Daniel Armbrust (1897-1936): By his own hand

Posted for Week #20 of the 2015 edition of the blog meme 52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks hosted by Amy Johnson Crowe of No Story Too Small.

My maternal great grandparents, Anton and Barbara (Ehli) Armbrust, and their seven children immigrated to the United States from Russia in May 1892.[1] According to the ship’s manifest, the children’s names and (approximate) ages were Wilh.e,[2] 19; Anton, 16; Marianne, 14; John, 12; Marcus, 9; Michael, 3; and Katharine, 6 months. Anton and Barbara had two more children after their immigration: Eva (b. May 1896[3], later known as Genevieve) and Daniel, my maternal grandfather.

Daniel Armbrust, was born in or near Richardton, Stark County, North Dakota on November 13 in either 1895,[4] 1896,[5] or 1897,[6] depending on which record you review.

Daniel’s father, Anton Armbrust, died in December 1904.[7] His mother, Barbara (Ehli) Armbrust, subsequently married Peter Heiser in July 1908.[8] Daniel would have been between 7 and 9 years old when his father died and between 9 and 11 years old when his mother remarried. Barbara was enumerated in the 1910 U.S. census as Peter Heiser’s wife, along with Mr. Heiser’s children, Geneva and Markus.[9] I have not yet located a 1910 census report for Daniel.

The next record for Daniel is his marriage to Rosa Mischel on January 7, 1918, at St. Joseph’s Catholic Church in Dickinson, Stark County, North Dakota.[10] A few months later, on June 5, 1918, “Dan” Armbrust registered for the draft, reporting Rosie Armbrust as his wife.[11] Rosa died on June 23, 1919.[12] Daniel is subsequently enumerated in the 1920 U.S. census as a laborer on a farm in Dunn County, North Dakota.[13]

1918 Armbrust, Daniel & Mischel, Rosa marriage record

Daniel married my maternal grandmother, Elizabeth A. Jaeger, on July 8, 1925, in a civil ceremony at Manning, Dunn County, North Dakota.[14] Daniel and Elizabeth parented three children: Irene Agnes (my mother), born February 2, 1929;[15] Dolores Catherine, born April 21, 1933;[16] and Elmer John, born September 4, 1934.[17]

1925 Armbrust-Jaeger marriage license & certificate (front)

Daniel died on February 19, 1936,[18] apparently of suicide following an unsatisfactory sale of cedar posts harvested near property he rented in Grassy Butte, North Dakota.[19]

Armbrust, Daniel 001R-2

This photo of Daniel, with its salt-and-pepper beard, was probably taken within a year or two of his death and is likely how his children remembered him. Sadly, his suicide left his widow, Elizabeth, with sole responsibility for their children, ages 7, 4, and 2 respectively. Daniel is buried at St. Joseph’s Cemetery in Dickinson, North Dakota.[20]

