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Bauer Family History

Last update 8/2/2018


The Germans


In October of 1832, my great-great-great-grandmother, a woman named Catherine E. Horn, was born in Hesse Darmstadt, Germany. My great-great-great-grandfather, Christian Bauer, was born four years later, around 1835, in Wurttemberg, Germany. "Bauer" is a German word that means "Farmer". To see a map of Germany showing these areas, click here.

How Christian met and married the older Catherine is still unknown. Sometime around 1860, they made their way to America. Initially, they lived in Brooklyn, New York, where their first child was born. This was Otto Bauer, on May 28, 1861. After Otto, there was Anna Bauer, born around 1862, then my great-great-grandfather, Frank Bauer, on June 28, 1863. After Frank was born, the family moved to Newark, New Jersey. It was there that three more children were born: Edward Bauer, around 1865; George Bauer, around 1867, Christian Bauer, born 1871, and a second George Bauer, born in 1874.

Listed on the 1870 Federal Census for Newark, Christian was working as a "hatter" (a person who makes or sells hats) while 38-year-old Catherine, who was known as Katie, was at home raising Otto (10), Anna (9), Frank (8), Edward (5), and George (3). Another child, Christian Bauer, Jr., was born in 1871. Little Christian was only two years old when he died November 18, 1873, from a disease called Variola, more commonly known as Smallpox.

By 1880, they were living at 137 Broome Street in Newark. Christian and his sons Otto (20) and Frank (16) were working as "Hat Sizers", Anna (17) worked in a tailoring shop, Edward (15) as a plumber's apprentice, while George (12) attended school.

On the 1900 Federal Census, Catherine, who was 67 at the time, indicated that she was the mother of eight children, but only four were alive in 1900. I have been able to find only the six children listed here. Other than Otto, Frank and Christian, Jr., I have found no further information on what became of Anna, Edward or either George.

-------- Otto Bauer and Emma Krauss --------

In 1881, Otto met and fell in love with Emma Kraus. Emma was born in Newark in 1863. Her parents were Herman Kraus and Christina Joeck. On May 29, 1882, Emma gave birth to a son, named Edward Bauer. Six months later, Otto and Emma married, on November 28, 1882. Little Edward died six months after the wedding, on June 5, 1883. A second child was born November 12, 1884. This was Lydia Bauer. A third child, Augusta (Gussie) Bauer, followed on March 25, 1885.

On July 28, 1887, Otto Bauer, Jr. was born. Unfortunately, he lived only 17 months before dying of convulsions just before Christmas, on December 23, 1888. It was right around this time that Emma contracted Tuberculosis. Incredibly, she became pregnant again, and on June 30, 1889, gave birth to her last child, Louise Bauer. Four months later, on October 20, 1889, Emma was dead. She was only 25 years old. The tragedies continued for Otto Sr. when, two months later on December 6, 1889, baby Louise died. Emma, Otto, Jr. and Louise are buried in Woodland Cemetery in Newark.

Otto was now left alone to raise nearly 5-year-old Gussie, and possibly Lydia, although I have no further evidence of her. What I do know, is that Emma had a sister, Barbara Krauss, who was married to Ludwig (Louis) Wolf, and that Gussie went to live with them. I know this thanks to information provided by Barbara and Louis' grandson, Ed Wolf. According to Ed, his father, Barbara and Louis' son, was in his late teens before he realized Gussie was not his older sister.

Around 1897, Otto's parents, Christian and Katie Bauer, were living at 217 West Kinney Street in Newark. Christian was still working as a hatter when he became ill with kidney disease and died in St. Michael's Hospital on May 25, 1897, at the age of 62. He was buried in Woodland Cemetery. Katie was 67 at the time. She moved in with her sons, 39-year-old Otto and 26-year-old George, at 76 17th Avenue in Newark. In the 40 years that Katie had lived in America, she was unable to speak English, according to the 1900 Federal Census. In 1901, Katie had moved to 39 Blum Street in Newark, where she died on April 7, 1901 of heart disease. She was buried with Christian at Woodland Cemetery.

