Maria "Catherine" (Gaumer) Sturtz was born in 1784 in Southampton Township, Somerset County, PA, or in Oldtown, Allegany County, MD, the daughter of Johann "Jacob" and Maria Catherine (Sowash) Gaumer. She spent her entire life in the Somerset area.
In about 1800, Catherine married John "Adam" Sturtz Sr. (1777-1860), of Bedford County, PA, the son of Christian and Catherine Sturtz Sr.
Many years after Adam's death, a history book in Illinois said that he had been "a farmer, a miller, a carpenter, and was a pushing and energetic character."
The Sturtzes had nine children -- Jacob Sturtz, Catherine (Sturtz) Sturtz, Susanna Hoyman, Elizabeth Comp, Hannah Comp, Solomon Sturtz, Lydia Boyer, Rachel Emerick and John Adam Sturtz Jr.
When the federal census was enumerated in 1850, the 66-year-old Catherine and 73-year-old Adam dwelled with their son John Adam and his wife Susanna in Southampton Township.
Catherine died in Southampton at the age of 76 years, 10 months and 26 days on Feb. 4, 1860.
Adam only lived for a month and a half after is wife's passing. He joined her in eternity, at the age of 82, on March 18, 1860.
They are buried side by side at the Comp Cemetery in Comps Crossroads, Southampton Township. [Find-a-Grave] Today, Catherine's marker stands erect and tall, while Adam's grave marker is broken in half, with the top half leaning against the bottom, and both somewhat legible. Epitaph inscriptions appear to be on both markers but are very difficult to ascertain.
Their respective deaths preceded the Civil War by about a year. At least five of their grandsons or granddaughters' husbands took up arms in the conflict, all with the Union Army -- Henry Hoyman (46th Illinois Volunteer Infantry), Aaron Moss (21st Iowa Infantry), Adam Sturtz (32nd Iowa Infantry), Solomon Sturtz (32nd Iowa Infantry), Michael Sturtz (32nd Iowa Infantry) and Jacob "Adam" Burkett (171st Pennsylvania Drafted Militia). Tragically, the three Sturtz soldiers sacrificed their lives for the cause, and each one by disease. Details are below. More research is being done to identify additional soldiers in this family, and to uncover their stories to be told here.
The couple is named in the 1912 book by John W. Jordan and James Hadden, entitled Genealogical and Personal History of Fayette County, Pennsylvania, Vol. III. In the text, her maiden name is misspelled "Gormaer."
Researcher and photographer Richard DeVore has contributed significantly to our understanding of the Sturtz family grave markers at Comp's Church Cemetery.
~ Son Jacob Sturtz ~
Son Jacob Sturtz (1803-1878) was born in about 1803 or 1804 in Southampton Township, Somerset County.
Jacob married a cousin, Lydia Leydig (1809-1876), the daughter of Jacob and Mary (Sturtz) Leydig.
They migrated to near Adamsville, Muskingum County, OH. They had one known son, and possibly more -- Valentine Sturtz. In a short reference in the 1912 book by John W. Jordan and James Hadden, entitled Genealogical and Personal History of Fayette County, Pennsylvania, Vol. III, Jacob was said to have "moved to Adamsville, Ohio; he was a farmer, later a merchant."
Sadly, just a few weeks before her 67th birthday, Lydia passed away in Adamsville, on Jan. 8, 1876. Her remains were placed into eternal repose in the New Hope Evangelical Lutheran Cemetery.
Jacob outlived his wife by only slightly more than two years. He died in Adamsville on Jan. 12, 1878. They rest side by side at New Hope. [Find-a-Grave] Curiously, although he only was eight years old at the time of the War of 1812, his grave marker is inscribed that he apparently served in that conflict. While odd, this will be researched.
Son Valentine Sturtz ( ? - ? )
~ Daughter Catherine (Sturtz) Sturtz ~
Daughter Catherine Sturtz (1805- ? ) was born in about 1805 in Southampton Township, Somerset County.
She married a cousin, Adam Sturtz ( ? - ? ).
They are named in a short reference in the 1912 book by John W. Jordan and James Hadden, entitled Genealogical and Personal History of Fayette County, Pennsylvania, Vol. III.
More research on this couple is underway.
~ Daughter Susanna (Sturtz) Hoyman ~
Daughter Susanna "Susan" Sturtz (1807-1891) was born in about 1807 in Southampton Township, Somerset County. She and her husband were pioneers of Illinois.
She married Rev. John Hoyman (1811-1867), a native of Somerset County. In a profile of his son Henry in the book In the Foot-prints of the Pioneers of Stephenson County, Illinois, the following is written about father John:
[He] was an honored clergyman of the German Reformed church, and left a name as an unselfish and earnest worker in the cause of religion.... In early life he was a farmer, and had learned the carpenter trade. He had a mill on the farm, and was an active and pushing character. He became interested in religious questions however, while still a young man, and studied for the ministry at Tiffin, Ohio. His wife, Susan Stirtz, was born in Somerset county, Pennsylvania, and died in Freeport in 1891, at the age of seventy-five.
They are believed to be the same John and Susanna Hoyman who, in 1850, resided in Berlin, Somerset County, PA.
If so, their 10 children were Catherine Hoyman, Charles Hoyman, Elizabeth Hoyman, George Hoyman, Mary Hoyman, Susanna Hoyman, Henry Hoyman, Matilda Hoyman, Nancy J. Hoyman and Louise E. Hoyman, all born over a 16-year-span between 1833 and 1849.
In 1856, he received a call to lead a church congregation in Illinois, and so uprooted his family and relocated to Orangeville, Stephenson County. There, he remained in his church for a decade. Then, he accepted a position with a church in Marion County, OH. In about 1867, after spending a year there, he died in Marion County at the age of 56.
Susan survived her husband by 24 years, and made her home in Freeport, IL.
Daughter Catharine Hoyman (1833- ? ) was born in about 1833. Evidence suggests that on March 24, 1853, Catharine married Aaron Balser (or "Baltzer"), son of John and Mary (Gehrhart) Baltzer of Berlin, PA. At the time, Aaron was a chair maker and lived in Stonycreek Township, Somerset County. The ceremony was held in "The City" in Shade Township, according to the precepts of the Lutheran Church, with J.K. Miller officiating.
Son Charles Hoyman (1835- ? ) was born in about 1835.
Daughter Elizabeth Hoyman (1837- ? ) was born in about 1837.
Son George Hoyman (1839- ? ) was born in about 1839.
Daughter Mary Hoyman (1841- ? ) was born in about 1841.
Daughter Susanna Hoyman (1843- ? ) was born in about 1843.
