Thursday, March 01, 2012

A Rosa footnote to Chariton's Square

The Redlingshafer siblings: Anna Margaret Rosa/Wulf at left seated with Margaret Anna Hupp to her right. John G. Redlingshafer, standing left, and George W. Redlingshafer.

Writing about the Hotel Charitone yesterday reminded me of John W. and Anna Margaret (Redlingshafer) Rosa, my uncle and aunt some generations removed, who operated a tobacco shop that offered tailoring services on the side during the mid-1860s in their log house then located immediately north of the hotel site on the east side of North Grand Street.

 John didn't live long enough to leave a mark on Chariton's central business district, dying of typhoid at age 45 during 1867 about two years after arrival. He, as well as an infant son named Lot, were among the first burials in the new Chariton Cemetery, platted and opened three or four years earlier.

The Rosas did leave their mark on Lucas County, however. All of the Rosas still roaming around the county are descended from them as are a considerable number of Schrecks, including Chariton Mayor Roger Manser, Frank Mitchell and the rest of the vast Worth and Laura (Schreck) Mitchell clan and others.

Both John and Anna Margaret were natives of Bavaria. They married in Pennsylvania, then lived in St. Louis as well as three locations in Illinois before arriving in Chariton, probably during 1865. They had a total of 10 or 12 children while moving from place to place, but only three survived --- John W. Rosa, Adam George Rosa and Anna Margaret (married William P. Schreck).

It's always interesting to know why people chose to settle at a place, and in the case of John and Anna Margaret, it was at the urging of other family members. Anna Margaret's brother (and my great-great-grandfather) John G. Redlingshafer had settled in Benton Township with his bride, Isabelle, during 1857. They were joined not long thereafter by his siblings George W. Redlingshafer and Margaret Anna (Redlingshafer) Hupp as well as the widowed matriarch of the family, Doratha (Redlingshafer) Redlingshafer, and the youngest children, John Lot and Elizabeth Anna (Redlingshafer) Banschbach.

Anna Margaret was a strong person --- and an astute businesswoman --- who married as her second husband during 1868 a German emigrant named Joachim Wulf. Joachim, a native of Prussia, had found work helping to build the the Burlington & Missouri River rail line across southern Iowa during 1867 and probably met Anna Margaret while boarding with her. After John Rosa's death, she had turned their log home into a boarding house.

Anna and Joachim (anglicized as "Joseph" sometimes) then moved from Chariton to the Redlingshafer enclave south of town and east of the family church, Otterbein. She had outlived John by nearly 40 years when she died at almost 82 on Feb. 7, 1906. She had retained ownership of the old home in Chariton until 1880, when it was sold to E.H. Scovel.

For anyone interested in excruciating detail, here's an account of the Rosa family I wrote several years ago:


By Frank D. Myers

George and Doratha Redlingshafer named their first child Anna Margaret when she was born on the 28th of February, 1824, in Bavaria.

In doing so, they followed a naming protocol that was normal for that place and time, but that would seem mildly confusing to their descendants. Each of their five daughters would be given the name "Anna" either as a first or middle name. Two sets of daughters would bear the same given names with the order reversed. Anna Margaret's counterpart was Margaret Anna (Redlingshafer) Hupp.

Anna Margaret did not share details of her childhood, although she had an opportunity to do so when she composed a brief biography, headed by the name of her second husband, Joachim Wulf, for inclusion in "A Memorial and Biographical Record of Iowa" (Chicago: The Lewis Publishing Co., 1896; reprint 1978 by Walsworth Publishing Co., Marcelene, Mo., p. 1158-59).

We can be certain that she was baptized as an infant and confirmed when 12 or 13 as a Lutheran. Unlike many of her brothers and sisters, Anna Margaret remained faithful to that denomination until her death. According to her obituary, she was "a member of the German Lutheran church and lived a strong, helpful Christian life."

During 1848, when she was a young woman of about 24, Anna Margaret left Germany with her family, bound for America. [Anna Margaret's obituary and the previously cited biography state that she came to the United States in 1849, but other brothers and sisters gave the year as 1848. It is possible the family left Germany soon after the 21 November 1848 birth of its youngest member, Elizabeth Anna, and arrived in America during February or March, 1849].

The Redlingshafer family, according to Anna Margaret's brother, John, were welcomed to America and brought from Baltimore to Pennsylvania by a half-brother, James (perhaps John James), a son of George Redlingshafer Sr.'s first marriage. They reportedly spent a year with his family in or near Uniontown, Fayette County, Pennsylvania, before purchasing their own farm in East Bethlehem Township, Washington County, Pennsylvania. There are a number of indications the family also spent time with George's daughter by his first marriage, Barbara (Redlingshafer) Fisher, and her family in adjoining Greene County.

