Ancestral History of Frank Funkenbusch
I was born on my father’s small farm about five miles north of Canton, Missouri January 27, 1880. My father’s name was William Funkenbusch. This name I wore until 1925, when for social ease and for the benefit of my two young sons I had abbreviated to ‘Busch’. This was done in District Court before Judge Theodore Lentz in Missoula, Montana May 25, 1925. More recently I contacted Montana State University for a translation of ‘Funkenbusch’ into English. They said Funk has reference to spark or fire and Busch is bush and in combination could be translated a number of ways, and for better rendering refered me to the New York Public Library. The New York reply reads: “The literal translation into English of the name “Funkenbusch” is “Sparkbush”.
The road north out of Canton after the first mile followed the general contour of the bluffs along the foot of the general rolling uplands on the west and the level fertil fields on the east. At about five miles the road crosses a small creek, generally dry, known as Gregory Branch as it emerges from between hills and crosses the level fields on the east on its way to Honey Creek Slough, one fourth mile distance, which parallels and then empties into the river about one mile north of Canton.
The farm was composed of sixty acres, a 40 and a 20, not connected. The Twenty lay about one half mile up Gregory Branch from the road and on top to the north. The 20 was the East half of a 40 and was long N-S. The 40 lay three eights of a mile west of the 20 and to the south, and was the North half of an 80 which lay E-W. Uncle Joe, Father’s brother, owned the other half of the 40 and the other half of the 80. The 20 was covered mostly with oak and hickory with an occasional balck walnut or slippery elm. An occasional white oak saw log of handsome size and quality lifted its top above the surrounding trees.
The forty lay more in the prairie country and was covered with hazel, shrubbery and small oak.
Father chose the twenty as the sight to imporve and build his home. It was more convenient to the outside and to town. Here he built a two-room frame house 16 ft. by 32 ft. under which he first excavated a cellar same size and neatly walled it up with stone from near-by quarry. The excavation he did exclusively with hand tools The house stood north-south. About twenty feet west from the middle of the west side of the house he dug a 16 ft cistern which, as he said, held like a jug. The house roof supplied water to the cistern.
Other improvements at first were: A log barn 14 ft. by 16 ft with loft above for hay, with corncrib attached. A neatly built frame chicken house whitewashed stood apart. Also a granary for threshed grain stood to itself with machine shed attached.
Many additional improvements were added to these as time went along. Also a forty acres bordering the east side of the twenty was purchased but this was at a later date. A two-story addition was built to the house in 1892 on the north and extending west forming an “L”. Then a summer kitchen was added on the east side of the original at the south shaping the whole structure into a sort of double “L”.
The barn, which has been doubled in size with a frame addition was struck by lightning in about 1984?, not sure of this exact date. The barn burned to the ground, one horse, Sam, was killed by the stroke.
The barn was struck at night during a heavy rain and electric storm. I had gone down stairs to finish the night the lightning was so keen and the thunder so heavy. Mother noticed so much light ouside and went to the window to see and exclaimed “The barn is fire”. Being down stairs and dressed I was releasing and letting out the horses when Father arrived. He saw Sam lying there and said “Pooe Old Sam is dead”—he loved that old horse as no other—and said “Get out the harness”. Father now built a new frame barn 28 ft. by 32 ft. which he was highly unable to afford. The loss and strain drew Father’s face for weeks but he uttered not one word of complaint, he never complained of his own lot.
But to bring up lineage in the order it happened: My Great-Grandfather Funkenbusch lived in Bocholt, Germany, a manufacturing town east of the Rhine near the Netherland border. He was a baker by trade. His first name easily could have been John for so he named his son. Here he and Great-Grandmother raised their only child, my Grandfather, John Funkenbusch, born in 1790. Grandmother FUnkenbusch, nee. Elizabeth Felix was born in 1795.
These Grandparents were married in about 1820 and lived adjacent to bocholt on alittle farm of ten or twelve acres where Grandfather followed the trade of cloth weaver and bleacher. It was on this little place that all their children were born, and in order being: Mary in 1822, Joseph (Uncle) in April 22, 1826, Katherine in 1832, and William, my father, October 14, 1836.
The town was majority Catholic as were the parents and the children were brought up in that faith. Religion in Germany at that time was a state institution, both Catholic and Protestant, and both were supported by government taxation.
