5 No. 1 - April to September 1993
Town Of Merritt, B.C. And John Allan Collett
Were Paired At Birth, And Linked Forever
Gordon Evans-Cockle - Merritt Herald, Merritt, B.C.
On April the first, 1911,
Merritt, B.C. with a population approaching one thousand, was incorporated
as a City. Six months later, October thirty-first, Allan Collett
was born, the fourth child of Jack and Caroline (Lobsinger) Collett.
Both the city and the boy began a life-long relationship that held
together through the bulk of a tumultuous century.
Collett entered school just as the world was recovering from the
first World War, and graduated from Merritt High School as the world
entered a shattering international depression. Though insulated
from much of the strife that strained nations, Merritt suffered
its own hardships during the first quarter of the century, culminating
in municipal bankruptcy in late 1931. In April of '32, when Allan
Collett was twenty-one years old, the City was placed in receivership
by the Province, its council replaced by an appointed commissioner.
Collett witnessed at close hand the subsequent nineteen years in
receivership, after Merritt had failed to make good the Pine Mill
bonds it guaranteed in 1928. Back then, the City fathers, after
lengthy debate and study, had agreed to back the bond issue in order
to keep the mill afloat and avoid further unemployment in the valley.
Pine Mills, in turn, contracted to deliver 24 hour electrical service
to the City, and keep many of the lumber-men at work.
opening rich new logging areas, bringing in an efficient Swedish
saw, and many other efforts made by City and Mill officials to see
the contract through to maturity, the mill failed, and assets proved
unsalable, and Merritt along with nineteen other B.C. municipalities
gave up self-government. The City settled into a period of no growth.
until late 1951, Allan Collett worked with the local Board of Trade,
and Civic Improvement League to make the best of a bad hand. He
was in the forefront of those calling for a return to self-government
in the late forties, but was told by Provincial officials that the
City had to be free of all capital debt before reversion, and that
was calculated to take place January 2, 1954.
movement gained momentum in '50 and '51, and showed signs of pending
success in October of '51 when J.H. Pratt, President of the Ratepayers'
Association declared, "Home Rule will be a fact in a few short
3, 1951, an Order-In-Council for the restoration of self-government
in Merritt was passed, and twenty-seven days later the Notice of
Election appeared in the Merritt Herald. John Allan Collett, who
had been working busily in the wings for more than a decade, was
about to take centre stage.
theme of his first election set the tone for every election Allan
Collett would enter throughout his career in municipal politics.
He advocated "caution in financial business: and said he would
"make no promises of policy until the City was out of debt."
citizens of Merritt went to the polls Thursday, December 13, 1951,
and when the paper was counted, Allan Collett was declared the winner
with three times the vote of his erstwhile rival, William Barton.
the historical election which some said heralded a new beginning,
the word 'new' began appearing in more and more Herald headlines:
new well, new roads, new firetruck, new waterpump, new tractor and
new dump; if the city had stagnated through its years in receivership,
it was moving ahead with a vengeance under the leadership of its
were pulled up, cement sidewalks put down; streets, no more than
muddy tracks were paved, and those already paved were improved;
the one and a quarter inch water line "like a tangle of spaghetti,"
was unraveled and replaced with a "real water system;"
a new reservoir was built; street-lighting was expanded and improved;
the sewage treatment plant was built "with a collective capacity
for ten thousand people"; and the City's recreational and athletic
facilities were considered the best in the region.
his lifelong love and participation in sports of all kinds, when
Mayor Collett was asked about the highlight of his civic tenure,
he said, "One of the highlights, for sure, would have to be
the construction of the Nicola Valley Memorial Arena. It was an
indication of what community effort and involvement can accomplish."
arena was constructed, almost totally, by volunteer labor from Merritt
residents. In later years the Mayor joked that at one point, they
had borrowed $3,000 from one contractor in order to pay him.
Allan Collett was a definite force in the growth and development
of Merritt, but he'd be the first to admit that the relatively good
times - the fifties, and into the sixties - had helped considerable,
and even more so, he would have credited his good fortune in having
energetic and honest people to work with through the years.
like a good card-player, Allan Collett made the best of a good hand,
and lost the least on a bad one.
was an ethic shaped by hard-times, good people, and principles of
fair play learned on Merritt's hockey-rinks, tennis courts, and
baseball diamonds. As the leader of the team, he was always quick
to give others the spotlight, and never slow in accepting his share
of responsibility when the occasional plan went awry.
he finally retired from civic politics, after twenty-three years
of unexcelled leadership, his fellow council members - those who
had worked with him and others who had opposed him - were unanimous
in the decision to declare him a Freeman of the Town and name him
Honorary Mayor - the first and only time in Merritt's history the
honor has been granted.
