2003 – Visit to Hartford City, IN

Charles Walker und Emil Kemmler am Pferdetransporter
Charles Walker und Emil Kemmler am Pferdetransporter

In memory of my beloved father who would have become 82 years old yesterday.

Visiting the Bauer’s in Montpelier, OH

After the vacation in the Canadian Rocky’s we planned to visit our Walker relatives in Hartford City, Indiana. On Sep 20, 2003 we flew from Toronto into Indianapolis, where  Brenda and John Kearns picked up us from the airport.  On our way back John stopped at the famous Indianapolis Motor Speedway and we could walk about the finish line of this famous race track.

Our next target was Montpelier in Williams Co., Ohio. There we met for the first time with our Bauer relatives.  Joy Ellen Bauer ia a cousin of 5th grade once removed to my father.  She, her husband, Wayne Bulla, daughter Cathy, grand-daughter Kayce and her mother Juna (Hasford) Bauer welcomed us in their home. Juna was the daughter in law of the emigrant, Friedrich (Fred) Bauer from Immenhausen. On the Riverside cemetery we visited the graves of the three Bauer brothers,  Friedrich, Jacob and Johann Ulrich Bauer. After a joint lunch in Bryan we returned to Muncie where Brenda and Johan were living.

Open house in the Walker home

On Sunday we jointly visited the service in the Lutheran church in Hartford City. Our visit was announced in the church magazine and the pastor welcomed us personally. During a little tour through the church we were also shown the church constitution book  which to our big surprise was written in the old German letters. The constitution was signed on June 3rd, 1877.

Charles and Betty Walker had invited friends and relatives to an Open House in her sons’ home and a lot of people came to visit. The Walker’s even arranged that at German native was attending as well who was able to translate for my parents. So I was not the bottleneck for conversations. Naturally also Uncle Lawrence and the relatives of Gena Schantz from the other emigrated Walker line (Jacob Walker) were attending. Gena and her family even drove from Davenport in Iowa to Hartford City to see us again.  Gena has written the story about her grandpa’s barn.

Exciting farming impressions

The next day was reserved for some sightseeing around Hartford City. We started the day with a visit of Peggy Barnes in the nursing home. Peggy was the grand-daughter of Jacob Walker and a real character. She told us some interesting stories about her grandpa.

As my father was very interested to see how the Walkers run their farm, we were also visiting the corn harvesting on the fields.  My father was beaming with joy when he was allowed to have a ride on the big harvester. With two unloading stops the truck would be full and would carry the corn directly to the grain elevator in Montpelier. From there the corn will be shipped to all the various productions sites. We at least could have a look from the outside on the huge silos of the grain elevator.

Visiting a farm fair in Henning Illinois

For our third day the Walker has arranged a surprise. The men and women were splitting up. The women drove to  Shipshewana to have lunch in an Amish house. The men were heading to the farm fair in Henning, Illinois. Different to us in Germany where these type of fairs are always on a dedicated fair ground with just an exhibition style the fair was arranged on the fields and a lot of the machines could be seen in action. It was absolutely impressing to see three harvesters approaching the corn field and  starting harvesting the corn.  For German measures these machines are extremely huge. We were deeply impressed. As my father was selling and repairing agricultural equipment he was in heaven and interested in every detail.  That trip was a real surprise and was a subject of a lot of discussion with his farmers when he was back home.

Return to Munich

On the next day we had to say goodby to our relatives. We enjoyed the trip so much and were so thankful for all the hospitality and kindness we were seeing during our stay. From Indianapolis we flew back home to Munich via Toronto. Our great vacation in Canada and the US was over.

Image gallery

Subsequently I have put together a selection of images which were taken during our stay. If you click on them they will be displayed in a larger size.

 

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