The Story of Anton and Susanna (Schwartz) Tibesar
Fall 1989 – Compiled by Leo Tibesar, third eldest grandson of Anton and Susanna Tibesar; From known facts, established dates, oral traditions, and circumstantial presumptive deductions. Some additions were added within parenthesis during the Spring of 2012 by Marcus Lowell Tibesar: great grandson of Anton and Susanna Tibesar.
I have found no record, oral or written, of precisely when Anton Tibesar first came to America or when or how he spent approximately three years before returning to Belgium to be married. Aunt Dorothea Tibesar, Anton’s second youngest child, told me, some years ago, that her father came to America and worked three years before going back to Belgium to marry her mother, Susanna Schwartz, and bring her to this new land. ~ Leo Michael Tibesar
Information begins in the winter of 1875-76 when, according to obituaries, which should be factual, Anton returned to Belgium. Subsequent events would indicate that Anton spent some time in the Minneiska (Minnesota) area before embarking for Belgium.
Anton Tibesar and Susanna Schwartz were married on February 23, 1876, at Weiler (Weyler), Belgium, and left the following month for America. On May 13, 1876, 200 acres of land was purchased in Mount Vernon Township, Winona County (Minnesota), about three miles south of Minneiska, by Anton and Peter Tibesar (his brother) from Phillip H. Harth and Mary A. Harth, his wife.
The purchase price of this land, as indicated by a warranty deed, was $6,500. On the same date Anton and Peter Tibesar executed a mortgage deed in favor of Phillip H. Harth in the amount of $5,000; both deeds being filed for record on May 13, 1876 at 3:00 p.m. Payment to be as follows: $500 on or before seven (7) months from date; $1,000 on or before one (1) year from date; $1,750 on or before two (2) years from date and the remaining $1,750 on or before three (3) years from date, with interest on the same at the rate of twelve per cent (12%) per annum. Interest payable annually, according to the promissory notes executed by Anton Tibesar and Peter Tibesar. Provided that: in case of default of principal payment, interest payment or taxes on the land, any unpaid amounts will become due and payable immediately and that the Tibesars, as assignors, pay all cost, if any, and $100 attorney fees.
All signatures on the above documents were signed as Anton and Peter Tibesar.
A mortgage deed, assigned by Phillip H. Harth and Mary A. Harth, his wife, to Brooks Bros. of Minneiska on July 25, 1876. The mortgage deed was fully satisfied on April 1, 1879 and so acknowledged by the Deputy Register of Winona County, on the same date on the margin of original document on file.
Considering the short time between Anton’s return to Belgium and the purchase date of the land at Minneiska, it would appear that Anton had probably made definite plans, if not actual commitment, before his final trip back to his home land.
Minneiska was a river town and a supply center for the adjacent area and the “prairie” area south and west of the river valley. It was also a logging industry supply and shipping point. Logs were collected from the Chippewa Valley area and the Beef River drainage of Wisconsin, West Newton, about five miles upriver from Minneiska, was a staging area where log rafts were made up for the down river trip to the saw mills of Winona. Minneiska was also a major grain shipping area for the local area and the “Prairie” area to the south and west.
The date of Peter Tibesar’s (Anton’s brother) arrival in America is not known at this time. I have founded nothing to definitely establish that date, even approximately. However and here is where I enter the presumptive and circumstantial deduction area, Anton was 38 years old when he returned to America in 1876. Peter was 24 years old at that time and John B. (Jean Baptiste Tibesar was Anton’s second brother who immigrated to America as well) was 23 years old. The land purchase deed indicates that Anton and Peter had $1,500 to apply on the purchase. To borrow that amount of money at that time, without security, would have been impossible. I find no indication of any inheritance, so it may be presumed that they acquired the money in this country. Perhaps Peter and John came over at the time when Anton originally arrived; or they may have come at a later date, after Anton had done some exploring. If they came when Anton first came it would put Peter’s age at 21 and liable for military service, which was compulsory in Belgium at that time. Many young men came to America to escape that forced military activity. John B.’s granddaughter has it that John B. Tibesar was 22 years old when he came to America. However, Felix Tibesar, the second eldest son of John B. and the father of Grace, told me in personal conversation about 1975, that his father, John B. had left Belgium to avoid Military Service, just before he was 21 years of age. This time frame would fit the assumption that Peter and John B. came over at the time that Anton came here originally, or that they came over shortly thereafter.