Mayor at the time, Floyd Brown, called the motion, made by Alderman
Bob Baird, "probably the best motion I have ever heard in this
the ceremony, speaker after speaker lauded Allan Collett's accomplishments
in and out of office, with the School District's Superintendent,
McPhee, coming up with one of the more unusual compliments, when
he referred to Mayor Collett as "the Gordie Howe of Municipal
Allan Collett's life encompassed much more than civic politics;
he was one of the province's premier athletes in his younger years,
a devoted husband and father, and a dedicated rancher. But there
is no disputing that Merritt always had a special place in his heart,
and that he earned a very special place, in return in Merritt's
Gathering of the Pacific Clan of Lobsingers in 1927. From left,
Harry Collett, Jean Collett, Ruby (Lobsinger) Chase, (Mrs. Louis)
Ottillia (Voison) Lobsinger, Rita (Lobsinger) McDonnell, (Mrs. Jack)
Caroline (Lobsinger) Collett, Irene (Lobsinger) Greer, Jack Collett,
and Louis Lobsinger holding son Lorne Lobsinger.
(Lobsinger) Collett, mother of John Allan Collett, was the fifth
child of George and Maria (Uberschlag) Lobsinger. George was the
youngest son of Count Joseph Lobsinger.
of Caroline's brothers was Louis G. S. Lobsinger, a printer who
for a short time owned the Merritt Herald in the early part of the
the Lobsinger name is lost through marriage along the Collett family
line, the Lobsinger descendents of Caroline's brother Louis include
Louis' son F.A.L. (Lorne) Lobsinger and his sisters Ruby Chase,
Rita McDonnell, and Marie Bartolome, all of B.C.
Lobsinger's son Leonard now has two children upon whom the continuation
of the George Lobsinger line rests: Kelsey and Shayne Lobsinger.
was the fourth child born to Jack and Caroline (Lobsinger) Collett.
The family moved from Allen Park in Grey County, Ontario to the
Beaver Ranch at the north end of Nicola Lake, British Columbia,
in 1898. Jack worked for his brother Joe, who had purchased the
ranch in 1883, presently owned by the Guichon family. Jack later
purchased and moved to what is now the Collett Ranch in Collettville
in 1906, where Allan was born and raised.
was predeceased by his father Jack (1872-1945), mother Caroline
(1878-1932), brother Harry (1899-1985), sister Polly (1901-1909,
as well as his son, Casey (19046-1990).
was one of B.C.'s top all around athletes during the 1930s. He first
became mayor of Merritt in 1952. He went on to serve as mayor for
27 years and was proud of the fact that he was never late, nor missed
a council meeting in all of those years.
was named after Allen Park, and perhaps he inherited some of the
characteristics of a distant grandfather, who was the Lord Mayor
life was his community and the people in it, and he also had a true
love for his ranch. He was truly a B.C. legend and will be sadly
missed. He was a remarkable human being and a man everyone trusted
is lovingly remembered by his wife of 52 years, Gloria; daughter
Caroline Pound, son John Collett, and grandchildren Paula, John
and Mike Collett, Teresa Pound, and Anne Pound; and great grandchildren
Corey and Kyle Collett. Also sister-in-law Lenore Pooley, brother-in-law
Kerry Morrissey; nephews Kerry Morrissey, Jr., Mark Pooley; nieces
Maureen Bartolome, Suzie Berks, Carmen Ross, Lisa Leduc; and cousins
Lillian Shaver and Joyce Brooke.
Mass of Christian burial was celebrated by Father Andy Takach on
Friday, February 14, 1992 at 1 pm. in the Merritt Civic Centre.
Internment was in the family plot at Pine-Ridge Cemetery.
well known resident of Mildmay, On., Clayton Lobsinger, passed away
at the County of Bruce General Hospital, Walkerton on Thursday,
May 13th, 1993 in his 87th year. Mr. Lobsinger was a longtime member
of several Municipal Police Forces... Besides his police days here
in the Village of Mildmay, "Clayt" was Chief of Police
for sixteen years in the Town of Chesley. In total, Mr. Lobsinger
was associated with police forces for twenty-four years. Upon his
retirement from the Chesley Police Department, the Lobsingers' retired
husband of Phyllis McBain; Predeceased by his first wife, Clara
Detzler. Dear Father of Doreen and her husband, Bill Robson of Chesley;
Martha and her husband, Howard Weppler, of Dobbinton; Helene and
her husband Francis Ruetz, of Mildmay; and Ellen and her husband,
Robert Henley, of Perth. Brother of Leo of Collingwood and Rita
Harrison of St. Catherines. Fondly remembered by many Grandchildren
and Great Grandchildren.
