Tuesday, February 9, 2016

According to Minnie

One of my favorite pieces of family history was given to me by my Grandmother. It is a typed document of the Linhoss family and their journey from Germany to the United States, written by Minnie L. Nichols (my 1st cousin, 4x removed) in 1938. Minnie wrote stories she had been told and as other relatives assisted in recalling to record the history of her Grandparents (my 4th great grandparents).

Below is the original typed document, spelling, grammar and all.

Philip and Barbara Linhoss, and their three children George, Adam, and Conrad immigrated to America from Germany, Town of Weisenhasel, Hesson Cassel in 1854. They sailed from Bremer Haven, Germany in a sail ship “The George”. They were on the ocean voyage eleven weeks, and landed at Baltimore, Maryland sometime in August 1854.
They had a very dangerous and stormy voyage. Grandmother often told me of the terrible times they experienced.
Adam Linhoss (our father) (Der Gliner ? Adam) became so seasick they thought him dead and had already prepared to throw him overboard when they saw signs of life in the nick of time to save him from a watery grave. (Open sharks mouth). In those days when a death occurred on board ship they were compelled to throw the body overboard immediately on account of sharks attacking the ship. There were one hundred twenty-seven (127) on board. Seventeen (17) died on this voyage.
The food supply became almost exhausted and Grandmother had a box of something similar to dried noodles with her and she soaked them in water, and they ate them and that was all they had to eat on the last part of their journey. Aunt Mary had the box she brought them in.
George was the oldest, eight (8) years old. Adam was five (5) years old and Conrad two (2) years old. Grandmother said that Conrad was a great pet among the passengers because he was so little.
It took staunch courage to leave home and loved ones to go to a far strange land, facing a long perilous (journey) voyage over a stormy ocean in a sail ship. And they had many furious storms on the voyage. They came to America for the sake of their boys, in order to escape compulsory military training which all German young men were compelled to take. Grandfather served his three years and he did not want his boys to have to serve and that is why they came to America.
All the children were born in Germany except Mary. They were all baptized into the Reformed Lutheran Church. Grandmother had a large square of soft white material neatly hemmed by hand that she used to wrap her babies in to be baptized. After they settled in this country they joined the Mennonite Church.
I do not know where they settled first but they lived at Uncle Benjamin Wengers. (Cousin Norah Wenger’s Place) for a time. Also at Uncle Ephraim Wengers (John Swartz place). It was there that the boys threw stones at “Der Gliner Adam” and he came running to Grandmother and said “Ach du leber Gott, Mommie, de buvvan wellen mich dote warruf.” (Oh dear God, Mother, the boys will strike me to death). Grandmother often told me this story with tears streaming down her cheeks. They finally located at the Mole Hill Homestead, as we knew it and they lived here until the end of their days.
Grandfather (Philip Linhoss) was a weaver of linen by trade in Germany. He wove heavy linen cloth which sacks were made. After he came to America he followed farming as a vocation.
Adam (our father) was only five (5) years old when they left Germany, and he said he could remember the town pump and the bandstand in their town. And he remembered their trip up the river to Bremer Haven when they got on board the Ship.
Grandmother (Barbara Linhoss) told many interesting things about her native land. Instead on planting shade trees along the streets, they planted “watchen blumen,” prune trees, so they had shade and fruit too. A friend of ours visited all thru Germany (Max I Reich) and I asked him about the prune trees in Weisenhassel and he said it was true that Weisenhassel had prune trees along the street, and that it was a beautiful town.
One of the customs of the German people at funerals was to give each one that attended a “weck,” a bun. And instead of erecting tombstones at graves, a wreath of “gebacken blummen,” artificial flowers, were placed inside the church in memory of the dead.