Additionally, Leroy Tibesar, grandson of John B. and son of Felix, has it that his grandfather ran a pool hall prior to the time he bought 80 acres of land from (his brother) Peter Tibesar and Mary, his wife, in 1884.
Returning to factual records, momentarily, Peter Tibesar and Mary Schouweiler of Kellogg, Minnesota, were married on April 4, 1880, and two children were born to them while living in Kellogg. Wabasha Court records list the father’s occupation (Peter) as Hotel Keeper. In that period all small towns had one or several Hotels. These establishments consisted of room for rent on a daily or longer basis for travelers, as well as a dining room, a saloon and in this area a pool hall; all usually under the same ownership. Peter and Mary Tibesar owned property in Kellogg according to a deed from Anthony Schouweiler and Angelina Puetz Schouweiler, Mary’s parents, to Mary Schouweiler Tibesar, their daughter, conveying lots 23 and 24 to Mary. This deed dated three months after the marriage of Peter and Mary.
Back again to the presumptive state. It would appear that, from oral tradition, along with some facts, that Peter and John B. were in some sort of joint venture or that John B. was an employee of Peter’s. Timing indicates that Peter and Mary left the area and went to Crookston, Minnesota, in 1884, after selling 80 acres to John B. This 80 acres was part of the original 200 acres purchased by Peter and Anton in 1876. There appears to be no other settlement of the original joint purchase.
The final payment for the original land purchase of 200 acres was made on April 1, 1879, over thirty days before the final due date. The final settlement was so recorded on the margin of the original document on file.
Subsequently, Anton purchased several additional tracts of land. On October 19, 1891, he purchased 80 acres from Henry and Margaret L. Lamberton for $500; 40 acres of “School Land” from the State of Minnesota on December 6, 1898, no purchase price stated, but the Patent states that payment was made in full; 17 ½ acres from John P. and Bertha Speltz for $132. This last purchase was to gain convenient access to the 80 acres purchased from the Lambertons.
From this point on there is a long period of no recorded family activities except Births and Marriages. It appears from comparative analysis, that Anton and his family were quite prosperous while rearing a family of nine children.
The eldest, Julia, entered the convent of the Notre Dame group, through the Milwaukee mother house. Later she was transferred to the jurisdiction of the mother house in St. Louis, Missouri, where she spent the remainder of her life. She continued teaching until approximately two years before her death at the age of ninety-four years. She was buried in the convent cemetery at St. Louis. Aunt Dorothea Tibesar and I flew down for the funeral, which was actually a private affair.
The second child, Josephine, married Henry Kronebusch and they settled on a farm near Marion, North Dakota, where they remained until retiring and returning to Wabasha, Minnesota, to live. They reared four children; Cleon, Evidia, Dorothy and Cornelius. Cleon went to business college and worked the wholesale grocery field as a bookkeeper most of his life. He lives in Breckenridge, North Dakota. Evidia came to Rochester, after high school, and became a registered nurse. In Rochester she lived with our Aunt Dorothea Tibesar, a sister to her mother. She never married. Dorothy also came to Rochester and became a registered nurse. For a time she lived with Aunt Dorothea and then worked in California and Hawaii. Later she worked as a contact individual for a hospital management service, traveling widely. Ultimately she married the owner, operator of his business, Dr. A. J. Rourke. Thereafter they lived in New York until Dr. Rourke died. She then moved to Rochester, Minnesota, where she died. There were no children. Cornelius married and operated the family farm, after his father and mother moved back to Minnesota. He had, I believe five children, several who died quite young. He and his wife, Alice, have retired and are now living in Valley City, North Dakota.
