Written by Fred Nuffer for 1938 Cornerstone at USU

Old Main at Utah State Agricultural College (USU now), Logan, Utah, about 1900. The iconic front and tower were build in 1902.  Fred Nuffer provided 3,000 feet of cut stone for the construction of the south wing.

From Utah State’s Facility Planning.

“Old Main is the landmark of Utah State University and remains the oldest academic building still in use in the state of Utah.  In 1889, plans for “The College Building” by C. L. Thompson were selected by the Board of Trustees just two weeks after the land for the Logan campus was secured. The site was chosen the next day so that the main tower would be due east of the end of Logan’s Seventh Street —Today’s Fifth North.  Construction began immediately on the south wing of the three -part building and was completed in 1890.

“With more money appropriated in 1892 than anticipated, the Trustees hired [K]arl C. Schaub to redesign an enlarged structure and the construction began for the east part of the central section and the north wing.  It wasn’t until 1901 that the money was assured for the completion of the building. The front portion along with the tower was completed in 1902 with the design of H. H. Mahler.

Fred Nuffer provided his own contribution to the construction of the south wing of Utah State’s Old Main.  Another interesting side link, Karl Conrad Schaub’s widowed mother married Fred’s father, John Christoph Nuffer.  She was Anna Maria Alker who married him Conrad Schaub who left her widowed in 1894.  Fred Nuffer provided stone, Karl provided design.  Karl and Fred’s brother, John were friends and worked on buildings together.

Another entry from “We of Johann Christoph Nuffer, also known as: Neuffer, Nufer, Neufer,” The book was published in April 1990 by Dabco Printing and Binding Co in Roy, Utah. I will quote from the book itself.

The full title of this article from the book was named, “WRITTEN BY FRED NUFFER AT REQUEST OF OFFICIALS OF UTAH STATE AGRICULTURAL COLLEGE TO BE ENCLOSED IN CORNER STONE LAID IN 1938, TO BE OPENED IN 1988, THE 100th ANNIVERSARY OF THE COLLEGE.”

Utah State was founded in 1888.  It appears that the cornerstone was opened at 50 years in 1938 and a new cornerstone was sealed to be opened in 1988.  As Fred Nuffer was involved with some of the construction of the campus, he was requested to write for the cornerstone.  This was the original part of Old Main, south wing, of what is now Utah State University in Logan, Utah.

“I will recount in detail, as I remember it, the work done by myself and others in supplying stone for the construction of the Utah State Agricultural College buildings in Logan, Utah.

“In the year of 1891-1892, I made contract with Mr. Venables of Ogden to deliver about 3,000 cubic feet of cut stone.  Mr. Venables had previously tried to get the stone somewhere south of the valley, but found the stone unsuitable, and the party could not fill the order.  As I had furnished stone for several buildings in Logan, Mr. Venables came up to see me.  I lived near the quarry at that time.  He inspected the quarry and pronounced the stone suitable and gave me a contract to fill the order.  The quarry was located about ten miles up Cub River Canyon from Franklin, Idaho, on the left side slope going up the river, on a small tributary creek of Cub River called Sheep Creek.

“All work was done by hand.  The main ledge was about 20 feet above ground and about 20 feet wide and 400 to 500 feet long.  We used 12 foot churn drills and blasted large black loose from the main ledge.  We had to be careful how much powder we used so as not to shatter or cause seams in the stone.  We usually had to put a second charge in the opening made by the first charge to dislodge the block from the main ledge.  The block so dislodged was from 6 to 7 feet thick and about 20 feet long.  From then on, all tools used were hammers, axes, wedges, and squares.  Grooves were cut with axes wherever we desired to split the block, then wedges were set in the grooves about ten inches apart and driven in with hammers.  Then we dressed them down to the right measurement allowing one half inch for the stone cutters to take out all the tool marks we made.  Mr. Venables furnished bills for stone in dimension sizes as needed in the building.

“My brother, C[harles]. A[ugust]. Nuffer, worked on the job the whole time it lasted.  I also had a man by the name of Ed Hollingsworth of Preston, also Mr. A. Merrill and Mr. Abel Smart of Cub River, and Mr. Robert Weber of Providence.

“It took part of two years for the job, 1891-1892.  The hauling was all done with wagons and horses: 30 to 35 cubic feet was a good load for two horses.  The following names were the men doing the hauling: John McDonald of Smithfield, Jean Weber of Providence, and Jake Rinderknecht of Providence hauled more than any other.  He used to leave home at 3 a.m., load up the same day and get back to Logan by 3 p.m. the next day.  It was very hard on the horses.  I also hauled a good many loads with my own team.  All loading was done by hand on skids.

“I got 40¢ per cubic foot, of which 20¢ was paid for hauling.  We had a hard time handling the name stone to go on the front of the building.  When it was ordered it had 30 cubic feet in it and only one foot thick.  When the stonecutters got through with it they had found it too big to be hoisted in place so they made it smaller until there wasn’t much left.

“The most difficulty I had was in not getting my pay from Mr. Venables.  We overlooked a large 4-horse load at the final settlement.  A few minutes after I had signed the receipt for the final payment in full I discovered my mistake.  Mr. Venables refused to pay for it, although I produced the bill of lading signed by him.  He didn’t dispute the debt, but said he had a receipt paid in full.  He didn’t have anything, and the government property couldn’t be attached, so I was the loser of about $15, which seemed a lot of money to me at that time.

“by Fred Nuffer, Sr.