were held at the Greg Roberts Funeral Home, Mildmay on Friday, with
a Vigil Service being held on Friday Evening. Funeral Mass was conducted
by Father Michael Bennett at Sacred heart Roman Catholic Church,
Mildmay on Saturday, May 15th, 1993 at Eleven o'clock.
included Grandsons William Robson, Robert Robson, Paul Robson, Terry
Robson, Michael Henley, Scottie Henley and Dave Ernst. Flower-bearers
were Great Granddaughters Vanessa and Melissa Robson, Kim Regler
and Amanda Gnepe.
was in Sacred Heart Cemetery, Mildmay. (House of Peter)
Jean (Rutzel) Lobsinger
Jean (Rutzel) Lobsinger was born August 30, 1939, and died May 1,
1993. She attended Detroit Public Schools, graduating in 1957 from
Pershing High School. She worked as a cashier at A&P Food Stores,
and as a waitress at Koss Restaurants.
December 3, 1960, she married Carl Lobsinger. Son Eric was born
the next year followed by three more sons, Jeffrey, David, and James.
Next arrived daughter Elisa and then Jeremy and Lorna to complete
their family of seven children. Those children, their spouses, and
her loving husband Carl swear she was the best mom and wife they
could wish for. She was active in fund-raising with her church and
the local school bands. She sought a working career as a tax preparer
for the Block company, and was successful in recruiting a faithful
clientele, due to her genuine friendliness. In her life she had
a hundred friends who thought they were the most important to her.
She could to that to your heart. She will be sorely missed by everyone
who ever had the pleasure to meet her. (House of Louis)
Ross "Jack" Lobsinger
Ross "Jack" Lobsinger, age 76, died Monday, August 9,
1993 after an extended illness. Funeral services were scheduled
for Thursday at 10 am at Sacred Heart Church, Lake Worth, Florida,
with graveside services at the Lake Worth Cemetery. In lieu of flowers,
donations may be made to Sacred Heart Church or Hospice of West
in Lake Worth, Florida on March 26, 1917, he was the son of Mary
Jane Ross and Luke William Lobsinger, both originally from Ontario,
Canada. He attended St. Ann's High School in West Palm Beach and
was a member of Sacred Heart Church in Lake Worth where he contributed
to it's original construction. He was a Fourth Degree member of
the Knights of Columbus and active in the local Youth Baseball Leagues
for many years. A painter by trade, Mr. Lobsinger also did some
accounting work and property rentals. Her served in the Air Force
as a Master Sergeant where he met and married Catherine Marie Davis
while stationed at Vance Air Force Base in Enid, Oklahoma during
World War II. Together they raised nine children and have 25 grandchildren
and 2 great-grandchildren.
Lobsinger was preceded in death by his parents, a brother, Luke
William, Jr., a son, Dennis Joseph, and a sister, Mary Catherine
(Lobsinger) Foster. Survivors include his wife, Catherine Marie
of the home; sons, Robert W. Lobsinger and Mark A. Lobsinger, Newkirk,
Oklahoma; John F. Lobsinger, Byron L. Lobsinger and Patrick L. Lobsinger,
Lake Worth, Florida; James R. Lobsinger, Phoenix, Arizona, Michael
E. Lobsinger, Port Saint Lucie, Florida; a daughter, Mary Ann Quinn,
Bardstown, Kentucky; two sisters, Marguerite A. Lobsinger and Barbara
J. Lobsinger of Lake Worth, Florida, and a brother, Phil Lobsinger
of Arkansas. (House of Peter)
are saddened to report that Gilles Pfrunner passed away on August
5, 1991 at the age of 28 from cancer. You may remember that it was
Gilles who assembled the genealogy of the Lobsingers in Europe.
We first became aware of his research when a US researcher found
his name in a list of genealogists in Europe. Both were researching
the Lobsinger name.
research put roots into the North American Lobsinger genealogy.
I came to know Gilles in May of 1988, when I was collecting data
for my Ph.D. thesis (an evolutionary biology study). While doing
field work in the vicinity of Karlsruhe, Germany, I decided to telephone
him at his family's home in a suburb of nearby Strasbourg, France.
