Monday, September 15, 2014

Kundschiers in Saint Paul, Minnesota

In the last blog, I wrote about the Kumshers in Iowa.  Thanks to Kornelia "Conny" Pelz, we were able to identify new members of the Kumschier/ Kumsher/ Kunshier/ Kundschier family.  (read that blog here)

We learned that the head of the Iowa Kumshers was Michael, the son of Joseph Kumschier and Mary Kumschier nee Siegl. He was born in Neubauhütten, Wassersuppen, Bohemia in 1869, and died in 1956 in Britt Township, Hancock County, Iowa. 

From an obituary in the Mason City Globe-Gazette of Oct. 16, 1956, we identified his brother, Charles, in St. Paul, Minnesota.  This brother, Karl "Charles" Kundshier, and his wife Anna Turscherl, had established a residence on Rondo Avenue in that city. We have been able to track them for 48 of the 58 years they lived in America. 

Their biographies now appear in  We have also listed the Kundschiers in Findagrave.  See that here  Findagrave

Charles Kundschier

   Birth: July 24, 1878: Neubauhutten, Wassersuppen, Bohemia (from the Czech Archives, Catholic Church Records for Mother and Father)

  Marriage: June 6, 1904, Age 25, to Anna Turscherl. They have a daughter, Anna. 

  Arrival: 1906, Age 28, His arrival date as he reported it on the 1930 Federal Census. (We have not been able to substantiate this, but we have not yet found a listing in the 1910 Federal Census) 

  Residence: 1916, Age 38.  Living at 470 Rice Street, St. Paul, Ramsey County, Minnesota. According to the Polk Directory of St. Paul, he is working as a laborer . He is going by his German-Bohemian name, Karl. His last name is spelled Kunshier.
  Residence: 1918, September 12, Age 40. At the time of of his WWI registration, Charles was living at 470 Rice Street.  He signs the form with an X. He has not become an American citizen. He gives his American name as Charles and he, or the draft board, spells the last name Kundschier.  He is a laborer at the Villaume Box Company. In the Polk Directory of St. Paul he lives with Anna (a Laundress) and Margaret (a Starcher)

Charles Kundschier WWI Draft Registration, September 12, 1918

  Residence: 1919, Age 41. According to the Polk Directory of St. Paul, he is living at 272 Fuller Avenue and working as a laborer.  He is identified as KARL and the last name is Kumshier. The Kunshiers are also listed. (the house no longer exists and the street is now filled with apartment houses. It was near the intersection with Galtier.) We have not found a listing in the 1920 Federal Census. 

   Residence: 1923, Age 45, He is living at 852 Rondo with his wife, Anna, and daughter Stella. According to the Polk Directory of St PaulStella is a clerk at the Emporium, and Charles is working as a Piler for the Villaume Box Company . The last name is Kundschier. The Kunshier's are also listed.

  Residence: 1925, Age 47, Same listing as year before but no mention of wife or children.

  Residence: 1926, Age: 48, According to the Polk Directory of St PaulHe is still in the Rondo house and is a laborer - no company is identified. His daughter Louise lives at home and is a Bindery Worker at Webb Publishing. 

   Residence: 1928, Age 50, According to the Polk Directory of St Paul, Charles is living in the Rondo house, his wife Anna is included and he is a Laborer at the Villaume Box Company. Daughter, Louise, is still at home and working as before.  Last name is again Kundschier.

  Residence: 1929, Charles at age 51, is living with his wife, Anna at the Rondo address. He is working as a Laborer. No Louise listed but son, Charles, Jr is listed under Kunshier with others. Charles Jr. is working at Villaume. 

  Residence1930. At the time of the 1930 Federal Census, Charles is living with wife, Anna, Louise and Charles, Jr. at 852 Rondo.  He is a Laborer at a wholesale lumber company as is Charles Jr. (This is probably Villaume in their expansion to lumber products.) Louise works as a Binder. He is listed as coming to the U.S. in 1906, Anna came in 1911. More on this later. (Birth of Children) 

  Residence1931-1932. According to the Polk Directories, Charles, Anna L., Charles Jr. and Louise are all living at 852 Rondo. Charles is a Laborer, Charles Jr. is a Helper at Villaume and Louise is still a Bindery Worker at Webb.  Last name is Kundschier.

  Residence: 1933.  According to the St. Paul Polk DirectoryCharles, Anna and Charles Jr are listed as previous years, but Louise is gone.