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Johann Christoph Nuffer

John Christoph Nuffer

This is an entry from “We of Johann Christoph Nuffer, also known as: Neuffer, Nufer, Neufer,” The book was published in April 1990 by Dabco Printing and Binding Co in Roy, Utah.  The book does not give a source, but reads as an obituary, but I cannot tell which newspaper or publication.  Some of the mistakes in it seem to show it was not written by a family member.  May actually be more of a quick biography than an obituary.  Some day I may know the source.  I have kept the capitalization and spellings as in the article.

You can find the biography of Johann as written by his granddaughter Alma Katherine Scheibel Naef.

“JOHANN CHRISTOPH NUFFER, Pioneer was born at the City of NEUFFEN State of Wurtemberg, Germany on the 6th of March 1835.  His parents were JOHAN JACOB NUFFER and MARIE MAGDALENA KIRNER NUFFER: his grandfather JOHAN CHRISTOPHER NUFFER, his wife CHRISTINA KATHARINA PFEIFFER died and he married his second wife MARIE KATHARINA KLEIN.  His great grandparents wher JOHAN JACOB NUFFER and ANNA MARIE SCHWINDLIN.  She and their ancestors were living in the City of Neuffen, a small city at the foot of the Schwabisen Alb in Southern Germany.  JOHAN CHRISTOPH NUFFER, the Pioneer was married to Agnes BARBARA SPRING, who died Feb. 29, 1867.  He had two sons with her, JOHN NUFFER born Dec. 4, 1862 and FRED NUFFER born Jan. 20, 1864.  He married EVA KATHARINA GREINER who with him and the family consisting of JOHN and FRED NUFFER of his first wife and REGINA, KARL AUGUST & ADOLF, his second wife, emigrated to the United States in May 1880 and came to Logan, Utah in June 1880.  In the year 1879 he with his wife had joined the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter day Saints.

“In the Fall of 1880 he moved with his family to Providence in 1883 they again moved to Worm Creek, then belonging to the Franklin Ward, later the Preston Ward.  His son John homesteaded 160 Acres at that place at the divide between Worm Creek & Cub River.  They lived at that place until the Spring of 1884, when he homesteaded 160 acres on the Cub River side of the divide, now belonging to the Mapleton Ward.  Feb. 26, 1893 his wife EVA KATHARINA died; with her he had the following children, REGINA, KARL AUGUST, ADOLF, and MARIE who died Oct. 5, 1900, at the age of 9 years.  In the year 1895 he again married, to ANNA ELIZABETH REBER, she died Dec. 1, 1901.  In 1903 he again married MARIE ALKER, SCHAUB.  He died Apr. 12, 1908.

Nuffer Family Photos

Nuffer Family Album 

For those who did not notice, I added a couple of new albums.  So now I will take an opportunity to explain the Nuffer family.

My mother’s mother’s mother’s mother’s maiden name was Nuffer.  That is how I tie in.  There are alternate spellings.  The other main spelling is Neuffer, which some of the family has changed it back to (despite the family changing it to Nuffer, even the German line).  My 3rd Great Grandfather was married 4 different times.  So here we go.

John Christoph Nuffer
6 Mar 1835 – Neuffen, Esslingen, Wurttemberg
12 Apr 1908 – Preston, Franklin, Idaho

Married
13 May 1862 – Neuffen

To
1. Agnes Barbara Spring
26 Nov 1841 – Neuffen
29 Jan 1867 – Neuffen

Children
John Nuffer
4 Dec 1862 – Neuffen
4 Jun 1946 – Preston
George Friedrich Nuffer
20 Jan 1864 – Neuffen
31 Mar 1952 – Saratoga, Santa Clara, California
Christiane Nuffer
18 Aug 1865 – Neuffen
8 Jun 1866 – Unknown

Married
25 Jul 1867 – Neuffen

To
2. Eva Katharina Greiner (my 3rd Great Grandmother)
26 Feb 1835 – Dettingen, Schwarzwaldkreis, Wurttemberg
26 Feb 1893 – Mapleton, Franklin, Idaho (then Oneida Co)

Children
Regina Friederike Nuffer (my 2nd Great Grandmother)
26 Jan 1869 – Neuffen
10 Mar 1942 – Preston
Charles August Nuffer (He interestingly married the sister to my 2nd Great Grandfather, John George Wanner)
18 Jun 1871 – Neuffen
17 Jul 1952 – Preston
Adolf Nuffer
14 Apr 1875 – Neuffen
21 Sep 1955 – Salt Lake City, Salt Lake, Utah
Mary Nuffer
11 Oct 1881 – Providence, Cache, Utah
5 Oct 1900 – Mapleton, Franklin, Idaho

Married
28 Sep 1893 – Logan, Cache, Utah

3. Anna Elizabeth Reber
17 May 1855 – Aezruti, Schangnau, Bern, Switzerland
1 Dec 1901 – Logan, Cache, Utah
She was married before with children

Married
19 Mar 1902 – Logan, Cache, Utah

4. Maria Anna Alker
12 Aug 1847 – Worms, Rhineland, Hesse
23 Jul 1926 – Logan, Cache, Utah

Regina Friederike Nuffer married John George Wanner in 1898.  But before that, she was married to Jacob Scheibel in 1889.  He was from Kolb, Saratov, Russia.  He ran off and we don’t know what ever became of him.  They did have a child named Alma Katherine Scheibel who would go on to marry Charles Daniel Naef and have 11 children together.  She lived in Downey, Bannock, Idaho raised her family there and is buried there.