The third child, Louis, went “West” after he reached maturity. He lived for a time in the Casselton (North Dakota) area and married Elizabeth Decker there. For a time he operated a machine shop in Alice, North Dakota and then moved to Bismarck. There he owned and operated a (threshing) machine shop and sold (repaired) harvesting and threshing machinery. (Louis was a machinist, welder and businessman.) He had three children; Marie, Edward and Peter.
Marie married (Marcus Berger) and I believe, had three boys (James, Robert and Richard Berger) and a girl (Mary Ann Berger). The girl and her husband (Wesley Bohrer) operate a successful Flower shop in Bismarck, but I know nothing of the activities of the boys.
(Edward served in the military during WWII. After the Great War) Edward (married Elfreda Wohkittel of Bismarck and, the couple lived in Oklahoma City for several years before returning to Bismarck to help Louis with his machine shop business. Ed and Elfreda) has two children (Kathleen and William Tibesar) of whom I know nothing. (Kathleen married Barry Fournier and, they had no children and are divorced. Kathleen lived in Grand Junction, Colorado for many years and now lives in Las Vegas, Nevada near her brother William. William married Paula Ingram and lived in Laramie, Wyoming and worked as an archeologist before moving to Las Vegas where Paula is from.)
(Peter acquired polio in his hip when he was young and was not eligible to join the military during WWII.) Peter left home quite young, over differences with his Father Louis. He married (Elfreda Wohkittel’s sister, Katherine Wohkittel, and they had a daughter Linda Kathleen Tibesar before they were divorced. Peter then married Jacqueline Parks) and they had five children (seven children, two children died when infants), to my knowledge. (Peter and Jacqueline were divorced in 1956. Peter left Jacqueline with 5 boys to raise on her own.) Presently Peter is located in the pan handle area of Idaho, near the city of Coeur D’Alene (Lives in Spokane, Washington). He has a mobile home and modular home sales business a few miles away (he has two mobile home businesses in Spokane, Washington and Post Falls, Idaho).
One son (Jack) is (in business) with him and another (Gerald) has a similar business a few miles away (in Hayden, Idaho).
A third son is in the Denver or Las Vegas area (Robert lived in Aurora, Colorado before moving to Las Vegas) and (owns and) operates a (commercial) construction business (Tibesar’s Construction Company in Las Vegas).
The two younger sons, twins, are in the military service. (Vincent joined the U.S. Army and Marcus joined the U.S. Navy during the Vietnam War).
Apparently the children or some of them have been adopted by Peter’s wife’s second husband. (All five Peter Tibesar children were adopted by Jacqueline’s second husband, Kenneth Michael Haugeto). One of the twins (Vincent Paul Tibesar) did not change his name back to Tibesar, but still is known by his adopted name (Vincent Paul Haugeto).
Marcus, the other twin and the one that we have come to know, changed his name back to Tibesar. I do not know if any of the older three went through the adoption routine or not, but they are known today as Tibesar. (Four of the five brothers changed their surnames back to their biological father’s name Tibesar.)
Oral tradition has it that Marie, Peter’s sister provided some of the younger children of Peter with further education or the means for it. (This is not accurate. When Louis Tibesar died, a trust fund was provided to his three children; Marie, Edward and Peter. Marie, the eldest, was deemed the Executor of Louis’ estate. Since Peter had abandoned his five children and, he provided no support for them, the children’s mother, Jacqueline, was awarded Peter’s share of the trust fund. As Executor Marie sent trust money in the amounts of $200 to $300 each year to Jacqueline who in turn purchased school supplies and school clothing for her five boys. It was not enough money to further the boy’s education. All the boys paid their own ways to further their college educations).
Sometime after 1980, Marcus (Lowell Tibesar) learned that there were other Tibesars around in addition to his immediate family. My brother, Cletus, who has been in Billings, Montana for a long time, contacted Peter (Marcus’ father). Through that contact Marcus contacted Cletus and got the names of Cletus’s immediate family and some of the other Tibesar relation. Marcus is stationed at Charleston, South Carolina (1987-1992), in the Navy (as a Lieutenant) and (he) works in the computer section of the record department. He started to collect information on the family and has, at this time compiled a lengthy list of the Tibesar clan, including some still in Luxembourg. (Marcus is now the Editor of “The Tibesar Archives” located online on the internet at www.tibesar.com . He is building a historical and genealogical archive of the entire Tibesar family now located primarily in America, Belgium, Canada, France and Luxembourg.)
