Bachelor Brothers: George Anton and Heinrich Buhler, down by the river.

George Anton Buhler was born 16 March 1874. Heinrich Buhler was born 6 February 1867. The brothers were born in Algiers, Louisiana on the Mississippi River opposite New Orleans. George and Henry were the sons of Peter Anton Buhler and Gertrude Schmidt. Their given names are the first appearance in the Buhler family. Their nephew, George Henry Buhler, was an obvious namesake honor. The name George has since passed through the family to present generations.

Anton Buhler drowned in the Mississippi River in 1874 when George was only a few months old. George, Henry and their older brother, Emile, lived together with Anton’s widow into the early 1900s. Emile married Victoria Clabert, a widow, about 1904. Victoria had four children from a previous marriage living with her and Emile. (1910 census) Gertrude went to live with her son Charles and his wife Martha at 537 Bouny street in Algiers.

George and Henry worked in the shipyards and dry docks in Algiers, Louisiana. George worked as a ship caulker. Henry was a ship carpenter. The 1910 census finds the bachelor brothers George and Henry sharing a house on Patterson Street along the Mississippi River levee in Algiers. At least that was my initial conclusion from the 1910 census when I analyzed it in 2001.

In 2016 I was searching the New Orleans Times-Picayune Historical newspaper collection for “George Buhler”. I discovered an interesting article printed in November 1910 under the caption “Theft Tales”:

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“Theft Tales,” Times-Picayune, November 21, 1910: 4, accessed August 20, 2016, from http://infoweb.newsbank.com/. Reproduced in compliance with NewsBank Inc. Terms of Use.


The gist of the story was the theft of George’s jewelry from his home. The fact that caught my attention was George’s home itself, “a houseboat on the river at the foot of Patterson Street”. This revelation led me to re-examine the 1910 census record for George and Henry.

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1910 U.S. census, Orleans Parish, Louisiana, population schedule, New Orleans, enumeration district [ED] 228, supervisor’s district [SD] 1, page 11A; National Archives micropublication  T624, roll  525. U.S. Census Collection, Ancestry.com, accessed 6 Oct 2016, http://www.ancestry.com/. Image republished in compliance with Ancestry.com license and terms and conditions of use.


George and Henry are enumerated on lines 22 and 23 in the census extract above. George is listed as head of household, male, white, 36 years old and single. Henry is counted as George’s brother, male, white, 45 and single. Let’s examine columns 1-4 more closely. Column 1 gives the street name, column 2 the house number on the street, column 3 and 4 is the household number and family number respectively and as enumerated sequentially in the district. We clearly see the street name as “Patterson” in column one. Patterson street ran through Algiers parallel to the Mississippi River. George and Henry are household and family number 211. Note that the house number is left blank for George and Henry, also for family number 212. These are the only two households on this page without a house number. If George and Henry were living in a houseboat on the river, it may make sense there was no house number.

When we look closer at column 1 on lines 22 and 23 we see what appears to be two words that are illegible, perhaps the first letter is an “M”. What has the census taker written here? Lets take a look at adjacent census pages.

Examining the previous page, 10B, all the households have street numbers on Morgan or Patterson Street, no help here. On page 10A  we find:

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1910 U.S. census, Orleans Parish, Louisiana, population schedule, New Orleans, enumeration district [ED] 228, supervisor’s district [SD] 1, page 10A; National Archives micropublication  T624, roll  525. U.S. Census Collection, Ancestry.com, accessed 6 Oct 2016, http://www.ancestry.com/. Image republished in compliance with Ancestry.com license and terms and conditions of use.


and on page 12 B, 2 pages after George and Henry:

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1910 U.S. census, Orleans Parish, Louisiana, population schedule, New Orleans, enumeration district [ED] 228, supervisor’s district [SD] 1, page 12B; National Archives micropublication  T624, roll  525. U.S. Census Collection, Ancestry.com, accessed 6 Oct 2016, http://www.ancestry.com/. Image republished in compliance with Ancestry.com license and terms and conditions of use.