There commence to be considerable political unrest in Germany in these decades. The formation of the German states into a strong central government necessitated a stronger and more effectual military for national security and portection and many of the younger people came to America to excape the enforced military training. Buth this was not the motive which prompted Grandfather to bring his family across the Atlantic.
In 1844 Grand-Uncle Henry Felix, my Grand-mother’s brother, 6 ft 4, married and with a family decided to come to America and wished Uncle Joe, now 18, to come along. Grand-Father aojected to this for the reason that Grand-Uncle Henry was “very fond of whiskey” as Uncle Joe expressed it to me. But pressure continued and Grand-Father said “Then we will all go”. So preparations began to shape; the little farm was sold and other properties turned to cash.
The left Bocholt and went to the port of Rotterdam in Holland. Grandfather applied for passport papers in Bocholt but for some reason they were not immediately issued and the issuing officer said he would send them to Rotterdam and Grandfather could pick them up there. But they did not arrive in time if they ever did and Grandfather said, “We will go anyway:. So they just walked aboard ship and came to New Orleans and nothing was said about it on board ship nor anywhere. That is how strictly emigration regulations were enforced in the 1840s.
The name of the ship was Shepard. It had brought cotton to Europe and was fitted for passenger service for return voyage. The sea was peaceful and the winds favorable for a brief and pleasant voyage to the New World. The entire voyage was made in 38 days, which Uncle Joe thinks was the quickest trip made by a sailing vessel up to that time.
The vessel lay in the barbor at New Orleans two days before landing the pasengers. About October 15, 1844. My father was eight years old October 14 and it could have been that he first touched American soil on his eighth birthday.
They immmediately took steamboat up the Mississippi for St. Louis but generally lay in shore at night on account of heavy fog. But Quincy, Illinois was their destination point. New Orleans boats came only to St. Louis where all passengers had to change to upper river boats.
At Quincy Grandfather and Uncle Joe worked in a brickyard two years where Grandfather died of paralysis in 1846, two years after coming over, at the age of 56. Grandfather was smooth shaven, small of stature being but five feet three or four inches tall. He was not corpulent but as Uncle Joe expressed it “was very strong at lifting”. He was buried in a cemetery, then east of Quincy, which as the city grew was later incorporated into the City. All people having burials there were notified and many bodies were moved to other cemeteries. Grandfather’s was among those left. The location of this cemetery was at Main and Eighteenth Streets. Further data on this in unattainable except a letter from brother Chrley which reads as follows:-
Dear Brother Frank:- About April 25, 1926 while about my work in Quincy, Illinois I was approached by an elderly gentleman who inquired if I could do some hauling for him, as that was my business I told him I could. He asked for my name and phone number which I gave him. He exclaimed “Funkenbusch, Funkenbusch, are you any relation to John Funkenbusch?” I said yes I have a cousin, a carpenter who lived in Quincy. His answer was quick as a flash “No, No he would be old enough to be your grandfather if living.” Then I remembered my grandfather’s name was John. Then he told me what my Grandfather did. That I do not remember. Then he said “I was a small boy when your Grandfather was a middle aged man and that he died three quarters of a century ago.
Then I asked him his name, and he said, “My name is Loubbe and I live in the 1200 block Park Place”. I later did his hauling but he was not at home, never met him again.
He told me my Grandfather was buried at what is now Main and 18th Streets. There was once a Catholic Cemetery there.
Later I talked to Alonzo Musholt of the incident, he said, “Yes there used to be a cemetery at 18th and Main Streets, but when they took it into the City most of the bodies were taken up and moved to other burial grounds.” Charley
I remember Father mentioning Loubbe very highly, he was a lawyer, evidently this man’s father. Father said he charged very modest fees, and sometimes nothing at all. From all this I would infer that this lawyer and my Grandfather were very good friends.
In 1846, the year of Grandfather’s death Grandmother was 51; and the children: – Mary 24; Joseph 20; Katherine 14; and William, my father 10.
To cover the next eight years but little definite information is known. My father being but ten years old could have been of but little economic help. And remunerative work for girls was almost an unknown quantity in those days and even when had must not have exceeded a doallar a week for in 1900 it was but $1.50 per week. So living expenses must have rested principally on Uncle Joe for a period after Grandfather’s death.