  Residence: 1934. Charles and Anna are still at 852 Rondo. Charles is an Operator at the Villaume Box Company. There is no listing for Louise or Charles Jr. 

  Residence1935, Age 57. According to the 1940 Federal Census, Charles, Anna, Charles Jr. and Louise were living at 852 Rondo, five years prior to the Census - hence 1935.  Charles is a Carpenter, Charles Jr is a Bartender, Louise is a Clerk. Last name is Kundschier. 

  Residence: 1937, Age 59. Charles, Anna and Charles Jr are living at 852 Rondo where Charles is a Laborer and Charles Jr is a Trucker for the Seeger Refrigeration Company (where Raymond Kunshier also works.) No Louise listed.

  Residence: 1939, Age 61. Charles, Anna, Charles, Jr and Louise living at 852 Rondo. Charles is an Enameler at Seeger Refrigeration, Charles Jr is a Laborer, and Louise is a Laborer. Last name is Kundschier.

  Residence: Age 62, 1940. Charles and Anna are living alone at 852 Rondo. His citizenship is pending (PA). He is a Laborer at odd jobs.

  Residence1950, Age 72, Charles and Anna are living at 852 Rondo. No occupation for Charles. (Charles Jr. is married to Dorothy and living at 566 Edmund Avenue, a few blocks away) Last name is Kundschier. No listing for Louise.

Anna Kundschier's grave stone in Calvary Cemetery, St. Paul
Findagrave photo by Dick H. on Sep 12, 2014 

  Death: of his wife Anna, July 2, 1957, Age 78. St Paul, Ramsey, Minnesota.

  Death: of Charles, Feb. 12, 1964, Age 85, St Paul, Ramsey, Minnesota. Death date as listed by the Minnesota Death Index. From a collateral family tree, there is a "Prayer card" issued at his funeral that confirms the date.

Charels Kundschier's grave stone in Calvary Cemetery, St. Paul
Findagrave photo by Dick H. on Sep 12, 2014


About their residences...

When the expressway was built through the city in the 1960's, many of the houses along Rondo, including the Kundschiers, were demolished. What exists of the Old Rondo Avenue is now called Concordia.  I have written about the Rondo neighborbood in a previous blog. (see it here) 

Both, the Kundschier address at 852 Rondo Avenue, and the address where Charles Jr. and his wife Dorothy later lived at 566 Edmund Avenue, were very close to Saint Agnes Catholic Church.  I am quite certain they were members, and that the church records, when we get to see them, will show family baptisms, marriages and deaths.  

The two places of employment listed for Charles are the Villaume Box and Lumber Company and the Seeger Refrigerator Company.  Charles Jr. was also employed by the Seeger Company.

On October 1, 1882, Eugene and Victor Villaume opened a box- making business on St. Paul's West Side. Villaume Brothers, as it was called, started operations with a loan and some used machinery from the Crippen Trunk Company where Eugene was formerly employed. 

see video here; Villaume Box and Lumber Company


The Seeger Refrigerator Co., founded in 1902 and later known as Whirlpool, was an East Side landmark and American icon for more than 80 years. 

Children of Charles and Anna Kundschier 
 nee Turscherl

Anna M. Kundschier, 1903 – 1974  When Anna M. Kundschier was born on June 12, 1903, in Bohemia, her father, Charles, was 24 and her mother, Anna, was 23. She had six sons and two daughters with Lemuel Will Patraw between 1921 and 1936. She died on April 9, 1974, in St Paul, Minnesota, at the age of 70.

Stella Margaret Kundschier, 1907 – 1987  When Stella Margaret Kundschier was born on April 11, 1907, in St Paul, Minnesota, her father, Charles, was 28 and her mother, Anna, was 26. She married Louis Elmer Joseph Letendre on May 13, 1925. She had four children by the time she was 26. She died on January 15, 1987, at the age of 79.

Louise M Kundschier, 1910 –      When Louise M. Kundschier was born about 1910 in Minnesota, her father, Charles, was 31 and her mother, Anna, was 29. She lived in St Paul, Minnesota, for more than 8 years from 1927 to 1935. We don't have any other information at this time. 

Charles Michael Kundschier, 1912 – 1979   When Charles Michael Kundschier was born on November 5, 1912, in St Paul, Minnesota, his father, Charles, was 34 and his mother, Anna, was 32. He had three sisters. He married Dorothy Schultz.  He died on June 27, 1979, in his hometown, at the age of 66.


