Edmund Karl Alvin Jahn was born at Meuselbach, Thuringia, Germany, on
August 26, 1857. His parents were Karl Jahn and Friederike
Natalie Rosalie Ehle. As a youth, in 1872, he emigrated to America,
where he anglicized his name to Edward Charles. He settled in Philadelphia,
where he learned the baker's trade from an uncle.
Edward was a kind-hearted man with a happy disposition and a hearty
laugh. He liked a few beers now and then. He was conscientious in bringing
up his family and was very strict with the boys. Before and after his
marriage, he often baked special cakes and other pastries for Christina on
her birthday and similar occasions.
Margarite Schmitt was born at Bissingheim, Germany, March 26, 1856.
At the age of 10, she set out for America with her parents, brother,
and sisters. After the death of her mother at sea, she was taken in
by Dr. and Mrs. Van Dike to help care for their children. We were unable
to learn much about her youth, but she often spoke of Chicago. She probably
lived there for a time.
She was a very happy person, always singing to herself. She never
criticized or gossiped about people. She spent a great deal of time
helping the sick, especially at childbirth, although she was not a
Edward and Christina were married in June 1882 in Philadelphia. Their
first four children--Ed,
Edward was troubled by a respiratory ailment. Thinking that a change
of climate might help, he moved the family in 1891 to St. Paul, Minnesota,
and twins Mamie and
Joe were born.
When Edward's health did not improve, doctors advised him to get out of
the baking business. He then moved his family to Roscoe, Minnesota, where
Christina's brother, Fr. Martin Schmitt, was pastor of the church. Here he
worked for the railroad as a section hand.
Edward died of cancer in Paynesville, Minnesota, December 22, 1917,
less than one year after Christina's death of a heart attack in Roscoe on
January 12, 1917. They are buried together in the Roscoe cemetery.
Source: Eighteen Cousins, by Bert Jahn (1988)