One hundred and six years ago, John and Bertha Barbara (Trümpi) Huber had the Christmas Eve present of their second child. Clarence Edward Huber was born on 24 December 1909 in Elberta and Josephine, Baldwin County, Alabama. Clarence didn’t grow up in Alabama as his family bought a farm in James Township, Saginaw County, Michigan about 1918 and moved there then.
Clarence went to school in Saginaw County and graduated from the eighth grade.
In 1942, Clarence enlisted in the army and served until his release in September 1945, when he returned to James Township and worked on his father’s farm until his father’s death in 1948.
For the next twenty years, he helped support his mother on the family farm until her death in 1968. He continued farming on the family farm until his death on 25 June 1994.
1910 Census (A), Ancestry.com, Year:1910;Census Place:Elberta and Josephine, Baldwin, Alabama; Roll: T624_1; Page: 5A; Enumeration District: 0013; FHL microfilm: 1374014.
1920 Census (A), Ancestry.com, Year:1920;Census Place:James, Saginaw, Michigan; Roll: T625_793; Page: 4B; Enumeration District: 164; Image: 475.
1930 Census, Ancestry.com, Year: 1930; Census Place: James, Saginaw, Michigan; Roll: 1021; Page: 7A; Enumeration District: 0018; Image: 767.0; FHL microfilm: 2340756.
1940 Census, Ancestry.com, 1940 Census – Place: James, Saginaw, Michigan; Roll: T627_1811; Page: 9A; Enumeration District: 73-18.
BIRLS Death File 1850-2010 (Name: US Dept of Veterans Affairs; Location: Washington DC; Date: 1911;), Ancestry.com, Clarence Huber.
Lutheran (Alabama), Baptism Certificate, Clarence Eduard Huber.
Michigan, Deaths, 1971-1996, Ancestry.com, Michigan Department of Vital and Health Records. Michigan, Deaths, 1971-1996[database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations Inc, 1998. Original data: Michigan Department of Vital and Health Records. Michigan Death Index. Lansing, MI, USA.
Michigan, Dept of Public Health, Death Certificate, Seeking Michigan, Clarence Edward Huber.
Saginaw News, Public Libraries of Saginaw, 1948-10-05, Page 19, Huber, John.
One hundred years ago, June 1915, Florence Wilma Huber was a six-year-old living on a farm in the Swiss Colony of Elberta and Josephine, Baldwin County, Alabama. Her father, John, and her mother Bertha (Trumpi) moved the family to Alabama from Wisconsin when Florence was a baby. Her five-year-old brother, Clarence, had been born in Alabama.
John was a farmer, but I suspect that farming was difficult for the young man from Switzerland. The land was much different from his native land and different from Wisconsin where he farmed for seven years.
Baldwin County School Building, c. 1913
Courtesy: Alabama Dept. of Archives and History
Both of Florence’s parents could read and write, so I suspect that Florence probably began school about that time. Certainly, she could read and write by the time they moved to Michigan and were enumerated in the 1920 census.
Family history says, “Bertha didn’t care much for Alabama, too hot and lots of bugs.” Also, we don’t know exactly when, possibly in 1915 or 1916, but according to family legend, John became a hobo, “riding the rails” for some time. After a bit, he came back to Bertha and said Michigan was the place they would move sometime between 1916 and 1919.
Nationally, June 1915 was an exciting time. Certainly, the war in Europe was taking central stage in the news. There was a major German offensive in Argonnes. Nationally, The League to Enforce Peace was organized in Philadelphia, with former United States President, William Howard Taft, as the League’s president. Meanwhile, President Wilson was demanding reparations for the German sinking of the Lusitania.
Locally, the sale and regulation of alcohol was a bitter issue in Alabama politics. In 1915, Gov. Henderson vetoed a ban on the sale of alcohol; however, the legislature overrode his veto. Despite prohibition, 386 illegal stills were seized in Alabama in 1915.
