I stumbled upon this history written about Anna Elizabeth Reber. Anna was the third spouse to my John Christoph Nuffer. He married her 28 September 1893 in the Logan Utah Temple after my 3rd Great Grandmother Eva Katharina Greiner died 26 February 1893 in Mapleton, Franklin, Idaho. I thought it was interesting to review the life of a later spouse for John Christoph Nuffer. If you would like to review the pdf with pictures and more, it is attached here: Reber
The Story of Anna Elizabeth Reber
We would like to acknowledge dedicated genealogists who have preserved for decades the oral histories, journals, and handwritten records used in this story.
Faith and Courage
The Story of Anna Elizabeth Reber
By: Christine A. Quinn and Sterling D. Quinn
Graphic design by: Michelle Quinn, Au.D.
Early Years in Switzerland
Frau Reber felt only gratitude that her new baby was alive and had not died as had her last child. This little girl, born May 17, 1855, would complete their family of three sons and three daughters. They named the child Anna Elizabeth to distinguish her from her older sisters, Anna and Barbara. Later in life this child would come to be known simply as “Annie.”
The family was settled on the Reber’s ancestral farm in Schangnau, Bern, Switzerland where they spoke a unique Bern dialect of Swiss German, or Schwyzertutsch (Luck 1985). It was a small country village dotted with chalets, settled in the forested and fertile Emmental valley along the Emme and Aare rivers. It has been said, “An who have wandered through such magnificent forests as those of …Emmental, will never forget the berries, the mushrooms, the neatly arranged stacks of firewood, the beautifully colored autumn foliage, and the grey low-hanging mists and frost-decorated conifers of early winter” (Luck, 1985 p. 470). For hundreds of years in this valley the same industrious group of families had raised cattle for milk and cheese, while nurturing vineyards, orchards and crops.
This was a Switzerland just emerging from the hated status of a vassal state to the French Emperor Napoleon, an indignity thrown off seven years prior. Hope arose as the impoverished and beleaguered people named the central city of Bern to be the capital of the new Swiss Confederation (Luck) 1985).
The child Annie grew nurtured in the love of her family. Little girls in Switzerland wew taught the virtues of being clean, neat, punctual, thrifty, independent, and hard working. There were cows to be milked as well as household chores to be done. Annie would have been taught to knit and sew the linen, silk, and cotton fabrics for which the Swiss were famous. Education was also encouraged.
Tragedy visited the family when Annie’s 21 year old brother, Jacob, died in the fall of 1861. This loss left an indelible impression on the six year old girl, enough that many years later she ensured saving ordinances were performed on his behalf in a temple of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (LDS).
Marriage and Family
How Annie and her future husband, Gottfried Weiermann, met is a mystery, but Bern did enjoy the reputation of being “more lively and sociable than any other town in Switzerland”. Men and women came together to amuse themselves with English country dances as well as waltzes (Luck, 1985 p. 255)
The Weiermann family worked the land and raised cattle for many generations in the village of Wynigen, a little over 20 miles northeast of the city of Bern. Rather than compete with five brothers for farmland, Gottfried decided to try his hand at the ancient profession of stone masonry. At age 23 when he met Annie, he had perhaps finished his apprenticeship and therefore gained some freedom to marry.
The couple were likely wed in the Protestant church in Wynigen on 21 August 1875. At the time, Annie was only months away from giving birth. The couple affectionately named this child after his father, Gottfried, but he was known as “Fred”. Although he was a sickly child, Fred would survive to bring his mother much joy and comfort until the end of her life.
Less than two years later the family moved again to Ferenberg where Anne gave birth to twins, Andre and Peter. They survived only a day, which tragically was not uncommon at that time as one out of every five births in Switzerland ended in death (Luck, 1985).
A year later Gottfried moved his family closer to the city of Bern to Ostermundigen, the largest regional quarry center in Switzerland. A special train with a cog in the center had been invented six years earlier to haul the thick, soft, and colorful sandstone up from the mines. Previously this job relied on horse or mule tams. The train made it possible to quarry enough stone for export, while also enabling urban expansion of Bern, which demanded massive amounts of stone for new buildings. Up to 500 men were working as either quarry men, Steinbrecher, who extracted the stone, or stone masons, Steinhau, who skillfully dressed, shaped, and cut the stone. Of the two, stone masons enjoyed a higher social status. The stone masons of Bern had an established fraternity in the city since 1321 (Storemyr, 2012). Gottfried, along with other craftsmen, flocked to this bountiful source of work.
Next to the noisy and dusty train yard, families of stone masons resided in multistory slums (Storemyr, 2012). Laundry hanging between tenements flapped in the wind while the narrow dirty streets teemed with children of all ages. Families crowded into tiny, tightly packed rooms, sharing limited sanitation facilities. “The wages were exceedingly low and people extremely poor” (Stucki 1888, Nov. 20). Stomachs were never full. In 1876, Swiss families were spending 60 % of their income on food. “A typical diet for the older children and adults consisted of coffee, black tea, or cocoa water with a little milk, some cheese and bread. ….The midday meal typically consisted of boiled potatoes, pasta, cheese, and coffee or tea, and wine. The evening meal was usually of cheese and a vegetable soup – the latter being made by boiling together leeks, cabbage, beetroot, potatoes, and pasta” (Luck, 1985, p.p. 249,441).
In the spring of 1878 with the aid of a midwife, 23 year old Annie gave birth to a son, Christian, and in September of the next year to a daughter, Ida. Like all their neighbors, the family fought for financial survival. Not quite 4 years old, Fred would have been responsible for helping keep his little sister safe and happy as their mother cared for her new infant. Imagine her efforts in washing cloth diapers and keeping a clean house under those circumstances! Years later Annie’s daughter, Ida, reflected her mother’s standards when she said, “Just because you are poor, you don’t need to be dirty” (Arave, 2017).
The Weiermanns had lived in Ostermundigen at least five years when on 2 August 1883 they welcomed a blonde curly-haired baby boy into their home. He was named Jacob after his maternal grandfather and deceased uncle.
Two years later Annie was expecting a child for her final time. Due to unknown circumstances (perhaps poverty or a medical crisis), she traveled an hour to the hospital in Bern on a cold December day in 1885 where she gave birth to a small girl who didn’t survive (Weyerman, G). They named her Anna.
At this point, the family consisted of Gottfried age 33, Annie age 30, Fred age 10, Christian 7, Ida 6, and Jacob age 2. Gottfried may have occasionally taken his oldest son to the stone yard to teach him aspects of his craft, because in later years Fred was known as a skilled stone mason (Weyerman G).
Gottfried’s pursued recreation of heavy drinking with the stone mason’s fraternity began to affect the Weiermann family. Workers bonded over alcohol, and Ostermundigen quarry men became legendary for schnapps consumption (Storemyr, 2012). Unfortunately, Gottfried’s drinking created a fissure in his marriage. Circumstances only worsened with the death of 10-year-old Christian on 4 June 1887. The cause is unknown; it may have been an accident, or one of the many infectious diseases rampant at that time such as influenza, smallpox, diphtheria, tuberculosis, Typhus fever, or measles (Luck, 1985).
Annie and Gottfried’s marriage soon reached a breaking point and ended in divorce (Weiermann, I. 1955). Years later in a heart-wrenching remembrance, Fred wrote, “My parents lived financially poor. Conditions brought it about that the family got badly broken up and scattered. Three of my brothers and one sister was called on the other side. In the year 1887, the rest of my family met the sad experience of the separation of Father and Mother on account of drunkenness” (Weyerman, G).
Desperate to provide for her children, Annie hired out as a seamstress, one of the few professions available to women that would allow her to care for little ones at home (Wheeler, I.). Wages were notoriously low; a decade later, women making shirts in their homes were earning less than a penny an hour, and often worked more than 12 hours a day (Cadbury, 2011). Bending over and straining to see tiny stitches by the dim light of an oil lamp was exhausting. “As one of the infamous sweated trades, seamstressing represented the trails of arduous work, miserable working conditions, impossibly long hours, and equally impossibly low wages” (Harris, chap. 2.). The older children most likely helped their mother by doing the chores and mining their siblings; but life soon changed for 11 year old Fred in a way that must have torn at his mother’s heart.
Because of the family’s poverty and her status as a divorced mother, Annie was legally compelled to register with one of the councils in Ostermundigen responsible to care for the poor and orphans. If it was believed the children could not be provided for this council had the power to break up the poorest families. Despite Annie’s courageous efforts to support her children, the council forced Fred to enter into foster care, there he became known as a “Verdingkinder”, or literally “discarded child” (Foulkes, 2012).
In this sad circumstance, the amiable and music-loving Fred was taken from his mother and given into the custody of a gentleman who lived in Habstetten, about an hour’s walk from his family. There, Fred attended school and helped with the chores. He longed for his family, and visited his mother whenever he could obtain permission (Weyerman,G).
“Oh! But for one short hour!
A respite however brief!
No Blessed leisure for love or hope,
But in their briny bed
My tears must stop, for every drop
Hiders needle and thread!”
With fingers weary and worn,
With eyelids heavy and red,
A woman sat in unwomanly rags,
Plying her needle and thread —
“Song of the Shirt”
Within a year after these turbulent events, Annie received an invitation from her neighbor to meet with missionaries, or Elders, from LDS church. Members of this faith were commonly known as Mormons. After meeting several times, Annie began to take her children along to Sunday School and other meetings (Wheeker, I). Annie almost immediately recognized the simplicity and truthfulness of the long awaited and newly restored church of Jesus Christ. Her countrymen had been searching for this truth through the Protestant Reformation for over 300 years (Luck, 1985). One can imagine the gospel of Jesus Christ calming her soul and assuaging her fears at a time of life when it was most needed.
Annie, Ida, and Jacob began a formal study of Mormonism with young Elder Alfred Budge, who taught them the first principles of the gospel (Weyerman, G). Annie may have read the tract, Die Froke Botschaft, (Glad Tidings of Great Joy), or Glaubenskekenntniss, (The Articles of Faith) (Reiser). In time, she received a witness from the Holy Ghost that Christ’s church had been restored to the earth through the young American prophet, Joseph Smith Jr. Despite some local persecution, she and Ida were soon converted and baptized by Elder Budge in late October 1888. At this time, Jacob had not yet reached the age of 8 years old required for baptism (Wheeler, I).
Arriving at church on Sundays took an hour of walking into downtown Bern, where Annie and her children wound through cobblestone streets lined with ancient stone houses standing side by side like soldiers at attention. They knew they were getting close to their destination when they heard the Sabbath bells pealing from the gothic tower of the Bern cathedral. Soon they arrived at the mission office where church services were held. The many families who attended the Bern Branch may have eaten a modest lunch as the fellowshipped between morning and evening meetings. Every week the congregation took the sacrament and listened to preaching by either Mission President Stucki, the local Branch President, or one of the Elders. A volunteer choir provided uplifting music (Stucki, 1837-1918).
Around this time Fred went to live with another foster family in the closer town of Ittigen, which shortened the walk to see his loved ones. During Fred’s visits, his mother earnestly shared with him the principles of the new religion she was learning. It was her heart’s desire that he would be baptized and join the church.
The Mormon missionaries in the region of Bern were led by John Ulrich Stucki. A native of Switzerland, Stucki had been living in the territory of Utah at the time of his assignment to serve as the Swiss/German Mission President. This would be the second time he accepted this weighty responsibility.
Not only would Stucki be responsible for the 13 traveling Elders in the mission; he would also publish the monthly LDS newsletter, “Der Stern”, and he would administer from his office in Bern all the branches of the church in Germany and Switzerland. Added to these weighty responsibilities was overseeing the twice yearly emigration to Utah made by Swiss and German Mormons. These members wishing to join others of their faith in the building up of “Zion” would leave their homes and travel to the Rocky Mountains of the United States of America (Stucki, 1837-1918).
Accompanying Presiden Stucki to the mission field was 19 year old Alfred Budge, the son of Stucki’s good friend, William Budge. What thoughts and anticipations might have filled the young elder’s mind as he contemplated his father’s earlier mission to Switzerland in 1854, “when opposition to the church was so violent that within three months he was on thirteen occasions placed under arrest and imprisoned for short periods, and finally was obligated to return to England!” (Budge, W).
When President Stucki and Elder Budge arrived in Switzerland on 15 May 1888 Elder Budge did not speak German (Stucki, 1837-1918). Five months later he was teaching the Weiermann family in Ostermundigan using their native tongue (Wheeler, I).
Working with Elder Budge was the pleasant-mannered Elder Albert Schneider Reiser from Salt Lake City. His Swiss parents spoke German at home, so he had the advantage of being familiar with the language.
Seventeen old Albert had been forced to grow up fast after his father, along with many faithful LDS men, was incarcerated by the United States government for the common practice of polygamy. To support his family, Albert took charge of their clock repair business in downtown Salt Lake. He delivered customers’ clocks to the prison, where his father repaired them. Interestingly, Elder Budge’s father was converted to the LDS faith in Scotland, and Elder Reiser’s in Switzerland; yet they both emigrated to America on the same ship and crossed the plains to Utah in the same wagon train 28 years earlier in 1860 (Reiser).
Switzerland to United States
Elder Reiser arrived in Switzerland just a few days after Annie’s baptism, and began helping to teach the Weiermann family (Stucki 1837-1918). The missionaries had with them some pictures of Utah. For decades, Mormon converts in Europe had been encouraged by church leaders to gather to “Zion” in the American West. Surely ideas of emigration were planted by visiting Elders and church officials, but when accused of being an emigration agent, Elder Reiser remarked: “It was not my business to persuade people to emigrate, but to bring them the Gospel….there was only one true church….[I] told them how important it was for mankind to investigate Joseph Smith’s message….”(Reiser).
One late summer morning Fred joined his family on their brisk walk to church. His mother made an astonishing announcement that she had arranged for them to emigrate to Zion! Because the children had received an inheritance from the death of their father’s Aunt Isali, they could afford to emigrate. The family would be reunited and travel together to start a new life with the Saints in Utah. (Weyerman, G.)
After the day’s church services, Annie shared with the mission president some of her worries about Fred’s situation. President Stucki lovingly took hold of her hands and prophesied, “Fear not, for your son Gottfried. He will be the means of bringing many souls into the church” (Weyerman, G). Within 10 days, Annie and her three children, led by President Stucki and joined by Elder Budge, began their odyssey to Zion.
