Monday, August 24, 2015

Searching for Burgenlanders in Bancroft, Kossuth County Iowa

Why did my relatives, the Schötls, and many families from Mönchhof (now in Burgenland, Austria) emigrate to Bancroft, Kossuth County, Iowa?

After spending the first of our two days to Kossuth County in the County seat of Algona, we spent our 3rd and final day in Bancroft. (see the Algona blog here)

As early as 1882, Catholic families came to make their homes in and around Bancroft.  It was designated as an out-mission of Algona and Mass was celebrated in the Bancroft public school building for the next several years.  In October 1889, Bishop Hennessy directed Father Nicholls to build a church in Bancroft and the 36' x 60' structure was completed October 19, 1890. It was deemed a separate Catholic parish within the Dubuque diocese.

From our research we put together a list of the Burgenlander burials in Kossuth County, many in Bancroft. 

We started with the "Burgenlander's Honored and Remembered" listed by the Burgenland Bunch. We went through and created a spreadsheet of the families who came from the Neusiedl  area villages buried throughout the U.S.  We sorted that for just the Iowa burials. We next sorted that alphabetically by town burial site in Iowa.  What we found is that the Bancroft St. John the Baptist Cemetery has burials from Mönchhof immigrants representing 14 families.  To these we could add others, like the Schotls, who were Bancroft residents but with no burials.

Shan contacted Judy Vaske, the business manager at Saint John the Baptist Church in Bancroft with our list.  Judy agreed to bring the cemetery records and meet us at St. John the Baptist cemetery to locate the graves.

Shan Thomas and Judy Vaske

Shan at the Martin Sanftner grave marker

The cemetery books are very detailed with the graves marked according to the placement in quadrants. A map is posted on a board in the center of the cemetery. The cemetery is in excellent condition and well cared for. 

St. John the Baptist Cemetery Map

Burgenlanders buried in St. John's Cemetery, Bancroft

last name  maiden name   1st name    home village    birth  death           cemetery         place
Deim Johann Mönchhof 1865 1941 St. John's Bancroft
Deim Rainer Catherine Mönchhof 1866 1931 St. John's Bancroft
Lentsch Rapp Rosalia Mönchhof 1857 1926 St. John's Bancroft
Rainer Gregor Mönchhof 1873 1909 St. John's Bancroft
Rainer Lorenz Mönchhof 1843 1909 St. John's Bancroft
Rainer Krenn Genofeva Mönchhof 1846 1907 St. John's Bancroft
Rainer Martin Mönchhof 1877 1901 St. John's Bancroft
Rapp Franz Mönchhof 1856 1903 St. John's Bancroft
Rapp Zittritsch Marie Mönchhof 1859 1942 St. John's Bancroft
Rapp Josef Mönchhof 1870 1928 St. John's Bancroft
Rapp Sanftner Magdalene Mönchhof 1876 1963 St. John's Bancroft
Regner Georg Mönchhof 1875 1970 St. John's Bancroft
Sanftner Gothardt Mönchhof 1868 1950 St. John's Bancroft
Sanftner Schwartz Elisabeth Mönchhof 1871 1954 St. John's Bancroft
Sanftner Martin Mönchhof 1862 1932 St. John's Bancroft
Sanftner Rapp Barbara Mönchhof 1868 1932 St. John's Bancroft
Sanftner Mathias Mönchhof 1844 1911 St. John's Bancroft
Sanftner Pöckl Anna Mönchhof 1852 1925 St. John's Bancroft
Sanftner Michel Mönchhof 1856 1908 St. John's Bancroft
Sanftner Hoffman Anna Mönchhof 1855 1901 St. John's Bancroft
Lentsch Melchior Podersdorf 1882 1904 St. John's Bancroft
Lentsch Michel Podersdorf 1855 1931 St. John's Bancroft

We were able to locate and photograph all but 3 of the Burgenlander graves. These we assumed were either never marked, marked but missing, or the stone was buried under the grass.

Some of the Burgenlander grave markers at St. Johns the Baptist Cemetery

After we finished at the cemetery and had a little lunch in downtown Bancroft, we headed to the church where we met with Lori Geitzenauer, the Director of Religious Education for St. John the Baptist Church. She helped us search the church records for births, baptisms, confirmations, marriages and burials. She took a tremendous amount of time and was very patient with us.

