Friday, December 26, 2014

(HIRSCH – Honorary post) The Life of Karl Albert Hirsch

Karl Albert Hirsch was born on November 11, 1858 to Friedrich and Maria Magdalena Ziebold Hirsch. He was christened in Tutschfelden, Freiburg, Baden on December 5th.1 
The Tutschfelden church where Karl was christened. 2

Tutschfelden is located in one of the best climate regions in Germany. Vineyards abound on sunny hillsides. The Black Forest and Rhine Valley meet nearby.3,4

Tutschfelden area 5
Despite the area’s natural beauty, Germany experienced political and social upheaval in the 19th Century and emigration was common. After Friedrich’s death, Maria brought the family to America in the early 1870s. They settled in Monroe County, Illinois, where her brother lived.6

Albert lived in the US for 20 years before marrying Susanna Born—a child of German immigrants—on February 28, 1892 in Maeystown, Illinois.7,8

The 14th Amendment, which states that all people born in the US are citizens, was passed five years before Susanna’s birth.9 Therefore, Susanna entered the world as a legal American. Luckily for her, Albert had been naturalized in 1884.10 Under contemporary immigration law, a woman who married an alien “lost her U.S. citizenship, even if she never left the United States.”11

After their marriage, Albert and Susie lived in Illinois for 8 years. They subsequently moved their young family to Redding, California, where they rented a house and pursued farming.12
View of Mt Shasta from Redding area. 13

Albert's headstone.  16
Tragically, Albert died only six years later,14 while Susanna was pregnant with their 7th child.15 

Susanna likely received financial help upon her husband’s death. Albert’s tombstone is inscribed “Here rests a Woodman of the World.” 

Woodmen of the World was a fraternal benefit society that, during Albert’s time, included an initiation ritual and an annual password. Of greater pertinence, its founder, Joseph Root, “had the simple idea of making life insurance available to everyone.” He used the name “‘woodmen’ because he was inspired by a sermon that talked about ‘woodmen clearing away the forest to provide for their families.’” Root wanted his organization to “clear away problems of financial security for its members”, “to minister to the afflicted to relieve distress; to cast a sheltering arm about the defenseless living.”17
Sample Woodmen of the World certificate 18

Although losing Albert was surely a hard trial for his family, the blow must have been somewhat softened by “the sheltering arm” provided by his membership in Woodmen of the World.

Just as, in Albert’s childhood, his father’s death was followed by his family’s relocation, so it was for his children. Shortly after he died, Susanna moved the family to Medford, Oregon.19

Line of descent:
Karl Albert Hirsch, born 1858
Frederick Hirsch, b. 1896
Frederick Carl Hirsch, b. 1923
Douglas Hirsch, b. 1953  

1 -, Germany Births and Baptisms, 1558-1898. : accessed 18 December 2014, Karl Albert Hirsch, 05 Dec 1858; citing FHL microfilm 1,189.804.

2 – Photo from 

3 - Tutschfelden is very close to the French border. It is also close to Switzerland. 

4 -  See also 

5 – Photo of Hebolzheim from . Tutschfelden is now a part of Herbolzheim.

6 - “Gottlieb Ziebold,” Portrait and Biographical Record of Randolph, Jackson, Perry and Monroe Counties, Illinois, page 430. Chicago: Biographical Pub. Co., 1894. Online database at, accessed 17 December 2014.

7 - Karl’s Person ID is LZKP-Q3F, Susanna’s is LZKP-QQ6.

8 – The entire village of Maeystown is listed on the National Register of Historic Places., accessed 18 December 2014.

9 - “History of laws concerning immigration and naturalization in the United States,” , accessed 18 December 2014.

10 - He was naturalized in Monroe County. “California, Voter Registers, 1866-1898,”, page 223 of 508. Register page 39, #1672. Also page 176 of 508, page 84, #1456.

11 - “Naturalization Records,” NARA, . Accessed 18 December 2014.

12 - 1900 Census, Redding Township, Shasta, California. ED 108, Sheet 18B, family 471. Albert had lived in the area before. In June 1886 he was registered to vote in Shasta County [as a resident of Mill Creek] “California, Voter Registers, 1866-1898,”, page 223 of 508. Register page 39, #1672. Also page 176 of 508, page 84, #1456.

