Henry W. Bartscher: Birth: 27 APR 1887. Death: 3 APR 1961
Anthony "Anton" G. Bartscher: Birth: 30 JAN 1890. Death: 5 JAN 1963
Mary J. Bartscher: Birth: 13 MAR 1899. Death: APR 1972
Note: Salem Special (Centennial Edition), Salem, SD June 19, 1980 By Kim Jorgenson � April 5, 1979 Joseph in the land of opportunity (Author's Note: I wrote this biography about my grandfather, Joseph Bartscher, because I never knew him. Writing this biography helped me to learn more about him and his life. I hope that the people who read this biography will understand him as well as I do now.) It was hard for Joseph to leave Essentho, but it was something he thought he had to do. He was only 18 years old and was leaving friends and relatives. He was also leaving the only home he had ever known. Joseph was coming to America with two of his classmates. They had heard of the great opportunities in America and they were hoping to find some of these for themselves. Joseph was born on June 2, 1962 to Carl and Carolyn Bartscher of Essentho, Germany. both of Joseph's parents died when he was a young boy. Joseph went to school until he was 16 years old. When he was 18, he and two of his classmates from school decided they would go to America, the land of great opportunities. The three young men, Joseph Bartscher, Joe Hahne and Henry Kuhle left Germany together in 1880. They came to America by ship. When they reached America, they took a train to Jerseyville, Illinois. In Jerseyville they worked on a ranch for three years. It was here that Joseph met Elizabeth Timpe, his future wife. Joseph and the other two young men who had come with him had heard of land they could homestead in South Dakota. When they decided to move west Elizabeth stayed in Jerseyville. He was planning to come back for her after he had settled in a place for them to live. Joseph homesteaded on a farm four and one half miles from the little town of Salem, SD. Salem, meaning "Shalom" was a German settlement. It was incorporated on November 29, 1888. Joseph did all his farming with a walking plow which was the first way to break up the land. Being a devout Catholic, Joseph helped build a small wood frame Catholic church for the community in 1885. On June 15, 1886 he and Elizabeth Timpe were married in this church by Rev. Joseph Weixelberger. The witness for this wedding were their friends Anton Wahle and Anna Marie Katherine Puthoff. Joseph and Elizabeth's first child came on April 27, 1887. They named him Henry. On January 12, 1888 a snowstorm hit the Salem area. It was one of the worst they had ever had. On September 28, 1888 a second son was born to Joseph and Elizabeth. They named him John. Another son, who they named Anton, was born January 30, 1890. During this period, prosperity and position of a person were judged by the horses he drove and elegance of the equipment he owned. Joseph owned many nice working horses, a driving team with tap and buggy and a double surrey. A surrey was used to take the family to church on Sunday and also to do the shopping. Joseph was also one of the first people of the town to own a car. Joseph and Elizabeth had their first daughter on July 22, 1897. They named her Lena. On January 22, 1897 a German priest came to Salem. His name was Father Weber. After he had been there a while he saw the need for a larger church. Plans were started for the new church. The farmers and town people spent the winter days splitting rocks for the new church. By the time spring came there was enough rock. The stone mason then began work on the building. Joseph would come to town and help the stone mason whenever he wasn't busy on the farm. When the church was finished it was the biggest and best in the state. Joseph and Elizabeth's last child was born on March 13, 1899. This child was a girl who they named Mary. Joseph held many community and church offices. He was a trustee of the St. Mary's Catholic Church and first Vice Ranger. He was a charter member of Marquette Court 1323 Catholic Order of Foresters. He joined in 1902 when it was organized. In 1902 Elizabeth caught double pneumonia and died. This was very hard for Joseph. In the spring of 1904 Joseph had a lady come to stay with the children while he went back to Germany. he was going back to find a new wife. He met Elizabeth Igel in Essentho, his hometown. He married her while still in Germany and brought her back to Salem, SD. In 1908 Joseph became County Commissioner of McCook County. He was also the first treasurer of the Salem Township. On February 1, 1909 Joseph and Elizabeth had their first child, a baby girl. They named her Angela. Three years later, on March 29, 1912 another daughter was born to Joseph and Elizabeth. Her name was Tillie. All the children went to school in Salem at a boarding school. Joseph would take them to school on Sunday or Monday and pick them up at the end of the week. Joseph and Elizabeth also took care of another child. His name was Melvin