Charles Gaumer was born on Dec. 16, 1795 in Southampton Township, Somerset County, PA, the son of Johannes "John" and Albertina Christina (Dean) Gaumer.
He was thrice married. The identity of his first wife is unknown. In 1818, a son John Gaumer was born to the first marriage.
In 1823, Charles married his second wife, Justina ( ? - ? ), in Waynesburg, Greene County, PA. Their two children were Hannah Bossemeyer and Susanna Gaumer.
On Oct. 4, 1831, at the age of 36, Charles married his third wife, 31-year-old Sarah "Sally" Shoemaker (1800-1900), daughter of Peter Shoemaker. The children to the third marriage were Peter Gaumer, Jesse Gaumer, Daniel Gaumer and Sarah Ann Gaumer.
Charles died in April 1845. He is buried in Lepley Cemetery near Hyndman, Somerset County, PA, but is said to not have a grave marker.
Sally’s fate is unknown.
During the Civil War, son Jesse served as a private in the 171st Pennsylvania Drafted Militia, Company H.
~ Son John Gaumer ~
Son John Gaumer (1818-1880) was born in 1818.
John is believed to have married A.E. (?) -- perhaps short for "Ann Eliza," a common name of the era?
He also is thought to have wed Delilah Kennel (1824-1885).
Among John's children with A.E. were Elizabeth Gaumer and Margaret Gaumer. Whether there were others is unknown.
Heartache swept over the family twice in the month of September 1862 during the Civil War years. Daughter Margaret succumbed at age six on Sept. 8, 1862, followed by daughter Elizabeth just a few weeks before her 10th birthday on Sept. 14, 1862. Their remains were interred in what today is known as the Getz Cemetery.
The Gaumers outlived their daughters by many years. John died on Feb. 12, 1880 at the age of 61 years, four months and 18 days.
Delilah outlived him by five years. She joined him in eternity on Dec. 1, 1885, at age 61 years, seven months and 18 days.
They also are buried at Getz Cemetery in Southampton Township. In 1934, the location of their graves was recorded by the Works Progress Administration [link]. In the 1930s, the cemetery was "located on the farm of Irvin Troutman, east of the buildings about 20 rods on top of a knoll in the field." When the founder of this website visited Getz in September 2016, no markers for John or Delilah were found, although the two daughters' markers were still standing. The entire burying ground is enclosed with a chain link fence, with the girls' graves along one of the sides.
~ Daughter Hannah (Gaumer) Bossemeyer ~
Daughter Hannah Gaumer (1824-1889) was born in about 1824.
She married John Ernst "Frederick" Bossemeyer (1813-1884), a Prussian immigrant.
Sometime before 1857, the couple relocated to Dixon, Lee County, IL, about 100 miles west of Chicago. Making a living as farmers, they remained in Dixon for the rest of their lives.
Among their offspring was John Frederick Bossemeyer, Louvena Bossemeyer, Laura Bossemeyer, Mary Bossemeyer, Charles B. Bossemeyer, George L. Bossemeyer, Lydia Weed, Ada L. "Addie" Bossemeyer and Emma B. Bossemeyer. One of the daughters married (?) Shoemaker.
When the federal census enumeration was made in 1870, the family dwelled on a farm in South Dixon. Eight children lived in the home, along with 23-year-old farm labotrer Olters Linnes. Frederick was a member of the Lee County Council of the Patrons of Husbandry and often attended meetings of the South Dixon Grange.
The Dixon community suffered a catastrophe in early May 1873 when, during a baptism ceremony in the Rock River, the Truesdale Bridge collapsed and sent some 200 spectators, of whom about 50 were killed. Fortunately, none of the Bossemeyers is known to have been involved but all would have followed the details. In reporting on the incident, Harper's Weekly said:
The Bossemeyers were among many local families to be victimized by a cholera epidemic in early autumn 1874. A report in the Dixon Sun noted that Frederick, living two miles south of the Brick School House in South Dixon, had lost 32 head of cattle.
Frederick and one of his daughters avoided a tragedy one Saturday in August 1874 when riding into town in the family carriage. Noted the Sun, "his team took fright near the Pratt farm and could not be checked until they got almost to town. Mr. B. found he could not hold the team and so wrapped the lines around his legs and when he at last stopped them he was so exhausted tha he could not remove the lines."
Frederick passed away at the age of 69 on Feb. 10, 1884. His remains were placed at rest in Dixon's Oakwood Cemetery.
Suffering from rheumatic fever, she died in Dixon on May 7, 1889 at the age of 65. An obituary in the Dixon Sun reported that "The deceased was an early esttler of this county, an estimable christian lady and a member of the Lutheran church, where a large number of friends attended her funeral...." On her grave marker, her maiden name was spelled "Gommer." [Find-a-Grave]
Her death again was noted in an article in the Sun, dated Sept. 11, 1889, among other old settlers of the area who had succumbed within the year.
