As a child I went with my parents to the home of my great grandfather Gutwein.
I remember him lying in a hospital bed, attended by his nurse. Somehow
his helpless state belied the strength and leadership he exhibited for so many
As a child I went with my parents to the home of my great grandfather Gutwein. I remember him lying in a hospital bed, attended by his nurse. Somehow his helpless state belied the strength and leadership he exhibited for so many years.
But his failing health did not diminish the love and respect we had for the patriarch of our family. His influence was far-reaching and profound. As descendents of Phillip Gutwein, Sr. we all share a rich heritage, blessed of God.
One cannot learn much of the Gutwein family history without
sensing that it is much more than a story of humans left to their own decisions
and devices. My great uncle Adam summed it up beautifully with these words: "It
was not human forethought. It was God-directed, the whole thing."
One cannot learn much of the Gutwein family history without sensing that it is much more than a story of humans left to their own decisions and devices. My great uncle Adam summed it up beautifully with these words: "It was not human forethought. It was God-directed, the whole thing."
It is my prayer that we as a family will continue to follow the
God of our fathers.
An attempt to write a family history can only be successful when many persons give of themselves.
Both relatives and friend in the community of Francesville, Indiana, have assisted greatly in my efforts to write the Gutwein family history. In spite of my endless questions, I was received warmly and this endeavor was supported enthusiastically.
My great Uncle Adam, the only living child of Phillip, Sr.,
graciously provided both details and insight as no one else could.
(Note: Adam Gutwein passed away 5/3/1990 and his
wife Lydia passed away 1/6/1996.)
Lenny Kupfer of Visalia, California, researched family history during visits to Europe. She happily shared her findings regarding the Gutwein family.
The family records compiled by Jerry J. Gutwein were most
Jolene Hackman’s patient deciphering brought my scribbles into
My parents, Lewis and Edith, and my Aunt Helen spent long hours
sharing their recollections.
As always, my husband Eric has been tremendously helpful and
My sincere thanks to each one who has made the completion of this
October 1, 1985
As a father and mother and their six
youngsters stood on a dock at Haveray, France, waiting to board a ship, there
must have been feelings of both anticipation and uncertainty. It was 1906, and
Phillip Gutwein, his wife Louisa, and their children had just left Cservenka and
were headed for America.
Cservenka, Austria Hungary had been the home of the Gutweins for several
generations - since 1784, in fact. It was then that a group of Germans,
including the Johann Ludwig Gutwein family, first arrived there.
On August 28, 1731, in Iggelheim.
Germany, Johann Ludwig was born to Johann Christian and Anna Barbara (Lutzel)
Gutwein. He ‘married a 19-year-old woman, Maria Barbara Weiss, on February 10,
1756. She was the daughter of Johann Adam Weiss, a shoemaker, and Anna Christian
Ludwig and Maria had nine children born
in Niederkirchen, Germany, between 1756 and 1780. Their names were
Maria Christina, Adam Friedrich
Wilhelm. Johann Carl, Maria Catherina, Johann Peter, Johann Ludwig, Maria
Barbara, Jakob, and Ludwig. Johann Ludwig was a “chirurg” (surgeon), as was his
father. He was also a “barbier” (barber).
At the age of 53. Johann Ludwig was
chosen as speaker and leader of a group of 71 persons who were united in a
common goal - to leave their home to find freedom. Having paid a “manumission” (10% of all they owned) to the king, they then
obtained permission to leave Germany, and were planning to go to Galicia in
Southern Poland. But somehow a mix-up in the paperwork in Vienna changed their
course and their lives.
Instead of going to Poland the Gutweins
found themselves bound for the province of Batschka in Southern Hungary, an area
newly acquired by the Austrians to serve as a buffer zone against the Turks (who
had been defeated by Prince Savoy in 1686, and were considered a threat to the
Austrian Empire). Germans were enticed to populate this area, being offered both
tax-free property for three years and an escape from their life of bondage.
(Other Germans, urged by Empress Katharine II, left their homeland to settle in
Russia, and still others crossed the sea to settle in America).
Prior to 1781 the Gutweins would not
have been permitted in southern Hungary. Only persons of the Roman Catholic
faith were allowed to immigrate there until Kaiser Josef II granted religious
tolerance to the Protestants. (When Johann Ludwig registered for passage on July
8, 1784, in Vienna, his religion was listed as “Reformed Faith.”)
The group that traveled to their new
southern Hungary home consisted of fifteen married couples, thirty-eight
children, and three single adults. Among these were Franz Schmidt, two Dech
families, two Hess families, and families by the name of Edinger, Hassman,
Scherer, Schwarz, Stader, Staudt, Weber and Welder. And, of course, the Johann
Ludwig Gutwein family.
When this group arrived in Southern
Hungary, they found that the inhabitants of many of the towns were Russian and
Serbia as well as Hungarian. But all of the residents of Cservenka, their new
home, were German. (Cservenka had almost 6,000 residents up until World War II.