It’s now clear that the dwellings not assigned house numbers in this precinct are on the “Mississippi River”. George and Henry, and several others, had taken up residence on the Mississippi River. They were living on the river batture.

 Definition of batture :  the alluvial land between a river at low-water stage and a levee —used especially of such land along the lower Mississippi river. From Merriam-Webster.com. Merriam-Webster, n.d. Web. 25 Sept. 2016.

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Copyright (1909) The Sanborn Map Company, The Sanborn Library, LLC.. All Rights Reserved. Further reproduction prohibited without written permission from The Sanborn Library, LLC.


The extract of the 1909 map above depicts the location of the residences enumerated in the 1910 census page that includes George and Henry. We find the only dwellings (D) at 319, 317, 313 and 311 Patterson Avenue. Between Patterson  and the protection levee we find the New Orleans Dry Dock & Ship Building Co. The Algiers Point Condominiums occupy this site today. Between the levee and the Mississippi River lies the batture. If George and Henry were living in a “houseboat” it would probably have been in the area of the batture between Lavergne and Bermuda streets shown above.

“They were squatters, nearly to a person. Some made their living in town as teachers, musicians, and auto mechanics. Some made their living running trotlines for catfish, setting shrimp traps, and making clothes poles from willow trees. They dragged up old barges and salvaged the planks for siding.”  – From Houck, Oliver A. 2010. Down on the batture. Jackson: University Press of Mississippi, 158.

George and Henry were both out of work on 15 April 1910, the date of the census. Further, George had been unemployed for 12 weeks, Henry for 40 weeks. (1910 census) Previously employed as ship yard carpenters, George and Henry would have possessed the skills required to build a houseboat from a derelict barge or such.  George, listed as head of house, indicates on the census that he owns his home free of mortgage. This all adds up to their situation as batture dwellers.

George died 11 August 1912 in New Orleans at the age of 38. George’s death certificate states he died at his brother Charles’ house, possibly from an “abscess of the liver”. (illegible).

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“George Buhler,” Times-Picayune, August 12, 1912: 12, accessed August 16, 2016, from http://infoweb.newsbank.com/. Reproduced in compliance with NewsBank Inc. Terms of Use.


Henry Buhler’s name is found in the 1912 New Orleans’ city directory residing at 1128 Brooklyn Ave (Algiers); occupation carpenter. Henry disappears from the record until 1918 when he was hit by a car  on Canal Street in New Orleans. The Times Picayune misspelled his name as “Buxler”, however his stated age, occupation and residence on the river in Algiers positively identify him.

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“Three Are Hurt. Two Automobile Accidents Said to Have Been Unavoidable,” Times-Picayune, September 08, 1918: 14, accessed October 02, 2016, from http://infoweb.newsbank.com/. Reproduced in compliance with NewsBank Inc. Terms of Use.


Henry has not been found in the 1920 or 1930 censuses. Henry was residing at 414 Powder street (Algiers) when he died of throat cancer at Charity Hospital on 6 April 1936 in New Orleans at the age of 69.

George Lawrence Buhler – Craftsman

George Lawrence Buhler was born in 1921. He lived his young adult years through the Great Depression. George’s father was a baker; his grandfather, great-grandfather and gg-grandfather were all shoemakers. They all worked with their hands, they were craftsmen. George’s career occupation was a bookkeeper and accountant. Yet with a large family to support George supplemented his income as a craft maker, first by making and selling rosaries. Later he attended trade school to learn the art of monogram jewelry. George also grew and collected bromeliads. He enjoyed woodworking and composing stained glass. The influence of his depression upbringing can be seen in the birdhouse below – George wasted nothing and reused everything. The birdhouse is made from items found in his garage; fence boards, crown molding and other scrap wood items. Examples of his work are displayed below.

