Towards the bottom of one of the boxes I received when my grandma passed away I found some rolled-up papers in rough shape. I unrolled the papers and found photocopies of “History of Sauk County.” No author, no date, and although I assumed these were photocopies of pages from a book, I wasn’t 100% certain. All I had were the headings and page numbers, along with the content itself, a biography of Christopher August Zuch, my great-grandfather’s brother.
I wanted to find this book. Simply doing a Google search gives you “A History of Sauk County, Wisconsin…” by the Western Historical Society in Chicago from 1880. Reading bits and pieces of this book is interesting, but after downloading the PDF and doing some searching within it, I realized it’s not the right book. It took quite a bit more searching beyond the basic Google search, but eventually found it.
The State of Wisconsin Collection has this book scanned in. Volume II, specifically, has biographies of many who lived in Sauk County including the one mentioned above of Christopher Zuch and also his father, Gustav, who immigrated to the US from Germany.
Gustav Eduart Zuch (1846-1914)
Gustav Zuch is another one of our immigrant ancestors. According to his obituary (shown below), he was born January 9, 1846 in West Prussia. I know “West Prussia” is less than specific. Unfortunately, we don’t know much more than that. I was unable to find Gustav’s birth or baptism records. Most of this information has been destroyed.
Gustav served for three years in the German army, and served specifically during the Franco-Prussian War. According to his short biography in the book mentioned above, he “… had taken part in many important military movements but had never suffered from any material injuries.” After an honorable discharge, Gustav chose to leave Germany. He departed from Bremen on the S.S. Weser in 1872. Unfortunately, the manifest doesn’t provide much information that we didn’t already know. From this we can tell he didn’t travel with family (at least family that has the same last name). Most manifests during this time period also collected information on who the immigrant was meeting with in the US. Although we know he eventually ended up in Greenfield living with his brother (according to his obituary), this specific manifest didn’t collect that type of information.
On November 9, 1874, Gustav married Barbara Habecker (1849-1915). Barbara arrived from Germany the same year as Gustav, but on a different ship. Soon after they got married, Gustav purchased forty acres of uncleared land located Greenfield township. He later added another forty acres. Gustav and Barbora had nine children:
- Emma Katherine Zuch (1872-1958) – (Born 6 months after Barbora arrived in the U.S.)
- Suzanne Carolina Zuch (1875-1960)
- Elizabeth Louise Zuch (1876-1962)
- Anna Carolina Zuch (1878-1958)
- Christian Gustav Zuch (1880-1919)
- Edward Carl/Charles Zuch (1882-1967)
- Christopher August Zuch (1884-1945)
- Otto Herman Zuch (1886-1956)
- Fredrick Charles Zuch (1889-1954) – (Also our direct-line ancestor.)
As mentioned in the same biography above, Guztav “… was occupied during the rest of his active live in improving his property. He was industrious, quiet and frugal and at the time of death, on February 7, 1914, was respected and esteemed throughout the township. In politics he was a democrat but was never very active in political matters, and all his life was a faithful member of the Lutheran Church.”
They also have a few nice words to day about Barbara… “The same might be said as to the high regard in the home neighborhood of his wife, who survived until April, 1915. She was a careful, self-sacrificing mother and the kindest of neighbors. The reared a large family of sons and daughters and they also belong to the townships’s best citizenship.”