At that time it, along with just one other town in the area, Neu Pasua, still
had the distinction of being inhabited by all Germans). It is understandable
that immigrants chose to settle close to those from the same area of their
homeland, finding it desirable to be near others with the same dialect, customs
It was in 1906 that a Gutwein family
again became classified as ‘emigrants.” This time they were leaving Cservenka,
Austria Hungary, not Germany; and they were not leaving to escape an undesirable
situation. Their life was good.
Phillip Gutwein was born in Cservenka on February 11. 1861. On February 18,
1884, he married Louisa Koch (born March 13, 1857). Phillip’s father was a
minister. Louisa’s father was the city mayor and the treasurer of the State
Lutheran Church of Cservenka.
The one daughter and seven sons of
Phillip and Louisa were also born in Cservenka: Phillip, Jr. on January 5, 1885;
Louis on July 14, 1886; Angela on July 25, 1888; Conrad on March 25, 1890; Fred
on February 18, 1892; Adam on February 21, 1894; John on June 7, 1896; and Carl
on November 2, 1902.
Phillip, Sr., was a minister, as his
father had been. He worked fervently to bring converts to the Christian faith.
It must be noted that a strong commitment to teaching and following Biblical
principles characterized the Gutwein family
and is an integral, common thread that runs through many generations.
Financially, the Phillip Gutwein, Sr., family was prosperous. Phillip was co-owner (with his brother-in-law) and business manager of the very successful Gutwein-Schmidt Milling Company. He also owned a farm.
Although their farm was primarily
operated by hired hands, son Louis sometimes stayed at the private house there
and helped with the faming. Other sons had responsibilities on the farm as well.
Adam served as the grape presser, stamping grapes with his bare feet as they
were brought in from the vineyards. The farm was about twenty miles from
Cservenka, but the family’s Arabian horses could make the trip quickly.
The Gutwein’s spacious and beautifully furnished Cservenka home occupied the
same block as the mill, the mill’s retail store, the church, and the maids’
Children of Cservenka were taught in
public schools, and education was taken seriously. Conrad Gutwein was taught by
a Jewish Rabbi. Some young children, like Adam, attended night classes as well
as daytime classes. When formal education ended at age twelve, children chose
their lives’ occupations and served in apprenticeships.
Adam was an example of a typically hard-working Cservenka child.
He sold small bags of flour in the retail store next to the family’s mill. (He
spoke German, Hungarian and Serbian to the customers. Although Cservenka was
all-German, people from neighboring towns spoke other languages). After
completing his schooling, he chose to work as an apprentice in a relative’s
department store, but at the age of twelve found himself enroute to America
The trip from Europe to America in
April, 1906, began with the Gutweins relatives and friends gathered on their
home’s large patio to say farewell. After tears, kisses and good-byes, Father
Phillip, Louisa and their youngest son, Carl, were taken by a relative with a
horse and buggy to the next town ten miles away. Angela, Conrad, Fred, Adam and
John began to walk the distance along the canal shore, but were soon invited by
the captain of a passing ship to come aboard. Upon rejoining their parents, they
all boarded a train to France where their journey across the seas began.
The ship to America had three classes:
first (upper), second (middle), and third (lower). As first class passengers,
the Gutweins had fine accommodations and were served wonderful meals. They more
fully realized the desirability of their upper deck position as seasickness took
its toll on all three levels.
The eight-day ocean voyage ended at New York. There the Gutweins boarded a train to their destination, Fairbury, Illinois, where they would be reunited with the other two family members.
Phillip and Louisa’s two oldest sons,
Phillip, Jr. and Louie, had led the way to America. At the ages of 19 and 18
they left Cservenka. Young men were being drafted into the army there, and
although Louis wanted to enlist, he could not get the position he sought. So
with Phillip’s aspirations to become an engineer and Louie’s love for farming,
they left their home and arrived in Fairbury, Illinois, in 1904. Phillip began
designing turbines for Allis Chalmers Implements, and Louie was employed by a
farmer, Sam Roth.
(a June, 1980 account by Adam had Louis employed by a
lumber dealer, Nick Bach).
Phillip and Louis wrote and encouraged their parents to come to
America, too, and Phillip, Sr. and Louisa considered their sons’ request. They
knew that if just the two of them went, the children, household and farm would
be well cared for by the maids and farm help. But father Phillip also knew that
his wife would be worried about the children. So after much deliberation, a
decision was reached. They would leave everything intact, take the children and
all go see America. If they did not like what they found, they would return to
their Cservenka home.
Upon arrival in America, the family was committed to fit in
quickly to the new culture. (They had even studied English on their eight-day
trip across the ocean, attempting to learn as much as possible in that short
time). The very morning after they arrived in Fairbury, Conrad, Fred, Adam and
John eagerly started school. They were treated graciously by the teacher and
other students. Although they were of necessity placed in the primer class,
where the tables were much too small, someone had thoughtfully put a card table
in the classroom prior to their arrival.
When the boys opened their reading books they were delighted to
see that English (Latin) letters were the same as Hungarian.
(They were as fluent in Hungarian as in German).
The teacher asked if they could read from their books, and they quickly
assured her they could. Conrad,
being the oldest, was the first to read aloud.
But his brothers soon noticed that the other students were becoming very
restless and whispering to each other.
They began punching Conrad, and finally got him to stop reading.