52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks – Week 35 – John Huber (1880-1948)
By – Don Taylor
John is a great example of how further research of a person’s
friends can prove that you have wrong person all along. I wanted to increase my
understanding of John’s immigration and how he ended up in Wisconsin when I
thought he was headed for Oregon. I had him arriving in 1901 aboard the SS St.
Paul with two friends. I decided to follow his friends and see what happened to
them. I found them in Oregon in 1910 and then I found another John Huber (born
about 1880) in Oregon as well. Oops. I know that my John Huber was in Alabama
in 1910, so the immigration aboard the SS St. Paul was clearly incorrect. I scrapped
the information I had about his immigration and will start anew. Sigh…
Bio – John Huber (1880-1948)
John Huber was born 9 September 1880 in Windlach, Kanto,
Zürich, Switzerland. He was the oldest of five known children of Jacob and Kath
Nothing is known of John’s childhood. However, in 1901 he
immigrated to the United Sates. He
appears to have headed to the Swiss Colony area of southern Wisconsin where he
met Bertha Barbara Trumpi.
The two were married on 2 March 1905 in New Glarus, Green
County, Wisconsin, probably at the Swiss Church, in an ecclesiastical ceremony
by Rev. A. Roth. The 1905 Wisconsin Census finds the couple living on a farm
that they rented in Primrose, WI, about
8 miles north of New Glarus.
In spring of 1908, they had their first child, a girl,
Florence Wilma Huber.
Sometime between then and December 1909, the young family
moved to Alabama where their only son, Clarence Eduard Huber was born. The
family is seen farming their own farm in Elberta and Josephine, Baldwin County,
Alabama in the 1910 Census. The
1910 Census also indicates that John had submitted his First Papers for
It is likely the Hubers succumbed to advertising directed
towards Swiss immigrants in Wisconsin and Illinois, which promised cheap land,
without snow and cold, in a Swiss Colony in Alabama. In any event, they bought
a farm in Alabama and worked it for seven to eight years. Then they bought a
farm from Jacob Spitz in James Township, Saginaw County, Michigan in 1916.
It doesn’t appear that John became a naturalized citizen. The
1910 census indicates that he submitted first papers. In the 1920 Census, he
was listed as an alien. The 1930 Census indicates that he was naturalized. However,
the 1940 census, once again, indicates he had only submitted first papers. It
is the recollection of his granddaughter that in the mid 1940s he indicated he
was still a Swiss citizen and “didn’t like America much.” That is not to say he hated America, rather, he spoke of Switzerland as if it were heaven. My suspicion is that
he never became a citizen and only went through the process enough to have
submitted first papers.
In 1929, his daughter, Florence, was married to Robert Harry
The 1930 Census shows John, a poultry farmer, with his wife
and son, Clarence, living on the Farm on St. Charles road in James Township.
In 1934, Florence died leaving a granddaughter to be raised
by her widower.
The 1940 Census finds John, Bertha, and son, Clarence,
living in the same house as they did in 1935 (and 1930). John owned the farm
worth about $4000 in 1940.
The daughter of Florence (their granddaughter) would come to live with him and his wife in the 1940s.
John died on 5 Oct 1948 from a lingering illness at St.
Luke’s Hospital in Saginaw, MI. At the time of his death, he was a member of
the Evangelical Church.
He was buried at Lot S464, Section
116, in Oakwood Cemetery, Saginaw, Michigan.
Do not confuse with Johann Huber from Switzerland who
immigrated in Nov 1901 aboard the USMS St. Paul and settled in Oregon.
Do not confuse with John Huber who owned 40 acres in
Bridgeport Township, Saginaw County, Michigan.
· Find John Huber’s immigration information.
· Further research John’s Parents & Siblings
List of Greats
1. John Huber
 1910; Census
Place: Elberta and Josephine, Baldwin, Alabama; Roll: T624_1;
Page: 5A; Enumeration District: 0013; FHL microfilm: 1374014. – Huber,
Biography – Clarence Eduard Huber (1909-1994) – Why Alabama?