The miracle of emigration did not take place without Annie’s heroic effort and faith. President Stucki promised that if the saints paid their tithing, a way would be opened up for them to join the saints in Zion (Stucki, July 31, 1888). The children’s inheritance from their great aunt had been put into an untouchable trust. With nerve and steely determination, the slight-built Annie faced authorities and requested they give her the funds to use for emigration to America. When they refused, she threatened to leave without the children and then the state could raise them! After this ultimatum, they relented and granted her the inheritance of 500 Swiss francs (Weiermann, I., 1955).
Annie delivered the money to President Stucki, who hired agents from the Guion shipping line to purchase train and steamer tickets. These agents arranged transportation, loding, and food, and also oversaw the moving of luggage from Switzerland to England and then on to America. President Stucki also took care of details such as procuring bedding, tinware, etc. to be forwarded to the steamer for the transatlantic crossing (Stucki, 1937-1918).
In preparation for the voyage, Annie made some traditional hard dry Swiss bread, then fried it in butter to be their principal diet. The missionaries taught them how to say “hot water” in English, so they could request some to pour over their bread, thus making it edible (Wheeler, F 1948). Then the family of four packed all their worldly goods into five pieces of luggage (Mormon Migration). They were now ready to travel over 5,000 miles to join the Saints in Utah.
“May God Bless Them All and Bring
Them Safely into the Bosom of the
Church and Kingdom of God”
This was the fourth and final emigration that President Stucki oversaw during this mission. He and Elder Budge wew being released from their callings to return home to America with the emigrating saints. Feelings were tender in the Bern branches the day before departure when President Stucki preached his farewell sermon in Sacrament Meeting. Since his arrival two years earlier, he served the saints daily while surviving fever and smallpox. At the close of the meeting it is likely they sang the Swiss hymn, “May God Bless Them All and Bring Them Safely in the Bosom of the Church and Kingdom of God” (Stucki, 1837-1918).
The next morning, Monday, 1 September 1890, Annie (35), Fred (14), Ida (10), and Jacob (7) began their pilgrimage by boarding the train in Bern. Who can know the conflicted feelings that must have been in their hearts? These may have involved jow, excitement, and hope of a new life in America among the Saints of God; mixed with the regret of leaving loved ones and the magnificent country of their birth. Years later when Fred saw a newsreel about the Alps in Switzerland he sat and wept from homesickness for his native land. He commented, “The beauty of that land could not be found anywhere else”. (Weyerman, G).
At 10:30 a.m. the saints were on their way north to the border city of Basel entertaining themselves with singing. Arriving after noon, the train pulled into Basel to pick up the missionaries as well as 13 members of the faithful Gygi family. To everyone’s horror Rudolph Gygi, the father, had been stabbed the night before in the face by a mob of hoodlums who thought he was taking his six daughters to be enslaved in polygamy (Gygi).
Through the night and into Tuesday, the travelers continued north by train into Belgium. It was 2 September, Ida’s 11th birthday. Perhaps she made friends with Anna and Elisa Gygi and helped them watch their younger brothers and sisters. At the late hour of 11:00 p.m. the weary saints arrived in the port city of Antwerp. The Swiss emigrants were met at the train station by their agent who provided a wagon to transport their luggage and at least seven children under age 10 to a boarding house. Before retiring, all received refreshment, which could have been soup, meat, vegetables, coffee, and bread (Stucki, J. 1837-1918).
After a night’s rest, the Swiss saints united with about 51 emigrating converts from Germany who spoke German so differently that neither group could understand the other. Together this made 72 travelers. Once again they loaded their belongings onto a wagon to transport them down to the dock where the shop was moored (Stucki 1937-1918.) There the family had their first glimpse of the vast sea and all the ships and business of the bustling Antwerp harbor. Searching for words, Ida wrote as an old woman, :The trip across the ocean was quite – I don’t know what you would call it – an experience to us” (Weiermann,I. 1955).
All boarded the steamer, which launched into the North Sea shortly after noon. Their destination was the port of Hull on England’s eastern shore (Woods & Evans 2002). For many, this was the first time on the open sea. Spirits were high and the saints passed time with singing hymns of praise, or conversion pleasantly. President Stucki recorded, “the vessel went steady, sea sickness was therefore very light and confined to but few” (Stucki 1837-1918).
They traveled all night to reach Hull on Thursday at 3:00 in the morning. The ship could not dock at low tide, so the passengers had to transfer in the dark to a tugboat that took them to shore. Ida remembered the confusion, “While crossing the North Sea, something went wrong with the ship and we had to change ships. Somehow we lost a roll of bedding, which we needed very much” (Stucki 1837-1918) (Weiermann, I., 1955). Despite the hassle of getting ashore, the emigrants were met by a kindly agent who examined their luggage to verify it was duty-free. He also saw that the hungry Saints received something to eat before boarding a train late in the day.
Lulled to sleep by the clicking -clacking rhythm of the steam train’s wheels, the adventures slept most of the six-hour 140 mile journey across England to Liverpool. They arrived before dawn on Friday morning (Stucki, 1837-1918).
MON 01 Train: Bern – Basel
TUES 02 Train: Antwerp
WED 03 Boat: Antwerp – Hull
Thurs 04 Train: Hull – Liverpool
FRI 05 Liverpool – Immigration House
SAT 06 Loading of the ship, off at 3pm
SUN 07 Atlantic Crossing Day 1 – Queenstown
MON 08 Atlantic Crossing Day 2 – 294 miles
TUES 09 Atlantic Crossing Day 3 – 300 miles
WED 10 Atlantic Crossing Day 4 – 320 miles
THURS 11 Atlantic Crossing Day 5 – 298 miles
FRI 12 Atlantic Crossing Day 6 – Newfoundland
SAT 13 Atlantic Crossing Day 7 – 314 miles
SUN 14 Atlantic Crossing Day 8 – 320 miles
MON 15 Atlantic Crossing Day 9 – 298 – miles
TUE 16 Atlantic Crossing Day 10 – 308 miles
Arrival in New York, USA
WED 17 Luggage and Customs
TRAIN CROSSING TO UTAH & IDAHO
SUN 28 Train: Montpelier, ID
Wagon and Buggy to Paris, ID
Once again, shipping hires by President Stucki greeted the Mormon converts upon their arrival to Liverpool. This city situated on the western coast of England was considered in the nineteenth century the most active international port of emigration in the world. It was also home to the British Mission, and served as the administrative headquarters for the LDS church in Europe (Woods & Evans, p.91).
Passengers were not allowed to board their ships until either the day before or the day of departure (Liverpool); thus, the saints were taken to an immigration house to wait, eat, and rest for a day (Stucki, 1837-1918).
Meanwhile, it was LDS church procedure that every emigration company have a Presidency. They would watch over the saints, conduct Sunday services, and see that everyone reached their destination. John U. Stucki acted as President, and selected Alfred Budge and C. Meyer as his counselors. The day before departure, they were called and set apart by the British mission president, George Teasdale (Stucki, 1857-1918) (Mormon Migration Database, 1890, Sept. 6).
The sleek 366.2 ft steamer S/S Wisconsin, piloted by Captain Worral, waited patiently at port to receive her passengers (Mormon migration database, 1890, Sept. 6). She was one of a fleet of 16 ships run by the Liverpool and Great Western Steamship Company, known commonly as the “Guion Line.” For 20 years the company’s ships had been launching twice a week to transport passengers and mail from Liverpool to New York. A typical trip across the Atlantic took a week. At a time when there was no air travel, they were known as “ocean greyhounds” (Guion) (Miller).
All day Saturday September 6 a steady stream of humanity carting trunks, baskets, bags, and bed rolls trudged up the ramp of the stately steamship with its tall dark smokestack. Seventy-six first staterooms as well as spacious dining rooms. Thy were joined by 100 intermediate passengers.
Then the Weiermann family joined a mass of 800 impoverished voyagers crowded into the notorious “steerage” section below deck (miller). Annie, Ida, and Jacob were together in the Port Aft Steerage, while Fred was assigned Fore Steerage, perhaps because he was an older single male (Mormon migration Database, 1890, Sep.6).
It was a cacophony of humanity: men women and children from many countries speaking a babble of languages. Each passenger was assigned a number on a canvas berth. When not in use the berths could be neatly stowed away making space for tables and seats during the day. The journey would be no luxury cruise for these steerage passengers. Conditions were cramped, food was poor, and the atmosphere often bad; especially during rough weather when access to the upper deck was restricted. (Solem).
By 3:00 PM the ship’s crew drew up anchor. All passengers went on deck, waving white handkerchiefs and throwing hats as they watched England slowly shrink into the horizon. With this fanfare, Annie and her family bid farewell to their old life, and looked with hope to a brighter future in America, the land of opportunity.
As the ship glided into the night, the Swiss converts completed the irs six days of their traveling adventure. When the sun came up it was a beautiful morning and the sea was as smooth as glass. President Stucki would have liked to conduct Sunday services, but the ship was too crowded and there was nowhere they could meet without disturbing someone.
By Late morning they reached the southern seaport of Ireland’s Queenstown harbor, where they remained for an hour or so to pick up more passengers. Soon after moving out, they were engulfed in a dense blanket of fog. Everyone listened with suspense to a shrill whistle blow in rapid succession waning other floating vessels of their presence. Soon all was well as they glided out of the fog into weather as fine as before. Although the steamer was quite steady, some began to get sea sick (Stucki, 1837-1918).
By Monday, several of the women and a baby were pretty sick, which kept President Stucki and his counselors busy. Ida and her brothers were focused on the adventure and didn’t seem to mind the discomforts of travel. She said, “We used to go up on deck all the time. The sailors would take us skating across it. We really had a good time – us kids did when we wasn’t sick” (Weiermann, I., 1955).
If the passengers weren’t sick on Monday, many became queasy on the next day when a wind made the sea rough and caused the ship to pitch and roll.
An English convert traveling a few years earlier on the same ship described a similar chaotic event:
“….Towards night the wind began to raise rather rough and the captain shouted out from the upper deck, “Look out for a storm.” The sailors began to run from one end of the ship to the other with large chains and ropes….We was then all ordered down below. Pots, pans, buckets, and everything that was not fast was rolling about. Old people falling down, young ones laughing at the fun but did not last long. A large rope had been placed all along the water closets for protection. During the time we was standing by this rope waiting to get in the closets, our ship gave another sudden roll and we fell over this rope, old and young, head and tail together, vomiting on each other. Girls screaming, boys laughing, old men and women grumbling, children crying” (Horsley, S., 1877, September 19-29).
The Ship continued to roll heavy with water pouring over the deck clear into Wednesday. Soon even President Stucki and Elder Budge were sick too (Stucki, 1837-1918.) Years later Ida recalled, “When we were sick we would have to go on deck every day no matter how sick you were. But we got across” (Weiermann, I. 1955).
On Thursday quite a number of suffering women remained in their berths. Crowded conditions below deck caused the air to become fetid with disagreeable body odors, strange foods, vomit, waste, and ship oil. Mercifully, the temperatures were quite cool (Stucki, 1837-1918).
By the sixth day at sea the weather improved, the ship steadied, and everyone felt much more cheerful. Despite the rather chilly stiff breeze most passengers enjoyed a refreshing interlude basking in the sun on deck. Some excitedly observed an iceberg silhouetted against the horizon about ten miles to the left (Stucki, 1837-1918).
At last after being a sea for a week, the ship entered cal waters off the coast of Newfoundland. Some of the sick were beginning to feel better; everyone felt happier and more hopeful. In the afternoon, steerage passengers had to pass a routine health inspection, and if necessary receive vaccinations. This was in the interest of the shipping company to avoid paying a hefty fee for any unhealthy passengers.
Sunday, President Stucki conducted church services in he saloon, or the first class public area of the ship. The next few days passed without incident. There was some rain, but much to the passengers. President Stucki notes in his journal, “If it had been as warm all the way as the first two days, there would no doubt have been a good deal of sickness; the Lord is overruling all things for good.” (Stucki, 1837-1918).
On Tuesday afternoon, to everyone’s great joy and anticipation,their destination was sighted! All the immigrants strained to see the fabled America. With gratitude and relief for a safe journey, the travelers watched the New York skyline slowly grow into view. Their hearts certainly swelled at the first glimpse of the magnificent and newly erected Statue of Liberty. Majestically she lifted her lamp to greet the “huddled masses yearning to breathe free”. (Lazarus, 1883). They passed Staten or “Quarantine” Island at 5:00 that evening, pulling up to the pier at 7:15 p.m. It was 16 September 1890; the first day of their life in America!
Heavy rain caused some delay the next day, but the baggage was unloaded by Wednesday noon, and an examination made by custom house officers. Since the Immigration Station on Ellis Island was under construction, new arrivals were taken to the temporary Barge Office located in Castle Clinton at Battery Park on the southern tip of Manhattan Island (Ellis Island Immigration Museum.) There all steerage passengers had to pass inspection or be sent back. Ida years later remembered the tense time in this way, “When we arrived at Ellis Island (sic), [mother] did not have the necessary amount of money the government required of those coming into this country, so she showed them a letter of proposal of marriage she had received from a convert who was already in the United States, and let them believe she was coming to marry him” (Weiermann, I. 1955) (Wheeler, F., 1948).
When all was cleared and the immigration process finished President Stucki concluded in a letter, “We are very thankful to our Heavenly Father for the many blessings received thus far, and feel to trust in him for our safe arrival in the land of his choice” (Mormon Migration database 6 Sept. 1890-Sept. 1890.).
It isn’t known for sure which railroad route the Weiermann family and their fellow saints took west. Nevertheless as they crossed the continent, vast flat prairie lands would seem endless to someone from a tiny country encircled by tall mountains. It was an adventure with pleasures for wide-eyed travelers. Ida thrilled to see wild horses running with the train (Wheeler, I., 1955). Fred with gratitude recorded, “We had good health and lots of pleasure on our journey both on train and ship”. (Weyerman, G).
Most of the European immigrants were destined for the Utah towns of Salt Lake City, Provo, Payson, Logan, and Nephi. About 21 of the weary saints stayed on the train to travel northwest into the new state of Idaho. They arrived in the frontier town of Montpelier on 28 September 1890. Continuing on by wagon and buggy, the Weiermann family, returning missionaries, and others rolled 10 miles south to the tiny town of Paris, Idaho. Fred remembered, “Elders Stucki and Budge were also glad to get home and and had all things arranged for hospitality.” (Weyerman, G) (Stocker, J).