Then the teacher, trying to look sober, told her new students to follow
along as she read. But it seemed to
them as if she were reading from a different book. The problem?
Knowing just the alphabet was sufficient to read German or Hungarian, but not to
read English. Conrad was
pronouncing the word “one”, “oh-nay”, the word “two”, “to-woe”, etc.
When the four Gutwein boys got home from school that day they
told their father there was no use going back, as they just could not understand
English. But they quickly overcame
their obstacles, and from the time they arrived in April until the end of the
school year they had advanced to the level of fourth grade.
Although strangers, the boys were
warmly received in their first American school.
Marble shooting was a favorite free-time activity.
The other children generously shared their marbles, and taught them
the rules of this game previously unknown to the European children.
By and large the entire family was
well received and adjusted quickly to their new environment. Father Phillip was
absolutely convinced that it was God that led the family to America, and he
never regretted their decision to come see this new land. Mother Louisa did find
caring for her large family and home hard at times, missing the luxurious
life-style (and the help of her two maids) to which she was accustomed.
Soon after the family settled into the
Fairbury home which they had rented from a banker, Father Phillip and Louis
began their search for farmland. They traveled for weeks through many western
states, but found nothing they wanted to purchase. It was then that someone
suggested they go east to Indiana. Their search for land ended there when a land
agent named Mr. Cocks took them to see a 740 acre farm southwest of a small
rural town called Francesville.
On October 25. 1906, Phillip Gutwein
obtained the deed for the “North West Quarter of Section seventeen Township
Twenty-nine North Range Four West of the 2nd P.M.” from Earl and Eula C.
Goodwine of Hoopston, Illinois. He paid $8,700.00, partly with a down payment
and the rest by taking out a loan (at about 4% interest). He did not pay all
cash, as he had not yet sold his property back in Austria Hungary.
Phillip paid top dollar for the
farmland he purchased, as it was the best available, cultivated and fairly flat
and high, unlike the surrounding swampland. The land had some bushes and trees,
which were later, cleared using a steam engine and log chains. (The Indians who
had previously occupied this area, known as the Blue Sea, had lived on the high
spots in the midst of the marsh). The Monon ditch, which emptied into Lake
Shafer, was used for drainage.
Phillip and Louisa and their youngest
child Carl returned to Austria Hungary several times to settle their business
affairs there. They brought some of their fine furniture and other furnishings,
such as an exquisite crystal chandelier, from Cservenka to their American home.
In the fall of 1906, the Gutweins left Illinois and moved into a
newly built home in Francesville, Indiana. They rented that home until the next
spring when they moved to a rental house on their property one mile south and
two miles west of Francesville. Just one mile east of that location was the
site, which became the “home place.” There a small house (which had been
occupied by renters) was torn down and work on a new home was begun. In 1908, a
builder named Mr. Brenneman finished the spacious 6-bedroom country home with
its two-foot thick stone foundation, big pillars, and modern conveniences such
as a hot air furnace. (This home has been well and lovingly cared for, and
continues to be occupied by members of the Gutwein family).
World War I broke out in Europe several
years after the Gutweins left there. Having seven sons, they would have
certainly been personally affected. Sons of many of their acquaintances in
Cservenka were killed in the war.
In America, the Gutwein sons who were
eligible age-wise were not drafted for service in World War I. Conrad was called
to Winamac to sign up for service,
then excused because he was a farmer and had children. Several of the others had
completed their Declarations of Intentions for naturalization (Phillip was the
first of the family to sign his, doing so on March 20, 1907), but their U.S.
citizenship had not yet been granted. So these young men were simply required to
register as “aliens” at the local past office.
This family, so obviously of German
descent, never felt discriminated against at a time when strong anti-German
sentiment was prevalent in much of the country. This can no doubt be explained
in part by the fact that the Francesville area was occupied primarily by other
immigrants of the same descent. (Upon arrival there, Phillip found that he could
converse with the German-speaking merchants). Also, the Gutweins were
financially self-sufficient and well respected in the community.
So both physically and psychologically World War I had minimal
impact on the Gutwein family. This part of the country, and therefore the
Gutweins as well, also escaped the 1918 flu epidemic that claimed thousands of
In spite of their new surroundings, the Christian faith and warship continued to
play an integral role in the lives of the Gutweins. When they first arrived in
Fairbury, they renewed their acquaintance with a German family, the Kaisners,
who were associated with an American church called “Apostolic Christian.” (In
Europe, the denomination that both of these families belonged to was called “The
New Believers.” Their nickname was “Baptists” because they practiced baptism by
It was an Apostolic Christian Church
that Phillip, the minister, started in Francesville. Upon arrival there, the
family began to have worship services in their home. It was soon learned that a
number of Christian believers owned land in the Francesville area, but had it
rented out and lived elsewhere because there was no church of their faith there.
But after Phillip’s arrival, many of these people came to live in Francesville.
The Gutwein’s horse and buggy was busy for several springs, meeting the new
arrivals at the train station. Among those moving to Francesville in 1907 were
the families of Jacob Boehning, Albert Gudeman, Ernest Anliker, Will Bachtold,
Sam Walter, and Henry Bollinger. These families joined the small congregation,
taking turns holding Sunday services in their homes.