I obtained a telephone number from a directory assistance operator
and telephoned the house. After some conversation with his family
in French and English, I was put onto Gilles, who agreed to meet
me and my wife Sarojini, who had joined me, and take us to the village
of Langatte, the ancestral home of the Lobsingers. Gilles was to
carry a copy of the Lobsinger newsletter so that we could identify
Sarojini and I stepped off the train at the station in Strasbourg,
we were surprised to see a young man. He turned out to be only 25,
a year younger than us. I was used to genealogical researchers being
my parents' age or older, so it was exciting to know that we would
have more things in common with our tour guide than genealogy. Gilles
found us a cozy bed-and-breakfast and packed us off in his little
Renault to his family house. There we were warmly greeted by his
father René, mother Jacqueline, sister Nadine, and younger
brother Eric. We were soon on our way to a nearby village for a
sampling of Alsatian specialties in a lovely restaurant situated
in an ancient barn. There we were treated to "tarte flambée"
("flammekuche" in German) and Alsatian wine. The next
morning, Gilles picked us up in his parents' bigger Peugeot, and
we were off to Langatte, in the province of Lorraine, some 60 km
I stood in front of Andoni Lobsinger's house and tried to imagine
him building it in the late 1700s (see Vol. 1, No. 4 and Vol. 2,
No. 1), it finally sunk in that I was descended from Lobsingers.
My mother's parents died when she was a teenager, so I had not identified
strongly with Lobsingers up until the trip to Langatte. That evening
we were treated to a delightful meal and more Alsatian wine at the
Pfrunner home in Strasbourg.
saw us off the next afternoon after we had toured the old city centre.
We talked about his plans to travel around Canada and the U.S. the
following year and to visit various Lobsingers. I promised to take
him canoeing in Algonquin Provincial park in Ontario. Unfortunately,
the next year he wrote to say that he was ill and would not be able
to come to North America that year.
sister Nadine recently wrote to us to send us a picture of her cute
little son, Julien, and to break the bad news of Gilles' death to
us. His passing had been hard on the family and the mourning had
been long. Nadine wrote that little Julien has brightened his grandparents'
lives and helped them to get over their grieving. Fortunately, Gilles
had the chance to know Julien before he died. Although we only knew
Gilles briefly, we will miss him and will always be grateful to
him for letting us touch a part of our past. (House of Pierre)
The Mail Bag
(Lobsinger) Bartolome, of Mission, B.C., whom we had the pleasure
of visiting in June, writes that she has a new great grandson, born
since our visit, but she failed to mention his name. She also reports
that her granddaughter passed away unexpectedly of a heart attack.
McDonnell and Marie Bartolome, right.
has by now completed a 4 day trip with the "Old Age Pensioners"
to the islands between the mainland and Vancouver Island, and in
August, she and her sister Rita (Lobsinger) McDonnell visited friends
up the Campbell River on Vancouver Island. Marie says she doesn't
take long trips anymore. But she's doing quite nicely for her 90
something years. (House of George)
his sister Ruby Chase
(Lobsinger) Chase, of Nanaimo, B.C., was another member of the Lobsinger
clan we had the privilege of visiting in June. She is sister to
Marie and Rita above, and another very fond of world traveling,
and has visited nearly every country in the world. Ruby sent us
the photo of Allan Collett that is in this issue, as well as the
news clips on his life and death. She also reports that her brother
Lorne's son Leonard and his two boys, Shane and Kelsey spent a few
days visiting with her and her daughter Penny and husband Al Spidel.
(House of George)
Al and Penny
Spidel and her husband Al were wonderful hosts in June when we had
the pleasure of visiting and sightseeing in B.C. Outside of their
dining room window is a tall tree with an eagle's nest in it. While
we were there, the eagle family had one young one in the nest. Penny
reports that the young bird has finally learned to fly, and that
they are fascinated by the progress it has made since we were there.
daughter Alicia is studying to be a psychologist, and their son
Mike, who has set records kyaking the costal waterways, has now
started his own environmental recycling business. (House of George)
(Lobsinger) McDonnell of Chiliwack, B.C., also dropped us a nice
note on what she has been up to since we visited there in June.
She is Marie and Ruby's (above) sister, and with Lorne (below) make
up the elders of the Pacific Lobsinger clan. (House of George)
of course, we've been corresponding with F.A. (Lorne) and Elly Lobsinger
of Maple Ridge, B.C. Lorne is our personal, self-appointed guide
to the wonders of British Columbia, and we appreciate his time and
trouble, because he's been everywhere and done just about everything
there is to do in that part of the country. This trip, we visited
Whistler Ski Resort, Harrison Hot Springs, toured Vancouver, and
then Victoria before we headed home. (House of George)
(Kay) Warner of Kitchener, ON., asks to be put on our mailing list.
