Edward Von Allmen: Dairy Farmer By Day, Accordion Player By Night (52 Ancestors #29)

I have attended Von Allmen family reunions almost every year for as long as I can remember.  Growing up, these always included polka music.  In the earlier years, my great uncle played the accordion.  In later years, we listened to polka on tape or CD.  A few more recent reunions did not include any polka at all.  Grandma told me that her grandfather, Edward Von Allmen, had also played the accordion.

Edward was born on May 6, 1878 in Wilderswil, Switzerland.1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8  He was the eleventh of sixteen children born to Friedrich and Susannah (Stähli) Von Allmen.1,2,10  He came to America with his parents and siblings in 1883 on the S.S. Canada.10  Ed lived and worked on his father’s dairy farm in Floyd County, Indiana, and then went to live with and work for his brother, Peter, in Louisville, Kentucky.2

Edward and Louise Von Allmen

Edward and Louise (Seewer) Von Allmen, 1902.

Ed married Louise Seewer on October 29, 1902 in Louisville, Kentucky.9  They continued to live in Jefferson County, Kentucky, where Ed had his own dairy farm.3  Ed and Lousie had eight children.3,4,5,6  They eventually all moved to a farm in Lafayette Township, Floyd County, Indiana.5,6

Edward Von Allmen was apparently a musical man.  One of the family’s neighbors told me of their parties and music.  I’ve told this story before, but I think it bears repeating here.

The Von Allmens… they used to live right here on the corner, you know.  They were such wonderful singers. They used to have parties on the 4th of July and they’d go all night. They really knew how to celebrate, I tell you. They’d sing and dance and Ed would play the… what’s that called you play and squeeze between your hands… the accordion. Ed used to play the accordion. He played so well, it was really beautiful. And they’d just go all night. One time, they had all the neighbors over for a dance. Can you imagine? They had a dance in their house and Ed played the accordion. You don’t see anyone play the accordion anymore.

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


Sources

1.  Floyd County Health Department. Microfilm. Floyd County, Indiana Deaths (1951-1959): book h-12, p.51. Retrieved 15 Jul 2015 from Stuart Barth Wrege Indiana History Room.

2.  Ancestry.com. 1900 United States Federal Census [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations Inc, 2004.  Year: 1900; Census Place: Louisville Ward 12, Jefferson, Kentucky; Roll: 533; Page: 1A; Enumeration District:0141; FHL microfilm: 1240533.

3.  Ancestry.com. 1910 United States Federal Census [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations Inc, 2006.  Year: 1910; Census Place: Albermarle, Jefferson, Kentucky; Roll: T624_483; Page: 16A; Enumeration District: 0026; FHL microfilm: 1374496.

4.  Ancestry.com. 1920 United States Federal Census [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations Inc, 2010. Images reproduced by FamilySearch.  Year: 1920; Census Place: New Albany, Floyd, Indiana; Roll: T625_429; Page: 5B; Enumeration District: 62; Image: 15.

5.  Ancestry.com. 1930 United States Federal Census [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations Inc, 2002.  Year: 1930; Census Place: Lafayette, Floyd, Indiana; Roll: 587; Page: 3A; Enumeration District: 0006; Image:626.0; FHL microfilm: 2340322.

6.  Ancestry.com. 1940 United States Federal Census [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations, Inc., 2012.  Year: 1940; Census Place: Lafayette, Floyd, Indiana; Roll: T627_1043; Page: 1A; Enumeration District: 22-6.

7.  Ancestry.com. U.S., World War I Draft Registration Cards, 1917-1918 [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations Inc, 2005.  Registration State: Indiana; Registration County: Floyd; Roll: 1503798.

8.  Ancestry.com. U.S., World War II Draft Registration Cards, 1942 [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations, Inc., 2010.  The National Archives at St. Louis; St. Louis, Missouri; State Headquarters: Indiana.

9.  “Kentucky Marriages, 1785-1979,” database, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:F43W-8XC : accessed 15 July 2015), Edward Von Allmen and Louise Sewer, 29 Oct 1902; citing Louisville, Kentucky, reference ; FHL microfilm 826,072.

10.  Wolf, Shirley. “S.S. Canada Passenger List, March 1, 1883, LaHavre to New York.” Rpt. in Von Allmen Family File. Stuart Barth Wrege Indiana History Room. Print.

Friedrich Von Allmen: A Swiss Dairy Farmer in America (52 Ancestors #19)

I wrote a little about Friedrich when I wrote about his wife, Susannah Stähli, but there is more to his story.  Friedrich Von Allmen was born on May 9, 1832, in Switzerland, to parents Peter and Margaretha (Häsler) Von Almen.  Von Allmen is sometimes spelled Von Almen.  I’ve typically seen it with two “l”s in reference to Friedrich and one “l” in reference to his father.

The Von Allmen family had a dairy in Wilderswil, Switzerland.  In 1883, Friedrich moved his family to America to join his uncle Ulrich Von Almen, who had been here since 1833.  Friedrich and his family came over on the S.S. Canada and landed in New York.

Friedrich purchased land in Floyd County, Indiana in 1884.  It was located at the bottom of the knobs just outside of New Albany.  Friedrich went into the dairy business, as did his sons.

1898 Floyd County, Indiana Plat Map (annotated), courtesy of Shirley Wolfe, Von Allmen Family File, Stuart Barth Wrege Indiana History Room

1898 Floyd County, Indiana Plat Map (annotated), courtesy of Shirley Wolf, Von Allmen Family File, Stuart Barth Wrege Indiana History Room

He also swore an oath of allegiance in 1884.

Oath of Allegiance, courtesy of Shirley Wolfe, Von Allmen Family File, Stuart Barth Wrege Indiana History Room

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

Friedrich and Gottfried Von Allmen, circa 1908, courtesy of Shirley Wolf, Von Allmen Family File, Stuart Barth Wrege Indiana History Room

Friedrich and Gottfried Von Allmen, circa 1898, courtesy of Shirley Wolf, Von Allmen Family File, Stuart Barth Wrege Indiana History Room

Friedrich’s wife, Susanna, died in 1898.  He remarried a few years later.

Marriage Announcement, courtesy of Shirley Wolfe, Von Allmen Family File, Stuart Barth Wrege Indiana History Room

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

Friedrich died on March 11, 1908 at his home.  He left a will, wherein he names his son, Peter, as executor.  Friedrich was buried next to his first wife, Susannah, at Atkins Cemetery.

Floyd County, Indiana Death Record for Friedrich Von Allmen, Indiana State Board of Health

Floyd County, Indiana Death Record for Friedrich Von Allmen, Indiana State Board of Health

Obituaries, courtesy of Shirley Wolfe, Von Allmen Family File, Stuart Barth Wrege Indiana History Room

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

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

Kraft Funeral Home Record, 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

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

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