In 1909 a house was purchased on the
west edge of Francesville. It was remodeled so that the downstairs could be used
for a kitchen and dining area and the upstairs for a sanctuary. Horses were
sheltered in the uptown livery for ten cents.
The Gutweins continued to be actively
involved as a new church building was constructed in 1912 in west Francesville
(the site of today’s church). A large barn for horses and buggies was built
The church grew quickly. Both Sunday
morning and afternoon services were held, and lunch was served at noon so that
the farm families could stay for the afternoon services without additional
Phillip Gutwein, Sr., was soon joined
by a second minister, his son, Phillip, Jr., who was appointed to that position
by church leaders. Services were conducted in the German language for several
years. However, during the century’s second decade, services in English were
begun. Phillip, Jr.’s ability to preach in English greatly benefited the younger
Phillip, Jr. was later joined by his brothers, Conrad and Adam,
in serving as ministers to the Francesville Apostolic Christian Church. Phillip,
Sr. was selected as the first resident elder at the age of seventy-one.
One of the family’s favorite past times
was gathering around the organ to sing. This posed somewhat of a problem in
America, as the Apostolic Christian Church disapproved of its members having
musical instruments. Phillip, Sr. complied with this teaching in the church
setting, and conducted worship services without instrumentation. But at home
they continued to play and sing the well-known hymns of the faith.
The Gutwein children lived by high
principles. Their moral code was established through a great deal of exposure to
both the example of Christian living set by their parents and the teachings of
The young men in the family enjoyed
taking their horses and buggies uptown on Saturday nights. It was important to
them to pick the nicest looking broncos from the pasture for this purpose.
Two of the first cars in the community
were owned by the Gutweins. First, Phillip, Jr. bought an Essex, then his father
bought a Ford. Father Phillip’s purchase was risky in view of the fact that the
religious convictions of his fellow church members prohibited the use of cars.
But he was convinced that automobiles, like musical instruments, were not
sinful. Not just his car, but also its radio, which he used to get stock market
reports, proved to be controversial. But Father Phillip, a kind, loving man,
stood firm in his convictions, refusing to be influenced by human thinking.
Reading material was limited in the
early decades of the 20th century. The Gutweins did subscribe to the
Francesville Tribune, a small weekly publication, as well as to a German
newspaper; and the Bible provided many hours of reading and study. (As a young
man, Adam would sit and read the Bible aloud to his mother). It was available in
both German and English; in fact, Bibles in the early Francesville church had
the two languages printed side by side.
The Gutweins experienced financial
well-being in America as they had in “the old country.” Unlike many other
immigrants, they were always able to buy whatever they needed, and had
sufficient capital resources to engage in the occupations of their choice.
However, they were not extravagant spenders. And when extra money was needed for
a business venture, although their credit was unquestioned and loans were easily
secured, all borrowing was done with great conservatism. They adhered to
Scriptures’ admonitions regarding the hazards of being in debt, the folly of
trying to get rich, and the desirability of contentment.
There was a grocery stare, bakery,
butcher shop and clothing store in Francesville at the turn of the century. The
family raised some of their own food on the farm and bought the rest in town.
Their clothes (such as the boys’ corduroy knickerbockers) were all purchased
from local merchants.
Adam, John and Carl attended a
small country school, Frog Leg Corner, one mile north of their home. It was an
elementary school for grades one to four. After finishing there, the children
went on to school in Francesville.
Phillip was a farmer as well as a minister. But it was actually
his sons who worked the fields. Father, inspecting the fields with a hoe on his
shoulder, was a good boss.
Farming was done with horses, and oats
were raised to provide “horse power.” Corn, the primary crop, was planted with
two-row planters that placed the seeds 42” apart to allow for
Phillip and Louisa enjoyed their role
as grandparents. Louisa was a sweet little lady, who always had hugs, kisses and
candy for her grandchildren. She invited them to come from school to have lunch
at her home. She frequently visited their homes, too, and would be found helping
with tasks such as darning socks when they came in from school.
Through the early decades of the 20th
century, the Gutweins put their roots down literally as well as figuratively in
the Francesville area. They married, raised their families, started businesses
and acquired thousands of acres of farmland.
Phillip Gutwein, Sr. married Christine
Stefan on March 15, 1908. Their five children were Joseph Phillip (born February
2, 1909), Emil Louis (born February 13, 1910), Angeline (born September 28,
1911), Paul Conrad (born August 26, 1914) and Hilda Irene (born April 20,
After working for Allis Chalmers and
attending Brown College. Phillip opened his own machine shop, Francesville Motor
Company, in 1908. He began an implement company, International Harvester, in
Francesville in 1920. In 1922, in addition to selling farm implements, he began
selling Hudson-Essex automobiles. In 1930 he got the Plymouth franchise and in
1933 he began selling Ford automobiles. Because overcrowding became a problem,
the automobile business, which had become Ford Motor Company, moved to a
neighboring town, Monon, in 1934. (It is interesting to note that the business
actually expanded during the depression). The Implement company was sold in 1963
after Phillip. Jr.’s death. Ford Motor Company continues at the same location,
owned and operated by members of the Gutwein family.