Son Henry Hoyman (1844-1915) was born on March 25, 1844 in Somerset County, near the Maryland state line. At the age of 12, in 1856, he traveled with his parents when his father was appointed pastor of a church in Stephenson County, IL. At the age of 16, said a history, "the exigencies of the family situation at home compelled him to assume the responsibility of his own maintenance, and he became a clerk in a hardware story." He stood five feet, 10 inches tall, weighed 165 lbs and had a fair complexion, hazel eyes and dark hair. When the Civil War erupted, he was living in Freeport, IL and enlisted in the 46th Illinois Volunteer Infantry, Company A. His regiment was dispatched to New Orleans and took part in the battles of Fort Spanish and Fort Blakely. Later, he took part in the capture of Mobile, AL and was on the Red River expedition. While at Natchitoches, LA, he was debilitated by sore eyes, impairing his vision. He eventually was honorably discharged at Baton Rouge, LA. He returned home to Stephenson County where he was met at the railroad depot by friend Eli S. Chamberlin and was driven a dozen miles to his home. For two years, he boarded with Chamberlin and sold feed and flour. His eyes were so bad, he said, that he had to be kept in a dark room for months. Then he sold pumps for a year, possibly in Monroe, MI, followed by a dozen years selling grain in Shannon, Carroll County, IL. He then relocated to Dakota and spent three years engaged in the grain business followed by five years in a similar line of work at Lena. In February 1891, he moved again and came to Freeport, opening his own livery, feed and sale stable business, catering in weddings, parties and funerals. He joined the Modern Woodmen of America and the John A. Davis Post of the Grant Army of the Republic. On May 30, 1874, at the age of 30, he was united in marriage with 20-year-old Alice Margaret Schmeltzer (1854-1936), daughter of Jacob D. and Anna Maria (Mingle) Schmeltzer and a native of Rock Grove, Stephenson County. Rev. Isaac A. Stites officiated at the nuptials held in Dakota, IL. Henry was a decade older than his bride. They produced three children -- Edith McDonald, Bessie Hoyman and Harry Holland Hoyman. He is profiled in the 1900 book In the Foot-prints of the Pioneers of Stephenson County, Illinois. The chapter reads, in part:
Henry Hoyman, Freeport, is the proprietor of a well appointed livery and sales stable, and is known to the traveling public as a genial and accommodating gentleman. he has had a varied experience, confronted danger on the battlefield, and wrestled with adverse fate, and now as the shadows are beginning to lengthen down the road of life, he has the privilege of looking back over years of honorable and useful toil with the feeling that he has acquitted himself with credit wherever he has been placed.
As he aged, during the years 1890 to 1915, Henry worked as a liveryman. He remained afflicted with rheumatism as well as heart and stomach ailments, rendering him unable to undertake manual labor. His eyes often were red and inflamed, and he had trouble reading and making out objects in the distance. He finally succumbed at the age of 71 on Oct. 18, 1915. Edith spent her final years at 410 South Walnut Street in Freeport. Diagnosed with hardening of the arteries, she suffered a stroke and died on June 12, 1936 at the age of 81. Son Harry signed the death certificate. Burial was with her husband in Oakland Cemetery in nearby Florence, Stephenson County.
Daughter Matilda Hoyman (1846- ? ) was born in about 1846.
Daughter Nancy J. Hoyman (1848- ? ) was born in about 1848.
Daughter Louise E. Hoyman (1849- ? ) was born in about 1849.
~ Daughter Elizabeth (Sturtz) Comp ~
Daughter Elizabeth Sturtz (1809- ? ) was born in about 1809 in Southampton Township, Somerset County.
She married Jacob Comp (1795- ? ), son of John and Elizabeth (Sturner) Comp, the father a native of Berks County, PA and the mother born in Somerset County. Jacob grew up on his parents' farm in Southampton Township in what was popularly known as the "Comp Settlement."
Jacob and Elizabeth are named in the 1912 book by John W. Jordan and James Hadden, entitled Genealogical and Personal History of Fayette County, Pennsylvania, Vol. III.
They may be the same "Jacob" and "Betsy" Comp who dwelled in Harrison Township, Bedford County, PA in 1850 with these nine children -- John Comp, Solomon Comp, Samuel Comp, Jacob Comp Jr., Adam Comp, Sarah Lepley, Catherine Ann "Caty" Comp, Matilda Comp and Hannah Comp.
The Comps were in Bedford County again in 1860 when the federal census was taken.
Nothing 'more about their fates is known.
Daughter Sarah Comp (1828-1909) was born on Oct. 17, 1828. She married (?) Lepley ( ? - ? ). They dwelled in Southampton Township, Somerset County. With her health failing due to the debilities of old age, Sarah died at the age of 80 on Jan. 11, 1909. She was laid to rest in the family cemetery on the farm. Simon Lepley of Wellersburg, Somerset County was the informant for the certificate of death.
Son John Comp (1825- ? ) was born in about 1825. He may be the same John Comp mentioned in the 1884 book History of Bedford, Somerset and Fulton Counties. The paragraph says that John was born in Southampton Township and "followed farming, and passed the most of his life on a farm situated below Buffalo Mills [Bedford County]." He also is named in the 1912 book by John W. Jordan and James Hadden, entitled Genealogical and Personal History of Fayette County, Pennsylvania, Vol. III. If this is so, he had a son, George A. Comp, who settled on a farm near West End, "on a farm that was formerly a part of the Statler estate."
Son Solomon Comp (1834?- ? ) was born in about 1834.
Son Samuel Comp (1836?- ? ) was born in about 1836.
Son Jacob Comp Jr. (1839?- ? ) may have been born in about 1839.
Son Adam Comp (1843?- ? ) may have been born in about 1843.
Daughter Catherine Ann "Caty" Comp (1831?- ? ) was born in about 1831.
Daughter Matilda Comp (1833?- ? ) was born in about 1833.
Daughter Hannah Comp (1840?- ? ) may have been born in about 1840.
~ Daughter Hannah (Sturtz) Comp ~
Daughter Hannah (or "Anna") Sturtz (1811-1894) was born in about 1811 in Southampton Township, Somerset County.
She was united in wedlock with Solomon Comp (1797-1883), son of John and Elizabeth (Sturner) Comp of Somerset County. They were 14 years apart in their ages. The couple is named in the 1912 book by John W. Jordan and James Hadden, entitled Genealogical and Personal History of Fayette County, Pennsylvania, Vol. III. The text gives alternative years of her birth and death as 1801 and 1886, respectively.
Solomon "received little English education, but could write and read in German," said the Genealogical and Personal book.
...He worked on the home farm until arriving at manhood, and later in partnership with his brother Samuel bought the homestead farm, on which he lived all his life. He was hard working, industrious and upright in all his dealings. He prospered in his business and became the owner of two hundred and eighty acres of good farm land with improvements. He was a member of the Lutheran church.
Among the Comp children were Susan Wisel, Dennis Comp, Hannah Shirey, Elizabeth Kennel, Katherine Korns and Ellen Jane Comp.
In 1860, this family is shown in the U.S. Census of Southampton Township, Somerset County. In their household were three younger, unmarried daughters as well as 31-year-old married daughter Susan Weisel and her young son George A., age three. Residing next door was their son Dennis and his family.
Solomon died on July 12, 1883 at the age of 85 years, eight months and 22 days. His aged remains were laid to rest in the Comp Cemetery in Southampton Township. At the base of his grave marker is inscribed this epitaph:
Father, with a reverent hand
Hannah survived her husband by 11 years. She joined him in eternity on June 1, 1894, aged 83 years, 10 months and 18 days. This epitaph appears on the face of her grave marker:
friends beware, as you pass by,
One the back of one of their markers is a cross covered with flowers and this inscription: "No Cross, No Crown."
Daughter Susanna "Susan" Comp ( ? - ? ) married George W. Weisel ( ? - ? ). They lived in Somerset County. They produced at least one son, George Adam Weisel.