In Paris, the red sandstone of the newly dedicated tabernacle looked down on the little town. This recently settled country of small farms was very different from the noisy crowded city the Weiermann’s were used to. However, for Annie it may have triggered happy memories of her youth growing up in rural Switzerland.
Life in America
One of the great motivations for Mormon emigration was to be able to reach a temple, considered the “Lord’s house,” where they could receive ordinances necessary for their own salvation and perform them by proxy on behalf of their deceased ancestors. This was a priority which Annie acted on immediately. It is recorded that her 10 year old son, Christian Weiermnn, three years deceased, was baptized by proxy in the Logan, Utah temple on 25 September 1890, suggesting someone took his name to the temple before the family finished their journey to their new home in Idaho. (Proxy baptisms were not required for her twin sons and daughter, since they died as innocent infants).
Many people who came to the United States chose to change or “americanize” the spelling or their names. Fred’s Posterity most often spell their name Weyerman, while the family of Ida has most often spelled their name Weiermann. In various family records the name can be seen in old records; Gottfried was known as “Fred”, his brother Jacob sometimes as “Jake”, and their mother, Anna Elizabeth, came to be known as “Annie” (1900 census).
Soon Annie and her young son Jacob moved into a rented log cabin owned by a Mrs. Herzog. Annie began earning money taking in sewing. Ida had the opportunity to live with and work for the beloved Stucki family, who were also boarding the local school teacher. Ida reminisces, “My teacher lived at the Stucky (sic) home and was very good to help me with my lessons” (wheeler,I., 1955). Once again, Fred boarded away from his family when he went to work on a farm.
Paris, Idaho had been colonized by the Latter-day Saints 17 years earlier and had two LDS wards. What a change after attending the small branch in Bern! It was wonderful to dwell without persecution among people who believed and lived as they did; however, life was not without challenges. Everyone had to work hard on the frontier for the survival of their family. It wasn’t easy learning a new language and adjusting to the ways of America. For example the young Swiss girl, Elisa Gygi, whom Ida certainly made friends with on the journey to Utah, recalls how at school she was told her name was to be the more familiar Alice instead of Elisa. The children made fun of her because her shoes and clothes were different. Subsequently, Elisa took turns with her sister wearing to school a nice dress and some shoes someone gave them. In their poverty the Gygi family happily received groceries, clothes, and candy for Christmas from the Bishop of their ward (Gygi). It isn’t hard to imagine the Weiermann family relying on friends in a similar way until they were able to earn money to support themselves.
On 29 December 1890, several months after their arrival in Idaho, Fred received the ordinance of baptism into The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. Several days later, on New Year’s Day, his younger brother, Jacob, was also baptized. Then, according to the custom at that time for member immigrants arriving in Zion, Annie and her daughter, Idam, were rebaptized. It was a new year and a new life for the Weiermann family.
Fred traveled 20 miles north to Nounan, Idaho, to work. There he was also able to procure a log cabin for his mother and brother. Ida earned money by living in several homes where she helped with chores. Then she said, “Mother got work so I stayed at home the next year. Then we went back to Paris [Idaho} where mother met Mr Nuffer at a German Conference….” (Wheeler, I. 1955).
Family and Marriage
A medieval castle overlooks the southern city of [Neuffen], Germany, where 27-year-old Johann Christoph Nuffer married Agnes Barbara Spring early in the year of 1862. Four years later tragedy struck when within 7 months their baby girl and her 26-year -old mother died. Christoph was now left a widower to raise two sons, John, age 4, and Fred, age 3. (Nuffer, C).
A month later on July 25, 1867, he married Eva Katharina Greiner, who began to raise his sons as her own. Christoph and Eva were surrounded by their extended family, and were supported by Christopher’s work as a dress goods weaver and a salesman of produce from his vineyard and farm. Over a span of ten years, they added Regina, Charles, and Adolf to their family. (Nuffer, C).
After listening to the Mormon missionaries, the Nuffer family decided to join The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. They secretly damned a millrace at the rear of the house so the family could be baptized at night, undisturbed by hostile villagers. To avoid the persecution that immediately followed, they decided to emigrate to Utah as soon as possible. Christoph sold their home and land, and borrowed money from another immigrating family to gather the needed funds. Notwithstanding all the children catching measles, the family survived the transatlantic crossing in May 1880 on the steamship Wisconsin. (Ironically, the very same ship that in ten years would bring the Weiermann Family to America) (Naef, 1990).
The Nuffers followed many German and Swiss saints who pioneered Providence, Utah, situated just south of Logan. Like countless others, they started our poor and worked hard to better their circumstances. Thankfully, the older sons Fred and John helped a great deal with the heavy labor. A year after arriving in Zion, their last child, Mary was born (Naef, 1990).
In the fall of 1883 the oldest son, John, persuaded his father to sell their home and move into southeastern Idaho to homestead. Two years later they set up another claim. It was a rough life, but his son Charles recalled, “(We) were happy and thanked the Lord for what we had. Mother would read a chapter from the Bible, we would have prayer an we would go to bed early….We thanked our Heavenly Father for what we had and lived by faith…a I remember we never got discouraged for we felt the Lord was on our side” (Nuffer, C., 1949).
The Nuffer ranch was located northwest of Mapleton, Idaho. Their farm was cut in half be the main road. On the east side was the land where their homes, stables, and fruit orchards were located. On the west side of the road was meadow blanketed in lush grass with a creek running through it. This farm from one end to the other was a beautiful place (Naef, 1990).
In the winter of 1893, Eva, Christoph’s wife of 2 years, developed pneumonia and suddenly died within a week. Her grieving family buried her in the first grave in the new Preston, Idaho cemetery. Christoph could not bear to be alone in the home where he had so happily lived with his wife, so his sons Charles an Adolf ran the farm, “while there father was away most of the summer at Bear Lake and other places” (Nuffer, C).
While away, Christoph, now known as Christopher, met 38 year old Annie Weierman at a German Conference (Wheeler, I., 1955). These conferences were an opportunity for German speaking LDS converts to socialize using their native language. Through uplifting sermons, singing and dancing the Conferences offered support for immigrants adjusting to their new lives.
By the end of the summer, Christopher and Annie knew they wanted to get married. They were sealed for Time and Eternity in the Logan temple a few months later on 26 September 1893 (Reber).
The one photograph we have of Annie was likely taken in Logan, “The Temple City”, at this time. She serenely gazes out of the image, an attractive women with light-colored deep set eyes, high cheekbones, fair smooth skin, and unusually sculpted lips. Her brown hair is modestly pulled back to the nape of her neck and wrapped into a bun. She is slightly built, probably no taller than her daughter who grew to about 5 feet 2 inches. Her newly learned English would have been graced with a lilting Swiss accent. She wears a dark tailored dress, which she may have sewn, that has a high collar and mutton sleeves, the height of fashion in 1893. It could be imagined the jeweled heart brooch pinned to her collar could have been a wedding gift from her husband.
At age 59, Brother Nuffer was considered “ an old widower” by Annie’s children. (Weyerman, G). Besides love and companionship, he offered their mother a social status and financial security that she had likely never experienced. Their stone house surrounded by pastures, orchards, and a garden may have reminded her of her rural youth in Switzerland. Because her new husband had lived in the area for many years, she benefited from the reputation he had in the community as a successful farmer. The Nuffer name was well known in the surrounding towns as Christopher’s oldest son, John, was a trained architect and stone mason. He helped build the Logan temple, and also designed many of the public buildings in Preston, Idaho; including the opera house, bank, and churches. (Nuffer, J).
Annie and Christopher had many things in common, such as firm testimonies that Joseph Smith had indeed been an instrument in the restoration of Christ’s church, and that they were building up Zion in the American west. They had both followed the same path of conversion, they both spoke German and understood the ways of the “old country”, and they both followed a strikingly similar emigration path. But like many second marriages, there was the potential for tension and competition for loyalty between their children. As can be imagined, the children and their mother were very close after weathering so many adversities together. Annie’s marriage to Mr. Nuffer may not have been favored by the children. Fred’s feelings were, “Ida and Jacob remained no longer with mother then, but had to look out for themselves, neither I had any place that I could call my home” (Weyerman, G).
During the next year, Fred Weyerman became engaged to a girl named Sally, but this arrangement ended abruptly when Sally eloped with another man. This seemingly devastating event turned out to be a blessing when Fred met 20 year old Olena Hoth while they were at a party of a mutual friend. Fred and Olena were married by their bishop two weeks later. “Lena” was raised in a faithful Latter-day Saint family. She was a loving, loyal, and hardworking woman who would have a special role in the life of her mother-in-law. She and Fred loved each other and eventually had a family of 15 children. (Weyerman, L).
Two months later the newly married Fred and Lena traveled a distance to the Logan temple to be sealed on 26 September 1894 for Time and Eternity. In preparation for his temple ordinances, Fred Weyerman was ordained an Elder by their beloved Swiss mission president, John U. Stucki. It was a joyful occasion as Lena and Fred received their endowments and were sealed together. (eyerman, G) Later that same day, Annie must have glowed with happiness as all her children were sealed to her and Christopher Nuffer (Reber, A).
About this same time Annie’s step son, Charles, recorded she made him temple clothes in preparation for his marriage. He reminisced that, “His new step mother was helpful to us in many ways as we began our married life” (Nuffer, C., 1949).
In 1895 Fred and Lena welcomed a baby and named her Anna Weyerman. Fred bargained with his stepfather for forty acres of his farmland in Mapleton, so Annie looked forward to seeing her new granddaughter often. (Weyerman, G).
Near this time, Christopher’s oldest son, John, left to serve in the German/Swiss mission. Imagine Annie’s feelings of curiosity and nostalgia as she read letters posted from the mission headquarters in Bern, Switzerland.
That winter Ida married David Wheeler. His father, Calvin Wheeler, was a notable pioneer who settled in the Mapleton area seven years earlier. David reminisces in his autobiography, “I finally met a girl, Ida Weiermann Nuffer, that I thought just suited me, and finally ask her to marry me. She wanted me to wait for a while but as I had got a call to go on a mission she finally consented. We married in the Logan Temple on December 4, 1895. Ida was just a few months past sixteen years of age.” David let six weeks later to serve a mission in the southern states of the USA. Ida supported herself by living with and working for families until he returned two and a half years later (Wheeler, D).
After a year of improving his land, Fred went to make a payment and fix the deeds; however, the sons of “Mr. Christoffer Nuffer would not agree, so [we] had to pull out with empty hands” (Weyerman, G). It could have been that the sons didn’t know about their father’s deal or agree with it. There was a lot of competition in the area over staking out claims on various parcels of land. Christopher’s sons had also been working the land for years with the hope of ownership. The emotions raised at that time may have prompted Ida to comment that “We, [Fred, IDa and Jacob], were not welcomed there” (Wheeler, I. 1955).
In the year 1896, Fred and Lena lost a baby named after Fred’s brother, Christian. In 1898 they also lost a month-old baby girl named Marie Weyerman. That same year Ida’s husband, David, returned from his mission. Also, Annie’s first husband and father of her children Gottfried Weiermann, died at age 46 in his home town of Wynigen, Switzerland (Wheeler, D.) (Reber,A).
David and Ida moved to the mountains of Western Idaho where David took a contract to cut railroad ties. On 28 December 1899 Ida gave birth to her first child, Florence, alone in a crude timberland shelter while waiting for a doctor to arrive. Ida’s only assistance was a blessing from the local missionaries, who afterward sent out into the yard to pray for her (Wheeler, I).
The last years of Annie’s life were marked by marriages, births, harvests, missions, and some deaths. Mostly it was the day-to-day rhythm of life that generously filled the calendar. After they sold their ranch to the Hull Brothers of Whitney, Christopher and Annie moved to Preston into a two-room frame house near his oldest son, john (Naef, 1990). The 1900 US Census records the family living in Preston, Idaho, and lists Christopher Nuffer as a farmer, Annie E. as his wife, and Jacob, his single stepson, as a farm laborer. It also notes that Annie can read and write English. Sometime between the 1900 Census and March 1901, Christopher and Annie Nuffer moved to Logan, Utah, which was to be their last home together (Naef, 1990).
By the time, Annie was very ill with “dropsy”, an old term for edema, or fluid retention usually in the feet, ankles and legs (Weyerman, L). She may have suffered from it for years as it could have been caused by congestive heart failure, diseases of the heart muscle, or some other heart ailment. As these diseases progress breathing becomes difficult; making walking arduous (Quinn, 2017).
Possibly because Annie needed someone stronger than her aging husband to nurse her, she moved in with her son, Fred. His wife, Lena, was two months from giving birth. This was a charitable and generous act on Lena’s part, as she was now caring for Annie, a baby and three other children under the age of 5. (Weyerman, L).
As soon as Annie’s daughter, Ida, recovered enough from the birth of her second child in August 1901, she came to Logan to relieve Lena as her mother’s sole nurse (Wheeler, I. 1955.) Many Christian virtues were exercised as Lena and Ida worked together to take care of their 6 small children as well as nurse their mother through her last living days. (Weyerman, L).
When November came around, Fred was preparing to leave his seriously ill mother and family of small children to fulfill a call t the German/Swiss mission, Under what he called “very hard circumstances”, he departed for Switzerland 25 November 1901. This young father knew he would not see his cherished family for over two years. (Weyerman, G). It was also likely he would never see his beloved mother again. Indeed, she died 1 December 1901, less than a week after his departure for Switzerland. The grieving family buried 4-year-old Annie E. Nuffer in the Logan City Cemetery (Utah Cemetery Inventory).
For an unknown reason, Annie made made the unusual request before she died to have their family’s temple sealing to her second husband, John Christoph Nuffer, cancelled. She wanted Fred to go to the LDS authorities and arrange for her to be sealed to her first husband, Gottfried Weiermann, and then to have their seven children sealed to them. This wish was eventually fulfilled in the Logan LDS temple on 8 March 1905, about a year after Fred returned from his mission. (Ida Christensen Arave witnessed the Church temple records at the family history center in SLC) (Wheeler, I., 1955).