One of the many family history questions we have had for some time is why was “Uncle Clarence” born in Alabama. His parents, John and Bertha Trümpi Huber, came from Switzerland and were German speaking. They arrived separately but settled in the New Glarus, Green County, Wisconsin area where they were married, in 1905, and had their first child, Florence in 1908. But Clarence was born in Elberta, Baldwin County, Alabama, on Christmas Eve, 1909, which seemed odd. Why did the family move from Wisconsin to Alabama and then to Michigan?
Morning Star (Rockford, IL) – Feb 7th, 1909 – Page 13
Many thanks to Genealogy Bank
I think why they moved to Alabama is now understood. In the early 20th century there were many Swiss and German colonies in the United States. In 1903 the Baldwin County Colonization Company began promoting land sales to German immigrants in the midwest. Their first settlers came to Elberta about 1904 and by 1908-09, when the Hubers settled there, the town boasted both a Catholic and Lutheran Church. Certainly, advertisements enticed folks from the winters of Wisconsin to the mild climate of Alabama. John and Bertha probably took such an excursion to Elberta and then purchased land after seeing what was available. In any event, by April, 1910 they owned a farm which John farmed.
St. Mark’s Lutheran Church (Today)
Elberta, Baldwin Co., Alabama
(Thanks to the Baldwin County Heritage Museum)
Clarence was baptized at home on 26 May, 1910, by Pastor H.O. Bruss. Maria Bruss, the pastor’s mother, and Karl Keller, a close neighbor were the sponsors for the baptism. It is interesting to note that the original St. Mark’s Lutheran Church, built in 1908 still stands. It was relocated in 1985 and is currently associated with the Baldwin County Historical Museum. It functions as a modern wedding chapel that provides a vintage wedding setting.
Sometime between 1916 and 1920 the family relocated to James Township, Saginaw County, Michigan. The 1920 has him living with his parents and older sister and attending school. According to the 1940 Census, Clarence completed the 8th grade.
In 1930, Clarence was still living with his parents. His sister had married and was living in Pennsylvania. In 1934, tragedy struck with the death of his sister.
In 1940, Clarence was still living on his parents farm, the same place they lived in 1935, but was working outside of the farm at an iron foundry as a core racker earning about $40 a week.
Clarence enlisted in the Army on 29 December, 1942 and was discharged 19 days after VJ Day.
1983 – age 72
Clarence’s father died in October 1948 and his mother died almost 20 years later, in May 1968. During all that time Clarence lived in the same house. It is said that after his mother died, Clarence closed the door on his mother’s bedroom and never went into it again. The room was as it was in 1968, with laundry folded, when it was opened again, over 25 years lated, after his death in 1994.
Clarence never married and had no known children. He was also known as Clarence Edward Huber (verses Eduard).
Clarence died on 25 June, 1994 at the Aleda E. Lutz VA Medical Center in Saginaw. He was cremated by the Northern Michigan Crematory, Bay City, Michigan.
Questions I’d still like to answer – Why did the Huber’s leave Alabama for Michigan between 1916 and 1920?
What did Clarence do during WW2? He shows up in the Veterans Affairs BIRLS list but I haven’t found records for him anywhere else.
1910 US Federal Census – Ancestry.Com
1920 US Federal Census – Ancestry.Com
1930 US Federal Census – Ancestry.Com
1940 US Federal Census – Ancestry.Com
US Dept. of Veterans Affairs – Beneficiary Identification Records Locator Subsystem (BIRLS) via Ancestry.ComBaptism Certificate – Personal Document Collection.
Michigan, Dept of Public Health, Death Certificate, for Clarence Edward Huber – Personal Document Collection.
Morning Star (Rockford, IL) 7 February 1909 – Page- 13 – via Genealogy Bank.
Sometimes the world opens up for you suddenly based upon a
tiny bit of information.
Johan (John) Huber & Bertha Barbara Trumpi
2 March 1905
I decided to focus upon John Huber and Bertha Trumpi. They arrived in the States separately, both
in 1903. They settled in the Swiss Colonies of Wisconsin, were married, had a child, my wife’s
grandmother, while there. They moved to Alabama before 1910, had another child
there, then moved to Michigan before 1920.