Son Dennis Comp (1830-1916) was born on July 17, 1830 in Somerset County. He attended a German school for a year and then began to go to an English-speaking school "then being opened throughout the county," said a profile in the 1912 book by John W. Jordan and James Hadden, entitled Genealogical and Personal History of Fayette County, Pennsylvania, Vol. III. He primarily worked on his father's farm until the age of 26,
...his help being needed to pay for the farm and maintain the family. He later worked for an uncle receiving twenty-five cents daily wages. He then went into partnership with Philip Shroyer and rented his uncle's farm. After spending a year in bed with rheumatism, he recovered and for ten years worked the farm with his partner. In 1857 he married and continued on the same farm. He improved the property greatly and prospered to such an extent that he had sufficient means to travel west and purchased one hundred and eighty acres of land in Butler county, Iowa. After making all his arrangements to move west his uncle, who disliked to have him go, offered him the Somerset county farm on such advantageous terms that he made the purchase. He remained in Somerset county until 1874, when he moved to Bullskin township, Fayette county, Pennsylvania, where he purchased seventy-two acres, on which he yet resides [circa 1912]. He was an extensive wheat grower in former years, also a stock raiser and dealer.
At the age of 27, on Aug. 2, 1857, he was united in holy matrimony with Lena Boyer ( ? -1905), daughter of Jonathan and Sophia (Shaffer) Boyer. They produced four known children -- Lewis Comp, Matilda Comp, John A. Comp and Hannah Ritenour. The 1860 census shows this family living in Southampton Township, Somerset County, next door to his parents. He owned real estate assets in the town of Scottdale, Westmoreland County, was a Republican in politics, a Lutheran in faith, and the administrator for several estates. . Sadly, Lena died on Aug. 23, 1905. Dennis retired two years later, in about 1907. Tragedy struck when he was age 85 and accidentally fell down a flight of stairs, leading to his death on Jan. 10, 1916. His remains were interred in the Pennsville Baptist Church Cemetery, with Mrs. Abe Ridenour of Connellsville serving as informant for the Pennsylvania certificate of death. On Dec. 13, 1917, the Connellsville Weekly Courier reported that Dennis' will had been probated in the register of wills office in Greensburg, Westmoreland County.
Daughter Hannah Comp (1836-1909) was born on June 24, 1836. She married William Shirey ( ? - ? ). They relocated to Fayette County, PA. Later in life, she made her home in Bullskin Township, north of Connellsville, Fayette County, PA. At the age of 72, suffering from bronchitis, she died on March 18, 1909. D.W. Shiery of Scottdale, Fayette County signed the death certificate. Burial was in the Pennsville Baptist Church Cemetery. Dore and George D. Shirey served as administrators of her estate. They are named in a short reference in the 1912 book by John W. Jordan and James Hadden, entitled Genealogical and Personal History of Fayette County, Pennsylvania, Vol. III.
Daughter Elizabeth Comp ( ? - ? ) married Josiah Kennel ( ? - ? ). They too migrated to Fayette County, PA, where they both died. They named in a short reference in the 1912 book by John W. Jordan and James Hadden, entitled Genealogical and Personal History of Fayette County, Pennsylvania, Vol. III.
Daughter Katherine Comp (1848-1934) was born on April 29, 1848. She married Emanuel Korns (1849-1917), son of Daniel and Caroline (Tressler) Korns. Their two known children were Charles E. Korns and Lewis W. Korns They made their home in Westmoreland County, PA and are named in a short reference in the 1912 book by John W. Jordan and James Hadden, entitled Genealogical and Personal History of Fayette County, Pennsylvania, Vol. III. Stricken with stomach cancer, Emanuel passed away at age 68 on Aug. 4, 1917. As a widow, Katharine made her residence with presumed son Lewis at 713 College Avenue in Pittsburgh. She followed her spouse to the grave 17 years later, at the age of 86, on April 1, 1934. They rest together in the Alverton Cemetery near Mount Pleasant, Westmoreland County. Lewis W. Korns signed the death certificate.
Daughter Ellen Jane Comp (1851-1913) was born on Sept. 21, 1851. She never married and spent her life doing housework on the old homestead farm in Southampton Township. Suffering from heart disease, she died on Oct. 27, 1913, at the age of 61. Burial was in Comp's Church Cemetery, with Elias Crissey, of Ellerslie, MD, providing details for the death certificate.
~ Son Solomon Sturtz ~
Son Solomon Sturtz (1814-1907) was born on Dec. 11, 1814 in Southampton Township, Somerset County. His middle name has been given asw "John." He was a pioneer settler of Iowa and lost a son during the Civil War.
In February 1836, when he was 21 years of age, he married Elizabeth Troutman (1815- ? ) of Somerset County. The two families were close, and Solomon's brother John Adam married Susanna Troutman, likely Elizabeth's sister.
Of their nine children, the identities of eight are known: Adam Sturtz, Margaret Moss, John Sturtz, Catherine Jane "Kate" Moss, Lydia Sheets, Benjamin Sturtz, Elizabeth Sturtz and Susan Sturtz.
The year they were married, Solomon and Elizabeth migrated to Ohio, settling in Muskingum County. After a period of time, in October 1855, they relocated further west to Carroll County, IA, arriving about the same time as Rev. Philip Moss, a Baptist minister who had come from Indiana. The Sturtz's daughter later married the Mosses' son.
The Sturtzes resided in 1860 in Elm Springs, Coldwater Township, Butler County, IA. They eventually settled on a farm in Section 11 in Greene, Butler County. Their farm shared a corner with the farm of his brother John Adam Sturtz, who had migrated there with his family in 1857. Their houses were about a half mile apart. At some point, a general store was established under the name Moss & Sturtz, one of the first merchants in Greene.
During the Civil War, their eldest son Adam (1840-1864) and his cousins Solomon Sturtz and Michael Sturtz together joined the 32nd Iowa Infantry, Company G. Heartache shook the family when Adam died on May 22, 1864, at Pleasant Hill, LA, and his two cousins also gave their lives to illness in the conflict, also in the same year. Adam is listed in the 1883 book History of Butler and Bremer Counties, Iowa (Springfield, IL: Union Publishing Company)
Solomon also is profiled in the 1883 book History of Butler and Bremer Counties. The narrative said that "His farm contains 160 acres, which he purchased of the government. He also owns land elsewhere. His improvements are among the best in the township."
They were charter members of the Presbyterian Church of Coldwater, founded in June 1863. Said the History of Butler and Bremer: "This took place at the Hart school house, on section 13, with Rev. Richard Morrill officiating." The church reorganized on May 19, 1872 as the First Presbyterian Church of Greene, with Solomon again becoming a charter member and one of the first trustees Serving with Henry McNabb, A.D. Barnum and Edward Jordan. At one time, Solomon also served on the board of Coldwater Township.
Sadness enveloped Solomon as he watched the decline of his younger brother John Adam and wife Susanna after the loss of their eldest sons in the war. They never got over the shock, and Susanna died within five years of the war's end. John Adam, an alcoholic, gradually lost the farm and suffered severe physical disabilities. When the brother sought a military pension for the loss of his sons, Solomon gave extensive testimony in the case. His depositions today are preserved in the National Archives in Washington, DC, with a copy in the Minerd.com Archives.
Elizabeth passed into eternity on April 29, 1899 in Greene.
Solomon died on June 5, 1907 in Greene, Butler County. Burial was beside his wife in Rose Hill Cemetery in Greene. [Find-a-Grave].
He is named in the 1912 book by John W. Jordan and James Hadden, entitled Genealogical and Personal History of Fayette County, Pennsylvania, Vol. III.
