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Volume 5 No. 1 - April to September 1993

Caroline Lobsinger's Son...
Town Of Merritt, B.C. And John Allan Collett
Were Paired At Birth, And Linked Forever

By 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.

Allan 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.

Mr. 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.

Despite 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.

Up 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.

The 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 weeks."

November 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.

The 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."

The 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.

Following 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 new Mayor.

Boardwalks 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.

Reflecting 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."

The 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.

Mayor 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.

Nevertheless, like a good card-player, Allan Collett made the best of a good hand, and lost the least on a bad one.

His 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.

When 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.

The Mayor at the time, Floyd Brown, called the motion, made by Alderman Bob Baird, "probably the best motion I have ever heard in this council chamber."

At 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 Government."

John 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 heart.

Family 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.

Caroline (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.

One 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 century.

While 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.

Lorne Lobsinger's son Leonard now has two children upon whom the continuation of the George Lobsinger line rests: Kelsey and Shayne Lobsinger.

Deaths and Funerals

John Allan Collett

Allan 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.

Allan 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).

Allan 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.

Allan was named after Allen Park, and perhaps he inherited some of the characteristics of a distant grandfather, who was the Lord Mayor of London.

Allan's 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 and respected.

He 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.

The 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.

Clayton Lobsinger

A 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 to Mildmay.

Beloved 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.

Visitations 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.

Pallbearers 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.

Interment was in Sacred Heart Cemetery, Mildmay. (House of Peter)

Nancy Jean (Rutzel) Lobsinger

Nancy 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.

On 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)

John Ross "Jack" Lobsinger

John 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 Palm Beach.

Born 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.

Mr. 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)

Gilles Pfrunner

by Tony Lang

We 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.

Gilles' 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 him.

When 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 distant.

As 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.

Gilles 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.

His 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)

From The Mail Bag

Marie (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.

Rita McDonnell and Marie Bartolome, right.

She 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)

Lorne Lobsinger and
his sister Ruby Chase

Ruby (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

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.

Their 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)

Rita (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)

And 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)

Catherine (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)

Tony 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)

Irene (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)

Fay 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 of Louis)

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.

Barney and Florence Lobsinger

You 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 Louis)

Received 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 of Peter)

Irma (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 of Joseph)

Sister 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)

Rose 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.

David 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)

Dolores 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)

Anne 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 of Louis)

Tony 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.

Elmer 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)

Mary 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 Peter)

Michelle (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)

Denise (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)

James 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)

Luella 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)

Richard 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)

Dolores 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)

Luke William Lobsinger, Jr.

Ted 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)

We 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.

In vast North, priests find meaning of faith

by Barbara Klich, Special to The Catholic Register March 27, 1993, Page 20

Imagine 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.

Bishop 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.

The 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.

"We think he is a devoted and sensitive person and we are delighted he is so involved," Lobsinger said.

New Branches - Birth Announcements

Renata Sumintra Lang

Anthony 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)

Joseph Miles Lobsinger

James 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)

Joseph Curtis and Kathleen Laverne Moran

Tim and Linda Moran are the parents of twins born in March. A boy, Joseph Curtis, and a girl, Kathleen Laverne. No particulars given.

Cassandra Lee Lobsinger

Grandpa 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," Elmer reports.

John and Denise Gemma Visit Langatte, France

Marker for Langatte, France, on the ouskirts of town

Denise (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.

John and Denise Gemma on their European Vacation
in the town of Calw, Germany

They 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."

They 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.

They 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.

The 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. (dated 1891).

Apparently, 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.

There 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.

John 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.

They 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.

Oh, 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 pretty busy....

Teeswater Machinery Company Expands;
3,000 Tractors Built

By Ron Wassink, Farm Progress

TEESWATER -- Tucked in behind Teeswater, along the river of the same name a small machinery company builds memories.

The 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.

It's 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 vintage.

These aren't full size models, though, but scale models of the classics and antiques of another era.

Ireland 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.

The 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.

"We made the pulleys... all the tooling was made specially for this machine," Ireland said.

The model is an "original," he said. "There will be no other machines."

The 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.

To 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 version.

Cassidy's machine is in excellent condition. It has been retired from active service and is now used for display purposes and parades.

When 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.

The Waterloo model was chosen because Ireland said it was one of the more popular steam engines in its day.

When completed, the steamers weigh eight pounds and are 15 inches long.

First 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.

Most customers who bought a thresher want a steam engine too, he said.

And 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.

Ireland got the plans for the plow from a "working" model owned by Jim Whytock of Teeswater.

People 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.

"One collector bought four of them (threshers) and he expects the value to appreciate quickly. I do too."

This 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.

Ireland's 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.

It was a Christmas gift, but the best gift of all was the old man started talking about the good memories he had.

"It made us feel special to help bring back good memories."

Interesting 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.

The 48-page magazine will be published six times yearly and features contributing writers from across Canada.

By 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.

Steam 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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