Monday, September 5, 2011

Family History: Record of Adam Wasem's Death February 12, 1922

This is the obituary of the brother of my great grandmother, Mary Kunkel (nee Wasem). Interestingly, his death occurred precisely 43 before my birth, to the day.

May 10, 1838 -- February 12, 1922

Fort Dodge Messenger, Iowa
February 13, 1922

Adam Wasem, Pioneer of Webster County, Dies in California - Death occurred on Sunday afternoon

Adam Wasem, prominent pioneer of Webster county, died at his home in Long Beach, CA., Sunday afternoon at 2:30. Death came after a lingering illness brought on by the infirmities of old age. Mr. Wasem would have celebrated his eighty-fourth birthday May 10. Until a year ago he enjoyed splendid health, but has failed since that time and his death was not unexpected. Mr. Wasem was closely associated with the early life of Webster county. Coming to this country at the age of 18 from his home in Oberingleheim, Germany, he settled with his parents near Eagle Grove. He underwent all the hardships of early pioneer days, prairie fires, poor crops and low prices, but he lived to enjoy the fruits of his labors and the prosperity which resulted from hard work, saving and wise investments. In August 1862, he enlisted as a private in Company A., 32nd Iowa Infantry. He was discharged from service in August 1865, having served three years and nine days or till the close of the war. He joined Fort Donnelson Post number 236 and retained membership in that until his death. Mr. Wasem was a great admirer of Lincoln and the fact that his death should occur on his birthday is a peculiar coincidence. At the conclusion of the war Mr. Wasem moved to Fort Dodge and for a number of years he teamed freight to Boone, Iowa Falls, Webster City and other railroad termination points.

He was married in November 1866, to Miss Henrietta Wiese of Manson, who survives him. They settled on a half section of land in Cooper township, which place the family still retains. Later he bought land adjoining underlaid with gypsum deposits. Fourteen children were born to them, all of whom with the exception of the oldest boy, who died when he was 10 years of age, survive. His children are Willia, Charles, John, Ella, Otto, Mrs. Roy Scheerer, Henry and Walter of this city, Etta, Adam, Mrs. Bertha Meigs, Carrie and Lena, of Long Beach, CA. With the exception of Henry, Water, Mrs. Scheerer and Miss Ella Wasem, they were all with their father at the time of his death. One sister, Mrs. Mary Kunkel and a brother, Fred Wasem, are also living in Long Beach. Two other sisters, Mrs. C. Laufersweiler of Fort Dodge, and Miss Sophia Wasem passed away several years ago. Mr. Wasem had six grand children. They are Richar, Robert and Jean Wasem, children of Mr. and Mrs. Henry Wasem, Mary Louise, daughter of Mrs and Mrs. Otto Wasem, Mary Henrietta Scheerer, daughter of Mrs. and Mrs. Ray Scheerer and Betty Lyle Meigs, daughter of Dr. and Mrs. Meigs of Long Beach, CA.

Moved to California in 1904 - Mr. Wasem went to California where he invested in property in Long Beach, and later built a home there. He enjoyed the milder climate and while he never relinquished his loyalty to Iowa was very happy in his life there. He made many trips back and forth to Iowa until five years ago last summer when he made his last visit here. The summer will be remembered as one of intense heat and Mr. Wasem suffered greatly from it. At that time he said he would never return. In October, 1916, Mr. and Mrs. Wasem celebrated their fiftieth wedding anniversary with a family reunion at Long Beach. Mr. Wasem was a faithful attendant at all the Iowa picnics in Los Angeles and he always had a warm welcome for all Fort Dodgers who visited California. Family Company - In October, 1909, Mr. Wasem deeded over his gypsum land to his 13 children who organized a stock company known as the Wasem Plaster Co. of Fort Dodge. This company which operates a large mill east of the city is unique in that all the stock is owned equally by the 13 children and the officers are also members of the family. The message that brought the news of their father's death said nothing about funeral arrangements but the funeral will probably be in Long Beach as the long trip back here would be hard for Mrs. Wasem. Knowing their father's failing health all the members of the family have visited him during the past year.

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