Dr. John L. Brandt
—By Dr. John L. Brandt.—My Grandfather!—My Mother's Father.DFO135112/82
A VERBATIM TRANSCRIPT OF AN OLD YELLOWED DOCUMENT WRITTEN BY MY GRANDFATHER with his own dear gnarled old hands at the age of 85, just a year before he died‚ & given to me as a Birthday gift only a few months after I was married!—A truly priceless present, the history of my heritage!:
625 N. Berendo, L.A. 4, California
Feb. 18, '45
To one of my dearly beloved Grand Children,
I have been thinking that you or one of your children might be interested in the family tree to which you belong:
1745: THREE BROTHERS CAME HERE FROM GERMANY, STUTTGART. They were Dunkards in religious faith & did not believe in war & left Germany for that reason. Other Dunkards came over to the State for the same reason. They settled in Pennsylvania in Dauphin County & later some of them or their children moved to Somerset County, Pennsylvania.
ONE OF THE BROTHERS WAS NAMED LUDWIG BRANDT. On the boat he became acquainted with a German girl named MOEHLER & married her. (I have three records to this record.) I will designate them:
He was my Father's Great–Grandfather.
His son, my Father's Grandfather.
Was my Grandfather, my Father's Father.
The son of Ludwig No.3 was my Father.
MY GRANDFATHER WAS BORN IN CUMBERLAND COUNTY, PENNSYLVANIA, JANUARY 13, 1790. He with his parents moved to Ohio, Fairfield County‚ where my Father was born. Ludwig 3's wife was named Sarah Moehler, my Grandmother. They had five sons & five daughters. (10 children!) Father (Isaac) was the eldest.—He was your Great-Grandfather. Fairfield County was divided or cut in two—the new section called Perry County.
THE COUNTY RECORDS SHOW THAT LUDWIG BRANDT OWNED A FARM & his wife signed the deed with him. On his death, my Father (Isaac) bought the farm & paid the other heirs in cash for their interests. This farm had about 100 acres. Good farming land with ten acres in forest trees. He was a prosperous farmer. He had a genius for making & doing things. He knew the shoemaking trade & would patch our shoes & put on the half soles.
HE WAS A FIRST CLASS CARPENTER. He contracted & built houses & barns. He had on his farm a dozen or more buildings: Home, washhouse, smokehouse, two chicken houses, two pigpens‚ a cider-mill house‚ a shelter house for boiling three big vessels of water at one time, barn, corn rib, wagonhouse, a large house for sheltering farming vehicles—a reaping machine, drilling machine, grass-cutting machine, etc. He either painted them white or whitewashed them. It looked like a little village. He generally had six or more horses, six or more cows, about two dozen hogs, a flock of sheep & all kinds of farming utensils, chickens, ducks & geese in large number.
HE WAS A LARGE & STRONG MAN. FULL OF GOOD HUMOR. WORKED HARD. Could talk all kinds of German. Could have taught three Rs in his day. He knew the rule of 3. Wrote a good hand. He had a large family. There were 11 of us children. I was next to the youngest.
MY MOTHER, YOUR GREAT-GRANDMOTHER WAS ENGLISH. First settled in Maryland & scattered about Dome‚ came to Ohio where she married my father. She was tall & beautiful, always smiling. Very religious & strict. Her maiden name was Elizabeth Lufberry. She belonged to a large family. She conducted family worship every evening before retiring. She was a tireless worker, a good cook‚ good milker, canned about 200 jars of fruit every year, made apple butter, faithful to her church, prayed for the sick neighbours, loved everybody, hated the Devil, made the children obey, never had a quarrel with Father. They lived in perfect peace, had much company & were liberal givers.
MY PARENTS LIVED & DIED IN THE DUNKARD FAITH. On Sundays they went in a buggy six miles to church, & some of the children sat on a seat near them. Several of my sisters united with the Dunkards & were faithful till death.
THE HOUSE WHERE I WAS BORN had four rooms & two porches below & a summer kitchen, & there were two bedrooms above. Large basement where we stored for that large family 150 bushels potatoes, 100 bushels apples, the canned fruit, the cider barrel, the vinegar keg etc.
THE DINING ROOM TABLE WAS LONG, & Father & Mother sat at one end & my brother George at the other end, & the other members of the family along the sides. Great sight! We were well fed & ate like pigs. Mother said grace before meals.
HAD YOU BEEN LIVING & VISITED US, YOU WOULD HAVE HAD THE TIME OF YOUR LIFE! You would have had rides on top of hay wagons‚ on backs of horses, in sleighs & sleds, going to spelling matches, debating classes, & neighbourhood parties, with prancing horses proud of their sleigh bells. Father has more than three acres in apples, more than one acre in grapes of four different kinds, mostly concords, about one acre in cherries, plums & pears. He had apple trees & pear trees grafted together & all growing on one tree!—It was a sight!