I had neither of their parent’s names, although because of some
photographs, I was pretty sure that John’s father was Jakob and possible names for his mother (Frieda & Kath). I knew absolutely nothing on Bertha’s parents.
I found them in the 1905 Wisconsin Census. They were married by then and living in Dane
County, Wisconsin. From that I knew that married between 1903 and 1905. I searched and
searched and just couldn’t find them. I noticed a Johana marrying during the
time, but discounted that.
I had recently taken a class, I think it was a Legacy webinar,
where the old surname boards on various systems were mentioned. The webinar reminded
me to be sure to use surname boards as a resource. So, feeling frustrated about my not being
able to find John and Bertha’s marriage
information , I posted a query to the (free) Ancestry Board – Dane County, Wisconsin. It was the first time I
had posted to a board in over a decade. I
I’m looking for
information regarding the marriage of John Huber and Bertha Trumpi (Trumpy,
Trumphi). Bertha arrived in the US about 1903. She and John were married before
1 June 1905 most likely in Green or Dane County. They lived in Primrose, Dane
County in the 1905 Wisconsin Census.
I was astounded — In 8 hour and 10 minutes I had a reply.
Marriage Records.Groom – Johana Huber born Windlack SwitzerlandHis father Jacob HuberHis mother Kath StuckingerMarried 2 March 1905 in New Glarus, Green Co.,
Wisconsin toBertha TrumpeFather Bernard TrumpeMother Bertha Koch
This would more than likely have taken place in
the Swiss Church in New Glarus…
Of course, I felt stupid having seen Johana before. Knowing
the date I easily found the entries on Family Search. (I don’t know why my searches for Trumpi,
Trumpy didn’t find her before. ) I thought
about ordering a copy of the certificate from Wisconsin. They want $20.00 and
will send you a copy of the certificate if they find it. (I’ve had bad
experiences with doing that in other states and didn’t want to go down that
path.) I saw Family Search has the
microfilm available so I decided to order that media. I’ve never ordered microfilm to look at at a
Family Heritage Center, so I thought I’d give that a try. The film is still in processing, but I did find three other marriage records on the same film that I’m interested in
seeing as well. (All Trumpi’s in New
Glarus, Wisconsin.) So, I’m looking forward to seeing the microfilm.
In one fell swoop I
had solidified John/Johann’s parents names, which was really great because I
had a family photo that contained them.
I just wasn’t certain until I found this index if they were
parents, Uncle and aunt or what; now I’m sure. The record also included Bertha’s parents
names. It moves my Darling/Huber tree, Generation 4, from 50% to 100%. I still have
to fill in a lot of blanks, but I at least have names, places and places to
I looked for Bertha Trumpe and found a family tree
containing a “Bertha/Retha Trumpe” who came to the States in 1905 and
eventually moved to California. Family
oral history indicated that Bertha’s mother came to the states and went out to
California. I looked a little closer at
those entries and found that Retha came over from Glarus, Switzerland to see a
daughter, Bertha Trumpe, in New Glarus, Wisconsin. I looked carefully at the 1900 and the 1910
census records and didn’t find anyone else named Bertha Trumpe near New Glarus so I’m sure it is the right parent.
Retha came to the States very pregnant with three children.
She was so pregnant that on the second day of the trip, she gave birth to a
boy. Of course, that give rise to the
question of why she would leave Switzerland when that pregnant. What happened
in Switzerland that still needs answers. It was a descendent of the baby boy born on the cruise that had the tree, missing Bertha that tuned me into the family thing.
I also wonder greatly why a Swiss family would move from Wisconsin to Alabama. Certainly against most migration patterns. That will take some more investigation.
The tree I found indicated that Bertha/Retha Trumpi married
a Kaspar Hefti in 1914
Also, I see where other Hefti’s have married other Trumpi’s.
So there are many family relationships untangle. It will
definitely keep me busy for a while.
I’ll start what I call a deep dive for Trumpi’s in the New Glarus area
1880 to 1920 and see what I find. It is
always exciting to find new cousins.
A quick, well focused question on the right location or
surname board can make a huge difference.