Anna Elizabeth Reber’s family was one of 90,000 known Latter-day Saint immigrants who crossed the oceans to America between 1840-1891. “They had a most unusual success rate; making about 550 voyages, and losing no vessels crossing the Atlantic….These Mormon immigrants were responding to a call to gather with the righteous in a promised land, which they called Zion” (Woods, 2000 p. 74). Because of courage to act on her faith, a tenacious 3 year old divorced mother of three changed her family’s course into the future. Annie’s decision to join The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and emigrate to the American west where she could help build the Lord’s kingdom on earth has directly influenced hundreds of her progeny. Her determination not only lifted her family out of poverty, but more importantly pioneered the way toward salvation for untold numbers of future and past generations. For this act of faith, valor, and love we praise and remember her.
John Christoph Nuffer married for the fourth time four months after Annie’s death. He lived to age 73, dying 12 April 1908 (Naef, 1990).
Fred Weyerman was suddenly killed 9 March 1935 at age 59 when the bike he was riding slipped on ice and hit a bus. He left nine surviving children and his widow, who would never remarry. His sister Ida and her family kept in touch with “Aunt Lena” and their cousins for many years after his passing. (Weyerman, G).
Ida Weierman Wheeler bore 10 children and lived to be 80. She remained a faithful member of the LDS church through a multitude of trials as her she and her husband, David, worked to eke out a living on the frontier of southeastern Idaho. Her obituary quoted her friends as saying, “She was a bulwark of strength, patience, and loving kindness to all who knew her” (Wheeler, D) (Olsen, L).
Jacob Weiermann didn’t marry until 1908, when he was 25. His wife died in the 1918 Spanish flu epidemic. Their two children, Donald and Martha, went to live with their Aunt Ida and Uncle Dave for a time (Arave, I., 2017). Jacob didn’t marry again. He worked as a miner in Nevada, and died in Utah of tuberculosis 25 January 1945 at age 61 (Weierman, J., 1945).
The Church of Jesus Christ of [Latter-day] Saints in Europe
President Joseph F. Smith visited
Zurich, Switzerland in 1906, and predicted:
“The time would come when temples to the Most High would be built in various countries of the world.”
The Bern Switzerland Temple was the first temple built where English was not the main local language. It was dedicated on 11 September 1955 (Petersen, S., 2013).
John and Eva Nuffer are pleased to announce the marriage of their daughter Regina Friederike to John George, son of John and Anna Wanner. John and Regina were married 31 August 1898 in the Logan LDS Temple, Logan, Cache, Utah.
Regina Friederike Nuffer was the first child of four born to the marriage of John Christoph Nuffer and Eva Katharina Greiner on 26 January 1869 in Neuffen, Esslingen, Wurttemberg. John was a widower when he married Eva endowing Regina with two older half brothers and sister, John (1862), Georg Friedrich (1864, Fred), and Christiane (1865, who lived less than a year). John and Eva were married 25 July 1867 in Neuffen. Regina had three younger siblings, Charles August (1871), Adolph (1875), and Mary (1881). Regina was christened 7 February 1869 in Evangelische Kirche, Neuffen.
When Regina was about 9 years old, she heard the Mormon Elders preach in town. One of those Elders was John Jacob Theurer (1837 – 1914) of Providence, Cache, Utah. She was converted to the LDS church and was baptized 1 January 1880. Her parents were baptized 12 April 1880 in the mill race behind their home in the very early morning to avoid others in the community knowing. Other siblings followed later.
The family applied to immigrate to North America in April 1880. They left for Stuttgart, then to Mannheim on a boat to Holland, over the North Sea to Hull, England where they left on the Wisconsin for New York. From Castle Garden they went by train to Utah, finally arriving in Logan. The family moved to Providence, Cache, Utah where Elder Theurer had connections. Mary, Regina’s sister, was born in Providence in 1881. John Jr worked in Montana, Salt Lake, and on the Logan Temple. After the Logan Temple stonework was completed, the Nuffers sold their home in Providence and moved in 1883 to Preston, Franklin (then Oneida), Idaho. Eventually they moved around until John and Eva purchased property up Cub River near Mapleton (then St. Joseph), Franklin (then Oneida), Idaho.
I don’t know the details of how or when, but Regina met Jacob Scheibel and married him 15 July 1889 in Salt Lake City, Salt Lake, Utah. Alma Katherine (“Kate”) Scheibel was born 27 September 1889 in Pleasant Valley, Carbon, Utah to Jacob and Regina. In 1890, Jacob and Regina separated and she moved back to Mapleton. She helped as a nurse and midwife while her mom helped tend little Kate. It was during this time she met a young man named John George Wanner Jr who was working for her brother Fred Nuffer, also in Mapleton.
John George (anglicized from Johann Georg but called George by the family) was the first child born to the marriage of John George (also anglicized from Johann Georg) and Anna Maria Schmid on 29 October 1870 in Holzgerlingen, Böblingen, Württemberg. To keep them separate, younger John George went by George. He was christened 30 October 1870 in Holzgerlingen. He grew up in Holzgerlingen and during the summer of 1890 met the LDS missionaries. He was the first of the family to join the new church on 11 July 1891 and was baptized by Jacob Zollinger (1845 – 1942) of Providence, Utah.
George apparently emigrated to America with an Elder Theurer in 1891. We don’t know who Elder Theurer is, but he was also from Providence although likely a relative of John Theurer who converted the Nuffer family. The LDS missionary records do not show an Elder Theurer out in 1890 – 1892. I wonder if this wasn’t meant to be Elder Zollinger in the family histories. But this Elder helped John find employment with Fred Nuffer. The rest of the Wanner family followed to Mapleton in 1893. Mary, George’s daughter, indicates it was an Elder Terrell who brought John to America (Theurer sounds like Tire, and Terrell isn’t that far off, so maybe a misspelling?)
George met Eliza Stirland of Providence and married her 14 November 1894 in the Logan LDS Temple. Two children were born, Earl Wayne Wanner born 31 October 1895 in Providence and George Phineas Wanner on 22 September 1897 in Glendale. The unhappy marriage ended in divorce. Nobody seems to know what happened to these two sons either.
Regina received her Patriarchal Blessing 13 September 1897 from John Smith.
George and Regina fell in love and married in the Logan Temple 13 August 1898.
William Christoph and Willard John were born 9 November 1899 in Mapleton.
Mary Louise was born 5 March 1901 in Mapleton.
George was called and set apart as a missionary to Germany on 1 October 1901 .
Golden was born 4 September 1902 in Mapleton while John was on his mission to Germany.
George safely arrived home 7 October 1903.
Eva Virtue was born 24 February 1904 in Mapleton.
Rulon was born 6 November 1905 in Mapleton.
About this time, George Wanner had John Nuffer build him a home on East Oneida Street in Preston.
George was then called to serve a second mission in the fall of 1907, again leaving pregnant Regina and six children. He was set apart by Orson F. Whitney on 29 October 1907 to serve in the Swiss and German mission. Interestingly, the missionary record says he was plurally married, but no records or history show another marriage. I suspect it is a mistake.
Serge Nuffer was born 8 March 1908 in Preston. Again, another child born while John was on a mission.
George left Europe sailing on the Southwark from Liverpool, England on 9 December 1909.
George returned home on Christmas day 1909. It was during this mission that George taught the Christiana Wilhelmina Andra family. The Andras immigrated to Preston. William Andra, Christiana’s daughter, would later marry George’s daughter, Mary.
In 1910, George and Regina purchased the Wanner farm (John’s parents) in Whitney (which the Wanners had purchased from the Nuffer family). His parents moved to Logan.
About 1912, this picture was taken on the farm.
Another photo from about 1917.
Sadly, things started to change their idyllic world.
Golden died 26 November 1918 in Salt Lake City at age 16. His death certificate says he was a student, Regina is the informant, but I don’t know where he was going to school. I was told he died from influenza, but the death certificate just says natural death.
William died 1 December 1918 at Camp Genicart, Gironde, France from influenza. He enlisted with the army 5 August 1917. I don’t have anything to back it up, but I suspect the photo above is in preparation for his enlistment. He left Salt Lake City for Camp Kearney on October 11, 1917. He served in the Supply Company, 145th Field Artillery, American Expeditionary Forces. The war did not kill him, disease did (as was common then with influenza). His body was brought home 11 November 1920, and interred in the Whitney Idaho Cemetery.
Mary married William Andra 10 March 1920 in the Salt Lake City LDS Temple.
Willard was set apart as a missionary 7 January 1921 to New Zealand by Melvin J Ballard and left for the mission 8 January 1921. He successfully completed his mission and ended his service 18 October 1922.
Willard married Gladys Laverna Thompson 15 November 1923 in the Logan LDS Temple.
Rulon was a student in Logan when he caught a cold. It developed into acute meningitus caused by acute otitis media. He died 25 February 1924 at the age of 18. George is the informant.
George was called to serve a third mission to the Southern States Mission. He was set apart 15 December 1925 by Joseph Fielding Smith and departed 16 December 1925. He returned home 8 June 1926.
On 4 July 1926, George received his Patriarchal Blessing under the hand of William M Daines.
Serge was set apart as a missionary 24 April 1928 to New Zealand by Orson F Whitney and left for the mission on 28 April 1928. He arrived in New Zealand 20 May 1928. He served in the Bay, of Island, Whangerei, and Wellington districts, and on the South Island. He cut himself while shaving and died from blood poisoning 4 October 1929. His body was brought home for burial in Whitney with the funeral held in the Preston opera house. Four sons were now deceased.
Eva was set apart as a missionary 16 April 1930 to California by George F Richards and left for the mission 17 April 1930. She completed her service 6 June 1932.
George was called to serve a fourth mission to California. He was set apart by Reed Schmid on 1 December 1933 and left for the mission the same day. He arrived back home 6 April 1934.
Eva married Adolf Ernest Spatig 29 January 1936 in the Logan LDS Temple.
George was known for his ability to work hard. He worked hard, raised his crops, and took exceptional care of his farm animals. He took great price in having things looking neat and clean around the farm and yard.
George usually was out working when the sun came up. The story is told that he was usually the first to get to the beet dump in the morning. Apparently one morning some of the neighbors decided to beat him to the dump. They got up early to get a head start. Before they got to the dump, the could hear George Wanner already going down the road ahead of them. It was still dark but they could tell it was him by the way he was talking to his horses, “Gid up – gid up – gid up.”
George and Regina sold the Whitney farm and purchased 40 acres nearer to Preston and built a home on it. Oakwood Elementary and Preston Junior High sit on what was part of this farm. When he retired, it was this farm he sold to William and Mary Andra.
George had a knack for being successful in the various undertakings he engaged in. He was one of the first in Preston to have an automobile. When he brought it home he hadn’t quite got the knack of stopping it. He yelled “whoa” when he got in the garage, but before he got it stopped he had gone through the end of the garage.
George built two little homes on the west side of 2nd east and 1st south in Preston. He also built three homes on 1st south and the south side of the street in Preston. George and Regina lived in one of those homes until she died. Regina passed away 10 March 1942 in Preston. She was buried in Whitney.
She was ill for quite a while before she passed away. George would care for her the best he could and regularly took her for rides in the car. She was unable to walk and George would carry her on his back from place to place as they went visiting.
George remarried a few months later Grace Irene Frasure (1893 – 1980) on 3 Jun 1942 in the Salt Lake City LDS Temple. Their marriage dissolved in divorce.
George was having a number of health issues and had heard that Florida would help him. He moved to Florida. It was there he met Annie Jane Metts (1873 – 1961). They were married 4 May 1945 in Fort Myers, Lee, Florida. This marriage also dissolved in divorce.
George remained in Florida until he became ill enough that he knew the end was coming. His daughter, Mary, sent her son, William Andra, out to Florida to bring George back by train. When William and George arrived in Chicago, Cook, Illinois, he was quite ill and taken to the hospital. It was there that George passed away 5 January 1947. William brought George’s body back to Preston. George was buried beside Regina in Whitney.
Autobiography given Nov 1961
I, Mary Louise Wanner Andra was born the 5th of March 1901 in Cub River, Idaho. My father is John George Wanner, Jr. and my mother is Regina Nuffer. I have five brothers and one sister, Eva. The oldest were twin boys: William C. and Willard. The other three boys were Golden, Rulon, and Serge. I came sixteen months later after the twins, so Mother had three in diapers.
In the fall of 1907 my father was called on a two year mission to Germany because he spoke the German language. We didn’t have much while father was gone, but we were happy.
He returned in the fall of 1909 and we moved back to Cub River and in the spring of 1910 we moved to Whitney, Idaho where my father bought an eighty acre irrigated farm and a one-hundred-sixty-nine acre dry farm. This farm was owned by my Grandfather Wanner. My father planted beets, potatoes, grain and hay. He also had a herd of cows and there was plenty to do! Father was very strict and we all had to toe the mark. I remember the twin boys and Golden, just younger than myself, and I had to thin the beets. The first two or three years the mustard weeds were so thick you could hardly see the beets.
We kids went to grade school and had to walk three miles. Sometimes we would ride horseback in the winter when the snow was so deep. When it got cold enough to freeze a crust on the snow, we would walk on top and cut through the fields because the snow was above the fences. We sure thought that was a lot of fun.
Our farm was just across the road from George Benson and their daughter, Margaret was in the same grade as myself.
In the 8th grade, I was chosen to take the part of Snow White in the school play. In school, during the recess, we would jump the rope. There was no one who could turn it fast enough for me. I could outrun all my girl friends. I even used to catch the boys and wash their faces with snow.
We also had a girl’s baseball team. We would play Franklin and the surrounding little towns.
In the summer after school was out, I would ride horses. I would go up to the dry farm and get the cows. One time I took my little sister, Eva and as we passed a brush, Eva fell off and broke her arm.
After I graduated from the 8th grade, I wanted to take sewing course in Logan at the A.C. (Agricultural College). After coaxing my father for several days, he finally decided to let me go. Inez Wallace and I went to Logan on the train. I had been down to Logan for three days when my father came and got me to work on the dry farm, getting the land ready to plant.
In 1918, my brother, William C. died in France. He was in the 145th infantry. Three days later, my brother, Golden died in Salt Lake with double leakage of the heart. Soon after, my father sold the farm and we moved to Preston, Idaho. My father bought the Parkinson Farm (4th South and 4th East). Then my father planted beets again and I still had a job of thinning beets. We lived in an old home while my father was having the new one built.
