In Bavaria, Germany, there was a young man, Johann George Busch, who had just lost his young wife, and he was trying hard to keep his small daughter, Louisa, alive. After much searching he found Catherine Cyrch, also of Bavaria, and he proposed marriage to Catherine if she would help him feed his little daughter. This plan worked out to everyone's satisfaction.
Later, when Germany was struggling to keep the poor from starving, Johann decided to go to America with some of his friends who were also ready to try their luck in America. As soon as he made his plans, he shared the money with his wife, packed his duffel, and took off for America.
Soon the ship sailed into New York; he climbed off the ship, and before long he was standing in Cincinnati. Johann had been a shoemaker in Germany, so he applied for a job and got it. After a time, Johann finally felt he had enough money for the passage for his family to join him in Cincinnati. Catherine packed her belongings, and with the two little girls, Louisa from Johann's first marriage and Catherine, the first born of her own marriage, she was on her way.
Later, Johann and Catherine increased their family to eight children, and little Elizabeth was the only child they lost.
As the family grew up, the parents decided to separate. They decided to let the older children go with their father, and the younger ones were to go with their mother. If their plan had been carried out, Henry L. Busch would have been with his father. He was already crying and homesick, and they hadn't even separated.
Finally, the parents decided to put Henry on the train and send him to Kansas. The younger uncle, William Busch, and his wife Mary Borden were traveling by covered wagon and they would meet in Eastern Kansas. Henry used to comment that he kept the fee for the return trip in the sock in his valise in case he had to return to Ohio.
For the first few years, Henry farmed for a farmer east of Milan, and later he signed on with the Hembrow Brothers. (See Hembrow family history)
Read Pt. 2 - coming next Amanuensis Monday.
Excerpted from "Mayfield: Then & Now". To order a book, stop by the Sumner County History & Genealogy Center, 208 N. Washington, Wellington on Tuesdays, or click here for a mailing order.