Family Accounts - Descendants of Anna Rosine Fetterman & Heinrich Gernhardt

Susanna Gernhardt Mosteller (3)
September 24, 1789 - November 25, 1846

“Susanna, the youngest of the children of Heinrich and Rosine, was born September 24, 1789, and was therefore in her sixteenth year when the family settled at the Sinking Spring. She was thirty years old and still single in 1820, when Heinrich died, soon after he had made his final will be bequeathed to her and her sister, Anna Elizabeth, certain effects to make their patrimony, as he says, ‘equal to what their married sisters get.’ She married George Mosteller, but of the date of the wedding no record seems to have been preserved. She had but one child, Rubet Marion, born Feb. 6, 1825, who died when in her seventh year, May 1, 1831. The little marble headstone that marks her grave had sunken almost out of sight, and on one of my visits to the old graveyard I spent some minutes scraping away the soil so that the stone could be raised and the inscription on it read. Susanna died Nov. 25, 1846, at the age of 57, and her husband died November 15, 1859, aged 75 years. The graves of the three are side by side in the second tier back of the row (in front rather, because next to the street) containing the ‘long homes’ of Anna Elizabeth and Baltzer and his wife—and we believe also (between the grave of Anna E. and the church) the unmarked and forgotten graves of Heinrich and Rosine, and perhaps the first wife of Phillip. See the engraving of the Delaware Run Church and graveyard. George lies nearest to the church, just back of the horse-shed, then Susanna, and then little Rubet Marion; and there peacefully repose the three of our almost forgotten kindred, of whom we may say in the words of the beautiful poem, ‘Why should the spirit of mortal be proud,’ that Abraham Lincoln so loved:

“ ‘The infant a mother attended and loved,
The mother that infant’s affection who provded;
The husband that mother and infant who blessed,
Each, all, are away to their dwellings of rest.’

“Susanna has, therefore, left no posterity. Her own little household is not only now long extinct, but while eight of her sisters and brothers already have a multitude of descendants, not one drop of her blood now courses through human heart. She always resided in Delaware Township (once part of Turbut), and passed all her married days less then three miles from the Sinking Spring, where she had spent most of her single days” (from Heinrich Gernhardt and His Descendants, published 1904, pp. 300-301).

“ ‘Susanna Mosteller loved children,’ said the still living blind Daniel, the youngest of Baltzer’s five children, ‘and the children all took to her.’ Daniel was born only a few months after Rubet Marion, but he well remembers his beloved and ever cheerful aunt, Susanna, who survived her lamented Rubet fifteen years. I myself saw Susanna but once that I remember, two or three years before she died, and being then only about seven years old, I have but a slight recollection of her. My father one winter day delivered a load of chairs and bedsteads that had been ordered by residers in Delaware Township, and took me with him. On the way home we drove around by her humble abode, which I well remember as a one and one-half-story, unpainted, three or four room house, and made her a friendly call. The weather had suddenly become disagreeably blustery and cold, and I was ill and had become thoroughly chilled. With grateful feelings I still remember how my distressed condition appealed to her motherly love, and how solicitous she immediately became to make me comfortable. I can still see the dear, loving soul as she poured some whiskey into a pan and set the fluid a burning, and remember the childish interest with which I watched the blue flames as they whirled and twirled over the pan, and wondered what she was doing that for. I had been dosed so much that I had got a perfect horror of everything in the form of medicine,—the drugging habit is another outrage on juvenile humanity, of which I was a victim,—but after she had with her persuasive kindness given me a taste of the remedy thus prepared, I was quite willing to take all she was willing to administer, as I found I was for once getting a remedy that was not hard to take. More than this respecting our kind Aunt I do not remember. The early history of our American family should have been written sixty or more years ago” (Ibid, pg. 302).

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