Individual Record 18

Name}   Staheli*, Johann Georg (George) Family History} Olson                  
  Title}   Race} White Sex} Male
Birth:   Date} Exa  6 Feb 1825 Place} Amriswil, Thurgau, Switzerland
Marr.: Date} Fam 17 Jul 1841 Place} Amriswil, Thurgau, Switzerland     (Link)
Death: Date} Exa 23 Apr 1881 Place} Santa Clara, Washington, Utah
Burial: Date} Aft 23 Apr 1881 Place} Santa Clara City Cemetery, Santa Clara, Washington, Utah
  Grave Marker} Yes
Source 1}    8 = Family notes
Source 2}   48 = IGI
Source 3}   49 = IGI
Source 4} 255 = IGI
Source 5}   81 = Genealogy
Source 6}   75 = Geog history
Source 7} 1114=Geog history
Source 8} 151 = Letter
Source 9} 152 = Family hstry
Source 10}153 = Family hstry
Source 11}154 = Family hstry
Source 12}711 = Family hstry
Source 13}710 = Biography
Source 14}1113=Biography
Source 15}719 = Church recrd
Source 16}1749=Baptism rec
Source 17}177 = Passenger ls
Source 18}902 = Passenger ls
Source 19}1748=LDS history
Source 20}175 = Church recrd
Source 21}356 = Church recrd
Source 22}  80 = 1870 USA cen
Source 23}  83 = 1880 USA cen
Source 24}759 = Cemetery rec
Source 25}158 = Cemetery rec
Source 26}156 = Cemetery rec
Parents: } Johannes Staeheli & Elizabeth Thalmann
   Relationship No.} 20
1st Household No.} 143 = Amriswil, Thurgau, Switzerland
      Occupation 1} Farmer
       Occupation 2} Musician
  Religion/Church} Latter-day Saints
Spouses:   Prime} Haberli, Sophia Barbara
                              Meier, Ana Barbara
                              Reber, Rosina  
 Total Number of} 3
Notes:  Johann Georg Staheli* was born 6 Feb 1825 in Amriswil, Thurgau, Switzerland.  He was the oldest son of Johannes Staeheli and Elizabeth Thalmann.  He was baptized 8 Feb 1825 in the Evangelisch church, Amriswil.

His younger siblings included Anna Barbara, born 3 Jun 1826, Susanna, born 27 Jan 1829, Anna Elisabetha, born 11 Feb 1831, and Anna Cathrina, born 3 Sep 1833.

Johann Georg married Sophia Barbara Haberli in Amriswil on 17 Jul 1849.  According to the account of his daughter, Elizabeth Staheli Walker, he owned a grist mill and a large farm, and had hired help.  According to the account of his son, John Staheli, the family lived on the outskirts of Amriswil, where Johann George had a small factory that made cotton yarns.  All agree that Johann Georg was a musician, who, with three others, formed a quartette who traveled around Switzerland, and into Germany, playing for dances, festivals, and other celebrations.
Johann Georg and Sophia had eight children born in Amriswil.  These were Wilhelmina, born in 1849, Jakob, born 1850 and died 1851, Elizabeth born 1851, Johann George (George) born 1854, Maria (Mary) born 1855, Johannes (John) born 1857, Sophie, born 1859 and died as infant, and Sophie born 1860.

Johann Georg's uncle and father joined the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in 1857 and 1859 respectively.  He and his wife Sophia were baptized in the Landschlacht Branch on 6 Jun 1859 by Johannes Keller, a local Mormon missionary from Weinfelden.  Their daughter Wilhelmina was baptized the following January.

The Mormon missionaries encouraged the new converts to emmigrate to the United States, and specifically Utah, where they could practice their religion peacefully.  A large group, including Johann Georg's parents, Johannes and Elizabeth Staheli, along with his oldest daughter Wilhelmina, made the journey in 1860.

On 3 May 1861, George (as he was to be called in America) and Sophia, along with five children, left Amriswil, traveling by train to the sea, crossing to Liverpool.  They set sail on the Monarch of the Sea on 16 May 1861.  The seven week voyage was rough, especially for George's wife Sophia who was pregnant.  Their youngest daughter, Sophie, died 28 May 1861, and was buried at sea.  They arrived in New York on 19 Jun 1861.  George stayed at Castle Gardens at the wharf with the older children, and Sophia stayed in a hotel with the younger children.

A few days later, the Mormon contingent left by train for Florence, Nebraska (present day Omaha).  Here they joined the Sixtus E. Johnson Company, comprised of 107 individuals.  They set forth by wagon train on 14 Jul 1861 for Salt Lake City, Utah.  George became one of those indebted to the LDS Perpetual Emigrating Fund which assisted in financing their move.  Their journey took ten weeks, and they arrived 27 Sep 1861, joining George's parents and daughter Wilhelmina.

