Do you recall seeing the big red barn near Waterville where Rt. 24 makes a little curve? The barn is all that is left of the former Fausz farm that Rt. 24 now bisects. It was determined that the barn is historic, so the new Rt. 24 needed to bypass the structure. This tidbit is just one of the many Fausz stories that my newly discovered cousin, Kimberly Young, and I shared recently at the Wakeman Archival Research Center. Verna and John Rose, genealogists at WARC, were more than prepared for our visit and research, so Kim and I dug into Fausz history.
To give a little background, Jacob Fausz and his wife, Barbara Elizabeth Christman, purchased the farm around 1855 when it was practically all woods. Jacob and three of his surviving sons, John, Adam, and Lewis, spent a great deal of their lives clearing the heavy timber and improving the property. Adam Fausz was Kim’s great-grandfather, and Lewis Fausz was my grandfather. The barn faces Dutch Road which was called German Avenue until World War I when there was so much anti-German feeling in this country. Most if not all the farms in that area were settled by German immigrants. Lewis Fausz eventually bought the Jacob Fausz farm by degrees from his brothers and sisters, getting a modest assist from oil wells that were drilled on the property
Kim and I shared photos, written histories, sketches (one of Jacob Fausz and another of the original Fausz home) and anecdotes relating to the Fausz family and its descendants. We discovered that male baldness runs in the family. We learned that Lutheran Church services were conducted in German until the early 20th century when the Rev. John Hagen of Zion Lutheran Church presided at services in both German and English.
Kim, who now lives in Bucyrus with her husband and 10 year-old son, Shayne, has done extensive research on the Fausz family, having become interested in genealogy from her mother, Mary Lou Fausz Finley and Aunt Vickie (Victory). Kim’s great-grandfather, Adam Fausz, settled in Indiana with his wife, Mary Vollmar, where they farmed and raised their family of 13 children, all surviving well into adulthood.
Much of my knowledge of the Fausz family came from my mother, Ruth Fausz Herman, daughter of Lewis Fausz, and my Uncle, Arnold Fausz, son of Lewis Fausz. Out of eight grandchildren of Lewis Fausz, six survive today, and we are still close.
Kim and I finally needed to end our research at WARC, so we moved on to Wakeman Cemetery where we visited the graves of John Jacob and Philipina Fausz (parents of Jacob Fausz), Jacob and Barbara Elizabeth Christman Fausz, and Lewis Fausz. From there, we drove out to view the big red barn, the last remnant of the Fausz farm. We said our reluctant good-bys and vowed to meet again to continue the research.