This post is number 6 in the series of the 52 Ancestors Challenge where we blog about a different ancestor for each week of the year.
Borden Hays Baumgartel, Senior married into the family. He is the second husband of my great-grandmother Mabel Pittman Roll and the step-father to my grandmother Olive A. Roll. Borden was a friend of Ollie Cromwell Roll, Mable’s first husband. Ollie Roll died of flu related symptoms in 1918. Borden and Mable were married in Evansville, IN, in 1920. Two boys, Borden, Junior (aka Uncle Bob, born 1922) and John Donald Baumgartel (born 1925) were added to the new family.
Who was Borden H. Baumgartel? For starters, he most likely was not a Baumgartel. Borden is listed on the 1900 Census living with his grandfather, Henry M. Baumgartel, his parents, Lawson (Losson) and Alma J. Hartley Baumgartel and his brother Henry. There is an added word on Borden’s line indicating he is the adopted grandson of Henry M. Baumgartel. The family resides in New Albany, Floyd Co, Indiana at that time.
I will provide details of my analysis on this adoption in another blog post. I just want to get a quick bio out today. Briefly, his original birth name may be Borden. Borden’s son John Donald Baumgartel changed his last name to Borden either in the late 1940’s or 1950’s. Borden may have known he was adopted. The Baumgartel’s may have used his last name as his first name when they adopted him. Which was common as I have seen guardian records from that era using that naming pattern.
Lawson Baumgartel tragically died in 1903. Leaving Alma with four children, the youngest, Pearl, was only five days old. Alma remarries twice and seems to cut ties with the Baumgartel family. She moves the family to Louisville, KY. Borden starts working as a clerk when he is 15 years old in 1913. By the start of WWI he is a Western Union messenger and serving in the Kentucky National Guard. Shortly thereafter, he is inducted as a Private in the US Army in August 1917 and serving in the war.
I have a copy of his discharge papers from the National Guard stating he is being inducted into the Army. I found a copy of his application to get a duplicate copy of his Army discharge papers in 1932. There was a fire in August 1932 that destroyed most of the photos and other memorabilia belonging to the Roll, Howes, and Baumgartel families. I am not aware if he went overseas or stayed stateside during the war.
Borden and Mable reside in Louisville, KY after they marry in 1920 for about five or six years. They relocate to Dearborn or Garden City area west of Detroit, Michigan around 1926 for looking for better work. Allegedly, Borden and Mable ran a grocery store in Detroit, then Garden city. As a result of the Great Depression, the family could no longer make a living having the store. Borden was able to get a job at the Ford Motor company in Dearborn. The story passed down is that Borden was in a car accident involving an executive at Ford’s. Borden told the executive if he wanted payment for damage, he would have to hire him.
While working one day at the Ford plant, Borden had a heart attack and died in 1944. His son, Borden (Uncle Bob) remained in Dearborn until his retirement in the 1980’s. Mable and her son, John, moved down to Mango, FL.