Grandmother said if the church was still standing where her little twin boys were buried there would be two wreaths of flowers in their memory on the inside.
The German people take great interest in Christian Celebrations. On Christmas Eve they would sing carols and early Christmas morning they would take baskets to the poor. And Grandmother never forgot the poor as long as she lived.
Great Grandfather Ross and George Ross, Grandmother’s oldest brother were millers. They had a grain mill and an oil mill. I think a mill where they made flaxseed oil. George Ross was the oldest son and inherited all of his fathers estate, and the rest got nothing. Grandmother often cried about this. The family did not all come to this country at the same time. I think there were four immigrations. Henry was the first one to come. The others followed later. There were three brothers and one sister in our immediate family: Henry Linhoss, Philip Linhoss, Frederick Linhoss, and Catherine Linhoss Baugh.
Grandmother told me that the young folks in Germany did not think a party complete without Philip, as he was always the life of the party, witty and full of fun.
Note: per Clarence Weese: Before Grandmother Linhoss left Germany she had a dream that she would never learn the English language. In her 45 years that she lived here she never could learn the language.
George Linhoss (Son of Philip Linhoss)
George Linhoss was never married and he spent some years in Ohio and followed the occupation of brick maker for some years. He made the bricks used in all the Mennonite Churchs, Midway, Leetonia, Lima, Ohio. He also sold buggies. And on one of his trips his horse ran away and threw him out and broke his leg. (That was why Uncle George always limped a little when he walked.) He made his home at Jacob Yoders and it was here he was in bed six weeks until his leg healed. He said the Yoder’s gave him the best of everything, and were so good and kind to him. He never could say enough in their praise.
He was returning from a party one night and he encountered a skunk. And he thought his suit was ruined but Mrs. Yoder buried it in the ground and it came out good as new.
He came home from Ohio after his parents needed his care, and superintended the farm and engaged in the lumbering and threshing business for years. He also had a furniture factory in Dayton, VA. He also carried on an extensive Real Estate Business.
One of the outstanding traits of Uncle Georges character was that he was so very good to his mother.
Adam Linhoss (Son of Philip Linhoss)
Adam Linhoss (our father) also spent some time in Ohio before his marriage. I think in 1872. And followed the Carpenter trade. He told me there is a house in Youngstown that he helped build, that was finished in walnut through-out, and the doors were all solid walnut.
The story is told that he took a young lady to a party one night and it became very warm in the room. He and his lady friend were sitting near an old Grandfather clock and he opened the door of the old clock to let in some fresh air much to the amusement of the young folks.
He was a contractor and builder by trade… and a good one… did good honest work and was in great demand wherever he was known. IN his day he made all the window sash and doors by hand. And before he had his wood-working machinery he did his planning by hand. The mortises were all made with a foot-power mortise machine. He sawed out all his brackets and scrolls for porches, around cornices of houses, and fancy banisters with a foot jig-saw. He operated a sawmill and several different kinds of wood-working machines later. He hired a great deal of help and made most of his sash and doors in his shop at home if the job was near enough at hand.
He was stricken in the very midst of his career and in the prime of his life with a paralytic stroke, after which he was never able to work at his trade or even superintend his work, much to his disappointment. It grieved him very much to give up his work.
Years ago when Father and Mother visited Ohio, Father said he would like to go to Youngstown and see the house he built that was finished all over in walnut… so they borrowed a buggy and made a trip to Youngstown. Father received a lot of satisfaction from seeing this house. I don’t think there are many, if any, houses built now-a-days finished in walnut.
Henry Linhoss (Brother to Philip Linhoss)
