NameAnselm Fehrenbacher
BirthApr 18, 1841, Kappel am Rhein, Baden, Germany
DeathNov 24, 1891, Waterloo, Iowa
BurialElmwood Cemetery, Waterloo, Iowa
FatherMichael Fehrenbacher (1810-1897)
MotherMaria Anna Stumpp (1812-1850)
BirthApr 9, 1843, Germany
DeathJan 16, 1908, Waterloo, Iowa
BurialFairview Cemetery, Waterloo, Iowa
MarriageAug 9, 1865, Blackhawk County, Iowa
BirthFeb 1855, Geneseo, N.Y.
MarriageOct 10, 1882, Cedar Rapids, Iowa
ChildrenCharles Michael (Adopted) (1884-1966)
Notes for Anselm Fehrenbacher
Anselm immigrated with his father Michael, step-mother Gerrude and siblings on the Collins line vessel, The Pacific, arriving in New York City on 18 Sep 1854. The name on the manifest is illegible, but Anselm was in the birth order for the list shown. He lived in Ebensburg, Pa., where he was a laborer at the age of 17. He served as a Private in the Civil War for Company G of the 10th Regiment Pennsylvania Volunteers, which was recruited in Wilmore and in Lilly, Pa., was mustered into service on April 22, 1861, and mustered out on July 31, 1861. The regiment never saw any significant action in the war.

Anselm settled in Waterloo, Iowa. His many exploits are recounted in local newspapers:

