|Birth: ||May 23, 1830, Germany|
|Death: ||Sep. 17, 1906|
New Mexico, USA
Article from the book, "LIVNG WATER", a local history book from Ft. Sumner, DeBaca Co., NM.
"NEW MEXICO TERRITORY PIONEER 1854 JOHN GERHARDT
John Gerhardt was a pioneer of eastern New Mexico, arriving in 1854. He was born in 1830 in Freisenheim, Baden, Germany. He emigrated in 1852, arrived in New York June 18 with two younger brothers, Frederick and Joseph. They were from a family of twenty children, so one can readily see why they sought a better life in America, that fabled land of opportunity.
Two months after his arrival, John enlisted in the U.S. Army and was assigned to Co. G, First N.Y. Mounted Rifles. In 1854 his company was sent to the Southwest where it participated in the Indian Wars and was involved in the Long Walk of the Navajos to old Fort Sumner.
After obtaining his army discharge in 1857, he returned to Fort Sumner for a year as a civilian baker-pastrymaker, the profession for which he had been trained in Germany. Then followed a period of indecisiveness. How was he to earn a living? And where would he live? Speaking English poorly and being financially embarassed, he must have undergone quite a mental turmoil. But finally the decision was reached. He bought a ranch in Guadalupe County and spent the remainder of his life as a rancher-physcian.
Sometime, before settling down, he had found the opportunity to study medicine, and for many years he was the only doctor for many miles in all directions. He had special saddle bags fitted to carry his medical supplies when he answered a call, his eldest daughter, Mary Ann, serving as his nurse and assistant.
In 1869 Puerto de Luna, he married Sophronia Caveness (sic Caviness), descendant of French Hugenots. They settled on his ranch which they named "Los Ojitos" because of the springs on the property. They must have believed all things were "cheaper by the dozen" for they proceeded to produce twelve children!
John, that ingenious and industrious German, "made the desert bloom" by terracing slopes near the springs runoff. The water was levitated to the terracing where a lush garden, berry vines, fruit and nut trees grew. Some of the pecan trees he planted over a century ago are still bearing.
During the Civil War he lost contact with his brother Frederick, but located him through letters from his mother in Germany who corresponded with her three American sons. Joseph had settled in Massachusetts and Frederick in Fredericksburg, Texas. He was persuaded to join John in New Mexico in 1882.
John Gerhardt died September 17, 1906 at "Los Ojitos" and was buried on a bluff overlooking the Pecos River, a view he loved. Sophronia died in 1925 in St. Helena, California where she lived with her youngest daughter, Ellen GERHARDT Ballatine.
Reminders of these sturdy pioneers are the springs which still flow, the family cemetery, the old stone ranch house, ancient pecan trees, and a lone grave overlooking the Pecos River. There are numerous descendants who look backward with pride to this hardy German who was their progenitor." by Ferne VAUGHN Buehler
John and Sophie's ranch was located at Los Ojitos, about 25 miles northwest of Ft. Sumner, LeBaca Co., NM. It was first a sheep and later a cattle ranch.
John and Sophia were the parents of a John, Mary Ann, Henry, Joseph, George, Frederico, Alice Josephine, Nancy Bell, Elisa, Katie, John Jr., William and Ellen Gerhardt.
These children are listed with their dates and memorial #'s on their mother Sophronia Caviness Gerhardt's web page linked below.
Sophronia Caviness Gerhardt (1848 - 1925)
Mary Ann Gerhardt Hunter (1869 - 1956)*
George Gerhardt (1875 - 1960)*
Fred Gerhardt (1877 - 1965)*
Alice Josephine Gerhardt Hunt (1879 - 1915)*
Katie Gerhardt Valdez (1882 - 1959)*
John Ben Gerhardt (1887 - 1936)*
Ellen Gerhardt Ballentine (1890 - 1976)*
William Marcus Gerhardt (1891 - 1962)*
Note: John's brother, Frederick made his way to New Mexico to be near John and his family. Memorial# 64562613.
New Mexico, USA
Plot: Bluff overlooking the Pecos River at Cedar Springs (Los Ojitos).
Maintained by: Jan
Originally Created by: Connie WEEAKS Pace
Record added: Aug 27, 2010
Find A Grave Memorial# 57791165