Phillip Gutwein, Jr.
died on September 8, 1963. His wife, Christine, died on September 17, 1970.
Lewis Gutwein married Katie Munz on
March 3, 1909. They had two daughters: Louise Catherine (born December 11, 1909)
and Esther Anne (born May 21, 1913). Lewis, a farmer, died in a Logansport
Hospital on January 26, 1916, at the age of twenty-nine.
Angela Gutwein married Paul Von Tobel
on March 2, 1909. The six children born to them were Paul Jacob, Jr. (December
16, 1909), Harry Philip (April 8, 1911), Virgil Clark (February 17, 1914).
Katharine Louise (February 26. 1918), Edward Eugene (February 24, 1923) and
Robert Ervin (January 13, 1928).
When Angela and Paul were first
married, Paul and Phillip, Angela’s older brother, worked together in what they
called “the harness business,” selling a complete line of buggy equipment. (They
sold some whips for $ .10 and others for as much as $1.00. The buggies on
display would have the fine $1.00 whips on them. Paul and Phillip found that
some of their less-than-honest customers would buy a $.10 whip at the back of
the shop and exchange it for a $1.00 whip on display at the front of the shop on
their way out). This business proved to be inadequate to support both Paul and
Phillip, so in 1910 Paul bought into Dye and Thompson Lumber Company in
Francesville. Over the next several years he bought out the other owners and Von
Tobel Lumber Company came into existence. The business prospered and expanded.
Although the Francesville yard was sold in 1975, other lumber companies still
owned by the Von Tobel family continue to serve the Indiana communities of
Lafayette, Valparaiso and Winamac.
Paul Von Tobel, Sr. died on January 21,
1955. His wife, Angela, died on March 11, 1981.
Conrad Gutwein married Magdalena
Melinda Gudeman on January 4, 1914. The ten children born to them were Clarence
Philip (on December 13, 1914), Lewis Conrad (on February 11, 1916), Raymond
David (on March 31, 1917), Helen Louise (on July 4, 1918), Ruth Evangeline (on
October 14, 1919), Richard Howard (“Bud”) (on December 31, 1920), Florence Mae
(on June 14. 1922), Melvin Benjamin (on January 31. 1924), Irma Lois (on August
24, 1925), and Carolyn Marjean (on August 17, 1928).
Conrad was a farmer. He and Lena took
over the home place when his parents moved into Francesville in 1918. In
addition they owned several other farms in the area which were farmed by their
sons and a son-in-law.
In 1947 Conrad joined his son Melvin
in starting a fertilizer business, located at the south end of Francesville.
They sold rock phosphate, line, and bagged fertilizer. Levis first bought into
the company, then Clarence, Ray and Helen did too. In 1952, a family
corporation. Gutwein Agricultural Service, Inc., was formed and the facility was
moved to one-half mile north of town. In 1955, the liquid fertilizer plant was
added, making the Gutweins pioneers in selling liquid fertilizer and designing
and selling application equipment. The business expanded to include plants in
San Pierre and Star City, Indiana. The Gutweins operated these businesses until
1965, when they sold to a large fertilizer firm.
Lena Gutwein died on May 22, 1967.
Conrad died on November 15, 1972. The epitaph on his tombstone reads, “The Lord
is my Shepherd.”
On March 3, 1918. Fred married Katie
Munz (Gutwein). She was the widow of Fred’s brother, Lewis, who died in 1916.
Born to them were eight children: Harvey Fred (January 3. 1919), Edwin Conrad
(July 30, 1920), James Carl (November 15, 1922), Fern Lydia (December 9. 1924),
Dorothy Arlene (December 10, 1926), Glen Munz (July 13, 1928). Marcella Marie
(September 7, 1930), and Suzanne (September 4, 1933).
Fred farmed many acres of land. Then in
1936 he decided that his four sons could use a new challenge and Fred Gutwein
and Sons, Inc. was started. The business specialized in hybrid corn and through
the years also began producing certified soybeans, lupine, wheat, triticale, and
Only about 10% of the hybrid corn
companies which started about the same time as this firm are still in operation.
Fred Gutwein and Sons, Inc., continues to be family owned and operated, serving
an eleven-state area.
Fred Gutwein died on March 6, 1976. The
epitaph on his tombstone reads, “For me to live is Christ, and to die is gain.”
Adam married Lydia Albrecht on March 8,
1925. Seven children were born to them. Margaret Ann (February 18, 1926), Harold
Frances (August 1, 1927), Adam Jacob, Jr. (September 30, 1928), Ervin Dean
(August 24, 1931), Gilbert (March 27, 1934), Adeline (July 17, 1936), and Elvira
Erna (March 25. 1938).
John married Helen Albrecht (Adam’s
wife Lydia’s sister) on May 9, 1926. Their children were Rovene Delight (born
May 16, 1927), Katherine Dorothy (born December 26, 1930), John Jacob, Jr. (born
October 23, 1933). Lillian Ruth (born September 14, 1936), Arnold Lee (born
October 4, 1937), and Marvin Richard (born May 16, 1942).
