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. 

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