We looked for Schötl/Hoffman records, then Lori showed us other names from our list. More time with these records would give a better picture of this Burgenland group.  

Baptisms at St. John the Baptist Catholic Church, 
Bancroft, Iowa, July 2015 
  • Michael Joseph Schotl, baptised 30 Dec 1897, born 13 Dec. 1897, son of Michael Schotl & Elizabeth Hoffman Schotl
  • Michael Mathias Schotl, baptised 30 Jul 1899, born 27 Jul 1899, son of Michael Schotl & Elizabeth Hoffman Schotl
  • Franz (Frank) Mathias Schotl, baptised 8 Jul 1900, born 6 Jul 1900, son of Michael Schotl & Elizabeth Hoffman Schotl, god parents Joseph & Lena Rapp
  • Mathias Paul Schotl baptised 8 May 1902 born 30 Apr 1902,  , son of Michael Schotl & Elizabeth Hoffman Schotl, god parents Michael & Anna Sanftner                                                           (last name Schotl is spelled Schöttel in Baptismal Records)
Marriages at St. John the Baptist Catholic Church, 
Bancroft, Iowa, July 2015 
  • Michael Schotl to Elizabeth Hoffman, 10 Feb 1896, witnesses Matt Schotl & Teresia Sanftner
  • Joseph Rapp to Lena Sanftner, (Franz Schotl god parents) witnesses John Rapp & Anna Green

Burials at St. John the Baptist Catholic Church, 
Bancroft, Iowa, July 2015 

  • Mathias Hoffman, died 6 Oct 1906, buried 8 Oct 1906, age 75

The lesson was how valuable church records can be in genealogy. We knew that Michael Schötl and Elizabeth Hoffman had 4 sons born in Iowa but there was no record of these births at the county. The church records are the only documents we have about the boy's birth dates and given names. 

The parish of St. John The Baptist is nearing its 125th year in 2016 and is currently in the 100th year since the building of the church.  The quasquicentennial celebration is set for July 2nd 2016.  A call for stories, pictures and artifacts has been made by the church's History Committee.  Information can be mailed to PO Box 94 Bancroft, IA  50517.

The Schötls and others didn't stay long in Iowa.  According to the 1905 Minnesota State Census, the Schötl family, with the exception of Frank and Mary, were living in Columbus Township, Anoka County.  It was in the Anoka County records and with the help of the Burgenland Bunch that we discovered that many of their Hungarian neighbors from Mönchhof had settled on adjacent or nearby farms in Columbus Township.

Friday, August 7, 2015

The Schotls and other Burgenlanders in Kossuth County

Rose and Frank wedding photo
 with Matt Kreitz and Theresa Pollreis
Most of  my recent blogs have been about my Kunshier relatives. 

My maternal grandmother, Rose Kunshier, a German-Bohemian, was born and raised in Columbus Township, Anoka County, Minnesota.  It was there that she met and married Franz "Frank" J. Schötl, a German-Hungarian.

Shan and I have been tracking Frank's history for quite a while now and I would like to share some of that information in these next few blogs.  

Franz "Frank" J Schötl 
Early in our research, we determined that my maternal grandfather, Frank Schötl, came from Mönchhof  in current day Burgenland, Austria. I have written about Frank and Mönchhof in an earlier blog. (You can read that here)

We know the Schötls came in two groups. Sons, Michel and Matthias, went to Bancroft in Kossuth County, Iowa in 1897.  Their parents Matthias Sr. and Maria Theresia nee Kornfehl, and remaining siblings Joannes "John", Franz "Frank", and Maria "Mary" followed later. They sailed out of Bremen on the The Frankfort, and arrived in Baltimore in May of 1902.

The family was held at the port for medical examination and the manifest notes that Matthias Sr. was "senile". It appears that Matthias Sr., then age 66, never made it to Bancroft with Maria Theresia.  She arrived at her new home in America, a widow.

We became more interested in the Bancroft connection when we did the research project looking at how many Burgenlanders lived in Columbus Township. (read that here)
The data showed that 3 Burgenlanders were born in Iowa. That led us to do more work on these families and to do further research on Kossuth County, Iowa. 

We verified that, in addition to the Schotls, the Koch, Lentsch, Saxe and Sanftner families had been in Bancroft, Kossuth County, Iowa. Anyone else, we wondered?