Sometime between 1910 and 1916, Otto remarried, to Marie Weber. She is mentioned in his obituary as his surviving spouse when he died on June 12, 1916. Otto had been suffering from Angina Pectoris for over two years before he succumbed to the disease. He and Marie were living at 76 17th Avenue in Newark when he died at the age of 55. He is buried at Holy Cross Cemetery in North Arlington, NJ.

Gussie grew up to marry Henry W. Wassmer on November 20, 1910. Henry was born in Newark on February 9, 1888, the son of Jacob Wassmer and Mary Hein. The wedding took place at Gussie's home, 397 Bergen Street in Newark, where she lived with her aunt and uncle, Barbara and Louis Wolf.

Gussie and Henry had a daughter, Thelma Wassmer, born June 23, 1915. By then they lived at 430 South 17th Street, in Newark. Henry was a foreman and supervisor at the Newark Embroidery Works, where he worked for 53 years before retiring in 1957. He was 5 feet 4 inches tall and weighed 150 pounds, with blue eyes and a light complexion. He also had several tattoos on his arms. By 1920, the family was living at 426 South 15th Street in Newark.

Thelma married John Rippel. John was born in Newark on November 8, 1908. He worked as a bottler at the Rheingold Brewery in Newark from 1943 to his retirement 30 years later in 1973. He was also a member of the Teamsters Local 843 in nearby Springfield.

In 1964, Gussie and Henry moved to 111 Hillside Avenue in Berkeley Heights, a town about 15 miles west of Newark, where Thelma and John also lived. Gussie died in Berkeley Heights on February 21, 1965, at the age of 79. Henry followed two months later, on April 26, 1965. They are buried together at Restland Memorial Park in East Hanover, NJ.

In that same year, Thelma started working as a cashier in the cafeteria of the Governor Livingston Regional High School in Berkeley Heights. She worked there for 15 years before retiring in 1980. On June 21, 1989, John died. Thelma died a year later, on October 5, 1990. They were buried with Gussie and Henry at Restland Memorial Park.

-------- Frank Bauer and Maggie Greuter --------

Back to Germany and my other great-great-great-grandparents: On November 20, 1837, my great-great-great-grandfather, Felix Greuter was born in Singen, Germany. Although we know his father's name was Kaspar Greuter, we do not know the name of his mother. Singen, located in the south-western German state of Baden-Wurttemberg, is right on the border between Germany and Switzerland.

Barely 20 miles away, in the village of Oberhallau in Switzerland, Margaret Surbeck was born on November 18, 1844. Again, we know the name of Margaret's father, Zacharias Surbeck, but not her mother. Oberhallau is in the Swiss canton (state) of Schaffhausen. According to Google Maps, you can walk from Singen to Oberhallau in about 7 hours. We don't know if Felix and Margaret met before eventually making their way to America. But we do know that they were married at the First German Evangelical Presbyterian Church in Newark, New Jersey on May 10, 1866.

By 1870, Felix and Margaret were living in Newark with their two small children, Felix Greuter Jr. , born in Newark in 1867 and Margaret (Maggie) Greuter, born in Newark on April 5, 1868. Felix Sr. was working as a "maker of harness ornaments." By 1880, he was employed as a "milk dealer." He and Margaret were then living at 393 South 8th Street, with Felix Jr. (13), Maggie (12) and three more children, Herman Greuter, born July 8, 1874, Annie Greuter, born May of 1876, and Mary Greuter, born around 1878. Young Felix was employed as a "ledger maker."