She is the former Catherine Schnurr, widow of the late Wilfred (Biff)
Lobsinger. After Wilfred's death in 1977, she married Don Warner
in 1981. Warner died in 1986. She sends information on her children
Morris, Lowel, Dennis, Sherry, and Rosalind, and their families
to help us keep our records updated, and says her daughter Sherry
would also like to receive the newsletter. We have put them both
on the mailing list. (House of Peter)
and Sarojini Lang of Toronto, ON., write that their first child
as arrived, and Grandmother Lang was quick to visit her first grandchild.
They have also toured the Ontario Agricultural Museum at Campbellville,
ON., and took photos of the three different Lobsinger Brothers threshing
machines on display there, as well as the Lobsinger combine. The
Lobsinger Brothers cider mill also forms the centerpiece of the
museum's Ontario apple industry display. Tony says, "With that
much Lobsinger memorabilia, the museum should become a pilgrimage
site for the family." (House of Peter)
(Lobsinger) Nicholson of Kitchener, ON., sent us an address change
for Kevin White who has moved to Cambridge, ON., and we appreciate
that notice. Kevin is the grandson of Dorothea (Lobsinger) and Herb
Bellinger. (House of Louis)
E Lobsinger also sent us a change of address notice, since she has
moved to a different apartment in Sarnia, ON. We think she is the
wife of Douglas Lobsinger, son of Oscar Lobsinger of the House of
Louis, but we're not sure yet, since she hasn't confirmed it. (House
Barney Lobsinger of
Windsor, ON., sent us a package of newspaper clips and some genealogical
charts on some of the members of his family, and the article from
the Catholic Register on Bishop Thomas Lobsinger.
and Florence Lobsinger
remember Barney, don't you? He's the professional wrestler we featured
several issues ago. Barney has some news of his own - he got married
on March 2, 1993, and a photo of himself and wife Florence is printed
in this issue somewhere. Barney says he is 79, and she isn't. He
would also like to hear from any of the other Lobsingers out there.
Anyone care to drop him a note, address it to Barney Lobsinger,
150 Park Street W., Apt. 1401, Windsor, On., N9A-7A2. (House of
a note from Paul Lobsinger, and sent him our complete Lobsinger
data base on computer disk. He's going to convert it over from Macintosh
format to IBM compatible format and pass it on to whoever wants
a copy. It contains information on 4,224 individuals so far, all
descendents of a 16th Century Lobsinger in Langatte, France. (House
(Lobsinger) Toffler of Coral Gables, Fl., sent us a new address
and asked us to be sure she stays on the mailing list. She will.
She says she enjoys reading all these little bits of information
from her "extended family" all across the continent. (House
Gertrude Ludwig, Peterborough, On., sent us her new address, too.
She says she looks forward to identifying more relatives in each
issue and hearing indirectly from many she has already met. She
has worked and lived at the Woodland Residence for ladies for the
past ten years, but is now moving on to an easier job visiting residents
at Marycrest Home for the Aged in Peterborough. She also sent some
more information on the family of Louis Lobsinger and his children.
Gertrude is the grand daughter of one of those children, Catherine
(Lobsinger) Fornwald. (House of Louis)
Marie (Lobsinger) Heisz, Mildmay, On., sent us an invitation to
the 1993 Mildmay-Carrick 75th Anniversary Homecoming Celebration
that was held July 29 to August 2 this summer. Rose Marie served
as co-chairman of the celebration which must have been a wonderful
party. Unfortunately, we had already used our vacation time in June.
She is a descendent of August Lobsinger, and owns the home he built
in Mildmay ... the oldest home in the village, built in 1856.
Lobsinger, Royal Oak, Mi., writes to inform us of the passing of
his mother, Nancy Jean Lobsinger, and he asks us to reprint an obituary
notice in this issue for her. David also reports that his brother
James and his wife Jill have a new baby boy name Joseph Miles Lobsinger,
born May 17, 1993, weighing 6 lbs, 10 oz and 20 inches long. David
graduated recently and we mentioned that in a recent newsletter...
David says he received his Bachelors in Chemical Engineering, not
his Masters, as we had reported. (House of Louis)
and John Schmidt of Mildmay, On., report that they did a little
traveling during the winter, visiting Arizona and Nevada before
visiting John's sister and her family in California. Then they all
took a cruise on "The Love Boat," out of LA, visiting
6 ports on the Mexican Riviera. That's when the flu hit them. Anyway,
recovered, they visited Ft. Meyers, Fl., and were headed through
Atlanta on the way home when something fell off a truck, ruined
their vehicle, and forced them to enjoy the Georgia countryside
during the "Storm of '93" that hit about that time. They
did make it home safely, however. Their son Jack has moved to Mississauga
to be closer to work, and seem to like the new location. Dolores
also reports that Crissy and Jim Goetz eldest son Peter married
Catherine Dow in April. (House of Peter)
Schnarr, Ahwahnee, Ca., sent a short note and says thanks for the
newsletters. We appreciate that, but newsletters need news - so
next time tell us what's going on in your world, please?! (House
Lang, Toronto, On., writes that he and Sarojini are thoroughly enjoying
their new daughter Ranata Sumintra, and all the excitement that
goes along with a new arrival. He also sadly informs us that our
cousin in France, Gilles Pfrunner passed away in 1991. The Pfrunner
family hosted Tony on a visit to the old Lobsinger homestead in
Langatte, France a few years back. It was research by Gilles that
connected the Lobsingers in Canada with the ones in St. Louis and
the old family in France.
