Sussman-Laabs

Eugene and Mary Fecht Headstone.jpg

Eugene FechtAge: 85 years18191904

Name
Eugene Fecht
Surname
Fecht
Given names
Eugene
Birth August 25, 1819 55 44
MarriageMaria Walburga WurthView this family
November 9, 1843 (Age 24 years)
Birth of a daughter
#1
Ida Helena Fecht
April 25, 1845 (Age 25 years)
Birth of a daughter
#2
Helen Fecht
June 1847 (Age 27 years)
Death of a motherJuliana Augusta Sprenger
November 11, 1847 (Age 28 years)

Birth of a son
#3
Julius Fecht
October 10, 1849 (Age 30 years)
Birth of a son
#4
Emil J. Fecht
August 1853 (Age 33 years)
Birth of a daughter
#5
Emma Fecht
March 1856 (Age 36 years)
Birth of a son
#6
Albert Fecht
February 19, 1858 (Age 38 years)
Birth of a daughter
#7
Augusta Victoria Fecht
March 1860 (Age 40 years)
Birth of a daughter
#8
Eugenia Paulina “Jennie” Fecht
June 29, 1862 (Age 42 years)
Birth of a daughter
#9
Otelia B. Fecht
September 24, 1867 (Age 48 years)
Marriage of a childEmil J. FechtAda S. MulfordView this family
1877 (Age 57 years)
Marriage of a childRobert SussmannAugusta Victoria FechtView this family
June 2, 1880 (Age 60 years)
Marriage of a childFrederick August BallinEugenia Paulina “Jennie” FechtView this family
October 15, 1884 (Age 65 years)
Marriage of a childCharles Horation ClementOtelia B. FechtView this family
about 1896 (Age 76 years)
Death of a daughterAugusta Victoria Fecht
February 2, 1896 (Age 76 years)
Cause: Typhoid (from bad milk)
Death December 15, 1904 (Age 85 years)
Cause of death: marsmus senilis
Burial
Family with parents - View this family
father
mother
Marriage: October 14, 1800Evangelisch, Mundingen, Freiburg, Baden
19 years
himself
sister
Family with Maria Walburga Wurth - View this family
himself
wife
Marriage: November 9, 1843Helig Kreuz RC church, Stein Am Kocher, Baden
16 years
daughter
-10 years
son
-5 years
daughter
2 years
daughter
6 years
son
3 years
daughter
2 years
son
4 years
daughter
5 years
daughter

Note

“My Pioneer Life in Michigan - 1850” By Eugene Fecht (abt. 1877)

Driven through the revolution in my home country, the Grand Duchy of Baden, to the inviting shores of America late in December 1849. I came on the 23rd of that month to Buffalo. The cold weather set in at once and there was only one steamer, “the Baltimore,” making or trying to make another trip to Detroit. I was one of the passengers having paid $7.00 on which was printed in small type: “wind and weather permitting.” I understood no English then and the steamer, after a fearful voyage in a thick snow storm with waves going house high, and after unsuccessful attempts to break through the ice between the islands of Lake Erie, turned back towards the harbor of Huron, on the north shore of Ohio. We were obliged to reach the next Stage Station and that was “Milan.” About 2 miles from Huron we, that is to say a widow woman and her nephew, a boy of about 15 years were hospitably entertained by a generous Ohio farmer. We had to sleep on the hay, had supper and breakfast and the hired man had to convey us to the village of Milan; and for all that we had only to pay $5.00 in gold a piece.

Thus I came around Lake Erie on the Stage and never I shall forget the trip in my life, and I then understood the truth of the words of a German writer on his travels in America, which I had read about 6 months before, that everyone who uses an American Stage as a conveyance on those imperfect roads in the bush would do well to have himself included in the <?> prayers of the liturgy. The Stage had to pass over a road between Monroe and Detroit through a swamp which road was made exclusively of the <?> stems of Tamarack and other trees, was originally laid close to the others, but half of them missing, so that when the coach went down in a hole again, you would not know what perished first, yourself, driver, coach, baggage or horses, and dozens of times we passengers had to lay hands on taking another stem to be used as lever to be used to get out of the scrape. Evan our <?> German girl did help us. Only an old lady with specs are remained in the coach. She had her seat opposite mine and was angry, that in the many <?> between our heads she lost one glass of her spectacles. This fearful road was 9 miles long.

Finally on the 31 December 1849 I reached Detroit which was then a city of about 20,000 inhabitants. Where afterwards “Holmes block” was built stood two churches, one built of brick, the other <?> and on no. 5 Jefferson Ave between Woodward and Griswald there burned down in winter 1849/50 a row of wooden two story frame buildings. End March 1850, I myself shot 2 wild ducks about on the place, where now the Bohemian church is on Antoine St. At that time there was a large sheet of shallow water there. (Note: This is St. Josaphat church, Canfield St.)

