HJ/EDJuly 17, 2006

Joseph Fasching annual family reunion totals more than 50 years

Joseph Fasching’s family was one of the first families to settle in Winsted in 1869

By Linda Scherer
Staff Writer

Anyone driving by Hainlin Park in Winsted July 9 might have wondered if they had forgotten a town event, seeing the crowd of people and all of the parked cars.

The gathering was the reunion of the Joseph and Appolonia Fasching family; an annual event that has taken place for more than 50 years.

The reunion began as a family get-together at Luella (Fasching) Kaczmarek’s home in Silver Lake to celebrate their mother’s birthday, one family member said.

Although no one knows exactly what year they began the reunion, it started about the same time the first grandchild was born in 1944.

When Appolonia died in 1982, the family felt a need to continue the tradition.

Today, the gathering is about 10 times larger than when they all first started to get together.

Joseph and Appolonia Fasching had 12 children. All of them are living except the oldest son, who died of cancer in 1962. They are grandparents to 81 grandchildren, 169 great-grandchildren, and 23 great-great-grandchildren.

The original family farm, located on Cardinal Avenue, which is southwest of the Winsted airport, is owned and operated by the fourth generation of Faschings.

The children and grandchildren have many varied careers, from homemakers to research scientists. Many of them have made their career in farming, just like their grandparents before them.

Fasching history

Joseph Fasching’s grandparents, Andrew and Rosalia Bates came to the United States in 1868, from Geresdorf, Austria-Hungary. Their six children, including Joseph’s father, Frank, who was 14 at the time, came with them.

Andrew purchased 40 acres in Winsted for $200 in 1869. Other acreage was added as it became available. They had one milk cow, two other cattle, and two swine. The estimated value of all their farm products was $75. These statistics were taken from the 1870 census.

Frank, Joseph’s father, met Elizabeth Scherman, who also traveled with her parents to the United States from Geresdorf, Austria-Hungary, arriving two years before Frank. Their families were well acquainted, but did not see much of each other in America.

Frank and Elizabeth married Feb. 5, 1878 at Holy Trinity’s first church. They were married by the Rev. Povolny.

Their home became the family farmstead to four generations of Faschings. Frank and his wife, Elizabeth, had 12 children, and Joseph was their fifth child.

Farming in those days was very difficult because the land had to be cleared of trees. In some cases, Frank had to dig around the tree stumps in order to plant a little wheat.

When the grain was ripe, he would cut it, thrash it by hand, and then bag it and haul the grain to Minneapolis to be ground into flour. The trip for Frank, to and from Minneapolis, was estimated to take several days.

There were few social events for the Faschings. When Sunday services became available in Winsted, the family would walk to church. Going to church on Sunday was the main event of the entire week.

During Frank and Elizabeth‘s later years, they handed their farm over to their son, Joseph, Sr., who was to care for his parents until they died. Frank died in 1939, and Elizabeth in 1949.

Joseph, Sr. and Appolonia Stifter were married May 9, 1917 at the Church of the Most Holy Trinity in Winsted. The pastor was the Rev. Andrew J. Rinke.

Joseph, Sr. and Appolonia also had 12 children. All 12 of the children attended Holy Trinity School.

This was the time of the Great Depression, and there was little money to be made from farming. Most of Joseph’s life on the farm was spent with horse-drawn machinery.

When Joseph and Appolonia retired in 1954 due to the ill health of Joseph, Sr., the farm was turned over to their son, Joseph, Jr., who was the third generation to farm on that farmstead.

Joseph, Sr. died in 1962, at the age of 74. Appolonia lived 20 years longer than her husband, and she kept very busy.

She cooked for weddings and social events, enjoyed her family and other people, and was also a housekeeper for Fr. John Wagner at Vista, Minn. for some time. She moved from the farm to a house in Winsted, and enjoyed her remaining years going to daily Mass and other church activities, taking care of the corner grotto by Holy Trinity School, and doing gardening. She passed away in 1982, at the age of 82.

Joseph and Appolonia Fasching’s 12 children

• Engelbert, born Aug. 8, 1920, married Irene Haekenkamp Feb. 2, 1942. They have four children. Engelbert died in 1963.

• Clarina, born Sept. 9, 1921, married Don McInnes Sept. 11, 1943. They have nine children. Clarina lives in Port Angeles, Wash.

• Irene, born Aug. 31, 1923, married Benedict Otto May 20, 1947. They have 10 children. Irene currently lives in Lester Prairie.

• Luella, born Sept. 9, 1925, married Chester Kaczmarek Oct. 2, 1945. They have seven children. Luella lives in Silver Lake.

• Edward, born Nov. 29, 1926, married Irene Matkowski May 3, 1949. They have seven children, live in Winsted.

• Marietta, born Feb. 12, 1929, married Florian Nowak Sept. 5, 1950. They have 10 children, and live in Silver Lake.

• Joseph, born April 12, 1931, married Ann Wawryzniak in 1953. They have 15 children. They live in Winsted on the original farm.

• John, born Sept. 5, 1933, married Bernardine Rhode June 27, 1959. They have four children, and live in California.

• Finton, married Jeanne Hunt Aug. 21, 1965. They have four children. Finton lives in Washington. He was divorced in 1970 and married Marilyn Deal Apr. 21, 1978.

• Grace, born Nov. 2, 1937, married Aris Brown Aug. 4, 1956. They have two children. Brown died in a car accident in 1962. Grace married James Nolan June 10, 1967. They live in Maple Plain.

• Rosemarie, born April 10, 1940 ,married Sylvester Mallak May 16, 1959. They have six children, and live in New Ulm.

• Linda, born July 2, 1941, married James Vochoska Dec. 22, 1962. They have three children. Linda married Gary Ruhland July 8, 1994, and they live in Montgomery, MN.

Information taken from “Back to the Roots, the Andrew Fasching Lines” written by Sr. Marcelle Bayerl 1980.

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