The Story of Anna Elizabeth Reber

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.

2017

Anna Elizabeth Reber

Early Years in Switzerland

1855-1875

 

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

1875-1890

 

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 —

-Thomas Hood

“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.

 

Swiss/German

Missionaries

1880-1890

 

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

Emigration

1890

 

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).

 

September 1890

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

1890-1893

 

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

1893-1901

 

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.

 

EPILOGUE

 

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).

 

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Biography of Regina Wanner by Alma Naef

Regina Nuffer and Alma Katherine Scheibel

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

The title of this entry in the book is “REGINA NUFFER WANNER taken from a biography by her daughter ALMA KATHERINE SCHEIBEL NAEF.”  I have provided other biographies of Regina, the main one can be found here.

“Regina Nuffer was born January 26, 1869, at Neuffen, Germany.  A daughter of Johann Christoph and Eva Katharina Greiner, she came to Utah with her family after they were converted to the gospel.  She married Jacob Scheibel July 15, 1889, in Pleasant Valley, Carbon County, Utah.  Her first child, Alma Katherine Scheibel Naef, was born, September 27, 1889.  When her child was 6 months old, she and her husband separated and she moved back to Mapleton, Idaho, where she stayed with her parents on their farm.  During this period she would help people when they were sick, and her mother would take care of her child.

“In about 1893 after the death of her mother she moved to Weber County, Utah, and worked for the Will Taylor family in Farr West and the Bowman family in Ogden.  She again returned to her father’s farm.

“On her way home she stopped in Logan and walked out to Providence to visit a friend.  While eating lunch she happened to think that she had left her new coat on the train.  She went back to Logan to the train station and they sent out a tracer.  In a few days she got her coat back.  After returning to Idaho she worked for several people in Franklin and Preston.  She lived in one room of her brother John’s home in Preston.  Her brother was on a mission in Germany at the time.

“On August 31, 1898, she married John George Wanner in Logan, Utah.  That winter she lived on his ranch in Work Creek or Glendale, Idaho.  In April she moved with her husband, daughter, and step son, Wayne, to the Bancroft flat a little west of where Grace is now.

“She was known as a fine well mannered woman.  Her niece, Athene Hampton, said that toward the end of her life her health was not very good and she had a hard time speaking.  When Athene and Louisa Nuffer would visit, they would converse by writing notes to each other.  She died on March 10, 1942, in Preston, Idaho.  Her funeral in Preston was very well attended.

Johann Christoph Nuffer

John Christoph Nuffer

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

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

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

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

History of Idaho: John Nuffer

Back l-r: Austin, Willard, Luther, Louis, Herman; Middle l-r: Myron, John, Florance, Edwin, Louisa, Agnes; Front l-r: Karl, Athene Nuffer

From “History of Idaho” and found in Volume III starting page 1197.  “A Narrative Account of Its Historical Progress, Its People and Its Principal Interests”  This book is by Hiram T. French, M.S.  The book also says it is Illustrated and published by The Lewis Publishing Company, Chicago and New York, 1914.

I found this book while at Utah State University originally.  I knew the history was inside but did not copy it then.  I finally returned a few years ago, found the book in the new library, and made a copy.  But at least I had it.  I found it just recently on Google Books.  This is John Nuffer, half-brother of my Regina Nuffer Wanner, not her father as some have previously indicated.  John went by John, his father John Christoph, went by Christoph and Christopher.  I have kept the spelling of the article.  You can also read his autobiography too.

“A quarter century’s residence at Preston constitutes Mr. John Nuffer one of the old timers of this vicinity.  The mere fact of long residence, however, is somewhat of an empty distinction without works accompanying such residence.  In the case of Mr. Nuffer there can be found ample evidence both of long residence and accomplishments in the realm of practical affairs and in good citizenship.  Mr. Nuffer in early life was a graduate of one of Germany’s foremost schools of architecture.  All his life he has been a builder and contractor and in Preston in particular probably much the greater part of the higher class public and residential buildings has been done under his supervision, or through his business organization.