Through my mishaps on Lake Erie, the generous farmer in Ohio and the expenses to travel per Stage around Lake Erie during a very cold winter my money was nearly gone and I had to look for some situation. Board was cheap then. I boarded with my countryman <?> Waldensberger <?> Hastings and Gratiot for $1.50 per week and with Henry Hisler who kept an <?> house near foot of Woodward avenue for $1.75 per week. But my friend Waldensberger told me two reasons why I could not get any situation, first because I could not speak any English and second on account of my large whiskers and moustache.

At that time 27 years ago a man was not considered a gentleman who had not his face cleanly shaved.

I could not find a place however and went with my last dollar to Port Huron, where I had a cousin, to whom I was recommended. He was the most time absent from home as a physician, his wife was American. I stayed 2 weeks felt every day more, that my presence was not very much desired, went off again to Detroit, that is to say on foot the whole distance and <?> in Detroit penniless. I found there a letter from my wife, whom I had to leave behind in Germany with 3 children, informing me that she was in the same <?> had to give away the children to relatives; and so I concluded to try <?> <?> Lake Superior as soon as Navigation would open in 1850.

Towards end of My 1850 I and a number of other Germans also about 10 Cornishmen embarked on the steamer Franklin, an old dilapidated side wheel steamer and arrived safely at the “Soo.” There was no … … … the two now long defunct propellers “Independence” and “Napoleon,” both were <?> propellers from sail vessels and old ones at that. <… …> The Independence was huge and had 2 masts mostly relying on wind, her engine having only about 6 horsepower. After waiting in the “Soo” for 6 days we could go on board of the “Independence,” got our meals there and pay for helping loading her, as she was very poorly manned and after an immense load of mining materials and suppliers was on board, we tried to start but she drew 13 ft of water and we had the wrong wind to drive the water in from the lake and we had half to unload her again. This took another day, but we did not care as we received board and pay. Finally on the 10 June we arrived at Agate Harbor where we met a yawlboat with Captain Pauls of the Northwest Mine who lay in wait of us several days and hired the whole crowd no matter of what nation. Of my money earned in the “Soo,” I had to pay back to a countryman some amount advanced to me to pay my board bill at Jacob Brown’s tavern in the “Soo” and had just $1.00 and 6 cts. left when we arrived at Eagle Harbor on the 10 of June 1850.

It was a Saturday. There were 2 taverns, one kept by an American, one by a Cornishman there, one German tavern kept by Henry Herz, now of Niles and another one now unfinished kept by another German Charles Franz. Charles had expected to get his institution in proper trim by Saturday, but had been disappointed by the carpenters and by the long delay of the propeller and his supply of beer and spirits on board thereof. Yet in the hope to have everything in shape, he had sent messengers out to all mining locations of 10 miles distance all around and when we entered the harbor, Charles Kunz , with at least 300 miners came on the wharf; his beer was mostly in the hold, but faster I never saw unload any vessel; all helped; most of them had not seen any beer during the winter, nor tasted any fresh eggs, and there were 20 barrels on board for him.

As soon the necessary supplies were on hand the whole crowd repaired to the new house and used the <?> <?> for a <?> and there they went on, until hardly any sober man was left. The boys pushed each other away from the improvised <?> for the privilege to throw first a 5 or ten dollar bill thereon, on which everyone could have a drink if he chooses, only then it was then expected from him to do the same. There was no change returned. As my engineer reported only $1.06 in the treasury, I went with a countryman to whom for his intelligence I had taken a fancy and who had not one <?> in his <?> to Henry Herz. There we wanted to get 2 glasses of beef for 6 ct a glass but as my Mexican 6 ct piece would only pay for one I had to give Herz the dollar in payment, expecting the change back, but he <?> us too, then himself (made 3) then 4. Men and 4 <?> drinking on a euchre table, then went under the house door put the finger in his mouth and whistled for 3 men working on a wharf in the neighborhood, thus making the treat for my poor dollar full.

On the Northwest mine I saw the most mixed crowd in my life. In the great boarding house you could hear the conversation at meal time going on in English, French, German, Irish (Celtic), Ottowa, Chippewa and other Indian languages. The Germans comprised about 1/3 of the whole force, and among them there were so many dialects, for <?> of those coming from the Baltic Sea and those from <?> that many of them did not understand the others.

Our fare in said boarding house was plain and simple; it consist3ed from June 11 to Dec 24, 1850 in salt pork and beans or salt beef and beans and nothing else but bread, butter as an article of high price was generally <?> <?> to sew by the warehousemen in Detroit or Cleveland, as the boarding house keeper said. Day before Christmas 1850 an ox broke his leg in a show drift and had to be killed. This was the first fresh meat since I had left Detroit, and we all got sick with diarrhea by the <?> use of said fresh meat. At that time the population in the whole Lake Superior Country was about so divided, that 100 males could be counted for one female.

