This good looking chap happens to be my great great grandfather, Anton Plattner.
He was born about 1846 in either Austria or Germany, depending on when you asked him. The borders were a bit fluid at the time, and his English was never very good. When speaking to my grandmother, he always said “The Black Forrest”. He came to the United States in 1869, and came alone. He didn’t talk at all about his family or childhood, though when asked about his limp he said he’d been “shot in the war”. Timing would suggest that it would have been the Austro-Prussian War.
Yes, Grandpop Plattner is a member of The Brick Wall Gang. I’ll forgive him though, because he’s such a handsome devil.
He married my great great grandmother, Catherine Neusslein, in 1877 in Philadelphia, and they cranked out nine little rugrats, though only five lived to adulthood. Catherine herself was born to immigrant parents from Germany, George and Mary (Grasser or Groesser) Neusslein.
Sadly, in 1886, a pair of fraternal twins, Frank and Lizzie, died in or shortly after childbirth. I haven’t yet found the birth or death records for the other two children who died in infancy. My grandmother told me that Catherine had been permanently crippled while giving birth to the twins. She assumed that was Frank and Lizzie, but it’s possible that the incident occurred during the birth of the other two children, which may have been later.
Grandpop Plattner’s story is continued below the fold…