PUBLISHER: J.H.BEERS & CO., CHICAGO; 1903     P.  1009

ABRAHAM LAUBSCHER, deceased.  During the progress of a useful and honored life, Abraham Laubscher was one of the best known citizens of Rockville, Tolland Co., Conn., and probably the most influential of the German residents.  Self-made in the fullest sense of the term, he became successful in business by adherence to the principles of honesty and industry which he learned at his motherís knee.

Mr. Laubscher was born in the town of Weidenthal, Bavaria, June 18, 1829,  a son of Henry and Catherine (Schaeffer) Laubscher, the former of whom was a stone and marble cutter by trade.  Abraham was the only son, and had one sister, Barbara, who lives in Tarrytown, N.Y., with her third husband, a Mr. Schofield.

Mr. Laubscher, having learned the trade of marble cutting from his father, decided to make his way to America, where better openings were promised young men.  In 1854, he sailed from Havre and landed safely in New York, with the intention of earning enough money in the new land to assist his aged father to pay off an obligation under which the older man was suffering, having taken a large contract and lost money on it.  Being thoroughly competent, he soon obtained work in New York City, but as he was entirely ignorant of the language, and could not understand the instructions given him, he was soon discharged and was so discouraged that he thought he must immediately return to his German home, but in time remembered the filial duty he had set out to perform, and tried again for work, in the meantime endeavoring to learn the language as soon as possible.  Turning his back upon the great city, which to the poor, homesick boy seemed heartless and forbidding, he started for Hartford, having heard that in that direction there was plenty of work for all who would ask for it.  Walking the greater part of the distance, and asking food along the way, he finally reached Hartford, penniless, and making his way to a boarding house he told his story and offered his watch as security for some food, but was there told that his honest face would be sufficient.

The first work secured in Hartford was on the postoffice which was then in the course of erection, and after that Mr. Laubscher found employment in other places, Windsor Locks, East Long Meadow, and elsewhere, after his marriage locating in East Long Meadow, where he was employed in the brown stone quarries, where his skill in fancy marble cutting was in demand, although his home was a very poor one and the locality lonesome and unpleasant.

At Warehouse Point, Conn., lived Frederick and Katharine (Wehrheim) Yost, with their family of ten children, Germans, who had come to America about 1855, and to Katherine, the estimable daughter of this worthy couple, our subject was married, April 2, 1856.  Mrs. Laubscher was born in Frankfort-on-the-Main, Germany, April 2, 1833; a brother, August Yost, is now a prominent citizen of Meriden, and another, Henry Yost, a well-known citizen of New York.

About 1859 Mr. Laubscher and his family located in Rockville, he working for Mr. Lewis in the stone quarry at the warp mill, when the new addition was being made to what is now the Adams mill.  In later years, Mr. Laubscher opened up a stone and marble business of his own, on Market street, in Rockville, in company with a Mr. Risley, but this business was later sold to H.T. Bolles, and our subject remained in the employ of the former.  After a period he bought the business of Mr. Bolles, and then later again sold out to him.  Being a fine workman, he was given the particular work to do, and many of the most elaborate tombstones in Tolland county attest his skill.

While still engaged in his trade, he purchased the ďAmerican House,Ē on Market street, which he successfully conducted for more than thirteen years, at which time poor health compelled him to give up active business, and during the remainder of his life he lived semi-retired, contenting himself with giving attention to his property interests.

Mr. Laubscher was a very prominent Democrat and took a great interest in political matters, especially in his city and town, and held a number of the minor offices, such as assessor, member of the board of relief, justice of the peace, notary public, and trial justice for a time, and he was always a great worker for party success.  He was one of the founders of the German Lutheran Church, of Rockville, and one of its most liberal and substantial supporters, his generosity being equaled by that of his widow, who is one of the most prominent members of that religious body.

When Mr. Laubscher came to America it was with the expectation that he would soon return from this land of opportunity with enough means to make his parents comfortable, and then settle down in his own land, but he found conditions very different from what he expected, new ties were formed here, and the time never came for the expected return to his old home.  After a busy life, he decided to revisit the old scenes, and was preparing to go, when his last illness attacked him, resulting in his death, Sept. 27, 1889; he was buried in Grove Hill cemetery, and his funeral was one of the largest ever conducted in Rockville.  Not only a member of all the German societies of the city, but an active and interested one, Mr. Laubscherís death was sadly felt.  He was one of the early members of the Rockville Sick Benevolent Society, No. 1, for years was its president and was frequently a delegate to the conventions of the various societies as well as the entertainer of other delegates, when they came to Rockville, hospitality being one of his virtues.  When a young man he was connected with the Liedertafel Singing Society.  His kind heart made any appeal to him meet with success, and the many private benefactions he bestowed will never be known to the public.

Of the family born to Mr. and Mrs. Laubscher, Charles H., born in Long Meadow, Mass., married Elizabeth Rentz, and is a letter carrier in Rockville (his son Frederick A. also being a letter carrier); he was in the Legislature one term, and was assessor of Rockville, in 1890.  Martin has a sketch elsewhere.  August has a sketch elsewhere.  Lizzie, who was born in East Long Meadow, Mass., attended the high school, is the widow of Robert Carroll, and with her three children, George, Lillian and Everett, lives with her mother.  Emma, now Mrs. Cornelius F. Wemett, of East Hartford, has one boy, Morton.  Bertha, who is now Mrs. J. Paul Haun, of Rockville, Conn., has one daughter, Zoe M.  Katherine is Mrs. Frank Austin, of Huntington, Massachusetts.

Reproduced by:

Linda D. Pingel


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