 

 

Sankt Johannes Der Taeufer

Altkrautheim, situated on the Jagst River, was part of Württemberg.  Altkrautheim first appears in records in the 11th century. Sankt Johannes Der Taeufer (St. John the Baptist) is the Catholic church in Altkrautheim. The cornerstone of the church bears an inscription with the year 1322. The history of early Bühler ancestors comes from the church records of Sankt Johannes Der Taeufer.

 

The Lusignan Family

George Henry Buhler (1888-1962), the grandson of Peter Anton Buhler, married Florence Lusignan in 1919. The apparent immigrant ancestor of the Lusignan family is Etienne Lusignan. Etienne, a native of Bergerac, Dept. of Dordogne in France, married Modeste Clairteau on Sep 14, 1829. (Archdiocese of New Orleans, Sacramental Records, Volume 18, 1828-1829, page 257)

In the 1830 census, Etienne is enumerated in Orleans Parish. In 1840 he is counted in Lafourche Parish. The Lusignan family left behind a legacy in Thibodaux, Lafourche Parish, Louisiana. Church and courthouse records from Lafourche Parish help place the Lusignans into family charts.

Chronicling America is a website providing access to information about historic newspapers and select digitized newspaper pages, and is produced by the National Digital Newspaper Program (NDNP). NDNP, a partnership between the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) and the Library of Congress (LC). The Weekly Thibodaux Sentinel (English) and the Sentinelle de Thibodaux (French) was published between 1898 and 1905. The links below contain stories relating to the Lusignan family.


Jean Baptiste Lusignan (1836-1904), was the son of Etienne Lusignan. Stories:  On Murder Bent, father and son have a narrow escape. And more here. J. B. Lusignan vs Widow Edouar Doucet. Sale of Land.

Jean Clovis Lusignan (1861-1924), was the son of Jean Baptiste Lusignan, grandson of Etienne Lusignan. Clovis married Myrtillia Estivenne. Clovis’ daughter, Aline Florence, married George Henry Buhler. My father, George Lawrence Buhler, son of George H and Florence, once commented that his mother’s family once had a “soft drink” business in Thibodaux. Stories:  American Bottle Works (A.B.C. Thibodaux, La.). More here.

Louis Lusignan, barber, marriage announcement.

Charles Frederick Lusignan, obituary. Charles birth record gives his name as Charles Fidelice Luzignan .  Charles was the son of Jean Baptiste Lusignan, brother of Clovis B. Lusignan and the the uncle of Florence Lusignan, wife of George Henry Buhler. Charles’ birth year and place agrees with the linked obituary . Charles was a butcher in Algiers, La.

CFLusignan

From: Seymour, William H. The Story of Algiers, 1718-1896, now fifth district of New Orleans, the past and present.   Algiers: Algiers Democrat Pub. Co., Ltd., 1896. Page 48.

George Lawrence Buhler, Civilian Conservation Corps Service

George Lawrence Buhler graduated from St. Aloysius High School in June 1938 at the age of seventeen. The Great Depression had started with the stock market crash in 1929 and wouldn’t end until 1941 when industrial output ramped up for World War II. At its peak in 1933 unemployment was at 25%. In 1938 George’s father was on government assistance and George’s employment prospects looked grim.

Many people in the US could not find work locally and took to “riding the rails” from town to town in search of work. A large percentage of these were teenagers. Many families struggled to feed their families and some of the older children would leave home to lessen the burden. Throughout the depression the US government took many actions in an effort to stimulate the economy. When Franklin D. Roosevelt took office in 1933 he enacted several programs that became known as the New Deal.  The CCC (Civilian Conservation Corps) and the WPA (Works Progress Administration) were New Deal programs attempting to ease unemployment by hiring people for various projects.

In October of 1938 George Lawrence Buhler made application for the Civilian Conservation Corps. He was accepted and enlisted almost immediately, serving for approximately 8 months. The$22 sent home on his behalf each month was surely helpful to his family. George’s CCC records have been abstracted below.