Census research in Kossuth County didn't help because the families were identifying themselves as Germans, not Austrians, and not Hungarians.  We next tried the ever helpful Burgenland Bunch.  We started with the "Burganlander's Honored and Remembered" listings. We went through and created a spreadsheet of the families who came from the Neusiedl  area villages buried throughout the U.S.  We sorted that for just the Iowa burials. We next sorted that alphabetically by town burial site in Iowa.  What we found is that the Bancroft St. John the Baptist Cemetery has burials from Mönchhof immigrants representing 14 families.  To these we could add others, like the Schotls, who were Bancroft residents but with no burials.  

Kossuth County Map

We were determined that at some point we needed to visit Kossuth County and check court documents and church records for ourselves. So now, 4 years later, we were able to schedule the trip. Shan made numerous contacts and appointments with those who could help in our quest, and in late June of 2015, we were finally on our way. 

We would like to thank Jean Kraemer, Amy Frankl-Brandt, Judy Vaske, and Lori Geitzenauer for all their help.

The first stop was in Algona, the county seat  of Kossuth County. At the courthouse  a large sculpture of Louis Kossuth greets everyone. 

Who was Lajois "Louis" Kossuth? 

"He was a Hungarian lawyer, journalist, politician and Regent-President of the Kingdom of Hungary during the revolution of 1848–49. He was honored in his lifetime not just in Hungary, but in the United States, as a freedom fighter and bellwether of democracy. After his visit to U.S., streets, squares, and even some towns and counties were named after the Hungarian hero." Read more here (The Hungary Initiatives Foundation)

The plaza in front of his statue is paved with Memorial bricks.
One of the bricks was placed in remembrance of the Lorenz and Eva Gisch family who came from the Burgenland village of Podersdorf. 

We went inside to introduce ourselves to Jean Kramer who had helped with preliminary record searches and who made some contacts on our behalf. She is a past president of the Kossuth Historical Society and active in their genealogical society.  Jean's day job is in the county clerk's office where the probate records are kept. We then went downstairs to the Recorder's Office.  We were looking for a death record for Matthias Schotl Sr. which we didn't find, a marriage certificate for Michael Schotl and Elizabeth Hoffman, which we found,  and birth certificates for their first 4 children, also not found.   We were able to see indices to these records which confirmed other Burgenlanders. 

Our next stop was at the Algona Public Library where we searched through the Genealogical Society's holdings.  The collection includes, books, directories, newspaper clippings, photographs and microfilm.  

One of the big questions is Why Kossuth County, Iowa?

photo provided by Amy Frankl-Brandt

To try to answer this question, we visited the Kossuth County Historical Museum In Algona. We toured the museum on Tuesday morning and later in the day met with Amy Frankl-Brandt, the current president of the historical society, to talk about the Burgenlander presence in the county. She is related to one of the earliest Burgenlander residents in Kossuth County. Her great great grandfather was Josef "Joseph" Frankl. He came from Podersdorf in the district of Neusiedl am See, now in Burgenland. Amy hadn't heard of Burgenland, but seemed quite interested, and wanted to learn more.  We gave her a copy of Walter Dujmovit's book, The Burgenlander Emigration to America, to read and then to place in the Algona Library.  Amy had great family stories but not an answer to why Kossuth, County.

Friday, July 24, 2015

The Pecks, Dr. Rosemary Ruffenach and the Austro-Hungarian community living in Saint Paul's North End

I am working on two blogs about a recent research trip to Kossuth County, Iowa.  Shan and I wondered when did we learn that the "Hungarians" were "German-Hungarians" who are now "Burgenlanders ?" In searching through my files I came across this Blog that I forgot to publish. Here it is now.

I have been trying to track the Frank and Rose Schotl family as they moved from the country to the city of Saint Paul.  I wanted to know where they settled, who their new neighbors were, and at what jobs they were employed.

Four of their children: Martin, Lawrence, Leonard, and Bernice were born in Forest Lake. They moved to St. Paul in about 1918 and soon after were joined by siblings Pearl (1920) and Herbert (1923). The neighborhood was known as the North End with Rice Street being the main thoroughfare and main street of commerce.   We found them on Saint Paul City Directories, and the Federal Census for 1930 living at 28 East Maryland Avenue. This may have not been their first residence.  