13 – Photo, View of Mt Shasta from Redding area, from

14 – Albert died 20 Jan 1906 in Shasta County, CA., California, Death Index, 1905-1939.

15 - 1910 Census.  : accessed 18 December 2014. Medford Ward 2, Jackson, Oregon. ED 114, Sheet 2A, family 28.

16 – Photo from, contributed by JAMSearch.

17 - “Woodmen of the World,” ; “Woodmen of the World’s Storied History,”  ; “Woodmen of the World,”  ; “Woodmen of the World and the Tree Stone Grave Markers,” A Grave Interest, 21 June 2011, ; all accessed 18 December 2014.

18 – Photo from “Woodmen of the World and the Tree Stone Grave Markers,” A Grave Interest, 21 June 2011,  Photo URL:

19 – See 1910 Census, in Note #15 above. Not many years later, the Hirsch family was back in Redding.

(MUNTZ - Honorary post) War & Taxes

Louis Debaillon was born in 1810 in St. Landry Parish, Louisiana. He married Aimee Toledano in 1838 and they made their home in St. Landry. Louis was a doctor and a farmer.1 Although during “much of the nineteenth century, pretty much anyone had the right to call oneself a physician,”Louis actually earned the title. “He was for five years a student of Emmetsburg College, Maryland, and subsequently pursued a course of medicine in the Medical College of Paris, from which institution he received his degree [an M. D.]. … [He] prospered financially, and own[ed] considerable property in St. Landry parish.”3 

It is likely that Louis maintained his prosperity despite, not because of, the Civil War.

From their point of view, affluent Southerners had little reason to appreciate Abraham Lincoln. First he got himself elected. Then he objected to Dixie’s secession. His insistence on preserving the Union wreaked havoc on the safety and finances of Confederate citizens. Not to mention he freed the slaves. And to pay for it all, he approved taxes. Lots and lots of taxes.

From the outset of the Civil War, the Union realized the importance of controlling ports. By Spring 1862 they had retaken New Orleans and controlled most of the Mississippi River. The Confederacy had few troops in Louisiana: New Orleans was surrendered without a fight and the entire state was regained fairly easily. After reclaiming an area, the Union troops gathered valuable supplies. The Debaillons were probably affected like others. “Every house, farm and store in Imperial St. Landry Parish…[was] ‘virtually denuded by…efficient foraging teams.’”4 

Under these circumstances, “some Louisianans turned to guerilla warfare tactics.” Unfortunately, after a time “the guerillas operated with less and less official sanction and less and less allegiance to the Confederacy. Often labeled jayhawkers, some groups combined draft dodgers, deserters, and outlaws, and fought against both Union and Confederate soldiers while preying on the civilian population. …these jayhawker bands could number as high as 1,000 men.” One of these groups “gathered recusant conscripts from St. Landry and neighboring parishes, an area whose reputation for lawlessness predated the Civil War.”5 

A newspaper of the time reported on the “outrages and depredations of the Jayhawkers” in St. Landry, who “show no mercy to their victims, but take all they have, even to leaving them naked.” When apprehended, jayhawkers were shot.6 

Between the Union troops and the jayhawkers, presumably many rich Southerners lost considerable capital during the war. Whether or not Louis Debaillon’s fortunes suffered because of them is uncertain. His bottom line was unquestionably affected, however, by a different outgrowth of the war: taxes. 

"Peace with a War Measure" 10
Congress created and “President Lincoln signed into law a revenue-raising measure to help pay for Civil War expenses”7 — “the first federal income tax in American history.” Enacted within months of the Confederate attack on Ft. Sumter, it imposed “a 3 percent tax on annual incomes over $800”. As war costs increased, so did tax rates. By 1864, annual incomes of over $600 were taxed at 5% and higher incomes were taxed at higher rates.8 ($600 in 1862 was equal to about $16,000 in 2003.9

“States that seceded were included in the tax base as soon as Union troops established control,”11 which means Louisianans began paying taxes as soon as the law went into effect.