Nevertheless the saloon keepers on the sea ports arranged balls. I saw one where only 4 servant girls were a <?> 200 men. The boys were of course obliged to dance amongst themselves and about the partnership of the 4 females in dancing more than 30 black eyes were <?>. The orchestra was also very exquisite and consisted of 4 clarinets and nothing else.

Most of the workingmen were miners as well as laborhands earned fair wages, but many of them did not keep it but spent it with the saloon keepers.

There was a rough crowd up there at that time, similar to that in California or Denver City. But there were also, especially among the Germans, many well educated men. There were a few rows and quarrels amongst the boys, mostly on Saturday, when they went down to the harbor; but I never heard of any complaints of assault and battery. At that time, 1850, there was no Justice of the Peace at all in office in the township, as all elected thereto had neglected to qualify. I was the first one qualified in 1857, but my business did hardly comprise anything else but joining people in marriage, and when I did it once, plainly confirming myself to the provisions of the statute, an old Cornish granny said indignantly “That is no marriage at all, he did not preach a <?>”

My family had arrived 1851 I was in those regions until 1856 when the age of m oldest chi9ldfen made me to return to Detroit to give them the necessary school education. I had tried to do it myself and with success, too; but if a man <?> and the mine at 6 o’clock then he has to chop wood yet and carry home water, the physical nature seeks rest and there is not much energy left to make the schoolmaster.

I have said something above about the 20 barrels received by Charles Kunz with the propeller Independence. In less than 2 weeks they were all gone at the price of $1.00 per dozen. At that time very few people had any hens, although the same stand the climate first rate. The deep snow keeps the hen houses warm as well as men’s dwellings, and hundreds of times I had to remove the snow from my windows in order to see daylight. I sold once 4 hens to a friend in Portage Lake for $7.00 and he had to pay an Indian halfbreed besides for conveying the same 45 miles through the bush with his dogsleigh.

Thus was the primary life witnessed by a pioneer in that part of Michigan called the Lake Superior region by some, who were not versed in the Latin language also called “Lake Siberia.” I have tried to give you the outlines thereof and shall be pleased if you are satisfied therewith.

EF

Note

Eugene & Maria's home at time of their deaths was the William Webb house at 185 E. Congress, Detroit. Its an historic site where abolitionists met to discuss initial Harpers Ferry raid. There is now an historical marker commemorating it.

Note

Was a lawyer in Baden, but engaged in the German Uprisings of 1850. Was tried & convicted of treason. Fled to the U.S. to escape persecution. Eugene was a lawyer in Detroit and was appointed a judge (justice of the peace) in 1859.

His sentence in Baden: FINDINGS. [City of Mosbach] No. 33764. The elusive person Eugen Fecht von Stein, that participated in the most recent highly treasonous insurgence, did not follow the court request to return within the given time. This person is therefore declared, on the ground of ¶ 9 letter b. d. of the VI constitution from June 4th 1808 related to the punishment of various social classes, as a persistent fugitive of the country, as having no right to citizenship. Mosbach, August 12th 1850. Main court.

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Eugene and Mary Fecht Headstone.jpg
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Eugene Fecht News Article.pdf
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Arbeiter Hall.jpg
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Media objectArbeiter Unterstuetzangs Verein Headstone.jpg
Arbeiter Unterstuetzangs Verein Headstone.jpg
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Note: Woodmere cemetery (9400 W. Fort St., Detroit, MI), section A1. Section headstone for German Worker's Support Association area, where Eugene and Maria Fecht are buried.
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Fecht News Story.pdf
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Media objectEugene and Maria's 60th Wedding Anniv Announcement - Free Press 10 Nov 1903Eugene and Maria's 60th Wedding Anniv Announcement - Free Press 10 Nov 1903
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Media objectMy Pioneer LIfe reading - Detroit Free Press, 19 Jan 1877My Pioneer LIfe reading - Detroit Free Press, 19 Jan 1877
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Media objectCrown Prince Caspar reading - Detroit Free Press, 13 Dec 1874Crown Prince Caspar reading - Detroit Free Press, 13 Dec 1874
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Media objectWeilenbeck Painting story - Detroit Free Press, 17 Feb 1878Weilenbeck Painting story - Detroit Free Press, 17 Feb 1878
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Eugene Fecht Trial.pdf
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Note: Eugene Fecht was charged with conspiracy to defraud the government in 1880, however he was acquitted. This is a collection of newspaper clippings related to his arrest and trial.
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