[1] “New York, Passenger Lists, 1820-1957,” database, Ancestry.com (http://www.ancestry.com : accessed 13 May 2015), entries for Anton Armbrust family, lines 688 to 696, arrived New York, New York, 20 May 1892 aboard the Scandia.
[2] Likely an abbreviation for Wilhelmina since both the departure and arrival manifests identify this person as female.
[3] 1900 U.S. census, Township 142, Stark, North Dakota, population schedule, enumeration district (ED) 0164, p. 10A, dwelling 130, Anton Armbrust family; digital image, Ancestry.com (http://www.ancestry.com : accessed 13 May 2015); citing NARA microfilm publication T623, roll 1232.
[4] North Dakota Department of Health, death certificate no. 4127, Daniel Armbrust (1936); Bismarck, North Dakota.
[5] “United States World War I Draft Registration Cards, 1917-1918,” database and images, Ancestry.com (http://www.ancestry.com: accessed 13 May 2015.), registration card for Dan Armbrust, serial no. 2, North Dakota, Stark County, Roll: 1819496.
[6] 1900 U.S. census, Township 142, Stark, North Dakota, pop. sch., ED 0164, p. 10A, dwell. 130, Anton Armbrust family.
[7] Find A Grave, database and images (http://findagrave.com : accessed 13 May 2015), memorial page for Anton Armbrust (1842-1904), Find A Grave Memorial no. 18986940, citing St. Joseph’s Cemetery, Dickinson, Stark County, North Dakota.
[8] Tom Dietz, “Stark County, North Dakota Marriage Records, Book 6,” transcription (approx. 1907-1908), USGenWebArchives (http://files.usgwarchives.net/nd/stark/marriage/marriag6.txt : accessed 13 May 2015), arranged alphabetically by groom’s surname, entry for Peter Heiser, Sr., to Barbara Armbrust, 20 July 1908.
[9] 1910 U.S. census, Dickinson Ward 6, Stark County, North Dakota, population schedule, enumeration district 163, sheet 13A, dwelling 229, family 247, Peter Heiser, Sr; digital image, Ancestry.com (http://www.ancestry.com : accessed 13 May 2015; citing NARA microfilm publication T624_1148.
[10] Stark County, North Dakota, Marriage Licenses and Certificates of Marriage, Book 10, p. 71, Daniel Armbrust to Rosa Mischel; Stark County Recorder, Dickinson.
[11] “U.S. World War I Draft Registration Cards, 1917-1918,” database and images, Ancestry.com, card for Dan Armbrust, serial no. 2, North Dakota, Roll: 1819496.
[12] Find A Grave, database and images (http://findagrave.com : accessed 13 May 2015), memorial page for Rosa Armbrust (1896-1919), Find A Grave Memorial no. 103462057, citing St. Joseph’s Cemetery, Dickinson, Stark County, North Dakota.
[13] 1920 U.S. census, Dunn County, North Dakota, population schedule, Township 147, enumeration district 54, sheet 9-A, dwelling 159, family 159, Daniel Armbrust; NARA microfilm publication T625, roll 1333.
[14] Dunn County, North Dakota, Marriage Licenses and Certificates of Marriage, Book 3, p. 36, Daniel Armbrust to Elizabeth A. Jaeger; Dunn County Clerk/Recorder, Manning.
[15] North Dakota Bureau of Vital Statistics, certificate of birth 4105 (1929), Irene Agnes Armbrust; Bureau of Vital Statistics, Bismarck.
[16] Irene A. Arnold (Dickinson, North Dakota) to “Dear Dolores” [Dolores Catherine Armbrust]. Letter. Undated, estimated writing September 1950. Copy obtained from the Adams County Recorder/Clerk of Court in connection with a request for a copy of the marriage license and certificate for George Moe and Dolores Armbrust. It is believed the date added to the top of the letter is Dolores Armbrust’s date of birth, which was necessary because she was a minor at the time.
[17] Find A Grave, database and images (http://findagrave.com : accessed 13 May 2015), memorial page for Elmer J. Armbrust (Sep 4 1934-Feb 16 2008), Find A Grave Memorial no. 42585615, citing Springvale Cemetery, Fargo, Cass County, North Dakota.
[18] North Dakota Certificate of Death State File No.4127 (1936), Daniel Armbrust, State Health Department.
[19] “Dunn County Farmer Takes Own Life Here,” undated clipping, approx. February 20, 1936. Likely source: Dickinson Press, February 1936.
[20] Find A Grave, database and images (http://findagrave.com : accessed 13 May 2015), memorial page for Daniel Armbrust, Find A Grave Memorial no. 103461232, citing St. Joseph’s Cemetery, Stark County, North Dakota.

Peter J. Schwartz (1892-1916): Gone too soon

Posted for Week #15 of the 2015 edition of the blog meme 52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks hosted by Amy Johnson Crowe of No Story Too Small.

Peter J. Schwartz was the son of Johan Schwartz and is, therefore, the stepbrother of our family’s patriarch, Peter Ernest Arnold. Peter Schwartz was born April 2, 1891;[1] Peter Arnold was born March 25, 1893.[2] Their parents, Johan Schwartz and Anna Oberding Arnold, were both widowed when they married in about 1896.[3] The two boys would have been about five and three years old respectively at that time, so it is likely they formed a brotherly relationship from a very young age. The family, including Johann, Anna, Anna’s daughters Maria and Anna, and the two boys lived in or near Dolacz, Torontál, Hungary until they emigrated in 1903[4] and 1904.[5]

Seated: Johan Schwartz and Anna (Oberding Arnold) Schwartz. Standing: Peter Schwartz, Anna Arnold, Maria Arnold, and Peter Arnold

Seated: Johann Schwartz and Anna (Oberding Arnold) Schwartz. Standing: Peter Schwartz, Anna Arnold, Maria Arnold, and Peter Arnold

Following a brief stay in Helena, Montana, where Johan Schwartz worked as a gardener at a county farm, the Schwartz family eventually settled in Scheffield, North Dakota, on four lots totaling about 126 acres on the western edge of Section 18, Township 137, Range 97.[6] Scheffield was a small farming community about 17 miles south of the county seat in Dickinson. By 1916,[7] about the time Peter and Susanna were married, John (Johan) Schwartz had acquired an additional 160 acres adjacent to his original homestead claim.[8]

Being as close in age as they were, it is not too surprising that the brothers started courting about the same time. In fact, the brothers and their respective spouses were married on November 21, 1915, at St. Pius Catholic Church in Scheffield. Peter Schwartz married Susanna Klupp,[9] and Peter Arnold married Magdalena Wehner.[10]

I don’t have any information at present to support this, but I am guessing that Peter and Susanna might have lived on the Johan Schwartz property, while Peter and Magdalena started their married life at Gladstone, a few miles north and east of the Schwartz property. Sadly, Peter Schwartz died on July 25, 1916,[11] just a few months after his marriage. Peter and Susanna’s daughter, Anna, was born sometime in 1916.