I. General Information: George Lawrence Buhler (Jr. white), born 23 April 1921, at New Orleans, La., nearest relative, Florence Lusignan Buhler, 807 Atlantic Ave, New Orleans, La., his mother. George had no prior military or naval service. He stood 70.5 inches tall, weighed 122 pounds, ruddy complexion, black hair, brown eyes, and no scars or identifying marks. George had 4 years of high school education with training as a “typest”. George never served in the CCC previously and was judged to qualify as a laborer.

II. Oath of Enrollment: George Lawrence Buhler was administered the oath of enrollment by Dean Kendall Givan, 1st. LT. Inf. Res., Assistant Procurement Officer, C.C.C. George signed the oath to serve in the Civilian Conservation Corps for a full period of six months, expiring not later than 18 April 1939.

GeorgeLawrenceBuhler_signature

Abstracted from: George L Buhler, enrollee service documents, page 1 of 13. Records of the Civilian Conservation Corps, National Archives and Records Administration, St. Louis, Missouri. [Image scanned 21 February 2016 by George L. Buhler Jr., 16034 Glenbrook Knoll Lane, Houston, Texas, 77095, from a copy in possession of same.]


III. Reenrollments: “Enrollment extended to June 30, 1939, per authority C.G., 4th Co A”

IV. Record of Service: George served from 19 Oct 1938 to 2 Jan 1939 under the War Dept, 4404th Company at Thibodaux, La. George was engaged in “drainage” work, his performance was noted as satisfactory. George was transferred to  Camp Beauregard, La. on 2 Jan 1939. At that time he had been paid through 31 Dec 1938 with a balance due the government of $2.31 for clothing and equipment.

Abstracted from: George L Buhler, enrollee service documents, page 3 of 13. Records of the Civilian Conservation Corps, National Archives and Records Administration, St. Louis, Missouri. [Image scanned 21 February 2016 by George L. Buhler Jr., 16034 Glenbrook Knoll Lane, Houston, Texas, 77095, from a copy in possession of same.]


IV. Record of Service (cont): George was “enroute to join” from Thibodaux to Camp Bearegard between 3-10 Jan 1939,

George left Camp Beauregard on 7 Jan being transferred to the Interior Dept Co. 5449, at Camp SNP-5 Kaweah, California. George performed satisfactorily doing “pick & shovel” work from 10 Jan until 1 Apr 1939. His last pay was through 31 Mar 1939 on voucher No. 110, under the authority of Joseph F Puett, 1st Lt. Inf-Res.

George was then transferred to Co. 1493, Camp SNP-9 at Buckeye[?] Three Rivers, California, still under the Interior Dept., where he served from 2 April through 22 Jun 1939. [Emailed the The Three Rivers Historical Society  requesting any resources which might tell of the CCC activity, specifically at this camp] His pick and shovel service was again deemed satisfactory. George’s last pay was through 31 May 1939 on voucher No. 28, owing the CCC store $0.95,  under the authority of Nugent Hill 1st Lt. QM-Res. The record shows at this time George had “no desire to reenroll”.

George was transferred to Camp Beauregard again, on travel status between 23-26 Jun 1939.On 26 Jun 1939 he was discharged having performed satisfactorily. His last pay was though 26 Jun 1939 on Voucher No. 338, under the authority of  Wm. B. Riley, Jr. 1st LT, C.A. Adjutant.

Abstracted from: George L Buhler, enrollee service documents, page 4 of 13. Records of the Civilian Conservation Corps, National Archives and Records Administration, St. Louis, Missouri. [Image scanned 21 February 2016 by George L. Buhler Jr., 16034 Glenbrook Knoll Lane, Houston, Texas, 77095, from a copy in possession of same.]


