Date of Death: 9 Oct 1891
Subject: John Baum
Source: Savannah Reporter, Oct 1891
The subject of this sketch was born in Fiel, Ober Merschel county, Rhine Province, Bavaria, Germany, January 18, 1808, of wealthy and influential parents. August 29, 1837, he left Rotterdam, Holland, and after a stormy trip of sixty days he landed in Philadelphia in the midst of the panic of 1837. He remained there two years working at his trade, that of cooper. On account of failing health he was advised to take a sea voyage. He accordingly took passage on a sailing vessel bound for New Orleans. The ship was driven out of its way by a storm, but after a very lengthy passage, during which the passengers came near starving, they reached their destination. Together with a cousin, he took a steamboat passage to St. Louis, but when near Vicksburg, the boat was wrecked. Taking the next boat, they at length arrived safely at St. Louis. Soon afterward he came on up the river to St. Joseph, then known as Blacksnake Hills, one log cabin representing the entire city. This was in June, 1842. April 27, 1843, he was united in marriage to Christina Frick, and in the spring of 1844 he settled upon the farm where he died. In the interval of farming he worked at his trade, and in 1848 he helped built the Presbyterian (now the Catholic) church in Savannah, in company with Rev. E. A. Carson.
Quite a remarkable coincident is the fact that the bell hung in the church building, and with Mr. Baum helped to hand, was the bell belonging to the steamboat in which he was wrecked.
Seven children were born of this marriage, five of whom are yet living in Andrew county, two sons, Jacob and Geo. Baum, three daughters, Mrs. J. M. Landers, Mrs. J. H. Graff, and Mrs. James Townsend. Another daughter, Mrs. G. Kolbrenner, has been dead a number of years. His aged wife also survives him. He died on Monday, Oct. 12, 1891, aged 83 years, 8 months and 24 days, and was buried in Bennett Lane cemetery.
In early youth he was a member of the Dutch Reformed church, but after coming to America he joined the Presbyterians. His long life of nearly 84 years covered most of modern history. He was an eye witness of the retreat of Napoleon's army from Moscow, and often related it; and also the development of the Great West. It is give to but few men to see so much of history.