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Life Story Of Adolph Durtschi


Copyright 2006 by the Durtschi Family

        Adolph Durtschi was born April 6, 1887 in Faulensee, Bern, Switzerland. He was the fifth son, seventh child of Friedrich Durtschi, Sr. (December 22, 1845) and Elisabeth von Kaenel (October 31, 1852.
        Adolph attended school when he was six years of age and until he was fifteen. In his sixteenth year he heard the Gospel and was baptized a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day-Saints on October 10, 1903 by Elder Conrad Gertsch in the Thunnersee. He was confirmed a member of the Church on the same day by Elder Alma Burgener.
        He came to America with his family. They left Basel, Switzerland on April l4, 1904. They boarded a ship of the Red Star Line at Antwerp, Belgium April 16. After a rough voyage they landed in New York May 4, 1904, and traveled to Midway, Wasatch County, Utah by rail.
        The Andreas Burgener Family was at the depot to meet them and helped them locate a house to rent for a few months. On August 12, his father purchased a small farm in “Stringtown.” (Stringtown was the fond name for the area south on the road from Midway to Charleston where scattered farms and homes were located.) The farm was just south of the home where his oldest brother Fred had located. The family lived in a wood cabin on the northwest corner of the property, at the junction of the Stringtown and Charleston roads.
        Adolph went to Salt Lake to do carpentering. He had been trained by his father and he was a good carpenter so he went into the construction business. He was a good builder and he wanted his family to have a good house to live in, so he spent several months in 1910 helping his father and brothers build the first “white” brick home in the valley. The bricks were really off-white, or tinged with yellow. For that time in history it was a fine home.
        As the war clouds gathered all men younger than forty-five were required to register for the draft. Adolph was one of the first men called up. He and many other young, unmarried men were called to serve in the army. On April 6, 1917 the United States declared war on Germany.
        November 11, 1918 the armistice between Germany and the United States was signed and Adolph returned home. He returned to his building business in Salt Lake and also homesteaded a farm on the “reservation” near Midview where his sister Lina and her family had settled. His brothers John and William helped him with his ranch and building a house on the farm. Because he had to be in residence and do a certain amount of farming to keep the homestead valid, his brothers often lived there.
        On October 15, 1919 Adolph and Adele Rohrback (21 September 1889) daughter of Samuel Rohrbach and Margaretha Bahler, were married in the Salt Lake Temple.
        Early in February of 1920 Adolph contracted the “flu” which had been introduced to Utah by returning servicemen from Europe. This was a virulent strain of influenza and it was not long before Adolph developed pneumonia. This was the day before penicilin so many of the patients succumbed to the malady. Adolph died February 4, 1920 in Salt lake City, Utah. He was buried in the Salt lake City Cemetery.
        His widow Adele worked as a nanny to several different families in Salt Lake City. In later years her sister and brother-in-law, Adolph’s youngest brother William, built an apartment in their home on Green Street for her use. She lived there until her death in October 1973.
        Margaret and William were very kind to Adele during her declining years.

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Page Updated: 6 Sep 06