V. Physical Examination: George’s examination indicated a medical history of “usual childhood diseases” and a hospitalization for tonsillectomy in 1927. George was never specifically afflicted by bed wetting, unconscious spells, convulsions, fits, coughing or spitting blood, venereal disease or asthma. His vision was 20/20 with glasses, eye condition normal. Hearing was 20/20, ear, nose and throat condition all normal. George’s mouth and gums were normal, but the exam indicates he was missing four bottom teeth. George stood 70.5 inches and weighed 122 pounds. The general examination of his physique, skin, head, chest, abdomen, extremities, etc., were found normal.
Abstracted from: George L Buhler, enrollee service documents, page 5 of 13. Records of the Civilian Conservation Corps, National Archives and Records Administration, St. Louis, Missouri. [Image scanned 21 February 2016 by George L. Buhler Jr., 16034 Glenbrook Knoll Lane, Houston, Texas, 77095, from a copy in possession of same.]

V. Physical Examination [cont]: Based on this examination George was found mentally and physically qualified for CCC service. The examination was certified by Capt. George A. Ramsey, MC Res., 344th Med. Regt., Senior Medical Examiner at New Orleans, La. George was administered innoculations for typhoid and smallpox in Oct-Nov 1938. Upon discharge, George signed a statement that he had not sustained any disability or physical impairment during his service in the CCC. Medical examiner, H. P. Forsyth, Apt., M.C. CASC State Board District Surgeon, certified to no change in George’s physical condition on 25 June 1939 at Camp Beauregard, La.

Abstracted from: George L Buhler, enrollee service documents, page 6 of 13. Records of the Civilian Conservation Corps, National Archives and Records Administration, St. Louis, Missouri. [Image scanned 21 February 2016 by George L. Buhler Jr., 16034 Glenbrook Knoll Lane, Houston, Texas, 77095, from a copy in possession of same.]


VI. Specific Work Performed, etc.: George’s work chronology with the CCC included, one month and 14 days of drainage work at the Thibodaux, La. camp; pick and shovel work from 10 Jan 1939 to 1 Apr 1939; pick and shovel work from 2 Apr 1939 to 22 Jun 1939; and travel and pending discharge fron 23 Jun 1939 to 26 Jun 1939. All work was noted as being performed in a satisfactory manner. During his CCC service, George was not appointed as a leader or assistant leader, he had no absences, no illness or injury and did not attend any special schools or courses.

Abstracted from: George L Buhler, enrollee service documents, page 7 of 13. Records of the Civilian Conservation Corps, National Archives and Records Administration, St. Louis, Missouri. [Image scanned 21 February 2016 by George L. Buhler Jr., 16034 Glenbrook Knoll Lane, Houston, Texas, 77095, from a copy in possession of same.]


XI. Allotments: George’s monthly payment for CCC service began on 19 Oct 1938. The $22 allotment went to Florence L Buhler [George’s mother] at 807 Atlantic Ave, New Orleans, La. The last payment was disbursed on  26 Jun 1939, the date his service ended.

Abstracted from: George L Buhler, enrollee service documents, page 8 of 13. Records of the Civilian Conservation Corps, National Archives and Records Administration, St. Louis, Missouri. [Image scanned 21 February 2016 by George L. Buhler Jr., 16034 Glenbrook Knoll Lane, Houston, Texas, 77095, from a copy in possession of same.]


XIII. Discharge: Upon George’s discharge, CCC Company Commander Nugent Hill signed a statement of “estimate of enrollee value” as “a satisfactory worker”. George elected for the US government to provide him transportation from Camp Beauregard, La. to New Orleans, La. Georeg received an “honorary” discharge from CCC service on 26 Jun 1939 as signed by Wm. B. Riley Jr., Company Commander.

Abstracted from: George L Buhler, enrollee service documents, page 9 of 13. Records of the Civilian Conservation Corps, National Archives and Records Administration, St. Louis, Missouri. [Image scanned 21 February 2016 by George L. Buhler Jr., 16034 Glenbrook Knoll Lane, Houston, Texas, 77095, from a copy in possession of same.]