Three years later Aunt Mary, at the age of 27, entered Ursuline Convent in St. Louis, and her life can only be followed by a letter received from that Convent in 1914. It reads:- “Ursuline Academy, St. Louis, March 23, 1914.
Mr. F. L. Funkenbusch Ekalaka, Montana; Dear Sir:- According to our records the person about whom you inquired entered this Convent in 1849 and made her vows in 1851. In 1855, she with about ten others, religious, went to found a home in the vicinity of New York City. The place was called East Monissania. They have since moved farther out as the big City crept all around them. The present address is Ursuline Convent, Mount St. Ursula, Bedford Park, New York City.
We have very little communication with the Home now, as the pioneers have, I think, All been called to their final resting place, also those of this house who knew them.
I shall send you under separate cover a brief history of this Convent, which though containing no data concerning your Aunt in particular, may be of some interest to you as a narrative of her first Convent Home. Kindly accepty same with my compliments.
Very sincerely your, Mother Ambrose Superior —————–
While father never saw Aunt Mary after she entered this Convent in St. Louis, Uncle Joe saw her several times and said she died in the New York Home in about 1867. She woudl have been 45
In the late 1850’s or early 1860’s Aunt Katherine married John Timme, who was probably operating a chair factory in Quincy at that time. They — he and Aunt Katherine —later bought and operated a small farm near and to the south-west of father’s homestead earlier mentioned.
Two sons were born to them, John and William who both became very successful farmers on Rock Creek north of Quincy. There was also a daughter “Dolly” who passed away young and of whom no data is known at this late date.
Aunt Katherine died suddenly in Hannibal, Missouri in 1882 while visiting friends in that place. She was buried in the Catholic cemetery at St. Patrick, Missouri beside her mother who was laid ther ten years before.
Evidently some time following Grandfather’s death the family moved to Keokuk, Iowa for in 1854 Uncle Joe and father are operating a brickyard and kiln in that place and Uncle Joe is marrying Christine Girard. They operated the brickyard seven years, closing out in 1861, at the beginning of the Civil War.
After closing out the brickyard they engaged in farming in Hancock County, Illinois, near Hamilton, a small town across the river from Keokuk, Iowa.
It seems the farming was but a one-year venture and that father then took employment in the Timme Chair Factory in Quincy which seems also to have lasted but about one year. Apparently Father and Uncle Joe commence following independent courses after the brickyard and the farming.
After the Chair factory Father took work on the Mississippi River steamboats plying between St. Louis and Fort Madison, Iowa. These boats carried both freight and passengers. Recruiting officers for the Union Armies came on board boat hunting for recruits for the Army, taking some and leaving others; the boats had to operate in those days. Father overheard the officer ask the Captain about him, and the Captain siad “He is worth more to me than he would be to you.” River transportation was essential in those days. Father was never after inquired about so far as he knew. It was on the boat that Father met the man from whom they, he and Uncle Joe, bought the homesteads.
It seems the river boating was more to Father’s liking than anything he had tried up to that time for he told us more about that and with greater animation than about all other parts of his life combined. Some of the boats as best I can recall were: The Bald Eagle; The Andrew Jackson; The Jenny Lind; but these names may not be exactly correct. He told us of the races the boats ran, and sang to us the boat-songs. I liked to hear him sing though he rarely did. After the boats had lain in all winter the steamboat whistle, like the coming of the Robin, was the sign of spring, the people listened for it.
Education seems to have been but little stressed in Germany for the laity in the time of my Father, and if he or any of the children attended school either there or in America it escaped mention in our home. He told us much about the Planters House in St. Louis which was possibly the finest Hotel west of the Mississippi at that time, but I remember almost nothing of the details of what he told us aboutit. The following is copied from a newspapaer of recent issue: “The Planters Hotel was founded in St. Louis, Missouri in 1837. Its ingenius bar tenders invented the “High Ball” and the “Planters Punch”.
Uncle Joe liked newspapers and took the ‘St. Louis Republic’ and ‘Canton Press’ which he read quite thoroughly and to that extent was ‘well read’ but it seems that was the extent of his reading. People did not read much in those days, especially science.
