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Samuel Gaumer


Samuel Gaumer was born in 1811 in Southampton Township, Somerset County, PA, the son of the son of Johann "Richard" and Mary Ann Gaumer.

In about 1831, when he was age 20 and she 19, Samuel married Susanna Korns (July 17, 1812-1854), the daughter of Daniel and Elizabeth (Reiber/Richart/River) Korns of Southampton Township. The Gaumer and Korn families were close, and Samuel's brother Daniel wedded Susanna's sister Elizabeth.

Susanna's great-grandfather, Henry Korns, was a German immigrant who in 1725 sailed from Nuremberg to Philadelphia aboard the ship Two Brothers and purchased land in Berks County, PA. Susanna's grandparents, Michael and Susanna (Boucher/Baker) Korns, had migrated to Somerset County, PA, where they spent the rest of their lives.


Somerset Herald, Sept. 15, 1846

Library of Congress

The Gaumers went on to produce 10 children -- among the known names are Lydia E. Case, Emanuel Gaumer, Katharine "Kate" Lepley, Mary A. Gaumer, Susanna "Anna" Troutman, Levi Gaumer, Samuel Korns Gaumer, Matilda Breniman, Amanda "Manda" Weller and Richard Henry Gaumer.

News articles and advertisements in the Somerset Herald circa 1845-1846 show that Samuel was active and engaged in his community. In December 1845, he was appointed as a delegate to represent Somerset County in a convention to be held at the state capitol of Harrisburg the following month for the purpose of persuading legislators to support "a continuous Rail Road from Philadelphia to Pittsburg," reported the Somerset Herald, "and for the extension of the B. & O. Rail Road from Cumberland to Pittsburgh." 

Then in August-September-October 1846, Herald ads show that Samuel at age 35 was politically minded, well connected and interested in pursuing election as county commissioner. He wrote: "To the Free and Independent Voters of Somerset County. Fellow Citizens: At the solicitation of numerous friends throughout the county, I offer myself to your consideration as a Candidate for Commissioner at the ensuing General Election, and respectfully solicit your suffrages. if elected, I will discharge the duties of the office with impartiality. SAMUEL GAUMER. Southampton tp, Aug. 25, '46".

Then in 1849, he campaigned for auditor of the township, with David Younkin of Milford Township running for coroner.

When the federal census was taken in 1850, the Gaumers dwelled in Southampton Township, next door to Samuel's brother David (or "Daniel"), his wife Elizabeth and their large brood. Samuel, along with Charles Uhl, served as a member of the Lutheran Church, which shared a building with the German Reformed Church. In June 1840, an act was passed in the General Assembly of Pennsylvania incorporating the Lutheran and German Reformed Churches at Wellersburg, Somerset County. They were instructed to serve as trustees "for one year and until others be chosen, in such manner, time and place as shall be determined by a majority of the members of said church."

Susanna passed away on Feb. 1, 1854, after 23 years of marriage. Burial was in Cook Cemetery in Somerset County.


Victor, Iowa streetscape, early 1900s



Genealogy of Michael Korns

Samuel survived her by 11 years.

He made the momentous decision to pull up stakes in Somerset County and migrate to Iowa. He undertook the long journey with his adult and adolescent children in 1854 or 1855, settling in Hartford Township, Iowa County. He rented a farm there from G.W. Wilson, who in 1855 had broken 80 acres of prairie on what became the town of Victor. 

Sadly, two of the children died within a few years of the migration -- Emanuel in 1858 at age 25, and Mary in 1859 at the age of 22.

In 1860, the federal census shows Samuel and his brood of seven children ranging in age from 25 to 9 in Victor, Warren Township, Poweshiek County. In 1864, continuing his interest in public service, Samuel served as supervisor of the county.

He died in Victor on Feb. 25, 1865, at the age of 54. Burial was in Calvary Cemetery in Brooklyn, Poweshiek County. [Find-a-Grave]

This family is named in the 1949 book The Genealogy of Michael Korns Sr. of Somerset County, Pennsylvania, authored by Charles Byron Korns (Berlin Publishing Company, 262 pages).

Samuel also is named in James C. Dinwiddie's book History of Iowa County, Iowa, and Its People, Vol. 1.


Samuel's terse entry in the 1949 book The Genealogy of Michael Korns Sr. of Somerset County, Pennsylvania.