The Bauers and the Greuters lived less than a mile from each other in Newark. Around 1885, 22-year-old Frank Bauer married 17-year-old Maggie Greuter. They had three children, George Bauer (November 15, 1886), my great-grandmother Anna Bauer (April 1, 1888) and Frank Greuter, Jr. (January 19, 1891), before Frank Sr. died of kidney disease on April 23, 1894. He was only 30 years old. This was just six weeks after 3-year-old Frank Jr. died from meningitis. Father and son are buried at Woodland Cemetery in Newark. Maggie was pregnant at the time and when daughter Marie Greuter was born on November 23, 1894, Maggie was left alone at 26 to raise little George, Anna and Marie. Less than two years before she lost her husband, Maggie's father, 53-year-old Felix Greuter, Sr. died on November 14, 1892. He is also buried at Woodland Cemetery.

By 1900, the two widows, Margaret (Surbeck) Greuter and her daughter Maggie (Greuter) Bauer were living at the family home at 393 South 8th Street in Newark. Living with them were 17-year-old Charles Greuter and 15-year-old Henry Greuter, born to Margaret and Felix in 1883 and 1884 respectively; their first daughter Annie and her husband Otto Bevensee and their children Henry Bevensee (4) and Frederic Bevensee (3); and Maggie's children Annie (12) and Marie (5).

Maggie worked as a servant to support herself and her children. She and Otto paid rent to Margaret who owned the house free and clear. It's a mystery why Maggie's 13-year-old son George isn't living with them. He shows up on other censuses. Sometimes, life and family research can be journeys of great mystery.

In fact, George Bauer shows up on the 1910 Census with his new wife, Katie (Katherine Van Driel). Katie was born in Newark on February 22, 1890, the daughter of Fred Van Driel and Attilie Gilligan. At the time of the Census, they were living at 22 South 21st Street in Irvington. George was employed as a house painter. The couple married November 27, 1909. At that time, George was living with his parents at 47 Grove Street in Irvington, while Katie was living with her mother, Attilie, at 118 21st Street in Irvington. The marriage took place at 35 Blum Street in Newark. George and Katie had three children: Katherine M. Bauer, born December 19, 1910; Anna M. Bauer, born October 2, 1915; and Leona M. Bauer, born October 17, 1917. Eventually, the family moved to 941 Grove Street in Irvington.

On October 10, 1919, Margaret (Surbeck) Greuter died in Newark at the age of 76. She is buried at Woodland Cemetery.

By 1920, Marie Bauer is also living in Irvington. She is married to a plumber named Gustave Jobst Klaiber. Gustave, or Gus as he is better known, is of German ancestry. He was born in New York City on December 4, 1894, the son of Gottlieb Klaiber and Elizabeth Gaeskel. Marie now calls herself Mamie. When they married on April 6, 1916, in Newark, Gus was working as a bartender, but he would work most of his life as a plumber. They lived at 845 Springfield Avenue in Irvington and had two children, Wilbur Gustave Klaiber, born October 17, 1916, and Anna May Klaiber, born March 24, 1919. Also living with them was Mamie's widowed mother Maggie.

By 1930 they had moved to Union Beach, NJ, at 453 Morningside Avenue. 13-year-old Wilbur and 11-year-old Anna May now had another sibling, 9-year-old Edna Klaiber.

Although Maggie was living with Gus and Mamie in Irvington in 1920, she did not move to Union Beach with them. Instead, she stayed in Irvington and moved in with her son George at his home at 941 Grove Street after George’s wife Katie died suddenly on June 1, 1920, leaving 9-year-old Katherine, 4-year-old Anna, and 2-year-old Leona motherless. Katie was only 30 years old and is buried in Clinton Cemetery in Irvington.

Forty-six years after the death of her husband, Frank Bauer, Maggie (Greuter) Bauer died on August 26, 1940, at East Orange General Hospital, where she was being treated for cancer. She was 72 years old. She then joined the other family members who are buried at Woodland Cemetery.