YOU WOULD HAVE HAD TO HELP MAKE CIDER & DRINK IT. You would have gone with us to the forest when Father would cut down a big chestnut tree to get the chestnuts for Christmas. He would climb the walnut & hickory trees & thrash down the nuts for us. You would have enjoyed it! And then he would take us to Uncle Mann's to hunt blackberries & bring home three washing tubs of berries for canning! You would have enjoyed the tapping of the maple trees & the making of Maple syrup & sugar. Yes‚ & we went hunting for rabbits, coons, squirrels, and set traps for wild quails. We had parties & pulled taffy‚ & these great-grandparents would have loved you, kissed you & asked you many questions.
OUT OF THAT FAMILY THERE CAME FOUR SCHOOL TEACHERS, TWO BUSINESSMEN & some died young. But thank God, no black sheep in that family. Mother was determined to make a preacher out of me, but never heard me preach. Father heard me preach in the little Methodist Episcopal church on a visit back to the old town. I can still see him sitting down in the front row. When I was done he put his arms around me & said, "Son, I wish your mother could have heard that sermon!" Thus you see. I was reared in the ideal home with the best of environments.
YOUR GRANDMOTHER ON THE OTHER SIDE OF THE HOUSE WAS NAMED MARQUIS. She belonged to an old Indiana family related to Daniel Boone. They lived at 532 So. Meridian Street (Indianapolis), where I courted her & married her. Her name was Nina Lee Marquis. She was beautiful & loving. She has four sisters & three brothers. She was rocked in an old cradle in which the first white child born in Indiana was rocked. I wrote the history of it, & it is now on exhibition in the museum in Indianapolis.
SHE WAS A GOOD WIFE & A FINE MOTHER. SHE HAD FIVE CHILDREN. Paul died in Denver when in his teens‚ with black diphtheria. It was very heartbreaking to us. As I held him in my arms, the last word he said was "Mother". Raymond pulled a vessel full of hot water from the stove and it scalded him to death. He also was in childhood about eight years old. My eyes are filled with tears as I write this record.
YOUR GRANDMOTHER WAS A GREAT CHURCH WORKER & A GOOD SINGER. We were preparing to take a journey around the World, & that she might be able to enjoy it better‚ she has some hospital work to be done. Blood poison set in & she passed away in my arms. Her last message to me was "Marry a good Christian woman & take the trip we have planned, & go on with your great work."
THE BRANDTS HAVE BEEN VERY PROLIFIC—THERE ARE HUNDREDS OF THEM! August 1926 at the Fairgrounds near Lancaster, Ohio‚ they had a great reunion, & more than 300 gathered. I delivered the address on the subject "OUR COMMON ANCESTRY". It was a great occasion! There were Brandts present from 18 states.—Some three-hundred of them!
FARMERS, TEACHERS, PREACHERS, LEGISLATORS, DOCTORS, COLLEGE PRESIDENT‚ PROFESSORS, HORSE-TRADERS, BLACKSMITHS‚ SHOEMAKERS, CARPENTERS ETC. I spoke of their characters: A robust ancestry, strong in religion, moral character, high ideals‚ their love & battles for political liberty, their being abolitionists in the civil conflict‚ their hatred of war, their labours for temperance. I spoke of their women being mothers of great men, of being homemakers, good cooks & beneficent neighbours.
THERE WERE SEVERAL LONG ROWS OF TABLES spread with choice products from the farms: Chickens roasted, fried, stewed; vegetables & fruits of all kinds; & pies & cakes of many varieties. (It makes me hungry to think of it!) In conclusion, I exhorted them to honor the family name.—To live up to the high standards set by our forefathers, to wave the banners high & never let those banners, with Old Glory, trail in the dust, & to preserve the noble Coat of Arms bequeathed to them. (See head of article—D.) You would have enjoyed the occasion.
NOW A WORD ABOUT YOUR GRANDFATHER: Silver thread is coming amongst the brown‚ the afflictions of age 85 are besetting me as I am facing death. I wish I could have been of greater service & have set an better example I have served as farmer, student, teacher, editor, publisher, preacher, actor, college president, author, builder, real estate operator on the side, world traveller. I have been rich & poor, up & down, on mountain top & in the valley. I am trying at present to finish several books—one of them will be a humdinger!
