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.

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