52 Ancestors #8: George Carl Focht

Posted for the blog meme 52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks hosted by Amy Johnson Crowe of No Story Too Small

1910 Focht, George & Arnold, Anna wedding photo

George Carl & Anna (Arnold) Focht, March 1910

Georg (a.k.a. George Carl) Focht,[1] was born in Setschany, Dorontal, Hungary, on October 8, 1887.[2] He was 10 years old when he immigrated to the United States in October 1898 with his parents, Anton and Katharina Focht, and his younger siblings, Theresia and Nicolaus. According to the ship’s manifest, the family’s destination was Gladstone, North Dakota, to join Johann Focht, who is likely a younger brother of George’s father, Anton Focht.[3]

George married Anna Arnold on March 28, 1910.[4] The newlyweds were living with George’s parents in May 1910 when that year’s national census was taken. George, at 22 years old, worked as a farm laborer.[5]

George was 29 years old when he registered for the World War I draft on June 5, 1917, reporting that he was the sole support for his wife and four childen less than 12 years old.[6]

In 1920, George and Anna were enumerated in their own household, along with five children (Mary, age 8; Theresia, age 7; Katherine, age 5; Ernest, age 3; and Jacob, approx. 16 months). George was working as a carpenter at the time.[7]

George and Anna parented seven more children before the 1940 census (Anton, approx. 1919; Frank, approx. 1921; Helen, approx. 1924; Hilda, approx. 1927; Martha, approx. 1931; Victor, approx. 1934; and Walter, approx. 1936).[8], [9]

Sometime after 1920, the Fochts farmed property east of Gladstone, first as renters and later, apparently, as owners. George and Anna lived on the farm until 1951 when they retired to Gladstone. Their son Jacob worked the farm for several years after World War II; son Frank subsequently farmed the property until 1963. The farm was sold in 1964.[10]

George was 76 years old when he died of a heart condition on December 25, 1963, at St. Joseph’s hospital in Dickinson. His obituary reports 11 surviving children (daughter Theresia died in 1933 of tuberculosis) and their spouses along with 21 grandchildren and five great-grandchildren.[11]

[1] George Carl Focht is the brother-in-law of Peter Ernest Arnold.
[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 George Focht, serial no. 749, North Dakota, Stark County, Roll: 1819496.
[3] Ancestry.com. Baltimore, Passenger Lists, 1820-1948 and 1954-1957 [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations Inc, 2006, entries for Anton, Katherina, Georg, Theresia, and Nicolaus Focht, arrived Baltimore, Maryland, 20 Oct 1898, aboard SS Dresden.
[4] Family record: certificate of marriage, Church of Saint Elizabeth, Lefor, North Dakota.
[5] 1910 U.S. census, Stark County, North Dakota, population schedule, Township 139, Range 94, enumeration district 168, sheet 13A, dwelling 192, family 203, Anton Focht family; digital image, Ancestry.com (http://www.ancestry.com : accessed 17 February 2015); citing FHL microfilm 1375161.
[6] World War I Draft Registration Card for George Focht, previously discussed.
[7] 1920 U.S. census, Stark County, North Dakota, population schedule, Heart River Township (Township 139, Range 94), enumeration district 202, sheet 9A, dwelling 23, family 23, George Focht family; digital image, Ancestry.com (http://www.ancestry.com : accessed 17 February 2015); citing NARA microfilm T625-1339.
[8] 1930 U.S. census, Stark County, North Dakota, population schedule, Heart River Township, enumeration district 45-15, sheet 1B, dwelling 15, family 17, George Focht family; digital image, Ancestry .com (http://www.ancestry.com : accessed 27 February 2015); citing FHL microfilm 2341476.
[9] 1940 U.S. census, Stark County, North Dakota, population schedule, Township 139, Rage 94 (Heart River Township), enumeration district 45-37, sheet 2B, dwelling 21, George Focht family; digital image, Ancestry .com (http://www.ancestry.com : accessed 27 February 2015); citing NARA microfilm publication T627_3014.
[10] 1882-1982 Gladstone Centennial. Dickinson, ND: Service Printers, 152.
[11] Undated/unsourced obituary for George Focht obituary, courtesy of Clarice Arnold. Likely source: Dickinson Press, December 1963.

52 Ancestors #7: Anna Arnold Focht

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

Anna Arnold[1] was born in Hungary on January 15, 1891 to Johan and and Anna (Oberding) Arnold. Undocumented records indicate Johan Arnold died in December 1893.[2] Anna (Oberding) Arnold married Johann Schwartz in about 1896.[3] Mr. Schwartz and Anna’s older sister Maria immigrated to the United States in May 1903.[4] Anna (Oberding Arnold) Schwartz, Anna Arnold, Peter Arnold, and Peter Schwartz arrived in New York in November 1904.[5] Anna was not quite 14 years old when they arrived.

