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County’s Oldest Resident Passes: Johannes Baumgartner, Strasburg, Died Sunday; 288 Descendants

"County's Oldest Resident Passes: Johannes Baumgartner, Strasburg, Died Sunday; 288 Descendants." Emmons County Record, January 1940.


“Grandpa” Johannes Baumgartner, Emmons pioneer homesteader and the county’s oldest resident, died Sunday at the home of a son, Michael, in Strasburg, with whom he had made his home for the past 11 years. In failing health for the last several months, he passed away quietly at 4 p.m. with his sons and other members of the family at his bedside. He was conscious to the last. If he had lived until Saturday he would have been 93 years old.

Besides being the county’s oldest citizen, it is claimed that he had more descendants than any other North Dakotan. There are 288 living offspring, and 59 who preceded him in death, making a total of 347. The large majority of them are residents of the county, mostly living around Strasburg.

Born at Strasburg, South Russia, Jan. 20, 1847, he was married there to Margaretha Braunagel on Oct. 2, 1867. With their family of nine children, the couple came to America in April, 1889, and settled on a homestead four miles northwest of Strasburg. The pair retired and moved to Strasburg in 1908, where he since made his home. Mrs. Baumgartner died in November, 1929, and since that time he had lived with his son Michael.

They were the parents of twelve children. Two died in infancy. A son, Joseph, died in July, 1928; a daughter, Mrs. John Keller, in 1912, and another daughter, Mrs. Joe Keller, in 1932. The other seven children all live in Strasburg. They are Mrs. Joe Burgad, Michael, John J., Anton J., Leopold, Mrs. Kasper Unser, and Mrs. Conrad Kraft. The latter is the youngest and the only child born in this country.

A sister, Mrs. Christian Merck, lives in Karlsrhue.

The other survivors are 78 grandchildren, 186 great-grandchildren and 17 great-great-grandchildren.

Funeral survives were held Tuesday in Sts. Peter and Paul Catholic Church, Strasburg, with Fr. E.J. Olberding, pastor of St. Anthony’s Church, Linton, singing the Requiem Mass at 10:30 a.m. Interment was in the Church Cemetery. Pallbearers were the four sons, and two grandsons, Anton Baumgartner and John Burgad.

Among relatives from a distance attending the rites were Mike Wald and Jacob and John Merck of Karlshue; Mr. and Mrs. Kasper Burgad, Lipswich, S.D.; Mr. and Mrs. Jacob Fettig, Killdeer; and Mr. and Mrs. Adam S. Lipp and Mr. and Mrs. Anton Fetting of Napoleon.

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