Donald L. Empson in his book, The Street Where You Live: A Guide to the Place Names of St. Paul mentions the North End as being "roughly between the Burlington Railroad tracks and Larpenteur Avenue, between Western Avenue and Oakland Cemetery/Jackson Street." a report on housing conditions in St. Paul in the 1930's "... is in the main part composed of those of Hungarian extraction or birth who as a group seem to be of low civic consciousness.  For the most part they are a laboring class and this would indicate well kept homes which is more or less true. The houses are however for the most part poorly built and no amount of attention will entirely remedy the initial inadequateness."

Mr. Empson's elitist attitude seems to be the kind of rationale which was often used to demolish a neighborhood or run a freeway through it.  In other words, we will have to destroy the neighborhood in order to save it.  Anyhow, the neighborhood did survive, and many immigrant families practiced their folkways and raised happy, healthy children.

The children in our family, for the most part, attended the area public schools including Geranium Street School also known at the time as the Robert A. Smith Elementary School. 

Smith Elementary School class picture 1932
The sign indicates this is two separate classes A6 and B7.  I think the top two rows are the 6th graders and the bottom 3 rows are the 7th graders. My mother, Bernice Schotl, is pictured in the 2nd row from the top among the 6th graders. The School Crossing Guard Patrol was chosen from the highest class.  Note all the belts and badges of the Patrol members of those in the first 3 rows.

Getting Back to the Schotls, I found that Martin Schotl had married Anna Peck, daughter of Frank and Mary Peck ca. 1935. They moved in with Anna's widowed mother, Mary, at 1220 Woodbridge in Saint Paul's 8th Ward. They were still living there in 1940 after the birth of their son Kenneth. Also in the household were Anna's brothers, Joseph and Michael Peck. Martin's occupation was given first as a driver and later as a baker for Hugo Koenig.

One evening as I was working on the Martin Schotl tree, I "Googled" Schotl, Peck and Rice Street and scrolled down to find an article by Rosemary Ruffenach in the 2011 Saint Paul Almanac entitled Great-Grandma’s Fur Coat [the entire article is linked] Ostensibly the article was about the coat made of dyed rabbit fur, that Rosemary now owns, but it was really more about her people and their immigration and settlement on Saint Paul's North End.  Her grandmother was a Peck.  Rosemary writes of her grandmother, "Her family arrived in Saint Paul one cold April afternoon in 1888, when she was thirteen years old, along with sixty other immigrants from Andau, Austria (then Hungary). They were dumped on a Saint Paul sidewalk by their travel 'expeditor'."  Her grandmother managed and later owned a grocery store on Rice Street and  "the coat would have graced Grandma's shoulders during Mass at St. Bernard's Church in Saint Paul's North End community."

photo from her web site
Well this seemed too much coincidence to let pass.  As least I wanted to find out more about Rosemary.  She is listed on one site as instructor at secondary and post-secondary levels, teaching in the areas of language arts, social studies, visual arts, and journalism.  She has a doctorate from the University of Minnesota and has published numerous articles in the local and national press.  Her essays have been included in the Minnesota Book Award-winning Voices for the Land Anthology (Minnesota Historical Society Press), 2002, Voices for the City anthology (1000 Friends of Minnesota/ Milkweed Press), 2003, and Saint Paul Almanac, 2011.

I wanted to make a contact with Dr. Rosemary Ruffenach and compare our family history in the Rice Street Neighborhood.  Shan took the initiative and received a immediate response.  "I would be happy to answer questions."  Rosemary also sent us the article she wrote titled "Bless My Homeland Forever."  It is about the Austro-Hungarians coming to St. Paul.  It was included in the Minnesota Genealogist Vol. 38, No.1. 

"The Pecks had settled at 1225 Woodbridge Street by 1893 and stayed there, with John listed as a 'laborer' in the city directory until 1911, when he was 75. After John’s death in 1914, Elizabeth moved in with their married daughter, Elizabeth Peck Tell, and her family in Minneapolis. Son Leonard married within a decade of arriving and moved into 1223 Woodbridge Street. Their third son, Martin, age three at the time of emigration, later came to reside at 1186 Woodbridge Street, and grandson Bernard (son of John Peck, Jr., and Eva Laber) moved in down the street at 21 East Maryland Avenue."    

There are always questions about the reason or reasons some one or some family decided to leave for a new country.  Life was not easy for German-Hungarians (now known as Burgenlanders) beginning in the 1870s. A worldwide economic depression struck in 1873 following  the crash of the Vienna Stock Exchange. 

