Ohio History Journal

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Francisca Bauer, the Sister of the Woods

Francisca Bauer, the Sister of the Woods






OLD THEODORE WILLIAMS of Norwalk, Ohio, liked to remi-

nisce, and when the Rev. Frederick Rupert, pastor at St.

Paul's Roman Catholic parish there, was preparing what he

called an outline history of the Catholic churches in that area,

Williams told the priest about the early days. Among other

things, Williams said that when he was a boy of eight, he

saw at sunset one September evening in 1828, two odd-look-

ing wagons drawn by a yoke of oxen coming into Norwalk

along East Main Street.1

Father Rupert himself names the immigrants in these

wagons: Peter Bauer, his wife, his six children, and a female

relative; Anton Phillips, his wife, and two children; Joseph

Carabin, his wife, and eight children; and Clement Baum-

gartner.2 From a manuscript written by Francis de Sales

Brunner, who knew these people and later became their parish

priest, we learn that the families migrated from Pfalzburg in

Lower Alsace and that vicinity.3 With these pioneers as a

group or as individuals, this essay is not concerned. Rather

it is a history of only one member in the party, namely, Peter's

relative, Francisca Bauer.4


* Father Edmund L. Binsfeld, a member of the Society of the Precious Blood,

is librarian at Brunnerdale Seminary, Canton, Ohio.

1 Frederick Rupert, Outline History of St. Peter's and St. Paul's Churches,

Norwalk, O., Containing Also the Early History of St. Alphonsus, Peru, O., and

of St. Mary's, Norwalk, O. (Norwalk, Ohio, 1899), 4.

2 Ibid.

3 Francis de Sales Brunner, Die Priester u. Bruder der Versammlung vom

Kostbaren Blute und ihre Missionshauser in Nord-Amerika (1855), 73. Manu-

script in the St. Charles Seminary Archives, Carthagena, Ohio.

4 Rupert identifies her as a paternal aunt of Peter Bauer. History of St. Peter's

and St. Paul's, 5.