So, we have Joseph Kumschier/Kunshier, and family in Anoka County, Minnesota; Michael Kumschier/Kumsher and family in Iowa; and Karl/Charles Kumschier/Kundshier and family in St. Paul, Minnesota.

Material from Iris Baran nee Kunshier and Conny provided us with information on Joseph's two sisters. The next blog will be about Anna Kumschier, one of the sisters, and her husband Andreas Irber.

Friday, September 5, 2014

Iowa Kumshers

In the last blog (see here) we told you about meeting Kornelia "Conny" Pelz, a Kumshier 4th cousin, who lives in Bavaria. Conny told us about Michael Kumshier (Kumsher) who emigrated to America in 1884.  He was from Neubäuhütten Bohemia (now Novosedelské Hutě, Czech Republic), in the Parish of Wassersuppen, now (Nemanice, Czech                                          Republic)

Conny's information included Michael's birth date of 28 May, 1869. (Czech Archives Baptism Records) Michael's father was Joseph (1840-92), son of Wenzel G. (1804-1879)

It seems unlikely that Michael, age 14, traveled alone. We think he may be the Michael (Michel) reported on the same ship log with Joseph Kunshier Sr., his father's cousin, and Joseph Kunshier Jr. (Joseph Kunshier Sr. is the author's great grand father)  The ship was the S.S. Nurnberg in the North German Lloyd line. They sailed out of Bremen and arrived in the Port of Baltimore on October 15, 1884. 

 S.S. Nurnberg,  Bremen to Baltimore

It is possible that all three headed to St. Paul, Minnesota where Joseph Sr.'s sisters; Anna Kumshier Irber, and Theresia Kumshier Wiedl, had settled about 10 years earlier. 

Anna had married Andreas Irber in Bohemia in 1864. Andreas was employed in the grocery trade, later owning his own store.  Theresia had married Andrew Wiedl in St. Paul in 1875.  In the 1888 St. Paul City Directory, Andrew Wiedl's occupation is listed as mason.  

In other words, Joseph Sr., had two siblings who had successfully established themselves in America.  This provided a destination with a good chance for success. 

Joseph Sr. didn't stay in St. Paul very long. In 1887, he bought a farm in Columbus Township, Anoka County. No mention is made of Michael in Anoka County. 

 In Conny's words; "About the Kumshers in Iowa: Here I've found so far only the Kumschier Michael, who went to America in 1884. He was the founder of Kumsher family there. But I'm lacking data of four sisters of Michael Kumschier and a stepbrother. Overall, Michael Kumschier had 6 sisters and 3 brothers. Of these, two sisters and one brother from the second marriage. Otherwise, there are very many families Kumschier in Bohemia (now Germany) and some in other countries."

The first document we have located about Michael is his listing in 1896, on the map of Erin Township, Hancock County, Iowa. His last name is spelled Kunchere.

Erin Township, Hancock County, 1896

Michael is single and farming at the time of the 1900 Federal Census. He gives is arrival date as 1884 and his birth date as May 27, 1869. He is a naturalized citizen, and gives his country of origin as Germany. We don't know why he didn't say Bohemia. 

Twelfth Census of the United States, 1900

Michael Kumshier and Stella
Michael and Stella's Wedding Photo, courtesy of Kornelia Pelz

We do know that in the year of the 1900 Federal Census, at age 30, Michael was married to a young Czech woman. Her name was Stella Cipera and she was born and raised in the village of Protivin, Howard County, Iowa. 

Protivin was founded primarily by Czech immigrants who named the town after one of the same name in their native area of Bohemia, now the Czech Republic.  

Thus far we have the following:

