Stalder Family History- OU Archives Library Athens Ohio
The Stalder Family Come to America (1918)
Great Uncle Rudolf De Steiger was a son of one of the so called "noble " families in Bern Switzerland. being a Grandson of old Bergo-Master Von Steiger (note the French change in the name assumed by the younger member of the family) who is mentioned in history in connection with the battle against Napolean's army. The old Mayor seems to have been rather unpopular with his people and had at last to flee to the mountains to avoid being slain by his own soldiers. The old Schultheiss' grandson seems to have some of revolutionary ideas also, particularly where his heart went astraying amongst the peasantry; hence, the pretty romance which resulted in the emigration of the Stalder family and made us Americans instead of Swiss.
Young Rudolf fell desperately in love with the beautiful Magdalen Stalder, who is described as being a very lovely girl, and determined to marry her (which, in view of the high position assumed by the Steiger family, kicked up no end of a row among the higher-ups), but Rudolf married the girl and was disowned by his family. So having asserted himself, he determined to take his young wife and go to America where there was plenty of room for his independent spirit to soar. He brought with him to America his father in law and mother in law, certain of their sons and daughters with their families, and other kin whose caliber led them to brave the frontier.
His father in law, Jacob Stalder, was none other than our great- grandfather and the loverly Magdalen our great aunt.
As stated before, this was the Fall of 1819, and winter was approaching. Horrible tales of Indian massacres and wild animal and all unknown dangers of a strange land had struck fear to the hearts of our pioneer ancestors, and it was decided to build a two-story log house large enough to house this large group of families. This was done and all lived together, sixty persons in all, during the first winter. In the spring, each family built his own cabin and established a home for his family according to Swiss tradition.
This large house was built on what is now called the "Old Elijah Wood Farm". On this farm is a small burial ground where lie the remains of our great grandparents Jacob and Anna Stalder and also here is buried the chivalrous Uncle Rudolf De Stiguer and Magdalen his lovely wife. Great Grandfather lived only a few years after coming here as evidenced by a deed of record in the recorder's office dated March 20, 1826, executed by Rudolf Steiger Von Grandson to Anna Stalder, relict of Jacob Stalder. It would seem that Magdalen also must have died before this deed was executed as she does not join or sign as wife in the deed as she did in a deed executed by her husband in 1823. Great-grandfather died suddenly in an apoplectic stroke in the morning while he was dressing. Son Frederick died also in this manner. He and grandmother were planning to go for a visit on Sunday morning. Grandfather was dressing to go when his summons came, and he fell dead immediately.
This is the story told of the Swiss colony upon landing on American soil, passed down thru the generations. They struck out for the frontier, intending to locate on lands which now form the state of Indiana. Upon reaching the Ohio River they embarked upon flat boats and floated down the river as far as Marietta, Ohio where the ran aground on a sand bar. The ancestral group took advantage of this stop to do a general washing and airing of clothing, etc. It is said that Great Uncle De Steiger had forty-four dozen fine white linen shirts on the line on this occasion. So much at least he had to show for his patrician origin.
They were delayed here for some time so it became noised about in real estate circles that a band of Swiss emigrants were in the land, and the ever energetic real estater made tracks for Marietta and endeavored to dissuade our worthy and noble great uncle from going further, as there was much fertile land to be had in Ohio. This real estate agent was a relative of Israel Putnam.
Great Uncle Rudolf sent Great-Grandfather Jacob Stalder to look at this land and bring back a report on it. He was gone so long that they began to think he was lost, or had been killed by the Indians, and one night the realtors gave Uncle De Stiguer some of their very strong wine and persuaded him to buy the land sight unseen. Later Great-grandfather returned with an unfavorable report, but the deed had already been executed and delivered. So this is why they came to locate on Federal Creek, Athens County, Ohio.
Great-grandfather Jacob Stalder was born and reared in Canton Bern Switzerland. His wife's name was Anna and she was also our great-grandmother. He was by trade a millwright in Switzerland. In this connection, I have heard my people say that in those days in Switzerland, people did not take their grain to the mill as they did in this country, but the miller went after the grain, ground it and returned to his customer again.
Our grandfather Frederick was one of the younger ones and was about eighteen years old when he came to America. His brothers who accompanied him there were Peter, Nicholas, Casper, and Andrew, our great uncles. Of our great aunts there were six, and my father always spoke of their married names as, Aunt De Steiger (Magdalen), Aunt Junod (Ursula), Aunt Weiss(Rosina), Aunt Hausner, and Aunt Finsterwald (Catharine). Uncle Weiss's name was Jacob. He was called "Old Jakie Weiss. Of these great aunts the husbands were all Swiss except Uncle Housner who was French. Of these branches of the family a number of the descendants still live in this vicinity.
Written by grandson of Frederich Stalder, who was the son of Jacob Stalder.
Jakob Stalder at age of 63 gave up the ancestral Stalder home, Hof Lehn, to come to the Ohio wilderness with half of his children and their families. His wife, too, must have been near his age. To this day Hof Lehn is occupied by a Stalder. It is kept by the descendants, and it is a beautiful farm home even today. Stalder s occupying the ancestral home for 400 years. The first Stalder who lived on Hof Lehn was Benedict Stalder, born in 1540, when he married Elizabeth Muster.
Jakob Stalder was born, babtized Feb 13, 1756 in the Affoltern Reformed Church, in Kanton Bern Switzerland. He was owner and occupant of our ancestral homestead Hof Lehn. he married Anna Hugli from Sumiswald, who died after bearing 8 children. He then married again with Anna Schweizer from the village of Hasli or Hasly, who bore 10 children. Jakob Stalder died in Athens County, Ohio 1826, his will was probated then. He was 70.
Children of the first marriage:
Verena Stalder bap. July 9, 1777, in Ruegsau near Affoltern. Married Christian Zuber.
Hans Ulrich Stalder bap.12-27-1778. Became owner of Hof Lehn then Jakob his father.
Anna Barbara Stalder, bap. 7-30-1780 married David Housner Ohio presumably
Anna Stalder bap. 10-6-1784 Married C. Messerly from Thun Switzerland
Jakob Stalder bap. 3-25-1786 died in Moscow 1812 Napolean s disaster.
Magdalena Stalder, bap.1-25-1789 died 1836 Athens Cty, Ohio married Baron Bon Steiger from Bern
Ursula Stalder bap. 2-19-1792 married N. Oberholtzer, married Junod in Ohio
Elizabeth Stalder bap. 10- 19- 1794 married in America Who?
Children of second marriage.
Christian Stalder, bap. 6-19-1797 Died in Holland in military service
Catherina Stalder, bap. 2-3-1799 married the ship captain on the voyage, Finsterwald by name
Rosina Stalder bap. 10-5-1800 married in America, Weiss
Marie Stalder bap. 6-25-1802 was 18 when coming to the USA
Friederich Stalder bap. 10-2-1803 was 17 when coming to the USA
Peter Stalder bap. 11-23-1806 was 14 when coming to the USA
Casper Stalder bap. 10-8-1809 was 11 when coming to the USA
Niklaus Stalder bap. 2-23-1812 was 8 when coming to the USA
Andreas Stalder bap. 6-29-1914 was 6 when coming to the USA (Andrew)
Written by Bertha Stalder Goetsch Cleveland Heights Ohio. January 26, 1972
1820 census Athens county, Ohio The actual page did not come up on Ancestry.com
Image Number: 68
living near Rudolph Steiger and daughter Magdalena
Jacob Stalder died before 1826 according to a deed executed at that time in the Athens county courthouse.
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