Father cared less for reading. I guess he thought he ought to be at work for he always was. He prefered a little carpentry or what not to keep the place built up. He loved flowers and had many perennials around the house. The two east windows of the original house each had its old fashioned yellow rose bush beneath, peonies beside the walk with two flowering almonds at the end. A one-vine overhead grape arbor to walk under in coming to the walk, and the most beautiful snowballs I have ever seen decorated the lawn. Except for dead wood they were never pruned and in the spring, when flowering, the bushes were seven feet high with stems bending to the ground on all sides leaded with huge white balls; a mound of snow sould not have been much denser. Two honeysuckles to walk between and the hollyhocks slong the garden fence open to the sun. The long grape arbor the length of one side of the garden loaded with cark blue concord grapes and the apple orchard of 25 or 30 trees. Peach trees grew along the fences and out-of the-way places. But the peach was an irregular and uncertain crop depending on getting by the winter freezes. All this was mostly the work of his own hands when most men would have been resting or reading. He loved flowers.
Father was a very clean man of both body and mind and never spoke ill of anyone. Once when he and I were alone he said “I don’t like to be around ******** he always talks so smutty.” No provocation was great enough to induce him to do wrong. He never retaliated but would always say “Two wrongs do not make a right”. which all sounds as though he had read Marcus Aurelius though he never had. Marcus Aurelius, the Roman Emperor, when told that some one had spoken ill of him made the terse reply “That is his business” meaning that he himself did ot indulge in that kind of business and had no time to waste thinking about it.
Father’s greatest pleasure and happiness was seeing those around him happy. He never complained of his own lot though there were times whenhe could have with great justice. He was generous at meal-time. He was equally generous with his labor and when sorking with a bunch of men it always seemed he made a point to take the hardest and most unpleasant part, as around the threshing machine he was always seen on the straw-pile. But this is a little ahead of the natural order of events.
Father had built the two-roon frame house earlier mentioned on his homestead north of Canton and in Gerruary 1969 married Arsnelda Kathryn Crow, a near neighbor gerl, and had his first family home at the age of 33. Two daughters were born to them: Elen, born January 29, 1870 and died May 1, 1952. Arsnelda Frances born March 28, 1871 and died August 29, 1944. The mother passed on March 29, 1871; twenty-four hours after the birth of the second daughter at the age of 22 and was buried in the Hardin Cemetery about one half mile south and the same distance west of where Father’s house stood. Here beside her, thirty-six years later my Father was laid to rest December 26, 1907. He died suddenly in his carpenter shop the afternoon of Christmas day. This cemetery is no longer used and has fallen mostly to neglect. Jimmy (Penny) Davis was the last burial here about ten years ago. “Penny” because he was so small. This is 1960.
Elen was taken into the home of her Grandmother and her Uncle David Crow at the death of her Mother where she grew to womanhood and married Marvin Brown. They had no children. She died in Lebanon, Missouri on date above mentioned.
Arsnelda Frances was taken into the home of her Uncle and Aunt George Crow. She later married George Hanes, an Illinois farmer where they lived for some time before mocing to her farm about three miles orth of Canton, Missouri. They had a daughter, Jane who married Robert V. Shanks and at this date live at 508 White St., Canton, Missouri.
Father, with several other men, after the bereavement just mentioned, went by team and wagon to Texas to get employment in railroad bed construction but no such work was to be had and they returned the following year, 1872.
When he went away his mother was living with Uncle Joe and Aunt Christine and family but when he returned his Mother had passed away and new griefs and loneliness were added to old. She was buried in St. Patrick Catholic cemetery, St. Patrick, Missouri in 1871 or ’72 but I think this place was called St. Mary’s Vill at that time.
In the Fall of 1922 Brother Charley and I made a visit to St. Patrick and the Cemetery in effort to locate and visit Grandmoter’s and Aunt Katherine’s graves but the Church had no records covering burials that far back. Father and Mother attended Aunt Katherine’s funeral in October 1882 with Charley and me sitting down in the back of the farm wagon. Charley was past five years old at that time and remembered something about it and the location of the graves but at the time of our visit, which was forty years later could point only to the general location. At the time of our visit the grounds were rather neglected, grown up in tall grass, but a letter from Father O’Dougnan of that place about 1955 says the ground then were execptionally well kept, even better than the Cemetery in Keokuk.
During the four years following 1872 it seems Father lived on the place alone, clearing away the brush and timber and bringing the land to productive crops. Near the end of this time he and Mother were married September 13, 1876 and each started life anew together.
The story of my Father is temporarily discontinued here to bring the story of my Mother up to this point.