At the October conference of 1861, President Young called 109 families, including the Staheli families, to the the Dixie mission in Southern Utah.  They left in November 1861, for the 300 mile trip south.  Daniel Bonneli, a native of Switzerland who could speak both Swiss and English, was appointed captain of the company.  George's cornet fell out of one of the wagons near the end of their journey, and was crushed.

They arrived in Santa Clara, located about 5 miles northwest of St. George, between 24 and 28 Nov 1861.  The Staheli family moved into the second floor of the Ita Hatch home in the southwest corner of the rock Fort built by Joseph Hamlin.  On 26 Dec 1861, George and Sophia's daughter Barbara was born.  On that same date, the rain began to fall.  By some accounts, it rained for forty days.  "The Great Flood" arrived early in the morning of Friday, 17 January.  Sophia, still ill, along with the rest of the children and the baby, had to be rescued as the Fort was being swept away.  The Fort, town, orchards, and vineyards were entirely gone, and the old settlers along with the Swiss newcomers had to start over.

That spring, George became ill with Mountain fever, now recognized as typhoid, and was sick for six weeks.  Then Sophia came down with it, still in a weakened condition from childbirth, and died 3 Jun 1862.  George, in need of someone to help take care of the children, married Barbara Meier Blickenstorfer, the widow of Solomon Blickenstorfer.  There is no proof that they were legally married, but her headstone reads "Wife of Geo. Staheli".  Mary Staheli Olson, one of George's daughters, told of her raising the family after Sophia died.

George cleared land for Jacob Hamlin, and received a portion of the land as payment.  He was then able to raise a little wheat, corn, melon, squash, and sugar cane, and other vegetable.  He also rented a small mill, the only mill in town, and ground sugar cane for himself and others, making a small income from the molasses.

About 1866, John Itten, a member of the Swiss Company, inherited ten band instruments, donating them to the town.  Thus George gained a cornet, and promptly organized a brass band.  He taught members of the community to play the instruments, and as there was no sheet music, he also wrote the scores for each part.  His sons George and John, at ages thirteen and ten respectively, became members of the band.  The band played for dances in Santa Clara and the surrounding area, and as far away as Pioche, Nevada.  They played when the ground was broken for the St. George L.D.S. Temple, and, when it was completed, played from the top of the temple for the dedication.  George also organized the Swiss choir, and when Brigham Young and other dignitaries arrived in town, they would play and sing.

In the 1870 census, George was listed as a farmer, with land valued at $300, and personal property of $360.  "Margrets", age 43, was keeping house for the family; this must have been Barbara.  His son George was listed as working on the farm, and all of the children were in school.  Listed next door to the family was his oldest daughter, Wilhelmina, her husband Charles Hildebrand, and daughter Rachel.

The ground breaking for the St. George Temple was held 9 Nov 1871, Brigham Young presiding.  The Santa Clara brass band, under the direction of George, played.  When the construction of the temple got underway, George worked in the rock quarry, and sons George and John hauled the rock with the family's wagon and horses.

George married Rosina Reber in Feb 1871.  [It is unknown what the status of Barbara was at this time.  She did not die until 9 Feb 1880, lending credence to George and Barbara not being married.]  From this marriage came four children.  Karl Henry was born in 1872 and died in 1873; Franklin was born in 1874; Rosina Sophia in 1876; and Georgiana in 1878.  In the 1880 census, the family included George and John from the first marriage, both of whom were farming, and Franklin, Rosina, and Georgiana.  Georgiana died in August 1880 at the age of 2 years.

George died 23 Apr 1881 in Santa Clara.  He is buried in the Santa Clara City Cemetery, Santa Clara, Utah.

*The family name in Switzerland was Staeheli.  In America it became Staheli.
Time of Birth}   Time of Death}   Fraternal/Social}  
Baptism Date} Exa   8 Feb 1825 Place} Evangelisch, Amriswil, Thurgau George Staheli
LDS Baptism} Exa   6 Jun 1859 Place} Landschlact Branch, Amriswill
Immigr'n Date} Exa 19 Jun 1861 Port} New York, New York
Education: Grade}                               or Top 2 Degrees}  
Military: Service} Army                        for the State of} Switzerland
Health Condition}  
  Cause of Death}  
Last Updated
by} Karen Hancock
Date Updated} 17 May 2015
Date Created}    1 Jan 1992
Copyright © 2011 - 2015 by Karen L. Hancock.  All Rights Reserved.

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