Daughter Margaret Sturtz (1842-1902) was born on May 14, 1842 in Adamsville, Muskingum County. As a young lady, she moved with her parents and siblings to Iowa, settling in Greene, Butler County. There, on Christmas Eve 1865, she was united in matrimony with farmer and Civil War veteran Aaron Moss (1842-1919), son of Rev. Philip Moss of Carroll County, IN. The nuptials were held in Greene and officiated by Rev. Richard Merrill. The couple produced six children -- Ehner Moss, Fred Moss, Dr. Solomon Moss, William Moss, Mrs. Edward Barth and Maud Runyon. Aaron was six feet, two inches tall, with a dark complexion, blue eyes and dark hair. During the war, he enrolled in the Union Army at Clinton, IA on June 11, 1862. Initially a private with the 21st Iowa Infantry, Company A, he was promoted to sergeant. Jacob Sturtz -- which one not yet known -- was a private in the regiment. While on duty at Memphis, TN on or about New Year's Day 1864, Aaron was diarrhea which he endured for the remainining 17-plus months of his military service. Writing about it later, he said that "said disease (the Chronic Diarrhea) was contracted while in line of duty and by exposure in Camp and on March and the privations of and incident thereto." In April 1864, he received treatment for his ailment at an army hospital in New Orleans. Then during the battle of Spanish Fort near Mobile, AL in late March 1865, he lost his knapsack containing all of his important papers. He was disicharged on June 11, 1865 at Shreveport, LA. Upon returning home, the Mosses lived in Nora Springs, Floyd County, IA (circa 1877) and in Greene, Butler County (circa 1889). He earned a living in the late 1870s as a clerk and bookkeeper. In 1877, Aaron was awarded a federal pension as compensation for his chronic diarrhea and what he now called "trouble of heart." [Invalid App. #233.296, Cert. #164.658] Margaret died in Greene on Oct. 2, 1902. Among the mourners attending the funeral were John D. and Caroline A. Shook. Aaron married a second time to Sarah M. (Harris) Shepard (1855-1934), a native of Beach Haven, Luzerne County, PA and widow of Rodney Shepard of Clarksville, IA. They were wed on Oct. 20, 1904, with the ceremony taking place in Clarksville by the hand of Rev. Bundy (or "Buntin"). The Shooks attended the ceremony and "stood up" with the couple. Sarah thus brought several children of her own to the union. Suffering from prostate cancer and uremia, Aaron was admitted to St. Francis Hospital in Waterloo, IA on Aug. 15, 1919. He underwent surgery three days later, and was "nursed by our sisters," wrote Sister M. Callista, but he could not rally. He passed away in the hospital on Aug. 23, 1919 at the age of 77. Burial was in Rose Hill Cemetery, with W.L. Moore handling the funeral arrangements. [Find-a-Grave] After Aaron's death, Sarah petitioned the government and began receiving his pension payments. [Widow App. #1.146.861 - Cert. #884.658]. Several of her friends provided sworn testimony to support her claim, including Fred Seitz and B. Wamsley, both of Clarksville. Toward the end of her life, Sarah was receiving $42.50 monthly in pension payments which was increased to $50 by an act of Congress in March 1931. Having suffered a stroke which resulted in paralysis of her left side, she lingered and then died at the age of about 78 on Feb. 28, 1934, in Greene. Aaron and his Civil War service are mentioned in Irving H. Hart's 1914 book History of Butler County, Iowa, volume 1.
Daughter Lydia Sturtz (1848-1911) was born on Sept. 13, 1848 in Ohio. She married Levi Sheets ( ? - ? ). They lived in Greene, Butler County. Widowed, Lydia passed away on Jan. 17, 1911 at the age of 62.
Daughter Catherine Jane "Kate" Sturtz ( ? - ? ) was born on (?). She married (?) Moss. Nothing more is known.
~ Daughter Lydia (Sturtz) Boyer ~
Daughter Lydia Sturtz (1814-1901) was born on May 21, 1814 in Southampton Township, Somerset County.
At the age of 18, on Dec. 15, 1832, she married Samuel Boyer Sr. (1806- ? ). Their children were Lydia Boyer, John Boyer, Mary Ellen Shaffer and Samuel Boyer Jr.
When the federal census was taken in 1860, the Boyers dwelled on a farm in Berlin, Allegheny Township, Somerset County. In 1870, the census shows that their nest was empty. Samuel could neither read nor write.
Lydia died in Somerset County on Feb. 23, 1901.
Son Samuel Boyer Jr. (1838- ? ) was born in about 1838. When he was 22 years of age, and not yet married, he lived at home and earned a living as a farm laborer.
Daughter Lydia Boyer (1842- ? ) was born in about 1842.
Son John Boyer (1845- ? ) was born in about 1845.
Daughter Mary Ellen Boyer (1846- ? ) was born on April 5, 1846 (or 1844). She married (?) Shafer and dwelled in Somerset, Somerset County. Afflicted with kidney and heart disease at the age of 76, she died on Sept. 9, 1920 in Somerset. She was entombed in Union Cemetery, with James Shafer of Somerset serving as informant for the death certificate.
~ Daughter Rachel (Sturtz) Emerick ~
Daughter Rachel Sturtz (1805-1885) was born on Dec. 4 or 14, 1805 in Gladdens (?), Southampton Township, Somerset County. She grew up on the family farm with her eight brothers and sisters.
Rachel married Jonathan Emerick Sr. (1799-1887), the son of Andrew and Christena (Heller) Emrich. Jonathan had been born on the home farm on Nov. 15, 1799.
Jonathan's father Andrew Emerick, a.k.a. Andreas Emmerich (1754-1838) was a German immigrant from Langendiebach in the state of Hesse Cassel. While a young man in Germany, he was a member of the Evangelische Kirchengemeinde of Langendiebach, known in English as the Evangelical Church parish of Langendiebach. Andrew sailed to America on the ship Charming Molly, arriving at the port of Philadelphia with his cousin Casimir May and friend Caspar Adam. Having taken an oath of allegiance to King George III on Oct. 22, 1773, he would have been considered a Tory during the American Revolution. Records suggest that he served as a soldier during the American Revolution, perhaps on the side of the British. Jonathan's mother, Christena (1765-1835?), was a native of Reading, Berks County, PA.
The bride was 15 years younger than the groom, and it's possible he had been married previously. Their 12 known children -- a number which may to increase as further research is done -- were Nathan Emerick, Jacob Emerick, Catherine Troutman, Emanuel Emerick, Christina Burkett, Josiah Emerick, Jonathan Emerick Jr., Solomon Emerick, Rebecca Knieriem, Lafayette Emerick and John Emerick.
In May 1847, Jonathan was named as a grand juror in Somerset County Court, and was listed in the Somerset Herald and Farmers' and Mechanics' Register newspaper.
The family made its home in Southampton Township in 1850 when the census was taken.
When the federal census enumeration again was made in 1870, the family dwelled on a farm in Southampton Township, with the census-taker spelling the name "Emrick." Also in the household were 46-year-old Nathan Emrick, 23-year-old Lafayette Emrick as well as Martha E. Emrick (age 2) and Sarah Emrick (one month old). Emma Burket lived under their roof as a domestic servant. Residing nearby were the families of John and Elizabeth Emrick, Solomon and Ellen (Albright) Emrick, and Alexander and Elizabeth Emrick.
The census of 1880 shows the aged couple living with their married son Lafayette and his wife Mary in Southampton Township.