Henry Linhoss was born the 20th day of July, in the year of our Lord, 1810, in Germany in the state of Hesson Cassel, in the county of Rodenburg, in the town of Weisenhasel. “I came to America in 1838. I was married to Catherine Wetsel the 30th day of June 1840. And on the 6th day of October the same year moved to Dayton, VA. Me and my companion lived together for 33 years till she died. We were blessed with seven (7) children, four boys and three girls, of whom only one is living.”
This account was found among Uncle Frederick’s papers, and was written by Henry Linhoss himself.
Henry Linhoss was a shoemaker by trade, and worked at his trade all his life, or as long as he was able. Father used to take us down and have our feet measured and had our shoes made. He was well versed in Scripture, having committed a great part of the New Testament to memory. He had a remarkable memory, for he could pronounce the words that were too hard for me when I read for him which I did very often. The first thing he would say to me was “Vell Minna, have you been readin’ dat Good Book?” He worked with the open Bible on the floor beside him. Read awhile, work awhile.
His shop was at the North end of Dayton, VA. His home was the brick house across the street from the shop (where kirkpatrick’s used the live). Later he bought the Holsinger Farm where his Granddaughter Lillie and husband now reside.
Frederick Linhoss (Brother to Philip Linhoss)
Frederick Linhoss was born the 29th of May 1823 in Germany and came in America in 1839. Landed in Baltimore sometime in September of the same year.
He was married. His first wife was Etta B. Garber, who died in 1876. Two children blessed this union. One died in infancy and the other still living (Annie Linhoss Wampler, died since this was written).
In April 1878 he married Frances Spitzer. He died May 18, 1894 aged 70 years, 11 months, 20 days. He is buried in the Brethren Cemetery at Linville, about 1 mile S.E. of Broadway, VA. He fought in two wars, the Mexican War and the late Civil War. He was wounded in the ankle during the late war which caused him much suffering in after years. He fought in the Battle of Manassas, Battle of Bull Run, the Battle of Gettysburg, the Battle of the Wilderness, and others.
Frederick Linhoss enlisted at Harrisonburg, VA in the regular army under Capt. Getty in the year 1846. Went to Fortress Monroe and from there to Mexico. Was there until 1848 then back to Fortress Monroe and from there to Florida and stayed there until 1850.
The above account was written by himself. He spent the greater part of his time, when not traveling, at his brother Henry Linhoss home in Dayton, VA. He traveled extensively, having been to Mexico, Indiana, Ohio, Illinois, Mississippi, Louisiana, Florida, Alabama, West Virginia, and Virginia. He was a shoemaker by trade and worked at his trade all his life.
Conrad Linhoss (NOT the son of Philip and Barbara)
Conrad Linhoss was born December 31, 1817. Died June 25, 1890. Aged 71 years, 5 months, 25 days. Susan Barrett widow of Conrad Linhoss died at her home in New Market, VA April 10, 1901 aged 75 (?) years, 3 months, 9 days. Susan Barrett Linhoss was born December 31, 1825.
Conrad and Susan Barrett came from Germany in the same ship in the year 1847 and were married July 27, 1847, the same year they landed. And located near New Market, VA. Conrad Linhoss came to America from Kurhessen, Rodenburg Count Germany in June 1847. Conrad and Susanna Linhoss were members of Emanuel Evangelical Lutheran Church at New Market, VA.
Notations made on scrap paper by Julia R. Nicolds (wife of Elwood K. Nichols) while visiting in Virginia on September 1962.
Mole Hill Homestead, which was on up past the home occupied in the last 75 years by the Linhoss children.
Barbara Ross (probably Rares) Linhoss.. great, great, grandmother to Elwood Nichols children.
George Linhoss made brick for Jess Esterly’s house.
Adam Linhoss stricken with a stroke when 52 years old.
Notations jotted down in 1962 by J.R.N.
Linhoss House built by Adam Linhoss in 1870
It is not recalled what this is but is written thus:
Gold on Black
In loving remembrance of
our dear Parents
Philip Linhoss … Gf. Adams Father
Died April 10, 1896 Aged
80 yrs. 2 mo. 27 da.
Samuel Wenger … Grandmother Linhoss’ Mother and Dad
Died Sept. 1861 Aged
48 yrs. 1 mo. 25 da.
Eva Wenger
Died Feb 4, 1898
Aged 84 yrs. 2 mo. 2 da.

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