Carl married Mary Lena Farney on June
4, 1927. Born to them were Maxine Marie (June 18, 1928), Nathaniel Philip (on
January 23, 1930), Edison Gene (an October 12, 1931). Mary Louise (on September
19, 1933). Carl Lewis, Jr. (on November 26, 1934), Phillip Rolland (an November
19, 1938), Juanita Ann (on February 22, 1941), Elden Lloyd (on September 24,
1942), Sharon Kay (on April 15, 1944), and Rodney Wayne (on July 2, 1949).
In 1920, John, Adam and Carl carried on a family tradition by beginning Gutwein Milling Company in Francesville. (Father Phillip and each of the eight children were stockholders). Every town had its own bakery then and the flour milled by Gutwein’s, White Rose, had just two competitors: Pillsbury and Gold Medal. After several years of milling flour, a wholesale feed business was developed. It expanded while flour sales gradually diminished, and in 1950 Gutwein
Milling Company became solely a feed mill. Many of the small town bakeries did
not survive the depression. As they folded, Gutwein Milling Company accumulated
a lot of bakery equipment for which they had no use.
Many farmers struggled also. When a
debt collector offered his services to the mill, Adam, who was office manager,
declined. He knew the farmers were not paying their bills simply because they
did not have the money. He trusted the people that were in the mill’s debt.
Undoubtedly there were some uncollected debts, but there were also instances in
which management’s soft manner proved to be rewarding. A farmer who moved to
Illinois during the depression came back many years later to pay what he owed.
When farmers mentioned selling corn to pay their bills during these hard times,
Adam advised them to wait until the price went up.
This was sound economic advice for the
price of corn did rise from 15ç to 45c a bushel. (It was during this time that
corn was being used for fuel because it was cheaper than coal).
The Francesville bank folded during the
depression. The Gutweins were among those who had need for a bank, and Adam
assisted in the organization of a new financial institution. Peoples State Bank
was established on July 2, 1930. Adam served as a bank director from that date
until January 6, 1931, and again from January 3, 1933, until July 11, 1934.
Adam Gutwein now lives in his farm home
northwest of Francesville with his wife Lydia. He is the last living child of
Phillip, Sr. His life is characterized by humility and thanksgiving to his God.
John Gutwein died on December 13, 1971.
The epitaph on his tombstone reads, “And so shall we ever be with the Lord.’
John’s wife, Helen, died on May 13, 1975.
Carl Gutwein died on December 21, 1973.
The epitaph on his tombstone reads, “Lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven,
for where your treasure is will your heart be also.” Thirteen of the Gutwein
boys (Phillip Sr.’s grandsons) were eligible age-wise to serve in World War It
in the 1940s. Five of them were drafted, served in Europe, and returned home to
the Francesville area to be reunited with their families and to resume their
occupations. (Two of the young men served in noncombatant capacities, choosing
not to bear arms due to religious convictions). Those who were not drafted were
granted exemptions because of having children or of being engaged in farming or
During World War II, like during the
First World War, the Gutwein family was not discriminated against because of
being German. They shared the prevalent American anti-Hitler sentiment and their
loyalty to their new home was unquestioned. As noted earlier, the Francesville
community was heavily populated with German descendants, and the Gutweins were
well known and respected.
Meanwhile, in Europe, Germans of
Cservenka as well as from the rest of Yugoslavia, Rumania, Bessarabia, and
Galicia, fled. Many of the relatives of the Gutweins were driven out of their
homes and suffered great hardship. (Adam and Lydia Gutwein were in charge of a
stateside relief effort, collecting and transporting clothing, groceries, and
other necessities to send to European relatives and friends. Among the items
sent were tallow, lard and ground wheat. Farmers in the Francesville area
donated beef which was then taken
to Fort Wayne to be canned for shipping).
Some Germans escaped into Austria and
Germany. Many less fortunate were carried into Russia (Siberia) as slaves or
were put into concentration camps. They paid a high price for the crime of being
The branch of Gutweins that left
Cservenka at the close of World War II now live in Germany. Also there are a
number of Gutweins still living in the general area of Germany that was home to
Johann Ludwig before his immigration in 1784.
The Phillip Gutwein, Sr. family left their home in Cservenka,
Austria Hungary in the early 1900s to come see America. They came; they saw, and
they stayed. Today they leave their nearly 550 descendants* with a heritage rich
with Christian values and a sense of divine destiny.
*As of 1984, records show that Phillip, Sr. and Louisa had 8 children, 57
grandchildren. 210 great-grandchildren, 256 great-great grandchildren, and 5
Louisa died an April 6, 1938. Phillip Sr., died on December 19, 1958.
It was in 1918 that Phillip, Sr. and Louisa left their home on the farm. After
traveling in Europe, they settled in Francesville within two blocks of the homes
of five of their married children - Phillip Jr., Angela, John, Adam and Carl.
Conrad, Lena, and their family moved
from their home one-half mile south to the home place to take over the farming
operation. Their three oldest children, Clarence, Lewis and Ray were born in
1914, 1916 and 1917 before their move. The other seven children-Helen, Ruth,
Richard “Bud”, Florence, Melvin, Irma and Carolyn were born between 1918 and
1928. For each birth the local nurse (who was also a family friend), Annie
Banwart, came to the home for the delivery and stayed for ten days to help with
the newborn and to care for Mother Lena.