Anna Schwartz and the children were supposed to join Mr. Schwartz in Helena, Montana, where he was working as a gardener at the County Hospital, but they were instead detained at immigration because they didn’t have enough money to travel to their final destination.

The Anna Schwartz group was in very real danger for exclusion to entry. Immigration policy at the time was that aliens had to be in good health and have sufficient resources that they wouldn’t become public charges. Anna Schwartz was in a double bind—she didn’t have enough money to leave New York and she and the children were simultaneously incurring daily costs for food and lodging while they were detained. Someone—Mr. Schwartz or perhaps an immigrant aid society—needed to provide funds fairly quickly to prevent additional costs and, more importantly, before immigration authorities deported the four new arrivals.[6]

28 Mar 1910 - George & Anna Focht marriage certificate

28 Mar 1910 – George & Anna Focht marriage certificate

Family lore is that Mr. Schwartz sent money for his wife Anna Schwartz, his son Peter Schwartz, and his stepson Peter Arnold to travel from Hungary to the United States, but none for stepdaughter Anna Arnold.[7] Anna Schwartz apparently decided to use the money intended for train fare for three people from their port of entry to Helena, Montana, to pay for ship passage for daughter Anna instead, thus creating the shortage of funds issue when they arrived in New York. Anna and the children were released from immigration detention several days after their arrival when Mr. Schwartz (and/or his employer) sent money for both detention costs and train travel. The story continues: after arriving in Helena, young Anna was put to work as a domestic in a private home in Helena so she could pay back the cost of her ship and train fare.[8]

Anna Arnold and George Carl Focht were married at St. Elizabeth’s in Lefor, North Dakota, on March 28, 1910.[9] They were enumerated in that year’s national census in the household of George’s parents, Anton and Katharina Focht, in Township 139, Range 94.[10] In 1920 they were enumerated as a separate household in the Heart River Township (a.k.a. Township 139, Range 94), with five children between infancy and age 8.[11] The couple parented a total of 12 children.[12] Anna and George farmed east of Gladstone for many years; their sons Jacob and Frank each lived and worked on the farm for several years before it was sold in 1964.[13]

 

George & Anna Focht family

George & Anna Focht family

With apologies for poor quality, the image above was extracted from the 1981 Gladstone centennial book. It obviously records an important event for George and Anna Focht. It is also important for the Peter Ernest Arnold family because it is one of very few photos that include Peter and his sisters Maria and Anna and each of their spouses. Peter and Margaret Arnold are standing at the left of the second row from the back, Mike and Mary Hensel are seated directly in front of them, and George and Anna Focht are seated in the center of the same row as the Hensels. The photo was most likely taken in the late 1950s/early 1960s because George Focht died in December 1963, and Peter Arnold died in November 1964.[14]

Anna and George retired to Gladstone in 1951. George died in December 1963 at 76 years of age.[15] Anna moved to a nursing home in Dickinson in the middle 1960s and passed away in Dickinson on March 25, 1969 at age 78. Anna’s obituary reports 27 grandchildren and 13 great-grandchildren.[16] Anna and George are buried at St. Thomas Cemetery in Gladstone.[17]

– – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – –
[1] Anna Arnold is the sister of Peter Ernest Arnold.
[2] Dreyer, David. Elisenhain-Josefsdorf-North Dakota Family Register 1872-1990. San Mateo, CA: David Dreyer; draft dated August 2014. http://www.banatbooks.com/FamilyRegister.htm. Accessed 31 January 2015.
[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] USCIS Hisory Office and Library (2012). Overview of INS History: http://www.uscis.gov/sites/default/files/USCIS/History%20and%20Genealogy/Our%20History/INS%20History/INSHistory.pdf.
[7] Per e-mail exchanges with a family member, August-December 2014.
[8] R. L. Polk & Co.’s Helena City Directory, 1905, microfilm reprint, Ancestry.com. U.S. City Directories, 1821-1989 [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations, Inc., 2011, 93, Arnold, Anna.
[9] Family record: certificate of marriage, Church of Saint Elizabeth, Lefor, North Dakota.
[10] 1910 U.S. census, Stark County, North Dakota, population schedule, Township 139, Range 94, p. 13A, dwelling 192, Anton Focht family; digital image, Ancestry.com (http://www.ancestry.com : accessed 17 February 2015); citing FHL microfilm 1375161.
[11] 1920 U.S. census, Stark County, North Dakota, population schedule, Heart River Township (Township 139, Range 94), p. 9A, dwelling 23, George Focht family; digital image, Ancestry.com (http://www.ancestry.com : accessed 17 February 2015); citing NARA microfilm T625-1339.
[12] Undated/unsourced obituary for Anna Focht, courtesy of Clarice Arnold. Likely source: Dickinson Press, March 1969.
[13] 1882-1982 Gladstone Centennial. Dickinson, ND: Service Printers, 152.
[14] Ibid., 152.
[15] Undated/unsourced obituary for George Focht obituary, courtesy of Clarice Arnold. Likely source: Dickinson Press, December 1963.
[16] Anna Focht obituary, previously discussed.
[17] George Focht and Anna Focht obituaries, previously discussed.

