Traugott Stumpf

Written by Traugott Stumpf's daughter, Elizabeth Ann Stumpf Barrett, Febuary 7, 1933.

Pictured at right, left to right: sitting, Jane Buist Stumpf and Traugott Stumpf. Standing, Isabella Jane Stumpf and Elizabeth Ann Stumpf.

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Traugott StumpfTraugott Stumpf Family

Traugott Stumpf was born January 2, 1840 in the town of Buchacern, Canton of Thurgarr, Switzerland. He was the son of John Stumpf and Elizabeth Fehr. His father was a very strict schoolteacher. He had two brothers and a sister. The brothers were Emil and Ferdinand and sister Amelia. Ferdinand died when in his early twenties. His father died about 1855, leaving his mother to care for the three children. After Traugott’s father died, he went to work for one of his uncles. For about five years he worked there in the dying business. Afterward he left and went as journeyman and was very successful in getting work. While in this business, he received a letter from his sister asking him to come home for New Years’ Day and to try and persuade his brother Emil to give up that awful religion, Mormonism. It seemed when Traugott was away working, two Mormon Elders had come into the country and his Brother had joined the Church. Amelia used to hide his Sunday clothes to prevent him from attending their meetings, but he went in his work clothes, walking many miles. New Years came and he went home, little thinking he too would be a Mormon before he returned to work. He no sooner heard the Gospel than he knew it was true. He was baptized in 1860. They were baptized by John Huber.

Traugott was now the age when military duty was required of him and he was advised by the Elders to go to Utah, so arrangements were made for both Emil and himself to come to Utah. They had only $5.00 between them and no bedding except a blanket, but they did not hesitate, but started, their fare being advanced to them. They went through France and England to Liverpool, where they found a large company of Saints and sailed for New York.

At New York, they took the train for Florence, Nebraska. The Civil War was on and they were not able to obtain passenger cars, and were put in cattle cars. He was afraid they might put him in the army, but nothing happened. Emil was two years older than Traugott, but he was very small for his age and grew after coming to Utah. He was twenty two years old then At Florence they found a train waiting for them, but Traugott drove a yoke of cattle for John Hafen across the plains and what a time he must have had, as he could hardly speak a word of English.

They reached Salt Lake City near the last of October 1860. Their mother and sister came to America in 1863. His sister Amelia was killed on the plains by lightning. She was wearing earrings and the lightning struck them. His mother died in Salt Lake City in 1863, just one month or so after she came to Utah. It is said that she died of a broken heart and loneliness. She was staying with people who only spoke English and she could only speak German.

Traugott passed the first winter with Alexander Hill in Big Cottonwood. Later he came to Mendon and worked for Kelsey Bird. In 1868 he married Elizabeth Wood. She died some years later and he married Jane Buist, March 13, 1885 in the Logan Temple. They had two children Isabella Jane and Elizabeth Ann both born in Mendon.

In 1868 he made a trip to Laramie for immigrants. At Green River he was to cross the river on the same ferryboat as the boys of San Pete. As they were ready to start he couldn’t find his other ox, he had them both just before this and of course he missed the boat. When it was out about half way, the cable broke and the boat capsized. Several of them were drowned. After they started, Traugott saw his other ox right by him. He said the Lord watched over him and preserved his life.

Traugott was always an active worker in the Church, teaching in the Sunday school for years and was Sunday school treasurer for year’s, and a faithful teacher in religion class and a faithful ward teacher for years. He was janitor for the Church, performing his duties faithfully and well. He was a good bass singer and sang in the choir until too old.

He died February 19, 1927 at Mendon, Utah and funeral services were held February 23, 1927 with burial in the Mendon Cemetery.

Traugott never spoke ill of anyone and never allowed his family to do so in his hearing. He was an honest, hardworking Latter-day Saint, lived at peace with his neighbors and friends in the little town of Mendon.

He has six grandchildren, one boy and five girls of Mrs. Elizabeth Ann Stumpf Barrett. His wife Jane Buist Stumpf died December 30, 1932 and funeral services and burial were January 2, 1933 on her husband’s birthday, at Mendon, Cache County, Utah.

Elizaabeth Stumpf Barrett