“The Civil War income tax was only a small part of a very complicated system of federal duties, stamp taxes, and fees that the government collected from individuals and businesses.” One federal worker “described the tax structure as being based on a principle” of “‘whenever you find an article, a product, a trade, a profession, or a source of income, tax it!’”12 

The “Act placed excise taxes on just about everything, including sin and luxury items like liquor, tobacco, playing cards, carriages, yachts, billiard tables, and jewelry. It taxed patent medicines and newspaper advertisements. It imposed license taxes on practically every profession or service except the clergy.”13

Physicians—like Louis Debaillon—paid “ten dollars for each license”14 annually15.
1866 Tax list for license fees. Louis is on Line 20.  16

Also required to have licenses were peddlers, innkeepers, confectioners, pawnbrokers, soapmakers, photographers, lawyers, bankers, auctioneers, and jugglers, among others. To ensure maximum governmental revenue, each profession was defined, sometimes broadly. “Juggler,” for instance, included “Every person who performs by sleight of hand”.17

“To administer these excise taxes…the…Act also created” the precursor of the IRS, described by its first commissioner as “the largest Government department ever organized.”18

This universal taxation “was based on nothing in past experience” and some officials believed it “would likely never be repeated.” If only we were so lucky! “In fact, the 1862 tax law served as the basis for the present internal revenue system, both in articles taxed and in organization for collecting taxes.”19 

Unfortunately for paychecks everywhere, “Congress …discovered that the income tax…provided a flexible and lucrative source of revenue.”20 

To wealthy Southerners, the ugly realities of war, pillaging, taxation, and financial ruin might have seemed to be Lincoln’s legacy. But despite the president’s notions of right and liberty, they survived. And many, like Louis Debaillon, continued to flourish.

Endnote: For the record, Abraham Lincoln is one of my favorite presidents.  I wanted to write about these events as a contemporary Southerner might have seen them. I don’t even know if the Debaillons were Confederate sympathizers. Either way, war and taxes affected them; that is the central point of this post.

Line of descent:
Louis Debaillon, born 1810
Marie Antoinette Debaillon, b. 1851
Edmee Marielouise Dufilho, b. 1869
Roger Lambert, b. 1903
Marie Louise Lambert, b. 1930

1 – All biographical information is from records at
2 - United States Department of Health and Human Services, Life in 1918 “Seeking Medical Care,”  , Accessed December 5, 2014.
3 - “Southwest Louisiana Biographical and Historical,” Biographical Section, p. 34. Ed. William Henry Perrin. Gulf Publishing Company, 1891. 
4 - Gary M. Lavergne, “The Civil War and Reconstruction,” Lives of Quiet Desperation,  . Accessed 11 Dec 2014.
5 - John M. Sacher, “Civil War Louisiana,” KnowLA Encyclopedia of Louisiana.   . Accessed 11 Dec 2014. Louisiana Endowment for the Humanities, 6 Jan 2011.
6 - “Jayhawking in St. Landry Parish,”   . Accessed 11 Dec 2014. Quoting the New Orleans Daily Picayune, 21 Apr 1864.
7 - IRS, “Brief History of IRS,”  , Accessed December 5, 2014.
8 - Tax Analysts, Tax History Museum: 1861-1865, The Civil War.  , Accessed December 5, 2014.
9 -  , citing U. S. Treasury Department, Accessed December 5, 2014.
10 – Thomas Nast, “Peace with a War Measure,” Harper’s Weekly, 9 Feb 1878,  
11 - National Archives, Prologue, Winter 1986, Vol. 18, No. 4, “Income Tax Records of the Civil War Years,” Cynthia G. Fox,  , Accessed December 5, 2014.
12 - National Archives, Prologue, Winter 1986, Vol. 18, No. 4, “Income Tax Records of the Civil War Years,” Cynthia G. Fox,  , Accessed December 5, 2014.
13 - Tax Analysts, Tax History Museum: 1861-1865, The Civil War.  , Accessed December 5, 2014.
14 - Charles F. Estee, “The Excise Tax Law. Approved July 1, 1862; and all the Amendments,” paragraph 32, page 48, published 1863, , Accessed December 5, 2014.
15 - Charles F. Estee, “The Excise Tax Law. Approved July 1, 1862; and all the Amendments,” p. 42, published 1863, , Accessed December 5, 2014.
16 – U.S. IRS Tax Assessment Lists, 1862-1918
17 - Charles F. Estee, “The Excise Tax Law. Approved July 1, 1862; and all the Amendments,” published 1863, , Accessed December 5, 2014.
18 - Tax Analysts, Tax History Museum: 1861-1865, The Civil War.  , Accessed December 5, 2014.)
19 - National Archives, Prologue, Winter 1986, Vol. 18, No. 4, “Income Tax Records of the Civil War Years,” Cynthia G. Fox,  , Accessed December 5, 2014.
20 - Tax Analysts, Tax History Museum: 1861-1865, The Civil War.  , Accessed December 5, 2014.

