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History Book

In the 1930s, a federal program during the administration of President Franklin Delano Roosevelt, appointed people to conduct oral history interviews across the country.

In Paynesville, Clarence Chisholm conducted over 100 interviews with local citizens. These selections from those interviews were printed throughout 2000 in The Paynesville Press.

Copies of the interviews were provided by the Paynesville Area Historical Society.


Voices of the Past - Gustave Lobitz

Gustave Lobitz was born on July 3, 1859, in Waconia, Carver County, Minnesota, the son of Christian and Wilhelmina (Schultz) Lobitz. They had six children: Frank, Christ, Molly, Bertha, and twins, Molly and Gustave.

Gustave attended public schools in Waconia and grew to manhood there. He learned the carpenter trade which he followed for a great number of years.

In 1888, Gustave left Waconia and came to Stearns County, Minnesota. He settled on a farm in Paynesville Township. Besides his farm work, he went to work as a carpenter throughout the surrounding country.

On April 25, 1889, Gustave was united in marriage to Louisa Schwartz, daughter of Louis and Sophie (Clostermeyer) Schwartz, in the village of Paynesville.

Louisa (Schwartz) Lobitz was born in Saxony, Germany, on Oct. 10, 1871. She came to America with her parents when she was two years old. Her parents, Louis and Sophie, left Saxony with their family in 1873. They came to America and settled in Spring Hill Township, Stearns County, Minnesota. Here Louisa grew to womanhood.

Louisa had three brothers: William, Gustave, and Louis; and four sisters, Minnie, Ida, Maggie, and Emmie.

Her father died in 1886 and was buried in a small cemetery on a farm in Spring Hill Township. This cemetery has since been plowed over and forgotten.

Louisa's mother, after the death of her husband, was married in 1886 to Henry Brady of Meire Grove. To this union, one son, August, was born. He lieved in St. Cloud, Minn.

Henry is buried in the Melrose cemetery. Sophie died July 31, 1897, and is buried in the Paynesville Cemetery.

Gustave and Louisa (Schwartz) Lobitz were the parents of five children: Edward, born May 19, 1891, and lived in Hazel, S. Dak.; Lewis, born March 3, 1897, and lived in Sabin, Minn.; Daniel, deceased; Henry, born July 17, 1907; and Fred, born March 21, 1911. Henry and Fred lived at home with their mother and took care of the farm. (Henry and Fred continued to live in the Paynesville community and raised their families here. )

Gustave passed away March 26, 1932, at the age of 72 and was laid to rest in the Paynesville Cemetery.

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