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Life Story Of Johannes Durtschi

Written and Copyright by Freda Durtschi Baker

        Johannes, the fourth child of Christian and Elisabetha Durrand Turtschi was one of the children who had gone to live in another home. He had a very hard life, having to "work hard and starve a lot." He made up his mind that he would find a better life. He was ambitious and acquired a fair education. He was employed as a county official and farmed besides.
        In his farming activities, he was constantly frustrated because, in the area there were quite a number of J. Taylors and J Turtschis who used the initials J. T, to brand their tools and other property, thus there were constant arguments over who the property really belonged to. So Johannes, being a man of action, changed his last name to Durtschi, thus changing his brand to J. D. In 1830, the year of the organization of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in America, he became Johannes Durtschi officially. This name has been used by his posterity thenceforth.

        On March 14, 1834 Johannes took as his bride, Margaretha Winkler, of Hilterfingen, Bern, Switzerland. She was born April 26, 1814, the youngest daughter of Christian Winkler, Junior and Maria Wagisbach. She did not have the joy of growing up with a father to guide her as he died when she was only eight months old.
        Johannes and Margarentha were the parents of twelve children, all born in Spiez.

1) Johannes, the first Durtschi born, September 30, 1835. He married Elisabeth Burgener in Interlaken. Their eight children were born in Spiez. Johannes died September 19, 1909, age 74.

2) Rosina Katharina, March 20, 1838. She married Jakob Mutzenberg of Faulensee. She died .July 16, 1882, age 44.

3) Gotfried, born August 8, 1841. On May 21, 1864 he took to wife Anna Scharen of Spiez. She died June 23, 1905. Gotfried lived until July 20, 1916, age 75.

4) Jakob was born October 15, 1843. He died at the age of 7 and a half.

5) Friedrich was born December 22, 1845, (History follows)

6) Margaretha, Nov. 12, 1847, Died May 1, 1893, age 45.

7) Edward was born July 31, 1849, He married Rosina Katharina Hiltbrand, August 24, 1877, Rosina was born November 1, 1850 in Wimmis, Bern, Switzerland, the daughter of Christian Hiltbrand and Susanna Itten, They made their home in Wimmis where their ten children were born, Two children died in early childhood.
        Edward and his family all joined the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and immigrated to Utah. They settled in a home in Snake Creek, a small settlement on the northwest fringe of Midway, Wasatch County. (This area is now incorporated into the Utah State Park.) In 1916 the Edward Durtschi family moved to Driggs, Idaho and became known as the Idaho Durtschis. Edward passed away July 30, 1923. He was 74 years old. His wife died on December 23rd of the same year.

8) Elise was born January 28, 1852. She lived only three weeks and died February 18.

9) Elise, second, was born September 20, 1853. She married Samuel von Kaenel, of Aeschi, Canton Bern, May 11, 1876. It is probable when they lived in Aeschi that she lost her husband, April 13, 1895. Elise was a widow for nine years; she died December 12, 1904, age 51.

10) Jakob, Feb. 19, 1857. He died at 14 months, May 9, 1858.

11) Luise, born June 11, 1858, lived only ten months, died March 101 1859.

12) Rudolph Wilhelm, July 7, 1860. Died Nov. 15, 1929, age 69.

        Johannes and his family moved to the outskirts of Faulensee, He accumulated a fair estate and made a good living. He died July 28, 1873, age 64. His wife Margaretha survived him by twenty-five years. She died just before her 84th birthday, April 7, 1898.

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Page Updated: 24 Mar 01