C. Lobsinger, Hamilton, On., recently returned some family charts
we had sent him. He added the missing dates and names so that the
information on his branch of the family is now pretty much up to
date. (House of Louis)
Ann (Lobsinger) Quinn sends word that she is moving again, this
time from Bardstown, Ky., to Bloomfield, Ky., where she and husband
Mike have purchased an old 43 acre "tobacco" plantation.
Mary Ann and Mike have 6 kids and moved to Kentucky for the rural
environment, where they have no plans to grow tobacco. (House of
(Lobsinger) Aldrich, Council Bluffs, Ia., returned some charts on
her family that helped us bring things up to date. She is one of
the members of the Dakota branch of the House of George, and are
long lost cousins of the Pacific Clan - Rita, Marie, Lorne and Ruby.
(House of George)
(Schnarr) Gemma sent us photos and some interesting information
on her trip to Langatte, France last summer. She also sent the photos
of the area that are printed with their story, and also filled out
and returned some family charts for us so the data base is a little
more accurate than it was before. (House of Louis)
B. Franklin, Amarillo, Tx., says he enjoyed the last newsletter
featuring the article about his father Dr. Oliver M. Franklin. His
brother Ted wrote a book about their dad's accomplishments as a
veterinarian. We also appreciate the large donation to the postage
fund. (House of Paul)
M. Lee, Miami, Fl., says she and her sister Irma Toffler keep hoping
we will visit South Florida and stop by; one of these days we will.
Luella just celebrated her 81st birthday, too! (House of Joseph)
C. Lobsinger, Waterloo, sent us the clipping from the Farm Progress
newspaper published in Ontario which contains the story about the
Teeswater Machinery Company which built the model Lobsinger Threshing
Machines. Also sent new address. (House of Louis)
Tschirhart, Ferndale, Mi., sent postage money and the following
note: "I'm not sure if I have already sent it to you, but that's
OK because I thoroughly enjoy the newsletter and feel its worth
every cent." Thank you for the compliment. Fact is, we don't
keep very good track. The money goes into an envelope and as long
as there is enough for the next issue, we don't worry about it too
much. When it gets short, I pay the difference. Only thing is, we
hate to mail 'em out and see 'em come back, so keep sending those
address changes. It really helps. We mail out over 500 of these
things now. (House of Louis)
My dad, John Ross (Jack)
Lobsinger, of Lake Worth, Fl., asked me to print a photo of his
younger brother Luke William Lobsinger, Jr., which was taken while
he was in the seminary in Louisiana during World War II. Luke was
in the Jesuit Seminary, then decided to study medicine at their
medical college. Later, in the service, he was killed in Italy about
15 days before the war ended. It was dad's last request, as he passed
away himself on August 9, 1993. (House of Peter)
William Lobsinger, Jr.
Franklin, Bryan, Tx., who wrote the book about his dad, Oliver Morris
Franklin, featured in the last newsletter, also sent us updated
material on his branch of the family, and we appreciate the new
information. (House of Paul)
were hoping to have some information on the 50th Wedding anniversary
of Mr. and Mrs. Philip A. Lobsinger of Lake Worth, Fl., and Huntsville,
Ar. but so far all we know is that the celebration was held on Sunday,
April 25th at 2 pm in the American Legion Hall in Lake Worth, Fl.
Somebody send us a few photos and a story about what happened, and
we'll put it all in the next issue.
vast North, priests find meaning of faith
Barbara Klich, Special to The Catholic Register March 27, 1993,
a geographical area 70 times larger than the Archdiocese of Toronto
with 7,500 Catholics and only 22 missions to serve their spiritual
needs. That is the Diocese of Whitehorse.