In the early fall and winter of 1918, I went around to different homes taking care of the sick. There was a flu epidemic at that time. I was taking care of my cousin, Emma Nelson (George Nelson’s wife). He was a wrestler. Emma died of the flu.
In the spring of 1918, I went to work for Roy and Alabell Hull. I cared for the twins, did the washing, ironing, and all the cooking. They had seven in their family and three hired men.
At that time I was going with a young man by the name of William Andra. He was born in Germany. While my father was on his mission, he used to go to the Andra home. My father baptized his oldest sister, Frieda.
I met William and his mother while living in Whitney. I was still going to school. He and his mother came by train and my father met them at the train. After a few days, William’s mother went back to Salt Lake and William started working for my father on the farm. I guess that is when the romance began. I was 16 years old.
While working at the Hull’s, William would come and get me with his new buggy and horse. We would to go Preston to a show. At this time William was working for Jim Bodily. Jim Bodily was the man who bought my father’s farm. I worked all that summer for Roy Hull for $6.00 per week.
That fall of 1919, I went to Logan to the County Fair and rode race horses for Joe Perkins. I was offered a job of being a jockey, but I didn’t desire that kind of a career, although I loved to ride horses.
In March 1920, William and I were married in the Salt Lake Temple. We made our home in Whitney, Idaho on the Jim Bodily farm (where Lorin Bodily lives, only north in an old house). I even helped thin some of Jim Bodily’s beets. Our closest neighbors were George & Kate Poole. Kate and I spent many hours together sewing.
I joined the Relief Society right after I was married. I was asked to lead the singing. Sister Barbara Ballif was the President at the time.
We lived there a few months, then we moved to the home where Bishop Morris Poole now lives. My husband quit Bodily’s and he and his brother, Otto thinned beets for different farmers. In the fall, these two would top beets at the sugar factory. I would go out and hitch up the horses in the morning while they ate their breakfast.
November 25th, Thanksgiving, our first son was born. My husband thought he had more time before the baby came. He didn’t have the stove put up in the front room. He got all excited and really sweat trying to get that stove up. Will and Laura Dunkley were our closest neighbors. Laura was with me when the baby was born. Dr. Bland delivered the baby. We named him William, Jr.. After William Jr. was about six months old, each Sunday when we went to church, as we got out of the buggy, all the young girls would come running to take little Jr.. They called him the ward baby.
Towards fall, we moved again down in the Joe Dunkley home, back of where the store now stands. My husband got the janitor job for the church and the school house. He was getting $30.00 a month and we were paying $18.00 in rent. In the spring of 1922 we moved to Preston on my father’s farm. William helped my father with the crops and after the crops were up, in the fall, we moved to Salt Lake City, out in Sugarhouse. My husband got a job at the Royal Bakery hauling bread to the little adjoining towns.
On the 22nd of June 1923 our second child was born. She was an eight month baby, only weighed 4 1/2 pounds. We named her June. Mrs. Hymas came down from Preston to take care of me. Brother LeGrand Richards was the Bishop of Sugarhouse Ward where we lived, so we had him bless our baby.
The next fall, my husband’s brother, Walt coaxed him to go into the cafe business at Preston, so we moved back to Preston. They had a good business. In fact, the business picked up after my husband started working there. The young folks as well as the older ones took to him. I didn’t like the cafe business because the children’s father seldom saw the children with their eyes open. William was always used to the outdoors. He was really a farmer at heart.
On February 6th, 1925 our third child came along. Another little girl and we named her Mildred.
In the fall of the second year in the cafe, my father wanted to sell his farm, and we bought all the land on the south and my brother, Willard bought the land on the north of the road. There wasn’t much money in raising beets, and it was hard for us to make payments on the farm with the interest being so high the first few years. My husband had to do extra work outside the farm work. He dug basements for new homes, hauled sand, gravel, also beets from the beet pile to the sugar factory, any job he could get to make the payments on the farm.
On August 5, 1926 another son came along. We named him Golden Rulon after my two brothers. When he was two and a half years old, Golden fell out of a swing and was paralyzed (all of his right side except his arm). At that time we had a Dr. Milford who brought him into the world. For one whole year, every day, except Sunday, I took him to town to Dr. Milford’s for treatment. His office was upstairs in the old Greaves building.
On the 27th of May 1928 I had a little red headed girl and we named her Colleen Mary after me.
Later on, after a few years, we started to raise peas and the pea crops were real good. One year the peas went to four tons per acre. No farmer beat that crop. I helped in the fields all I could. We couldn’t afford to hire anyone. We didn’t have tractors at that time. This was the year we bought our first car, a Ford. The Doctor said it was too far to walk to town.
In the year of 1932 another little blond girl joined our family. We named her Sergene. I guess I wanted her to be a boy so I could name him Serge after my youngest brother who died in New Zealand on a mission. Dr.Orvid Cutler brought her into the world. When she was six months old, they were having a contest at the Grand Theatre for the healthiest baby. Out of one-hundred-ninety babies, little Sergene took the first prize and we were surely proud of her.
On July 15, 1933 another son came along. We named him Donald Wanner after my maiden name. Seemed like all the boys had curly hair and they would pass for girls. I had a niece from Downey, Idaho who came to help do the house work. She was crazy about Donald and I heard her say many times that he was the cutest thing this side of heaven.
In 1934 I was six and one-half months along, but just didn’t have the strength to carry my baby the nine months. The doctor said he wouldn’t live and for us to give him a name, so we named him Robert Lee. He lived four hours. By this time I was plenty busy with taking care of the children, but the older ones were big enough to help.
On the 2nd of December 1936 another son came along. We named him Ross Leslie after Dr. L.V. Merrill. I was also made Relief Society Visiting teacher that year.
On the 28th of February 1940 another son joined our family circle and we called him Dale. I used to take these last two little boys, hook the team to the beet puller and put one on each horse. They thought it was fun.
My husband would do the hauling, the older boys and girls would do the topping. We all had to get out and work hard. We still didn’t have a tractor at this time, but got one shortly after. My husband used the tractor to harvest the potato crop.
In June 1942 another little fellow came along. We named him Dennis Willard, after my brother, and April 9, 1943 our number twelve, a son was born. His name was Larry. When you would see these three little boys in the yard, you could hardly tell which was who, they looked so much alike.
William Jr. was in the Spanish American Mission when Dennis was born. Dennis died when three years old. Since this time I was put in as Relief Society Chorister.
It is 1961 and they have divided the ward and put me in as Secretary of the Young Ladies Mutual. Our second missionary, Ross filled a mission in Brazil and the third son to go on a mission ins in the Western States. His name is Dale and he has one more year to serve.
I am proud of my husband, sons, and daughters.
This is a story of my life and I would like to pass it on to my posterity.
Prepared and arranged November 25, 1961
Mary W. Andra
“I was born December 4, 1862 at Neuffen, Wuerttemberg, Germany, the eldest son of [John] Christopher and Agnes Barbara Spring Nuffer. After attending the common grade schools for eight years I was confirmed in the Lutheran Church, at age of thirteen years.
“I was apprenticed to an architect builder in the building trade in the city of Stuttgart where I labored with the stone cutters and masons six months in the summer time, and attended the Architectural college the six remaining months alternately for three years, when I received my diploma as a journeyman in the building trade. The following spring I emigrated with my father’s family to America the first week in May 1880.
“My mother died when I was four years old. There was another boy, Fred, of the same mother, a year and a half old when she died. Father married another woman, Eva Katrina Greiner. Through her influence the family joined the Church.
“This is how the Nuffer family joined the Mormon Church:
“In the year 1879 the missionary, Henry Flam, a distant relative of the Nuffer family came to the city of Neuffen, the State of Wuerttemberg, Germany, preaching his religion to the family of John Christopher Nuffer in a cottage meeting. The following families attended the meeting: Jacob Schweitzer, Anton Lalatin, Abraham Kneiting. They all joined the Church and in 1880, immigrated to Utah, with the exception of the Kneiting family who emigrated in 1881. Now Eva Katrina Nuffer, wife of John Christopher Nuffer, being a very religious woman accepted the doctrine first, being somewhat out of harmony in her belief with the States’ Kirche, (State Church), the Lutheran Church, especially on the doctrine of child baptism, vicarious atonement and the punishment for Adam’s transgression. It was she who kept the doctrines before the others, so when Elder John Theurer followed Elder Henry Flam, the following year to visit them, the four families Nuffer, Schweitzer, Lalatin and Kneiting were ready to be baptized by Elder Theurer, which took place at the house of Christopher Nuffer. There was a running millrace at the rear of the house which they dammed off with planks. The baptism took place at night to keep them from disturbance, for there was much hostility in the town. The town parson especially made a tirade against it in his Sunday sermon. To avoid persecution, they decided to emigrate as soon as possible.
“They sold their holdings at once at auction sale, at a great loss to the real value. In the first days of May 1880 the three families Nuffer, Schweitzer and Lalatin left Neuffen by team to the capitol of the state, Stuttgart, from where they took the train to Mannheim (Home of Men) on the Rhine River. Here they joined a party of about thirty from Switzerland under the leadership of Elder John Theurer. From Mannheim they took two boats down the River Rhine to the North Sea. Here they took the steamer to Hull, England and then crossed England on the railroad to Liverpool. Here more Saints joined them. They left Liverpool in the company of about two hundred. After three weeks on the Atlantic Ocean they arrived in New York. From here the leaders chartered a special train which in about a weeks time went directly to Ogden, Utah, where they were royally received by some of the Saints.
“The Nuffer family then went to Logan (1880). I was baptized on the first Tuesday in August in the Blacksmith Fork River by Nicholas Summers, confirmed by John Lederman. I got a job working on the Logan Temple the first winter as a stonecutter. Father’s family bought a home in Providence and settled there. The second year I worked in Salt Lake on the Deseret University building for contractor Elias Morris as a stonecutter and mason.
“In 1882 I went with Tom Ricks to Montana to do some mason work on the Great Northern Railroad. I stayed there about six months. I came back to Logan and worked on the Logan Temple helping to finish the baptismal font and helped to point (to point is to fill and finish carefully the joints with mortar) the Temple until it was finished on the outside. In the fall of 1883 I persuaded father’s family to sell their home and we moved into Idaho and took up a homestead in Worm Creek, Oneida County, then called Preston, now called Glendale.
“On September 18, 1884, I married Louisa Zollinger and was sealed in the Logan Temple in 1891. She was the daughter of Ferdinand and Louisa Meier Zollinger. We lived at Glendale until the fall of 1890 when we moved to Preston, having been called by the Church to take charge and superintend the building of the Oneida Stake Academy.
“In the spring of 1895, I was called on a mission to Germany. I worked in the city of Stuttgart eleven months, presiding over that branch and baptized five persons. From there I went to Nuremberg where I labored six months. From there I was called to Mission headquarters in Bern, Switzerland, to edit the “Stern”, the German edition of the Millennial Star. While there I translated B.H. Roberts’ “The Gospel”, and Wilford Woodruff’s “Experiences”, and “The Key to Theology” into the German language, which were published as serials in the “Stern”.
“In the summer of 1897 I received my release and taking charge of a company of Saints, I arrived in Salt Lake the third of July and arrived at my home in Preston on the 4th of July 1897.
“After coming home I was contracting building in partnership with Joseph S. Geddes, building several residences, the Weston Tabernacle, The First Ward chapel, and several school houses and other buildings. After that I opened an architect office and planned most of the older business blocks, the Opera House, State Bank building, the Oneida Stake Science building and several other school buildings outside of Preston at McCammon and Grace.
“When Preston was organized into a village I served four years as a village trustee, and two years as village clerk until Preston was organized into a city.
“Eleven children were born to us: Luther Jacob, John Willard, Louis Ferdinand, Herman Christopher, Austin Ekert, Karl Aaron, Agnes Louise, Myron David, Florence Myrtle, Edwin Joseph and Athene Barbara.
“The foregoing was told to Jennie Smart Nuffer
John Nuffer raised apples for many years. His orchard was located at the family home East on Fourth South Street. When he retired from public office, he continued to look after his fruit raising as well as dairy cattle. He was very proud of the fine fruit he raised and never over-charged for his produce. His health failed very fast following the death of his wife on October 1945 and he followed her in death on June 4, 1946. He was buried in the Preston Cemetery. He was a High Priest.
I have updated this 2012 article because I recently came in possession of a photo of Eva Greiner Nuffer that we didn’t have before. I left the old colored picture in to show the contrast. How amazing is it to have an actual photo. Plus you can contrast the imperfections and weaknesses of the colored photo as contrasted with the less than stellar photo copy, but it is so much better than we had before.
This is the biography of John Christoph Nuffer written by Alma Katherine (Kate) Scheibel Naef, granddaughter of John Christoph Nuffer. Kate’s parents are Jacob Schiebel and Regina Friederike Nuffer. I will type it exactly as it is found in the book, “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.
“When grandfather Nuffer was still in Germany, he was a dress goods weaver, did truck gardening, and also had a grape vineyard.
“At that time his family consisted of my grandmother, Eva Katherina Griner Nuffer, his second wife, my mother, Frederika (Regina), her two brothers Charles August and Adolph, and two sons, Fred and John, from his first wife, Agnas Barbara Spring Nuffer, who died in Germany.
“Their home was on Main Street and was made of lumber and rock.
“They belonged to the Germany Lutheren Church, and were visited by mormon missionaries who came from America to preach the Gospel to them. This made their hearts rejoice and in 1879 they were converted to the mormon church or Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Elder John Theurer of Providence, Utah, U.S.A. was the Elder that preached the gospel to them and later baptized them.
“At the time there was a canal or mill race that ran close to the back row of houses. They had planned to do the baptizing at night so they would ot cause any disturbance around the neighborhood.
“At the time there was a family who had an upstairs in their house and they watched through the upstairs window and saw grandfathers family go out the back way into the canal. As soon as this family saw them, they rumored it around the neighborhood, and before morning the whole neighborhood knew that the Nuffer family had been baptized into the mormon church and of course, persecusion started.
“After having been baptized, they had the desire to come to America, the promised land, to be with the main body of Saints.
“My grandmother, Eva Katherina Griner Nuffer, was a woman of great faith as I have heard my mother and Uncle John Nuffer speak of many times. Uncle Fred said in his history that she was a good woman as well as a good mother.
“They left Germany in 1880. While coming across the ocean, the children had the measles so it was not a very pleasant journey.
