NameAugustin Fehrenbacher
BirthAug 27, 1800, Kappel am Rhein, Baden, Germany
DeathFeb 22, 1874, Carrolltown, Pa.
BurialSt. Benedict's Church, Carrolltown, Pa.
FatherJohann Georg Fehrenbacher (1768-1851)
MotherMaria Katharina Motz (1780-1812)
BirthFeb 7, 1805, Kappel am Rhein, Baden, Germany
DeathNov 20, 1866
BurialSt. Benedict's Church, Carrolltown, Pa.
FatherAnton Kientz (1782-1814)
MotherFranziska Wieber (1781-1814)
MarriageAug 27, 1827, Kappel am Rhein, Baden, Germany
 Erhard (1829-1892)
 Leonhard (1830-1897)
 Edward (1833-1907)
 Mary Helen (1836-1863)
 Augustine (1838-)
 Anthony Joseph (1840-?)
 Catherine (1842-1928)
Notes for Augustin Fehrenbacher
Augustin was truly the "First Farabaugh." He was the first of the Fehrenbacher line to settle in Cambria County, Pa.
Augustin, his wife, and their two sons Erhard and Leonhard were from Kappel am Rhein, in the Grand Duchy of Baden, Germany. They left Kappel am Rhein for the United States in the early spring of 1833 and the next son, Edward, was born six months later on the Atlantic Ocean. Little else is known about the actual voyage. However most German immigration at that time was from the port city of Bremen, and it was common practice for travelers to the U.S. to arrive in Baltimore in cargo ships that would be loaded with tobacco for return to Europe.
The Fehrenbacher family did come over with Joseph Richter and his family, who also were natives to Kappel. Joseph Richter's grandson, E. P. Bender, relates the story as follows:

It is not likely that immigrants would have encountered the risks of coming to America, had it not been for a lot of crooks who would go to all parts of Europe with lying stories of how easy it was to make a living in America to what it was in the Old World. For instance, when my grandfather, Joseph Richter, and Augustine Farabaugh, came to America in 1832 [sic] they were made to believe that in America, everything was so plenty. If you needed sugar, all you need to do is cut inside a sugar tree and take out the sugar. And good truthful persons did not expect to be fooled by such liars. Therefore, believing about all the stories told to them, my grandfather bought a farm from a man near Baltimore, Maryland, paying about 1/2 down, and a balance on time, giving him all necessary papers for it. And his brother's address in Baltimore who would show him what farm to move on. Mr. Farabaugh did not have the money then. This is what saved him from being fleeced from the same crook, as they both took to eating sugar so that when they would arrive in America, that the change would not be too great. Arriving in Baltimore, Mr. Richter went and located the man's brother who would show him what farm to move on, only to be astonished when the man said, "Why, my brother had no right to sell you that farm, or any other farm, as he does not own any land at all!"

Mr. Bender continues:

They were told of the Catholic settlement at Loretto, Pa., under Father Gallitzin. They were lucky enough to get a teamster at once to haul them and their little affects to Loretto, where each of them bought land and settled near Bradley Junction. Joseph settled on what was known for nearly 60 years as the Tom Bishop farm. Mr. Farabaugh took up land joining Richter's on the West side, now owned by Edward Farabaugh, a grandson. They both became the owners of thousands of sugar trees but soon learned that their diet of sugar was a hoax and that it took too much hard labor to produce it to think of living on it as part of their diet. The first visitor was a German woman who brought them two loaves of white bread as they called "wheat bread" as they were used to barley and rye bread called "black bread."

E. P. Bender's unedited account probably refers to maples, when it describes the pioneers' interest in sugar trees. It is possibly that they had hopes of making a fortune in maple syrup. It is well-documented that the German people, especially in rural areas, thought America to be a place for instant wealth and freedom. When war broke out among the German provinces, there was a mass migration to the United States -- especially during the French Revolution in 1848. The story of the Farabaughs and Richters is intriguing because they made the exodus during a period of relative stability in the provinces, and their precise motivation will probably never be known for certain. It appears that they had no relatives already living in the U.S., and that they simply staked out on their own.
