Another County Pioneer Passes: Michael Baumgartner, 68, Strasburg, Died Wednesday Afternoon

"Another County Pioneer Passes: Michael Baumgartner, 68, Strasburg, Died Wednesday Afternoon." Emmons County Record, 11 November 1942.

Michael Baumgartner, 68, pioneer farmer, school teacher, businessman and prominent citizen of Emmons county, passed away at his home in Strasburg at 12:30 o’clock Wednesday after an illness of about three weeks. Death was caused by a hemorrhage of the brain, following a stroke which he felt slightly while at Sioux City, Iowa, some three weeks ago. He came home from Sioux City and was taken to St. Alexius hospital in Bismarck where after remaining for five days he felt much improved and was taken home. He then took a turn for the worse and has been gradually sinking since until death came on Armistice Day.

Born on Sept. 15, 1874, the son of John Baumgartner and Martha Braunagel, in Russia, he came to the United States in April, 1889, direct to Emmons county, where he has resided ever since. He was married April 29, 1882 to Odelia Wolfe, by the late Rev. Fr. Bernard Strassmaier, Fort Yates, and pioneer missionary for the territory. The couple filed on a homestead four miles north of Strasburg and lived there until 1901 when they moved into Strasburg.

Mr. Baumgartner was one of the early Emmons county teachers, teaching while farming at the same time. After coming to Strasburg, Mr. Baumgartner entered the business field. He was one of the founders of the Strasburg Bazaar, Security State Bank, German State Bank, Strasburg Lumber Co. and the Northwest Motor Co. He was president of the Security State Bank and the Strasburg Lumber Co. Besides this, for the past 40 years he was actively engaged, up to the time of his death, in buying cattle. He is said to have shipped more cattle over the Chicago, Milwaukee railroad than any other man in North Dakota.

He was a clerk of the Strasburg school board for 30 years and also a member of the board for several years. From 1932 to 1938 he worked for the Bank of North Dakota as fieldman. He was also very active in various organizations of the town of Strasburg and was widely known throughout the county. An active member of the Catholic Church, Michael held office as trustee for several years, and helped generously in the building of the fine church in Strasburg. He was also a member of St. Peter and Paul Verein and a member of the church choir for 15 years. At one time he was one of the largest land owners and wealthiest men in the county.

The couple are parents of ten children. They are: Mrs. Anton Wikenheiser, Strasburg; Michael J., fieldman for the Bank of North Dakota at Dickinson; Mrs. Wendelin Wikenheiser, Strasburg; Mrs. E.M. Klein, Strasburg; Frank F. with the U.S. Army air force for 15 years at Venezuela, South America; John, with Northern Light & Power Co. at Fargo; Mrs. Peter Miller, Strasburg; Miss Philippine Baumgartner, deputy county superintendent of schools, Linton; Miss Agnes, 5th grade teacher in Linton and Mrs. Robert Carls, Linton. There are 25 grandchildren. He also has three brothers and three sisters surviving: John, Anton and Leopold, who was his partner in the cattle business; Mrs. Joe Burgad, Mrs. Kasper Unser and Mrs. Conrad Kraft, all residing in Strasburg. His parents, one brother and two sisters preceded him in death.

Two grandsons are in the navy, Herman, son of Michael and ensign Leo A. Wickenheiser, at Pensacola, Florida.

Mr. and Mrs. Baumgartner celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary last spring.

Funeral services will be held in St. Peter & Paul Church Saturday morning at ten o’clock, with Rev. Augustine Fox officiating. Interment will be in the Church Cemetery.

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