“They arrived in Providence, Utah about 15, May, 1880 where they lived for three years. It was while here that Mary (Maria) was born.
“Grandfather and family left Providence and moved to Mapleton or Cub River, which at that time was called St. Joseph. At the time they put the Post Office in, there was already a St. Joseph in Idaho, so they had to give it a new name. They named it Mapleton and it could well be called such for it was in the mist of so many beautiful maples. The hills and canyons were loaded with these maples.
“The Nuffer ranch or homestead was located on the north-west of Mapleton which the Lord had well provided for the pioneers with black, furtile soil.
“Grandfather’s farm was cut in half by the main traveled road.
“On the east side was the land where his homes, stables, and orchards were located.
“The orchard was on a hill side a little north-west of the second house. The orchard contained applies, different kinds of plums and prunes, cherries, pears, peaches, grapes, strawberries, raspberries, gooseberries, and currents.
“On the side there were also many shade trees which furnished shade in the summer months for the buildings. Some of those trees are still standing and are about 80 years old or more.
“On the west side of the road was a meadow. A creek ran through this area. The creek was loaded with bushes and willows which were used in making the fence which surrounded the homestead. Uncle Charles August ad Adolph helped Grandfather make these fences. Also they would help Grandfather with his farming.
“Also on both sides of the creek grew Timothy and Red Top which Grandfather used for hay.
“On a steep hill side to the west of this hay was a grove of Quaken-asp trees which were used for making fence posts.
“To the south of this meadow land was a pasture. Besides being covered with short meadow grass, it had many wild violets and Johnny Jumpups.
“The many colors of violets resembled a beautifully spread carpet.
“This farm from one end to the other was a beautiful place, but, as time went on the hand of man destroyed this beauty.
“The first winter they lived in an unfinished log house. The floor joist was in the floor, but winter came before they could get the lumber to finish it. This was a very uncomfortable winter, and they were snowed in many months at a time and could not get to town for supplies, so they had to live on what they raised on the farm.
“Many times when sugar was not available, Grandmother would roast sugar beets in the oven and squeeze the joice out of them for sugar to keep her yeast alive and also for other sweetening purposes.
“When flour was scarce, they would grind wheat in the coffee mills to make their bread.
“The Germany people liked hot drinks, so they would roast barley or wheat and grind it to use for hot drinks.
“Since bottles and sugar were so difficult to get, they would dry many of the fruits and vegetables which they raised and also wild fruits such as Chokecherries and Serviceberries.
“They would also use wild gooseberries which grew along the creek and sweet them with honey when they were in season.
“When coal oil was not available for lights, they would make a wick out of cloth and soak it up with grease and let it burn.
“Grandmother would catch rain water in a barrel and put wood ashes in it to make the water soft when ther wasn’t any soap for washing.
“They made brooms out of fine willows to clean their shoes off with.
“I remember seeing these willow brooms leaning against the door.
“They also made baskets from small willows for cloths baskets or for whatever the need would be.
“It was in the house by the orchard on 20, February, 1893, that my grandmother, Eva Katherine Griner Nuffer died of pneumonia.
“I don’t know just how long Grandfather lived in this house when he married his third wife, Anna Elisabeth Weirman Nuffer. She had three children, Fred, Ida, and Jake Weirman.
“Later they moved back to the first house they built in Mapleton.
“Later Grandfather built a one room log house a few rods west of the first house.
“Grandfather sold his ranch to the Hull Brothers of Whitney and moved to Preston.
“The home in Preston was a two-room frame house west of Uncle John’s rock house which was located in the south-east part of town. That house is still there, but has had more rooms built on to it.
“The next place he moved to was Logan, Utah. It was here, 1, December, 1901, that his third wife, Anna Elisabeth Weirman Nuffer died.
“While still living in Logan, Grandfather married his fourth wife, Maria Alker Nuffer.
“After living in Logan for some time, they moved back to Mapleton where Uncle Charles August Nuffer built them a one-room log house in his orchard.
“Uncle Charles August’s house was just over the ridge and not far from the old Nuffer home. His house could be seen from Grandfather’s orchard.
“I don’t remember just how long they lived there before they moved back to Preston.
“Uncle John Nuffer and some of his boys built them a two-room rock (or cement) house. It was across the street, south, and a little east of Uncle John’s old frame house.
“It was here in this house that Grandfather died 12, April, 1908.
“Grandfather had poor health the later fifteen or more years of his life. He had terrible headaches, kidney trouble, and other such ailments as stomach and liver. All these and more made him suffer a great deal. Just before his death, he was nearly blind.
“I am grateful for my pioneer grandparents and the heritage they have given me.
“Prepared and arranged June 1961 by Laurine and LaNada Hancock daughter and granddaughter of Katherine (Kate) Naef
I wanted to add a couple of notes.
There appears some debate who had the middle name of Christoph, some believe it was only Sr, others only Jr.
Eva Katherine Greiner is the proper spelling.
Anna Elizabeth Weirman is Anna Elizabeth Reber who was a widow of Gottfried Weierman (some sourches Weiermann).
Maria Alker is Maria Anna Alker who was a widow of Conrad Schaub.
This is the life history of Charles August Nuffer. He wrote this autobiography on 28 January 1949. I have maintained the language and spellings of the original document. I also wrote a quick overview of his life previously.
This is a brief history of the life of Charles August Nuffer, son of Johann Christopher Nuffer and Eva Katherina Greiner Nuffer. I was born June 18th 1871 in Neuffen, Wurtemberg, Germany. When about eight years old I remember going with my father and mother to a neighbor’s home where the Mormon Elders were holding a meeting, one was Elder John Theurer of Providence, Utah. Some week later, one morning on getting up the floor was all wet, I asked my mother why, all that she said was that they were baptized members of the Mormon Church last night in the Mill Race back of our house.
It was not long after when they began to make arrangements to emigrate to America. After they had sold their home and land to get money for the voyage except what they could take with them, and that was not very much, they still had to borrow a few hundred dollars before they could go. They borrowed this money from the Schweitzer family that had also joined the Church, and came on the same ship with us, also the Lalatin family that had become members of the Church. So in the month of May 1880 they all bid farewell to friends and the land of their birth for the Gospel’s sake, and set sail on the steamer Wisconsin, for New York, U. S. A. (Early in the morning before daylight we left home in a covered wagon for the City of Stuttgart. I was carried in some bedding as I was sick with the measles and was not well enough to walk. From Stuttgart we went to Manheim and from there by boat on the Rhine to Holland and over the North Sea to London, where everybody was sick the next morning but myself, I think I was just getting over the measles.)
The first place we came to was called Castle Garden where all our belongings were examined. They also gave all the emigrants a little book, the New Testament to take along free. In those days most of the streets of New York were paved with cobble rock. After a few days rest we went by train to Collinston. Arriving in Logan we were taken by a family of Saints that gave us food and lodging for about three weeks by the name of Shaggo in North Logan. After three weeks we found a little old log house with one room and a dirt roof and plenty of bed bugs to keep us company. It was on a vacant lot on the street going to the College just east of the canal. We lived there about a month, as father bought a house and lot of Jacob Engle, full of cobble rock where we intended to make a living but we found it hard going. The house was built of small cobble stone and in the winter at night the walls would get all white with frost. Father would go out where ever he could get some work, he worked on the threshing machines and I went with him to help and he got a bushel of wheat a day. Grandma Spring, Regine and I went out in the north field to glean wheat, we would cut the heads off and put them in a sack. Father threshed them out with the flail and it made about sixteen bushels, so about all father could do is to earn for us so that we could have something to eat while John and Fred were earning money to pay for the place.
Fred went to Idaho working on the Railroad and John worked for Mr. Summers a contractor who later recommended to the Stake Presidency to take charge of building the Stake Academy after we had moved to Idaho. It seems to me the Lord had already begun to open up the way for our life’s mission in this part of the land.
When we arrived in Providence the potatoes were in full bloom on the lot which looked good, at least we would have potatoes to eat. We had to get the wood from the hills near by. They had bought a team and an old wagon so we went to get some wood. Father told me to drive, as I drove out the gate and over a little ditch the tongue dropped down and the reach came up and the team ran away and I fell under the horses feet. I received a broken shoulder and the horses ran around the block and back in the gate, my first time driving a team, at ten years old.
While living in Providence I went to school a few months during the winters of 1881 and 1882 and learned to speak English. My teacher was Mrs. Mary Neaf Maughn, the mother of Mrs. A. E. Hull and Maughn the brush man, and Peter Maughn was the other teacher.
I was baptized when I was 9 years old by Mr. Campbell the grandfather of Mrs. C. M Crabtree of this ward. My sister Mary was born here October 11, 1881. She died in Mapleton, Idaho, October 5, 1900. I look back to my young days while living in Providence, and I still have many friends there, but my parents had to look forward to some other place for our future and to find the place for our life’s mission. It seems the Lord prepared the way. One of our neighbors, a German family had a daughter married to John Miles who was living at Wormcreek and she wanted him to move to Providence where her mother lived so we traded places. We lived in Providence from June 1880 until October 1883. So from here we go to Idaho the place the Lord had chosen for us to build our future home.
We loaded what we could on our wagon and Mr. Miles the rest on his as he helped us move and all together it was not very much, but it was all the poor teams could pull over the kind of roads there were at that time. On arriving at Wormcreek we found a place with a house on it, a log house about 14 by 16 feet, all one room, with dirt floor, no fence around it and no plowed land, and when it rained the mud would run down the walls and we had to set pans on the bed to catch the rain. Father, Mother, Regine, Adolph, Mary and I lived there then. Fred was out in Oregon but he came later that fall with two big horses and John was working in Logan, I think with Mr. Summers. During the winter John rode the biggest horse to Providence as he was going with Louise Zollinger whom he later married. The horse got warmed up too much and got a sore leg and they finally had to shoot him. John and Fred were in Providence most of that winter as their grandmother lived there and Fred was going with Anna Rinderknecht.
As we did not have much hay we bought two stacks of straw from Jap Hoarn and Tom Miles, the first lived in Richmond and the other in Smithfield as they were only on their farms in the summer. The snow as so deep Regine and I filled some big sacks we had brought from the Old Country with straw and tied on the hand sled and pulled it over the rested snow for home. The Miles were the only family that were living on the Creek besides us on what is now known as the Webster Ranch, and we lived on what is now known as the Fred Wanner Place. The Miles Family ran out of feed for their cattle so in March they shoveled a path over to the south side of the hills where the wind and sun had taken the snow off the grass and it had started to grow. When they drove the cattle through the path you could not see them because the snow was so deep. So with the help of the Lord we pulled through the Winter of 1884. In the Spring John and Fred came back and began to fence and plow the land and plant crops. Later John went over to Oxford to the Land Office to file on the land for himself as he had helped most to pay for the home in Providence. As father wanted a homestead of his own, one Spring day it was on the first of May he sent over the divide between Worm creek and Cub River to find a place where he could make a home for the rest of the family. When he returned he said that no one had gone over there before him that spring, as the snow had not melted yet. That was in the spring of 1885, so during that summer John and Fred were raising the crops and helped father build a log house and we put in some crops so we have something to eat for the winter. As we did not have much of a team they had Joe Nilsen come up from Preston to plow some along the Creek, he had a big team and a sulky plow. But that was not all, we had to fight squirrels and grasshoppers. What we raised that summer had to see us through the Winter, and it was not any too much.
Fred went up Wormcreek and got some logs and had them sawed at the Moorhead and Thomas Sawmill on the Cub River. But we found that there was only enough for the roof and none for the floor and ceiling. They had lumber at the sawmill but they would sell us any for wheat and the store in Franklin did not pay cash for it. Father had already laid some logs down to put the floor on so we just had to step over them all winter but maybe it was a good thing as we got the warmth from the earth as we only had a lumber roof over us 14 feet to the top and just a four hole cook stove to warm the house and wood to burn, and it was not all dry. Still we were happy and thanked the Lord for what we had. Mother would read a chapter from the Bible, we would have prayer and we would go to bed early. (Clayborn Moorhead told me some years later that Joseph Thomas intended to take up my Father’s Homestead but he was not old enough then so my father was first. He said those Germans can’t make a living there, they will starve to death and I will get the land anyway. But, I think he did not know as much as he thought, he didn’t know we had put our trust in God.)
On Christmas Day 1884 Father sent me over to John’s (Grandma Spring was keeping house for him that winter), after twenty-five pounds of flour. The snow as up to my knees. After that flour was gone we had to grind the wheat in the coffee mill as no one went to the store anymore that winter until Father and I each carried a basket of eggs to the store in Franklin on the 2nd of March, over two feet of :frozen snow to buy some groceries. We could not busy much as we had no money. Mother raised some sugar beets in the garden, as we had no sugar she but some beets in the oven and baked them and put them in a cloth to get some syrup to make her yeast. She cut some up in little squares and browned them in the oven and ground them up to make coffee. Mother would also put the wheat in the oven to dry and brown it just a little so it would grind better and we used it for bread and mush. Finally the cow went dry so we had no milk for some time and no sugar, but we got through the winter without any sickness. We thanked our Heavenly Father for what we had and lived by faith in our Heavenly Father as we had no Church organization of any kind at that time there.
It seems the Lord wanted a tried people to build the Valleys of the Mountains for when we began to raise crops that we might have food for the next winter, we had to fight the squirrels and the grasshoppers. We worked with faith that did not falter and as I remember we never got discouraged for we felt the Lord was on our side.
When I was going on 21 years of age I was looking for a homestead to file on. East of my father’s place, about 40 rods from our house in a hollow there was a nice little spring by a service berry bush coming out of a sandstone formation, where I decided to make my home. Not being of age to take up land, I moved a little log building with a dirt roof on it, that my father had used for a granary, onto the land. I had a bed in it and would sleep there some nights. I prayed to the Lord that he would protect it for me, that no one would file on it as I was not yet twenty-one, and not old enough to take up land. There was a man by the name of George Kent, down on the river. His wife told me there was a relative of theirs in Lewiston, Clyde Kent, who was going to jump that land, as they called it those days. I told them that I did not believe he would be that mean. I wanted to start life for myself as soon as I was 21. So on June 17, 1893, I was on my way to Blackfoot, Idaho by train in company of John McDonald, whose fare I paid to Blackfoot, and return as a witness for me as to my age. There was no bridge across Bear River to Dayton at that time. We stopped at Pocatello over night; it was not much of a town at that time, mostly railroad shops and saloons. We arrived at Blackfoot on June 18th, on my 21st birthday to file on that homestead. When I told them at the land office of the land I wanted to take up, they told me there was a man there some months before, the man I spoke of. Not giving up hope altogether we looked over the plat, and I found there was 40 acres all to itself, not filed on. After looking things over for awhile I said to Mr. McDonald that is the land my cabin and the spring of water is on; so I filed on it and returned home. Arriving on Sunday afternoon my mother said there was a man and his wife looking at your place, as they thought that I had lost out. My family with me felt to thank the Lord that I had a place to build my home on.
