Enoch Hagenbuch: Early Family Historian, Part 2
Enoch Hagenbuch (b. 1814) continues his history of the Hagenbuch family (Read: Part 1) as he relates names and dates for his brother Nathan, his children (Enoch’s nieces and nephews), and a sister who died young. Then, he tells of his own life going back and forth from first person to third person in his writing.
Read carefully and think on all the hardships Enoch and his family endured. Yet, he was an excellent businessman and certainly had a good head on his shoulders as he succeeded, it would seem, to be well off in 1884 when he wrote this. The details (i.e. the height of his brother, Nathan, and the number of deer he saw in a drove) that Enoch adds to the often monotonous names and dates gives us an important insight into the Hagenbuchs’ daily life of the early 1800s.
History of the Hagenbuchs in America (Part 2)
In the winter of 1829 he [Nathan Hagenbuch b. 1811, brother to Enoch] learned the trade of weaving, and did his father’s weaving for three or four year1. In the summer of ’34 and ’35 he commenced to learn framing work. In the spring of 1838, the 3rd of April, he, accompanied by his brother Daniel, in a one horse wagon, went to Richland Co., Ohio. He worked at his trade there, his brother working with him. He built numerous barns in Richland county, and employed six or seven men. He married, the 1st of January 1839, Rebecca Stein. She was born in Pennsylvania on the 27th of April, 1812, and died the 6th of October, 1873. They had four boys and five daughters – Jacob S., born the 5th of October, 1839, died in Louisville, Ky., the 18th of June, 1862, at the time of the Civil War; John W., born the 2nd of March 1841, died the 16th of March, 1875; Elizabeth, born the 19th of November, 1842; Magdalena, born the 3rd of September, 1844; Sarah R., born the 8th of November, 1846, died the 1st of February, 1882; Samuel N., born the 20th of February, 1848, died the 29th of April, 1873; Joseph, born the 2nd of March, 1850, died the 31st of March, 1851; Delina, born the 14th of April, 1852; Maria, born the 11th of June, 1855, died the 19th of June, 1879. The four sons died unmarried. He [Nathan] and his daughter Sarah visited the Centennial in Philadelphia in the fall of ’762;. At this writing he is seventy-three years of age. He stands six feet two inches in his stockings. He lives near Shelby, Ohio, has a fine home, and expects to spend the rest of his days there. His oldest daughter keeps house for him.
Mary [sister to Enoch], daughter of Jacob, born the 28th of January, 1813, died the 15th of November, 1817.
ENOCH, the son of Jacob, the author of this work, was born the 8th of November, 1814. Married, the 18th of January, 1835, Christina Greenawald. She was born the 28th of August, 1815. He burned charcoal two summers for $18.00 per month and boarded himself, and worked for 40 cents per day, and paid $1.40 per bushel for rye3. Chopped cord wood for 25 cents per cord. Cradled in the harvest field for 33 1/3 cents per day, and had to put in more hours per day than is done now. He determined to go West and try to do better. Bought him one horse and wagon and, on the 27th of April, 1838, started with wife and two children for the West. It was a great undertaking in those days. But courage was not lacking. He was a granger4. He landed four miles east of Muncie Town, Delaware Co., Ind. He there bought 160 acres of land, for which he paid $500.
When I came here it was nearly all timber. Nearly every man in the spring cleared a piece of land to put in corn. There was plenty of log rolling, log house and log barn raising, lasting from two to three weeks, the neighbors helping each other. When I first came here my wife helped me saw logs for rails. There was one cut or single log length, out of which I made one hundred and fifty rails. In these days people had no buggies in which to ride to church. Men went on foot and women on horseback, sometimes two and three on one horse. No fine clothes were worn then as now. People wore home-spun goods. He remained until March, 1842, then rented his farm and left with two yoke of oxen, and moved to Richland Co., Ohio and worked there by the day and month. In September, 1845, he came back to Indiana on his farm and bought 30 acres more. In 1851 he sold his farm to the Delaware County Commissioners for $1800, to be used as a farm for the county poor. In the fall of 1851 he went back to his old home in Pennsylvania on a visit. In the spring of ’52 he went with his two-horse teams, his wife and ten children to La Salle Co., Ill. Landed twelve miles northwest of Ottawa, in Waltham township, and bought 160 acres – the northwest quarter of section 22 – for which he paid $20005.
He and his family worked hard and at last had gathered quite a handsome property, and was able to give each of his children a farm and home. When I came here there were plenty of deer. I saw a many as fifty-five in one drove. There were also plenty of wild geese, from one to five hundred in a flock, also plenty of sand-hill cranes, and thousands of prairie-hens. Prairie rattlesnakes were also numerous. He had thirteen children – five boys and eight daughters – and 51 grandchildren.
Enoch’s story will continue in Part 3 as he writes more about his brothers and sisters, and gives names and dates of his own children. He sprinkles this information with stories of life in 1838 America.
Notes to Enoch’s history:
- This would lead us to believe that Jacob b. 1777 and the owner of the homestead in Berks Co. was also a weaver. Most likely, the family was growing flax which was woven into linen. Weaving for both Jacob and son Nathan was probably providing additional income to the farming business.
- The Centennial Exposition in Philadelphia ran from May to November of 1876. It was the first World’s Fair and highlighted machinery and technology of the time.
- Enoch’s jobs as a young man are an example of what folks had to do to make ends meet. The reference to purchasing rye probably means he was distilling whisky, common to most farmers in those days.
- Enoch’s mention of being a “granger” is curious. The National Grange of the Order of Patrons of Husbandry was founded in 1867 to encourage families to meet and promote the economy and politics related to agriculture. Enoch states he is a granger when he is writing of going west in 1838, almost 30 years before the Grange was founded.
- According to www.davemanuel.com, $2000 in 1852 is equivalent to about $60,600 in 2014 dollars.