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George GUNDLACH was born November 29, 1828 in Kronberg, Duchy of Nassua, Germany, which is in the Tannus mountains near Frankfort On Main. He was the third child of Peter Gundlach and Maria A. SCHAUER. Peter was a farmer, a cooper and a brewer for the village of Kronberg. Peter and his family: wife Maria Anna (40), sons Johann (19), Philip Peter (17), George (14), Jacob (5), and daughter Anna Maria (11) left Germany via the Netherlands on the ship Herald, landing in New York in September of 1844. They left New York for Pennsylvania and then on to Belleville, Illinois. Peter's younger brother, Philip Mathius Gundlach, Sr. and family had already left Germany for the United States on July 25, 1842, purchasing a 480 farm near Belleville, Illinois. Peter's family stayed with Philip MATHIUS and started farming. In 1856 George and brothers John and Philip Peter started a brewery in Columbia, Monroe County. He left the brewery in 1858 and moved to Clinton County where he started farming. He became actively engaged in the work of the Republican party. He was elected the first German Sheriff in 1864, and in 1868 was elected from the Illinois seventh district, which consisted of Clinton and Washington counties. According to the biography in Illinois State Biographical Dictionary (1876) "He was an ardent advocate of the fifteenth amendment in 1869, and during his entire legislative service opposed all lavish expenditure of public funds. He became identified with the liberal movement in 1872 and was elected to the State Senate from the forty-second district in in this capacity rendered most efficient service. He was chairman of the committee on State charitable institutions, and after visiting the institutions made one of the ablest reports ever published." In 1876 he was the Democratic candidate for State Treasurer. The Republican candidates carried the state for all their nominees. The vote was:

Edward RUTZ, R. 277,788
George Gundlach D. 255,044
Henry T. ASPERN, G.* 19,439
*Greenback Party  

In 1877 George was appointed to fill out the term of Clinton County Treasurer.

George married Phillipena NENNINGER August 7, 1853 in Mascoutah, Illinois. They had three children:

Anna Maria Gundlach b. 1857, married Bill COURTNEY
Phillipine Ann Gundlach b. 4/25/1858, married Philip KONRAD
George E. Gundlach b. 2/7/1859, married Alice

Phillipena died August 12, 1860. On April 12, 1861 George married Katherine BRAUN (see picture), daughter of Michael and Anna Marie WICKET Braun. George and Katherine had 8 children:

Maria Anna Gundlach b. 11/10/1861, died 1/26,1867
Jacob Peter Gundlach b. 2/21/1864, died 3/3/1866
Julius Peter Gundlach b. 1/30/1866, married Ida KINSEY
August Gundlach b. 10/13/1868, married (1) Tennie WOOD (2) Ennie TOWNER
Clara Gundlach b. 1870, married Edward WYTTENBACH
Emma Gundlach b. 1873, married (1) William Charles FAY (2) Jim HALL
Ida M. Gundlach b. 1877, married Henry C. BRADLEY
Ella Gundlach b. aft. 1880, died 10/22/1920, never married

In 1879 George and family left Carlyle, Illinois for the Rosebud Indian Agency in the Dakota Territory. The Agency served the Sicangu Lakota people led by Spotted Tail as well as members of the Sans Arcs, Oglala, Hunkpapa and Miniconjou bands. His job there was "boss farmer" , to teach the Indians to farm. His son George E. was a "train master". They lived in the agency compound next to the Indian Agent. The reader is reminded that these were unsettled times, the Custer Massacre happened three years prior, gold was discovered in the Black Hills five years earlier. In the 1880 census for Rosebud, many arrow wounds were reported. George did not stay at Rosebud very long, leaving in the late fall or winter of 1880 or 1881. He settled on land on French Creek, six miles southeast of Custer and built a log cabin there that winter. In 1882, George and Julius help build the first school house in Custer County, Glen Erin. George's primary vocation was ranching. George's daughter Phillipine and her husband moved to Custer. George's daughter Ella was not listed in the 1880 census in Rosebud so she probably was born in Custer after 1880. George was severely injured when a team of horses ran away from him in a hay wagon turning the wagon over on him. George died April 22, 1901 in Custer. His wife Katherine, with the help of her youngest daughter, Ella ran a boarding house near Custer until Ella's death. She moved to Valley City, North Dakota to live with her daughter Clara Wyttenbach. She died February 9, 1931 in Valley City.

Written by: Emmitt McClendon

Submitted by: Emmitt McClendon

Click on the letters below to see an index of obituaries starting with that letter

Database table Bio_Index modified: 5 Nov 2016
Page modified: 15 Nov 2011