Three years later Burgenland saw a period of disasters:
1876: constant rainstorms in February and March, followed by very hot weather
1879: severe storms damage crops
1882: village cows die from disease
1883: extreme cold
1885: severe drought
1886: very long, cold winter with 
unusually large snowfall
1887: rainstorms causing the hay to rot in the fields
1888: very long, cold winter with unusually large snowfall.

 Since the 1880's when the German-Hungarians began to settle in the North End, attracted by the jobs with the Railroads, they reached out to family and friends back home to join them in this developing ethnically friendly neighborhood.  

Thanks to Charlie Deutsch of the St. Paul Burgenland Bunch, we have the records of St. Bernard's baptisms, marriages and deaths.  Through the Saint Paul City Directories we could locate addresses and occupations.  Through the various Federal Census we could find out ages, language spoken, place of birth and double check the addresses.  Thanks to the Burgenland Bunch, we now had the larger context of the many German-Hungarian Burgenlanders who had emigrated to the United States.   This group of genealogists have been doing the research for many years and share the information through their web site.  We were able to join the club and add our searches to theirs.


Saturday, May 16, 2015

Rose Munch nee Irber and more on Dayton's Bluff

In the last blog I wrote about the children of Andreas Irber and Anna Kumshier. See that blog here.   Information about their historic neighborhood is available at "Historic Saint Paul: Dayton's Bluff"

In this blog I am particularly interested in Rose Irber. Beginning as early as age 14, Rose was employed by the Minnesota Shoe Company. The 1891 St. Paul City Directory listed her employment with the company as a stitcher.  

One of her older brothers, Joseph Andrew Irber, was employed as a salesman for the Gotzian Co.  

In "Gibson's Suburban Directory of St. Paul and St. Paul Proper, and Additions, 1889"   C..Gotzien and Co, is listed as manufacturers and jobbers in boots and shoes; also proprietors of Minnesota Shoe Co: 187 and 189 E. Third St.

Letterhead for C. Gotzian & Co. 

Rose married Alfred Emil Munch Sr. on February 18, 1895 at age 19.  They moved into the 2nd floor of 719 Case Street. The house was just down the block from Rose's family home. Alfred's occupation was listed as machinist in the 1895 State Census, and the 1900 Federal Census.

A History of the Seeger Refrigerator Co. 
Emil Dietrich Munch
Alfred's father, Emil Dietrich Munch, was a Civil War Captain in the Minnesota 1st Light Artillery Battery. He was one of the first settlers on Dayton's Bluff.

 Emil Dietrich married Bertha Seeger, daughter of Wilhelm Seeger Sr., and Johanna Christiana Wolff.
Bertha's brother, John Augustus Seeger, later was the founder and President of the Seeger Refrigerator Company.  

John Augustus married Elvina Sitzinger Yeorg. Her father, Anthony Yeorg, started one of Minnesota's first breweries at his home on the corner of Eagle and Washington Streets on the upper landing of Saint Paul

The book From Arcade Street to Main Street was very helpful in sorting out the principals and the history of the company. 

As reported in the book, most of the records of the company were destroyed.  Former employees reported the disposal of quantities of manuscript and printed materials relating to Seeger's History between 1902 and 1955. Destroyed were ledger and journal books, blueprints of products, correspondence files, photographs of the factory operations.

Dayton's Bluff

The development of Dayton's Bluff as a residential location began in the 1840s. The area was named for Lyman Dayton, an early pioneer who  built a home on the Bluff in the 1850s.

Swede Hollow, view towards Dayton's Bluff, courtesy MHS

Feed, flour, and lumber mills were built in the area to take advantage of Phalen Creek as a source of water power. When a railroad was built north of East 7th Street in the late 1860s, more industries, including Hamm's Brewery, grew up along its corridor. Soon a railroad depot called “Post's Siding” was built at present-day Earl Street and East 7th Street, and a community of workers surrounded the industries. It was the start of what would be a long history of manufacturing in the community. source

Hamm's Brewery and Mansion. courtesy MHS

Dayton’s Bluff was separated from downtown St. Paul by a huge wetland formed by the merging of Phalen Creek and Trout Brook. Eventually roads and two bridges permitted easier access and the neighborhood became part of what historians call “the walking city.”