Thomas Lobsinger, O.M.I., bishop for Whitehorse, said in a telephone
interview that the missions are served by nine lay people and three
religious sisters. He hopes a man now in the seminary will return
to the area and assist him in this work in the North.
man is 55 year old Andrew "Mickey" Anderson, who is now
at Mount Angel Seminary in Oregon, U.S.A. Lobsinger said that Anderson
worked for many years as an accountant with National Broadcasting
Corporation in the United States, but decided that he wanted something
deeper in his life. According to Bishop Lobsinger, Anderson really
enjoyed this work and decided that he would take his life a step
further and become a priest.
think he is a devoted and sensitive person and we are delighted
he is so involved," Lobsinger said.
Branches - Birth Announcements
and Sarojini (nee Ramnarine) Lang are pleased to announce the arrival
of Renata Sumintra, born on May 1st, 1993, weighing 6 lbs., 6 ounces
at Mount Sinai Hospital, Toronto, Canada. Paternal grandparents
are Hellmut and Leona (Lobsinger) Lang. (House of Peter)
and Jill Lobsinger announce the arrival of a son, Joseph Miles,
born May 17,. 1993. Joseph weighed in at 6 lbs, 10 oz., and was
20 inches long. Joseph is a grandson of Carl and the late Nancy
Jean Lobsinger of Warren, Mi. (House of Louis)
Curtis and Kathleen Laverne Moran
and Linda Moran are the parents of twins born in March. A boy, Joseph
Curtis, and a girl, Kathleen Laverne. No particulars given.
Elmer C. Lobsinger announces the birth of his grand daughter Cassandra
Lee Lobsinger. She was born to his son Robert and his wife Christine
on November 21, 1992. "Other than that, things have been quiet,"
and Denise Gemma Visit Langatte, France
for Langatte, France, on the ouskirts of town
(Schnarr) Gemma and her husband John took advantage of a once in
a lifetime opportunity to put the business world on hold and take
a seven week carefree summer (1992) tour of Germany, Switzerland,
Austria, and Italy, with 10 days left over for the Greek island
of Santorini at the end for recuperation purposes. While traveling
down the Rhein River in Germany, they decided to take a day and
check out Langatte, France, just across the border. They wanted
to take a mini-tour of the Lobsinger heritage, and found it was
quite an experience.
On Friday, August 28,
1992, they drove into France and found Langatte. Denise had a general
idea of where it was - about an hour and a half across the German
border. But it was so small that even when they were in the general
vicinity, people couldn't tell them where it was. It was scorching
hot and they didn't have air in the car, so it was miserable driving
around looking for the little village. Eventually, they found the
town, very charming, but very old and run down. Denise says there
were lots of barn-style houses, a tavern and a church. "It
was like nothing else we've seen so far on the trip," she says.
and Denise Gemma on their European Vacation
in the town of Calw, Germany
visited the old church there - it reminded her of the church in
St. Clements., On. They found Antoine Lobsinger's house (built in
1806) after spending about a half hour looking for it. It was very
beat up and is now used for agricultural storage, she says. John
stuck his head in a window and a cow bellowed in his ear, scaring
the "bejeebers out of us."
couldn't find the Lobsinger grave markers they were looking for
(crosses they had seen in earlier newsletters) so they asked some
French folks in the tavern. They didn't have a French translator
book so it was very interesting. The whole bar got involved looking
at the photos she had and some man eventually told them to follow
him to his house.
didn't know what for, but they followed. When they arrived, he brought
out his teenage daughter who spoke a little English and they explained
to her what was going on. She told her dad that they were from California
and the name on the cross was one of Denise's ancient relatives.
Frenchman nodded and pointed across the street. The marker was located
directly across from his house and he knew it well. No wonder they
didn't find it on their own, as it was just slightly out of town
- about two miles away in Gossomille. How lucky can one get! Ask
someone in a bar for help and the marker was located across the
street from his home! It was the monument of Margaretha Lobsinger.
Denise says, these folks bury their relatives in their yards, and
her tavern friend was also proud to show them the graves in his
front yard. They also found another Lobsinger grave that they didn't
know was there. They found it just by stopping to look when they
passed by. It was Charles Lobsinger and Anne Marie Wetzner, dated
1825. Charles was a son of Denise's sixth great grandparents - her
sixth great uncle. The monument was just out in the middle of a
field along a dirt road they were traveling.
were graves everywhere in the town. Denise thought it a strange
custom. In people's yards, in walkways, on corners, in fields, etc....
graves everywhere. Since they bury the dead on their own property,
these graves are now located all through the town that grew up around
them. Denise and John spent about two hours driving around and inspecting
little things in Langatte and then left for Baden-Baden in the Schwarzwald
(Black Forest) of Germany.
