Susanna Stähli: The Woman in the Polka Dot Dress (52 Ancestors #14)

Friedrich and Susanna (Stähli) Von Allmen (ca. 1895)

Friedrich and Susanna (Stähli) Von Allmen (ca. 1895)

Alright, so it isn’t truly polka dot, but I’m not sure what to call it.  This is one of the family photographs that has always intrigued me.  I often find myself wondering about Susanna Stähli.  I love her dress.  I also get the impression that she must have been stern, based on her expression here and how tightly her hair was pulled back.

I haven’t really researched my Von Allmen line, as I have a cousin who has done extensive research on them.  I tend to research the other side of my family more.  Almost everything I know about Friedrich and Susanna (Stähli) Von Allmen is thanks to my cousin, Shirley.

Friedrich and Susanna lived in Wilderswil, Switzerland and immigrated to America in 1883 on the S.S. Canada.

Von Allmen home in Wilderswil, courtesy of Shirley Wolf, Von Allmen Family File, Stuart Barth Wrege Indiana History Room

Von Allmen home in Wilderswil, courtesy of Shirley Wolf, Von Allmen Family File, Stuart Barth Wrege Indiana History Room

S.S. Canada, courtesy of Shirley Wolf, Von Allmen Family File, Stuart Barth Wrege Indiana History Room

S.S. Canada, courtesy of Shirley Wolf, Von Allmen Family File, Stuart Barth Wrege Indiana History Room

S.S. Canada Passenger List, courtesy of Shirley Wolf, Von Allmen Family File, Stuart Barth Wrege Indiana History Room

S.S. Canada Passenger List, courtesy of Shirley Wolf, Von Allmen Family File, Stuart Barth Wrege Indiana History Room

Friedrich and Susanna had eleven children traveling with them, so I can see why Susanna would need to be stern.  They purchased land in Floyd County, Indiana to start a dairy.  It’s interesting to me that it looks as though they lived at the bottom of a knob in Switzerland and purchased similar land in Floyd County.

Floyd County land, courtesy of Shirley Wolf, Von Allmen Family File, Stuart Barth Wrege Indiana History Room

Floyd County land, courtesy of Shirley Wolf, Von Allmen Family File, Stuart Barth Wrege Indiana History Room

Gray-Von Allmen Sanitary Milk Company Truck, courtesy of Shirley Wolf, Von Allmen Family File, Stuart Barth Wrege Indiana History Room

Gray-Von Allmen Sanitary Milk Company Truck, courtesy of Shirley Wolf, Von Allmen Family File, Stuart Barth Wrege Indiana History Room

Ewing-Von Allmen Dairy Products Bottle, in my possession.

Ewing-Von Allmen Dairy Products Bottle, in my possession.

According to St. Mark’s Baptismal Records, Friedrich and Susanna had two more children.   As I mentioned before, Shirley has done extensive research and found that there was another child who did not live long.

St. Mark's Baptismal Records, courtesy of Shirley Wolf, Von Allmen Family File, Stuart Barth Wrege Indiana History Room

St. Mark’s Baptismal Records, courtesy of Shirley Wolf, Von Allmen Family File, Stuart Barth Wrege Indiana History Room

Susanna died on December 16, 1898 of stomach cancer.

New Albany Evening Tribune, 17 December 1898, courtesy of Shirley Wolf, Von Allmen Family File, Stuart Barth Wrege Indiana History Room

New Albany Evening Tribune, 17 December 1898, courtesy of Shirley Wolf, Von Allmen Family File, Stuart Barth Wrege Indiana History Room

Kraft Funeral Home Records, courtesy of Shirley Wolf, Von Allmen Family File, Stuart Barth Wrege Indiana History Room

Kraft Funeral Home Records, courtesy of Shirley Wolf, Von Allmen Family File, Stuart Barth Wrege Indiana History Room

Tombstone of Friedrich and Susanna Von Allmen at Atkins Cemetery, courtesy of Shirley Wolf, Von Allmen Family File, Stuart Barth Wrege Indiana History Room

Tombstone of Friedrich and Susanna Von Allmen at Atkins Cemetery, courtesy of Shirley Wolf, Von Allmen Family File, Stuart Barth Wrege Indiana History Room

This may sound strange, but this is, coincidentally, one of my favorite tombstones.  It’s a very unique stone in the Atkins Cemetery and I was always drawn to it as a child attending the church.

I do intend to do my own research on the Von Allmens at some point, as I have lots of questions.  One thing I often wonder is whether Susanna worked in the dairy or had another job.  They immigrated in 1882 and she died in 1898, so there is no record of it on any Census.  Certainly, if the dairy was as successful as it seems, she would have needed to be involved in the dairy work.

Von Allmen Family Crest, courtesy of Shirley Wolf, Von Allmen Family File, Stuart Barth Wrege Indiana History Room

Von Allmen Family Crest, courtesy of Shirley Wolf, Von Allmen Family File, Stuart Barth Wrege Indiana History Room

2 thoughts on “Susanna Stähli: The Woman in the Polka Dot Dress (52 Ancestors #14)

  1. Hi Melissa, I visited the library two weeks ago..you were on vacation. I just got back from Wilderswil, Switzerland and updated the Von Allmen file with a new picture and address if the family home there. I will send you some updated journals of Veta Schwarz who had the best accounts of the family until her death in 1978.
    I would like to pursue my search and look forward to your help and thoughts.
    Pamela Von Allmen Von Greunigen Oliver
    Kissimmee, Florida

    • Hi Pamela! I will be sure to check out the file. I haven’t looked at it in ages. I haven’t done much research on the Von Allmens. I usually just ask my cousin Shirley, since she’s done extensive research and has also been to Wilderswil. I would love to see Veta’s journals. I think I have copies of a few letters that she sent to my grandparents. And, of course, anything I can do to help with research, I certainly will. You can e-mail me at mmwiseheart@gmail.com. I think it will be more convenient.

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