Mabel Barth - 1st  letter from Mabel Barth Ray to my Aunt Jean

Mabel Barth -
2nd letter from Mabel Barth Ray to my Aunt Jean  Sheperd Cunico

Elsie Stone -
A letter from Elsie  Stone Fox to my Aunt Jean  Sheperd Cunico

William Louis Barth - A meeting between William Louis Barth and my Aunt Jean Sheperd Cunico


Barth News

Read articles and newspaper clips about your "Barth Cousins" here! If you have a "Barth Story" to share, just email me.




1st letter from Mabel Barth Ray to my Aunt Jean

(Mabel is Albert Barth’s Daughter)

William Barth, Grandpa was born in Bechtheim, Germany, December 5, 1833. Died 5 May 1914 in Grand Rapids, Michigan. William Barth came to the United States 1856 to Chicago, Illinois; married there in 1856 and moved to Philadelphia, Pennsylvania where they lived for twenty years. His mother was Katherine Lauber.

Fredericka Mahler, Grandma Barth was born February 14, 1834 in Durmenz, Germany. Fredericka died 5 December 1888 in Grand Rapids, Michigan. Her Father was Gottlard Fred Mahler. Gottlard was Mayor of Durmenz for 14 years. Fredericka took Albert James Barth to Germany for a visit in 1872.

Fredericka and William were blessed with 8 children, three of them died in infancy: Emily, Mary and Adolph. Emma, William, Jake, Louise and Albert lived to marry and raise families.

Grandfather Barth had a large lumber mill in Philadelphia, which burned to the ground, insurance had expired. He rebuilt the mill even larger, and again it burned to the ground and his insurance had run out the day before. He must have been very successful, because Professor Fred Whitley of Cornell (father’s cousin) told me “My Grandfather was born with a silver spoon in his mouth”, which of course means that Grandfather was very well-to-do at the time. After the second fire, William Barth moved to Michigan, and became a contractor, building school houses, public buildings, and Real Estate Developments.


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2nd letter from Mabel Barth Ray to my Aunt Jean

(Mabel is Albert Barth’s Daughter)

You know, do you not, that Grandfather William Barth was married a second time? After all, there were no children by that marriage, so maybe that is the reason you did not record it. My Mother and Father had me call her “grandmother” when we stayed in their home for a visit.

I remember Father (Albert James Barth), telling me about a baby sister who died before he was born, but I don’t remember now whether it was Emily or Mary. She was buried in a cemetery in which it was decided later by the City Officials to include that area into Lincoln Park which they were developing. So they were getting permission to remove the graves to another cemetery. They got permission from everyone else I believe except Grandpa Barth. They tried for years to get his consent but he never gave in – so in a little thicket of bushes lies the little grave – even – today of probably “Baby Mary Barth” in Lincoln Park, Chicago, Illinois.


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A letter from Mabel Barth Ray to my Aunt Jean

(Elsie is Emma Barth’s Daughter)

William Barth was my grandfather. Frederica, his wife died when she was a little over 50 years of age, of cancer. Grandpa then married his housekeeper…

Both grandparents came to American from Germany when they were 16 years of age. They had no known each other, but met in Philadelphia and married.

In Philadelphia, Barths lived in a “Row” house ( all houses in the block having common walls between them). They were built with kitchen and dining room at ground level then the living room upstairs; bedrooms were on the 3rd floor. The fronts were all alike, so one needed to know the number in order to locate his own home.

Their oldest child was my mother Emma Wilhelmina. Then, came Will (called Willie) who later became a “lecturer” of Divine Science Church in California, with a congregation of 8000 or so. Jacob was next, then Louisa (Lou) and finally Albert. Albert was a business man, lived in Chicago, married and had 2 children: Mable and Chester. Albert moved his family to Cedar Rapids, Iowa and died there in his eighties. Jacob by the way had ten children and lived in Chicago. I was not acquainted with the family but his wife’s name was Annie. William and Fredericka had several other children who died in infancy.

Grandpa owned a lumber or “planing mill” in Philadelphia. It burned down the day after his insurance became ineffective. He rebuilt, and that one also burned down. When the 3rd mill burned he gave up, and decided on a complete change.

William Barth came to Michigan, near to Petoskey, and started a tobacco farm, knowing nothing of that work. Emma came along to keep house for him. The tobacco business was a failure. I do not know what he did then immediately, but he soon moved south to Grand Rapids, Michigan and again delt in lumber. Emma worked in the hotel in Petoskey as a waitress (also as a chambermaid in the winter when guests were few). There my father Calvin Stone met Emma and married her. Grandma Barth had by that time joined William in Grand Rapids. A few years later Frederica died of cancer. She had, however, made a trip back to Germany.

Grandpa’s housekeeper (Sarah) was not liked by any of the family. She was short, stiff-backed with a nasal voice. She kept a firm hand on Grandpa and his affairs. Sarah would not stay to keep house unless grandpa married her, so he did.

Grandpa and Aunt Sarah used to play a simple card game called “Flinch”. My sister Ruth and I played with them when we came to visit. Grandpa would cheat, chuckling when he gained by it, and infuriating Aunt Sarah.

Grandpa smoked cigars constantly and finally developed cancer of his lips. Surgery disfigured him horribly but “Aunt Sarah” as the family called his wife, made no complaints as she cared for him, sitting at the table with him as he ate (a very disgusting site). Sarah was on hand when Grandpa William died in the garden of a heart attack.

The family gathered when Grandpa died. Even I, who was then teaching school in the country, was there. The family members did so much talking about old times Albert when out and purchased a sack of gum drops which he dealt out to the most persistent talkers.


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A meeting between William Louis Barth (1918) and Aunt Jean

On April 16th, 1984, my Uncle Chuck, his wife Jean, and my cousin LuJean met William Louis Barth in Salt Lake City, Utah. He was born in 1918 and is the grandson of William Louis Barth born in 1861. They exchanged information on the three William Barths.

William Barth 1833 - He was the youngest son of Jacob and Katherine Lauber Barth.  He was sent to the United States from Germany by his father to live with Williams Brother in Philadelphia (no name).

William Barth 1861 - His father was William Barth (1833). He started the “School of Religious Science” In Los Angeles, California.  When William did research on the Barth name he traced the name to a castle in Prussia – also a caretakers shack. William Barth 1861 had a lavish church in California. He married William Powell (Thin Man) and Carol Lombard.  They were movie stars at that time in history.

William Barth 1918 - His father was William Barth (1861).


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Last updated 10/30/12 -
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