Son John Frederick Bossemeyer (1849-1888) was born in about 1849 in Somerset County, PA. On Sept. 1, 1874, when he was age 25, John married 16-year-old Fannie Arabelle Smith (1858-1942), daughter of Joseph E. and Henrietta E. (Merrill) Smith. A story in the Dixon Sun said that the wedding was held at the Smith home and officiated by Rev. John Williamson. The couple produced three known children, Arthur Joseph Bossemeyer, Etta L. Toot and Lester Bossemeyer. They resided on Eldena Road in South Dixon, Lee County. Stricken with consumption, also known as tuberculosis, John died at home on April 1, 1888, at the age of 39. His remains were transported to Dixon for burial. Fannie survived for a remarkable 54 years as a widow. She joined him in eternity in Dixon on Nov. 10, 1942. Burial was in Oakwood Cemetery in Dixon.
Daughter Louvena Bossemeyer (1852- ? ) was born in about 1852 in Illinois.
Daughter Laura Bossemeyer (1854- ? ) was born in about 1854 in Illinois. She is believed to have been the same Laura A. Bossemeyer whom, on July 6, 1876 was united in marriage with George E. Knapper ( ? - ? ). The ceremony was held at the home of Laura's parents in South Dixon and performed by Rev. J.P. Sanderson. In reporting the story, the Dixon Sun said that George was a graduate of the class of 1876 of Heidelberg College in Tiffin, OH.
Daughter Mary Bossemeyer (1857- ? ) was born in about 1857 in Illinois.
Son Charles L. Bossemeyer (1860- ? ) was born in about 1860 in Illinois. He may have moved to Louisville, KY and lived there circa 1928, but this needs to be confirmed.
Son George L. Bossemeyer (1862- ? ) was born in about 1862 in Illinois. He was a photographer and entered into partnership with Alfred Chiverton. In September 1889, he purchased a lot in the northeast corner of the Riverside addition in Dixon, measuring 100 feet along the street, 150 feet deep and 80 feet at the back, paying $775. He told a Dixon Sun correspondent that he planned to erect a home there someday. Then by November 1892, he made his home in Chicago, where he was teaching a process for coloring pictures. Then in September 1905, he traveled to Portland, Oregon to attend the World's Fair and sent to the Dixon Evening Telegraph a "very fine colored picture."
Daughter Lydia Bossemeyer (1863-1890) was born in about 1863. She married Austin A. Weed (1856-1910). They had two sons, Eric Weed and Norton Weed, and made their home in Dixon, IL at the southwest corner of Market and Eighth Streets. Austin met with a painful accident in August 1886 when he fell through a rotten plank on the local mill race platform, falling and becoming severely bruised. Austin is believed to have served as an artificer in the 6th Illinois Infantry, Company G, in the Spanish American War. When Lydia's mother died in 1889, Lydia took the death especially hard, and her husband and physician both noted evidence of mental decline. In about February 1890, her husband came home to find her pouring laudanum, a heavy sedative, into a glass and preparing to drink it. He took away the bottle, smashed it in their yard, and she apologized for "having such a desire to kill herself but still insisted that she desired death," said the Dixon Evening Telegraph. She also borrowed a cheap .32 caliber pistol from her husband so that she could be protected when he traveled to Chicago. She was further distressed in March or early April 1890 when her sister (?) Shoemaker was sent to an insane asylum. On the fateful day of April 10, 1890, Hannah shot herself at home, lying on one of her sons' narrow beds and placing the pistol to her head. When he returned home from school, their son Norton discovered the body. At a coroner's inquiry, Austin said that Lydia:
Funeral services were held in the local Lutheran church. Austin is believed to have married again by 1902, to a daughter of Irish immigrant John McCollum, but following a troubling pattern, the second wife swallowed carbolic acid in March 1902, although she recovered. Austin later relocated to South Dakota, settling in the town of Hayti, Hamlin County. There, on Aug. 10, 1910, he died. Word was sent via the railroad station agent at Hayti to the Dixon postmaster to notify son Eric who was still living in the Dixon area. His remains were interred in the Pleasant View Cemetery in Hayti. A standard issue military marker was erected at his grave. The second wife apparently lived for 18 years after Austin's death. She passed away at the Dixon home of her sister Mrs. Robert Anderson on June 23, 1928. Burial was in Oakwood, with Rev. A. Turley Stephenson, of the First Methodist Church, officiating.
Daughter Ada L. "Addie" Bossemeyer (1867- ? ) was born in about 1867 in Illinois. Circa 1889, she bought a town lot from Judge Crabtree for $700 at the corner of Third and B Streets. Three years later, in 1892, she advertised that she was selling the double-house property at the corner of Third Street and College Avenue for $4,200, stating that she would pay 10 percent on the investment.
Daughter Emma B. Bossemeyer (1876- ? ) was born in about 1876 in Illinois.
Daughter (?) Bossemeyer ( ? - ? ) married (?) Shoemaker ( ? - ? ). They dwelled near Eldena, IL. In March or April 1890, she was admitted to an asylum for the insane for treatment.
~ More About Dixon, Illinois ~
In early December 1920, the family of Jack and Nelle Reagan moved to Dixon with their nine-year-old son Ronald. Their first home in Dixon was at 816 Hennepin Avenue, and they relocated within the town several additional times over the years. The son attended South Central School, was a drum major for the local YMCA band and a lifeguard at Lowell Park. Of course the son went on to become governor of California and later the president of the United States -- Ronald Wilson Reagan.
Copyright © 2000, 2002, 2016 Mark A. Miner