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Samuel Fasnacht


Posted By: Fran Hunt, Volunteer
Date: 10/4/2001 at 08:18:15

From the Portrait and Biographical Album of Jefferson and Van Buren Counties – 1890 County
Samuel Fasnacht, one of the pioneers of Van Buren County and a respected citizen of Keosauqua, was born in Lebanon, Lebanon County Pennsylvania, August 26, 1818, and as the name indicates, the family is of German descent. The grandfather of our subject, Frederick Fasnacht, was the American progenitor, and his son Conrad became the father of Samuel. He was married in Lebanon County Pennsylvania to Miss Rosanna Stoever, by whom he had four children—Joseph, William, Charles and Catherine—all of whom died in infancy. After the death of the mother, Mr. Fasnacht wedded Mrs. Catherine Doebler Hoak, widow of George Hoak, and six children blessed this union, to whom were given the names of Samuel, Edward, Andrew, Henry, Savilla and Rosa.
The early life of our subject passed uneventfully. His education was acquired in the subscription schools common at that day, and when a young man he learned the trade of a butcher, which he followed for some years. In 1836 he immigrated to Springfield Ohio, where he married Miss Rebecca Schreckengast, who was born in Lebanon County, Pennsylvania in April of 1818. In the fall succeeding their marriage Mr. Fasnacht and his young wife removed to Mt Carmel Wabash County Illinois, where he was engaged in the butcher business for some three years. The southwest then attracted his attention and he made a location in Little Rock, Arkansas, where he also carried on a meat market. Not finding everything as favorable as he had hoped, in the spring of 1842 he removed to Memphis Tennessee, where he remained until the spring of 1845, which year witnessed his arrival in Van Buren County. However, he had previously visited Stephenson County, where he had a brother living. Taking up his residence in Keosauqua, Mr. Fasnacht engaged in the butcher business until 1850, when attracted by the discovery of gold in California, he made a trip to the Pacific Slope, reaching Sacramento after one hundred and two days of travel. During his sojourn in the Far West he was located in Placerville, then known as Hangtown, where he also owned and operated a meat market, furnishing meat to the miners of that locality. In the spring of 1851 he returned home by the way of the Panama route, and while on the water, the vessel encountered a frightful storm, which continued through three days. Landing in New Orleans, Mr. Fasnacht there boarded a river steamer and proceeded up the Mississippi to his home. Again during a gold excitement he started for the region of wealth, but this time, after having fitted out a team for Pike’s Peak, found that the stories were mostly inventions of some gifted brain and did not start upon the journey. He has traveled extensively over this country, from Pennsylvania to the Pacific Coast and from Iowa to the mouth of the Mississippi. Such journeys add a charm to the conversation, and thereby, a knowledge of men and their manners is acquired, which often proves of great benefit, to the possessor of the same.
Mr. and Mrs. Fasnacht are the parents of four sons—William E., who is living in Florida; Lewis C., whose sketch appears elsewhere in this book; George W., now a resident of Montana; and Frank B., a printer located in Wichita Kansas. In politics Mr. Fasnacht is a stanch supporter of Democratic principles, and has been honored with several local offices of trust, the duties of which he has ever discharged in a commendable manner. The family is one of high repute, and it is with pleasure we record this brief sketch of their lives in the history of their adopted county.
I am not related, and am only copying this for the information of those who might find this person in their family.


Van Buren Biographies maintained by Rich Lowe.
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