Lineage of My Mother: Henrietta Elizabeth Wagner
My Mother was born in Elringhausen, Germany September 18, 1842. Her maiden name was Henriette Elizabeth Wagner. The name of the state, I think, is now called Hanover, as the name of the town also, as that name does not appear in the atlas. Elringhausen must have lain north-easterly from Bocholt, my Father’s childhood home and at a distance of something like 175 miles. Great-Grandfather lived in Elringhausen where he was a cloth weaver and bleacher. His family of children was four sons and two daughters: Fredrick, Jacob who died young; John, my Grandfather; and the fourth whose name is no longer remembered. The daughters were: Minnie and Henrietta Christina.
In Elringhausen my Grandfather John Wagner married Henrietta Rosner my maternal Grandmother: Five sons and two daughters were born: Sons – John, William, Henry, Louis, and Fredrick. Daughters – Mary and Henrietta Elizabeth, the latter my mother.
The family lived outside the edge of town where Grandfather has a comfortable sized house and owned several samll tracts of land which the family cultivated to various crops. Nearly every family has some land outside the town where they raised their gardens, grain, and forage crops. Near the town stood a privately owned grist mill, water turned which did the people’s milling of their grain to meal and flour. But few people of the town had their own transportation facilities so, the miller kepa fleet of asses and sent for the grain and returned the milled product.
Grandfather Wagner was a locksmith of very superior skill and did much of that kind of work for the German Government. He also took Government contracts and did skilled blacksmithing.
In 1846, feeling he could better his financial condition and for the betterment of his family he decided to come to America. Properties were turned to cash and on September 4, 1846, just two weeks short of Mother’s fourth birthday, they left Erlinghausen fro Bremen where they took shipping in late September or early October 1846 for New Orleans, with Quincy, Illinois as ultimate destination. The name of the ship is unremembered, but like the Shepard which Father came in four years earlier, it had brought cotton to Europe and had been fitted for passenger service for return voyage. Flakes of cotton were still clinging to the walls and ceiling here and there. Mother’s brother William, (Uncle Bill) took mother by the hand and led her up the stage-plank onto the ship. She always remembered and told us about the smell of tar coming fromthe cordage coiled on deck. The voyage was a long and stormy one. They has been but a couple of days at sea when a severe storm came up at night and broke a mast and did extensive destruction to sails and cordage. It was necessary to anchor to avoid being blown onto rocky coast. When day came the sea was still and several other ships were anchored within view to escape destruction by the past night’s storm. The cliffs of Dover shown in the distance. A couple of days were spent here at anchor repairing sails and cordage. The bunks in the hold were four or five high and ladders were necessary to reach upper tiers. Many lesser adverse conditions plagued the voyage and it was eleven weeks from going aboard at Bremen till they went ashore at New Orleans. Father’s ship made the trip in 38 days, five and one half weeks, half the time. The ship has not been porvisioned for such a long time at sea and food and water became rationed. Much of the food was poor, especially the meat. It was December when they reached New Orleans, where they took a Mississippi River steamboat up the river to St. Louis where they transfered to uppper river boat for Quincy. This was the last boat of the season, the river was running much ice. After many ice problems and much ice-breaking to bring the boat to shore at Quincy they walked ashore at that place January 4, 1847, just four months fromthe day they left Elringhausen. Here they met relatives and old friends who had been writing them to come to America; it must have been a real reunion.
Their first home in Quincy, a rented one, was a small house on the north side of Main Street between Ninth and Tenth streets. But Grandfather brought his industrious habits along with him from Germany and in a short time bought a lot on the south side of Main street, also between Ninth and Tenth street and built a house of his own. The material was from local mills and was oak, sycamore, elm and maple. He also boufht additional lots from time to time and built additional houses for rentals thus adding to his economic security.
In Quincy he followed the blacksmith trade, ironing farm wagons for Henry Knaphide, a local wagon maker, factories for mass production were unknown in those days, Uncle Bill assisted Grandfather some in the blacksmith shop. In 1855 Grandfather bought a 160 acre farm about 24 miles east of Quincy to which the family moved at that time. No data is available about life on the farm.