Rachel passed into eternity in Somerset County at the age of 79 years, 10 months and 27 days on Oct. 5, 1885. Her remains were placed into repose in the Emerick burying ground. The cemetery is located at what today is known as the "Jack Lantz farm," 590 Ridge Road in Hyndman.
Jonathan lived for just two years as a widower. He succumbed on Sept. 26, 1887 at the age of 87 years, 10 months and 11 days. Interment was in the private Emerick Cemetery on the home farm in Southampton Township. In September 1889, the Somerset Herald published a notice stating that his sons Nathan and Solomon were serving as administrators of the estate and were expected to file a first and final account.
He is named in a short reference in the 1912 book by John W. Jordan and James Hadden, entitled Genealogical and Personal History of Fayette County, Pennsylvania, Vol. III. In 1993-1994, this family was chronicled in the Emerick Family Newsletter, author unknown.
Son Nathan Emerick (1824-1913) was born in about 1824. He never married and spent his life in Southampton Township as a farmer. In 1870, he resided with his parents, and in 1880 lived with them under the roof of his married younger brother Lafayette. In March 1894, as reported by the Somerset Herald, he initiated a legal complaint against John Emerick (his brother?) and won damages of $96.33. Nathan is believed to have died at the age of 86 years, 10 months and 21 days on Feb. 5, 1913. Burial was in Comp Cemetery in Southampton Township. The inscription from his grave marker was recorded by Works Progress Administration laborers in the 1930s. No record of his passing has been found in Pennsylvania death records.
Daughter Catherine Emerick (1825-1912) was born on Aug. 25, 1825 in Southampton Township. At the age of 20, on Christmas Day 1845, she married Daniel Benjamin Troutman (1821-1891). They produced seven children -- Sylvatus Troutman, Noah Henry Troutman, Mary E. Troutman, Harriet L. Power, Lucy Troutman, Emma Troutman and Perry D. Troutman. When the federal census was taken in 1850, the Troutmans made their residence in Londonderry Township, Bedford County, where Daniel served as justice of the peace. By 1860, still living in Londonderry, Daniel's primary source of income was as a gunsmith. At the end of the Civil War, and after two decades of married life, the Troutmans pulled up their stakes in Pennsylvania in 1865 and migrated to Kansas, where they settled in Ottawa, Franklin County. There, Daniel continued his occupational specialty as a gunsmith, and their daughter Reny was born in 1870. In the spring of 1881, Daniel served as an election polling clerk in Franklin County and received $2.00 in compensation, and he remained active as a judge of elections in the county for many years. He also maintained a weapons store in Ottawa, and in mid-February 1887, burglars made off with a number of ammunition rounds and revolvers. Daniel passed away during Christmas week in 1891, at the age of 69 years, one month and 27 days. His death terminated a marriage of almost 46 years. Rev. Scherer of St. Paul's Lutheran Church officiated at the funeral service, with burial in the Highland Cemetery. In an obituary, the Daily Republic said that Daniel "was well known to all the old citizens, who held him in high esteem for his many noble and kindly qualities." Catherine lived for another two-plus decades as a widow and maintained her home at 126 South Oak Street in Ottawa. In October 1904 she traveled to Kansas City to visit relatives. Catherine died at the home of their married daughter Ella Tuly two miles west of Princeton, Franklin County on April 4, 1912. Burial was beside her husband. [Find-a-Grave] Their great-grandson, George Christian Schempp, wrote extensively about the family in his 1989 book, The Schempp Family History (Gateway Press, 448 pages). There is no known connection between our Troutmans and Kansas Governor James A. Troutman (1853-1926), son of pioneer settlers William H. and Nancy (Smith) Troutman.
Son Jacob Emerick (1829-1913?) was born in March 1828 (or 1829) in Southampton Township. He was wedded to Eliza Sturtz (1830-1888?). Census records show that Eliza could not read. Among their known children were Adam Emerick, Christina Albright, Josiah Emerick, Henry Jacob Emerick, Solomon Emerick and Andrew "Jefferson" Emerick. The family dwelled on a farm next to his parents in Southampton Township in 1860 when the federal census was made, with Jacob's personal estate valued at $215. When the federal census again was made in 1880, Jacob and Eliza dwelled on their farm with their sons Josiah, Henry, Solomon and Jefferson -- ranging in age from 23 to 17 -- all worked on the family farm. They also provided a home that year for their seven-year-old granddaughter Missouri Albright. Sadly, Eliza died in about 1888 just 11 days prior to her 58th birthday -- precisely 57 years, 11 months and 19 days. She rests for eternity in the Emerick home farm cemetery. Jacob is believed to have survived her by a quarter of a century in a home in rural delivery section of Ellerslie, MD. In about 1892, he appears to have married again to Delila "Lilah" (?) (1849-1921), daughter of Elizabeth Keefer. They were 21 years apart in age. They made their home on a farm in Southampton Township and had two children -- Aaron Emerick and (?) Emerick. Circa 1911, when his widowed sister Tena was attempting to obtain her late husband's Civil War pension, Jacob provided an affidavit on her behalf. He is believed to have died in 1913 as indicated on his grave marker. Burial was in Comp Cemetery, but no Pennsylvania death record has been found. The text and dates on his grave stone were recorded in the early 1930s by laborers with the Works Progress Administration, and his marker was photographed by the founder of this website in 2016. Delila survived as a widow for just eight years. She spent her final time in Larmer Township, Somerset County. On Nov. 28, 1921, she passed away at the age of 72, having endured the rigors of old age added to a case of bronchial pneumonia. Her remains were lowered into eternal repose beside her husband in Comp Cemetery, with her son Aaron Emerick of Ellerslie, MD signing the death certificate.
Son Emanuel Emerick (1830-1920) was born in 1830 in Southampton Township. He married Elizabeth Brookfield ( ? - ? ). They had three children, Josephine Whelan, Maggie Rugh and D.F. Emerick. When he was 27 years of age, he migrated to Iowa and settled where the future town of Carnforth would be established. Said the Marshalltown (IA) Evening Times Republican, "He operated a blacksmith shop there for a number of years and shod horses for the old stage coach line which plied its way across the prairies in those early days. Later he moved to Hartwick where he continued his smithing for a number of years." Sadly, Elizabeth passed away in September 1882. Widowed at the age of 52, he moved into the home of his married daughter Josephine Whelen in Grinnell, IA. In about 1908, he became blind and for the final three and a half years of his life "has been practically confined to his room," reported the Republican. He died 22 days after his 90th birthday on Nov. 12, 1920. In an obituary, the Republican said he was "old of the oldest citizens in Poweshiek county and a man who was one of the real pioneers of this section of Iowa."