~ Daughter Lydia E. (Gaumer) Case ~

Daughter Lydia E. Gaumer (1832-1865) was born on Jan. 29, 1832 in or near Southampton Township, Somerset County.

She was 24 years old when her mother died and the family soonafter migrated to Iowa.

She wedded Ranson Case ( ? - ? ).

Sadly, she died at the age of 32 or 33, in 1865, the same year as her father and brother Richard. She rests in Calvary Cemetery in Brooklyn, Poweshiek County.

The fate of her husband is unknown.


~ Son Emanuel Gaumer ~

Son Emanuel Gaumer (1833-1858) was born on Sept. 8, 1833 in or near Southampton Township, Somerset County.

He migrated west to Iowa with his widowed father and siblings in about 1855, when he would have been 22 years of age.

Sadly, he only lived for three more years after arriving in Iowa. He died on June 4, 1858, at age 25, with burial in Calvary Cemetery in Brooklyn, Poweshiek County, IA.


~ Daughter Katharine "Kate" (Gaumer) Lepley ~

Daughter Katharine "Kate" Gaumer (1835- ? ) was born Aug. 21, 1835 in or near Southampton Township, Somerset County. She was about 20 years old when she and her parents relocated to Iowa.

At the age of 25, in 1860, she dwelled with her widowed father and six younger siblings in Victor, Warren Township, Poweshiek County, IA. In 1880, census enumeration records show her living in the farm household of her married sister and brother-in-law, Susanna and Enoch Troutman, in Marshall County, IA.

Katharine at some point was wedded to (?) Lepley ( ? - ? ).

She passed away on July 23, 1892. Burial was in the Gaumer family plot in Calvary Cemetery in Brooklyn, Poweshiek County.

Little more about this marriage is known, other than that it is briefly referred to by Gaumer family historian Myrtle (Knepper) Weniger in her typescript work, The Gaumer Family and Allied Lines (Corvallis, OR: 1946). Her research largely was based on Korns notes compiled by Olive (Korns) Porter of Grinnell, IA.


~ Daughter Mary A. Gaumer ~

Daughter Mary A. Gaumer (1837-1859) was born on Nov. 24, 1837 in or near Southampton Township, Somerset County.

She was age 17 when her mother died and the family moved to Iowa.

She only spent four years of her life in Iowa before she was cut away by the Grim Reaper. She succumbed on Sept. 5, 1859, of causes not yet known.

Burial was in Calvary Cemetery in Brooklyn, Poweshiek County.


~ Daughter Susanna "Ann" (Gaumer) Troutman ~

Daughter Susanna "Anna" Gaumer (1840-1922) was born on Jan. 3, 1840 in or near Southampton Township, Somerset County.

Single at age 20, she dwelled with her widowed father and siblings in Victor, Warren Township, Poweshiek County, IA.

On July 2, 1865, at the age of 25, she was united in holy matrimony with widower Enoch Troutman (Oct. 1, 1833-1911), a native of Somerset County.

As a single man, in 1855, Enoch had left Somerset County to explore the possibilities for farming in Iowa, and then returned in 1857 to marry his first bride, Lucinda Augustine ( ? -1864). Enoch and Lucinda initially settled in Grundy Center, IA. The couple produced two children who succumbed in infancy. Grief blanketed the family when Lucinda herself died on April 18, 1864.

After a year of grieving, Enoch then wedded our Susanna.

The second marriage generated two known children, Rosemary Troutman and James "Russell" Troutman.

The family lived on a farm in or around Albion, Marshall County, IA, as shown in the federal census records of 1870 and 1880. They were members of the Albion Presbyterian Church. In 1880, Susanna's unmarried, 44-year-old sister Catharine Gaumer lived in the household. Circa 1888, Susanna visited at the home of her sister and brother in law, Amanda and Frank Weller, in Mitchell, South Dakota, as reported in the Mitchell Daily Republican and Saint Paul (MN) Globe.

Susanna and Enoch returned in 1895 to see the Wellers in South Dakota. In reporting on the visit, the Sioux Falls (SD) Argus-Leader reported that "Mr. Troutman owns some farm property in this county, which he has been looking over and feels so well satisfied with his investments that he has about concluded to buy another large slice of real estate." They moved off of the farm in 1891 for a home in Albion.