In Quincy Mother attended English school and probably Uncle Bill too. Mother’s schooling ended when she was nine. Her first English words were ‘Horse and buggy’. These words her father had brought home from the blacksmith shop. Since Mother was nine in 1851 and they did not move to the farm till 1855 why did not Mother continue in the Quincy schools between 51 and 55? I do not know unless Grandfather was totally indifferent to education for girls; for he said “All a woman needs to know is enough to weigh a pound of butter and count a dozen of eggs”. But Mother was an apt student, with or without teacher, and had no thought of this being the end of her learning. Through all the vicissitudes of her strenuous life she always found some time to read. She read the better novels and historical stories and had a unique ability to retell what she had read with intricate detail. She would ahve made a wonderful college student.
Uncle Bill followed the carpenter trade and was generallly conceded to be the fastest and best carpenter in Canton. His efficiency in this trade employed a much greater knowledge of figures than when he quit school at the age of thirteen.
No details of the farming venture are available not when it ended but Grandmother Wagner died in Quincy July 7,1862 and was buried in Woodland Cemetery where later a flat barbel stone three or four feet high was raised jointly to her and her son Fredrick. Uncle Fred accidently shot himself in removing his pistol from his butchers’ apron. The was April 20, 1870, a few days before his birthday and Mother thinks he was buried on his birthday.
Uncle Henry came to Montana and lived mostly in Butte where he was a charter member of the Odd Fellow Lodge. He died there in about 1900 but am not sure at all about that date. He was never married.
Uncle Bill left the farm on becoming 19 and took work on the river steamboats plying between St. Louis and Peoria, Illinois, and later between St. Louis and New Orleans.
On the break-out of the Civil War Uncle Bill returned to Quincy and enlistee in the Union Army Company H N Regiment Illinois Light Artilery and served three years and eleven months tothe close of the War. His first Captain was a man by the name of Kolker who organized the Company but later resigned. His next Captain was Steinback but for only a short time. His third and last Captain was H.C. Whitmore who served to the end of the War. Uncle Bill was in the battle of Fort Donaldson and other engagements with the enemy.
I think Uncle John also was in the war. He settled in Texas following the War but no data is at hand of his activities there. He was married three times and died before the turn of the century. He lived in Millican , Texas.
No data is longer available of Uncle Louis.
Aunt Mary, Mother’s oldest sister, married Charles Hetzler, also a veteran of the Union Armies. After the war he operated a meat market in Canton where he became well established finanacially. He died there April 20, 1906 followed by Aunt Mary May 27 same year. The were both faithful member of the Canton German Lutheran Church and the children were raised accordingly.
Henrietta Elizabeth, my Mother, married Paul Klein July 7, 1860, a little over two months short of her eighteenth birthday. To them four children were born: Mary, Emma, Bertha and William. They lived on a farm a little south of Canton known at that time as “The Smoot Farm”. Uncle Bill farmed with them for a short time after returning fromt he War and then married Elizabeth Vesper and followed the carpenter trade in Canton.
On August 23, 1871 Paul Klein died and was buried in the Zahn Cemetery on the hill about one half mile S/W of Canton. After a decade or so this Cemetery was no longer used for burials, became unkept, and before the turn of the century was turned to farm fields.
Mother was now a widow with four little children. But she was not a woman to give up of despair. She supported herself and children during the next five years by doing domestic work in the home of Judge Wagner, a member of the Missouri Supreme Court but no family relation. Her little son, William, died sometime during these five years and it was not she and her three girls.
On September 13, 1876, five days before her 34th birthday, she and Father were married and each started life anew of Father’s homestead earlier described. Mother, of course, bringing her three girls along.
Father and Mother
As already stated, Mother brought her three daughters along with her to her new home where Mary and Emma grew to womanhood and each married local men. However, before marriage Emma made a trip to Montana and did domestic work in the home of her cousin Mr. and Mrs. William Zosel and other fmailies and returned to Canton in 1896, having been home once in the mean time. In the spring 1897 she married John Plank, a local farmer, making their home on his farm on the prairie lands about six miles N/W of Canton, Missouri. The had a son and a daughter; Bennie Charles, and Pearl Elizabeth. They both survive; Bennie has a family and lives on the home farm. Pearl was never married and lives on the retired home in Canton 707 Washington st.