Daughter Christina "Tena" Emerick (1833-1922) was born on Nov. 15, 1833 at Kennell Mills, Somerset County. On Nov. 1, 1853, when she was age 20, Christina married 21-year-old Jacob "Adam" Burkett (1832-1911), son of Jacob and Catherine (Shirer) Burkett, also spelled "Burket." He was a native of Londonderry Township, Bedford County, PA and as an adult stood 5 feet, 7½ inches tall, weighed 125 lbs, had a light complexion and brown eyes. The ceremony was held in Southampton Township, performed by justice of the peace George Walker, but with no other witnesses. A record of the marriage was written on a piece of paper measuring 3.5 inches by 6.75 inches, but it was the only documentation. The couple produced eight children, among them Margaret "Maggie" Korns, William Jefferson Burket, Rachel Burket, Elizabeth Burket, John Adam Burket and Charles Edward Burkett.Adam served in the U.S. Army for nine months during the Civil War as a member of the 171st Pennsylvania Drafted Militia, Company H, commanded by John Bierer. Among Christina's distant cousins also serving in the 171st Pennsylvania were Jesse Gaumer, Henry A. Miner and Charles Rose. He is believed to have joined others in deserting the regiment on Nov. 22, 1862 but eventually returned. Upon expiration of his service, he was honorably discharged at Harrisburg on Aug. 8, 1863. The Burketts dwelled in Maryland from about 1863 to 1883, then returned to Somerset CountyWhen the federal census enumeration was made in 1880, the Burketts made their home in East Frostburg, known at the time as "Pompey Smash" and today as Vale Summit, in Allegany County. There, he earned a living as a coal miner. The unusual name of their community is believed to have been traced to a slave who once crashed a wagonload of coal. For decades, their home farm was alternately considered as in Southampton Township, Somerset County or just over the state line in Ellerslie, north of LaVale and Cumberland, Allegany County, MD. Friend Andew Kennell once wrote that he and the Burketts "visited each other quite frequently and we worked together...." Friend Jacob Burkett noted that he had "been with them many times and they worked together and he lived and kept house of my own in the same house with him...." In 1890, suffering from wartime ailments, Adam filed for a soldier's pension which he began receiving on Sept. 9, 1890. [Invalid App. #905.218 - Cert. #702.387] He claimed to have felt lameness in his right foot in 1864, which pained him all the way up to the hip; theumatism in 1870; "catarrh" of the head (sinus) in 1886; and lung disease in 1910. Their address in 1902 was Gladdens, Somerset County. The amount of pension payment he received monthly in 1908 was $20. In 1910, the federal census shows the Burketts in Somerset County, with 35-year-old unmarried son Charles living at home and providing farm labor. Stricken with pneumonia and la grippe, he died at the age of 78 years, four months and 10 days on Feb. 18, 1911. Widowed at the age of 78, Christina lived for another 11 years. She was awarded her late husband's pension as his lawful widow. [Widow App. #960.653 - Cert. 722.778] Among those friends who stepped forward to provide supporting testmimony were Ancrew Kennell and Jacob Burkett. She died on May 15, 1922 at the age of 89. No physician was in attendance. Millard Lepley of Ellerslie, MD signed the death certificate. Burial was in the Comp Cemetery. In the early 1930s, laborers with the Works Progress Administration recorded the words and dates on their grave marker.
Son Josiah "Joseph" Emerick (1835-1894) was born on Dec. 6, 1835 in Southampton Township. He married Indiana Davis (1842-1894), who may have been born in Indiana but more likely in Pennsylvania and whose father was an immigrant from England. Census records show that Indiana could not write. Their 10 known children were John A. Emerick, St. Louis Emerick, Charles E. Emerick, Richard C. Emerick, Ida Emerick, Clara May Emerick, Joseph Emerick, James "Perry" Emerick, Mary Ellen Shumaker and Noah C. Emrick. During the Civil War, in about 1862 or '63, after the births of their two eldest sons, the family moved across the state line in to Maryland and settled on a farm near Cumberland in Allegany County, MD. They remained there until about 1879 or '80 and then relocated back into Pennsylvania to Fairhope their old home region of Southampton Township. In 1880, the census shows all of the boys who were above the age of 12 working on the farm. Josiah and Indiana died within a few months of each other. He passed first, on March 15, 1894. She survived until May, and died on May 29, 1894. They rest for eternity in Comp Cemetery. Her grave marker remains legible today. [Find-a-Grave] In 1934, the location of their graves was surveyed and recorded by the Works Progress Administration [link]. In 2016, Indiana's marker was photographed by the founder of this website.
Son Jonathan Emerick Jr. (1837-1923) was born on June 18, 1837. He was a lifelong farmer in Southampton Township. He is believed to have married Drusilla (1842-1907). In 1860, this young couple boarded in the home of Jonathan's parents in Southampton. He is thought to be the same "Jont. Emerick" who in 1872 successfully sued Roddy & Findley and won $3,578.38 in damages, an item reported by the Somerset Herald. Circa 1877, he is believed to have owned a tract of 308 acres with rich underlying deposits of coal, iron ore, limestone, fire clay, petroleum and other mineral resources. Circa 1911, when his widowed sister Tena was attempting to obtain her late husband's Civil War pension, Jonathan provided an affidavit on her behalf. On June 18, 1907, Drusilla died at age 66 at home at Cook's Mills, Bedford County, PA. Reported the Cumberland (MD) Evening Times, the funeral was held at the Cook's Mills Church with interment in the church graveyard. At the age of 86, he was swept away by the Grim Reaper on Dec. 10, 1923. No physician was in attendance, and no cause of death was officially reported. Allen Bittner of Ellerslie, MD was the informant for the Pennsylvania certificate of death. Burial was in Cook's Mill, PA.
Son Solomon Emerick (1840-1921?) was born on Feb. 11, 1840 in Southampton Township. Evidence strongly suggests that he married Mary Ellen "Ella" Albright (1842- ? ). Their known children were Ida Emrick, James F. Emrick, Charles Edward Emerick, Jonathan Theodore Emerick, Amanda Emerick, Hannah R. Emerick and George H. Emerick. In 1870, when the census count was made, the Emricks dwelled on a farm in Southampton Township as next door neighbors to Solomon's mother. They may have resided circa 1872 onward near Hyndman, Bedford County, PA. When the federal census was taken in 1880, the large family resided on a farm in Southampton Township, next door to farmers Daniel and Hannah Gaumer. In April 1893, he was named in the Somerset Herald as a petit juror for the quarter sessions court, from Southampton Township. Solomon and six other Emericks -- Jacob, William, John L., Valentine, Nathan and John J. -- were listed in a May 1896 issue of the Herald for property owners whose "unseated lands" were to be sold for failure to pay taxes. Suffering from an insufficient flow of blood to his heart, Solomon died at age 81 on May 11 or 14, 1921, with burial in Comp's Cemetery. Son George, residing in Ellerslie, MD, signed the death certificate and then with his brother Jonathan were named as the executors of his estate.
Son John Emerick (1842- ? ) was born in about 1842 in Southampton Township. Census evidence indicates that he married Elizabeth (1850- ? ). Their children were Emanuel Emrick, Susanna Emrick, Jane Emerick, Edward Emerick, Alfred Emerick, Benjamin Emerick and William H. Emerick. In 1870, the family lived on a farm in Southampton Township next door to John's mother and brothers. That year, 25-year-old Mary Emrick lived under their roof and earned her keep as a house keeper, as did 15-year-old farm worker William Albright. When the census was taken in 1880, the family remained in Southampton, living next to John's married brothers Solomon and Lafayette. Nothing more is known.