The Troutmans retired in September 1900 and sold their Albion farm to L.W. Fox. They purchased a home in the town of Marshalltown located near the soldiers' home. The Marshalltown Evening Times-Republican noted at the time that Enoch was "a well-to-do farmer, and has accumulated means so that he will retire from business of any kind." Their residence in 1911 was at 1628 Summit Street.

Enoch died from the effects of heart disease on March 24, 1911 at the age of 77. His remains were lowered into repose in Albion Cemetery, with Rev. James Rayburn preaching the funeral service. In an obituary, the Evening Times-Republican noted that among the out-of-towners who attended the funeral were Susanna's "nephews and niece, Mr. Charles E. Breniman, of Shoshoni, Wyo.; Mr. E.S. Breniman, of Grinnell, and Miss Lillian Breniman, of Grinnell..."

Susanna survived her husband by 11 years and joined him in eternity at the age of 82 on Feb. 17, 1922.

Notes by Gaumer family history researcher Myrtle (Knepper) Weniger, in her typescript work, The Gaumer Family and Allied Lines (Corvallis, OR: 1946), state that Susan married "Jeff Crouch," but this is thought to be an error.

Daughter Rosemary Troutman (1866- ? ) was born in about 1866 in Iowa.

Son James "Russell" Troutman (1871- ? ) was born in about 1871 in Marshall County, IA.


~ Son Levi Gaumer ~


Surgeon's sketch of Levi's wound, 1882

Son Levi Gaumer (1842-1908) was born on Feb. 1 or 2, 1842 in or near Southampton Township, Somerset County. As a boy he migrated to Iowa with his parents, settling in Poweshiek County.

He was a farmer in early manhood and stood 5 feet, 9½ inches tall, with a light complexion, grey eyes and black hair.

When the Civil War broke out, he traveled to Davenport to join the 8th Iowa Infantry, Company G, enlisting on Sept. 3, 1861. The company was commanded by Lt. Charles Scott. At the Battle of Shiloh, on April 6, 1862, also known as the Battle of Pittsburg Landing in Tennessee, he was shot in the left leg above the ankle. The ball grazed Levi's tibia bone and cut muscles, causing a serious wound.

He was captured and held as a prisoner of war and then released via parole in May back to the Union Army. Now nursing an ulcer on the leg, Levi was admitted to an army hospital on July 7, 1862. When the ulcer failed to heal, he was discharged on Oct. 14, 1862.

After the war, he resided on a farm in Brooklyn near Victor. On April 28, 1874, at the age of 32, he was awarded a military pension for his wartime wound [Invalid App. #191.927 - Cert. #133.383]. His monthly pension checks circa 1895 totaled $12.

Circa 1878, Levi dwelled in Marion Township, Poweshiek County, IA and by 1879 had moved to Spencer, Clay County, IA. The 1880 federal census shows Levi, age 38, living in the household of his married sister Amanda Weller in Spencer, Clay County, IA and earning a living as a farmer.


Battle of Shiloh, otherwise known as Pittsburg Landing, Tennessee, where Levi Gaumer was wounded and captured


His leg never fully healed, and visually it looked discolored and infected. He wore an elastic rubber stocking on his right leg to help overcome varicose veins which he claimed were caused by weakness of the left leg. He also claimed discomfort in his bowels and rectum as well as "catarrh" of the head which impaired his hearing.

At the age of 42, on Oct. 29, 1884, he was united in holy wedlock with 45-year-old Elizabeth Mussbaum (1839-1906), daughter of Nicholas and Christina (Dunn) Mussbaum. Rev. David E. Smith officiated at the ceremony held in Warren Township, Poweshiek County. The couple did not reproduce.

Levi is named in Lurton Dunham Ingersoll's 1867 book Iowa and the Rebellion and 1880 The History of Poweshiek County, Iowa, He was a member of the Mount Olive Lodge of the International Organization of Good Templars (IOGT), a temperance organization with literary interests, considered one of the leading cultural groups in the town. Wrote Dr. J. Irving Manatt in volume 1 of the 1911 book History of Poweshiek County, Iowa, by Leonard Fletcher Parker:

The best thinker among us and most effective speaker was Levi Gaumer (of an old Pennsylvania Dutch family that I should have mentioned before); and who died but recently on his farm southeast of Brooklyn. He was not what we should now call an educated man, but I wish the average college graduate possessed half his real culture -- half his interest in the things of the mind. The last thing I heard of him was that he was reading my 'Mycenaean Age;' and I should value highly his impressions of it.