United States Department of labor, Certificate of Selection, for the, Civilian Conservation Corps: Dated 17 Oct 1938, application received by Department of Public welfare, 700 Lafayette Street, New Orleans, La., Applicant George Lawrence Buhler, residing at 807 Atlantic Avenue, New Orleans La., age 17, born at Algiers (New Orleans, La.) on “4 – 23 – 38” [obvious mistake on the year]. George was 72 inches tall, weighed 130 pounds, brown eyes, black hair, single, mother and father living with 2 sisters and no brothers. George’s father’s occupation given as “Relief”. There were 5 members in the household excluding George. George last attended St Aloysius school in New Orleans, La. for 4 years [4 years incorrectly indicated as college] George’s given vocational interest was bookkeeping. George wanted to enroll in the CCC for “financial aid”. George was not currently employed, needed employment, never had a paid regular job, was not eligible for unemployment compensation, was not receiving any compensation and had no claim pending. George was registered with the State employment service qualified for clerical work.

Abstracted from: George L Buhler, enrollee service documents, page 10 of 13. Records of the Civilian Conservation Corps, National Archives and Records Administration, St. Louis, Missouri. [Image scanned 21 February 2016 by George L. Buhler Jr., 16034 Glenbrook Knoll Lane, Houston, Texas, 77095, from a copy in possession of same.]


United States Department of labor, Certificate of Selection, for the, Civilian Conservation Corps [cont.]: George was not previously enrolled in the CCC. George’s mother, Florence Lusignan Buhler, was designated to receive his $22 monthly allotment at 807 Atlantic Ave., (Algiers) New Orleans, La. The Department of Labor certified George’s enrollment, pending physical examination, on 19 Oct 1938.

Abstracted from: George L Buhler, enrollee service documents, page 11 of 13. Records of the Civilian Conservation Corps, National Archives and Records Administration, St. Louis, Missouri. [Image scanned 21 February 2016 by George L. Buhler Jr., 16034 Glenbrook Knoll Lane, Houston, Texas, 77095, from a copy in possession of same.]


Civilian Conservation Corps Enrollee’s Cumulative record: 1. Personal History: George Lawrence Buhler, race white, entered camp  19 Oct 1938, Company No. 4404, Camp No. D-5 located at Thibodaux, La. George L. Buhler was born at New Orleans, La. on 23 Apr 1921. At enrollment his height was 70.5 inches, weight 122 pounds, religion was Catholic. and he was single.

His father was George H. Buhler, a US citizen with 5 years education who was on “relief” at the time. His mother was Florence Lusignan Buhler, a US citizen with 7 years education, a housewife.

George graduated 7 years of elementary school from Holy name of Mary in Algiers, La. in Jun 1934.He completed 4 years of high school at St. Aloysius in New Orleans, La. and graduated on 10 Jun 1938.

George had no previous occupational experience. His preference was given as “bookeeper” performing “general office work”.

Abstracted from: George L Buhler, enrollee service documents, page 12 of 13. Records of the Civilian Conservation Corps, National Archives and Records Administration, St. Louis, Missouri. [Image scanned 21 February 2016 by George L. Buhler Jr., 16034 Glenbrook Knoll Lane, Houston, Texas, 77095, from a copy in possession of same.]


Civilian Conservation Corps Enrollee’s Cumulative record [cont.]: II. Company Record: George Buhler, age 17, began service on 1 Jan 1939 at Company No 1498, camp No. SNP-5 at Kaweah, Califormia and on 31 Mar 1939 at Company No. 5449 Camp No. SNP-9 at Three Rivers, California. George received an “average” for typing class. George received 3 hours of instruction per month. The camp superintendant gave George a satisfactory, good work commendation, Company Commander gave a satisfactory and the Camp adviser stated he showed an average interest in education,had an interest in photography , was quiet and friendly, and had good physical health.

Abstracted from: George L Buhler, enrollee service documents, page 13 of 13. Records of the Civilian Conservation Corps, National Archives and Records Administration, St. Louis, Missouri. [Image scanned 21 February 2016 by George L. Buhler Jr., 16034 Glenbrook Knoll Lane, Houston, Texas, 77095, from a copy in possession of same.]