Friday, January 31, 2014

Herman Gaier (1870-1936) "52 Ancestors"

Oh my! I think this is 5 weeks in a row for posting in the 52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks Challenge. So how long does it take to make this a habit?

This week I am writing about Herman Gaier (1870-1936), my 2nd great-grand uncle. His sister Magdalena Gaier (1852-1929) and her husband Joseph Reiss (1844-1924) were my great-great-grandparents.

Herman was the tenth child of Ferdinand (1809-1902) and Appolonia Siegel Gaier (1826-1880). Herman's siblings were Charles (1848-1921), Magdalena (1852-1929), Catherine Eva (1855-1932), Margaret Elizabeth (1858-1920), Ferdinand (1859-1944), John (1861-1939), Burkhard (1864-1864), George B (1865-1948), and Joseph (1868-1953). His father had been married previously to Eva Katherine Siegel (1821-1844) and had four children, Gertrude (1838-1911), Jacob (1841-1906), Caroline (1843-1907), and Valentine (1844-1915). That marriage took place on 10 May 1838. Eva and Appolonia Siegel were
Ferdinand (r) and Appolonia Siegel (l) Gaier
sisters, so Ferdinand married her sister Appolonia on 4 June 1846, after Eva died in 1844, shortly after Valentine was born. Herman's father, mother, and six older siblings (Gertrude, Jacob, Caroline, Valentine, Carl, and Magdalena) immigrated from Germany aboard the ship Carolus Magnus and arrived in the Port of New York on 13 January 1854. Their last name was listed as Geiger on the ships records. After arriving in the United States, the family made their way to Ohio and settled near Troy, in Miami County. In 1860 the family moved to Shelby County and are listed as living in McLean Township, Shelby County, Ohio during the 1860 US census. Ferdinand had already started farming and was listed as owning land valued at $1,500 with a personal value of $200 in 1860. Their family was also growing as they had added three children, Catherine, Elizabeth and Ferdinand to their family. By the 1870 census, the farm was valued at $2,000 and Ferdinand's personal value had increased to $685. Their family had also increased by another three children, John, George, and Zibidu (I have no idea who he is but it would have to be Joseph based on birth dates).

Herman was born on the family farm, three miles east of Ft. Loramie in Shelby County, Ohio, on 31 October 1870. Herman is first listed in the US census in 1880. He is 10 years old and is attending school. The family at that time consisted of his father Ferdinand (aged 70), mother Appolonia (aged 54), and the following children: Elizabeth (aged 22) keeping house, Ferdinand (aged 20) working on the farm, Catherine (aged 24) keeping house, John (aged 18) working on the farm, George (aged 14) working on the farm, Joseph (aged 13) attending school, and Philip Carity (aged 9 months) son of Catherine. Catherine is listed as a widow. Her husband, Francois Emil Carity, a French immigrant, had recently died on 18 April 1880, just 8 months after their son Philip was born.

5 cent token for Loramie Bakery
(source: eBay)
Herman lived on the family farm until he was twenty-five years of age, when he moved to the village of Ft. Loramie and began his career as a furniture dealer. On 2 August 1898, he married Mary Louise Jardot (1869-1965). This may have been his second marriage as some say that he was first married to Magdellena Wise who may have died in 1897. I haven't found the records yet to support that marriage. This was the second marriage for his wife, Mary. She was previously married to Joseph Wolf (1869-1896) and had four children from that marriage; Anna Adelle (1889-1978), William J (1890-1907), Leo J (1893-1966), and Mathilda Catherine (1896-1989). Herman left the furniture dealership in 1898 and became the owner and operator of Loramie Bakery and also became a grocer. His children helped out in the bakery and grocery, learning the importance of being responsible business persons early on. The bakery was located at 36 West Main Street, in Ft. Loramie, the same address as Gaier's Chrysler Dealership is located today. Herman and Mary had their first of five children on May 1899 when Susan was born. These children were; Susan (1899-??), August J (1902-1978), Elmer (1906-??), Paul L (1908-1992), and Mary Ellen (1914-2002). Two of his sons, August and Elmer operated an automobile repair business and August Gaier also became the fire chief for Ft. Loramie. As a baker, Herman supplied many retailers in the area of Minster, New Bremen, Osgood, and Willowdell, as well as Ft. Loramie. He closed the bakery in 1929 and spent his time operating the grocery until a few months prior to his death.

Herman was very active in community affairs. He was a member of the village council for eight years and director of the community fire department for an extended period. Herman died on 5 April 1936, at the age of 65, due to carcinoma of the lungs. He is buried in St. Michaels Cemetery.

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