Robert Baur,
A Biography

Robert Baur was born July 30, 1861 in Oberhofen, Canton Berne, Switzerland, the son of Abraham and Anna (Streit) Baur. He was the fourth child of seven who were born to Abraham's second wife, Anna. In 1873 the family left Switzerland and immigrated to America arriving in Toledo, Lucas County, Ohio on August 3, 1873. Robert was twelve years old when he arrived with his family in Toledo. The Baur family took up residence at 279 Segur Avenue. Two years later Abraham died on July 11, 1875 in Toledo of marasmus leaving his widow and seven children who spoke only German to support themselves in a new country. The oldest son, Alfred, was 18 when his father died. Emma was 16; Emil was 15; Robert was almost 14; Arnold was 12; Adolph was 11 and Ernest was 9. Robert entered business life after high school having charge of a small men's furnishing goods and merchant tailoring establishment in Elmore, Ohio. He then entered Baldwin Wallace College at Berea, Ohio and continued his studies there as long as he had finances for it. Upon returning to Toledo, he spent two years with the Sterling Carpet House. Then he began keeping books for the Schunk & Hillenkamp Hardware Company on June 1, 1886.

Robert became active at the Zion German Methodist Episcopal Church which was located in his neighborhood at 271 Segur Avenue. He courted a girl at the church by the name of Ernestine "Tina" Kappen who lived with the church's Pastor Joseph and Minnie Kern. About 1888 or 1889 Rev. Kern was appointed to the Second German Methodist Episcopal Church on Lasalle Avenue in Detroit, Michigan so Robert and Tina were married there on November 11, 1890. Robert bought a house at 1110 Martha Street in Toledo where he brought his bride and they lived there 45 years. (Martha Street became Martha Place in 1904 and the name was changed to Monterey Court in 1917.) After Robert and Tina married, Robert's niece, Louise, who was orphaned at the age of 7 came to live with them. Tina was born June 10, 1866 in Winsor Township, Huron County, Michigan, the daughter of William and Wilhelmine Kappen. Rev. Kern was the pastor of the Evangelical Church in Winsor Township, Huron County, Michigan, where Tina and her family were members. When Rev. Kern received the appointment to leave their church and go to Toledo, Ohio in 1885, the Kerns asked if Tina could move with them to help with the housekeeping. She was 19 at the time. Four children were born to Robert and Tina. Florence Minnie Baur was stillborn October 23, 1891. Elmer Robert Baur was born December 7, 1892; Joseph Kern Baur was born August 8, 1895; and Clarence Carl Baur was born October 20, 1897. All four children were born in Toledo, Ohio. In 1893, the Schunk Hillenkamp & Company became the Star Hardware Company with Robert Baur as one of the directors and officers. In 1907 he sold his stock and transferred his connections to the Schunk Marquardt Company which later became the Schunk Hardware Company. From April 12, 1908, Mr. Baur was Secretary/Treasurer of this company. He was also a director of the Lucas County Savings Bank. After he retired from the Schunk Hardware Company in 1925, he became Deputy Auditor for Lucas County, a position he held 10 years (until he died). He was Treasurer of the Zion Methodist Episcopal Church 50 years and Sunday School Superintendent for many years. Both he and Tina took an active part in church affairs. Mr. Baur's memberships included the German Pioneer Society, the Northwestern Ohio Historical Society, Rubicon Lodge No. 237, Free and Accepted Masons, the Toledo Commerce Club and the Schunk Hardware Club. He was a director of the Lakeside Association of the Central German Conference and treasurer of the German Benevolent Association. He died January 27, 1935 in Toledo, Ohio of cardiac decompensation at the age of 73 and is buried in Forest Cemetery, Section C-7. After he died, Tina sold the house at 1110 Monterey Court and went to live with her son Elmer and his wife, Sophia, at 1004 Gordon Street, Toledo, Ohio, where she died of cerebral thrombosis on November 13, 1939 at the age of 73. She is buried with her husband in Forest Cemetery, Section C-7.

Source: Most of the information came from the History of Northwest Ohio, Vol. 2, by Nevin O. Winter. Chicago and New York: Lewis Publishing Company, pp. 1242-1244, 1917.

Submitted by Carol Morrison [25Dec01]

 

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