It's where Bluffton gets its news!
October 20, 2021

You are here

Rudolf, Gotthard and Henry Althaus

Our Swiss connection - part 29

This is the 29th installment in this series. Click here for the previous installment.

Three Althaus brothers Rudolf, Gotthard and Henry, each born in Landschaft, Bretzwil, Canton Basel, Switzerland, came to the America separately in the 1840s and 1850s. The village of Bretzwil is located about 25 miles south of Basel, Switzerland.

Rudolf lived in Bluffton. Gotthard and Henry lived on farms in the Swiss Settlement.

On the paternal side, their great-grandparents were Ulrich and Barbara (Jenni) Althaus. Ulrich was born in Germany in 1708, and died in 1801.

Barbara, was born in 1709 and died in 1767. Ulrich was a farmer and dairyman.

Of Ulrich, it is known: “Ulrich Althaus-Jenni leased the Ramstein Castle and Farm on April 20, 1746.” Ramstein Castle is located in the Alsace-Loraine area of France near the city of Selestat.

The brothers’ paternal grandparents were Johann Rudolf Althaus (1743-1829) and Maria Sutter Althaus (1748-1816).

Their parents were Johann Heinrich Althaus and Barbara Giese Althaus. Johann and Barbara were parents of nine children.

Rudolf Althaus came to America in 1845 when he was 22.

He married Barbara A. Amstutz when he was 39. She was born in Wayne County, Ohio, to Peter and Barbara Luginbuhl Amstutz, on June 10, 1841. The couple had four children. Rudolf was one of the signers of a petition to change the name of Shannon to Bluffton, in 1861.

By profession, Rudolf was a painter and well-known for his oil painted scene of Switzerland. He and his wife, Barbara, are buried in Maple Grove Cemetery.

In his early teens, Gotthard was described as a “wanderlust,” and had the desire to travel and explore. Traveling in Switzerland and surrounding places, he declared that he had seen a respectable part of the world.

In 1854, at age 18, he migrated to the United States.

In America he married Elizabeth Steiner, daughter of John F. “Buchwald Hans” and Barbara Habegger Steiner. Gotthard was 23 and his wife 22, when they were married on July 28, 1859.

The couple had 11 children.

A great-granddaughter, Anita Althaus Huber, lives on the original farm that Gotthard purchased, located on the northeast corner of State Route 696 and Bluffton-Columbus Grove Road. Gotthard and Elizabeth are buried in Ebenezer Mennonite Cemetery.

Note: Rudolf Althaus is maternal great-grandfather of Fred Steiner of the Icon. Click here for a photograph of the Althaus residence in Bluffton in 1886.

Henry Althaus
Born: 1822, Canton Basel, Switzerland
Died: Jan. 9, 1899
He was never married

Rudolf and Barbara Amstutz Althaus family

Johann Rudolf Althaus
Born: Aug. 17, 1823, Canton Basle, Switzerland
Died: Oct. 9, 1909, Bluffton
Buried: Maple Grove Cemetery

Rudolf’s father: Dr. Johann Heinrich Althaus (1790-1851)
Rudolf’s mother: Barbara Geise (1798-1863)

Barbara A. Amstutz Althaus
Born: Jun 10, 1841, Wayne County
Died: Jan. 10, 1828, Bluffton
Buried: Maple Grove Cemetery

Barbara’s father: Peter Amstutz, (1799-1881)
Barbara’s mother: Barbara Luginbuhl (1800-1881)

Rudolf and Barbara Althaus children

Mary Althaus
Born: Oct. 23, 1863, Bluffton
Died: Aug. 25, 1864

Andrew Althaus
Born: June 13, 1865, Bluffton
Died: July 31, 1939, Toledo, Ohio
He was never married

Werner Althaus
Born: Nov. 25, 1867, Bluffton
Died: Feb. 12 1934, Toledo, Ohio
He was never married

Bertha Althaus Hahn
Born: Jan. 24, 1874, Bluffton
Died: July 22, 1968, Bluffton
Spouse: Fred H. Hahn
The couple had 5 children

Gotthard and Elizabeth Steiner Althaus family

Gotthard Althaus
Born: Jan. 17, 1836, Landschaft, Bretzwil, Basel, Switzerland
Died: Jan. 6, 1914, Richland Township
Buried: Ebenezer Mennonite Cemetery

Gotthard’s father: Dr. Johann Heinrich Althaus (1790-1851)
Gotthard’s mother: Barbara Geise (1798-1863)

Elizabeth Steiner Althaus
Born: Oct. 21, 1837, Riley Township
Died: Nov. 12, 1916, Richland Township
Buried: Ebenezer Mennonite Cemetery

Elizabeth’s father: John F. “Buchwald Hans” Steiner (1807-1900)
Elizabeth’s mother: Barbara Habegger (1806-1853)

Gotthard and Elizabeth’s children

Heinrich Althaus
Born: April 29, 1860, Richland Township
Died: Sept. 25, 1861, Richland Township

Johannes G. Althaus
Born: Oct. 5, 1861, Richland Township
Died: Jan. 18, 1944, Richland Township
Spouse: Verena Suter
The couple had 3 children

Barbara Althaus
Born: April 25, 1863, Richland Township
Died: Sept. 19, 1929, Bluffton
Spouse: Martin Grismore
The couple had 7 children

Jacob Althaus
Born: July 1, 1864, Richland Township
Died: Oct. 22, 1933
Spouse: Emma Geiger
The couple had 5 children

Johana Althaus
Born: March 1, 1866, Richland Township
Died: Oct. 31, 1957
Spouse: Theophilus J. Basinger
The couple had 6 children

Elizabeth Althaus
Born: Feb. 5, 1866, Richland Township
Died: Aug. 9, 1955, Findlay, Ohio
Spouse: David Diller
The couple had 6 children

Marie Althaus
Born: Dec. 24, 1869, Richland Township
Died: May 29, 1921, Toledo, Ohio

Magdalena Althaus
Born: May 27, 1871, Richland Township
Died: July 28, 1918, Richland Township

Ulrich Althaus
Born: Aug. 7, 1873, Richland Township
Died: Dec. 26, 1873, Richland Township

Albert Althaus
Born: Sept. 5, 1874, Richland Township
Died: May 28, 1941, Lima, Ohio
Spouse: Sarah Geiger
The couple had 6 children

Infant son Althaus
Born: July 30, 1883, Richland Township
Died: July 31, 1883, Richland Township