While living in Germany, Anna Margaret had become acquainted with a young man named John W. Rosa, who arrived in the United States during 1849 and "renewed the acquaintance of the lady ... whom he had known in her native land."

They were married 12 June 1850 "at the home of her aunt." Anna Margaret's obituary states that the wedding took place in Washington County, Pa. The aunt probably was Barbara (Redlingshafer) Fischer. Barbara, however, was living in Greene rather than Washington County, Pennsylvania, at the time.

Anna Margaret and John W. were married by a circuit preacher, according to their daughter-in-law, Sarah Minerva (Chynoweth) Rosa. "They were ready to be married," Minerva wrote, "and the preacher didn't arrive, so (they) had to wait until the next trip on the circuit."

John W. was born 11 April 1822 in Bavaria, but the names of his parents are unknown. He apparently was trained in Germany as a tailor, and worked at that trade and as a tobbaconist most of his life. According to Minerva Rosa, John came to the United States alone.

According to Margaret Anna's 1896 biography, very soon after their marriage, "the young couple removed to St. Louis, Missouri, where he worked at the tailor's trade for about five years (until ca. 1855). Their next place of residence was in Tazewell county, Illinois, and Mr. Rosa opened a tailor shop in Pekin, which he conducted for two years (until ca. 1857). He then established a small cigar store in Peoria, Illinois ...."

Although it's unclear who arrived first and precisely when they came, most of the extended Redlingshafer family apparently regrouped at Pekin during 1855. George and Doratha, John G. and the younger children may have come west during late 1854 or early 1855. Martin and Mary Anna (Redlingshafer) Banschbach arrived from Bureau County, Illinois, during the same period and Anna Margaret and George W. arrived together from Pennsylvania in 1855.

George and Doratha, John G. and the younger children reportedly moved on to Guttenberg, Clayton County, Iowa, about six months after their arrival. But Margaret Anna married Aaron Hupp in Tazewell County 22 March 1856 and remained there until 1858. George went to work, remaining in Tazewell County for four years. The Banschbach family and probably the Rosas, too, remained in the area until early 1860.

The Rosas probably accompanied the Banschbach family back to Bureau County, Illinois, during the first months of 1860. John W., the oldest of the surviving Rosa children, was born 4 July 1857. His obituary states that he was near Princeton (in Bureau County) but it seems most likely he was born at Pekin or in Peoria. John W. also said at one point that he was born in St. Louis, suggesting some confusion about the matter. The obituaries of the other surviving children, Adam George, born 9 October 1860, and Anna Margaret, born 24 July 1862, state that they were born "near Depue," the Bureau County community in which Martin and Mary Anna Banschbach settled.

The Rosas were living in Selby Township, Bureau County, when the 1860 federal census was taken, among merchants, hotel keepers, blacksmiths and others whose professions suggest a town although it is not now identified as such. Their post office was Hollowayville.

Mary and Mary (Redlingshafer) Banschbach were keeping a hotel only a few households away. The census entry for the Rosas reads as follows:

1860 Census, Selby Township, Bureau County, Illinois,
 Post Office: Hollowayville, Page 145
Dwelling/Family Nos. 1038/1055, Enumerated 20 June
John Rosy, 38, M, Groceries, Real estate valued $500, Personal property valued $20,
 born Germany
Margaret Rosy, 36, F, born Germany
John (Rosy), 2, M, born Illinois

The great tragedy of Anna Margaret's and John W.'s marriage was that so few of their children survived. Anna Margaret's 1906 obituary states that "to them were born ten children, three of whom are now living." According to her son, Adam Rosa's, obituary, "he was one of a family of twelve children, nine of whom passed away in early childhood."

One of those lost children, Lot, is buried in the Chariton Cemetery under a small stone that reads, "Lot, son of John W. and A.M. Rosa, aged 18 MS." No information about the remaining children has been found. Nor is it known exactly when Lot died.

While the Rosas were moving about in central Illinois, several of Anna Margaret's brothers and sisters, as well as her mother, had settled in Benton Township, Lucas County, Iowa, a few miles south and east of the county seat town of Chariton.

John G. and Isabelle (Greer) Redlingshafer settled there during the spring of 1857; Aaron and Margaret Anna (Redlingshafer) Hupp arrived in the fall of 1858 and George W. Redlingshafer, in the spring of 1859. Their mother, Doratha Redlingshafer, and a younger brother, John Lot, were living with George W. when the 1860 census of Benton Township was taken.

The Rosas set out to join their extended family in Lucas County during the spring of 1864 or 1865 (Anna Margaret's biography and obituary give the year as 1864; however, her three children believed the year to have been 1865).

