number of houses on route – 175; population served 375.
(Source:  Racine Journal Dec. 25, 1903)

On account of two more Rural Routes being established in this county going out of Racine, the Berryville Post Office has been discontinued. The mail hereafter for the residents of that locality being carried by Peter Therson, will be known as Route 3. Thorson and a Mr. Merkle started out on rural deliveries this morning each covering twenty-five miles in their daily circuit. Merkle travels what is known as Route 4, out by the way of Corliss (Sturtevant). Both men make their headquarters at Station A., Racine Junction.
(Source:  Racine Journal Feb  2, 1904)

Berryville Depot, Somers Township
Location: East side of railroad tracks and north of Berryville Road, now County Road A.  Take note of the Hansche warehouse in the foreground.
(Source:  Original photo courtesy of Warren Kramer)

National Archives, Washington, D.C. Letter dated July 15, 1948
Somers Post Office History
Click on letter for larger view.
(Source: Original letter courtesy of E. Ruthe.)

Racine Journal Times photo
March 23, 1938
(Source: Original news clipping and text below courtesy of Ernest "Bunky" Tabbert.)

"Albert E. Bullamore has been Postmaster at Somers since January 1, 1929. Born in Benton, Illinois in 1870, he has resided in Somers many years. His parents were the late Mr. and Mrs. William Bullamore. He is a member of the Somers Congregational Church in which he serves as a deacon, and has been a church choir singer since he was 18 years old. George Hamilton, a Spanish-American War Veteran, carried the mail over Route 1, Somers, from 1904 until the route was discontinued in February 1934.
(Source: Racine Journal Times, March 23, 1938)

New Postmaster Name for Somers:  Office to be moved from old location
C.C. Ruthe, agent for the Chicago, Milwaukee, St. Paul & Pacific Railway Co. has been named postmaster for Somers.  It is expected that the post office will be moved to the depot within a short time.  it has occupied the Bullamore property since 1929.  Mrs. Eunice Bullamore has been serving as postmaster since the retirement of her husband, Albert E. Bullamore.
Somers post office is one of the oldest in the State of Wisconsin.  In 1836, a weekly stage ran from Chicago to Milwaukee over the Green Bay Trail through Somers Township and the first post office was established at the George Willis Tavern, now the Elmer Maxwell home.
"Uncle Billy" Smith carried mail by horseback from Southport now Kenosha, to Milwaukee over the Green Bay Trail in the early days.  The first Somers post master was Lute Carpenter who carried the mail from Kenosha and kept the post office in his home, now the home of Mrs. Edmund Fink on the Somers Road (Highway E). His salary was $12 per year.
After a time a group of farmers moved an old building that had been started for a grist mill, nearer to the highway and Lute Carpenter moved the post office into it.  After Abram T. Bishop began to carry the mail and as the volume had increased, the salary was raised to $20 per year.  In the winter, because the building was too cold, the post office was moved into John Smith's blacksmith shop.  Later Abram T. Bishop moved it into his wood house.  When Mr. Bishop added a room onto his home, the office was moved again.  Two men carried it.
In 1870 the Chicago, Milwaukee and St. Paul Railroad was built through the village of Somers and Mr. Bishop moved to the village where he established a grocery store, taking the post office too.  Mr. Bishop was postmaster from 1868 to 1885.  He was followed by Lavayette Cook in 1885; Ward E. Bain, 1889; George Biehn, 1893, N.E. Thompson, 1897; Mrs. Bullamore 1929 to 1944; Mrs. Eunice Bullamore, the past year and a half.
George Hamilton, a Spanish-American War Veteran, carried mail over Rural Route 1, Somers, from 1904 to 1934 when the route was discontinued.
(Source:  Racine Journal Times October 1, 1945)

Sugar Beets

Sugar Beets, Somers, Wisconsin

Sugar Beet harvest loading from farmer wagons to the railroad cars in Somers, Wisconsin.
The sugar beets were "topped" or cut in the fields, and dug with a potato lifter.  The beets were then hand thrown from the field to the wagon and often times hand shoveled from the wagon to the railroad cars.
(Source:  Original photo courtesy of Ernest "Bunkie" Tabbert.)