Tuesday, December 23, 2014

(LUKE) Zenda the Riveter

Zenda Lang, circa 1942
Zenda Lang reached adulthood shortly after the United States entered World War II.

Zenda “went to work at Lockheed for a while. They taught me how to rivet”—but then, learning that Zenda had epilepsy—“they put me in an office. They taught me how, and then they wouldn't let me do it. They found out about my medical history. They figured that something might happen and I might put in a claim."

After working for Lockheed for about a year and a half, Zenda moved on. She was wiser this time: “So the next place I went as long as I knew how to rivet I just didn't bother to tell them about the rest of it and got along just fine.” For the rest of the war, Zenda was a riveter.

Zenda helped make the P-61 Black Widow. German bombers were more likely to attack under cover of night. The P-61 was the first US night fighter and the first aircraft designed to use radar. With its radar, the P-61 could track and destroy enemy aircraft in complete darkness. 

Northrop P-61 Black Widow
Zenda described her work on the Black Widow: “We put an auxiliary tank on it. Northrop had built it and then this small company in Van Nuys was doing auxiliary work. Put an extra tank on it. I was out on the line, I was the only lady out there, but those men were terrible, a couple of them. Know how to do mechanics, these guys didn’t. Every now and then the boss would yell, ‘Lang, come here and see if you can fix this hole.’ And I’d go over and see if I could plug it up for him.”

Zenda's experience was not unique. Other riveters commented that the men, confident that they could do “men's work,” were less careful and made mistakes more frequently. Furthermore, rivets were often needed in small spaces—spaces that more easily accommodated small females.

Despite the women's skill, the jobs did not last. Zenda relates, “When the war ended in ’45 I was working at Northrop and everybody just laid down their tools and walked away. I mean they all knew that that was the end of the job, except for a few. There was no sense hanging around.” When asked what she did at the end of the war, Zenda replied, “Put my tools down and walked away. When I tried to get another job as a riveter they had their men that had been in the armed services that the jobs were promised to. I mean Congress had passed a law that said they had first choice. So anyway, this cut out quite a few. They said, We don’t care if you did do riveting; these guys have done it much longer, so we’ll keep them.”

As she still required an income, Zenda became a file clerk and later a proofreader. After marrying, she stayed home to raise her children.

Reflecting on her work as a riveter, Zenda said, “I think sometimes women can do things just as well as men. I figure they should be in the home, if they are able to, but it’s nice to know you can do other things too.”


Zenda's quotations are all from an interview conducted by Jerry and Carol Roberts on September 6, 1981.

Information on the P-61 is from the following websites:
· “Nothrop P-61 Black Widow,”  , Accessed 23 December 2014. 
· “Northrop P-61 Black Widow Night Fighter,” , Accessed 23 December 2014. 
· “Northrop P-61C Black Widow,” National Museum of the US Air Force,  , Accessed 23 December 2014. 
· “Northrop P-61 Black Widow,” wikipedia, en.m.wikipedia/wiki/Northrop_P-61_Black_Widow , Accessed 23 December 2014.

Poster is from UNT Digital Library. United States. War Manpower Commission. Women in the war : we can't win without them.  . Accessed 23 December 2014.

Black Widow picture is from wikimedia, P-61 Black Widow category