Daughter Rebecca A. Emerick (1843-1932) was born in December 1843. At the age of 18 in 1861, Rebecca married German immigrant Peter D. Knieriem (1836-1916), of unknown parentage but a native of Hesse Cassel. Aboard the ship Johannes, he came to the United States in 1855 at the age of 16, arriving in Baltimore, declaring himself a coal miner and his destination as Frostburg, MD. In 1860, the unmarried Peter at age 21 boarded in the home of his future wife's uncle and aunt, Jacob and Eliza Emerick in Southampton and worked as a farm laborer. They were longtime farmers and dwelled in Wellersburg, Somerset County. Neither was able to read or write. Their known children were Rachel Knieriem, Annie C. Knieriem, Mary E. "Laura" Bradour, Margaret Alice "Maggie" Witt, Clara M. Knieriem, Lottie R. Knieriem, Eva Jeannette Boger, John P. Knieriem and Louis C. Knieriem. In 1880, census records show Peter, Rebecca and their six daughters in the household along with servant Benjamin Huff. Considered to be widely respected in the community, Peter was a member of the Odd Fellows of Meyersdale for 47 years. They family also was affiliated with the Reformed Church. Stricken with cancer on the side of his face at age 79, Peter succumbed in Wellersburg on March 7, 1916. His remains were placed into rest in Cook's Cemetery in American soil to which he had come some 61 years earlier. His nephews Henry Knieriem of New York City and Henry Rinker of New Jersey traveled to attend the funeral. Rebecca survived him by 17 years, and endured the heartache of her daughter's mental illness and eventual death in the county home. At the age of 89, Rebecca suffered a stroke and died on Sept. 15, 1932. Interment was in Cook Cemetery in Wellersburg, following funeral services held in the Wellersburg Reformed Church. Her daughter Laura, living in Cumberland, MD, signed the death certificate, and a short obituary was printed in the Meyersdale Republican. [Find-a-Grave]
Son Lafayette Emerick (or "Emrick") (1847-1944) was born on Jan. 6, 1847, on the old homestead of his grandparents, Andrew and Christina (Heller) Emerick in Southampton Township. As a boy, he learned how to operate his father's sawmill, gristmill and fuller mill. Lafayette was twice wed. His first wife was Mary Clites (1845-1899), who was three years older. She was the daughter of Samuel and Sarah Ann (Shroyer) Clites. Their known children were Martha Ellen Emerick, Sarah Cordilla Emerick, Levi Franklin "Frank" Emerick, Charles Emerick, George Emerick, Effie Emerick, Nettie Shaffer and Russell Calvin Emerick. They were farmers and in 1880 lived in Southampton Township, also providing a home for Lafayette's aging parents and his 56-year-old unmarried brother Nathan. In 1880, they lived next to Lafayette's married brother John and sister Mary E. Emerick and their families. Tragedy rocked the family in about 1899 when Mary, age 56, is said to have been struck by a bolt of lightning and died. Her remains were placed into rest in the Comp Cemetery in Southampton Township. As a widower, Lafayette eventually moved a short distance north to the town of Fairhope, Somerset County. He purchased a home near the Fairhope Church. After some years alone, he married again, to Emma Johnson ( ? - ? ). In 1911, they produced one son, Gilbert Emerick. Emma's fate is unknown. Lafayette and his youngest son Gilbert relocated to Indiana, purchasing in 1928 a residence in Helmer, Stueben County, said to have been a mile northwest of town on the South Milford Road. His nephew George W. Emerick also owned a farm in Helmer about a mile east of Lafayette's. Lafayette died in Gilbert's home two days after his 97th birthday on Jan. 8, 1944. Interment was in the Wright Cemetery in Hudson, Steuben County. An obituary in the Angola (IN) Herald noted that funeral services were held in the United Brethren Church in Helmer, officiated by Rev. M.E. Burkett.
~ Son John Adam Sturtz Jr. ~
Son John Adam Sturtz Jr. (1817-1897) was born on June 12, 1817 in Somerset County.
On June 1, 1838, at the age of 20, John Adam married Susanna Troutman ( ? -1870). The ceremony took place in Somerset County by the hand of justice of the peace Jacob Martz. John Adam's parents were witnesses as was Solomon Leidig. The groom's brother Solomon Sturtz was in Ohio at the time and did not attend.
John Adam was a farmer, carpenter and flour miller for nearly 20 years in Southampton Township, Somerset County before becoming pioneer settlers of Iowa.
Their nine children were Solomon Sturtz, Michael Sturtz, Rebecca Ann Earnest, Sarah C. Sturtz, Adam Sturtz, Mary Ellen Sturtz, Jacob Sturtz, Charles W. Sturtz and Franklin M. "Frank" Sturtz. Susanna was assisted during several of these births by an apparent sister, Louise Troutman. John Adam kept a family Bible in which he noted the birthdates of his children.
In 1850, United States Census records show the family living on a farm in Southampton Township, with John's aged parents residing under their roof.
Later, in about 1857, when John Adam was age 40, he and Susanna as well as John Adam's brother Solomon -- who had been in Ohio -- migrated to Butler County, Iowa. Susanna's sister Louise Troutman remained behind. They traveled with two good teams of horses and wagons. He later said: "I moved from Penn. by team and had nothing but what we needed on the road."
In Iowa, John Adam bought a 160-acre tract, with an accompanying mortgage of $200. Paying $350, they built an ordinary frame house, with John Adam doing most of the work himself. Their farm shared a corner with Solomon's farm, and their houses were about a half mile apart. For his initial purchase, John Adam paid $6.50 per acre. He called it "wild land" before cultivation. Circa 1863, 80 of the acres were cultivated and 80 were "unbroke and unfenced."
Tragically, their two eldest sons joined the Union Army during the Civil War, and both contracted deadly illnesses which claimed their lives.
In 1863, they purchased a farm of 160 acres, which they kept for five years until 1868. They owned 10 acres of timber property. They had perhaps four horses, some cattle and some hogs. Family friend J.V. Boggs occasionally helped with threshing, and nephew Benjamin Sturtz once called it "good land." But in about 1860, John Adam began to suffer from dyspepsia (indigestion), rheumatism and eventually from curvature of the spine. He also spent a lot of money on liquor and frequently chewed tobacco. As such, he physically was unable to work his land, nor to rent it to others, and depended largely on income generated by his sons. With wheat prices depressed, his fortunes sunk rapidly.
Family friend E. Leydig wrote the following observation:
Michael Sturtz was his father's main stay upon the farm, that after said Michael had enlisted his father was unable to take care of the farm work as he should have done, especially through sickness, which prevented him a good share of the time from doing any manual laborer, and also being unable to pay for hired help, having also a family of small children to support, all these causes combined forced him a few years after the mortgage his farm, which he eventually lost.
To make ends meet after their sons' deaths, John Adam borrowed $400 from Jonathan Butler during the years 1863-1865; owed James Hazlett $325 for groceries, dry goods and provisions; and took out a $400 mortgage from a Mr. Wilder. All of the daughters were expected to work in the fields. In 1865, he and his son in law John Earnest bought a threshing machine. On the day that they made the purchase, John Adam was drinking, and Earnest took the bottle away, saying "That must stop." John Adam actively worked in the threshing business, but the venture apparently did not produce the desired financial results. By 1868, John Adam had taken on even more land, with his holdings now expanded to 320 acres, on which he owed $1,000. The drinking apparently did not end, and sometimes it was to excess.
Susan never recovered from the deaths of her sons, and she and her husband "both broke down under the loss." Mice got into the box where they had stored their sons' letters and chewed them to pieces. She passed away in Coldwater Township, Butler County on Aug. 22, 1870. Local men Henry Ilgenfritz and William Morrison built her coffin. Jacob Sturtz is known to have attended her funeral. The medical bills over the four or five months of her illness mounted.