“Mr. Nuffer was born in Wuertemberg, Germany, December 4, 1862.  He is a son of Christopher and Agnes Barbara (Spring) Nuffer.  The father, who was a wine grower in the old country, came to America in 1882, first settling at Logan, Utah, but a year later came to Oneida county, Idaho, where as one of the early settlers he took up land and was a homesteader and farmer until his death in 1908.  He was born in 1835.  The mother, who was born in Germany in 1838, died there in 1865.  Of two children, John is the older, while his brother Fred is also a resident of Preston.

“The grade schools of Germany were the source of Mr. Nuffer’s education up to his fourteenth year.  At that customary age, when the German youths take up an education for practical life, he entered the Royal Architectural College at Stuttgart, where he was a student for four terms, and on leaving school as a budding young architect, he followed his profession in his native country for four years, up to the time of the removal of his father to America, when he became a resident of the western county.  Mr. Nuffer has been largely engaged in contract work since coming to Idaho, and during the past ten years has had a large business of his own as an architect and builder.  A complete list of his work at Preston and vicinity would be too long, buth some of the more prominent structures should be mentioned.  They include the Oneida Stake Academy, consisting of two buildings; the Western [should be Weston] Tabernacle; the Preston Opera House; the McCammon public school, the grade public school: Fairview, Mapleton and Whitney public schools; the Tabernacle at Grace; the high school at Grace; the Latter Day Saints church in the First Ward; and most of the business blocks as well as many of the larger and more attractive residence structures in Preston.  Mr. Nuffer is a director and secretary-treasurer of the Cub River and Worm Creek Canal Company.

“His part in civic affairs has been hardly less important than in business.  For four years, or two terms, he served as justice of the peace of Preston; one term as village trustee, and was clerk of the village board for one term.  His politics is Democratic.  He is a high priest in the Church of the Latter Day Saints, and served a two years’ mission for the church in Germany.

“In November, 1885, at Logan, Utah, Mr. Nuffer married Miss Louise Zollinger, a daughter of Ferd and Louise (Meyer) Zollinger.  Her father died December 16, 1912, and her mother is living in Providence, Utah.  Her parents were pioneers of Utah in 1862, having crossed the plains to the then territory.

“The marriage of Mr. and Mrs. Nuffer has been blessed with a large family of eleven children, who are named as follows: Luther Jacob born at Providence in 1886, is a resident of Preston and is married and has two children; Willard John, born at Preston in 1888, is a graduate of Idaho State University in the law department and is a young lawyer at Downey, Idaho; Louis Ferd, born at Preston in 1889, is a school teacher in Preston; Herman Christ, born at Preston in 1891, is a student of civil engineering in the University of Moscow; Austin Eckart, born at Preston in 1893, is a high school student; Carl Joseph, born in 1895, died in 1904; Agnes Louise, born at Preston in 1898, is a schoolgirl; Myron David, born in 1900; Florence Myrtel, born in 1902, and Edwin Joseph, born in 1904, are all attending school; and Athene Barbara, born in 1907.

“As a successful man and long business builder in this section of Idaho, Mr. Nuffer has a very high opinion of the state and forecasts its taking place among the first of American states.  He has had a career of substantial self-advancement and practically all the propserity he has won due to his own labor.

“His fondness for home life has precluded any association without outside organizations except the church in which he has had a prominent part.

That ends the history from The History of Idaho.  I thought I would provide some additional details on the family.

John was born in Neuffen, Württemberg, Germany.

Louise was born in Providence, Cache, Utah.

Luther Jacob was born 21 June 1885 in Providence and died 27 January 1952 in Oak Grove, Clackmas, Oregon.  He married Rosa Morf and later Mary Crockett.