1870- Census indicates Anselm married to Sybilla and that he was working in a flour mill.
1875 - A drunken sailor from Buffalo who had caused a disturbance and was ejected from McCormick’s grocery, provoked a fight with A. Fernbach and the sailor was terribly beaten, incurring a fractured skull.
1875-Purchased the furniture and fixtures of a barber shop in Waterloo.
1876-Advertised for sale the Burlington boarding house.
1877-Liquor license revoked.
1877-Anselm heroically assisted a local Marshal by chasing a horse thief 2 miles and, after apprehending him, tied his feet together under the horse with a hitching strap, and then led him back to Waterloo in triumph down Commercial Street.
1878-Anselm accepted a horse from non-paying boarders, but the boarders fled and sold the horse to another. Anselm “smelled a mice” and with the help of Officer Mantle, overcame the tramps and persuaded them to settle their debts.
1878-Won first prize for best Jersey bull, 3 years and older, at the Black Hawk County Fair.
1879-C. Stein awarded $2 and costs in a case he brought for assault by A. Fernbach.
1880-Improves the Western House with a vestibule, new interior fixtures and marble wash sink.
1880-“A. Fernbach, proprietor of the Western House, on the west side, yesterday assaulted his wife with a horse whip and cut a severe gash in her head. He was arrested by Marshal Jenney, taken before Justice Burr and fined $25 and costs. In default of payment he was sent to jail for eight days. Good enough for him.”
1881-An argument between Jacob Kauth of Hudson and A. Fernbach was “arbitrated by the fists” and after both were summoned before the mayor Fernbach was discharged and Kauth assessed $5 plus costs.
1882-Purchased a lot from J.C. Miller for $700 on Waterloo’s west side.
1882-Maggie Fernbach awarded a divorce from Jacob D. Fernbach; conductor Ed. Chapman married “Sylvia” Fernbach.
1882-Confrontation with Nicholas Fisher where Anselm made unpleasant remarks before the house of Mr. Fisher, and Fisher came out to confront him with a revolver. Fisher denied charge of carrying a concealed weapon but pled guilty to assault and battery. A Fernbach arrested for disturbing the peace. “Those familiar with the circumstances of the case side with Mr. Fisher.”
1882-One of several defendants fined $30 in “whisky or nuisance cases” brought in local court.
1883-Pled guilty to selling liquor on a Sunday.
1883-Brought suit for fraud against the Marriage Fund Mutual Trust Asso., for its failure to pay on a membership certificate that was awarded based on membership numbers [in what appears to be a pyramid or what was later called a Ponzi scheme].
1883-Robbed of $40 by two assailants who attacked him outside of his hotel.
1884-John Cotten arrested for drunkenness and assault and battery for “knocking over” A. Fernbach.
1884-One of several witnesses testifying in favor of ousting City Marshal W.C. Munger at city council meetings, in which Munger was exonerated of all charges.
1884- A. Ferenbach “got funny” and paraded around town with a large bottle in one hand and a revolver in the other, and inviting all to drink. At the trial for drunkenness, his lawyer argued that he was only offering sweet water and vinegar and that he was only playing drunk. Anselm was discharged.
1884-One of 7 defendants all fined for selling liquor to minors or those known to be intoxicated.
1885-Sells a hotel to a Mr. Helleger of Dubuque for $6000.
1885-Driving carelessly “as he generally does,” A. Fernbach ran into a street hole causing the team [of horses] to run away and throwing his two passengers who received serious injuries. Anselm’s legs and one of his hips were badly bruised.
1886-Entered a guily plea for a nuisance charge.
1886-Erected 30x60 foot two story addition to his hotel.
1886-Discharged from case brought by C.D. Kniffin charging Anselm and others sold him liquor that caused him to “abuse his boy.”
1887-Lost trial against the city for obstruction of 4th St. that resulted in injuries in 1885.
1887-Arrested for being drunk and fined $1.
1887-Opened “a neat restaurant and lunch counter with dining hall” in one of his 4th St. buildings.
1887-Indicted for creating a nuisance, pled guilty and fined.
1887-Supreme Court reverses lower court in A. Fernbach v. City of Waterloo, seeking damages for defective street.
1888-Fine against A. Ferenbach suspended for as long as he stays out of saloon business.
1888-Helps form the 6 member Waterloo Self-Constituted Improvement Company “to decorate and beautify whatever needed” and becomes its first President.
1888-Makes a bet with Jacob Hoffman that if Grover Cleveland is elected president Hoffman will wheel Anselm to Cedar Falls in a wheelbarrow and Anselm will wheel Hoffman if Benjamin Harrison wins.
1888-“A. Fernbach started last Saturday to wheel Jake Hoffman to Cedar Falls to pay up an election bet. Fernbach was gaily decorated for the occasion, and with a good-sized fish-horn frightened away all obstructions on the streets.”
1889-Judgement in favor of A. Fernbach against City of Waterloo affirmed by Iowa Supreme Court.
1889-A. Fernbach has some cousins in Johnstown, Pa., and news of the terrible flood there has caused considerable excitement.
1889-A. Fernbach and Jacob Sneider fought on West 4th Street, with both getting bruised heads and upon arrest were fined by the major, respectively, $6.35 and $5.35.
1889-Cigar peddler naned Newell skipped town without paying his boarding bill. Anselm and Constable Saunders pursued and brought him back from Aplington and was made to pay up $49.65.
1890-Returned from visit to his parents in Minnesota.
1890-Attacked by a tramp at his restaurant, first with a stone, and when pursued incurred a gash to the thigh with a knife.
1891-Followed a guest at the Western House, a young fellow supposed to be from La Porte City, who attempted to leave without paying the bill, and secured his overcoat as security.
1891-Following a performance by the Colored Georgia Jubilee Singers that was considered “rocky,” a second performance was stopped by a demand for advance rent of the venue, which was followed by a demand by A. Fernbach for $18 rent at the Western House and the confiscation of the manager’s trunk and the performer’s costumes.
1891-Began excavating for a new building on West Fourth Street.
1891-Arrested by U.S. Marshal for selling liquor without paying government tax and without a license, and taken to Dubuque.