Kenosha News article October 21, 1947
Original news clipping submitted by Ernest "Bunkie" Tabbert.
Click on article to enlarge.

Somers Civic Association

First Officers of Somers Civic Association
Circa July 1947
(Source:  Original photo and identification courtesy of C.C. Ruthe.)

Sitting Left to Right:  George McClure, M.M. Meldahl, C.C. Ruthe, Earl Yule
Standing Left to Right:  Frank Newman, Archie Neysmith, Hugh Cox, Vernon Waltersdorf

Chat n Chew Restaurant

Chat n Chew Restaurant, Somers, Wisconsin
Owners,  Earl and Lil Yule

Place Mat for Chat 'n Chew, Somers, Wisconsin
Circa Late 1940's
Location of the Chat 'n Chew was on the old Modern Woodmen Hall property.
(Source:  Original courtesy of Ernest "Bunkie" Tabbert)

Back of the Place Mat
(Source: Original courtesy of Ernest "Bunkie" Tabbert. All Rights Reserved. Copyright Ernest Tabbert July 2012.)

"The Gang" at the Chat N Chew Restaurant in Somers, Wisconsin
Click on photo for larger view.
(Source: Original photo and identification courtesy of Ernest "Bunkie" Tabbert.
All Rights Reserved. Copyright Ernest Tabbert July 2012.)

Left to Right Around the Table:  Len Tabbert, Chuck Schultz, Arlo Funk, Leo Thomas, Bill Abresch, Dick "Richie" Miller, Don Penza, Al Middlecamp, Wally Meier, July Yule Thomas, Sue Funk, Jean Bush, Marion Edquist, Janice Christensen, Arlene "Fitz" Fitpatrick, Evelyn Ruthe, Dee Ruthe Tabbert, Ernest "Bunkie" Tabbert, Jerry Sinnen.
Standing:  Owners of the Chat 'n Chew, Earl and Lil Yule.
"The Gang" at the Chat n Chew Restaurant in Somers, Wisconsin
(Source: Original photo and identification courtesy of Ernest "Bunkie" Tabbert.
All Rights Reserved. Copyright Ernest Tabbert July 2012.)

Left to Right:  Girl with black scarf Evelyn Ruthe, Bill Abresch, lady with print scarf unknown, Leo Thomas, man in front of sign, Chuck Schultz, man sitting, Wally Meier, Al Middlecamp is man with one eye showing, and Don Penza.  Waitress behind counter is unknown.

"The Gang" at the Chat 'n Chew, Somers, Wisconsin
Date of Photo February 1949
This is the back room of the Chat N Chew, where people would get together and play cards or shuffle board.
Click on photo for larger view.
(Source: Original photo and identification courtesy of Ernest "Bunkie" Tabbert.
All Rights Reserved. Copyright Ernest Tabbert July 2012.)

Left to Right Men Sitting in Front: Ernie Tabbert, Sam Burnett (also the barber in town), Frank Helding with glasses and Walt Middlecamp in the white shirt on the far right.
Standing Left to Right:  Ed Longmore, Ed Tabbert, Lura Brunet (Weighmaster on the scale at Cox), Helen Schlitz, Mabel Longmore, Ella Tabbert (diamond print dress), lady behind Ella is Lil Yule, Marcella "Toots" Ruthie (right of lady in diamond print dress), Laverne Helding, Alice Middlecamp, Alice Tabbert (with pearls), Gladys Bush, Archie Bush, Albert Schlitz, and Earl Yule.  The man standing in the back was Casimir "Cappy" Ruthe.

