...and Larry's part in it.
Yesterday I went to the old St Joseph's parish cemetery here in town to find/take pictures of three graves that were requested by Find a Grave members. When I'm walking the aisles in a cemetery, camera in hand, I can never resist the oldest monuments--who were they, are they remembered by anyone (and are they accounted for on Find a Grave?)
(The "old" cemetery here is tucked in next to the St Ben's convent graveyard, and is bound on the other sides by the college and the street, so the only available sites are narrow family plots--those headstones with two names, but dates on only one of them, ya know? The new cemetery is about 6 blocks south on College Ave, in a large treeless field with no ambiance to speak of).
ANYWAY, I found this lovely grave marker with the inscription "Unsere Mutter" or "Our Mother". At the bottom, barely visible in a later concrete repair was the name URSULA WIDMANN-- which must have been part of the original monument. Who was this woman, and when was she buried here? The list on the wall of the building says she was born August 11, 1803 and died December 25, 1870.
I showed it to the Research King before my afternoon client, and by the time I returned, he knew that she was born Ursula Marie Irtenkauf in Winzingen, Jagskreis, Wurttemburg, Germany, that she'd married Frederich Albrecht Widmann on October 7, 1839, and that she was widowed there. Ursula Widmann and two sons emigrated in 1869, in time to be included in the 1870 census here in Stearns county. Evidently, they'd come to join her other son who was already here. It must have been a sweet reunion...sadly, they only had a year together before Ursula died. We don't know why she was buried so far from Brockway township (NE corner of the county, along the river)...but maybe she became ill and her sons took her to the nuns in St Joe, where she died. The family probably had little affiliation with whatever church was closest in Brockway. All the later Widmann family entries are in Holding township (Holdingford area).
Our only other clue is below: the nearest post office was in Clinton, Minn, the earliest name for the future town of St Joseph.