52 Ancestors #6: Mike Hensel

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

Mike Hensel1 was born in Hungary on January 22, 1878. He married Eva Thomas in 1902; the couple immigrated to the United States in 1904. Their first U.S. destination was the St. Louis, Missouri, area, but by 1910 they had relocated to Hettinger County, North Dakota.2,3

The 1920 U.S. census enumerated Mike and Eva Hensel in the village of Mott in Hettinger County. Mike’s occupation at that time was general work laborer. Mike’s brother, Lawrence (Lorenz), was living with them at the time, working as a salaried laborer. According to the census report, Lawrence immigrated to the U.S. in 1912, but another source indicates he arrived in 1904.4,5

Eva (Thomas) Hensel died in August 1928.6 She is buried at Sunny Slope Cemetery in Mott, North Dakota.7 Mike Hensel relocated to Gladstone, Stark County, North Dakota, sometime after Eva’s death, and married Maria (Arnold) Biel in October 1929.8

Mike and Mary Hensel, 1955

Mike and Mary Hensel, 1955

 

The 1930 U.S. census enumerated Mike and Mary Hensel in the “Wolfe’s Addition”9,10 of Gladstone, which is on the north side of the railroad line. Mary’s mother, Anna (Oberding Arnold) Schwartz, was also enumerated in the household. It is likely Anna lived with her daughter Mary and son-in-law Mike after Johan Schwartz’s death in 1925 until she died in 1933.

Mike’s occupation in the various censuses included farmer (1910, age 32), laborer (1920, age 42), none (1930, age 52), and blank/no entry (1940, age 62). Our ancestors were necessarily frugal, but the Hensels must have had some source of income. That, unfortunately, is not documented in the censuses or any other records I’ve located.

The Hensels moved to Dickinson, North Dakota, in 1960, when Mike was about 82 years old. He lived at the Dickinson Nursing Center for about a year before his death in May 1970 at age 92. Mike Hensel is buried at St. Patrick’s Cemetery in Dickinson.11 Maria (Arnold Biel) Hensel died in February 1978 at age 93; she is also buried at St. Patrick’s Cemetery in Dickinson.12

 

– – – – – – – – – – – – – – –
1 Mike Hensel is the brother-in-law of the Peter Ernest Arnold, the Arnold family patriarch, and the second husband of Peter’s sister, Maria (Arnold) Biel.
2 Undated/unsourced obituary for Mike Hensel, courtesy of Clarice Arnold. Likely source: Dickinson Press, May 1970.
3 1910 U.S. census, Hettinger County, North Dakota, population schedule, Township 136, Range 93, p. 27B, Mike Hensel family; digital image, Ancestry.com
4 Mike Hensel obituary, previously discussed.
5 1920 U.S. census, Hettinger County, North Dakota, population schedule, Village of Mott, p. 1B, dwelling 16, Mike Hensel family; digital image, Ancestry.com (http://www.ancestry.com : accessed 31 January 2015); citing NARA microfilm publication Roll T625_1335.
6 Banaters in North Dakota Naturalization Records – A-K. Extractions by David Dreyer of San Francisco. FEEFHS: The Federation of East European Family History Societies (http://feefhs.org/links/banat/bnat-ak.html : accessed 13 February 2015).
7 Mike Hensel obituary, previously discussed.
8 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=114982861&ref=acom : accessed 13 February 2015).
9 Mike Hensel obituary, previously discussed.
10 1930 U.S. census, Stark County, North Dakota, population schedule, Gladstone, Heart River Township, p. 3A, dwelling 33, Mike Hensel family; digital image, Ancestry.com (http://www.ancestry.com : accessed 31 January 2015); citing FHL microfilm 2341476, Roll 1742.
11 1882-1982 Gladstone Centennial. Dickinson, ND: Service Printers, front matter.
12 Mike Hensel obituary, previously discussed.
13 Undated/unsourced obituary for Maria Hensel, courtesy of Clarice Arnold. Likely source: Dickinson Press, February 1978.

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