Adam's obituary provides an account of the trip from Illinois to Chariton: "at the age of five, his father brought the family to Iowa, crossing the Mississippi River on a ferry, then by rail to Eddyville, Iowa, thence to Chariton by stage coach."

The Rosas' first purchase in Chariton was made on the 22nd of November 1865 when, for $300, John purchased from Joseph Fisher the west half of Lots 1 and 2 in Outlot No. 11 (Lucas County Town Lot Record Book D, page 265). This would appear to be the area in southwest Chariton now occupied by the Woodlawn Apartments, a block south of Columbus School. John sold that hilly piece of property, however, to Charles Lloyd on 12 September 1866.

On the 26th of September 1866, he purchased for $450 from Thomas J. Musselman the south half of Lot 6 in Block 8 (Town Lot Deed Record D, page 418).

This property, described by descendants as a log house, was just off the northeast corner of the square in Chariton, immediately north of where the Charitone Hotel now stands. Minerva Rosa said her father-in-law worked there as a tailor. According to Anna Margaret's 1896 biography, he "again embarked in the cigar business on a somewhat limited scale."

John died there on 23 October 1867, age 45, of typhoid, according to Minerva Rosa; and was buried in the northwest section of the new Chariton Cemetery, immediately south of town.

Anna Margaret, a widow of 43 with children age 5, 7 and 10 to support, apparently was not left entirely without resources. According to the 1896 biography, she purchased as a widow later during 1867 the farm in Benton Township where she would live for most of the remainder of her life. Lucas County land records are not clear on this point. There are no recorded 1867 Rosa land transactions.

On 2 November 1874, however, Anna Margaret's brother and sister-in-law, John and Isabelle Redlingshafer, sold to her for $1,600 quit claim title to the property they had purchased upon arrival in Lucas County during 1857, the south half of the southwest quarter of Section 17 and the southwest quarter of the southwest quarter of Section 21, a total of 120 acres in Benton Township (Lucas County Deed Record T, page 345). The 80-acre tract was southeast across the road from the eventual location of Otterbein United Brethren Church; the 40-acre tract, probably a wood lot, was located a mile southeast on bottom land divided into rough halves by Wolf Creek. Subsequent records suggest that these 120 acres were all that Anna Margaret ever owned in Benton Township.

Back in Chariton, Minerva Rosa said, Anna Margaret turned her log home into a boarding house and this may have been how she met Joachim Wulf, who would become her second husband slightly more than a year after John's death.

Joachim, according to the 1896 biography, "was born in Rentzburg, Province of Prussia, May 3, 1822, and belonged to that army of men who, since the establishment of the first settlement in this country by white men, have crossed the Atlantic to secure homes. He was reared on his father's farm and received a good common-school education. In 1867 he resolved to try his fortune in the New World, and sailed from Hamburg to Quebec on a post ocean liner. After landing he at once resumed the westward journey, coming to Iowa, where he secured work on the Burlington Railroad, which at that time was being constructed westward from Lucas county."

Anna Margaret and Joachim were married 28 November 1868 in Lucas County and moved soon after to the Benton Township farm she had purchased earlier.

Anna Margaret retained her property in Chariton, however, until 25 March 1880, when she sold it to E.H. Scovel [Lucas County Town Lot Transfers, Volume 1, page 80].

Joachim (whose name was often anglicized as Joseph) farmed his wife's property with his stepsons until he died at age 71 on 2 August 1893. He was buried near John Rosa Sr. in the Chariton Cemetery.

Anna Margaret still lived on the home farm during 1895, aided by her sons John W. and Adam, both of whom lived nearby. When it became impractical for her to live alone, she made her home with her daughter, Anna Margaret, who had married William P. Schreck 25 October 1887. Anna Margaret died at the Schreck home on Wednesday, 7 February 1906, nearly 82 years old.

Funeral services were held on Friday, 9 February: A brief service at the house at 10 a.m. and the sermon at 11:30 a.m. at Otterbein United Brethren in Christ Church, which Anna Margaret had attended because there was no Lutheran church in the vicinity. She was buried in the Chariton Cemetery between her two husbands.

It still is possible to see where Anna Margaret's home stood, although only the rubble of a shed now remains. At the bottom of the low hill upon which Otterbein Church once stood, a gravel road turns left (east) off Iowa Highway 14. Her home stood on the left (north) side of this road perhaps a quarter mile after the turn. Her son and daughter-in-law, John and Sarah Minerva (Chynoweth) Rosa, built their home on the south side of this road a short distance east, Following retirement, they constructed a new, smaller home across the road, just east of where Anna Margaret once had lived. (Note: the landscape has changed since this was written; I don't believe anything is left to indicate where Anna Margaret lived.)

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