Willard John was born 19 January 1888 in Preston and died 27 January 1948 in San Bernardino County, California.  I am not aware that he ever married.

Louis Ferdinand was born 20 September 1889 in Glendale, Oneida (now Franklin), Idaho and died 19 August 1966 in Canby, Clackmas, Oregon.  He married Ruby May Jensen.

Herman Christopher was born 12 October 1891 in Preston and died 23 August 1940.  He married Virginia Pryde Simmons.

Austin Eckhert was born 6 August 1893 in Preston and died 2 March 1944 in Los Angeles, Los Angeles, California.

Karl Aron was born 6 September 1895 in Preston and died 7 February 1905 in Preston.

Karl Nuffer

Agnes Louise was born 11 May 1898 in Preston and died 28 June 1983 in Downey, Bannock, Idaho.  She married Raymond Hurst.

Myron David was born 21 July 1900 in Preston and died 24 November 1976 in Logan.  He married Camille Cole.

Florence Myrtle was born 19 October 1902 in Preston and died 23 March 1994 in Soda Springs, Caribou, Idaho.  She married Heber Wilford Christensen.

Edwin Joseph was born 25 August 1904 in Preston and died 21 June 1996 in Ogden, Weber, Utah.  He married Jennie Arrella Smart.

Athlene Barbara was born 21 November 1907 in Preston and died 23 November 1991 in Preston.  She married Adrian Biggs Hampton.

Wanner-Nuffer Wedding

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.

John & Regina Wanner

John & Regina Wanner

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.

Neuffen Church and Paul Ross

Evangelische Kirche, Neuffen and Paul Ross.  The Nuffer family attended this church and Regina was christened here.

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.

Overlooking Neuffen

Overlooking Neuffen, 2008

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.

Regina Nuffer

Regina Nuffer

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.

Regina Nuffer and Alma Katherine Scheibel

Regina Nuffer and Alma Katherine Scheibel

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.

St. Mauritius Church in Holzgerlingen where the Schmid family were christened

St. Mauritius Church in Holzgerlingen, the church where the Wanner’s attended and where John was christened.

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-wanner-about-1895

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 .

Acceptance Letter from John to President Snow

Acceptance Letter from John to Lorenzo Snow, President of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

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.

Regina with William and Willard in the back and then Golden, Mary in the middle, holding Serge, then Rulon, then Eva.  This picture was taken and sent to George on his mission.

George left Europe sailing on the Southwark from Liverpool, England on 9 December 1909.

1909 Southwark Manifest

1909 Southwark Manifest

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.

1910 Whitney Census

1910 Whitney Census, Dursteller, Handy, Beckstead, Foster, Cardon, Wanner, Oliverson, Moser, Benson

About 1912, this picture was taken on the farm.

l-r: Eva, William, Golden, Serge (sitting), George, Regina, Rulon, Willard, Mary Wanner

l-r: Eva, William, Golden, Serge (sitting), George, Regina, Rulon, Willard, Mary Wanner

Another photo from about 1917.

l-r: Golden, Mary, Regina, George, William, Willard. Sitting: Eva, Serge, Rulon

l-r: Golden, Mary, Regina, George, William, Willard. Sitting: Eva, Serge, Rulon

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 John Wanner

Mary Andra, Regina Wanner, holding William Andra Jr in 1921

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.

Regina, Kate Naef, Carmen Cole, and Ladean Cole

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.

Grandma Wanner

Regina Wanner

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.

John George Wanner Jr

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 and Annie Metts Wanner in Florida

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.

Mary Louise Wanner Andra Autobiography

Phyllis, Utahna, Sergene, Mary, Colleen, Millie, Edith

Phyllis Andra, Utahna Andra, Sergene Sorenson, Mary Andra, Colleen Jonas, Millie Beck, Edith Andra

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

Wanner-Schmid Wedding

Jakob and Salome Schmid are pleased to announce the marriage of their daughter Anna Maria to Johann, son of Johann and Anna Wanner.  Johann and Anna were married 6 June 1870 in Holzgerlingen, Böblingen, Württemberg.