Somers Legion Post 552

Members of Somers Legion Post #552 setting flags on graves at Sunset Ridge Cemetery in honor of Memorial Day
Left to Right:  Unknown man, Unknown man, Unknown man, W. Gias, children and young girl unknown, 5th man Verna Waltersdorf, Wally Meier, Wally Regnery, Al Middlecamp, Mike Middlecamp, and last is Bob Sinnen.  The little girls kneeling on the right is Carrie Middlecamp.
Click on photo to enlarge.
(Source:  Original photo and identification courtesy of Ernest "Bunkie" Tabbert.)

Central Park

Farmers Stage Tri-County Meet
Representatives of Wisconsin Political Parties Address Picnic Group
Approximately 300 farmers from Racine, Walworth and Kenosha attended a picnic at Central Park, Somers,  yesterday and took part in a program of games and contests.  A series of addresses were presented to the group by representatives of the major political parties of the state.
During the forenoon hours, yesterday, an extensive program of picnic games and contests was held.  The features of the afternoon picnic program were the services of speeches and a baseball game.  The evening was devoted to music and dancing in the pavilion at the park.
(Source:  Racine Journal, August 30, 1934)

Central Park May Be Closed
Town of Somers Voted Against Liquor License at Tuesday Election
Officers of the Town Say the Park Must Close
One of the Most Popular Resorts in This Section of the County
About $10,000 Improvements Have Been Made
"Central Park, one of the best known resorts in this section of the country, located on the Lakeshore Road, between Racine and Kenosha, will in all probability be closed, so far as the selling of intoxicating liquors is concerned.
The Park is located in the Town of Somers, Kenosha County.  At the election on Tuesday the question of license or no license was submitted to the voters.  No license was carried by 34 votes, which was a great surprise to those in favor of beer.
One of the officers of the town said yesterday that Central Park would be closed so far as the selling of beer was concerned, or any kind of intoxicating liquors, and perhaps it would be closed to the holding of amusements and wrestling matches on Sunday.  In view of the large majority against the sale of liquor in the Town it was determined to stop it at all hazards and it is claimed that more liquor was sold at the Park than in the whole town combined.
The buildings on the Park were built and the place opened by Peter Steinbach some years ago.  Mr. Steinbach had considerable trouble and his health failed.  For a time he was confined in a private asylum, but he recovered and is again in business.
The handsome park is now owned by Mr. Steinbach and the Schlitz Brewing Company of Milwaukee.  It is estimated that the improvements put in cost something over $10,000.00.
A report reaches the city that Mr. Steinbach has stated that he will continue to run the Park and  dispose, of liquor as heretofore, and that if arrested the case will be fought in the courts to the bitter end.
Hundreds of people, both in Racine and Kenosha counties, will be much interested in the affair, for nearly all of the large societies generally lease the Park for mid-summer picnics and large gatherings."
(Source:  Racine Daily, publication date April 3, 1902)

Partial 1908 Somers Township Map
Central Park, Somers Township, Kenosha County

Batting Averages of Central Park Leagues
A number of baseball fans werre asking some of the managers of the Central Park League how the batting averages stand.  At that time not much of a record was kept, but during the last six weeks the following averages were reported.
(Note:  Somers listed only - list does not include other teams)
Irving, Somers Greys, 342
Morin, Somers Greys, 334
W. Thomas, Somers Greys, 304
Wood, Somers Greys, 300
H. Gascoyne, Somers, 204
F. Gascoyne, Somers, 224
A. Werve, Somers Greys, 278
G. Werve, Somers Greys, 211
G. Thomas, Somers Greys, 278
Rice, Somers, 182
Nelson, Somers, 178
Braid, Somers Greys, 173
Birch, Somers Greys, 161
Dorey, Somers Greys, 220
Drissel, Somers, 257
Tabbert, Somers, 247
Ford, Somers, 230
(Source:  Racine Daily, publication date August 24, 1907)