As Fred and I started to quarry sandstone on my father’s place that fall, I hauled some sandstone in the Spring to build me a house, but during that winter 1893, my mother came down with pneumonia and died within a week on the 26th of February 1893. She was buried in the Preston Cemetery. She was about the 2nd or 3rd person buried there, as the new cemetery had been started that year.
The following Spring the Wanner family came to Mapleton, from Germany, on my birthday June 18th, which was a Sunday. This was the first time that I had seen my life’s companion, as they came to my brother Fred’s place, where they lived until they found a home to live in. Christine was their oldest daughter and I fell in love with her at first sight. My sister Regine was home again from Montana, her husband had left her, she had a little girl Katy. Christine stayed with her until she went to Millville to work for the Pittgins family for about three months for seventy-five cents a week and her board and some old clothes. When she left they gave her $6.00 and she gave it to her father as he told her she had to earn some money yet before she got married.
That fall as I started to haul stone to build a house, besides taking care of my father’s farm—Adolph helping me, as my father was away most of that summer to Bear Lake and other places, because he didn’t feel like staying home after Mother died. When he came back he brought with him Sister Weirman, and married her in the Logan Temple. Well, during this time I had started to build my house. We dug a hole in the ground and poured water in and mixed it. That was what we used to lay up the walls, and the house is still standing. By New Years the house was finished and cleaned, but we had no furniture or anything else to put in it, but still we made our arrangements to get married. We were baptized by Heber Taylor on 26 June 1894 in Cub River and confirmed by Edward Perkins at Mapleton on the 27 Jun 1894. We were married 1st February 1894 in the Logan Temple by Marriner W. Merrill, president of the temple. (Read Christina’s biography here.) We made the trip by team and wagon, as there was no snow on the ground in the valley. We put our team in the Tithing Barn, as the Lalladine family were the caretakers. After returning from the temple, for supper we were invited by Charles O. Card at their home on depot street, as Mary Wagstaff’s mother’s sister was working at their home, and we spent our first night with them. He is the Card after which the city of Cardston, in Canada was named, as he later moved to Canada.
As I have said before, after we got the house finished we had nothing to put in it and had no money to get married with, so I asked Grandpa Wanner if he would loan me $10.00 and I would pay him back when I raised a crop. He let me have the money with which we bought our marriage license, and a few dishes for the house. We borrowed a table and an old set of knives and forks from my sister Regina, as she did not need them at that time. We returned them again when she got married to George Wanner a year or so later. We paid Grandpa in seed grain the next fall with many thanks to him for his kindness. For our wedding present Grandpa and Grandma gave us a bedstead to sleep on, as we had no furniture. I nailed some boards together for a cupboard for dishes. Stepmother Weirman Nuffer made some of our temple clothes and the garments were made out of factory. She was helpful to us in many ways, so that was the beginning of our family life in a humble way and we were happy together.
As Adolph was still at home, he and I ran my father’s farm, and I fenced my 40 acres, and started to plant some of it as fast as I could break it up. I helped Fred in the sandstone quarry to get a little money to buy a few things till we raised a crop. The Wanner family bought John’s place on Worm Creek for $2000 and became very successful farmers.
Will pass over a year or so till the first child Clara was born 10 August 1895, Louise 19 Nov 1896, Anna the 8 January 1899, Bertha 9 Jun ‘900, Fred 21 October 1901, Joseph 18 May 1904, Ida 15 Jun 1906. These children were all born in Mapleton.
From here on my main occupation was farming and quarrying sandstone. I cut grain with a binder for people in Mapleton at one dollar an acre. In the winter I worked with Fred on the Mink Creek Canal, blasting the rock with black and giant powder, making the canal from seven to ten feet wide. I worked out four hundred dollars in ditch stock and finally sold it for forty cents on the dollar. I received $1.50 a day in cash so that is all I got for my work, and we had to sleep in a tent in the wintertime and cook our meals but it build the canals so the people would get water for their land and could raise crops.
When Fred moved to Preston I took over the stone quarry. I was also ditch rider for the Preston Cub River Canal for a number of years, making a trip a day while the canal was full, at a dollar a trip. While runnig the quarry I delivered stone for some of the Preston business buildings and for the Lewiston Meetinghouse. During this time we were also taking care of John and Fred’s grandmother for a number of years. As the family was getting larger I built another room on the house as mother was busy taking care of Grandma Spring, and John was going on a mission to Germany. They decided to send Grandma Spring to Blackfoot where she died a year of so later. I think it was in the year of 1897, when Mother and I drove to Blackfoot with the team and buggy to take the rest of our homestead, that we had lost by that Mr. Kent beating me to it before I was of age. While at Blackfoot we called at the hospital to see Grandma Spring. They told us she had died before Christmas the year previous, and they had sent no word of her death to anyone. A few words more while at the land office it seems the Lord had always prepared the way for us. As we entered the land office the first person we met was President George Parkinson, who knew us well. Without his help our trip might have been in vain, as it was difficult to take up land when another party had filed on it. At the time we made this journey this was the frontier of the west. Where Downey is now there was not one hours and from Pocatello to Blackfoot was all desert, not a house, only the Indian Reservation. I carried my shotgun with us for safety. We could say much more, but it would take too long to tell it.
From here on it made a lot of work; to fence the land and break it up and get it ready to farm and to make a living for the family. From here on I will begin tow rite of some of my work in the Church for which we have left our native land. On April the 19th, 1896 the Stake Presidency, George Parkinson, Brother Cowley, Solomon Hale came to Glendale to form a German Organization, so we could hold meeting every two weeks, as there were many families Swiss and German that could not speak English. Addison Wagstaff was Ward Clerk and took the minutes. Brother Jacob I. Naef was chosen as President. It was not until 5 Jul 1896 that his counselors were chosen, Brother Jacob Schneider, first, Charles A. Nuffer second counselor. We held our meetings in the homes of the people on their farms and wherever they lived. They traveled with farm wagons a distance of20 miles one way to Mink Creek, Weston, Riverdale, Whitney, Treasureton, Mapleton, Preston and Glendale, there places were we held meetings. Some years later when Joseph Moser became President, I became one of his counselors, also brother Kern. After some years John asked to be released and I became President ofthe Branch on the 21st of March 1915, with Brother Kern and Alma Moser as my counselors. During this time we held the meeting in the old tithing office, later in the new one at Preston, until the 13th of August 1916, we held our last meeting. During the later part of the war some of the people of Preston made it very hot for the German speaking people yet most of them were Swiss, but that did not make any difference. So President Geddes came to me and asked me not to hold anymore meetings. After the war many of the German people had moved away so we never started to hold the meetings anymore, and I never was released to this day. That closes up this chapter of the German Saints of this part here, so I will go on to some of my other duties in the Church. Making in all twenty years that we held German Meetings with the people of Franklin Stake.
Now going back to the year 1899, when I ws called as second counselor to Bishop Edward Perkins in the Mapleton Ward. When Orron J. Merrill moved to Preston I took his place and his son Preston my place in the Bishopric. I was chairman of the School Board for six years, and Brother Merrill was the Clerk, and when he moved away his son was appointed in his place. While on the school board I had a schoolhouse built in the upper end of the District, with Harrison R. Merrill as the first teacher. That way the children of the upper end would not have to go so far to school. The children in the lower part of the Ward met in the old meeting house. While I was in the Bishopric Brother 0. J. Merrill was the Ward Clerk and clerk of the school board. After his father moved to Preston, 0. P. Merrill, his son, was the Ward Clerk and clerk of the School Board. Speaking of schools the first school that was held in Mapleton was in the winter of 1886, when Bishop Perkins went to Lewiston to school. He let the people of the Ward have a school room so they all got together and employed Hirum Johnson as their teacher. All children from seven years up to thirty, married men and young ladies went to school there all in one room. Some came from Franklin and Nashsville. I was feeding cattle for Harrison Thomas that winter and lived with Olive Sweet, she had to board me as she was living in their house, and they paid $150 for my schooling and $.45 for a book. I had to chop all the wood for the family. I was fifteen years old. This school house which was built by the efforts of the people of the upper part of the District, was the first schoolhouse built in Mapleton Ward with H. R. Merrill as its first teacher.
In 1899 in June I was ordained a High Priest by George Parkinson, President of the Oneida Stake, and we labored unitedly together in the Ward. Bishop Perkins was very kind to prepare me for this work, and in his home he read the Book of Mormon and the Doctrine and Covenants to me. So, that I may more fully understand the Gospel, and that I might be an example to the people of the Ward, and he taught me the Law of Tithing, and that we may be worthy to receive all the blessings that the Gospel had in store for His faithful children. So on the 21st of February 1900, we were recommended to the Logan temple to receive our second washing and anointing by President Morgan, a blessing that not so many have received, which is the greatest blessing anyone can receive in the House of the Lord, for which I have tried to be thankful all the days of my life.
In the Spring of the same year, as there was a severe drought in Southern Utah, President Lorenzo Snow went to St. George, and met with the people there and told them if they would pay an honest tithing the Lord would bless them and send rain to save their crops. As the church was in a very bad financial condition at that time. So on returning to Salt Lake City President Snow called a special meeting of all the General Authorities of the Church to meet in the temple on the Law of Tithing, on June the 2nd at 9:00 A. M. And as Bishop Perkins had taken so much interest in me he asked me to go with him, only the Bishops were called. All the General Authorities spoke in the Meeting, after which they all shouted “Hosanna to the Lord”. We were in the Temple from 9:00 A.M. until5:00 P.M. The meeting was in the room known as the Celestial Room. At the close of the meeting President Snow said, “If you will go home and pay an honest tithing, the Church will be freed from debt, and the Lord will forgive you of your past neglect, and I promise you your homes will never burn.” From that time forth I always paid a full tithing as long as I lived on this earth. This blessed land of America, which God has blessed above all other lands. So these are some of the blessings that your mother and I received through Bishop Perkins being so kind to me. In appreciation for the blessing the Lord has given us, I desired to do my full duty in my calling with the people of this ward, and we had many opportunities to be called out day and night in time of sickness and death, among the people. We labored together eight years and had much joy in our labors.
I have given you some of the ways I made a living for the family. To make a living during this time and to care for the family, I farmed, raised hogs and horses, milked cows, separating the milk and selling the cream, and making butter getting $.10 a pound at the store. The most I received while selling cream from six to seven cows was $35 a month. I also sold cream separators to the people of Franklin and Preston to make a little extra money. I cut grain with the binder for the people in Mapleton. I quarried stand stone for the Lewiston Meetinghouse, and some buildings in Preston. The Riter Brothers Drug Store and other buildings. For the hogs we received $4.00 per hundred.
I had now lived on Worm Creek, Mapleton twenty-four years and I have related only some parts of my life. During this time in my life it was necessary for us to look toward the future, and seven children had been born to us in our first home. As the family got larger I built room onto the house. During this time my sister Mary was working for a family in Logan and as she was not feeling so well she came home and we needed someone to help mother as Bertha was a baby at that time. But in September Mary came down with pneumonia and died the 5th October 1900. She had been born in Providence, Utah the 11th of October 1881. At that time most of our children were sick with scarlet fever, but they got well with our care and the help of the Lord as it was hard to get a doctor.
Before leaving Mapleton, speaking of building I feel to give some information pertaining to my father after his third wife died, Mrs. Weirman. He married Mrs. Shaub of Logan and bought the house of her son Gene. He lived in Logan a few years but he wanted to come back to Mapleton again and wanted me to build him a house in my orchard. I bought some sawed square log from Kall Wheeler, and build him the house. He paid for the materials and I did the work free, and I moved them up from wagon by team, but it was only a few years until he wanted to move again. He had already lived in Preston twice before. The first time where Ernest Porter lived, and before that out where Jim Smart’s place is. I then began to haul tone to Preston and John laid up the walls in 1907. In all the houses he lived in were one in Providence, two in Logan, one in Worm Creek, three in Mapleton and three in Preston and he died the 121h Aprill908. When I started to build my home after his death I moved his wife back to Logan with team and wagon.
I will pass over some years as things went on as usual. We began to look to the schooling of the children, as there was not much opportunity in Mapleton. I bought five acres of land in Preston and during the winter of 1905 and 1906, I began to haul sandstone from the quarry for the building of our home. I also planted trees in the spring of 1906, as there was nothing on the land whatever, only a fence around it. So this was the plan for us to move to Preston, not to improve ourselves better financially, but to make it better for Mother and all of us.
The Bishop was called to go on a mission, and I was in line for Bishop as things looked at that time. Mother was already alone so much with the family and I had so many meetings to go to at night. I was still in the German Organization, and I was so far away. I had from two and a half to three miles to ride on horseback to meeting to the home of Brother Merrill or the Bishop. In all the eight years I labored in the ward only one ward was held in our home. I leave the rest for you to answer whey we made this move which needed much consideration and prayer, and the guiding care of our Heavenly Father in making this move.
So in the Spring of 1907, after renting the farm to Hart Wheeler of Mapleton, I built a frame house sixteen feet by twenty feet to have a place to live in. Also, we had a tent for some of the children to sleep in, so I would have the family with me while I was there building our home. I built the barn a place for the cows and chickens. I hauled logs for the bam and most of the lumber for the house from the sawmill on Cub River during the summer. In October of 1907, when the frame house and the bam were built we all moved to Preston. We were all glad especially the children, when they could see the train and hear it when it came to turn on the Y. So this was a great change for all. This was the first time I lived in town, since we left Providence. So in the Spring of 1908, as soon as the snow was gone I began to dig the foundation for the house and laying up the walls; doing the work myself. Our second home in which all the children were brought to men and womanhood. This was the most happy period of our life. In order to get the large stones on the wall we had to roll them up some logs, as they were too heavy to lift. I hired Adolph to help with the work for a while, but before I got the walls finished I took down with Typhoid Fever. Adolph and Mr. Peterson finished the walls. This was in the latter part of September, and I did not know any more of the building of the house till it was finished so the family could move in. Preston was a baby then and I remember that he cried so much it must have been hard for Mother. I can’t give much detail concerning my sickness, only that Mr. States was my doctor and a lady Mary Bodily was my nurse. Brother Arnold Shuldhess, the editor of the German paper “Beobachter”, was up from Salt Lake City and came and administered to me when I first took sick. When Miss Bodily had to go some other place they got Maude Stocks for my nurse. They gave me very little food; mostly brandy and whiskey, as food is most dangerous in Typhoid, at least that was the way they used to do for Typhoid Fever at that time. I never used liquor at other times in my life.