Levi signed a letter in January 1895, supporting the Civil War injury claims of his brother-in-law Frederick Breniman.

Elizabeth passed away on March 21, 1906. Levi survived for another two years. He died on May 13, 1908. His remains were lowered into eternal rest in Harmony Cemetery in Poweshiek County. [Find-a-Grave]


~ Son Samuel Korns Gaumer ~

Son Samuel Korns Gaumer Jr. (1843-1873) was born on March 16, 1844 in or near Southampton Township, Somerset County.

He was but a boy of 10 when his mother died and his father decided to relocate the family to Iowa.

Whether or note he married is not yet known.

Samuel died an untimely death at age 29 on May 30, 1873. The cause is not yet known. Burial was in the Gaumer family plot in Harmony Cemetery in Poweshiek County.


~ Daughter Matilda (Gaumer) Breniman ~

Daughter Matilda Gaumer (1846-1889) was born on May 1, 1846 in or near Southampton Township, Somerset County. As a girl of age eight, she lost her mother to death, followed by the move of the family to Iowa.

On April 1, 1866, when she was age 19, Matilda wedded 28-year-old Civil War veteran Frederick Breniman (Aug. 28, 1837-1909). The wedding was held in Poweshiek County. Born in Zimmerwald, Berne County, Switzerland, he came to America at the age of 14, settled in Ohio and later migrated with the family to Iowa. Frederick stood 5 feet, 8 inches tall, and had a dark complexion, blue eyes and brown hair.

During the war, while at Brooklyn, Poweshiek County, he joined the Union Army on Aug. 1, 1862 as a private. He was assigned to the 28th Iowa Infantry, Company H. In a biography in the 1880 book The History of Poweshiek County, Iowa, he is said to have "participated in all of the battles that regiment took part in. At the battle of Winchester [Sept. 1864] he was knocked senseless by a piece of a shell, his gun being broken by the same, and at Champion's Hill his gun-lock was shot off while he was in the act of firing."


Civil War battle action at Winchester, VA in September 1864


At Winchester, he was in a rifle pit with loud firing all around, causing him some deafness. Then while stationed at Savannah, GA, he contracted a fever which led to aches and pains he considered to be rheumatism. He finally received an honorable discharge in Savannah on July 31, 1865 and returned home, settling on a farm a few miles from Brooklyn. For the rest of his life, he claimed disability based on a neck injury, rheumatism, heart disease and hearing loss, all due to Army service.

The couple produced eight children over the span of 18 years -- Emma Triggs, Oliver R. "Ollie" Breniman, Charles Edward Breniman, Ella Mae Frease, Rose Belle Willett, Lillian Iola Garnette, Elmer Sidney Breniman and Rudolph Breniman.

The Breniman farm originally was 80 acres but later was expanded to 120 acres, located near Victor, Poweshiek County in Section 36. The tract contained "a good residence and barn," said the History.


Frederick's profile in the 1880 book, The History of Poweshiek County



Samuel's letter spelling
out his Swiss birthdate

National Archives

Circa the summer of 1889, Matilda was suffering from tuberculosis (consumption) and traveled to Manitou, El Paso County, CO, possibly seeking a cure. Sadly, at the age of 43, Matilda died in Manitou on Aug. 22, 1889. Her remains were transported back to Iowa for interment in Harmony Cemetery in Poweshiek County.

Frederick lived for another 30 years after his wife's passing and married again, on Sept. 27, 1893, to Emily M. (Coon) Waite (March 20, 1850-1919), widow of George S. Waite ( ? -1872). Rev. J.K. Bloom performed the nuptials held at Oxford Junction, Jones County, IA, and among the witnesses were his sister Lida Mohr and her brother J.E. Coon

In March 1890, Frederick was awarded a military pension for his Civil War service. [Invalid App. #764.604 - Cert. #663.617]

Circa February 1907, Frederick sold his 160-acre farm to L.T. Bowers, located four miles southeast of Marshalltown. At the same time, he and his brother Gottlieb went to Texas and acquired 480 acres of "fine farming land in the Pan Handle country," said the Marshalltown Evening Times Republican.

In about 1908, they moved from Brooklyn to Grinnell, IA.

As his health failed, Frederick went to live in the home of his brothers Chris D. and Gotlieb Breniman in Brooklyn. He succumbed there on March 14, 1909. His remains were placed into rest for all time in Brooklyn Memorial Cemetery, following funeral services in the Brooklyn Methodist Church. The Evening Times-Republican said that his remains were carried to the railroad station for transport by "the comrades of Gordon Granger post acting as escort and pall bearers to the depot." An obituary in the Davenport (IA) Quad City Times said that he was "a brother of Mr. Godlieb and Chris Breniman and Mrs. Lyde Mohn of [Davenport]."

Emily survived for another decade and began receiving her late husband's pension checks. [Widow App. #1.085.328 - Cert. #829.577] Her address in 1909 was 311 Fourth Avenue in Grinnell. Circa 1917, she is known to have lived in Grinnell. She received word in June 1918 that her brother had contracted blood poisoning from a foot injury, and she traveled to his home in Oxford Junction to be at his side. She died from the effects of typhoid fever on Oct. 27, 1919.

Daughter Emma A. Breniman (1865-1925) was born on Feb. 5, 1865 or 1867. She married (?) Triggs ( ? - ? ). She died on Jan. 24, 1925. Burial was in Harmony Cemetery in Poweshiek County.

Son Oliver R. "Ollie" Breniman (1868-1951) was born on Sept. 24, 1868. He died in Iowa at the age of 82 or 83 in 1951. Burial was in Harmony Cemetery in Poweshiek County.

Son Charles Edward Breniman (1870-1960) was born on Aug. 18, 1870 near Victor, Poweshiek County, IA. His home in 1911 was in Shoshoni, WY and in 1916 in San Antonio, TX, when he returned to Brooklyn for a visit. On Dec. 19, 1916, when he was 46 years old, he wedded Helen (Hine) Leffel ( ? - ? ), daughter of Ralph E. Hine. The nuptials were held in Christ Episcopal Church in Houston, TX by the hand of Rev. Peter Gray Sears. In reporting on the wedding, the Houston Post said that the newlyweds "left immediately after the ceremony on an extended western trip and upon their return will be at home in San Antonio..." A lumberman by trade, he and Helen migrated to Fremont County, WY, where Charles engaged in mining and construction and went on to serve as an elected member of the Wyoming legislature. They moved again to Fort Collins, Larimer County, CO in 1934. Charles died on April 15, 1960, with interment in Grandview Cemetery in Fort Collins, and obituaries appearing in the Casper (WY) Star-Tribune and Billings (MT) Gazette.

Daughter Ella Mae Breniman (1873-1953) was born on Sept. 16, 1873. On May 8, 1901, at the age of 27, she married 32-year-old George U. Frease (1868-1949), son of William and Sarah (Shifflett) Frease. Their offspring were Sidney Doyne Frease and Donald Edwin Frease. The couple made their home in Fort Collins, Larimer County, CO. George died in 1949 and rests in Grandview Cemetery in Fort Collins. Ella Mae followed him to the grave on July 1, 1953 at the age of 79.

Daughter Rose Belle Breniman (1875-1942) was born on Nov. 11, 1875 near Victor, Warren Township. In girlhood, she became a member of the Moravian Church located to the southeast of Brooklyn. On March 24, 1897, in a ceremony held in Poweshiek County, she married Cornelius Ellsworth "Neal" Willett (June 1, 1870-1943), son of William Cornelius and Anna Elizabeth (Adams) Willett. They were the parents of three children, among them Helen Iowa Hansen and Howard Charles Willett. The couple began living on a farm southeast of Brooklyn and remained there for the rest of their lives. At some point Rose Belle transferred her membership to the Brooklyn Church of the Brethren in Poweshiek County. They could not have helped but to feel proud of their son Howard who studied animal husbandry at Iowa State College. Rose died in the Grinnell Community Hospital on March 7, 1942. Burial was in the Brooklyn Odd Fellows Cemetery. Neal only survived her a year. He succumbed the day after Christmas 1943.

  • Granddaughter Helen I. Willett (1904- ? ) was born in 1904. On Nov. 11, 1928, in nuptials held in Brooklyn, the 24-year-old Helen was joined in wedlock with 32-year-old Ulive J. Hansen (1896- ? ). He was the son of C. Fred and Margaret Cristie (Greave) Hansen.

Daughter Lillian Iola Breniman (1878-1951) was born on Jan. 31, 1878 in Poweshiek County. Unmarried at the age of 33, in 1911, she made her residence in Grinnell, IA. When she was 35 years of age, on June 17, 1913, she married 39-year-old Ivan Wesley Garnette (June 7, 1874-1929), the son of James A. and Virginia A. (Pease) Garnett. The marriage ceremony was held in Grinnell. Circa 1905, Ivan is thought to have worked as manager of the Chamberlain Annex in Des Moines. The newlyweds lived in Knoxville, IA. Ivan died in Des Moines, Polk County, IA at the age of 55 on Aug. 13, 1929. Lillian lived for another 22 years as a widow. She died in Fort Collins, Larimer County, CO on Sept. 24, 1951, with burial in the Grandview Cemetery in Fort Collins. Inscribed on her red barre granite marker are the words "Sister of Ella Mae Frease.

Son Walter F. Breniman (1880- ? ) was born on Feb. 21, 1880 in Warren Township, Poweshiek County.

Son Elmer Sidney "E.S." Breniman (1883-1965) was born on May 26, 1883 near Brooklyn, Poweshiek County, IA. At the age of 27, on June 15, 1910, he was wedded to 24-year-old Bertha Leona Manatt (1885-1975), daughter of Albert Wade and Anna E. (Rowland) Manatt. In 1911, they lived in Grinnell, IA. He spent his final years in Fort Collins, Larimer County, CO and died there at the age of 81 on May 21, 1965. His remains were lowered into repose in Grandview Cemetery. Bertha married again to (?) Graff ( ? - ? ). She died in 1975, with burial in the Manatt family plot in Brooklyn Memorial Cemetery in Poweshiek County.

Son Rudolph "Rudy" Brenniman (1885- ? ) was born on Oct. 13, 1885. He is believed to have resided in Anderson, IA in 1906. In about 1910, Rudolph married Beulah (1886- ? ). At the time, he was employed as a railroad yard man in Grinnell.


~ Daughter Amanda (Gaumer) Weller ~

Daughter Amanda Gaumer (1848-1945) was born on May 24, 1848 in or near Southampton Township, Somerset County. As a young girl she came to Iowa with her widowed father and siblings, and as an 82-year-old, she was referred to by a Sioux City newspaper as "a pioneer Iowan."

In 1877, at the age of about 19, she was joined in wedlock with 26-year-old Frank Weller (Jan. 1851-1921), a native of New York or Illinois. (Records differ.)

Their three offspring were Charles S. Weller, Theodosia Bower and Carrie Weller.

When the federal census enumeration was made in 1880, the Wellers dwelled in Spencer, Clay County, IA, where Frank earned a living as a lumber dealer. That year, Amanda's 38-year-old brother Levi lived under their roof.

Circa 1886, they moved to Mitchell, Davison County, SD and are shown there in the 1900 U.S. Census, with Frank's occupation shown as "real estate." Frank was considered "one of Davison county's pioneer citizens," said the Sioux Falls (SD) Argus-Leader.


Overflow crowd at a Corn Palace Festival in Mitchell, South Dakota


Amanda and Frank divorced in the early 1900s. He wedded again to Myra Pepper (1856- ? ). Over the years, Frank purchased more than 1,000 acres of real estate and was a driver in the planting of sweet clover. Myra had her own identity and activity, said the Argus-Leader, and was "widely known in suffrage circles and was a delegate to the Farmer-Labor convention in Chicago last summer, when P.P. Christensen was nominated as the party's presidential candidate." She also helped to organize the South Dakota League of Women Voters. In May 1921, the 65-year-old Myra filed for divorce, claiming cruel and inhuman treatment, and went to Miami, OK to reside with a daughter from an earlier marriage.

After an illness of two years, Frank succumbed at the age of 70 on Sept. 8, 1921, with interment in Graceland Cemetery in Mitchell, Davison County, SD. When his will was probated, it was learned that he left an estate of $200,000, of which all was to go to son Charles except for a dollar for Myra. News of the matter was printed in the Argus-Leader.

Amanda's home in Sioux City circa 1905 was 1013 Pierce Street and with her married daughter Theodosia in 1920-1930 at 1305 West 19th Street. In November 1930, her son Charles traveled from his home in Mitchell, SD to pay a visit.

Amanda died in 1945.

Son Charles S. Weller (1878-1953) was born in March 1878 in Iowa. When he was a boy, in about 1887, he moved with his parents to Mitchell, Davison County, SD, and became known as a pioneer Mitchell resident and prominent businessman. On Sept. 5, 1900, in a ceremony held in Sioux City, IA, he wedded Sarah Ann Ball (1875-1976), daughter of Thomas J. Ball of Hinsdale, IL. Their three children were Samuel Franklin Weller, Alpheus W. Weller and Amanda H. Van Tassel. He served in the South Dakota State Legislature in 1915. In 1920, he made news when selling one of his farms in Mitchell. Said the Daily Deadwood Pioneer-Times, he "found it necessary to let the lawyer insert a clause in the contract, which nullifies the deal should Governor Cox be elected President. The farm purchaser said he feared a continuation of a Democratic administration would make the obligation of paying for the farm 'a hazardous undertaking.' He said, however, that he is confident that if Senator Harding is elected the farmers of the northwest will no longer be ignored by the national administration and crop and cattle raisers will prosper. The farmers in this section are turning fast to the Republican national ticket because they believe that a Republican national administration in power will recognize the needs of the great food producing states of the nation and will encourage greater production." Then in 1927, in his role of marketing and publicity with the South Dakota Agricultural Department, he made a proposal to "have the eight great midwest agricultural states take their problem unto themselves and work out their own salvation," said the Sioux Falls (SD) Argus-Leader. In doing so, feeling as though the federal government had "been too discriminating in the matter of extending aid to big business, has about come to the conclusion that it is useless for the agrarian interests to further besiege congress in the hopes of gaining economic parity. And so he proposes an economic alliance within the eight great agricultural states. He would have these states adopt the export corporation plan, outlined in the McNary bill, officered and operated by the producers themselves, so that, at all times, control of the farm products would be in the hands of the men who have actually produced them." In January 1928, he served as chairman of the South Dakota Agricultural Equality Committee and announced his candidacy for Congress. Their home in 1930 was in Mitchell. In November 1930, Charles traveled to see his 82-year-old mother in Sioux City, IA. In reporting on his visit, the Sioux City (IA) Journal said that he "was an active backer of Senator W.H. McMaster in his campaign for re-election and naturally feel[s] much disappointment over the outcome of the election in South Dakota. He says that the senator has been fighting the battle of middle-west agriculture in Washington and that he deserved indorsement from the voters of South Dakota. He has it figured out that, although McMaster was notably an anti-administration republican, many who otherwise would have voted for him voted for Bulow as a more definite protest against the administration. Two years ago Mr. Weller himself was a candidate for congress. He has been active in South Dakota for years, in cooperative enterprises. One of the distinctions accorded him by Fox's Who's Who Among South Dakotans is that of being responsible for adoption by the British of caterpillar propulsion for war tanks." In April 1931, he was appointed South Dakota director for the reorganized federal employment service by Secretary of Labor William Nuckles Doak during the administration of President Herbert Hoover. But after the presidential election of Franklin Delano Roosevelt in 1932, the office was abolished. Circa 1942, he was employed with the South Dakota Department of Agriculture in Pierre, SD. In his spare time, he was an amateur magician who invented specialty gadgets and sold them as a hobby and business. Charles died in 1953 with burial in Graceland Cemetery in Mitchell. Sarah outlived her spouse by decades. She passed away at the age of 101 on April 6, 1976. An obituary in the Mitchell Daily Republic said that Father Gordon Plowe officiated the funeral service.

  • Grandson Samuel Franklin Weller (1901-1978) was born on Dec. 5, 1901. He was united in holy matrimony with Edna Dorothea Braase (Oct. 3, 1901-2008), daughter of Frederick and Emma (Brinkmann) Braase of Crawford County, IA. The marriage took place in Glendale, CA. Their two children were Corinne Ragle and richard "Dick" Weller. Prior to marriage, Edna received a teaching certificate from the University of South Dakota in Vermillion and went on to teach in a one-room prairie schoolhouse for two years. She then enrolled in the University of California at Los Angeles (UCLA) where she earned a history degree on the same day she was married. Very involved in the community, said a newspaper, Edna was "an active member of St. Mary's Episcopal Church. She helped organize the first Mitchell Cub Scout Troop, volunteered at St. Mary's Church, Mitchell School Board, Methodist Hospital, Meals on Wheels, YWCA, Oscar Howe Art Center, Abbott House and Friends of the Middle Border Museum. She was a member of PEO, Fortnightly Club, Garden Club, and Alpha Xi Delta national sorority." Samuel died on March 7, 1978, at the age of 78. Interment was in Graceland Cemetery in Mitchell, SD. Edna survived for three decades as a widow and suffered the heartbreak of the death of her son-in-law. She became a resident of Countryside Living in October 2005. At the age of 106, on Feb. 20, 2008, she passed into eternity.
  • Grandson Alpheus W. Weller (1903-1977) was born on Jan. 25, 1903 in Sioux City, IA and moved to South Dakota in boyhood. On June 30, 1925, he was joined in matrimony with Helen Drake ( ? - ? ) in nuptials held at Mitchell, Daviston County, SD. Their three offspring were Pamela Korsgaard, Marilyn Hazard and William A. Weller. Said the Mitchell Daily Republic, Alpheus "attended Dakota Wesleyan University. He started the Weller Company, the successor to the Weller Land Company founded in 1890 by his grandfather and father. His brother Sam joined him as a partner." Alpheus was a member of the local Congegational Church, Elks Club and Resurgan Lodge of the Shrine. Professionally, he belonged to the Rotary Club, Independent Insurance Agents of South Dakota, South Dakota Association of Realtors, the Mitchell Association of Realtors and the Mitchell Chamber of Commerce. For three decades, he sereved as state national director for the Independent Insurance Agents of South Dakota and was a longtime board director for Methodist Hospital. At the age of 74, Alpheus died on March 1, 1977. Rev. Carl Serr led the funeral service, with interment in Graceland Cemetery, and an obituary appearing in the Daily Republic.
  • Granddaughter Amanda H. Weller (1910-1997) was born on Aug. 29, 1910 in Mitchell, Davison County, SD. She married Edwin Douglas "Ted" Van Tassel (May 30, 1909-1972), a native of Alexandria, Hanson County SD. They were the parents of four children -- Thomas E. Van Tassel, Marcia A. Van Tassel, Gerald Charles "Jerry" Van Tassel and Douglas Van Tassel. Edwin was employed in early adulthood with Rural State Credit Division in South Dakota. The family relocated in 1945 to Vancouver, WA, and then later moved to Eugene, OR, where he earned a living as a realtor. They endured the death of their 20-year-old son Gerald in 1958 at the age of 20. Edwin died on Feb. 20, 1972. Amanda lived for another quarter of a century. She succumbed on Jan. 4, 1997.

Daughter Theodosia "Dotie" Weller (1880- ? ) was born in Oct. 1880 in Iowa. On Dec. 28, 1905, at the age of 25, she married 32-year-old Vermont native Clayton W. Mower (1873- ? ), sometimes misspelled "Bower." The nuptials were held in the home of Theodosia's mother in Sioux City, IA, officiated by Rev. J.D.O. Powers of the First Unitarian Church. "The ceremony was witnessed by a few of the more intimate friends and was simple in its details," reported the Sioux City Journal. "Mr. and Mrs. Mower left that evening for a week's visit in Minneapolis." The couple established a home in Sioux City, where Clayton was employed as manager of the Bruce-Edgerton Lumber Company. They produced two sons, James W. Mower and John R. Mower. By 1920, living on North 19th Street in Sioux City, Theodosia's 71-year-old mother dwelled in the home, and Clayton worked in civil service with the government. At the death of her wealthy father in 1921, Theodosia learned that she and her sons were to inherit $100 each. Circa 1953, their home was in Stockbridge, MA.

  • Grandson James W. Mower (1907- ? ) was born in about 1907 in Sioux City, Woodbury County, IA.
  • Grandson John R. Mower (1914- ? ) was born in about 1914 in Sioux City, Woodbury County, IA.

Daughter Carrie Weller (1886- ? ) was born in May 1886 in Iowa.


~ Son Richard Henry Gaumer ~

Son Richard Henry Gaumer (1851- ? ) was born on June 4, 1851 in or near Southampton Township, Somerset County.

As a boy, he traveled with his parents to Iowa and in 1860, at age nine, resided with his father and siblings in Victor, Poweshiek County.

His was not destined to be a life long-lived. At the age of 14, he died on Sept. 25, 1865.

Burial was in Calvary Cemetery in Brooklyn, Poweshiek County.


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