Armstrong and he was four years old when they started raising him. Melvin's mother lived in Sioux Falls and she sent his two sisters to the boarding school in Salem which was about 40 miles away. Melvin was sent along with the girls so his mother could go to work. Angela felt sorry for him and started bringing him home with her for the weekends. After a while Joseph went to talk to Melvin's mother. He wanted to see if they could keep him all the time. Mrs. Armstrong agreed, so Melvin was raised by Joseph and Elizabeth until he was 18 years old. In the 1930's the farmers experienced terrible dust storms and drought. Joseph had to cut Russian thistles to feed to the cattle for hay. The house would fill with dust and was impossible to keep clean. The dirt lay in drifts like the snow does. Joseph decided it was time for him and Elizabeth to take a vacation. All the children were old enough to stay home and could manage the farm. So in April of 1931 they left for Germany. they did not return until July 1931. Joseph's children were all getting older now and starting to get married and live a life of their own. All but one of his children married. This was Anton. He stayed on the farm and helped his father. Every June 2, Joseph's birthday, the whole family got together at the farm for a potluck dinner to celebrate. On May 24, 1954 Joseph died. Funeral services were held on May 28, 1954. This was a sad day for friends and relatives of Joseph Bartscher. After Joseph's death, Elizabeth moved to Salem to live. Anton stayed on the farm until his death. Then the farm which Joseph had built and worked on all of his life stood empty, ready for nature to take over once again. (Note: Kim, 16 year old daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Curt Jorgenson of Huron, SD was killed in a car accident on March 12, 1980) Article taken from "100 Years of Faith 1885-1985" published by St. Mary's Catholic Church, Salem, South Dakota in 1985. Joseph Carl Bartscher was born in Essentho, Germany, June 2, 1862 to Carl and Caroline Bartscher. In 1880 at age 18, he came to the U.S. together with two classmates, Henry Kuhle and Joseph Hahne, and settled near Jerseyville, Illinois. In 1883 all three came to Dakota Territory and settled around Salem. Joseph homesteaded the farm 4.5 miles west of Salem, where he lived all his life. On June 6, 1886 he was married to Elizabeth Timpe in the old wooden structure St. Mary's Church. Anton Wahle and Anna Marie Puthoff were their attendants. Eight children were born to this union: Henry, John, Anthony, Elizabeth, Carl, Anna, Lena, and Mary. Elizabeth, Carl, and Anna died in infancy. Mrs. Bartscher died in 1902. On July 12, 1904 Joseph C. Bartscher married Elizabeth Igel in Essentho, Germany. To this union five children were born: Joseph, Bertha, Angela, Tillie, and Loretta. Joseph, Bertha, and Loretta died in infancy. In 1924 they welcomed a foster child, Melvin Armstrong, age 4. He lived with them until age 18. Joseph Bartscher was a charter member of the old wooden structure St. Mary's Church and gave freely of his time, energies and financial assistance to it; also to the present St. Mary's church when plans were started in 1897. He and many of his farmer friends and townspeople spent the winter months splitting rock. By the time spring came there was enough rock for the laying of the cornerstone. Whenever he was not busy on the farm he would come to town and help the stone mason. When the church was completed it was the biggest and best in the state. He held many offices in the church and its societies. He was trustee of St. Mary's Church for 50 years. When Marquette Court 1323 C.O.F. was organized in 1902, he was a charter member and their first Vice-Chief Ranger and subsequently held other offices. Mrs. Bartscher was a member of the Women's Catholic Order of Foresters, joining in 1918. She was a member of the first class of candidates to be initiated after Loyola Court was instituted in 1917. She was a member of Christian Mothers and Altar Society. Since St. Mary's parish was predominantly German at that time, Father Weber made sure that sauerkraut was served at the parish benefit dinners and Elizabeth Bartscher and Anna Wegener, her sister, headed the "Sauerkraut Committee." Henry and Anthony never married. John married Katherine Wingen, a Salem native and they had nine children. Lena married John Koch from Geseke, Germany and had seven children. Mary married Andrew Wagner of Howard and had six children. Angela married Nick Lanners of Bridgewater and have five children. Tillie married Edgar Sabers, Salem, and are the parents of eight children. Joseph passed away May 24, 1954 at age 92 and Elizabeth died Jan. 25, 1962 at age 83, but having lived long active lives as members of St. Mary's Church.
RootsWeb.com is NOT responsible for the content of the GEDCOMs uploaded through the WorldConnect Program. The creator of each GEDCOM is solely responsible for its content.