Times Past, Pausing to Remember


I was born November 17, 1826, in the village of Eberschutz on the Diemel (a small river) in Kreis Hofgeismer in Niederhessen. My parents were Johann Heinrich Bauman of Sielen, a village near by, and my mother's name was Maria Christena Barnhart, whose parents were formerly from Oberhessen.

My uncle Frederick Barnhart was sponsor at my baptism who gave my name, Frederick Christian, when I was a week old, as was the custom. The minister and pastor was Koradi, who lived opposite across the street or road from our house, in the parsonage, it being the largest and best house in the village, and when a little boy I spent many pleasant hours and did errands for them, they having no children. I was a favorite of the aged widow of the former pastor who by an arrangement or generosity of the new pastor lived with them as one of the family.

The church was a very old church and said to have been built before the Reformation. The floor of the church seemed to be lower than the street, for in going through the door it was fully one step down to the floor. I have no recollection of ever seeing a fire in the church or a place for one. The minister wore a clerical gown during the service. There was first an altar service at the altar below, after which he ascended narrow steps into a round narrow pulpit at the side of the wall about six feet high. Every child and scholar was taught to show the minister great reverence in passing on the street by making a bow to him and taking off the cap if the boy had one on, and a neglect to do so was most sure to be reported to the School Master, who would inflict the penalty of such conduct the next day. The same courtesy was also shown toward the School Master.

The school stood near the church and was of a more modern build. the teacher's name was Schlitzberg, whose family lived under the same roof, and separated from the school room by a hall on one side and a door on the other. He would now then leave the school to go to his family, but always appoint one of the older scholars to report the name of those scholars who ventured to take liberties which should not be taken in the teacher's presence. The teacher was a most rigid disciplinarian. He governed the school simply with the rod. Every scholar feared him. The sight of the teacher instilled a fear and the school house and room was regarded by most, and especially the smaller scholars, as a prison. The only incentive to study and know the lesson was to escape the rod. A great deal had to be committed to memory, especially hymns and scripture, and the dread of punishment by some of the timid ones prevented them from repeating at school in his presence what they were able to recite with ease at home.

Frederick's home was in the central area - Hessen

Near where Frederick spent his nine years in Germany was the ancient castle of Trendelburg, the setting for the Grimm Brothers' story, "Rapunzel." Jacob and Wilhelm Grimm were living in the nearby city of Kassel and were deeply involved in the chaotic conditions of political upheaval existing at that time in Germany.

The castle has been restored many times over the centuries and is presently a hotel and resort.

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