Biography of John Henry Asendorf
John Henry Asendorf was born Johann Heinrich Asendorf in Bremen, Germany on August 27, 1863. He was the son of Albert Heinrich Asendorf. He immigrated to the United State in roughly 1879 landing in Baltimore, MD.
After first being married to Catherine Schitz in roughly 1885, John Henry, now a widower, married Lula Jobes on January 1, 1893. Why they were married in Cumberland, MD is currently a mystery since the Jobes were from Uniontown, Pennsylvania where the couple took up residency.
In Uniontown, John Henry opened a butcher shop at 22 Race Street. One of his sons later wrote that his butcher shop burnt down three times. Of what significance this is remains veiled. His work as a butcher served him well during his time in the Army; many of his diary notations are about preparing meat.
John had a son named Albert from his first marriage and eight children from his second marriage who survived past infancy. One of his sons, Paul Wilson Asendorf, was my grandfather. I currently have two excellent pictures of John Henry Asendorf from around the time that he served in the Army.
John Henry served in the 10th Regiment, Company C, Pennsylvania Volunteers from May 8th, 1898 until sometime shortly after August 21, 1899 (the date of his last diary entry). He kept a diary rather religiously during this time. The diary is actually four small notebooks. One of these notebooks has the word Notas on its cover.
The following is a transcription from Genealogical & Personal History of Fayette County Pennsylvania by John W. Jordan & James Hadden vIII 1912, Lewis Historical Publishing Co., NY pp. 693-695:
The Asendorfs of Uniontown are of German birth John Henry Asendorf being founder of this branch in the United States.
(I) Albert H. Asendorf was born in Bremen, Germany, in 1834, one of seven children. He was educated in the public schools, and became a cigar manufacturer. He was engaged in that business in Bremen until the Franco-Prussian war, which began in 1870 and resulted in a complete victory for Germany over France. Mr. Asendorf enlisted at the beginning of the war, and after a few months' service with his regiment was engaged at the battle of Sedan, where he was killed in action, adding another to the long list of German heroes who gave their lives for the glory of the fatherland. He was a member of the Reformed Evangelical church, and in politics was connected with the Socialistic party. He was thirty-six years of age at the time of his death. He married Julia Hageman, born in Braunschweig, Germany, one of three children. Her sister, Meta, married Demeter Hartung, and came to the United States. Children of Albert H. Asendorf: 1. Meta, married Herman Lackman, and resides in Mount Pleasant, Pennsylvania, her husband being engaged there in the butcher business. 2. Lena, married Henry Schaffer, a contractor and builder of Bremen, Germany. 3. Albert, a cabinetmaker of Bremen, married Augusta -------. 4. John H., of whom further. 5. Christ J., a traveling salesman of Uniontown, Pennsylvania, married Martha Altman. The mother of these children is still living in Germany aged eighty-one years.
(II) John Henry, son of Albert H. and Julia (Hageman) Asendorf, was born in Bremen, Germany, August 27, 1863. He received a good education in the public schools of Bremen, and on arriving at suitable age began learning the blacksmith's trade. He continued two years, then in 1879 came to the United States, landing in Baltimore, Maryland. After a short stay there he came to Fayette county, Pennsylvania, but after two years' residence, returned east to Bayonne, New Jersey, where for eight years he was engaged in the butcher business. In 1891 he again came to Fayette county. In 1898 he enlisted in Company C, Tenth Regiment, Pennsylvania Volunteers, for the war against Spain. On his return with his regiment he settled in Uniontown, where he has ever since resided, engaged in a very successful butcher business. Is a Democrat in politics; served as school director of North Union township, Fayette county. Member of Christian church, also Knights of Malta and Heptasophs.
He married (first) Catherine Schitz, who had four children, of whom only one survives: 1. Albert H., born April 5, 1889, an electrician, but now a soldier of the United States regular army. He married (second) January 1, 1893, Lula Jobes, born in North Union township, Fayette county, June 29, 1873, daughter of Winfield Scott and Mary (Inks) Jobes, both born in Fayette county. The father, a blacksmith, now living at High House in that county. Children of second marriage, all born in Uniontown, Pennsylvania: 2. Charles Earl, died in infancy. 3. Anna Mabel, born April 18, 1898. 4. Percy J., July 4, 1900. 5. Olive Margaret, September 26, 1902. 6. Helen Frances, December 28, 1908. 7. Julia Eleanor, February 20, 1911. (Editor's Note, 2 more children followed the publication of this article: 8. Paul Wilson, October 25, 1913. 9. Harry William, June 27, 1917.) Children of Winfield Scott and Mary Jobes: 1. Lula, of previous mention, wife of John H. Asendorf. 2. Edmond, died in infancy. 3. Cinderella, died in infancy. 4. Susan Jane, married E.M. Gribble, a farmer of New Salem, Fayette county. 5. Lee M., a butcher of Uniontown, married Luella McCloy. 6. Emma, married Walter McClelland, a teamster of Uniontown. 8. Mary Kate, married Irwing J. Remminger, a baker of Uniontown. 9. Grace, rsides in Uniontown. 10. Bertha, resides in Uniontown. 11. George Earl, an electrical engineer, residing near New Salem, Pennsylvania, married Grace Pike. 12. Ethel, resides in Uniontown. 13. Jessie, resides in Uniontown. The mother of these children died June 11, 1900, aged forty-five years.
The Jobes family are of Holland ancestry and were the original settlers of Jobstown, Burlington county, New Jersey. This family descends from Samuel Jobes, of New Jersey, who enlisted in the revolutionary army at the ages of sixteen years and served during the entire war. At its close he came to Fayette county, and settled near Mount Braddock, on land and in a log cabin owned by Col. Isaac Meason. When the war of 1812 was on and troops were gathering at New Orleans he decided to again take up arms against Great Britain. Unhitching his team he led one horse to the barn, and without making his intentions known to his family, mounted the other, waved his hand to the family and rode away never to return. His fate is unknown. Eleanor, wife of Samuel Jobes, is buried in the Meason graveyard, on the farm later owned by Robert Hogsett. Daniel, son of Samuel and Eleanor Jobes, married Jane, daughter of Samuel McCullough, also a revolutionary soldier. Daniel moved to the William Carson farm. He was the great-grandfather of Lula (Jobes) Asendorf.
Following the war, he returned to Uniontown and evidently took up his butcher's business again. He served as Commander of the De La Loma Post 15 of the Veterans of Foreign War and belonged to the Daniel M. Bierer Camp 103 of the United Spanish War Veterans in Uniontown. The De La Loma Post of the VFW no longer exists. While I have sketchy information, a man I spoke to at Post 47 in Uniontown seems to remember that the De La Loma Post went bankrupt during the Depression.
Around roughly 1935, the entire Asendorf family moved to Toledo, Ohio. There he was a member of Egbert Camp 10 of the USWV. One of his granddaughters says she once saw his name in a city directory as a coffin maker. Most of his descendants who remember him say he had a gruff manner about him but he was always kind. Another story of him was that whenever he and his wife came to visit, he would give the grandkids a wink which meant to meet him upstairs. While there, he would give them a dollar. Upon arriving back downstairs, his wife would ask "You didn't go giving those kids money again did you?" To which he always replied no and smiled at the kids. My great-grandparents also kept a huge garden in the lot across the street from their house. It seems to have left quite an impression on their grandkids because every one of them seems to remember it.