The fourth child of Anton was John. He married Veronica Puetz, at Conception Church, out of Kellogg, Minnesota. For a time John was a county school teacher, after which he went into the construction business in Eau Claire, Wisconsin, specializing in residential homes. He and Veronica had no children. He died of colon cancer at the age of 64. Both he and his wife are buried in St. Felix Cemetery, Wabasha, Minnesota.
The fifth child of Anton was Peter, who became a priest in the Winona Diocese. He was assigned to the western Minnesota portion of the Diocese until the last eighteen years, which he spent in Rollingstone. He is buried there, having died at the age of 64 of complications following an operation for prostate problems, the principal problem apparently was because he was a bleeder (Hemophiliac).
The sixth child of Anton was Edward. He married Margaret Kronebusch. They homesteaded land in North Dakota, southwest of Jamestown. They sold out and returned to Minnesota about 1918 and bought a farm south of Kellogg, Minnesota. When they retired they moved to Wabasha, Minnesota. Both Edward and his wife are buried in St. Felix Cemetery, at Wabasha, Minnesota. Evelyn, was the eldest of four children and was born in North Dakota. She became a registered nurse and married Bernard Hager, at Kellogg, Minnesota. She and Bernard had a large family which is scattered across the country and I am acquainted with only one of the children, that is Rita Hager Gengler who lives southeast of Plainview, Minnesota. Another daughter, Annabelle, married a Jorgensen of the Minneapolis, Minnesota area. They now live in Annandale, Minnesota. Marcella married a Feuling from Fountain City, Wisconsin area and they have lived in the New York state area for many years. Both Evelyn’s husband Bernard, and the husband of her daughter Marcella, are deceased. The fourth child of Evelyn and Bernard is Cleon Tibesar. He married Lorraine Reisdorf of the St. Charles area. They have a large family, that is also widely scattered and whom I do not know. He was a farmer, having continued on the home farm when his parents retired. Later he worked in construction and is now retired and lives in Plainview, Minnesota.
The seventh child of Anton was Nicholas, my father. He married Mary Magdalene Wieser of Minneiska, his brother Father Peter Tibesar being the officiating clergy. They had six children; Leo, Bernard, Chrysanthia (Sister Mary Cephas), Henry (Harry), Cletus and Susanna (Mitz). All of them are still living at this time; see individual genealogy sheets for more detailed information.
The eighth child of Anton, Dorothea, became a registered nurse and worked for a time in Chicago. She then came to Rochester, Minnesota and later advanced to an anesthiologist in the maternity department of St. Mary’s Hospital, from which place she ultimately retired. She is deceased and is buried in St. Felix Cemetery, at Wabasha, Minnesota. She never married.
The ninth child of Anton and the youngest, Albertina, never married. She lived with her parents until her mother died. During that time she worked as a secretary and bookkeeper for the local lumber yard and late for a local attorney. For a time she kept house for her brother, Fr. Peter Tibesar, in Rollingstone. Then she went in turn to the town of Minot or Devils Lake, North Dakota. There she also worked for a lumber concern. Still later she went further west to Spokane, Washington. Upon retirement she moved back to Wabasha and spent the last several years of her life at St. Anne’s Hospice, in Winona, Minnesota. She is also buried in St. Felix Cemetery, at Wabasha, Minnesota.
Recently a Rollingstone native, Mary Nilles, has completed an extensive program of geneology about Luxembourgers who settled this area. She came up with the information of a Helen Tibesar, born to Anton and Susanna Tibesar on February 7, 1895. I checked all of the possible sources of information to corroborate this information, but came up empty handed. None of the living family grandchildren ever heard mentions of this person and there is no cemetery marker or other tangible evidence. Finally, in frustration, I decided to check or verify the birth record. The Winona Vital Statistics department has a record of a Helen Tibesar born to John B. and Susan Tibesar on February 7, 1895. On this official record the name Helen is crossed out and Magdalena was inserted. This corrected item then coincides with the family records of John B. and Susan Tibesar as to the birth of their daughter Magdalena on that date. This person is very real, having ultimately married Louis Kronebusch, and lived most of her life at Conrad, Montana. With this changing of the official record I am firmly convinced that Helen Tibesar did not exist, that someone erred in picking up that information from the records; that Magdalena Tibesar, daughter of John B. and Susan Tibesar is the correct individual recorded. (John B. Tibesar was the younger brother of Anton. Further Anton’s wife was named Susanna and John B.’s wife was named Susan.)