Burdened under such heavy debt, he hired expensive laborers to assist with the farm in his sons' absence, but in about 1871 "eventually lost everything he had," said his brother Solomon Sturtz, "said loss being the direct consequence of said Michael Sturtz leaving the father and the homestead where his labor was so much needed...." He sold the land for $2,800, and moved away to Missouri. After staying there for five years, he returned to Greene, Butler County.
In 1878, John Adam filed a claim for a military pension, citing the hardship resulting from the multiple deaths of his sons. [Father App. #236.278 - Cert #288.086 (for Solomon) and App. #236.278 (for Michael)] The request was denied, When John Adam turned age 65, in 1882, a group of 29 citizens of Butler County signed a petition supporting his claim for a pension, saying he was "in destitute circumstances."
In May 1880, the 63-year-old John Adam was examined by a military surgeon in connection with the sons' pension. Dr. J.M. Ball observed that the patient had "general curvature of spine -- General debility, emaciation and great retraction of all the the tissues in the region of stomach.... Is the strongest marked case of the kind I have ever seen -- and is malignant and of corse incurable. Is a stranger to me but has the appearance of an honest unsophisticated old gentleman. For manual labor he is worthless. His disability is total."
John Adam married again, to the aunt of J.H. Pauley. Her precise identity is not known. He resided in the 1880s in Rockford, Floyd County, IA and by 1890 was in Cedar Rapids, making his home at 264 Seventh Avenue. In 1889, he filed a legal claim against the Bureau of Pensions in Washington, DC to force their hand. Again the application was rejected. John Adam's attorney appealed the ruling, calling it an "outrage." In the end, he was awarded $12 per month in pension payments.
His final fate is not yet known, but he died between April 4 and Aug. 18, 1897.
He is named in a short reference in the 1912 book by John W. Jordan and James Hadden, entitled Genealogical and Personal History of Fayette County, Pennsylvania, Vol. III.
Son Solomon Sturtz (1838-1864) was born on Oct. 7, 1838 in Southampton Township. His presumed aunt Louise Troutman assisted in the birth. He grew up on his parents' farm in Southampton Township. Later, he relocated with his parents and siblings to Coldwater Township, Butler County, IA. He never married. When the Civil War broke out, Solomon and his brothers enlisted in the Union Army at Clarksville, IA on Aug. 20, 1862. They assigned to the 32nd Iowa Infantry. Solomon sent home a portion of his pay to help support his parents. In March and April of 1863, he and his brother Michael were detached from the regiment so they could help the 1st Missouri Artillery. However, tragically, after returning to the regiment, he contracted chronic diarrhea in about May 1864. He was treated at Vicksburg, MS but unable to rally, he succumbed on June 6, 1864. His death is listed in the 1883 book History of Butler and Bremer Counties, Iowa (Springfield, IL: Union Publishing Company). His remains were placed at rest in the Vicksburg National Cemetery. [Find-a-Grave]
Son Michael Sturtz (1841-1863) was born on Sept. 27, 1841 in Somerset County. As with his older brother, his presumed aunt Louise Troutman assisted in the birth. He never married. He was considered stout and healthy and worked every day. At times he also assisted neighbors with farm work, including John M. Hart. When the Civil War broke out, Michael and his brothers Adam and Solomon joined the Union Army at Camp Franklin, Dubuque, IA and were assigned to the 32nd Iowa Infantry, Company G. He immediately received one month's pay and a $25 bounty and sent home $30 or $35 in care of his friend William A. Keister. In March and April of 1863, he and his brother Solomon were detached from the regiment so they could help the 1st Missouri Artillery. In June 1863, while at Cape Girardeau, MO, he had friend Keister carry home another $85 for benefit of the family. On Oct. 16, 1863, having taken ill with remittent lung fever, Michael left the regiment and was sent to the Army general hospital at Little Rock, AR. There, he died on Nov. 3, 1863, at the age of 21. His friend Keister saw the body a few moments after death occurred. The book History of Butler and Bremer Counties, Iowa, states that "Of these [enlistments], Adam Solomon and Michael Sturtz, F.M. and Elias G. Miller, and William T. Hall never returned, finding graves in southern soil." His death is listed in the 1883 book History of Butler and Bremer Counties, Iowa (Springfield, IL: Union Publishing Company). [Find-a-Grave]
Daughter Rebecca Sturtz (1844- ? ) was born on Feb. 15, 1844 in Southampton Township. When she was age 13, she and her parents and siblings moved to Iowa, settling on a farm in Greene, Butler County. She married a neighbor, John Earnest (1843- ? ), who had grown up about two miles from her house. They were farmers. In 1865, John and his father in law bought a threshing machine. On the day that they made the purchase, the father in law was drinking, and John took the bottle away, saying "That must stop." They actively worked together in the threshing business, but the venture apparently did not produce the desired financial results. The Earnests continued to make their residence in Greene, Butler County, IA, as shown by the 1880 federal census. Their four known children were Susan C. Earnest, Elizabeth Earnest, Samuel F. Earnest and John H. Earnest. In 1880, Rebecca's 16-year-old brother Frank Sturtz lived under their roof and worked as a hired hand.
Daughter Sarah Catherine Sturtz (1846- ? ) was born on Nov. 26, 1846 in Southampton Township. In 1866, when she would have been age 20, she is believed to have married Jacob Moss (1845- ? ), son of Elder Philip Moss and a native of Indiana. They settled in Section 11 of Butler County, IA and had four children -- Clarence Moss, Franklin Moss, Owen Moss and Bertha Moss. This family is summarized in the 1883 book History of Butler and Bremer Counties, Iowa (Springfield, IL: Union Publishing Company). More will be added here when discovered.
Son Adam Sturtz (1849-1929) was born on Sept. 26, 1849 in Southampton Township. He is not to be confused with a first cousin of the same name (1849-1864), the son of Solomon and Elizabeth Sturtz, who gave his life during the Civil War. Our Adam married Indiana native Martha Jane Rife (1852-1918). In 1880, census records show they had no children but dwelled in Greene, Butler County, IA. In 1882, when Adam was age 33, his father said that he "was always sickly and is yet." Yet Adam lived into his 82nd year. Sadly, Martha died on Nov. 16, 1918. Adam survived her by 11 years. He died on June 24, 1929, at the age of 81, in Jackson County, IA. They rest for eternity in the Rose Hill Cemetery in Greene.
Daughter Mary Ellen Sturtz (1853- ? ) was born on March 7, 1853 in Southampton Township. At the age of 17, unmarried, she dwelled at home with her parents.
Son Jacob Sturtz (1855- ? ) was born on Feb. 1, 1855 in Southampton Township. He was age two when the family migrated to Iowa.
Son Charles W. Sturtz (1858- ? ) was born on Jan. 30, 1858, the first of the family to be born in Coldwater, Butler County, IA.
Son Franklin F.M. "Frank" Sturtz (1862- ? ) was born in April 1861 or on March 17, 1862 in Coldwater, Butler County, IA. Age eight when his mother died, he was taken into the home of his married elder sister Rebecca Earnest. Little is known of his life. He died on Nov. 7, 1939, and is buried in Rose Hill Cemetery in Greene, Butler County.
~ More ~
We are grateful for records provided by Gilbert R. Gaumer of Glendale, MO (compiled 1973-1980), Paul K. Gaumer and Mary L. Shirer in the preparation of this biography.
The Gaumer and Hoyman clans are profiled in the 486-page book Some Notes, Quotes, and Quips of the Hoyman Clan and Related Lines, authored by David LeRoy Baldwin and published by Gateway Press in 1993.