Anna Maria Schmid was the third child of three born to the marriage of Jakob Frederick Schmid (he went by Frederick) and Salome Notter on 21 January 1849 in Holzgerlingen.  Solome was 38 years old when Anna was born and died two and a half years later in Holzgerlingen.  Anna’s father, Jakob, then remarried to Agnes Margarete Hasenmaier in 1852.  Unfortunately, Agnes passed away a year and half later when Anna was barely over 3 years old.  Jakob remained single as far as we know and raised the two girls and boy on his own afterward.  Jakob was a weaver.  Anna likely had few if any memory of either of her mothers.  Anna was christened the same day she was born.  Below is a picture of St. Mauritius’ tower in Holzgerlingen where Anna was christened.  This tower has been there since the eleventh century.

St. Mauritius Church in Holzgerlingen where Anna Schmid was christened

Johann Georg Wanner was the fourth child of five born to the marriage of Johann Friedrich Wanner and Anna Maria Marquardt on 18 October 1845 also in Holzgerlingen.  He was christened the next day in the same church as Anna.

St. Mauritius

St. Mauritius from the nave looking toward the chancel.  Inside this church is where Johann Wanner was christened

Holzgerlingen is a small town and it is very likely that Johann and Anna knew of each other growing up if not more personally.  Johann and Anna were married 6 June 1870 in the same church in which they were christened.

The altar of St. Mauritius in Holzgerlingen where Johann and Anna were likely married

The altar of St. Mauritius in Holzgerlingen before which Johann and Anna were likely married

Johann and Anna welcomed a baby boy named after his father on 29 October 1870.  Young Johann Georg was christened the next day in the same church, likely before a congregation seated in the below nave.

The chapel/nave of St. Mauritius where family sat for generations if not hundreds of years attending church

The chapel/nave of St. Mauritius where family sat for generations if not hundreds of years attending church

Johann and Anna welcomed Christina Wanner 30 March 1872 in Holzgerlingen.  She was christened on 1 April 1872.

The train platform at Holzgerlingen

The train platform at Holzgerlingen

Between 1872 and 1873 Johann and Anna moved to Grünkraut, Ravensburg, Württemburg.  This is about 50 miles to the south.  We don’t know why they moved to this tiny town.  It was in Grünkraut that Maria Magdalena Wanner was born 12 September 1873.  She was christened 14 September 1873 but I do not know which church the family used in Grünkraut.

Johannas Wanner was born 23 June 1875 and christened the same day in Grünkraut.  He died later that year on 5 November 1875.  He was buried at Atzenweiler according to family records, but I cannot find this place so it must be an area nearby Grünkraut.

Johannas Frederick Wanner came 28 July 1878 and was christened on 3 August 1878.  He died 12 November 1878 and is also apparently buried at Atzenweiler.

On 30 March 1879 Johann and Anna welcomed Luise Sophia Wanner.  Christening followed 6 April 1879 in Grünkraut.

Jakob Frederick Wanner appeared 14 January 1881 with christening 23 January 1881.

Fred told a couple of stories I think proper to share here.  I cannot verify accuracy or the time frame.  “They left the farm work to Grandfather and the children.  They used the milk cows to do the farm work and then would milk them morning and night.  They also got wood from the forest for fuel.  It rained a lot in Germany so the out buildings were connected to the house.  One time Grandma went downstairs to get some fruit.  She reached over and touched something hairy and she thought it was the devil!  It was a cow that had wandered down from the barn.  Dad didn’t talk much about his life as a child but he did say he got a drum for Christmas and then it would disappear about New Years Day and he would get it for Christmas again the next year.  He may have been joking.  The family belonged to the Lutheran Church and was very religious.”

Pauline Wanner arrived 1 April 1884 in Atzenweiler and was christened 10 April 1884 in Atzenweiler.