Continuing the story of Anton and Susanna Tibesar from where I deviated by detailing the children of this family, my father Nicholas, married my mother Mary Magdalene Wieser on January 25, 1911 at Minneiska, Minnesota. It appears, by comparison with the other data that he took over the operation of the family farm on some sort of rental arrangement. He never did buy the land. Circumstantial information would indicate that Anton and Susanna and Dorothea and Albertina, who apparently were still at home, moved to Wabasha in the fall of 1911. They rented a house owned by Maggie Marx, located just across the street to the north of the Catholic Church. Maggie lived in the house on the corner of the block and this home, rented to Anton and his family was just west of Maggie’s house.
It appears that my father continued to operate the farm until the fall of 1916. At that time he had an auction sale, supporting the assumption that he had acquired the livestock and machinery from Anton. At that time, the fall of 1916, Nicholas, my father, moved his family to Minneiska, Minnesota. There he built a garage for the purpose of selling new cars and repairing cars. He took Mike Wieser, my mother’s brother, into the business on some kind of partnership arrangement.
From other records, Plat Books etc., it appears that Anton then rented the farm to Felix Tibesar, son of John B. Tibesar, and to Edward Kronebusch, son-in-law of John B. This arrangement appears to have continued through 1919. On February 24, 1920, John B. Tibesar purchased the former Anton Tibesar farm, which consisted of 257 ½ acres. This coincides, informatively, with an oral statement that Felix Tibesar made to me, Leo Tibesar, about 1975, that the John B. family produced enough income from the Anton Tibesar farm in three years to pay for the farm.
In about the year 1920, Anton bought and renovated a home located exactly one block west of the Catholic Church, in Wabasha. The family lived there until Susanna died in June 1922. Until that time, Albertina, the youngest daughter had lived with her parents. She was working for a local attorney.
After the death of Susanna, the household was disbanded. Grandfather Anton went to live with Josephine Tibesar Kronebusch, near Marion, North Dakota. This arrangement continued until about 1926, when it was no longer practical for Grandfather to live there. At that time he came to Minnesota to live with my parents, Nicholas and Magdalene Tibesar at rural Kellogg, Minnesota. The obituary states that he returned to Minnesota and spent the remainder of his life at St. Elizabeth’s Hospital, in Wabasha. This is not correct. I distinctly remember him living at our house for some time. I recall, very vividly, when he had what was called a paralitic stroke, at our home: the calling, and almost immediate arrival of the priest from the Conception parish, which was only about one mile from our farm home. Grandfather was taken to the hospital at Wabasha, where he died shortly thereafter. I was fifteen years old at the time, and was attending high school in Wabasha, boarding in town and coming home only on weekends. The children of our family, including myself, were not taken to the funeral. I do not know the reason. Anton is buried in St. Felix Cemetery, at Wabasha.
So ends the story of Anton Tibesar and Susanna Schwartz Tibesar, which began in Weiler, Belgium and ended at the cemetery of St. Felix, in Wabasha, Minnesota, where most of their children are also buried.
The farm on Oak Ridge was subsequently sold by John B. Tibesar family to Felix Peshon Jr., who was reared about a mile and a half east of the Tibesar homestead. Of the buildings on the farm; to me, original, but without question built by Anton, my grandfather. The barn still stands, intact and without major external additions. The house is still there but has several additions and much internal renovation. The grainery is also still intact. Other buildings, consistent with today’s dairy operations have been added. The Peshons and their sons operate a successful, concentrated dairy operation and it appears that it will be passed on to the next generation in some manner.