OBITUARY MEMORIAL OF THE LATE GEORGE GASCHE
The unfortunate Queen Katherine of England, wife of Henry the eighth said “After my death I wish no other herald, no other speaker of my living actions to keep mine honor from corruption, but such an honest chronicles as Griffith.” Three or four years before his death, the late George Gasche said to the writer, “After I am gone if anyone think it worthwhile to write an obituary notice for me I do not want them to tell how many dollars I gathered together nor how many acres of land I acquired, but rather to tell what I did to help make the world better.”
George Gasche was the fourth son of Dr. Carl (Charles) Gasche a Prussian Surgeon of good standing in his native country. The subject of this sketch was born in Witzlar, Prussia May 1st, 1819. Died January 24th, 1895, aged 75 years 8 months and 23 days.
Dr. Gasche brought his family to America when George was thirteen years old, locating first in Cumberland Co., Penn., where George was apprenticed to a shoemaker, serving this man two years. His father then removed to Holmes Co., Ohio and located in an 80-acre farm which this son helped to clear. He worked at his trade of evenings to help secure the money needed to pay for the land in this county which was to be his permanent home. In 1840 at the age of 21 years he purchased the farm he owned at the time of his death. Owing to the material condition of the country at that time he did not locate here until 1855. But he came each year and worked a month or more improving his land and getting it ready for occupation, making the journeys back and forth on foot.
On New Years day 1847 he married Catherine Honeberger Gasche, the widow of his brother William also taking the care of his brother’s children, Eliza and William. They bought a little home in Holmes Co., and cleared the land and lived there eight years. This house was then sold, their little store of goods stowed away in a canvas covered wagon. The pioneers present are all familiar with the mode of travel of that day and know something of the condition of the roads over which they were obliged to pass and the weather they might expect, when it is told that they started on their journey on the 12th April 1855 and arrived at their destination the 18th.
It took industry, much hard labor, and such economy as his children know little of, to make the comfortable home so well known to most of you. He worked faithfully and lovingly to provide each of his children with a home. He said frequently that he did not want a child of his to be compelled to practice the rigid economy and self-denial that he was obliged to when he began to do for himself after he attained his majority. He was brought up under the teaching of the Lutheran Church.
Also after he began going to school a Catholic priest went to the schools twice a week to instruct the children in the doctrines of the Roman Church. The parents were careful to explain to their children wherein Luther and other Reformers thought the Amish Church had substituted their own rituals for the teaching of the Bible. The result of his early teaching and his own study on the subject was that he believed in the “Fatherhood of God and the Brotherhood of Man”.
When his father settled in this country in 1832, Jackson was President. The father said to his older sons “We will join no political party until we have had time to study the political history of the parties of the country. Dr. Gasche had carefully studied the history of the United States before he decided to emigrate and before the law permitted him to become a citizen he had made himself and older sons familiar with the political history of the nation.
In his early years George Gasche was generally classed as a Democrat yet he was always an independent voter. When his party nominees or the platform did not suit him, he would vote for that which did suit him, in whatever party he found it. Always anxious to promote the well being of the masses and willing to lend a helping hand to any society or organization which proposed to do this work, it was to be expected by all who knew him best that he would become a staunch Granger when he joined that society when it was first organized in Wauseon. Members of that Society know how faithfully he did his part to make that organization a power for good to all classes. I do not know of a just cause which the Grange campaigned which did not receive the hearty support of George Gasche.
He served one term as commissioner, being elected to this office by the independent voters of the county. For several years he was a member of the County Board of Agriculture, favoring those measures which stood for the improvement of Agriculture, Education and good morals. Being strong in the faith that told abstinence from intoxicating liquors and narcotics was beneficial to the individual, and that mandatory prohibition was the state and nations best way of regulating and controlling of intoxicants and narcotics for drink purposes, it was only natural that he should ally himself with the Prohibition Party. He looked upon a political party as only a means by which men declared their belief as to what set of principles they wanted embodied in the laws of the state and nation. His political maxim was the greatest good to greatest number of people. Not being an aspirant for office he said he could always register his convictions on morel questions in his ballot.
He once said “Those children honor their parents most who give them the least cause for grief or shame. I have always tried to live so that when all of this earth is past, and I meet my mother in the future world I can say to her, if it is necessary for children to say such things there with a clear conscience, mother I have never dishonored your teaching and example, nor brought disgrace upon my fathers name.”
This man was a great lover of the beautiful in nature and art and music. He said to me when we started to the World’s Fair, “We can not see and hear all that is there. I want to see the best pictures, the fine laces and porcelains and Italian stationary, the flowers and hear the best music. If there is any time left we will give it to some of the useful exhibits.” He was touched most by the paintings of home life and the music that touched the affection and home life.
He was a sturdy, rugged, courageous man and yet he was singularly tender and affectionate, without being demonstrative. Only those who knew him most intimately knew how careful he was to avoid everything that might hurt any ones feelings.
“The fine spirit cannot always sleep in dust,
Whose essence is ethereal, they may try
To darken and degrade it; it may rust
Dimly while, but it can not wholly die;
And, when it wakens, it will send its fire
Intense, forth and higher.”
Written by Eve (Gorsuch) Gasche wife of
William Gasche the stepson and nephew of George.