The first recorded event that places Augustin and his family in Cambria County, Pa., is the baptism of Edward, the child born on the Atlantic Ocean. He was baptized by the famous pioneer priest, Rev. Demetrius A. Gallitzin, on August 25, 1833. A daughter, Mary Helen, was born in Susquehanna Township, in 1836.
According to the Naturalization Record of "Augustine Faherbaugh," dated April 4, 1837, Augustin had been living in the United States five years, as sworn by Joseph Long and Charles Beaver. It also states that he "emigrated to the United States in the Year A.D. [sic] and arrived in Baltimore."
On March 16, 1838, Augustin purchased a farm in Susquehanna Township from George and Mary Moyers/Meyers, which was 26 acres, 96 perches, bounded by lands owned by Anthony Rudler, the heirs of Sebastian Haug, Christopher and Henry Buck, and Adam Stoltz.
On January 7, 1840, Augustin purchased from William Logan Fisher and his wife Sarah 98 acres and 35 perches in Allegheny Township, which became the family homestead. It was bounded by lands owned by Jesse Eckenrode and his friend Joseph Richter. This deed marks the first use of the anglicized surname, "Farabaugh." On May 30th of that year, the birthplace of Augustin's son Anthony is noted as Susquehanna Township. But it is evident that the family relocated to the new Allegheny Township farm, as indicated in the census taken that Summer. It shows that "Augustine Farabaugh" was the head of household on the Allegheny Township farm.
The Susquehanna Township property was retained until 1845, when it was assigned to a Lewis Craver for $210. Augustin then bought more farmland adjacent to his Allegheny Township homestead, by acquiring 49 acres in 1849 and another 61 acres in 1853. The farm then totalled approximately 200 acres.
According to the 1850 Census, "Augustine Fairbaugh" was a 50 year old farmer born in Germany, who could not read or write English, and had realty in Allegheny Township valued at $1000. His wife "Mary" also was born in Germany and could not read or write English, and was 45 years old. Their children at the time were "Earhart," a 21 year old laborer with schooling, born in Germany; Leonard, a 19 year old laborer with schooling, born in Germany; Edward, a 17 year old laborer with schooling -- no birthplace is indicated; "Mary E.," a 14 year old with schooling, born in Pa.; and Catherine, a 7 year old with schooling, born in Pa.
In 1854, Augustin purchased 100 acres in Carroll Township from Joseph McDonald and Ree I. and Eveline Lloyd of Ebensburg, Pa. This land was bounded by properties owned by Robert and William McCombie, James Kane, James Driskell, and others. Tis property was along the Bakerton road, just down from the Carrolltown priory, and looks like an upside-down and reversed L-shaped parcel on the 1890 County Atlas.
In later life, Augustin and Mary lived in Carrolltown. Augustin paid $4.00 in borough tax in 1858. In 1859, Augustin purchased a lot in Carrolltown, Pa., from Rev. Boniface Wimer and Rev. Celestine Englebrecht, pastors of St. Benedict's Church. It was situated on the Ebensburg Road (Main Street today) between "Steechs Lots" and Long Alley, and became his residence. The 1860 Census indicates that "Augustin Farabaugh" was a 60 year old farmer born in Baden, Germany, with realty worth $1000 and personal affects worth $300. Mary was 55 years old and was also born in Baden. They lived in Carrolltown next to their newly wed daughter Catherine and son-in-law, John Wirtner. Also in that year, Augustin purchased a plot of 2 acres and 111 perches in Carroll Township, bounded by lands owned by Benjamin Wirtner, Martin Schwam and John Eckenrode. Augustin was appointed to the town's Fire Inspection Committee at a town council meeting in 1860. He was called for jury duty in 1856 and 1864. In 1854 and again in 1868, it was reported that he was elected as a school director. He also was an executor with James T. Kirkpatrick for the Estate of Charles Poss of Carroll Township, in 1865-66. In 1868, it was published that he owed $54.62 in back taxes.
