The Gerhardts

John Gerhardt

(This memo is posted here in case some of the Gerhardt family wants to contact Michael Robinson. "Dear Harold, I saw your article on the Gerhardt family of Gerhardt Valley NM. My friend's children descend from this family and I have been doing some research into their German origins. First it is important to note that the 3 brothers were not from Freisenheim (pronounced fry) they were from Friesenheim (pronounced free) (in German when two vowels go walking the 2nd always does the talking). Johannes (John), Joseph and Friedrich (Fredrick) were the sons of the master Baker Johann Georg Gerhardt and his 2nd wife Anna Maria Gabelmann. Neither Georg nor Anna Maria were originally from Friesenheim, Georg was from Tutschfelden and Anna Maria from Hugsweier, both in Baden Germany (these are in the area of Lahr on modern maps). Let me know if you are interested, or know others who are interested in this family.
Sincerely Michael Robinson ")

John Gerhardt was born in 1830 in Freisnheim, Baden, Germany. He arrived in New York June 18, 1852 with two younger brothers: Frederick and Joseph. It is not known where Joseph ended up. He stayed back east. They had seventeen other siblings in Germany.

Soon after his arrival in New York, John enlisted in the U.S. Army and was assigned to Co. G, First N.Y. Mounted Rifles. His company was sent to the Southwest in 1854 where it was involved in the Navajos held at Fort Sumner. John had some medical training and he was assigned as a male nurse at Fort Sumner.

After his discharge from the army in 1865, John located a sheep ranch at Los Ojitos about 25 miles northwest of the fort on the Pecos River. He called his ranch Cedar Springs. Since John had some medical training he became a doctor and the remainder of his life was spent at the ranch on the Pecos River as rancher and doctor. See copy of his NM medical certificate(opens in new tab)

John married Sophronia Caviness in 1869 in Puerto do Luna. After they were married they lived on the ranch and had twelve children. (See photos) (opens in new tab)

John Gerhardt, age 50, is listed in the 1880 Census of Sunnysaid (should be Sunnyside), Fort Sumner, Cedar Springs, and Los Ojitos, New Mexico Territory.

Some of the children of John and Sophronia are: Mary Ann Gerhardt (the first child); Nancy; and Ellen (the youngest). Mary Ann married W. M. Hunter.

William M. (Bill) Hunter was born in Michigan in 1856, the son of Peter and Mary Frances Hughs Hunter. He went west to find adventure. He did! In December of 1887 he married John Gerhardts oldest daughter, Mary Ann, in Puerto de Luna. He settled his family on a ranch in Guadalupe County while he freighted mail, merchandise, and passengers from Las Vegas, New Mexico to Sunnyside (Fort Sumner). At the age of 90 he died and was buried beside Mary Ann in the Fort Sumner cemetery.
(See photos)(opens in new tab)

John Gerhardt died September 17, 1906 at the ranch and was buried on a bluff overlooking the Pecos River. Sophronia died in 1925 in St. Helena, California where she lived with her youngest daughter, Ellen Gerhardt Ballantine. Picture made June 13, 1977 at Grandpa Gerhardts grave at the old ranch.(opens in new tab)

John Gerhardt

Frederick Gerhardt was born circa. 1835 in Friesenheim, Badan, Germany. He was the youngest of twenty children. Frederick arrived in New York in 1852 with his two other brothers; John and Joseph.

Frederick moved to San Antonio, Texas before the Civil war started. He was working as a store clerk when he met Sophie Louisa Duelm whom he married in 1865. Sophie was born in 1845, the youngest of eight children. Her family had arrived at Galveston, Texas in 1855 and settled in San Antonio. Frederick and Sophie had eight children while living in Texas: Anna, b. 1866; Herman, b. 1867; Paulina Louisa, b. 1869; Wilhelmina, b. 1871; Carl John, b. 1873; Henry, b. 1875; Sophie Louisa, b. 1877, and Alfred (birth date unknown).

Frederick worked around San Antonio for the next twenty years. He received a letter from his mother about once a year and in one of these letters from home he learned that John was living in New Mexico on the Pecos River north west of Sunnyside (Ft. Sumner).

In 1882, Frederick took his family to Las Vegas, New Mexico by train. The last 120 miles to Los Ojitos was made by wagon. Frederick claimed a homestead next to John where he raised sheep for the next seven years. Three more children were born in New Mexico on the Pecos River: Clara, b. 1882; Lillie, b. 1885; and Caroline, b. 1888

Frederick moved his family to Las Truchas Creek about 20 miles northeast of Fort Sumner. On his land was a house of sorts and a windmill that the Fort Sumner Cattle Company had relinquished. This location was called Gerhardt Valley.

Anna had married John DeOliveira in Las Vegas in 1887 and was in her own home.

Herman married Emma Whitmore, Jan. 15, 1895.

Carl married Nettie Catherine Brown the daughter of a minister in Fort Sumner in 1917. They had one child; Nettie Bernice who married Neal Clifford Koll.. Mrs. Koll, who was born in 1918, died in 1973. Neal Koll, born in 1908, died in 1973. They had three children: a son who died in infancy; a daughter, Ruth Louise who died at age 13 in 1962; and a surviving son, Lee Koll.

Wilhelmina married Lon Reed.

Sophie Louisa Gerhardt married James A. Irwin.

Lillie Gerhardt married Lorin Anderson, a nephew of Lon Reed.

(Lillie Gerhardt Anderson compiled a lot of the Gerhardt history and the history of Gerhardt Valley which ended up in De Baca County, New Mexico.) (Marriage date for Herman and Emma sent by Gaye Selover Funk)