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.

One thought on “Daniel Armbrust (1897-1936): By his own hand

  1. How sad. An unsatisfactory sale of some cedar posts seems (on the surface) such a trivial reason to take one’s own life, but those were desperate times for so many people. It must have been the fatal, final “straw.” Now I want to know what happened to Elizabeth and the children.

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