Looking down Third Street towards Downtown from Dayton's Bluff

New people began moving into the area starting in the 1860s. Large communities of German and Irish immigrants, along with older “Yankee” stock, established businesses, churches, and cultural institutions. As police stations, fire stations, and schools were built, the residents began demanding better roads, streetlights, and other city services.  source:

The railroad tracks north of Seventh Street attracted early business and industry. The St. Paul Plow Works and the Wood Harvester plant made agricultural implements. Minnesota Terra Cotta, near Seventh and Earl, made unique kiln-fired products for building ornamentation. source:

The streetcar arrived and the neighborhood expanded. New 
development, both commercial and residential, sprang up 
near the streetcar line, which went up East 7th Street and 
ended at Duluth Street. source:

Steady growth between the 1880's and 1920's created homes for both wealthy and working-class families. There was a wide variety of retail outlets including grocery and meat markets, taverns, barber shops, restaurants, department stores, gas stations and movie theaters.  source:

The general prosperity lasted until the 1930's when the Depression hit hard. 

Dayton's Bluff State Bank ca. 1930, courtesy MHS

Further changes occurred in the 1940's and 1950's as the community aged, housing stock deteriorated, and long-time residents left the area. source: on the web, "Historic Saint Paul: Dayton's Bluff"

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

the children of Anna Kumshier and Andreas Irber

In the last blog, I wrote about Anna Kumschier (Kunschier) and Andreas Irber (see that blog here)  

In 1874 the family emigrated to America.   Andreas, Anna, and their 4 children; John Henry, Margaret, Marie, and Joseph Andrew arrived in Manhattan, New York, aboard the S.S. Hansa out of Bremen.  The family was #99-104 on the ship's manifest. #97 and 98 were Andreas Weidl and Theresia Kumschier (Anna's sister.)

The family settled in the area of St. Paul known as Dayton's Bluff, named for Lyman and Maria Dayton. The Dayton's built a large frame house on the crest of the bluff.  Carver's Cave is at the foot of this bluff.   The area was originally separated from the downtown by a large wetland formed at the merger of  Phalen Creek and Trout Brook.  Eventually the area was bridged and E. Seventh Street became an arterial. 

New industries began to locate here providing employment for many workers.  Among the businesses were the Theodore Hamm Brewing Co., Seeger Refrigeration, St. Paul Plow Works, Wood Harvester Plant and Minnesota Mining and Manufacturing (3M).

Sacred Heart, Catholic Church

Sacred Heart, A German Catholic Church located at 840 6th Street East may have been an attraction and a connection. 

The church is still an active congregation with a largely Hispanic membership.

Until about 1890 Andreas Irber is listed as a carpenter in the city directories.  It is very possible he supervised construction of  the building which became their residence and the grocery store. What prompted them to start a grocery store is an open question

In this blog I will concentrate on their children. 

Children of Anna Kumschier and Andreas Irber

John Henry Irber was born on October 19, 1865, in Neubäuhütten, Wassersuppen.  In 1887, he married Helen Schaber. They had three sons; Edward John, Arthur, Wilfred Joseph and one daughter, Lauretta Emma. For much of his life he was employed as a cigar maker. According to the 1940 Federal Census, he is widowed and living with his son Edward at 6310-A Malibu Street, Huntington Park, Los Angeles, California . He died on July 20, 1942, in Los Angeles, California, at the age of 76, and was buried in Elmhurst Cemetery, St Paul.

Margaret Irber was born on December 11, 1867 in Neubäuhütten, Wassersuppen, Bohemia. She resided in St. Paul most of her life. In 1933, she was working as a Sales Woman at Robinson's Inc. and living at 672 E. Lawson Apt. 2. She died on November 15, 1952, in San Diego, California, at the age of 84.

Marie Irber  was born in September 1870 in Neubäuhütten, Wassersuppen, Bohemia. She married Herman George Treseler in 1915. They had one son and five daughters.  She died on March 20, 1946, in Minneapolis, Minnesota at the age of 75.

