52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks #18 – George Arthur Repsher

Relationship: Great-grandfather
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George Arthur Repsher, like my other paternal great-grandfather, Ora Simpson Strait, did not live to a ripe old age. George was only 45 when he passed away.

George’s story starts in the picturesque rolling hills of eastern Pennsylvania. He was born 02 October 1890 in Mountainhome[1] which is about 12 miles northwest of Stroudsburg and lies in modern day Monroe County. His parents were John Joseph Repsher and Caroline Bonser.[2] He was born smack-dab in the middle of a passel of 14 children of which 12 lived to adulthood.  Siblings Emma, Lizzie, Letitia, John, James and Lewis preceded him. Ella, Robert, Lillian, William and Jennie were born after him. No small families in the Repsher clan!

The 1900 census[3] shows him in his parent’s household as a 9-year-old boy. Along with his brother Lewis and sister Ella, he is attending school.  He is still in his parent’s household in 1910[4], but now he has a young wife. George had married Anna Maria Karthauser earlier that year on the 18th of January in Stroudsburg at St. John’s Lutheran Evangelical Church.[5] He was 19 years old and working as a stone crusher.

George registered with the draft board on 05 June 1917[6] in Stanhope, Sussex County, New Jersey. According to the registration form, he has a wife and four dependent children by then.

George and Anna Repsher

George and Anna Repsher, circa 1930

George and Anna wasted no time in starting their family. Shortly after their marriage in January, their first daughter and my grandmother, Beatrice Irene (Bea), was born on 18 August 1910 in Analomink, Monroe County, Pennsylvania.[7] Another daughter, Helen Hildegard (Toots), followed shortly after on 10 September 1911.[8]

At 23 years old, George’s wife Anna suffered a tragedy. She gave birth to a son on 04 September 1913 and they named him after her father John Adam. The baby was not stillborn, but he was sickly and only lived for six days, passing away on 10 September 1913.[9]

Between 1911 and 1913, George and Anna moved their growing family from Analomink, Pennsylvania, over the Delaware River and approximately 40 miles east to Stanhope, Sussex County, New Jersey, which is located on the picturesque shores of Lake Musconetcong. It is here in New Jersey that son Arthur George (Art) was born on 08 September 1914.[10] Three more sons followed like clockwork every two years: Adam Otto, born 06 October 1916;[11] Robert William (Bob), born 05 August 1918;[12] Henry Allen (Hank), born 03 October 1920.[13]

Slightly less than three years later, Anna gave birth to another baby girl on 08 January 1923, but unfortunately this daughter was stillborn.[14] There was no recorded name for this baby girl. This event brings Anna’s child bearing years to an end. With husband George Repsher, she now has had eight children in total over the course of thirteen years: five sons, four of which survive to maturity, and three daughters, two of which survive to maturity.

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The 1920 census shows that George, along with his wife and family are living in Stanhope.[15] He is now working as a fireman on the steam railroad.

Because of his daughter Beatrice’s persistence to attend St. Michael’s Catholic School, he was baptized later in life on 20 April 1924 when he is 33 years old in Netcong, Morris County, New Jersey.[16]

The last time George Repsher family is found intact in census records was 1930.[17] They were living in Netcong and George was working as an engineer in a sand pit. His daughters Beatrice and Helen (Toots) were also employed as quillers at the silk mills.

George was not found in the 1940 census because he starts feeling poorly on 30 March 1936. He went to the doctor’s office and while there suffered a fatal heart attack.[18] He left a young family behind and Anna never married again.


[1] “World War I Draft Registration Cards, 1917-1918,” digital image, Ancestry.com (http://www.ancestry.com : accessed 03 August 2011), card for George Arthur Repsher, no. 46, Local Draft Board 0, Stanhope, Sussex County, New Jersey; citing NARA microfilm publication M1509, roll 1754441.
[2] Anna (Karthaeuser) Repsher, compiler, “Family Record of J. J. Repsher Jr. and Caroline Repsher nee Bonser”; (Handwritten family group sheets, Netcong, New Jersey, 1911-1970), p. 84.
[3] 1900 U. S. census, Monroe County, Pennsylvania, population schedule, Stroud Township, ED 139, p. 7A (penned), dwelling 131, family 135, John J. Repsher; digital image, Ancestry.com (http://www.ancestry.com : accessed 06 August 2011); citing NARA microfilm publication T623, roll 1442.
[4] 1910 U. S. census, Monroe County, Pennsylvania, population schedule, Stroud Township, ED 49, p. 4A (penned), dwelling 70, family 73, John J. Repsher; digital image, Ancestry.com (http://www.ancestry.com : accessed 02 October 2011); citing NARA microfilm publication T624, roll 1376.
[5] “Pennslyvania, Church and Town Records, 1708-1985,” digital image, Ancestry.com (http://www.ancestry.com : accessed 02 February 2012), marriage entry #350 for George A. Repsher, St. John’s Evangelical Lutheran Church, Stroudsburg, Pennsylvania; citing Historic Pennsylvania Church and Town Records, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania: Historical Society of Pennsylvania.
[6] “World War I Draft Registration Cards, 1917-1918,” digital image, Ancestry.com (http://www.ancestry.com : accessed 03 August 2011), card for George Arthur Repsher, no. 46, Local Draft Board 0, Stanhope, Sussex County, New Jersey; citing NARA microfilm publication M1509, roll 1754441.
[7] Pennsylvania Department of Health, birth certificate 1234010-1910 (1910), Beatrice Irene Repsher; Division of Vital Statistics, New Castle.
[8] Beatrice (Repsher) Strait Guirreri, compiler, “Family George Arthur Repsher and Anna Repsher nee Anna Karthaeuser”; (Handwritten family group sheets, Newton, New Jersey, 1971-1995), p. 9.
[9] Repsher, compiler, “Family Record of J. J. Repsher Jr.”, p. 81.
[10] Repsher, compiler, “Family Record of J. J. Repsher Jr.”, p. 88.
[11] Repsher, compiler, “Family Record of J. J. Repsher Jr.”, p. 90.
[12] Repsher, compiler, “Family Record of J. J. Repsher Jr.”, p. 95.
[13] Repsher, compiler, “Family Record of J. J. Repsher Jr.”, p. 96.
[14] Repsher, compiler, “Family Record of J. J. Repsher Jr.”, p. 81.
[15] 1920 U. S. census, Sussex County, New Jersey, population schedule, Stanhope, ED 127, p. 12B (penned), dwelling 113, family 123, George A. Repsher; digital image, Ancestry.com (http://www.ancestry.com : accessed 02 August 2011); citing NARA microfilm publication T625, roll 1068.
[16] Repsher, compiler, “Family Record of J. J. Repsher Jr.”, p. 81.
[17] 1930 U. S. census, Morris County, New Jersey, population schedule, Netcong, ED 55, page 15A (penned), dwelling 329, family 290, George A. Repsher; digital image, Ancestry.com (http:www.ancestry.com : accessed 03 August 2011); citing NARA microfilm publication T626, roll 1374.
[18] Personal recollections of his grandson, William Charles Strait, Jr. William recounted the story as told to him.


 

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