Family Accounts - Descendants of Anna Rosine Fetterman & Heinrich Gernhardt

Baltzer Garnhart (3)
August 1785 - April 12, 1851

“Baltzer, the youngest of Heinrich’s four sons, was born in August, 1785, and was therefore 10 years old when the first family of our kin left the birthplace in Northampton County, and was just 20 years old at the time of the purchase (1805) of the Sinking Springs. In 1808 he married Anna C. Esbach, who was also born in Northampton County, and came with her people to Northumberland County in the year 1805. He was living at the Sinking Springs with his wife and four children, and managing the farm, at the time of his father’s death (1820), but several years later, after the sale of the homestead, bought a place about two or three miles north-west of the Springs, where he lived until his death, April 12, 1851.”

The children of Anna and Baltzer were:

  1. Mary Garnhart, born June 15, 1810, died October 14, 1846;
  2. John Garnhart, born March 12, 1812, died July 26, 1876;
  3. Benjamin Garnhart, born February 22, 1816, died January 1, 1894;
  4. Samuel Garnhart, born October 11, 1818, died September 21, 1879; and
  5. Daniel Garnhart, born May 22, 1825.

“...He served as the sole executor of the parental estate, as neither of the other two named in Heinrich’s will could conveniently serve. His final account as executor has by some means got out of its proper place among the archives of the county and was not found, and therefore we cannot give the particulars concerning the estate in which all branches of the family have a mutual interest. A brief preliminary report relating to the vendue was found, however, but it contained only one item that seemed to me of any real historical significance, viz., an outlay of five shillings for whiskey for the yeomanry who came to the sale. Whether this excited the ardor and vivacity of the bidders and made the bidding more spirited is not now known, but in some cases it probably did. It is a fact of history that in that day the fiery beverage was a free and common provision on all public occasions, even often at funerals. An old man, whose memory reached back to those days, some years ago made the remark to me that ‘then the old men did most of the drinking, but now most of the drinking is done by the young men.’

“Baltzer was a man of small stature, but sinewy, strong and active, and known as a hard worker. I saw him several times, but was then too young to remember much about him. I remember well, however, of at various times hearing him spoken of as taking great pride in having good, well-fed and well-groomed horses, and as being an exceptionally good teamster, who could get a team to draw a load that few could induce them to pull. Mr. D—, a neighbor of his, who was also vain of his horses, one day came along the road by Baltzer’s place with a heavy load on his wagon, and in a bad spot where the ground was soggy got mired. It was about noon, when the boys were just coming to the barn with the teams. Baltzer, seeing that his esteemed neighbor could not get his horses to draw the load, kindly—but evidently with a manner betraying his concern that he had the better team—proposed that Mr. D— should unhitch, and that he would then hitch on his team and get his wagon out of the mire. This touched the sensitive neighbor’s pride, at which he insisted that his own team could pull out the wagon with the load if any team could. Baltzer then told his boys to put their horses in the barn and feed them. After making several more vain efforts to extricate the wagon, the owner felt obliged to give up, and then meekly requested Baltzer to bring out his team and hitch on to the tongue of the wagon and help his tired horses out of the hole. ‘No,’ said the imperturbable Baltzer, ‘my horses are eating now and I don’t care to take them away from their feed. But, friend D—, I'll tell you what I’ll do. If you’ll let me take your horses in hand I’ll soon show you that they alone can pull that load out.’ The subdued and now surprised neighbor perhaps thought that this certainly would at least not hurt the reputation of his team, as, after hesitating but a moment, he agreed to the quite unexpected proposition. Mr. Baltzer, after letting the excited and panting beasts cool off a little, and giving them some gentle pattings—and even whispering something in their ears, for effect on the owner, if not on the horse—induced them to make one tremendous and united effort, and they actually themselves pulled the wagon out on solid ground. Mr. D— knew they could do it if any horses could—and Baltzer knew what he could do, and he did it. This circumstance was often mentioned and chuckled over by the old people who knew both men well.

“Baltzer’s wife, Anna C. Esbach, survived him eleven years (until 1862), but they have now for more than forty years been sleeping side by side in the Delaware Run Churchyard, in that last deep sleep from which, according to the Christian faith, there has as yet been but one final awakening, that of The First-Born from the Dead. In the frontispiece view of the old graveyard my right hand rests on her tombstone. The centre stone, with the rounded top, marks Baltzer’s grave. The third of this group of three stones marks the resting place of Anna Elizabeth, who died a spinster in 1854, and was the third-born of Heinrich’s and Rosine’s children. In the other view of the graveyard, in which the church is seen, the position is reversed, my hand there resting on Anna Elizabeth’s headstone” (from Heinrich Gernhardt and His Descendants, published 1904, pp. 260-263).

Graveyard on Delaware Run, Northumberland County, PA
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