|Birth: ||Apr. 23, 1840, Germany|
|Death: ||Jan. 14, 1915|
Prince George's County
Margaret Kessler was born in Byron, Germany to Peter Kessler and unknown mother. In 1849 at age 9, Margaret emigrated to the U.S. through a N.Y. port, with her father and her siblings, settling in Sandusky, Ohio.
In 1859 in Sandusky, Margaret married farmer Frederick John Bahr [see Wikipedia.com], AND in that same year, had their first child. By 1860, they were living in Queens, NY and by 1862 were living on Long Island where their second child was born.
It is thought Margaret and Frederick had 10 children. If so, only 8 survived. Four boys and four girls were born in chronological order: Norma Virginia Davis, then Frederick John Bahr, Jr., Harvey Lewis Bahr, Anne Edith Bahr Stevens, and Minnie Bahr Gayhardt in PA, and Leonard Bahr in Back Creek, VA., and Elizabeth Katherine Ingels, and Centennial Bahr, both born in their family log cabin. The chronology of the two children not surviving might have been sometime around 1879.
The log cabin was mortgaged land on top of Wills Mountain in Cumberland, MD, known as "Crooked Billet," situated back enough from the edge of Lover's Leap [see photo of 1887 cabin painting]. It is to be noted that Margaret was co-responsible to the mortgage deed on the land. She signed it, even though a 1910 census said that she could neither read nor write.
Cumberland had an economic depression in 1877 and people left the city in search of work elsewhere. Life in a cabin was hard. Industrious Frederick tried every way to raise finances, including indenturing their children. His inventiveness included laying track to cart the public up to a beer garden and bowling facility he built on their land. But it failed by using winches and by steam power. To get the public to the top, he used his money for inventing a type of zeppelin launched by hydrogen.
Margaret was hardworking, cranking out children every two years and helping her husband try to be a success, despite all the natural and other disasters that befell him. She sewed by hand all the sails for his flying blimps, which were destroyed 3 times: by fire, by enemies, and by the updraft of mountain wind currents. Frederick's sons remember him as a driven man who worked his family with hard discipline to pay bills.
By 1894, two children, Norma and Annie, were living in Baltimore; listed in the Baltimore City Directory as "china decorators."
In Scharf's 1884-85 Cumberland Business Directory, Frederick is listed as a laborer in Mineral Co., W.Va. where he worked on building his inventions. On Sept. 23, 1885, Frederick had his hydrogen balloon demonstration in Cumberland City with previous public notice. Nothing is mentioned about him again, including whether that demonstration was successful.
It is reasonable to think Frederick died anytime from late 1885 to 1887, because in 1888, at age 48, widowed Margaret was living at 1042 Maldeis St. in Baltimore. She had buried her husband somewhere on Mt. Savage. After he died she couldn't pay the mortgage, and so their deed of mortgage went into default and the tract of land on Wills Mountain with the cabin sold at public auction in 1889.
The rest of their children moved later to Balto. between 1891 and 1894.
From 1890 to 1896, Margaret moved around. From 1897 to possibly 1912, she lived with her son, Leonard, in Lansdowne. She bought land next to his on the same street for her son Centennial, on which to build his own house.
Margaret is buried next to or beneath Leonard and his wife, in Cedar Hill Cemetery [see photo].
[See also: DeadFred.com]
Cedar Hill Cemetery
Anne Arundel County
Plot: Sect F, Lot 85, grave 16
Created by: msb
Record added: Sep 13, 2005
Find A Grave Memorial# 11741149