Christian Bayer was from Rieschiveiler, Germany and came to America in 1871. He was the son of Jacob and Kathrun (Rothaar) Bayer and he had 2 brothers and 2 sisters. He came across alone at the age of 19, because he did not want to serve in the German Army at that time. He settled first in Cincinnati, then came to work on the Swope farm about 3 mi. south and 1 ½ mi. west of Bloomville.
Caroline, his wife, was the daughter of Peter and Eva Young who were from Schmidtshausen, Germany. She had 5 sisters and 2 brothers. They had some close friends here in America, who urged them to come. So in 1864 the whole family came to America, when Caroline was 13 yrs. old. They came 2nd class because it was cheaper. The food and accommodations were very poor also. Grandma Young, who had a child about a month after they arrived in America, was sick during most of the voyage and with several other small children, it proved to be a very rough trip. They settled on the Broede farm 1 mi. east of Route 19 on the Baseline road. Grandpa Young and the boys had worn to America, belts into which they had sewn their gold. They changed their gold into currency with quite a profit and they had enough to buy the farm across the road from the Baseline Church, where Wayne Miller now lives. That was in the fall of 1864.
Christian and Caroline had never met until they came to Bloom Twp. even though they had lived only a few miles apart in Germany. They were married on January 1, 1877.
They started housekeeping in a small cabin that stood back of the present barn on the Wayne Miller farm. They lived there until the spring of 1877, then moved to what is known as the Spaulding farm, about 4 mi. west and 1 mi. north of Willard. They lived here about 1 yr., Eva was born while they lived here.
Grandpa was interested in buying a farm at this time, and not being able to decide on something definite, he decided to try his luck by going farther west.
They bought 160 acres in Kansas, but misfortune accompanied them. The first year their home was destroyed by a tornado. They rebuilt it and then hail and drought destroyed their crops. So in the summer of 1880 they started back to Ohio a very discouraged family. They packed what few possessions they had left in a (the next portion was not readable as it was copied too close to the bottom of the page) and with 2 small children the trip proved to be to rough for Grandma, so she and the children came most of the way home on the train. It took Grandpa 5 wks. To drive through with the wagon.
They then settled on the Kalb farm 1 mi. north and ½ mi. west of Chatfield. Carl was born here in 1881. By this time they had become quite poor and discouraged and for the next several years they moved frequently. Grandpa did some farming with what little he had and he also went on the road selling trees and books.
In 1882 they moved to a farm about 2 mi. east of Willard.
In 1883 they moved to a farm southeast of Bloomville. Edward was born here.
In 1884 Grandpa traded his 160 acres farm in Kansas with Jim Sourwine for a 20 acre farm with a small woodlot and no buildings, 2 mi. north and 1 mi. west of Attica. They bought a house west of Carrothers and moved it onto their 20 acres. They tore one wing off the house and moved it aside and used it for the barn. This was their home then for the next 16 yrs. The rest of their children, Emma, Ellen, Elizabeth, and Louise were born here.
By 1894 their 3 sons were big enough to help, so Grandpa managed to buy 2 horses and a few tools. He quit his selling on the road, and his drinking, which had become quite a problem and he and his sons started farming and did very well.
In 1900 they bought a 100 acres 1 mi. north and 2 mi. west of Attica where Clyde Bayer now lives. By this time, their oldest son Fred, had become of age and went on his own but his other sons, Carl and Ed, stayed and helped on the farm. This same year they built the bank barn.
Then in 1902 they bought, from George Meyers, 60 acres adjoining it to the west, where Ed Bayer now lives, and moved there in the spring of 1903.
In 1907 Ed married and moved onto the 100 acres and continued to farm for his father.
In 1909 Carl married and bought a farm of his own and moved away.
In 1927 Grandma had a stroke and died at the age of 76. Grandpa continued to live there another 3 yrs. with his maiden sister-in-law Lucy and his maiden daughter Ellen.
In 1930 Lucy died. Shortly there after Grandpa broke up housekeeping.
Ed bought the 60 acre home place and Grandpa took turns living with his children. He died at the home of his son Ed in October of 1940 at the age of 88.
This was written in 1962.
Retyped as is by Winnie Kleinknecht