Joseph Andrew Irber was born on February 2, 1873, in Neubäuhütten, Wassersuppen, Bohemia. He married Anna R. Hoerchner on August 5, 1896, in St Paul, Minnesota. They had one daughter, Marjorie and two sons; Albert William and Joseph Anthony. They continued to live in St.Paul where he was employed as a salesman for Gotzian Shoe Co., and later for O'Donnell Shoe Corp., where he worked until his death, at age 64, on December 5, 1937. see note 2 below

Rose Irber was born on December 9, 1875, in St. Paul. She married Alfred Emil Munch Sr. on February 15, 1895, in St Paul. They had three boys; Alfred Jr., Edwin Irber, and Robert Andrew. She died on July 27, 1951, and was buried in Acacia Park Cemetery, Mendota Heights, Minnesota, at the age of 75.

Andrew Irber Jr. was born on December 3, 1876, in St Paul.  He married Mary L. Rau in 1899. They had one child, Lucille Margaret. He died on September 17, 1962, in his hometown, at the age of 85, and was buried in Sunset Memorial Park Cemetery, Minneapolis, Minnesota. (In the index to Minnesota Photographers at the Minnesota Historical Society, Andrew Irber Jr. is listed as the first staff photographer for the St. Paul Pioneer Press newspaper.) see note 1 below

Henry Conrad Irber was born on November 16, 1878, in St Paul, Minnesota. He married Margaret Esther Madigan on December 28, 1909 in Belmond, Wright County, Iowa. They had two sons; Conrad Henry and Joseph David. His employment is listed variously as corn buyer, broker, and salesman.  He died on September 21, 1947, in San Francisco, California, at the age of 68.

Annie Irber  was born on March 10, 1880, in St Paul, Minnesota. She died as a child in 1885 in her hometown. 

Ernest Joseph Irber was born on January 23, 1885, in St Paul, Minnesota. By the age 20, He was employed as a draughtsman for the St. Paul Foundry Co. and boarding with his parents at 697 Case St.  He married Hilda Anderson in 1910 . He later married Anna "Annie" Beach.  In 1940, Ernest and his wife Anna lived on Keller "Grandway" in New Canada.  He was employed as a General Agent for the "Steam Railway." Anna's mother Emma and a Hungarian housekeeper, Mary Puladi,  also lived with them. Anna died on March 4, 1951. On October 30, 1952, Ernest married Frances R. Rigelhof, in Hennepin County, Minnesota. Ernest  died on April 26, 1959, in San Diego, California, at the age of 74.

note 1 (Andrew Irber Jr.)
  On page 32  of the September 1941, Minnesota  History Magazine it states: "Recent additions to the society's picture collection include 450 photographs, most of which are views of St. Paul and vicinity from about 1895, from Mr. A. Irber of St. Paul."  But, nobody seems to know what happened to the collection. 

We first inquired of the research staff at the Minnesota Historical Society via email.  We got no satisfaction. Last year we visited and inquired in person, and after getting shunted from staff person to staff person, nothing.  
And it looks like any hope of getting his photos from the
Pioneer Press Building Robert St. 1909
corporate archives of the Pioneer Press is no longer possible.  This note from historian Jim  Sazevich "
You will also be very unhappy (as I am) to know that the Pioneer Press newspaper recently sold its photo archive to private archives throughout the U.S.  The photos are being sold on ebay now and have been for several months. They should have all been given to the Minnesota Historical Society. They are such an important part of our local history, and now they are scattered to the four winds, and most will end up in private hands."

A few of his photos are on line at the MNHS site, if you search Irber. We hate to think that most of a large and important collection has gone missing. The pictures in the following collage are some of Andrew's photos that can be viewed on- line at the Minnesota Historical Society. We hope eventually others will be found. 

note 2  Joseph Andrew Irber first worked for the Gotzian Shoe Company. Later both he and his son Albert William were both employed as salesmen for the O'Donnell Shoe Company.

Gotzian Shoe Company, East 5th Street, Saint Paul MN

O'Donnell Shoe Company, Sibley Street, Saint Paul MN

 Midwestern shoe manufacturers were negatively affected by southern states who offered cheaper labor wages. The Minneapolis Teamster’s Strike of 1934 in which 35,000 truckers and building trades workers walked out was devastating to the region and may have been the final blow for the O’Donnell Shoe Company. It moved operations to Tennessee in 1935.

Renaissance Box, Sibley St., Saint Paul MN
Subsequent uses of the building: The factory at 509 Sibley was leased to the Market Seed Company and Albert Wholesale Produce after the shoe company’s departure. Since 1999 the O’Donnell Shoe Company building has been known as the Renaissance Box, housing tenants such as a theater group and other arts and retail ventures.  Today apartment homes occupy the building.