- Name: George Allemann Sr.
- Born: August 6, 1840 Tschappina, Graubunden, Switzerland
- Died: January 31, 1932 Logan, Utah
- Related through: Dan's grandfather Lynn Crookston
George Allemann Sr. was born August 6, 1840 high in the Alps in Tschappina, Graubunden, Switzerland to Abraham and Sara Marchion Allemann.
On July 12, 1842 when he was two years old, his father died of pneumonia. January 20, 1843, about six months later his mother gave birth to a little sister, Elsbeth. His mother died five days after the baby was born. Thus four little children, Anna Barbara, Matheus, George, and Baby Elsbeth were left with no parents. Little George went to live with his grandfather, who was a widower with two grown sons. When he was old, he still remembered how his grandfather took him by the hand and led him to his home.
The two little girls, Anna Barbara and Elsbeth went to live with an aunt, Katharina Marchion Brunett. She had a baby about the age of little Elsbeth so she nursed them like twins. Anna Barbara was about nine, so she was a big help. She tended babies, did housework, helped feed the cattle and gather wood. She worked very hard and often was wet and cold, she developed rheumatism at an early age and suffered of it all her life.
Matthew (Matheus) was about five, he went to live with his Godfather who had no children and somewhat spoiled him.
Little George became very close to his grandfather who became both father and mother to him. His grandfather, Matthew Marchion was a very religious man and taught him to pray, to be honest and upright in everything and to keep the Sabbath Day holy. They never did any work on the Sabbath Day. Little George slept with him and remembered him praying sometimes until he fell asleep. When beggars came to his house he would always give them something to eat, he would never turn them away hungry.
In 1848, his Uncle Benedict got married and brought his wife to live with them, so they finally had a housekeeper. When the babies came along George became a nurse and servant.
The four children lived with relatives for thirteen years, then all moved back into their parent’s home to live together and keep house for themselves.
In 1862, Elsbeth married Christian Tester and moved to Saffien, his home town. In December 1863, Elsbeth, like her mother, died giving birth to a baby girl. Anna Barbara was by then sorely afflicted with rheutimism, and couldn't go to see her in her sickness or attend the funeral of her only little sister. This was a sad blow to her.
May 8, 1863, George married Anna Maria Allemann. They were very happy and loved each other dearly. She was eight years older than him, very neat, intelligent and could write beautifully. Two years after their marriage, December 12, 1865 Anna Maria gave birth to a baby girl. Two weeks later December 26 she passed away. Losing his dear wife was a terrible a blow to him. The baby was named Anna Maria after her mother. Anna Barbara (Aunt Bassie) moved in to care for the baby the best she could with her afflicted body.
About eight years later he married Anna Maria Gredig, also born in Tschappina and the daughter of Johann Peter Gredig and Ellsbeth Allemann. March 10, 1873 their first son, John Peter arrived.
In the spring of 1873, a man named Buchli and his family came to father and wanted to rent a house from him. Father had heard that these people belonged to another church that was very unpopular, called the Mormon Church. He thought they would not take it if he would charge them a big price, but they rented it anyway. One day Father went up to see how they were getting along, he found the man reading the Bible. Father thought he couldn't be so bad if he was reading the Bible. They talked and Father soon found that Mr. Buchli knew more about the Bible than Father did. After that Father went to see him often. They talked about Mormonism and through the Bible he could prove the truth of his beliefs. Father believed it and told his wife and sister about it. They studied it together and soon wanted baptism. Their folks became very prejudiced against them. Mother's parents came and took her away and wanted her to leave father if he would join that church. She soon came back to him. May 5, 1874, he was baptized with his wife and sister by a missionary, Elder J. Keller. They wanted to go to Zion, but were unable to sell their property for several years.
April 12, 1875 their second child was born, they named her Sarah. She died in September of the same year. April 12, 1877, I was born to them and they named me Sarah also. Rulon S. Wells was in Switzerland and he blessed her. In the fall of 1878 a young man came to father and said he knew a buyer for his property, they agreed on a deal and made preparations to immigrate to Zion.
