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Conrad “Boosinger” Buessinger

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Conrad “Boosinger” Buessinger

Birth
Pennsylvania, USA
Death
25 Aug 1827 (aged 74–75)
Brimfield, Portage County, Ohio, USA
Burial
Tallmadge, Summit County, Ohio, USA Add to Map
Memorial ID
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C.C.Bronson, the noted Tallmadge historian, wrote in his notes that Conrad was born on the "Susquehanna about 1752". According to family folklore, Conrad was probably the eldest son of Johannes Buessinger. If Conrad were living today, people would say he was 'Pennsylvania Dutch'.

The man who many historians believe was Conrad's father, Johannes Buessinger, boarded the ship Harle in Rotterdam, Germany when he was single, twenty-five and a Palatine. The ship Harle reached Philadelphia, Pennsylvania on September 1, 1736.

During the mid-1750s an Indian conflict that began with the 'Walking Purchase' escalated when the French and Indian War started. In Europe, the war was better known as the Seven Years War. In America, this war pitted the French and Indians against the English colonists. In an attempt to defend themselves, the English colonists built a series of forts along the Blue Mountains between the Delaware and Susquehanna Rivers. It was during an Indian raid above the fort at Allemingle near present day Albany that Colonel Weiser tried to give some assistance to the English settlers. He gathered Johannes Buessinger along with other volunteers from the Weisenberg Township and marched to where the raid was taking place. After the skirmish, Colonel Weiser wrote a note in his journal dated January 4, 1756, that the Indians had killed three of his men including our Johannes at 'John Evert's place'.

Conrad Buessinger was probably raised near the Weisenberg Township in Lehigh County, Pennsylvania (a Pennsylvania Dutch community). Even as late as 1900, German was the only language spoken at the only two schools in Weisenberg. Perhaps that was why Conrad, even as an adult, spoke with a heavy German accent.

Conrad was a devout Lutheran all his life. His children said that before eating supper it was customary for Conrad to lead his family in prayer. According to his children, he always said his prayers in German.

In the 1770s Conrad earned his living as a farmer and tanner in the Penns Township of Northumberland County, Pennslyvania. Tax records show he owned 100 acres, a cow and two horses.

During the American Revolution Conrad joined the patriot cause and served in the Pennsylvania line as a teamster (wagon driver). Family folklore says he fought at the Battle of Brandywine. However, my research hasn't proven that piece of family trivia yet. Historians do know that he enlisted at least three times into the Pennsylvania line. During his first known enlistment he served a corporal in the 3rd company of the 6th battalion in 1778. In 1780 he was a sergeant in the 3rd company of the 6th battalion. Then in 1782 he served as a private in the 3rd class of the 3rd company of the 6th battalion. After serving on the Pennsylvania line, Conrad would complain for the rest of his life that the rheumatism he experienced was due to the time he spent in the service.

From 1784 to 1800, Conrad and his family were on the move. In 1783 the Boosingers lived in Penns Township while staying in Northumberland County, PA until at least 1784. From Penns Township the family moved south to Virginia. Some historians believe the family spent time during the 1790s in Oldtown and Port Cumberland. Other family historians believe the Boosingers lived near the Virginia-Maryland border.

In Virginia, Catharine gave birth to Rachel - her and Conrad's fourteenth and last child. The children were home schooled. Some of Conrad's older children grew up not knowing how to read nor write English.

After the Indians signed the Treaty of Greenville in 1795, Conrad moved his family to Ohio's Western Reserve. Today the town they first settled in is known as Ravenna, but in Conrad's day, it was nothing more than a small village simply known as Town 3, Range 8.

In the Western Reserve, Conrad was both a farmer and tanner. He purchased 200 acres of raw forest land next to the Mahoning River from Mr. Tappan. For the 200 acres, Conrad agreed to give Mr. Tappan a $300.00 deposit and a promissory note for the balance of the purchase price. The land was only 1 1/2 miles southwest of Ravenna's courthouse.

When he settled on his 200 acres, Conrad became the township's third settler. Historians however, aren't positive when he actually moved his family there. One account says Conrad settled in 1800, cleared five acres, planted some wheat and then returned to Virginia. This version never mentions his family. Another account says he arrived in the springtime or August of 1801 and brought all the members of his family except his two oldest daughters who already had husbands of their own. Then there is the third possibility. By combining the two versions, Conrad's settlement would say, he arrived in the Western Reserve in 1800, cleared some land and planted some crops before returning to his family in Virginia. Then a few months later, in either the spring or summer of 1801 he brought all his family, except his two oldest daughters, to the Western Reserve.

In 1801, there were just three families living in the township with school age children. A log cabin was built on his property to be used as the township's first schoolhouse.

