George Ludwig Altstaetter 1
- Born: 5 Feb 1846, Monroe Twp., Allen, OH 1
Noted events in his life were:
1. Book: History of Allen County, Ohio, 1906. 1
George L. Altstaetter, proprietor of the "Pleasant Fruit Farm," a fertile tract of 80 acres, situated in section 17, Monroe township, was born in this township, February 5, 1846, and is a son of Jacob and Catherine (Bucher) Altstaetter.
Jacob Altstaetter was born in Hessen- Darmstadt, Germany, February 21, 1811. Prior to coming to America he worked as a carpenter, and during one year spent in Maryland he continued to follow his trade. He desired a different field of work, however, and thinking that Ohio would probably afford it he walked to Cincinnati; soon after he removed to Dayton, and while working at his trade there met the estimable lady whom he soon after married. At that time he was 25 years of age and almost immediately after, in the fall of 1836, he came to Allen County, and in the following spring settled on 40 acres of land, paying out all his capital, $50, for it. He built a log house and shop on the farm and, as the seasons permitted, alternated between work at his trade and clearing up his land. He was deft at furniture making and frequently the midnight hour would find him still at work fashioning chairs, beds and tables for his neighbors, for which they paid him in labor.
A man of his industry could hardly escape accumulation capital, and he continued to invest in land until he finally owned 600 acres, which through his own efforts he almost entirely cleared. He was a hard worker all his life and expected others to be industrious also. In appearance Jacob Altstaetter was a well-set-up man, five feet in height, with a pleasant, intelligent countenance and shrewd, kindly eyes.
He lived to be almost 88 years of age, dying on the farm on which he had settled, November 10, 1898. He was a stanch supporter of the Democratic party, casting his first presidential vote in 1836. He was a worthy member of the German Evangelical Church, very active in its work, and during the greater part of his life was one of the trustees. He was one of the first and prime movers in the project of building the first church of his denomination in the locality, giving first the ground and then the timber, and subsequently presenting the church organ. He was always liberal in church contributions and his advice and counsel always supported the efforts of the ministers. He was a good man and a perfect type of the thrifty, industrious, provident, home-building German.
On October 26, 1816, the mother of our subject was born in Montgomery County, Ohio, not far from Salem; she died in Monroe township, December 28, 1903. She was married on her 19th birthday and accompanied her husband to Allen County in the following spring, living a happy, contented, peaceful and useful life for 63 years thereafter. Her parents were John and Elizabeth (Miller) Bucher, residents of Ohio, the former a native of Switzerland and the latter, of Virginia. They became residents of Ohio. Mr. and Mrs. Altstaetter had 13 children, 12 of whom reached maturity and seven of these still survive.
Our subject, George L. Altstaetter, has resided in his present school district all his life, and has carried on agricultural work ever since he became old enough to hold a plow, the only kind of farm labor his late father never did. He remained at home assisting until his marriage. when he was 26 years old. His father was always just and generous with his children and at this time he gave him an equity of $1,500 in a farm of 80 acres which he chose from other tracts. Our subject subsequently paid the remainder due to the estate, and settled on the farm in section 17, which he has occupied ever since. Along with other agricultural operations, including extensive farming and the raising of considerable stock. Mr. Altstaetter has paid a great deal of attention to the growing of fruit. In addition to small fruits, he has an apple orchard of four acres, The fruit-growing is such a feature that the name, "Pleasant Fruit Farm," is very appropriate.
In addition to improving his land and adding yearly to its value. Mr. Altstaetter has erected good buildings and a handsome residence, so that the appearance of the place is very attractive. He has one of the finest homes in the township.
On November 9, 1871, he was married to Margaret Olt, who was born in Hessen- Darmstadt, Germany, on February 24, 1849. Her parents, Adam and Eva (Orth) Olt, are both deceased, the father dying at the age of 36 years and the mother when 30 years of age. This is remarkable as all four of Mrs. Altstaetter's grandparents lived to old age, three dying at the age of 80 years and one at the age of 92. An orphan a the age of 18 years, she came alone from Germany, found plenty of friends in Dayton, Ohio, and, as noted above, four years later was married to our subject. To this union six sons and six daughters have been born, namely: John, who died in his sixth year; Barbara, who is the wife of Fred Haas, of Dayton; Louise, who is the wife of Samuel Bower, of Napoleon, Ohio; Otto, who died aged four years; Adam, who died aged one year; Anna, who resides at home; and Michael, who is a student in the senior class in Lima College, and is a very bright young man, who can show a 90 per cent average in all his studies; Emma, who died aged four and a half years; Albert, who died aged five years; and Elise, Oscar and Freda, living at home.
Mr. Altstaetter has been identified with the Democratic party all his life, and has been his party's choice for many of the important local offices. He has served several terms as road superintendent, has been a school director many terms and is now serving his third term as township trustee, having served two terms some 30 years ago. Like his father he has been a German Evangelical Church of Monroe township for years and is one of the present trustees, a position he has held many times.