Saturday, February 2, 2013

Bernard Emmanuel "Emil" Garman (1858-1932)

Today I am switching from my wife's family over to mine. I joke about her family being world travelers and having all sorts of great adventures while my family were German farmers who immigrated to Ohio and stayed there. So, here goes the exciting life of a German farmer named Emil Garman, my great-grandfather.

Emil Garman was born 23 December 1858 in Halverde, Westfalen, Germany to Johann Clemens Van Lay and Anna Maria Theresia Garmann. When Johann married Anna Maria on 3 October 1848, he took the Garmann name because Anna had inherited the family property. Johann and Anna had 9 children in addition to Emil. They were as follows: Heinrick Clemens (1849-1900), August Gerhard (1851-1928), Johann Josef (1853-?), Reverend Frantz Ignatz (1856-1934), Theodore Johann (1861-1932), Clemens Herman (1864-1891), Reverend Bernhard Johann (1866-1954), Wilhelm Gerhard (1870-1923), and Maria Josefa (1874-1891). The Rev. Franz Ignatz Garman settled in Meyersville, DeWitt County, Texas while his brother, the Rev. Bernhard Johann Garmann settled in Wichita, Sedgwick County, Kansas.

According to his obituary, Emil immigrated to the United States in 1882. An Emanuel Garmann is listed in the New York Passenger Lists as arriving on 19 June 1882 in New York aboard the ship Edam which departed from Amsterdam, Netherlands and Boulogne Sur Mer, France. His country of origin is listed as Germany. During this period, many German immigrants made their way to the fertile lands of Ohio down the Ohio River to Cincinnati. After arriving in Cincinnati, he continued north to the area of Mercer County and settled in one of the small Catholic communities which had developed throughout the area. He became a naturalized citizen in 1885. He married Anna Marie Heitman on 2 February 1887. Anna Marie was born in the small community of Egypt, Auglaize County, Ohio, on 1 January 1866. Her parents were Bernard and Maria Anna (Rolfes) Heitmann. However Anna died three months after their marriage.

Emil and Mary Garman
On 25 April 1888, he married Mary Angela Mescher. They were married in St. Rose, Mercer County, Ohio. Mary was born 3 January 1869 in St. Rose to Johann Heinrick and Maria Catherine (Leugers) Mescher. This union resulted in 15 children: Frances Theresa (1889-1949), Anna Mathilda (1890-1890), August Bernard (1892-1962), Rosa Carolina (1893-1972), Florentine (1894-1974), Edward Herman (1896-1962), Aloys Bernard (1898-1957), Marie (1899-1976), Josephina Rosa (1901-1984), Bertha Joanna Elizabeth (1903-1997), Ida Emma (1905-1987), Lawrence (1907-1975), Alvina (1910-1984), Marcella (1912-1999), and Velma Catherine (1915-2011).

In the 1900 US Census for Chickasaw, Marion Township, Mercer County, Ohio, Emil (age 41) is listed as having immigrated from Germany in 1881. His occupation is listed as farmer and he rents his home. His wife Mary (age 31) is listed as having had 8 children, of which 7 are still living. The children listed in the home are: Francis (age 11), August (age 8), Rosie (age 7), Florentine (age 5), Edward (age 3), Aloys (age 2) and Mary (age 8 months).  In addition to the family, John Gehle, a farm hand is listed as boarding in the house.

By 1910 the family had moved to German Township, Auglaize County, Ohio. They lived on Amsterdam Pike. Emil (age 51), Mary (age 41) and ten of their eleven children are living in the home. Frances had married Henry John Vagedes in 1909 and had moved to their home in Marion Township, Mercer County, Ohio. The remaining children were August (age 18), Rosa (age 16), Florentine (age 15), Edward (age 13), Aloys (age 12), Mary (age 10), Josephine (age 8), Bertha (age 6), Ida (age 4), and Lawrence (age 2). Emil is listed as a farmer while his son August is listed as a farm laborer.

In 1920 the family was living on Township Road in German Township, Auglaize County, Ohio. At this time Emil had paid off the mortgage on his home. The family consisted of Emil (age 61), his wife Marie (age 51), and their children: August (age 28), Marie (age 20), Eida (age 14), Larence (age 12), Alvina (age 9), Marcella (age 7), and Velma (age 4 years 10 months). It's interesting to notice the spellings of the names during this census. Emil is still listed as a farmer and August is a farm laborer on the family farm. On 20 April 1920 the Garman family celebrated a quadruple wedding. Three sons, August, Alois and Ed, along with one daugther, Mary, were wed at St. John's Church in Maria Stein. Emil's brothers, Father Bernard and Father Frank, performed the ceremony. It appears that Emil retired from farming around 1922.

The 1930 census indicates that the family had moved off the farm and back to Marion Township, Mercer County, Ohio. It appears that August may be living on the family farm but I have not confirmed that. Emil is 71 years old at this time and is doing odd jobs to earn money. His wife, Mary, is 61 years old. Bertha (age 26) and Lawrence (age 22) are living in the home and working in a factory. The remaining children living at home are Alvina (age 19), Marcella (age 18) and Velma (age 15).

During the fall of 1931 Emil contracted gangrene in his right foot as a result of his diabetes, which he had for about 10 years. The gangrene had begun to spread and he was admitted to the hospital for treatment. He would have been 73 years old at the time. While at the hospital he underwent surgery to amputate his right leg in a final attempt to save his life. However, he was in a weakened state due to his age and extended illness. Emil died on 18 January 1932 in St. Elizabeth Hospital, Dayton, Ohio. He had been in the hospital for three days. His body was handled by N. J. Hogenkamp Funeral Home. The funeral services were performed by Rev. J. O. Missler and he was buried in St. John Cemetery, Maria Stein, Mercer County, Ohio on 21 January 1932. Emil was known for his jovial disposition and was well liked in his community. His wife, Mary, lived until 19 June 1951. She is also buried in St. Johns Cemetery.

In June 1934, the heirs of Emil's estate were taken to court by Aetna Life Insurance Company. I haven't been able to find the details of this case yet but the plaintiff brought the suit against the estate for $6,022.31.

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