Conrad opened a small tannery in either 1801 or 1802 with a couple vats. His tannery was the first privately owned manufacturing enterprise in the community. There weren't many cattle hides in the area so his tannery was pretty much limited to making leather out of racoon, deer, hog and woodchuck skins. In the frontier, such as the Western Reserve, supplies for making leather was hard to come by. On the eastern seaboard, tanners could use tannin to turn hides into leather. However, in the Western Reserve tanners were forced to find substitute substances for tannin. Once a customer of Conrad's complained that a piece of leather Conrad had made wasn't good leather. Conrad answered the complaint by saying (in his strong German accent), "How do you think a man can make good leather out of sow skins and coons oil". With that comment, I'm wondering if Conrad was trying to substitute "coons oil" for tannin.

Money was scarce in the early days of the Reserve. Settlers arriving in the Reserve had only the money they could carry in their pockets. Bartering was the common form of exchange. In fact, coins and paper money were so scarce, pieces of iron were commonly used instead.

In 1809, currency was still scarce in the Reserve. The promissory notes that settlers used to buy their farms were coming due. Mr. Tappan, who held all the notes, knew that if he foreclosed on the settler's farms, he could resell those improved farms for a big profit. Therefore, Conrad lost his farm and tannery to foreclosure when he couldn't pay off his promissory note with cash. The early settlers felt what Mr. Tappan was wrong, so they came up with a plan to scare him so badly, he would pack his belongings and leave town. The plan worked and Mr. Tappen left town under the cover of darkness.

After loosing his farm and tannery to foreclosure, Conrad moved to nearby Tallmadge where his eldest son, George, had a farm. When Conrad settled in Talladge, he became the 19th, 20th or 21st settler in that township - George Boosinger being the first.

In 1816, Conrad and his wife moved to Thorndike (Brimfield, Ohio) where his son, John Boosinger was the first settler. In Thorndike, Conrad soon opened his tannery. I believe, the family anglicized their last name to Boosinger about that time.

In the frontier, hunting was not only a source of food but also a source of recreation. In late July or early August of 1827, Conrad was hunting in the local forest for deer. He hung a deerskin over his shoulders so a deer wouldn't recognize him as a hunter. Another hunter mistook the deer hide for a real deer and fired his gun at Conrad; mortally wounding him. Conrad was taken home to Thorndike where he lingered for about a month before finally succumbing to the wound. He died on August 25, 1827. His body was buried in the Boosinger family cemetery on his eldest son's farm in Tallmadge, Ohio.

Conrad and his wife, Catharine, produced the following fourteen children: Barbara, Matilda 'Tilly', Catharine, Christina, Epha, George, John, Polly, Christina 'Teney', Conrad, Sarah 'Sally', Jacob, Susan and Rachel.

By G. Taylor
C.C.Bronson, the noted Tallmadge historian, wrote in his notes that Conrad was born on the "Susquehanna about 1752". According to family folklore, Conrad was probably the eldest son of Johannes Buessinger. If Conrad were living today, people would say he was 'Pennsylvania Dutch'.

The man who many historians believe was Conrad's father, Johannes Buessinger, boarded the ship Harle in Rotterdam, Germany when he was single, twenty-five and a Palatine. The ship Harle reached Philadelphia, Pennsylvania on September 1, 1736.

During the mid-1750s an Indian conflict that began with the 'Walking Purchase' escalated when the French and Indian War started. In Europe, the war was better known as the Seven Years War. In America, this war pitted the French and Indians against the English colonists. In an attempt to defend themselves, the English colonists built a series of forts along the Blue Mountains between the Delaware and Susquehanna Rivers. It was during an Indian raid above the fort at Allemingle near present day Albany that Colonel Weiser tried to give some assistance to the English settlers. He gathered Johannes Buessinger along with other volunteers from the Weisenberg Township and marched to where the raid was taking place. After the skirmish, Colonel Weiser wrote a note in his journal dated January 4, 1756, that the Indians had killed three of his men including our Johannes at 'John Evert's place'.

Conrad Buessinger was probably raised near the Weisenberg Township in Lehigh County, Pennsylvania (a Pennsylvania Dutch community). Even as late as 1900, German was the only language spoken at the only two schools in Weisenberg. Perhaps that was why Conrad, even as an adult, spoke with a heavy German accent.

Conrad was a devout Lutheran all his life. His children said that before eating supper it was customary for Conrad to lead his family in prayer. According to his children, he always said his prayers in German.

In the 1770s Conrad earned his living as a farmer and tanner in the Penns Township of Northumberland County, Pennslyvania. Tax records show he owned 100 acres, a cow and two horses.

During the American Revolution Conrad joined the patriot cause and served in the Pennsylvania line as a teamster (wagon driver). Family folklore says he fought at the Battle of Brandywine. However, my research hasn't proven that piece of family trivia yet. Historians do know that he enlisted at least three times into the Pennsylvania line. During his first known enlistment he served a corporal in the 3rd company of the 6th battalion in 1778. In 1780 he was a sergeant in the 3rd company of the 6th battalion. Then in 1782 he served as a private in the 3rd class of the 3rd company of the 6th battalion. After serving on the Pennsylvania line, Conrad would complain for the rest of his life that the rheumatism he experienced was due to the time he spent in the service.