and Denise had talked about taking the trip for several years and
found themselves in a position last summer to be able to shut down
their business world and just do it. John Gemma started his own
computer consulting business in 1989. His area of expertise was
in the design and installation of local area networks and systems,
and custom programming. Denise left her job as a Transportation
Planner in July of '92, just before they left of their trip, as
they were planning on starting a family, too.
are currently marketing one of his custom programs, called Litigation
Tracking System (LTS). It's a computer software package for corporate
legal staff with emphasis on in-house legal department needs. It
acts as a comprehensive tool for organizing and retrieving case
data, and producing executive litigation reports. Any attorneys
out there in the clan who work in large corporations? Give Gemma
Systems a call at (717) 492-1521. John and Denise might have what
your legal eagles need to keep track of things.
by the way, John and Denise were expecting their first baby this
summer on July 25th, the anniversary of their departure to Europe.
We haven't received a birth announcement yet, but new parents are
Machinery Company Expands;
3,000 Tractors Built
Ron Wassink, Farm Progress
-- Tucked in behind Teeswater, along the river of the same name
a small machinery company builds memories.
factory is actually a renovated, two-story henhouse. The first floor
contains the machinery - drill presses, saws, grinders and polishers.
The second floor is the paint shop and assembly area.
a hobby-turned-business for ex-dairy farmer Bill Ireland. In almost
six years (four as a hobby), Teeswater's "industrialist"
figures he's built about 3,000 tractors - mostly of the antique
aren't full size models, though, but scale models of the classics
and antiques of another era.
is concentrating his efforts on finishing 300 models of the infamous
Lion thresher, which was built in the now extinct Lobsinger Bros.
factory in Mildmay. The model threshers were commissioned by the
Bruce County committee of the International Plowing Match.
1/16th scale thresher is hand-built and has 22 pulleys, nine belts,
stacker hood, blower and steel wheels. For the production run, Ireland
needed 6,600 pulleys, 1,200 wheels and 1,800 tiny wood slats for
the feeder chain.
made the pulleys... all the tooling was made specially for this
machine," Ireland said.
model is an "original," he said. "There will be no
Lobsingers built The Lion from 1936 to 1962, and for a few years
after, the company rebuilt threshers. The Mildmay threshing machine
company was started in the 1880s by the Hergott family.
build the model, Ireland travelled to the agricultural museum in
Milton to see a Mildmay thresher. And he used Teeswater reeve Graeme
Cassidy's thresher to take the measurements for the scaled-down
machine is in excellent condition. It has been retired from active
service and is now used for display purposes and parades.
production started, it took many hours to complete the first models,
like four hours for scroll work and pin striping. Now, Ireland and
his crew of four full-time and two part-time employees can build
a Lobsinger thresher in about 10 hours. Work will begin in a few
weeks on a traction engine, to complement the thresher.
Waterloo model was chosen because Ireland said it was one of the
more popular steam engines in its day.
completed, the steamers weigh eight pounds and are 15 inches long.
choice of the steam engines goes to the people who bought threshing
machines. Ireland has a list of hopeful buyers wanting to buy one,
but he doesn't hold out much hope for them.
customers who bought a thresher want a steam engine too, he said.
finally, the Bruce IPM committee ordered and is selling 1,000 one-furrow
plows, which were originally made right in Teeswater by the Bruce
County Agricultural Works.
got the plans for the plow from a "working" model owned
by Jim Whytock of Teeswater.
buying the threshers, steamers and plows are mostly retired farmers,
Ireland said, or their families bought the unique farm toys as Christmas
gifts. Many serious toy collectors are also buyers.
collector bought four of them (threshers) and he expects the value
to appreciate quickly. I do too."
is Ireland's first thresher project, but already it has led to other
groups looking to get certain models built for shows or fund raisers
like Renfrew and Waterloo counties and the Lambton County Museum.
favorite story is of an elderly grandfather, who had regressed and
virtually stopped all communication with his family. That was until
the family visited Ireland's toy shop and bought a brand-new Cockshutt
#30 tractor... the exact same model the grandfather used many years
earlier on his farm.
was a Christmas gift, but the best gift of all was the old man started
talking about the good memories he had.
made us feel special to help bring back good memories."
stories are what Ireland hears all the time when people see the
tractors and machinery he's building. All the news is being collected
for his new Canada-wide toy magazine, Canadian Antique Power.
48-page magazine will be published six times yearly and features
contributing writers from across Canada.
the way, if you were hoping to buy a thresher, you're too late.
The $250 machines sold out in four and a half months.
traction engines are $250, but they're first being offered to thresher
buyers. Plows are still available at $45. Teeswater Custom Tractor
is about one mile east of Teeswater on Concession 6, 392-6733.
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