George Frederick Harbaugh

George Frederick Harbaugh
birth: 1 April 1856 in Waynesboro, Franklin, Pennsylvania to George Henry and Sara Ann Eyster Harbaugh
death: 17 November 1931 in Liberty Township, St. Joseph, Indiana
burial: Fair Cemetery, La Paz, St. Joseph, Indiana

marriage: 26 September 1880 in South Bend, St. Joseph, Indiana
Margaret E. “Maggie” Long
birth: 4 April 1860 in Liberty Township, St. Joseph, Indiana to John Anderson and Elizabeth “Betsy” Troxell Long
death: 15 November 1944 in North Liberty, St. Joseph, Indiana
burial: Fair Cemetery, La Paz, St. Joseph, Indiana

Children of Margaret E. “Maggie” Long¬†and George Frederick Harbaugh:

  • Oliver Delbert Harbaugh 1881-1949 1st m. Laura Bell Frye 2nd m. Estella May Lawrence
  • Bertha May Harbaugh 1883-1953 Wesley Irvin Berry
  • Don Nelson Harbaugh 1885-1973 Blanche Myrtle Foote
  • Dwight Thomas Harbaugh 1887-1973 Mayme Schroll
  • Infant Son Harbaugh 1889-1889
  • Rose Estella Harbaugh 1890-1980 Emmett Kelly
  • Grover Cleveland Harbaugh 1892-1962 Alma Ida McClelland
  • George Bryant Harbaugh 1894-1954 Elsie Wilhelmina Johnson
  • Mary Ellen Harbaugh 1896-1992 Harold Russell Deavel
  • Grace Alta Harbaugh 1900-1964 1st m. Charles E. Lynch 2nd m. Harold L. Higgins
  • Ralph Henry Harbaugh 1907-1992 1st m. Thelma Belle Shade 2nd m. Marvel Lyons

Ancestor here lived in: 

  • South Bend, St. Joseph, Indiana
  • Liberty Township, St. Joseph, Indiana

Other Information: George Frederick Harbaugh was the sixth child and fourth son of George Henry and Sara Ann Eyster Harbaugh. Born 1 Apri 1856 in Waynesboro, Franklin, Pennsylvania, he was baptized along with his siblings Samuel Walter and Laura Catherine on 16 February 1858 at the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Waynesboro. George Frederick is recorded in the 1860 US Federal census as living with a neighbor, George Washington and Elizabeth Holbruner McGinly. It is not known why he was enumerated in their household. Perhaps it was a mistake and he was only visiting that day. Maybe his sibling Ella had died and the McGinly’s were helping the Harbaughs out by providing childcare; Ella’s tombstone is unreadable and no records remain of her birth and death. More unlikely due to his age though not unheard of, George Frederick had taken an interest in blacksmithing and was apprenticed out. Due to the Civil War and the family’s residence near the Mason-Dixon line, George Frederick may have been educated at home. There were nine schools throughout Franklin County, however, a violent incidence had occurred in a neighboring town and the Battle of Washington Township, the only Civil War battle that was fought simultaneously on both sides of the Mason-Dixon line did impact his family. At 1:00 AM on 15 March 1869, George Frederick, his parents and siblings, relocated to Liberty Township, St. Joseph County, Indiana. The Harbaughs were reuniting with George Frederick’s maternal aunt, Mary Ann Eyster Johnson, who had, along with her husband, William, gone out west from Pennsylvania with several parishioners to form a new community. George Frederick attended the newly opened high school in St. Joseph County and was likely in the first class to benefit from the newly instituted curriculum. One of his classmates was Margaret “Maggie” Long who he would marry on 26 September 1880 in South Bend, St. Joseph, Indiana. The couple was wed by Reverend Daniel Whitmer at his residence. The denomination of the minister was German Baptist. George Frederick had obtained certification and training and was employed as a teacher. The couple wasted no time in beginning a family; they would go on to have eleven children, ten who survived to adulthood. The family sold their first home to Sarah Shanaman/Sheneman for $2600.00 and purchased a 48 acre farm with house on heavily timbered land on 6 September 1882. It was located in Section 12 in Township 35. On 6 April 1883, fourteen days after George Frederick’s mother died, his father sold him 10 acres in Section 18 Township 35 for $1000.00. In Summer 1886 George Frederick had a new home built; he had his old home moved to acreage his brother John Elias owned. George Frederick farmed and worked as a teacher and principal for his remaining years in Indiana. He first taught at the high school, then the one room Lakeville School in Union Township, the Longaker/Brick School on the south side of Stanton Road, and the Nichelson School in Lakeville. By September 1887 he became a German teacher in LaPaz. By August 1889 he was the teacher/principal of the Yellow Bank School, a private school run by the Church of the Brethren. Later, he worked at a school at The Dices, and returned to teach high school at La Paz High. As a farmer, George Frederick grew potatoes, wheat, corn, oats, onions, sweet potatoes, grapes, beans, cucumbers, watermelon, lettuce, cabbage, rye, hops, and clover for animal feed. The family had an orchard of apples, peaches, and cherries. They raised cows, pigs, sheep and chickens. George Frederick was also active in his community; he built a fence at his church, Pine Creek Church of the Brethren, and dug a new channel under a bridge on the Yellow banks. He served on the Grand Jury in January 1886 and there are records that he voted. With teacher salaries low, George Frederick entered writing contests; he won a sewing machine for his wife in 1893 for the topic what a model home looked like. He tried to make extra money by canvassing old family silver, re-plating it and selling it. He also added a job as a Postmaster in 1897 and is known as the first, last, and only Postmaster of Harbaugh, Indiana because the train schedule changed the following year. In his leisure he enjoyed socializing with family and friends, fishing, bobsled riding and singing. In 1897 the family joined the bicycling craze. Like his father, he loved to travel to Chicago, Missouri to visit a brother and once, attempted to take a train to Florida during a school break but only made it as far as Georgia due to travel mishaps. World War I must have been a difficult time for George Frederick and Maggie as they had five sons of age to serve in the military; two of their sons were drafted and fought overseas. By 1920, George Frederick had retired from teaching and was farming full time. At the beginning of the Great Depression, George Frederick had paid off the mortgage and continued to work as a farmer, at age 74. In May 1931 he was diagnosed with sarcoma of the spleen. The illness proved fatal; George Frederick died intestate at his home in Liberty Township, St. Joseph, Indiana at 6:00 PM on 17 November 1931. He was age 75 years, 7 months and 16 days old. His obituary noted he taught school for 42 years in Elkhart, Marshall and St. Joseph counties. George Frederick was buried in Section B, Row 12 of Fair Cemetery on Friday, 20 November at 1:30 PM after a service held at the Pine Creek Church of the Brethren.

For further information on George Frederick and the Harbaugh family:
Lori Samuelson. Perseverence Amidst Adversity: The Ancestry of Three George Harbaughs. Amazon ebook, 2016.

Contact the submitter for a transcription of The Diary of Mary Ann Eyster Johnson.

Submitted by:
Lori Samuelson


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