Their relatives became more prejudiced than ever and tried to hinder them in every way possible. An aunt to his little girl of his first marriage took her by force out of school and away to another town. Father followed her and finally located her. She clung to his neck and wanted to return with him but they tore her away by force. The law, the officers and everybody were against him and he was unable to get her back. Anna Barbara, father's sister who raised her from when she was a baby was heartbroken. She tried to follow her on the train but never saw her again.
May 11, 1879, their fourth child, Abraham was born. He was a delicate, sickly child and mother wasn't able to nurse him. They believed the midwife gave her something to dry her milk and prevent them from going to America. When he was only five weeks old Father, Mother, Anna Barbara, father's sister and their three children sailed for America, June 17, 1879.
They had no idea where they would settle when they arrived. A missionary, Henry Flamm advised them to settle in Bear Lake, a newly settled valley. They took the train to Evanston, Wyoming, where several teams were waiting to take the emigrants to Bear Lake. It was a very rough, frightening ride by wagon. This little immigrant family couldn't speak the language and the teamster was drunk, whipping the horses so they seemed out of control. Uncle Peter said a rider on horseback came along and knew they would not make it down the Laketown dugways. He took over and drove them the rest of the way. Uncle Peter knew the Lord was surely protecting them. They arrived at Paris, Idaho, at midnight on July 17, 1879.
A few days after they arrived, Father and Mother were offered a job to milk cows and do diary work at Nouman. They moved out there in a little cabin with only their trunks for a table and milk stools to sit on. Uncle Peter, who was six and didn't understand English, remembered how some neighbor children played with him. They had a wagon and let him coast on the hill.
After a few weeks, they got some furniture and were quite comfortable. Later in the fall they moved to Montpeliar. The next fall in 1880, they bought a house and lot in Montpeliar. This was a very cold house, the windows froze during the winter. The children would sit on the stairs behind the stove to keep warm, but they all kept well. November 5, 1881, George was born in Montpelier.
Father worked in the Temple Saw Mill in Logan Canyon, as a volunteer from his Stake. He drove a team from the sawmill in Temple Fork of Logan Canyon with sawed lumber. At the Forks he would exchange his sleigh for an empty sleigh and return to the sawmill. Coming from the Alps in Switzerland he was familiar with the sound and wind of an approaching snowslide. On one trip he yelled to the other teamsters to abandon their sleigh and climb to the opposite mountain side. Teams were buried and killed.
Father took up a quarter section of land in Bern, down by the river. He built a little one room cabin with a dirt roof. In 1883 diphtheria broke out in Montpelier and many died. Just a day or two before the town was quarantined and the road closed, Father took his family to Bern. Here, daughters Elsbeth was born in 1883 and Maria was born in 1885.
June 5, 1887, Mother gave birth to a pair of twins, a girl, Anna Barbara and boy, Matthew. The little one room cabin they lived in didn't give them very much shelter any more as the roof leaked terribly. When it rained you would see our auntie holding the umbrella over Mother's bed to keep the rain off her and the babies. Father went up Montpelier Canyon and got out a lot of logs, had them sawed square and had a five room house built with a shingled roof. In the spring of 1889, we moved into our new home.
In 1889 the dreaded diseases malaria and scarlet fever broke out. All the children were sick. For six weeks Mother never had her clothes off except to change. Our two littlest girls died, Maria, and Elsbeth just a week apart. They are buried in the south west corner or the Ovid Cemetery.
June 16, 1890 another baby girl was born. They named her Emeline. Benjamin Martin was born in May 2, 1893.
Mother was a hard working woman and never complained. She spun the wool and knit all the stockings for the family and sewed the clothes by hand.
Auntie or Aunt Bassie (Annie Barbara) as we called her, helped with the children and the work as much as she could with her crippled hands. She was a dear soul and the only relative we ever knew. We all loved her dearly. She had a chance to marry into polygamy to J. Kunz. She decided not to marry but he wanted to have her sealed to him after her death.