I HAVE FOUGHT THE LIQUOR BUSINESS, VICE, CORRUPTION & WICKEDNESS IN HIGH PLACES! I have been in car wrecks‚ two train wrecks & one streetcar wreck‚ but escaped with my life! I have had three major operations—appendix, hernia & blood poison. I have been sick & given up as hopeless‚ I have been stoned, knocked down, shot at & narrowly escaped being kidnapped! Have had my pockets picked thrice. I have done without tobacco in every form & never used liquor. I am still able to eat three meals per day & to enjoy the good things of life & to keep cheerful in the midst of all the turmoil & war conditions. These are a few of my experiences.
I HAVE HAD MORE TROUBLE WITH MYSELF THAN WITH ALL THE REST OF THE WORLD! I have encircled the World & lived under Mother's prayers on my behalf, & He has most graciously answered my prayers. I would like to live to see this awful war (WWII) ended & peace established & our boys come marching home‚ & to have another Brandt Reunion & rally here in Los Angeles, to which you come in flying colours with your loved ones & meet in glad fellowship with your kin & kith a have your faith strengthened & your ideals exalted & get a new start in life!
YOU WILL FIND A SKETCH OF MY LIFE IN THE FOLLOWING "WHO'S WHO"s: "Who's Who in America", "Who's Who on the Pacific Coast", "Who's Who in the Blue Book of Authors", "Who's Who Amongst Religious Leaders"‚ "Who's Who in the Western Hemisphere" & in the "International Biographies."—I hope it is written in the Book of Life in the archives of the Mansions of Heaven!
I HAVE WRITTEN THIS AT MY EXTREME AGE (OF 85), & hope you will honor the family name & hang your name high on the Family Tree! Be good & trust the Lord with all your heart, & He will bring to pass the desires of your heart!—Cordially & loving,—Your Grandfather.
I HAD REQUESTED FOR "THE FAMILY TREE" from one of your cousins this blotted record I was about to throw away, & then I thought you might look over it at your leisure & with your wife have a laff at it.—Affectionately, Father Brandt. (THE TREE:)
LUDWIG BRANDT (NO.1) LANDED (BY SAILBOAT) IN THE UNITED STATES IN JUNE 1745. He came from Baden Baden Germany, near Stuttgart. He met a pretty German girl on the ship whom he married. Her name was Catherine Moehler. They settled in Hummlestown, Penn. They had five sons & four daughters. Isaac Brandt of Des Moines, lowa‚ is a distant relative of Father. Has record of three brothers coming in sailing vessel in 1745-Each having a German Bible, Lutheran Translation. I had one of those three large Bibles (German) which is now in (State Capitol Bldg.) Museum at Columbus, Ohio.
LUDWIG NO.2 WAS ONE OF THE FIVE SONS OF LUDWIG NO.1. His wife's name was Mary. He bought & sold tracts of land in Somerset Ohio, in 1812. Somerset was then in Fairfield Co. & was called Middletown. In 1818 a deed was signed by him in German, though written in English. His wife Mary signed with a cross X. His will was recorded in 1827 deeded to our Grandfather.
LUDWIG BRANDT NO.3 WAS MARRIED TO SARAH MOEHLER, 1817. They had five sons & five daughters. Children of No.3: Isaac‚ Elijah, Martin, Mary‚ Elizabeth, Sarah, Emaline, Lewis, Elanore & Solomon. (10 children!)
ISAAC BRANDT‚ ONE OF THE SONS OF LUDWIG 3. MARRIED TO ELIZABETH LUFBURY NOV.12‚ 1839.—THEY HAD FIVE SONS & 6 DAUGHTERS: 1840—Sarah, born sept.1-died Oct.19, 1865. She was first wife of John B.Brandt‚ a distant relative. A Presbyterian Preacher. One daughter, Sady.
1845—Mary, born 10/11—died 11/1‚ 1882. She married Levi Heiser, had 3 sons & 1 daughter.
1847—Emily, born 3/26—died 9/11 1847.
1848—Lewis, born July 8—died 4/10, 1858. (Twins—two days apart!)
1848—Amanda, born July 10—died—?
(Dad: My Great Aunt Amanda. Visited her when I was young—she in her 90s in the 1940s!)
1851—Marquerette‚ born 4/27—died 1893.
1854—Catherine, born 3/26—Living (1945).
1856—Samuel, born 8/23—died 3/24 1859.
1859—George, born 10/12—died 5/12 1881.
1860—John Lincoln born Oct.26—died 1946.
1866—Isaac Quinter, born Sept.—died 1944.
JOHN LINCOLN BRANDT married Nina Marquis & had three children: Mark, Nina Virginia Lee, John.
NINA VIRGINIA LEE born May 27, 1886, Roncaverte, West Virginia‚ married Hjalmer B.of Sweden—children: Hjalmer, Jr., Virginia Lee, DAVID, BORN FEB. 18 1919.