The work ethic was honored by the
Gutweins, and farming the land, milking cows, and tending hogs, chickens, and
turkeys were all part of the boys’ responsibilities. The girls helped with
cooking, canning. gardening, cleaning, laundry, and baking. (The bread was
almost entirely home baked. Helen baked eight or ten loaves each Monday and
Thursday. All day Saturday she baked desserts, such as cakes, pies, and cookies.
Once when they ran out of bread, Lewis and his younger sister Ruth went to the
bakery in Francesville. Ruth had gone in to purchase the bread, and when she
came out she told her brother, who was waiting in the car, “I had a nickel too
Elizabeth Hild served the Gutweins as
their live-in maid from 1920 until 1922. The children thoroughly enjoyed her;
and she enjoyed them too. She referred to Ray as her “sucar mendle” (sugar
When the daughters were still very
young, the three oldest sons, Clarence, Lewis and Ray, were responsible for
doing dishes. They divided the work into three tasks: washing, sorting, and
drying. “Sorting” (separating the clean dishes from the dirty ones and putting
the dirty ones back in the dishpan) was the favorite job.
Although there was little leisure time,
some time was left for play. The children enjoyed riding their pony, roller
-skating, bicycling, motorcycling, playing with dolls and dollhouses, and
playing baseball, marbles, and hide-and-seek.
The family enjoyed a variety of social
activities, including the annual street fairs held in Francesville and the
World’s Fair in Chicago in 1932 and 1933. A couple of times each summer they
drove the 54 miles to Michigan City to swim in the lake there. A highlight of
each summer was the annual Gutwein reunion held on July 4th. (It was at such a
reunion in 1935 when the children’s cousin Paul (Phillip, Jr.’s son) flew a
small plane to the celebration. On take-off his motor stalled and his plane
nose-dived. He was killed, as horrified family members looked on).
The entire family loved music. Many of the children played mouth
harps. Bud and Florence played the organ and accordion, accompanying the family
as they gathered to sing their favorite hymns in both German and English.
Conrad and Lena wanted their children
to speak German in their home. In fact, the children were not allowed to speak
English at mealtime. Retaining the ability to speak the native tongue was
important so that they could converse with their grandparents. Phillip, Sr. and
Clarence, being the oldest, was the
first to speak English, learning when he started first grade. Lewis was proud of
his big brother. Trying out a bit of English himself, he commented, “Dar
kan English sage.” Clarence had his challenges learning to read English. In
school he read about the “three black cows sitting in a tree” (they were really
crows), and in Sunday School he read from Hebrews 13:2 about the “angel’s
Students were required to attend public
school until the age of sixteen. Ruth, Irma and Carolyn continued past then and
graduated from Francesville High School. Helen completed her high school
education and obtained a Licensed Practical Nursing degree by correspondence.
Lewis graduated from Coyne Electrical School in Chicago.
Ray was the only son of Conrad who
served in World War II. He went to London, then served as a medic on the
Normandy Beachhead, treating the wounded on the battlefield and evacuating them
to the Red Cross Hospital. (The recruiting office had allowed Ray and his
brother Bud to decide which of them would go to war). Clarence and Lewis were
both exempt from service because they had children. Melvin was too young.
Moral standards were high in the
Gutwein home. Although a couple of the children went through a rebellious stage,
all of them had a strong sense of right and wrong. (At a school party the 5th
and 6th grade class was asked to write down all the bad words they used.
A prize was promised, and many of the children were making long lists. Poor
Lewis was stumped. After thinking and thinking, he finally wrote “shucks.” He
won the prize, a yellow mechanical pencil).
The Apostolic Christian Church
continued to play an integral role in the Gutweins’ lives. Conrad, as well as
his father and two brothers, was a minister. The family attended church each
Sunday from 10:00 until 2:30. On Sunday evenings the church families gathered
together in homes for “singings.” Adults would sing for a couple of hours while
the children played outside.
After their marriages, the children of
Conrad and Lena were all actively involved in the Apostolic Christian Church
founded by Phillip, Sr. But the church’s lack of acceptance and support of
Melvin’s missionary endeavors caused his parents and several of his siblings to
leave the close-knit congregation and start a missionary-supporting Bible
Church. All of Conrad’s children and their spouses remain actively involved in
Conrad and Lena’s married children had
family lives that were stable and secure. Old-fashioned principles of morality
were applied to the marriage relationship as well as to child-rearing.
The work ethic remained a prevalent
part of the lives of the children in the Conrad Gutwein family. Husbands and
fathers earned a good living while wives and mothers worked hard to provide a
healthy and happy home environment.
Clarence Philip married Ethel Sane
Snedeker (born November 14, 1917) on August 16, 1936. They had five sons: Robert
Paul, born April 17, 1937; twins, Ronald Duayne and Donald Wayne, born April 19,
1941; Richard Allen, born February 9, 1943, and Douglas Lynn, born April 4,
1948. Ronald died in an automobile accident on March 18, 1985.
Clarence and Jane have eleven
grandchildren and 4 great grandchildren. After Clarence and Jane married they
rented a home in Francesville until they moved into their new home in 1939. He
was employed at Gutwein Milling Company until 1952 when he became part owner of
Gutwein Agricultural Service. When the fertilizer business sold, he continued to
work for the new owners until his retirement. He then began working part-time
for his son Bob, owner of Francesville Tire Company.