In the 1920s, it was recorded in Pa. that Anselm died at a party in Waterloo, Iowa. The mystery of his fate festered until 2014, when a newspaper article describing his death in 1891 was located at the author’s request by Ms. Julie Huffman-klinkowitz of the Cedar Falls Historical Society, Iowa:

A FATAL FALL. A. Fernbach Killed Last Night by Falling From the Second Story of His Residence. About 11:25 o’clock last night A. Fernbach, the proprietor of the Western House, fell from the platform at the door of the second story of his residence near the Western House, and was instantly killed, his skull being fractured and neck broken by the fall. About two weeks ago Mr. Fernbach moved into the second story of the new brick building which he recently built adjoining the O.K. Restaurant. These rooms are reached by an outside stairway at the top of which is a platform about ten feet in length, with a railing 3 1/2 inches high. The end of the platform is about a foot beyond the door which opens into the building and the railing extends across the end. Last night Mr. Fernbach decided to take the Diagonal train for Dubuque. About ten o’click he and Wm. Strayer, Sr., left the O.K. restaurant and went together up to Mr. Fernbach’s room, where he prepared for his journey and then they and Mrs. Fernbach sat and chatted for sometime. He and Mr. Strayer then went down to the restaurant to get some cigars and came out and Mr. Strayer left him at the foot of the stairs. He says Mr. Fernbach started upstairs to get his overcoat and bid Mrs. F. good bye. He went up at a lively pace but instead of stopping at the door, he fell over the railing at the end of the platform, to the ground below, a distance of something like 17 feet in all. Mr. Strayer heard him fall and went to him at once. He found him lying on the ground. Help was called and he was picked up and carried inside and Dr. Bennett was summoned. He was dead, however, and an investigation showed that he had fallen on his head, for his skull was fractured and his neck broke and his death was undoubtedly instantaneous. He bled profusely and a large pool of blood had formed on the ground where he fell. Mr. Fernbach was 50 years old the 19th of last April. He was born in Germany and came to this country before the war. He enlisted in a Pennsylvania regiment and, after the war closed, came to Waterloo. He worked sometime as a miller in the old Chatlin mill and afterwards for the Cedar Mill Co. He subsequently kept the Burlington House on North Jefferson and, some 14 or 15 years ago, he purchased the Western House of which he has ever since been the proprietor. He has made many improvements in that locality and contemplated additional ones which would make a good showing in the growth of the city. Deceased leaves a father living in Beaver Falls, Minnesota, two brothers at Martin, Minn., one brother in Pennsylvania, and another brother whose whereabouts are unknown to Mrs. Fernbach. They have been notified by telegraph of the sad accident. Mr. Fernbach had a life insurance policy in the Equitable, for $2,500, which he has carried for the past eight years.
Notes for Sybilla A. (Spouse 1)
Sybilla died suddenly after being stricken with a heart ailment, while walking to a theater in Waterloo, Iowa. She came to Waterloo as a child. “Mrs. Chapman was one of the pioneer residents of this city, and having always possessed a jovial and free disposition, she made many friends.”
Notes for Margaret (Spouse 2)
In 1875, Maggie and her first husband Jacob, a stone mason, were living in Buffalo, N.Y.

On New Years day of 1882, as Mrs. J. Fernbach, Maggie was presented with a purse of $50 by the boarders of Western House in Waterloo, Iowa, as landlady.

By 1885, Maggie was living with her second husband Anselm Fernbach, in Waterloo, Iowa. In 1891, she had a serious horse an buggy accident. The horse became frightened by cars and whirled suddenedly off a little bridge close to the railroad tracks in Waterloo. Maggie crashed down with her young son and a daughter of Matt Flaherty. Maggie and the girl were badly bruised and it was considered to be a narrow escape from a more tragic result.

In 1894, Maggie again assumed the management of Western House after renovations, but then sold it two months later. In 1895, for the state census taken effective June 1, Maggie was a widow still living in Blackhawk County, Iowa. But on June 19, it was reported that she was relocating to Geneseo, N.Y. In 1900, she is found in Geneseo, and was working at a canning factory. She later lived with her son’s family in Rochester, N.Y.
Last Modified May 2, 2021Created Sep 1, 2022 using Reunion for Macintosh