Gottlop Wanner showed up 18 June 1886 in Kronhalden with christening 29 June 1886 in Atzenweiler.

Lastly, Wilhelmina ended the caravan on 12 September 1887 in Atzenweiler and was christened 19 September 1887 in Atzenweiler.

During the summer of 1890 LDS missionaries visited Grünkraut.  The missionaries apparently visited with Jakob, Anna’s father.  The missionary showed Jakob the Book of Mormon and Jakob took the missionaries home with him.  The missionaries lived with the family for a time and the Wanner family was converted.  Johann Georg Jr was the first to join the LDS Church on 11 July 1891.  Johann Sr, Anna, Christina, and Maria were all baptized 16 October 1891.  Jakob, Anna’s father, joined 22 February 1892.

Johann Jr emigrated to America with Elder Theurer.  They went to his home in Providence, Cache, Utah.  We don’t know who Elder Theurer is, but he helped Johann Georg, now John George, find employment with Fred Nuffer who lived in Mapleton, Franklin, Idaho.  Elder John Theurer had converted the Nuffer family in Germany, so it was likely a sibling of John who helped find John Jr his employment.

In 1893, the family emigrated from Germany.  John, Anna, Christina, Maria, Luise, Fredrick, Pauline, Gottlop, and Wilhelmina all departed Liverpool, England on 3 June 1893 on the Arizona.  They arrived on 13 June 1893 at Ellis Island in New York, New York, New York.  Immediately, the family caught multiple trains through Chicago and Salt Lake with the last stop at Franklin, Franklin, Idaho near where John Jr met them with a wagon.  The family arrived at Franklin on 18 June 1893 where John took them in to Preston.  It was in Preston that Luise, Fred, and Pauline, were baptized 7 June 1894.  Gottlob followed on 6 June 1895 with Wilhelmina 6 August 1896, all in Preston.

The family immediately began to integrate with society.  Christina married Charles August Nuffer 1 February 1894 in the Logan LDS Temple.  John Jr married Eliza Stirland 14 November 1894 in the Logan Temple.

Wanner Family about 1895,

Wanner Family about 1895.  Standing (l-r): Maria (Mary), Christina, Johann (John but went by George), Pauline.  Sitting (l-r): Anna, Jakob (Fred), Luise (Louise), Wilhelmina, Gottlop, Johann (John).

Maria, now Mary, married William Addison Wagstaff 17 June 1896 in the Logan Temple.  Luise, now Louise, married Jeffery Marcelin Bodrero 16 March 1898 in the Logan Temple.  John Jr remarried after divorce to Regina Frederike Nuffer 31 August 1898 in the Logan Temple.  Jakob, now Fred, married Mary Elizabeth Carter 30 September 1903 in the Logan Temple.  Pauline married William Henry Crossley 14 December 1904 in the Logan Temple.  Wilhelmina married Moses Bodrero 18 December 1907 in the Logan Temple.  Gottlop married Rebecca Hicks 16 November 1908 in Preston.

The Wanner family purchased a farm from John Nuffer, a brother to Charles and Regina, near Glendale, Franklin, Idaho.  Fred purchased the farm from them around 1910.  John Sr and Anna moved to Logan where they were living at 791 North 500 East when the 1910 Census was taken (the whole family was in Preston city limits for the 1900 Census).  On the 1920 Census I believe they lived at 304 East 500 North, but the census is unclear exactly what street 304 is on, but going from the pattern of the census taker I believe it is the address I have listed.

Johann Georg Wanner 1921

John died 16 February 1922 of pneumonia in Logan.  Anna listed their address as 272 East 400 North in Logan.  He was buried on the 19th in the Logan Cemetery.  She also died of pneumonia but on 9 December 1929.  She was living at the same address when she passed away.  She was buried 12 December 1929 next to her husband.

Anna Schmid Wanner