John Sibla and Susanna (Klupp) Schwartz were married on February 19, 1919.[12] John Sibla was a widower with two daughters from his first marriage to Barbra Kirstbaum. Their daughters, Helen and Magdalena, were born in Wisconsin. John and Barbra Sibla later moved to Glen Ullin, Morton County, North Dakota. Barbra Sibla died June 7, 1918.

John and Susanna Sibla together parented five more children: Theresa, Susanna, Mike, Claudia, and Leona. John and Susanna retired to Glen Ullin in 1948. John died in August 1957. Susanna died in June 1970. They are both buried at Sacred Heart Cemetery.[13]

Peter and Susanna’s daughter, Anna Schwartz Krisanits Andrahovitch, died at Rahway Hospital in Union County, New Jersey on May 25, 2000. Anna’s obituary reports three surviving sons: Peter Krisanits, and John and Michael Andrahovitch. She may also have had a daughter, Arlene Krisanits, but it’s possible the daughter died before Anna because she is not mentioned as a survivor in Anna’s obituary.[14]

[1] Ancestry.com. U.S., Find A Grave Index, 1600s-Current [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations, Inc., 2012. Original data: Find A Grave (http://www.findagrave.com/cgi-bin/fg.cgi?page=gr&GRid=9541031&ref=acom : accessed 16 April 2015).
[2] Ancestry.com. U.S., World War I Draft Registration Cards, 1917-1918 [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations Inc, 2005, registration card for Peter Arnold, serial no. 967, North Dakota, Stark County, Roll: 1819496.
[3] 1910 U.S. census, Stark County, North Dakota, population schedule, Township 137, Range 96, p. 6A, dwelling 70, John Schwartz family; digital image, Ancestry.com (http://www.ancestry.com : accessed 17 February 2015); citing FHL microfilm 1375161.
[4] Ancestry.com. Baltimore, Passenger Lists, 1820-1948 and 1954-1957 [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations Inc, 2006, entries for Johann Schwarz and Maria Arnold, arrived Baltimore, Maryland, 03 May 1903, aboard SS Neckar.
[5] Ancestry.com. New York, Passenger Lists, 1820-1957 [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations, Inc., 2010, entries for Anna Schwarz, Anna Arnold, Peter Schwartz, and Peter Arnold, arrived New York, New York, 30 Nov 1904, aboard the SS Blucher.
[6] Johan Schwartz (Stark, North Dakota), homestead patent no. 288884; “Land Patent Search,” digital images, General Land Office Records.
[7] 1916 Keiter Directory of Dickinson, North Dakota, microfilm reprint, Ancestry.com. U.S. City Directories, 1821-1989 [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations, Inc., 2011, 235, Schwartz, John.
[8] Ancestry.com. U.S., Indexed County Land Ownership Maps, 1860-1918 [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations, Inc., 2010; Collection Number: G&M_97; Roll Number: 97. Map of Township 137N, Range 97W, northeast corner of Section 18, showing John Schwartz as a contractor for the owner W. D. Castle.
[9] Personal record: marriage license issued at Dickinson, Stark, North Dakota and certificate of marriage from St. Pius Church, Schefield, Stark, North Dakota.
[10] Personal record: marriage license issued at Dickinson, Stark, North Dakota and certificate of marriage from St. Pius Church, Schefield, Stark, North Dakota.
[11] Find A Grave memorial for Peter J. Schwartz, previously discussed.
[12] 1983 – 2008 Glen Ullin Yesteryears, Volume II. Glen Ullin, ND: Glen Ullin Historical Archives Committee, 196.
[13] 1983 – 2008 Glen Ullin Yesteryears, Volume II. Glen Ullin, ND: Glen Ullin Historical Archives Committee, 196, previously discussed.
[14] Anna S. Andrahovitch obituary, The (Newark, New Jersey) Star Ledger, 28 May 2000, via NewsBank.

Peter Ernest Arnold (1893 -1964): His own land

 

Posted for Week #14 of the 2015 edition of the blog meme 52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks hosted by Amy Johnson Crowe of No Story Too Small.