Lewis Conrad married Edith Mae Bucher
(born October 3, 1918) on October 20, 1938. They had four children: Carol Kay,
born August 24, 1939; Kenneth Levis, born October 5, 1941; Eugene Wayne, born
February 20, 1943; and Judith Ann, born October 13, 1944. Lewis was working at
Gutwein Milling Company when he and Edith were married. He then began farming
and in 1952 joined his father and brother Melvin as a co-owner of Gutwein
Agricultural Service. In 1964 he left the fertilizer business and Francesville
and became associated with New Tribes Bible Institute in Waukesha, Wisconsin.
Raymond David married Donna Lou Getz
(born October 15, 1924) on August 26, 1945. Their two children are Geraldine
Sue, born February 16, 1947, and Calvin Rex, born March 24, 1948. Ray and Donna
have four grandchildren.
After their marriage, Ray and Donna
lived in the Francesville area where he farmed. In the early 1950’s he bought
into Gutwein Agricultural Service, Inc. and worked there until the business
sold. Donna worked as bookkeeper at Getz Plumbing, Fred Gutwein and Sons Seed
Company, and the agricultural business. They moved from Francesville to the
Monticello area where they owned cottages on Lake Shafer. They are now retired
and spend much of their time in Florida. Helen Louise married Andrew Hild (born
September 14, 1904) on September 28, 1940. After their marriage they moved to
California where they rented and operated a cotton farm. In 1946 they were
involved in an automobile accident that left Andy paralyzed from the chest down.
In 1948 they moved back to Francesville, but they soon returned to California
where Andy could receive needed medical care. They operated a grocery store in
Tulare until 1953 and then again returned to Francesville where they both worked
for the business they co-owned with other family members, Gutwein Agricultural
Service, Inc. In 1965 when the business sold they traveled for two years before
buying a fruit farm in Tulare. Andy died on September 2, 1976. Helen retired in
Columbia, Missouri, in 1982.
Ruth Evangeline married Virgil Heinold
(born December 8, 1918) on January 4, 1940. They had four children: Sherril Lee born October 2, 1939; James Leroy born October
14, 1940; Virgilia May born April 16, 1948; and Victor Ray born December 8,
1954. Ruth and Virgil have lived in louts, Indiana since their marriage. They
have owned and operated Heinold Elevator Company, and are now involved solely
with the feed operation.
Richard Howard “Bud” lived at home and
helped with farming until his death on November 22, 1941. He was killed on one
of the family farms when his shotgun accidentally discharged.
Florence Mae married Lea Bucher (born
July 8, 1920) on July 4, 1943. They had four children: William Eugene, born
September 7, 1944; Laurel Addle, born November 28, 1946; Michael Thomas, born
November 13, 1949; and Roxann, born May 15, 1956. Florence and Lea have five
Florence and Lea settled in the
Francesville area after he returned from service in World War II. They have been
farming there since that time. In December of 1948 they moved into the home
where they still live which was built for the family of Phillip, Sr. in 1908.
Melvin Benjamin married Arlene Mae
Kaufman (born March 20, 1930) on May 3, 1953. They had five children: David
Allen, born September 15, 1954; Dorene Ann, born August 29, 1955, Donita
Annette, born February 28, 1957; Daniel Arthur, born August 7, 1959; and Dale
Albert, born April 29, 1962. They have five grandchildren.
Melvin and Arlene joined the staff of
New Tribes Mission shortly after their marriage. They have served as
missionaries in Kanchanaburi and Bangkok, Thailand, since 1955.
Irma Lois married Daniel Fredrick
Germann (born August 3, 192a) on December 9, 1944. Born to them were Constance
Mae on August 7, 1946; Daniel Lee on December 14, 1947; and Patricia Ann on
March 31, 1952. Irma and Dan have five grandchildren.
After they were married, they lived on
the Germann home place, a farm near La Crosse, Indiana. They later bought a farm
near San Pierre. Dan farmed for several years, then managed Gutwein Agricultural
Service, Inc.’s San Pierre plant until the business was sold. He worked for the
new owners of the fertilizer plant before becoming employed by a road-surfacing
business. Irma worked as a bookkeeper at the agricultural plant.
Carolyn Marjean married Calvin Roy Kaufman (born September 13,
1923) on June 6, 1948. Their five children are: Steven Allen, born April 5,
1949; Cynthia Kay, born April 30, 1952; Kevin Wayne, born August 11, 1956; Kent
Richard, born March 28, 1958; and Billy Joe born August 31. 1963. Carolyn and
Cal have three grandchildren. Carolyn and Cal have resided in the Cissna Park,
Illinois, area since their marriage. They own and operate Kaufman Elevator
The Conrad Gutwein family followed the traditions of the previous generations. A
strong work ethic, a regard for family relationships, and a commitment to
Christian values characterized their lives. However, the scope of their
Christian witness was greatly enlarged when the need for worldwide evangelism
was recognized and embraced.