By 1942, George was living for a short time at 231 Winfield Terrace in Union, NJ. As all men were required to do, he registered for the draft. His draft registration record describes him as 5 feet 6 inches in height, weighing 150 pounds. He had gray eyes, gray hair and a ruddy complexion. Eventually, he moved back to Irvington.

After living most of his life in Irvington, George moved to Chatham N.J. in 1971. I remember attending his 85th birthday party there in November of 1971. Here's a photo from that event. George died there on March 22, 1974 at the age of 87. He is buried with Katie in Clinton Cemetery. Their daughter, Katherine Bauer, who later spelled her name as Catherine, married someone named Gorhan.

Their daughter Anna Bauer married Bill Hatch and they had one daughter. At some point, Anna remarried, to Harry F. Bangert, Jr., and they had another daughter. Harry was born December 27, 1914 in Newark, the son of Harry F. Bangert, Sr. and Mary Kelley.

Anna worked in the patent office of Bell Telephone Laboratories in Murray Hill, NJ, for 30 years before retiring in 1982. She was also a member of the Telephone Pioneers of America. Anna and Harry lived in Chatham, NJ.

Harry was a file maintenance coordinator with Western Electric in Union and Newark for 39 years before retiring in 1976. He was a life member of the Newark-Communications Holmes chapter of the Pioneers of America of AT&T. He coached the Chatham Township Little League, and was a member of the Long Hill Volunteer Fire Department in Chatham and the Chatham Emergency Squad. He volunteered more than 8,000 hours of his time to Overlook Hospital in Summit. He was a counselor at the Center for Addictive Illness in Morristown and a member of The Friends of Bill W. Bill W. was Bill Wilson, the co-founder of Alcoholics Anonymous.

Harry died on May 17, 1995, in Overlook Hospital in Summit. He was 80 years old.

In 1999, Anna moved to Cape Coral, Florida, to live with her daughter, Eileen. Anna died in Cape Coral four years later, on January 8, 2003. She was 87 years old.

Daughter Leona Bauer married Vincenzo Morano. Vincenzo was born March 16, 1914. They lived in Union, then Bridgewater, NJ. They had two daughters and one son. Leona died in Bridgewater on February 7, 2004 at the age of 86. Vincenzo was 95 and living with one of his daughters in Bound Brook, NJ when he died on June 23, 2009. They are buried at Holy Cross Cemetery in Arlington, NJ.


I know a little more about Gus and Mamie's children. Wilbur G. Klaiber married Isabelle M. Smith. Isabel was born in Elizabeth, NJ on April 1, 1918. Her parents were James Findlay Smith and Isabelle L. Chapman. According to cousin Leah Smith Hochstaedt, Isabelle's niece, James Findlay Smith emigrated from Stonehaven, Scotland around 1906. He initially stayed at an inn in Elizabeth, NJ. Isabelle Chapman was the inn keeper's daughter.They were married a few years later. Leah's father, James Francis Smith was born in Elizabeth in 1913. My family knew Wilbur and Isabelle as "Bubby" and "Skippy." Leah knew them as Bill and Isabelle. I don't know when they were married, but they lived first in Elizabeth, then moved to Linden in 1948.

Wilbur and Isabelle had two sons: Richard "Richie" Alan Klaiber, born in Elizabeth on February 20, 1943 and William "Bill" Gustave Klaiber, born September 22, 1945 in Elizabeth. Wilbur was a supervisor of mechanics at Merck & Co. in Rahway for 37 years. He was also a member of the Lafayette Lodge, F&AM (Free and Accepted Masons), the Toms River Elks Lodge, and the Reformed Church of Linden.

After living in Linden for 30 years, Wilbur and Isabelle moved to Toms River, NJ in 1978. Shortly after moving there, Wilbur died on February 6, 1979 at the age of 62. He was buried at Rosedale Cemetery in Linden, next to Isabelle's parents, James and Isabelle Smith, who died in 1948 and 1964, respectively.