Mary also took a double hitch at Montana going out in 1893 and returning in 1899, with a visit back to Canton in 1896. In 1893 she married Rudolph Schneider, a Canton boy who had also gone to Montana. One child was born a daughter, Mabel Elizabeth, who married Zeffie McClain. Zeffie died a year or so later and Mabel never remarried. She has held a teaching position for many years in the Canton Public Schools, and is living at 606 Washington St. there.
To Father and Mother six sons were born: Charles H. July 8, 1877; George born 1878 or ’79 who died at about four and was buried also in Hardin Cemetery; Frank Lewis born January 27, 1880; Walter William, (William for his Father) born July8, 1881, died May 25, 1950; Fred L. born March 6, 1884; Grover C. born August 23, 1885, died Octoter 31, 1948. It will be noticed that Charley and Walter have common anniversaries.
Grover’s wife Olive Belle (Snape) Bush precedded him in death 14 months dying in August 1947. As prearranged between them her remains were cremated and placed in a bronze urn in the Crematory of Vancouver and when Grover passed on his remains were also cremated and place in the same urn. Sometime early in 1949 the urn was shipped to Canton, Missouri and deposited in the upper soil of our Mother’s grave in Forest Grove Cemetery Canton, Missouri. They had no children. He had been a street-car motorman in Calgary, Canada for many years and they had retired to Vacouver, B.C.
Walter and Fred were successful farmers and stockgrowers, in partnership, aobut four miles north of Canton. They married sisters, Pauline and Mary Jacobs respectively. Walter and Pauline are survived by a son William, who married Viola Kopp, who have four sons and live at 110 W South Ave, Houghton, Michigan where William has long helf a teaching position in mathematics in The Michigan School of Mines.
Fred and Mary have a daughter, Edna Aurelia, who married Joe McCullough, a successful local farmer and stockman about five miles north of Canton. Fred and Mary still survive.
Charley passed away September 19, 1959 in Hirma, Missouri and was buried beside his wife, Florence (Mileham) Funkenbusch in Liberty Church Cemetery, who had preceded him in 1943. Liberty Church is a few miles west of Williamstown, Missouri. They had one daughter who lived but a few hours.
Walter passed away May 25, 1950 and was buried beside his wife, Pauline in Forest Grove Cemetery Canton. Pauline preceded him in 1930.
Myself, Frank L., married Norma Maye Moore March 24, 1916. Two sons were born – Frank Jr. and Charles Grover. Frank was born July 24, 1920; and Charles Grover April 27, 1923. Frank J married Margurite McGreal; they have three daughters and a son and live at 201 N Excelsior, Butte, Montana.
Charles Grover passed away May 20, 1928.
It was after marrieage to Mother that Father finished clearing the tillable portion of the homestead and bringing it to farm crops together with the added 40 he had purchased on the east. This may not sound like much to one who has never cleared land and brought it into cultivation, but did you ever plow in stumps, with only two horses and a twelve inch plow. That was as many horses and as big a plow as could be used in stump land. Double-trees would catch on a stump and the plow run under a root. I carried an ax many a day to cut that root or it it was too big Father would take the ax and cut it, or if too big he would pull the plow back, tip it up and go over the top. Did you ever farm under those adverse conditions? Open places in the timber after the removal of trees and brush was called a “clearing”. We went over on the “clearing” Corn was usually planted in stump land for two reasons. (1) it had to be cultivated with but one horse and a two-shovel cultivator, (2) You could walk between the rows on those good August days with an ax cutting the sprounts off the stumps. Then after a year or two the land would be seeded to wheat. And how do you think Father harvested that wheat? No, not with a combine. He harvested that wheat with a cradle. No a cradle is not something for a baby to sleep in. This cradle was like a mowing scythe except that the blade was much wider and longer and at the heel of the blade was an upright wood part about one and half inches in diameter extending up about two feet. Into this upright over the blade holes were bored into which long curved ash fingers were inserted. The fingers were the length of and had the curve of the blade and stood directly over the blade and gathered the straw as blade cut it off below. To make a little clearer or to illustrate, spread and curve your fingers a little and let the little finger represent the blade and your fingers above represent the cradle fingers, except that the cradle had four fingers. Teh cradle was swung to the left, the handle tipped up a little and the straw was evenly and neatly unloaded, heads all same way at the cradle swung back. About fifty feet behind came a man called the ‘binder’. He gathered up a small arm-full of the wheat took two whisps of straw twisted them together at the heads, put it around the bunch and twisted them together in a bundle, and a man behind came along and shocked up the bundles. It took just about all the wheat to pay the harvesters.