This week’s post supplements earlier entries about my paternal grandparents, Peter Ernest Arnold and Magdalena (Wehner) Arnold. As noted previously, Peter Arnold was listed in the 1918 Dickinson City Directory[1] as the owner of the southeast quarter of Section 12 of Township 139 North of Range 95 West of the Fifth Principal Meridian, North Dakota.

Frank Schiller, the original homesteader, completed the homestead process and was awarded the land patent for the property in June 1911.[2] Peter Arnold purchased the land from Frank and Magdalena Schiller on August 2, 1915, for $2,100 cash. In addition, he assumed a $1,000 mortgage the Schillers took out on December 1, 1914. The mortgage terms included a 10% interest rate and full repayment by December 1, 1916.[3]

In today’s dollars, Peter Arnold paid approximately $74,000[4] for the 160-acre property. Where did a young man only 22 years old get that kind of money? Part of the answer comes from an informal interview with uncles Frank and John Arnold during our family’s 2012 reunion in Minneapolis. I believe it was Frank who mentioned that Peter Arnold’s stepfather purchased the land from the original claimant. That corresponds with the legal record because Johan Schwar(t)z was one of the witnesses to the deed transfer from the Schillings to Peter Arnold. It’s nearly impossible to know, nearly a century later, whether the original purchase price was an outright gift, a loan, payment to Peter for work, or perhaps some combination of the three.

Peter married Magdalena Wehner in Scheffield, North Dakota on November 21, 1915.[5] Their first child, Anna, was born in December 1916. Peter and Magdalena were, at that time, living in a sod hut overlooking the Northern Pacific Railroad line. At some point in the early 1920s they built a modest 3-bedroom home in a valley below their original homesite. That house remained the family home until 1960 when Peter and his second wife Margaret (Pfeiffer) Arnold retired to Gladstone.

Arnold Farmstead cropped

The Arnold Farmstead, after the early 1920s.
The family home is at the center of the top image, Grandpas’s prized orchard is behind the house, the barn is at the bottom left, and the Green River is at the right of the image. The house and the barn are shown in the center and bottom images respectively.[6]

The Peter Arnold property, including two additional 40-acre lots acquired sometime after the initial purchase, was sold on August 24, 1964, to Henry W. and Arlene (Arnold) Koller.[7] Arlene was the daughter of Peter and Margaret (Pfeiffer) Arnold. The sale was the apparent result of a farm lease between Peter and Margaret Arnold and Henry and Arlene Koller, giving the Kollers an option to purchase the property for $10,770. Adjusted for lease payments paid by the Kollers and 1961 and 1962 taxes paid by the Arnolds, the final sale price was $9,240.75.

The initial cost of the property, as significant as that was, probably pales in comparison to the additional personal cost from a combination of never-ending hard work and risks from adverse events in many forms including drought, pests, floods, tornadoes, and severely cold winters. Nevertheless, this was the life Peter and Magdalena chose, probably because that’s what they knew and, to some extent, because there were few other opportunities in the area at that time. They persevered and made it work—despite (and perhaps because of) the hardship and heartache they endured—and, along the way, raised their children to be strong, industrious, and ingenious adults. I’m proud to be one of their descendants.

[1] 1918 Keiter Directory of Dickinson, North Dakota, microfilm reprint, Ancestry.com. U.S. City Directories, 1821-1989 [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations, Inc., 2011, 151, Arnold, Peter.
[2] Frank Schiller (Stark, North Dakota), homestead patent no. 209010; “Land Patent Search,” digital images, General Land Office Records (http://www.glorecords.blm.gov/search/default.aspx?searchTabIndex=0&searchByTypeIndex=0 : accessed 5 April 2015.
[3] Stark County, North Dakota, Deed Record No. 34, p. 463, Document 35573, Frank Schiller and wife Magdalena Schiller to Peter Arnold, 02 August 1915. Deed obtained from Stark County Recorder 14 January 2015.
[4] Calculation made using the Bureau of Labor Statistics CPI Inflation Calculator for $2,100 from 1915 to 2015 and $1,210 (the original $1,000 mortgage plus two years of 10% per annum interest) from 1916 to 2015. Bureau of Labor Statistics CPI Inflation Calculator http://www.bls.gov/data/inflation_calculator.htm : accessed 5 April 2015.
[5] Family record: marriage registration, St. Pius Church, Scheffield, North Dakota, and marriage license and certificate, obtained from Stark County Recorder 14 January 2015.
[6] Photograph obtained from album maintained by Clarice Arnold.
[7] Stark County, North Dakota, Guardian’s Deed, Book 123, Page 703. Deed obtained from Stark County Recorder 14 January 2015.

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