From 1784 to 1800, Conrad and his family were on the move. In 1783 the Boosingers lived in Penns Township while staying in Northumberland County, PA until at least 1784. From Penns Township the family moved south to Virginia. Some historians believe the family spent time during the 1790s in Oldtown and Port Cumberland. Other family historians believe the Boosingers lived near the Virginia-Maryland border.

In Virginia, Catharine gave birth to Rachel - her and Conrad's fourteenth and last child. The children were home schooled. Some of Conrad's older children grew up not knowing how to read nor write English.

After the Indians signed the Treaty of Greenville in 1795, Conrad moved his family to Ohio's Western Reserve. Today the town they first settled in is known as Ravenna, but in Conrad's day, it was nothing more than a small village simply known as Town 3, Range 8.

In the Western Reserve, Conrad was both a farmer and tanner. He purchased 200 acres of raw forest land next to the Mahoning River from Mr. Tappan. For the 200 acres, Conrad agreed to give Mr. Tappan a $300.00 deposit and a promissory note for the balance of the purchase price. The land was only 1 1/2 miles southwest of Ravenna's courthouse.

When he settled on his 200 acres, Conrad became the township's third settler. Historians however, aren't positive when he actually moved his family there. One account says Conrad settled in 1800, cleared five acres, planted some wheat and then returned to Virginia. This version never mentions his family. Another account says he arrived in the springtime or August of 1801 and brought all the members of his family except his two oldest daughters who already had husbands of their own. Then there is the third possibility. By combining the two versions, Conrad's settlement would say, he arrived in the Western Reserve in 1800, cleared some land and planted some crops before returning to his family in Virginia. Then a few months later, in either the spring or summer of 1801 he brought all his family, except his two oldest daughters, to the Western Reserve.

In 1801, there were just three families living in the township with school age children. A log cabin was built on his property to be used as the township's first schoolhouse.

Conrad opened a small tannery in either 1801 or 1802 with a couple vats. His tannery was the first privately owned manufacturing enterprise in the community. There weren't many cattle hides in the area so his tannery was pretty much limited to making leather out of racoon, deer, hog and woodchuck skins. In the frontier, such as the Western Reserve, supplies for making leather was hard to come by. On the eastern seaboard, tanners could use tannin to turn hides into leather. However, in the Western Reserve tanners were forced to find substitute substances for tannin. Once a customer of Conrad's complained that a piece of leather Conrad had made wasn't good leather. Conrad answered the complaint by saying (in his strong German accent), "How do you think a man can make good leather out of sow skins and coons oil". With that comment, I'm wondering if Conrad was trying to substitute "coons oil" for tannin.

Money was scarce in the early days of the Reserve. Settlers arriving in the Reserve had only the money they could carry in their pockets. Bartering was the common form of exchange. In fact, coins and paper money were so scarce, pieces of iron were commonly used instead.

In 1809, currency was still scarce in the Reserve. The promissory notes that settlers used to buy their farms were coming due. Mr. Tappan, who held all the notes, knew that if he foreclosed on the settler's farms, he could resell those improved farms for a big profit. Therefore, Conrad lost his farm and tannery to foreclosure when he couldn't pay off his promissory note with cash. The early settlers felt what Mr. Tappan was wrong, so they came up with a plan to scare him so badly, he would pack his belongings and leave town. The plan worked and Mr. Tappen left town under the cover of darkness.

After loosing his farm and tannery to foreclosure, Conrad moved to nearby Tallmadge where his eldest son, George, had a farm. When Conrad settled in Talladge, he became the 19th, 20th or 21st settler in that township - George Boosinger being the first.

In 1816, Conrad and his wife moved to Thorndike (Brimfield, Ohio) where his son, John Boosinger was the first settler. In Thorndike, Conrad soon opened his tannery. I believe, the family anglicized their last name to Boosinger about that time.

In the frontier, hunting was not only a source of food but also a source of recreation. In late July or early August of 1827, Conrad was hunting in the local forest for deer. He hung a deerskin over his shoulders so a deer wouldn't recognize him as a hunter. Another hunter mistook the deer hide for a real deer and fired his gun at Conrad; mortally wounding him. Conrad was taken home to Thorndike where he lingered for about a month before finally succumbing to the wound. He died on August 25, 1827. His body was buried in the Boosinger family cemetery on his eldest son's farm in Tallmadge, Ohio.

Conrad and his wife, Catharine, produced the following fourteen children: Barbara, Matilda 'Tilly', Catharine, Christina, Epha, George, John, Polly, Christina 'Teney', Conrad, Sarah 'Sally', Jacob, Susan and Rachel.

By G. Taylor


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  • Maintained by: G Taylor
  • Originally Created by: JoAnne
  • Added: Jun 4, 2008
  • Find a Grave Memorial ID:
  • Find a Grave, database and images (https://www.findagrave.com/memorial/27332115/conrad-buessinger: accessed ), memorial page for Conrad “Boosinger” Buessinger (1752–25 Aug 1827), Find a Grave Memorial ID 27332115, citing Boosinger Cemetery, Tallmadge, Summit County, Ohio, USA; Maintained by G Taylor (contributor 48858471).