The threshing was almost as detailed too. Engineer, water boy, two separator men, two band cutters, measurer, sack holder, sack bucker, adn tow men on the strawpile. Neighbor women came in and helped each other at threshing. But finally the farmer got his wheat in the bin.
Wheat, corn, and oats were the only grains grown by the farmers in NE Missouri till after the turn of the century. Timothy was grown for hay with a little to sell on the market or ship to St. Louis. Wheat, corn, and oats were cash crops but afforded little margin. Corn rather than oats was fed to horses and almost exclusively to hogs. Hogs were raised for the year’s meat and a few to sell. The farmer hauled his meager sweat-earned crops to the local market and took what the local buyer wanted to pay him and that was not much. The buyers wanted them to stay out there and raise more wheat so they had to pay them someting. The buyer would climb on the wagon, open a sack of wheat, (I saw all this as a boy) shove his hands down in it, come out with a double-hand-full, stick his nose down in it and say “It’s musty” That’s all the qualification you had to have to be a wheat buyer in those days. He didn’t look up when he said “It’s musty”, he couldn’t, the buyers has a conscience. He never did say “It has protein in it”, that was his free for nothing.
The hog buyer never did say “The hogs are musty”, but he had a little trick the poor old farmer did not even suspect and could have done nothing about if he had, he knew how to make the scales lie for him. This must have eased the buyer’s conscience a little, for the hog buyer, too, had a conscience. Scales were not inspected and sealed in those days.
The farmer now had his wheat and his hogs in his pocket and went shopping for things needed at home. And the stores had “Bargain Days” in those days just the same as they do now, only they were on every day and worked the other way. The farmer paid $1.26 for 50 pounds of flour, just exactly waht he got for two and one half bushels of wheat. Two and one half bushels of wheat would mill out 102 pounds of flour by milling methods of that day besides by-products. His wheat was now half gone. The grocer sold the farmera ten cent package of coffee for 25 cents and a 15 cent broom for 35 cents. He now went to the hardware and bought a Harlow jack-knife for 25 cents that should have sold for 15 cents, and paid ten cents for a tin dipper for the kitchen water pail that rusted through in thirty days. The profit here was not in the dipper but in twelve sales a year. Oh, yes, the farmer’s wife had sent ten dozen of eggs along which the grocer carefully unpacked laying the “cracked” one gently on a tray and took them home and pad the farmer’s wife 54 cents for the one nine dozen.
I have not stated what I did not see!
Everything worked together for sorrow and vexation of spirit and to raise and provide for a family under those conditions required the “Gift of Prophecy”, the “Patience of Job”, and the “Powers of Christ when he fed the multitudes”.
After Father’s death, December 25, 1907, Walter and Fred remained with Mother and operated the little farm together with the Poulton farm, a considerable acreage about two miles along the road toward Canton. But both boys married after five or six years and Mother lived on the place alone, the boys continuing to farm the land. Walter lived about one half mile south and went over to see about her almost daily.
Mother was a very devoted mother and always baked each of us a birthday cake the days came around whether we were there to help eat it or not, which we very rarely were. And which, I fully believe, she then sat and cried over. In her last illness she was transferred to teh Dr. O’Farrel homw in Canton, only a couple of blocks from where Walter and family were living. Walter had moved to town and was over to see her two or three times daily. She died Monday night February 9, 1925 at 6:40 pm and was buried in Forest Grove Cemetery, February 12 at 11 am.
Her father remarried after her Mother’s deathe and lived in Warsaw, Illinois where he followed a retired life. One daughter was born, Aunt Caroline. She married Jhn Zobel and remained in Warsaw. There were several children whom, I think, all did well. Aunt Caroline passed on several years ago.
So comes to end the storyu of the Funkenbusch-Wagner Family. I hope that this story may be on interest to some besides myself and that someone may have interest some day in carrying the narrative a little further along this or that family line or lines.
For the facts and points of interest narrated I am greatly indebted to Uncle William Wagner and to my Mother. A copy of Uncle Bill’s letter is appended. I greatly regret that I did not commese to gather material earlier and learn more of my Father’s life. I know he got many of his sterling qualities at his Mother’s knee.
Frank L Busch
Rt. 1 Spurgin Road
December 21, 1960.