Tuesday, September 15, 2015

Paternal German Great-Grandparents

Keith’s paternal great grandparents were from Weberstedt, a Province of Saxon Germany. In June of 1868, Keith’s Great-Grandfather Christian Goesel with his new bride Dorthea, immigrated to Illinois. They settled in what was once an Indian village founded in 1804.
In 1868 Goeselville was established.  

By 1880s there was an implement business, grocery store and post office, which Christian served as postmaster. In 1909, Goeselville was sold to the Midlothian Country Cub and his family of nine children moved to Tinley Park. There Christian was one of the directors of the rural electric light company until he passed away in 1914.     

This photograph is of Keith's German great‑grandparents and family members sitting in a horse-drawn carriage, ready to take them to a Sunday service. A fine family portrait of the Goesel Family taken in 1894.
 
This picture of eleven salesman promoting farm machinery with four suited managers shaking hands, one of which was Keith’s great-grandfather.
  
 Goeselville is gone. It is now Camp Sullivan operated by the Forest Preserve and used for Boy Scout camping. There is a very long trail in the forest that winds through old trees and scrubby bushes that leads to the remains of the village where many homes and businesses existed. There are foundations remnants and a granite block that once secured a flagpole. All that remains today is the barn, which still withstands the test of time. The Tinley Park Historical Society has photographs and artifacts from Goeselville. It’s a private museum and you need an appointment
to see the exhibits. What is quite interesting is the Indian Totem Pole outside next to the museum that traces the history of the Indians that lived in the area before the many European immigrants settled homesteads and towns. Here is a bit of history from Wikipedia about Goeselville:
Christian Goesel and several relatives settled near 147th and Oak Park Avenue (then Bachelor's Grove Road) beginning in about 1861. In 1884, the Goeselville post office was established (replacing the East Orland Post Office) to continue to serve the small settlement in that general vicinity (which had previously been part of the larger area of the earlier Batchelor Grove settlement). This post office operated as a satellite of the New Bremen/Tinley Park post office
until it was
discontinued in 1903. At its peak there were about 30 residents in the Goeselville area, with a few general stores to supply the farmers. Parts of the former Goeselville settlement are now within the far northwestern boundaries of the City of Oak Forest. Although that post office has been closed for over 100 years, the Goeselville name occasionally continues to be found on current maps.

 It is grand to take a trip back to Illinois to visit the family homestead and gratifying to know that we are preserving the town and its history in our Family Museum.

No comments: