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Baumgartner Family History

The Baumgartner Family
John Christian Baumgartner (1828-1905) and Samantha (Daniels) Baumgartner (1834-1892) married on October 12, 1856. He had been born in Bavaria, Germany, on March 14, immigrated to the United States in 1852, and lived in Greenfield Township, Wayne County, Michigan, when he wed Samantha at age 28, she being 22. She lived in Ohio. They were living in Greenfield Township when their first five sons were born.

On February 15, 1856, John bought 80 acres which bordered on the roads of Masonic and Kelley. The 1870 Census shows the family was living in Erin Township (former name of Fraser) with five sons, aged 1-12 years old. As the family grew, John built a larger, 2-story brick home on the corner of these two roads in 1875. He now had six sons and one daughter. They would later add their last child, a second daughter, in 1876.

“Baumgartner,” a name that remains unchanged, literally means “Tree Gardner” in German. Frederick O. Baumgartner was the first child born in April, 1858. He died in 1943, never married, and lived at home until his father died. He then moved in with the second born, Charles J. Charles, (July 1860-February 1947), held two patents and mined in Virginia until the time of his mother’s death. He moved back to Michigan and married Neva Daniels. They had two sons, Gordon and Horace. Charles later lived in Detroit, Michigan, with his two sons, brothers Frederick and David, and sisters Eva and Edna.

In 1894, John C. (May 1863-1947) married Octavia Alphonsina (Allie) Peltier, whose great-grandfather’s daughter was Alexander Fraser’s mother (the founder of Fraser, Michigan). The couple had six children and eventually moved to Walled Lake, Michigan, where John died.

Harry L. was born in February, 1867. He married Adel (born 1871). He became a mechanic and did well for himself. He moved in with his sister after his wife died.

John George (a.k.a. George J.), born September 1868 and died in 1944, married twice: first to Marion Elliott and then to Jennie Common. Jennie and he lived in a house built by brother, Charles, on Common Road near Gratiot Avenue.

David I. (August 1871-July 1911) sustained serious injuries in a building collapse at Detroit’s Eastern Market in 1860, which also injured his mother. He never married, believed to be because of these injuries. In 1900, he was living alone and working on an Erin Township farm. In 1905, after his father died, he moved into the Baumgartner family estate with his two sisters. By 1910, however, all three are living with brothers Frederick and Charles in Detroit.

Eva Elizabeth (November 1873-1954) was baptized at St. John Lutheran Church of Fraser. Edna M. was born on October 1856 and died in 1959. She is the only child born in the brick house on Masonic and Kelley Roads. Neither daughter married.

The family became members of the St. John Lutheran Church of Fraser in 1866. John C., Samantha, David, Frederick, Neva, Charles, Eva, and Edna are buried in the Erin Grove Cemetery on Little Mack Road in Roseville, Michigan. John Jr. and Allie are buried in Detroit, Michigan; George, in Plymouth, Michigan, with his first wife; and Harry’s place of rest is unknown.

Samantha Baumgartner preceded her husband in death on December 24, 1892. The cause of death is listed due to the injuries incurred by her at the Eastern Market accident exactly two years before the date of her death. She had been there selling her apples, which people came from miles around to buy since they were so delicious.

When John C. Baumgartner died, his personal estate was estimated at $4,000 and his real estate at $10,000. Because there was no will, his estate went into probate. A partial list of his real estate and goods included a two-horse farm wagon, a white, 22-year old mare, a 15-year-old white gelding, 2 red cows, one buffalo robe, six fat hogs, one wheelbarrow, and other farm equipment since that had been John’s primary occupation.

The Property
The eighty acres of land that John bought in 1856 extended from the east-west borders from Kelley Road to Groesbeck Highway (M-97), and from the north on Masonic Road to 14-Mile Road on the south-end. The area near the newly built two-story house came to have two barns, a cow shed, pig pen, and a smoke house. The family raised their own produce and Samantha had the apple orchard. John purchased the original tract of land for the sum of $1,200.

After the death of John at age 77, the house was auctioned off to son, David I. In 1909, the farm was sold on a land contract and later outright sold. After the Baumgartners sold it to Orville and Ida Shattuck, it was then owned (for one-month only) by Fred and Louise Dettmer in 1920. Other owners include Christian and Hilda Hoerling; Gottfried and Melanie Lambrecht in 1942; and then John and Petronilla Huber in May, 1945. They are the last private owners of the estate. The City of Fraser acquired the property from the Huber estate on August 24, 1981, for $62,000.

The two-story brick home that John constructed in 1875, was built in the German architectural style known as rundbogenstil. This style was popular in Germany between the years of 1840-50. German immigrants who came to America at that time, as John did, copied the style.

There were four requirements to meet the standards of rundbogenstil: the house must be brick, must be square or almost square (John’s house is 32’ x 22’), the windows must be round at the top, and the corbeling (or an arrangement of bricks projecting from the face of the wall, generally for support) must be over and beneath the windows. Because of the briefness of this historical architectural period, the style is very special and very rare.

The Hemme Barn
Although not an original farm structure on the Baumgartner property, it is one from that era. When property on Mulvey Road was purchased for development, the Fraser Historical Commission approached the buyers about saving this 125-year-old barn. William and Mary Martin of Villas of Pine Ridge donated the Hemme Barn to the commission. On December 8-9, 1990, nine members of the Fraser Lions Club tagged all the boards and beams. The barn was dismantled by twenty-three Lions Club members on December 15-16.

After the hand-hewn timbers and boards were moved to the Baumgartner property, there they sat until they were again moved to the city’s DPW yard in 1992. This was the same year in which Mike Stitt was found, a master barn raiser who would take on the task of assembling the barn again.

The barn was raised by men and women on a cold, rainy Saturday in 1992. The hand-hewn timbers were notched and pegged as in days of yore and lifted by brute strength.

The Hemme Barn is so named for Gotthold Hemme, born in Germany on September 7, 1822. He learned his trade and became a journeyman carpenter. He and his wife and daughter immigrated and eventually traveled to Michigan, living in Erin Township, Macomb County. In 1865, he bought 20 acres from John Priehs on Mulvey Road, then Clinton Township. At this site, he built the barn and his house.

During the Civil War, he built this “double-door team barn,” an easier way to drive in a team of horses and wagon to unload it. The barn is ‘notch and peg’ construction, the boards secured with square, steel cut nails. The main timbers are hand-hewn logs. German crosses are carved at the top of the barn on either side, possibly for ventilation or simply for decoration.

Mr. Hemme died on November 10, 1896, leaving this beautiful barn in wonderful condition. It is located behind the Baumgartner House, on the northwest side

Marilynn Wright
Chairwoman

18577 Masonic
Fraser, MI 48026

Ph: (586) 294-6633

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