Michael Kumshier cropped
Michael Kumsher 
Michael Kumsher:
  Birth: 1870 (birth given on his tombstone)
  Arrival: 1884 (Michael gives this year as his arrival date into the U.S. in the 1900 and 1920 Federal Census)
  Residence: 1896, on the map of Erin Township, Hancock County, Iowa 
  Residence: 1900, June, Age 30, Erin Township, Hancock, Iowa  (Michael is farming at the time of the 1900 Federal Census. He is a naturalized citizen)
  Residence: 1910, April 20, Age 40, Erin Township, Hancock, Iowa (Michael is living with his wife and 3 children on their farm with a Polish hired hand at the time of the 1910 Federal Census.)
  Residence: 1914, Age 44, Erin Township, Hancock, Iowa, (Michael's farm consists of 80 acres in the SE 1/2 of the SE 1/2 of Section 1, Erin Township) from Hancock County, Iowa Atlas published by Anderson Publishing, Chicago)
  Residence: 1920, Age 50, Britt Township, Hancock, Iowa (Michael, and his wife Stella, have moved to another farm. They have 5 children living with them at the time of the 1920 Federal Census.)
  Residence: 1930, Age 60, Britt Township, Hancock, Iowa (Michael, his wife and 3 children, and his eldest daughter's child are living on the farm at the time of the 1930 Federal Census. His country of origin is given as Germany, his wife's parents are Czechoslovakian.)
  Residence: circa 1935, about Age 65, Britt Township, Hancock, Iowa, (Michael is living at Rural Rte. 1, 12th Avenue SW, source: Public Records Vol. 2)
  Death: 1956, age 82, Britt Township, Hancock, Iowa, (Michael's death date is from the tombstone in St. Patrick's Cemetery)
  Burial: 1956, Britt Township, Hancock, Iowa, (Michael is buried with his wife Stella in St. Patrick's Cemetery)

Britt Township, Hancock County, 1930 - Mike and Stella Kumsher have added 80 acres to their orignal 80 acre farm.  The 2nd 80 may be in Stella's name.

Stella Kumsher

Stella G. Cipera Kumsher  
   Birth: October 3, 1882 in Protivin, Howard County, Iowa
   Death: 1943, Age 61, Britt, Hancock County, Iowa
   Burial: 1943, St. Patrick's Cemetery, Britt, Hancock County, Iowa

Children of Michael and Stella: 

Clara L Kumsher
When Clara L. Kumsher was born on May 18, 1903, in Erin Township, Iowa, her father, Michael, was 33 and her mother, Stella, was 20. She married Floyd Loy on March 6, 1924, in Britt, Iowa. They had two children during their marriage. She died in September 1986 in Britt, Iowa, at the age of 83, and was buried there in St. Patrick's Catholic Cemetery.

Ann E. Kumsher
When Ann E. Kumsher was born on January 2, 1905, in Erin Township, Iowa, her father, Michael, was 35 and her mother, Stella, was 22.  Ann moved to Chicago where she lived and worked.  She died on February 27, 1989, at the age of 84
, and was buried in St. Patrick's Catholic Cemetery.

Edward Charles Kumsher
When Edward Charles Kumsher was born on November 24, 1906, in 
Erin Township, Iowa, his father, Michael, was 37 and his mother, Stella, was 24. He married Eva M. Gatchel on February 14, 1933, in his hometown. They had six children during their marriage. He died on January 27, 1993, in Britt, Iowa, at the age of 86, and was buried there in St. Patrick's Catholic Cemetery.

Teressa Adeline Kumsher Anderson
When Teressa Adeline Kumsher was born on September 12, 1911, in 
Erin Township, Iowa, her father, Michael, was 41 and her mother, Stella, was 28. She married Lloyd Anderson on May 3, 1932, in Burt, Iowa. They had one child during their marriage. She died on November 11, 2011, in Mason City, Iowa, at the age of 100, and was buried in St. Patrick's Catholic Cemetery.

Michael G. Kumsher
When Michael G. Kumsher was born on October 3, 1915, in 
Erin Township, Iowa, his father, Michael, was 46 and his mother, Stella, was 33. He married Agnes M. Ptacek on November 22, 1938, in Hancock, Iowa. They had seven children during their marriage. Michael and Agnes were on the family farm until they moved into Britt in 1996. He died on November 27, 2007, in his hometown, at the age of 92, and was buried there in St. Patrick's Catholic Cemetery.

from an obituary for Michael Kumsher:
              Mason City Globe-Gazette, Oct. 16, 1956 
                 "Michael Kumsher Found Dead" 

"Funeral arrangements are incomplete at the Boughton Funeral Home for Michael Kumsher.

Mr. Kumsher 86, a retired farmer of the Britt vicinity, was found dead at his home Monday by his daughter, Clara Loy, Chicago, and his granddaughter, Mrs. John Steenlage, Britt. (The obituary is incomplete) [He is survived by] two sons, Edward Charles of Kanawha, and Michael, Jr. of Britt; and one brother, Charles, of St. Paul, Minnesota; 14 grandchildren and five great grandchildren." 

This is the first connection we have to his brother Charles. We will take a look at Charles and his family in the next blog. Michael's descendants continue to live in Iowa. With Conny's help, the research continues.