Thursday, December 8, 2011

This is Gustav.

Gustav Adolf Laux (1875-1943), my grandmother’s grandfather, was born in Bonlanden, Germany. Just a few weeks shy of his 17th birthday he boarded a boat in Antwerp and sailed to America. Two days after disembarking in Philadelphia he arrived in Indianapolis, where he spent the next 50 years.

In 1899, he married Jennie Pitman from Cambridge City. They had five children including my great-grandmother, Helen, in 1905.

Upon renouncing “forever all allegiance and fidelity to any foreign prince, potentate, state, or sovereignty, and particularly to Germany or any independent State within the bounds of the former German Empire,” he declared his intention to become a United States citizen in 1921. He also swore “I am not an anarchist; I am not a polygamist nor a believer in polygamy.”

A cement worker by trade, Gustav petitioned for naturalization in October 1923. Jacob Riedel, chief of the Indianapolis Fire Department’s fire prevention bureau, signed his application as a witness. At the time, the two lived not far from one another in Haughville, a westside neighborhood of Irish, German and Slovenian immigrant families -- Riedel at 521 N. Sheffield; Gustav at 427 N. Holmes.

Gustav later changed his middle name to Otto.


Welcome to my blog on the Bennett-Graham family history, with more than a little Moore-Thompson info mixed in for good measure. With boxes of research and scores of photos, much of which was compiled over the past 50 years by my grandmother, Helen Betty (Mitchell) Bennett, it should keep my busy for a while. Enjoy.