Before I forget, my sister Regina, about the year 1886 also came home from Logan where she had been working and came down with Typhoid and there were no doctors here as there was no town of Preston here then. If there had been we would not have had any money to pay them; so her mother treated her the best she knew with tea from different herbs. Our prayers and faith were in God and she lived and got well, so we did the best we could under different ways and conditions. I will again go on with my own case. The latter part of October as I remember, I began to improve in health and they began to give me some food, as I was getting very hungry and I thought I would not get enough to eat anymore. Mother was very much afraid she might give me too much to eat, as that is the most dangerous time of the disease. The first time I went out doors again was the beginning of November. The trees were all yellow and I went up town to vote on November 6th 1908. I am sorry to say that this was not the end of our grief and sickness, so we had to start all over again and as I write these few lines it fills my eyes with tears when I think of that dear Mother that never gave up, that watched over you all night and day with faith in God for a better day. The Lord heard our prayers and she had the privilege to bring you up to manhood and womanhood, but that was not the end of our trials as stated before.
When Clara and Anna came down with the fever we had to get Doctor Emery, as Doctor States lived in Franklin. As they had to come most every day and we had a nurse that did not belong to the Church. She stayed at Preston Rooming house and we had trouble with her as I will tell you later when I get to that. By this time we were living in the new house. I think it was sometime in December. But, under the care of the new doctor and the new nurse the girls did not show any improvement. It was not long till they came down with pneumonia and week after week they did not get any etter. The nurse had a lady friend that visited some time in the evening. One day I found some empty whiskey bottles in a pile of stone that was beside the house. I at once told the Doctor we did not want his nurse any longer. He said he had a Nuffer barn place in Weston for her. He said that we would be responsible if something went wrong with the girls. I told him I was willing to take the responsibility. The nurse left and shortly she came down with the fever at the rooming house. It was only a week or ten days till the girls were up on their feet again. It was now the latter part of February and what a relief it was especially for that dear Mother, when all could rest again.
Now during my sickness some of the people of Mapleton had been told by Doctor States that there was not much hope for me to get over my sickness and mother heard of it. She prayed to the Lord saying that if he would spare my life she promised Him she would let me go on a mission, under almost any conditions whenever called. So during the summer of 1909, I worked at whatever I could find to earn something to take care of the family, and to keep out of debt, and fmd planted what we could on the lot for the next winter. Sometime if February of 1910, I received a letter from Box B, as it was called in those days, when anyone was called on a mission. I did not know anything as to a call for a mission when I received the letter stating if I could accept this call, if I could be in Salt Lake City on April the 18th. I do not know if Bishop H. Geddes had told the authorities of the Church anything of my financial condition or not, as I remember he did not to me; which was very limited at this time nor did he tell me anything about being called on a mission. We did not hesitate for a moment, but told them that I would be there at the above date. As we had no porch on the south side of the house I went to work on it before leaving. I also built a shed for the white top buggy so it would be under shelter while I was away. On the 15th ofFeb 1910, Laura was born at home with Mrs. Nancy Beckstead in attendance, which made it still harder for me to leave you all alone. I also planted some garden before leaving. So in the morning of April the 18th, I was on my way, Clara going with me to Salt Lake as mother did not want me to leave alone. That way she could hear from me just a little longer, Clara was then nearing 15 years of age and Laura was going on two months.
As I remember I was set apart for my mission by Jonathan C. Campbell to the Eastern States Mission to labor under Ben E. Rich. After a few days in Salt Lake I left with other Elders for New York City, stopping at Des Moines, Omaha, Chicago, Buffalo and on to New York. After a few days there I was appointed by Ben E. Rich to labor in West Pennsylvania, with Elder Hyrum Nelson from Cleveland, Idaho. I was then sent by way of Philadelphia to Pittsburgh with Heber D. Clark as our president. We were then sent out in the country two hundred miles tracting on the way, where there was a Branch of the Church in Buck Valley. It would be too much to give my missionary account, it is written in my missionary journals, those red books in this home. As we met in Conference in Pittsburgh, with Ben E. Rich and all the Elders in February of 1912 I was released to return home. It was most difficult for mother to carry on any longer with the large family as she had to borrow most of the money while I was away, as it was a dry season, and Mr. Wheeler, the one that bought the farm did not make any payments and the Bank charged 12% interest.
When I arrived home Laura, it was on her birthday, was two years old. One great blessing while on this mission was that I did not have one day of sickness and Mother and the children all had good health, for which we thanked the Lord with all our hearts. It was February the 15th 1912 when I arrived at home in time to make arrangements for a new life in caring for the family again, and to pay off the money we had borrowed. But, before I could do that I had to borrow some more to buy a team with which to go to work. I borrowed $700 off of Grandpa Wanner; the team cost $300. On the 15th July 1912, I purchases thirty two acres from Mr. Charles Nelson west of town on time payment, at one hundred dollars per acre. I then planted it in hay and grain, and the same year a hail storm came and destroyed the crop of wheat. I then went hauling sand and gravel for a living, and helped Uncle John with the haying.
On returning home I was asked by President Joseph Geddes to visit the wards of the Stake with the High Council for two years. It was before the Stake was divided. I also was asked to take my place again in the German Organization Meetings, one or two times a month. During this time I was serving as a Ward Teacher, a Sunday School Teacher, and quite a number of years as the class leader of the High Priests group in the ward, at Priesthood meeting, so I had plenty to keep me busy. I was also the ward Chairman ofthe Anti-Tobacco and Liquor campaign. During the First World War, I was called as a Counselor to Peter Hanson, who was Stake Superintendent of the Religion Class until the Stake was divided. In all six years, once or twice a month on Sunday or week days we would go out in the Ward to find someone to teach Religion Class in the schools, or to visit the schools that had teachers as we found it necessary. I was called as Chairman of the Genealogical Organization of the Ward. When the Ward was divided, and your mother and I worked in the Genealogical Organization. We were released when Orion Jensen was Bishop. During the years of 1923,24,25, and 26, I was called to baptize the children of the Franklin Stake. Charles F. Hawkes had done that work before. Also, at times I was called on to baptize children of the 2nd Ward at the Stake House. While in the old Church House I was a teacher in the Sunday School in the different departments at different times.
On October 30, 1916 I bought the farm in Dayton of June Jensen, Sam Morgan and H. A. Peterson of Logan, at the price of $5,500 so we would have work for the boys, so they would not have to go away from home to find work. For a number of years we had to dry farm, before we could get water. We finally got thirty shares at $130 an acres. As the land was all under bond it cost me $800 to buy the rest of the land out and we had to pay $7 per acres to get a ditch thru the Eccles Farm. I traded the land in Preston to Sam Morgon at $125 an acre that helped some. I had to clear off some thirty-five acres of sage with axes all by hand. That was all we had to do that kind of work for number of years. I had the cabin on the west hill of Peterson’s and had to carry the water from a spring below the hill in Petersons’ for cooking and vitrolling the wheat. I had to get a right-of-way from Brother McCarry at a spring to water the horses. We also had a stable on the hill for the horses. Usually we would fill our grub box on Monday morning and stay till Saturday and Mother and the girls would take care of things at home during the week. When we got water on the farm we moved up on the flat to the west of the farm. We went down the creek for water to use. We then built another room and Fred moved over with his family for the summer to help with the work as we rented the Miles farm and a year or so later Miles bought a house that we moved on his farm, for Fred and his family to live in. Later on we built another room onto it.
Preston helped us with the work after school closed and Joseph moved in up stairs when he got married, working with Roy at the car bam at the U. I. C. Railroad. In 1929 we built a house on the farm for Joseph to move in, as we had more work all the time. The cost of the house was $1250. Then came the crash of 1929, when wheat dropped to 30 cents a bushel and hogs to $4 per hundred and beets $4 a ton. To pay our debts and pay for the house all of us got together with a lot of hard work and the help of the Lord we pulled through. We also sold some hay for $5 per ton. In the Spring while the boys were thinning the beets, I was doing the summer fallowing, with the gang plow, with six horses; for a number of years. We started out with only three horses on the farm for a number of years. We could not raise hay without water. We had to haul the hay for the horses from town. Also, for the headers Mother would come over and cook for them. At the first harvest we did not have very much, and I was away trying to earn some money to pay for the heading. Louise and Preston drove over and brought them their dinner. I also went up to Glendale one summer and helped Fred Wanner and Hyrum Jensen get up their hay. They gave me a ton of hay for three days work with wagon and team and I would haul it over to the farm. That was during the early part of our farming that I am writing on this page some of our hardships.
In order to make some money to pay for the farm and to live, as we only raised grain, as we had no water on the farm, I would work on the header and do stacking. Also, I would go out with Fred Nuffer and Fred Steuri doing cement work for school houses, and other buildings. I worked for Joseph Moser as a carpenter on the Gymnasium, also did cement work, while Fred was hauling gravel. I hauled the first load of gravel for that building, also hauled gravel for the Jefferson School Building. I worked for Struve on the 4’h Ward Meeting house doing cement work on many houses in town. I had my team hauling gravel when they built the first sidewalks in Preston, until they were finished, then to the City Water Reservoir. When the Utah-Idaho Central Railroad was built I worked on the cut south of town ten hours a day for $2. Again I helped Joseph Moser when he built the beet dump, the high line by Tom Clayton’s place. I then got a job on the dump with the Sugar Co., loading beets on the cars. The next two years I was tare man for the company, and got lots of scoldings from the farmers, but the company treated me well. They used to pile any beets on the ground in large piles in different places, and haul them on the cars later. So, the boys Fred, Joseph and I would haul beets the rest of the fall. We would leave right after daylight and work until dark, so when Sunday came we were glad to get a short rest and go to Church, or I would be called to visit some Ward in the Stake in the interest of religion class to get in into the school, and on Monday back to work.
Going back to the farm work, in the fall of 1931 and 1932 I bought a herd of sheep to fatten, then took them to Denver to market to help get out of debt. While Fred was living on the Miles place and Joseph on the farm there was some difficulty, I do not know what it was, and Joseph moved back to town. Fred moved into the house on the farm and young Fred Wanner moved in where Fred had lived, as he had him working for him in 1936. I bought a tractor to do the farming, and did the summer fallowing with it that Spring. As Charles Nelson was janitor of the Ward House he asked me if l did not want to take the janitor job. So I had another job, which the girls helped me with at $11 a month, but it all helped. That was during the First World War.
Thinking it was time to retire from farming at the age of sixty-six I sold the farm in 193 7 to my son Fred. In Jun 1937 I bought the Dodge car and the Gamble home. The next year the McCarry farm. The summer of 1937 we went on a trip, Mother and I, Louise, the twins, and Joe and Gretta to Los Angeles, visiting Jim Cummings and Fred Nuffer. From there to San Francisco, then on Highway 1001 , the Redwood Road to Portland, Oregon up the Columbia River to Boise, Idaho and back. I had to come home after over two weeks absence. Mother and I had been to Los Angeles by train to visit Jim and Anna, when they lived at Beverly Glen, and again when she died the 25 January 1928. As given before the third time to California and again to San Francisco to the fair. Mother and I, Louise, Joe and Gretta, when Gretta took sick. After Mothers death, myself and Louise, Ida and Gilbert, went to Los Angeles the fourth time. Later when Jimmy Cummings was married I went on the bus to his wedding. Some years after Mother’s death, I and Louise and the twins went on a trip by car to Zions National Park, Cedar Breaks, and Bryce’s Canyon and to Yellowstone. The first time we went to Yellowstone National Park with Mother, Louise, Roy and Clara. The last time we went Louise, the twins, Donald and Joe and Getta and I went. We also went a few time to Nephi to the Roundup.
These years while Ward Chairman of the Genealogical Committee, we assisted the Stake in getting up large excursions to the temple on the U. I. C. Railroad, every month. All during our married life we would go to the temple every years as often as we were able to go. We carried on research work through the Genealogical Office in Salt Lake City, and we received sheets of names on the Nuffer and Wanner line, and my mothers Griener line, all at our own expense. I have the sheets in my trunk with the work all completed as you will find them there.
For twenty years after buying the Chevrolet car and the Dodge, we went to the Temple, whenever we could once or twice a month with a full car of people from the 2nd and 1st ward, until I took sick in December 1948. Since then I have been to the Temple three times. I am writing this May 11, 1950.While going to the Temple one February morning early it was snowing and the road was slick. I had with me in the car Mother, Louise, Brother and Sister Rindlisbacher and Mrs. Clarence Corbridge. As I was getting near the Utah line I felt there was trouble ahead. I was going about twenty-five miles an house, when George Wanner passed me. When half a mile over the Utah line the car struck a bump in the road and turned over in the barrow pit then over on its side. At that time a car came and took all but Mother and I and Louise to the Temple. Then came Orion Jensen and took Mother and Louise to the Preston Clinic to be examined by the doctor. I stayed with the car until Petterborg came. The damage on the car was over a hundred dollars.
Some months later Mother began to have pains in her back and kept getting worse as time went on. During July she got so bad I took her to the Preston Hospital for an xray. She was there for a week, and Doctor Cutler said we had better take her to the L. D. S. Hospital in Salt Lake as they could not do anymore for her there. We went to Salt Lake July 24th we were told that she had tumor of the spine. She was there for a week, when we were told that they could not do more for her so we bought her home. She died the 10th August 1940.
1 February 1949
Dear Children of Mine,
If your Mother was alive as I am writing, we would be celebrating our 55th Wedding Anniversary, but as it has fallen my lot I’m all alone in this home where you all have been brought up under her loving influence and with my deepest love for you all. I shall ever thank God, my Heavenly Father for the gospel and its blessings.