Augustin's residence, located two blocks down from St. Benedict's Church on the road to St. Boniface, is confirmed in an 1867 map, placing the home of "A. Ferenbach" between the J. Stich Brewery and the Fisher tin shop. However, that lot was sold to a Ferdinand Sirr on March 5th of that year, and it is unclear where Augustin's residence was during his final years that followed. Unfortunately, he is not found on the 1870 Census.
Augustin was a stonemason, and there is one family story that he came to the United States for the purpose of working on the old Pennsylvania Canal, and in fact provided labor for it. It is also believed that Augustin did masonry work on the unique Skewed Arch Bridge, completed in 1834, and which is a federal landmark located between the lanes of Route 22, about a half mile outside of Cresson, Pa. At any rate, it is clear that Augustine practiced a great deal of masonry in Cambria County. He built the hanging chimney at the original St. Benedict's Church in Carrolltown, the fireplace and chimney at a residence located on the William Springer farm on the Brick Road, near Bradley Junction, and helped erect the "Carltown [Carrolltown?] convent." Augustin kept a record of his apprenticeship and journeys in German, which was discovered and unfortunately discarded when he moved to what was to be the family homestead in Allegheny Township.
Augustin was also very active in Catholic church affairs. As early as July of 1835 he pledged $1.00 to Fr. Peter Lemke (the founder of Carrolltown) at Fr. Gallitzin's request, for services at St. Joseph's Church, near St. Boniface, Pa. It is reported he donated his land in Carroll Township to the parish, but this is not supported by any recorded deeds. In 1845, he assisted Fr. Lemke by hauling and storing various church goods that Fr. Lemke had brought from Germany. In 1847, he was chosen to serve as one of the twelve members of the St. Michael Church Building Committee in Loretto, pledged $ 30.00 for the erection of a brick church, and even did masonry work on the church in June and July of 1850. In August of 1851, he subscribed to donate $30.00 for the construction of St. Benedict's church in Carrolltown. Augustin also was for many years the janitor at St. Benedict's Church in Carrolltown, where he fired the stove and rang the bells, and was in later life the Collector and Treasurer for the Church Committee.
Augustin died on February 22, 1874. On February 27, the Cambria Freeman published his obituary, which stated "Farabaugh - died, at the residence of his son-in-law, John Wortner [sic], in Carrolltown, Feb 22nd, Mr. Augustine Farabaugh, in his 74th year." He received extreme unction during his final sickness and his funeral was the largest ever seen up until that time in Carrolltown.
Augustin's Last Will and Testament in 1873 divided the 200 acre family homestead in Allegheny Township in half. The lower half was given to his son Erhard, and the upper hilltop farm was given to Edward. The 100 acre tract in Carroll Township was given to Leonard, and the 2.5 acre plot in Carrolltown, with improvements and the bedroom furniture, bedding, carpet, chairs, table, stove and clock were given to Catherine. The residue was bequeathed to all living children and the children of his deceased daughter Mary were given a one-fifth interest. It also directed that a promissory note for $4,164.28 owed by Rev. Amelian, O.S.B. (quite a sum for that time) was to be discharged "by reading Masses for my soul and the souls of my wife and departed children." The nature of the underlying debt is not revealed in the probate file. John Buck and Benjamin Wirtner were nominated as co-executors.
Part of Erhard's half was sold to the railroad, which allowed part to be leased back for farming. Erhard's son Jim acquired the entire homestead when Erhard's parcel passed to him, and he purchased Edward's portion from Edward's second wife, Amanda. However, the land was later divided again, with the upper half being sold to Jim's brother Ed. The lower half was eventually occupied by Jim's grandson, James Kirsch. Augustin's original house on the upper half was reportedly used as a shelter for farm animals as late as 1973. The upper half was acquired in about 1992 by the O'Brien family. The original home was demolished and the tract landscaped, but beams from the old home were installed in the new house, and are visible today.
Notes for Maria Anna (Spouse 1)
Augustin's wife Maria Anna was raised in the town of Grafenhausen, near Kappel am Rhein. She was the daughter of Anton Kienz and Franziska Wieber, natives of nearby Grafenhausen. Both parents died in 1814, when Maria Anna was nine years old.
Last Modified Sep 16, 2019Created Sep 1, 2022 using Reunion for Macintosh