Classification scheme: 
Hist. Mss. 1.129

Dates of creation: 1843-

Physical description: 13 cm of textual records

Biographical sketch: John Brubacher (1822-1902) first married in 1846 to Magdalena Musselman (1827-1877). After her death in 1882 he married Esther Musselman Martin (1842-1926), widow of Amos Martin. He had 14 children, all from his first marriage.

After his first marriage, John and Magdalena settled on part of Lot 25 of the German Company tract in Waterloo. John E. Brubacher's father still owned the land, which consisted of 256 acres virgin forest purchased from Jacob's Hershey estate on July 1, 1842. Probably John E. had cleared a few acres and built a house and barn here prior to his marriage. His first home is said to have been a small frame house. This was replaced in 1850 by a substantial stone building which is still standing on Columbia St., University of Waterloo as a museum. On 12 June 1863 John acquired title to the farm from his father.

John E. Brubacher was said to have been of medium height, with brown hair and brown eyes. He had an outgoing personality and his friends meant a great deal to him. John E. took great pride in his orchard which was situated behind a high stone wall. He had many varieties of apples. It seems in the early days fruit trees had no need of spraying. All kinds of fowl were kept on the farm including fancy peacocks, If they called for rain, it rained.

Harvesting grain was heavy work, for there was no labor-saving machinery, and extra help was required. One hired man named Adam had considerable trouble getting up in the morning. One morning he was so late, that John E. called to him, "Adam, wo bist du?" And from the depths of a feather tick, Adam replied, "Ich bin doe, ova ich bin naglich on ich schaimi mich." (I am here, but I am naked and ashamed.) Who could be angry with Adam after that! The stone house must have rung with laughter many times with so many fun-loving girls and boys growing up there.

During the Winter the men in the family worked in the bush getting the supply of firewood ready for the next Winter. Long rows of hardwood were piled in the bush ready to be sawed in short lengths and split. John E. got the impression that the wood pile was getting smaller, and one day as he was walking along the edge of the woods, noticed a horse with a wagon piled high with wood coming from the direction of the wood pile. To his amazement he discovered it was a neighbor helping himself'. The man offered to put the wood back, but John E. said "oh no - that is stolen wood and I cannot keep anything that is stolen." Needless to say there was no trouble after that!

Although life was pleasant in the Brubacher household, there was growing concern over the health of the mother. Finally the doctors agreed that an operation was necessary, so on 22 June 1877 it took place. The kitchen became an operating room and the patient was put on the table. Chloroform was used to deaden pain and render the patient unconscious. Every effort was made to save the mother's life but it was of no avail for she died 5 July 1877. It was a great shock to all of the family, particularly the youngest child, Harriet, aged seven. Her funeral took place on Sunday 8 July, with ministers Amos Cressman, Abraham Martin and Moses Bauman officiating.

The family carried on and John E. married Esther, a sister of his first wife, in December 1882: John E. died 24 August 1902. His funeral service was conducted by ministers Elias Weber, Jonas Snider, and Noah Stauffer.

-- From the genealogy prepared by Olive Schweitzer (Hist.Mss.1.129/28)

Custodial history: The clippings and other items in files 1-28 were donated by Olive Schweitzer. Files 29 and 30 were donated by Robert Eby and Kevin Ann Reinhart, descendants of John E. Brubacher, in 2012.

Scope and content: The fonds consists primarily of clippings and copies of original documents, though some original documents are included.

Notes: Original archival description created by Sam Steiner.

File list:

  1. Brubacher House- clippings
  2. Brubacher clippings
  3. Harriet Brubacher (spinster)- misc.
  4. Amanda Brubacher- family tree
  5. Noah M. & Enoch M. Brubacher- misc.
  6. Benjamin M. Brubacher - (bachelor) life story, brothers and sisters
  7. John M. Brubacher- clippings, weddings, corr.
  8. Susannah Brubacher- clippings, misc. family tree information
  9. Dilman M. Brubacher-clippings, misc.
  10. Magdalena Brubacher- clippings (about descendants, not Magdalena)
  11. Nancy Brubacher- clippings, corr., misc.
  12. Mary Ann Brubacher- corr., misc
  13. David Brubacher- corr., misc.
  14. John E. Brubacher- old records, land transactions
  15. John Brubacher- 1793- written article
  16. John Brubacher- 1719-1804 - Article: The Earliest Doner Family in America
  17. Hans Brubacher- d. 1748
  18. European Origins- Palatinate- photo copied information
  19. Related genealogies
  20. Betzner/Quickfall - clippings
  21. Benjamin Brubacher- old records, misc.
  22. Family tree information
  23. Obituaries
  24. John E. Brubacher- info. about children
  25. Correspondence, family tree information
  26. Misc.- reunions, maps
  27. Newspaper clippings- Kumpf House, misc.
  28. "John E. Brubacher Family Tree" by Olive Schweitzer
  29. Family register (original)
  30. John E. Brubacher's copy book, 1843
    Scope and content: In his copybook, Brubacher recorded mathematical formulas and rules, problems and solutions regarding time, weights, measures, currency, financial transactions, and penmanship exercises. A few promissory notes are also recorded. Brubacher indicates that his teacher was Elias Eby, and that he went to school for 50 days between 1843-1844.


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