Today is the birth day of my Great-Grandfather Christof Wilhelm Schaefer. Below is the Schaefer family home in Grossgartach where they lived and below are photos I took of their home when I visited in 2003.
Christof was a sculptor and stone worker by trade. He made many monuments still found in Grossgartach. Below is a fountain he made that is by the church across the street from the family home.
Christof died 23 December 1899 from rock dust in his lungs. He was only 53 years old. My Grandma Elsa was only 5 years old when he died. He left his wife, Suzanne with a young family. She raised the family, living as a widow until her death on 28 March 1937. She was a shop keeper. Her little shop was downstairs in the family home. She and her daughters sold sewing and handwork items. They were beautiful seamstresses and did exceptional work.
Christof and Susanne had 6 children. Two died as infants. My grandma Elsa was their 5th child. Grandma worked in the store, then left for America when she was 17. She eventually returned to Grossgartach around 1928 where she met my grandpa Rudolf, who lived down the street. They’d never really known each other (grandpa was 4 years younger and had also traveled to America). The first time he saw her, he knew that was the woman he wanted to marry. They were married in 1929 and honeymooned on their way back to America, where they spent the rest of their lives farming in California.
Their children were:
Frieda b. 1880
Wilhelmina (Mina) b. 1882
Wilhelm Karl b. 1885, d. 1951
Mathilde b. 1887, d. 1887
Elsa b. 1895, d. 1988
Emma b. 1897, d. 1898
Below is the Family Register page of Christof and Susanne’s family:Today I remember my Great Grandpa Christof. His memory lives on.