Edwin Leonard was born September 7, 1895. Soon after, father bought a ranch up in the mountains by Montpelier, a little valley we called Ephraim. He traded a beautiful team of black horses to John Cozzens for this ranch. In the biography of Emily Almira Cozzens Rich, written by Ezra J. Poulsen, she tells about the severe winter of 1892 and 93. "Snow fell to the depth of 4 to 6 feet. John Cozzens hay gave out and there was none for sale in the valley. He and his animals were snowed in and he saw practically all of his live stock, seventy head, die of starvation and cold. In the spring of 1983 he disposed of his ranch as best he could and returned to Montpelier. He never recovered from his financial lose."
Father went there with his older children every summer to milk cows and make cheese. He took neighbors milk cows for the summer and gave them cheese in return. He and Peter spent some winters up there feeding the cattle. They skied all the way to the valley for supplies and mail. Mother and Auntie stayed with the younger children in Bern.
In the fall of 1899 Father and Mother with nine children went to Logan to the temple to have their endowments and sealings done. It took us two days to get there and two days back. The following spring in May, 1900, George took sick with diphtheria. One after another got it, some not as bad as others. Father and some of the children that were better went back to the summer ranch. My sister, Anna Barbara took sick on Decoration Day and died June 11, 1900. I was up at the ranch at the time. I shall never forget the time when we received word that she had passed on. This was a hard trial for us all. She was a sweet, loving girl. A week or so after she died, Benjamin took sick up at the ranch. They took him home to Bern. We thought he was getting better, but it left his heart bad and he died August 1, 1900. October, 1901 J. Peter left for a mission to Germany.
Father had left the Ephraim ranch and bought a ranch on Crow Creek from a "squatter." It was just south from Wells Canyon. Several of the children took up homesteads to make the land legal. Emeline homesteaded the ranch house and spring. Abraham homesteaded just south of the creek, Matthew the south fields, Sarah and Edwin east of the main road.
The following three or four summers after my husband Adolph Boss's death, I with my little girl Anna stayed at the ranch and milked cows. In the spring of 1910 just as we were going back to Bern, I found I wasn't feeling well. I went anyway. When I got back to Bern I broke out with small pox. They all got it. As soon as some got better they fumigated them and went to the ranch. I went again with Anna and stayed at the ranch.
I bought a lot in the Logan 10th ward and had a house built for five hundred dollars. Mother and Father came to live with Anna and me.
April 14, 1924, Mother took a stroke in the morning while she was still in bed. At first she couldn't speak, but thankfully her speech returned. It left her weak and ailing and often she got smothering spells and she had to be out in the open air in order to breathe. She lingered on in this way until the summer of 1926 when she got worse. She got dropsy again and was very sick all summer. Emeline and Byron lived a few blocks away and were a great help. We took care of her day and night until the last eight nights when I had to call the Relief Society sisters in to help. For many weeks she couldn't lie down. She died, sitting up in her chair, September 25, 1926. She would have been 78 in November, she was buried in the Logan Cemetery.
Father didn't go back to Bern, but stayed in Logan and worked in the temple continuously when it was open. Even at his advanced age, he walked almost a mile each direction. When he got too weak to walk to the temple, Brother Bowman took him over in his car.
On August 6, 1930, all his children went with him to the temple to celebrate his 90th birthday. There were thirteen in all, seven children, four daughter-in-laws and one son-in-law. President Shepherd made a nice speech in honor of Father and his family and mentioned him being able to come to the temple at his age. He held him up as an example to the young people. He had father dismiss the meeting. Father went to the temple two days after his birthday, then the temple closed for the summer.
He died January 31, 1932, at the age of 92 and was buried February 3, in the Logan Cemetery. The morning of his funeral there was two feet of beautiful fresh snow. The city opened the roads in our driveway and to the church and cemetery.
Most or the following is taken from a history written by Sarah Allemann Boss. Published in "History of Bear Lake Pioneers" 1968, by the Daughters of Utah Pioneers, Bear Lake County, Idaho. Some additions were made by Lynn Crookston. Thanks to Grandma Melva for sharing it with us.