After Wilbur died, Isabelle became an active member of the Presbyterian Church of Toms River, a volunteer with "Meals on Wheels" in Lavalette, and an active member and one-time president of the Dover Township Senior Center.

Richie earned a degree in accounting at a college in North or South Carolina, and initially worked as an accountant in New York City. Leah remembers that he played guitar pretty well. Music was his passion. He had a huge collection of records. He seemed to know anything and everything about early rock and roll. He did DJ gigs for a while when he was back with his mother in New Jersey. In fact, he was the DJ for Leah's wedding. He used to frequent the club circuit to dance and mingle with other oldies fans.

Richie was married to a woman named Addie. They had one child, a son named Alan Klaiber.

Bill served in the U.S. Army Reserves and had a bachelor's degree in business management from Fairleigh Dickinson (I worked for FDU in the 1990's!). Bill was married to Karen Williams. They lived in Wayside, NJ before moving to Toms River in 2000. At one time Bill was the owner of 123 Auto Parts in Brick, NJ before going to work for Pep Boys in Toms River as an assistant manager. Bill retired from there in 1996.

Sometime around 1999, Bill and Karen moved in with Isabelle at 722 Bermuda Drive in Toms River. In Autumn of 1999, they decided to have the house knocked down and rebuilt. While this was being done, they lived in Leah's house in Ortley Beach, at a time when Leah was out of the country. Richie lived in a bungalow in Ocean Beach that Isabel owned. He started having strokes and deteriorated mentally to the point of being unable to care for himself and needing constant supervision. Isabelle had to have him placed in a nursing home in Toms River. He died at the nursing home on October 21, 2000, at the age of 57. He was buried at Riverside Cemetery in Toms River. According to the clerk at the cemetery office, he was buried in an unmarked grave by "Social Services." In other words, a pauper's grave. The county buried him when there was no one else to take the responsibility (and cost) of having him buried.

Isabelle, Bill and Karen moved back into the new home in Summer of 2001. Around 2003, Isabelle's health began to deteriorate. She became bed-ridden and, like Richie, had to be placed in a nursing home. To make things even worse for the family, Bill was dying from cancer. He was never able to visit Isabelle at the nursing home to say goodbye. He was 58 years old, just a year older than his brother, when he died on March 13, 2004. He was entombed in a mausoleum at St. Joseph's Cemetery in Toms River.

Isabelle languished in the nursing home, outliving both of her sons. She was 89 when she died on August 23, 2007, and placed in Riverside with Richie, again by "Social Services."

Anna May Klaiber married Mickey Sullivan. They had no children but they did have a white miniature toy poodle that they treated like a child. The poodle's name was MJ. Anna May and Mickey owned a bar in Keyport, NJ called The Silver Dollar. Every holiday, MJ would be groomed and dyed to reflect the holiday (red for Christmas, orange for Halloween). They also owned a summer place in Lavalette, NJ, on Swordfish Drive. We spent many wonderful times there.

Edna Klaiber married Sgt. Donald Abrams of Jersey City on March 5, 1944, in Union Beach, while he was serving with the Army in World War II. Donald was born in New Jersey in 1916. He stood 5 feet 8 inches tall and weighed 175 pounds. He and Edna had one son. There may have been another child but I'm not sure.

After living for many years in Union Beach, Gus and Mamie moved to 327 Raritan Road in Linden, NJ, in 1953. Gus was 5 feet 5 1/2 inches tall and weighed about 150 pounds. He had blue eyes, brown hair and a ruddy complexion. He was a member of Local 24, International Brotherhood of Plumbers. He was also an exempt fireman in Union Beach and a member of the New Jersey State Fireman's Association. I remember that Gus liked to drink a glass of beer with a raw egg in it every day. He said it was his "health drink."

Gus was 72 when he died in Linden on August 22, 1967. Mamie followed 13 years later on May 29, 1980, when she was 85. They are buried together at Hollywood Memorial Cemetery in Union, NJ.

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