TSGS Cruiser Blog

Friday, May 22, 2009

"New Archive of Georgia Newspaper: 1826-1908"

Joseph Frick

The Columbus Public Library Blog of Columbus, GA, recently announced the availability of a new archive of digitized newspapers - the Georgia Historic Newspapers site which has the issues of the Macon Telegraph from 1826-1908. You can read the announcement at http://tinyurl.com/ohbu9t. As one who loves newspaper research, I usually explore archives in-depth for items pertaining to my genealogical interests. In methods very similar to today's newspapers, stories would get picked up nationally, so events in one place, were often reported on in far away places.

In doing some searching on items pertinent to Evansville, I discovered the following item published in the March 16, 1886 issue: "Joseph Frick fell dead at his home in Evansville, Ind., his death having been hastened by his failure to secure a promised government appointment."

I began to search to see if I could find out more about this Joseph Frick. The first place I checked was Ancestry's database of Indiana Deaths from 1882-1920 (available with a subscription at http://tinyurl.com/od77kh0) - nope, not there!. I located a Joseph K. Frick born abt. 1826 in the 1880 census in Vanderburgh County, but at this point, couldn't say for certain that this is the same gentleman. This Joseph K. Frick was an architect and emigrated to the United States from Switzerland and lived with brother Peter and Peter's family. In 1900, I find Peter again, but of the Frick's I locate in Vanderburgh County, none are named Joseph. A nationwide census search for any Joseph Frick's born abt 1826 in Switzerland yields no results either. A nationwide FindAGrave search did not find him either, though FindAGrave is far from exhaustive. As I continued to search for information about the family, I found an online biography of Peter's son Omar T. Frick that states Peter was born in Rhea, Switzerland and came to the United States in 1868. The 1900 census indicates Peter emigrated in 1856 however, so there is some discrepancy there. I also found an online newsletter that has a profile of another of Peter & Susan's sons, Walter P. Frick at http://tinyurl.com/o5azla, and it even mentions that Walter P. lived with his uncle Joseph at one point.

With another search, I located some information about Joseph K. Frick the architect at a blog post at http://tinyurl.com/qhecqp and it turns out he designed the county courthouse in Hopkinsville, Christian County, Kentucky! I've had personal dealings with this courthouse - one day while traveling to Evansville, my husband got a speeding ticket in Christian County and we had to send the fines to their courthouse. What a small world! That blog post led me to his biography in the online text book, Evansville & It's Men of Mark (available online). At the time the biography was written in 1873, Joseph K. Frick was still alive.

Then, as I was preparing for bed, I realized that I needed to search the online databases of Locust Hill & Oak Hill Cemeteries that the city makes available online and lo and behold -- Joseph K. Frick, born in Switzerland, is buried in Oak Hill Cemetery in Section 31, Lot 14, Grave 4 and the database confirms he died March of 1886. He was buried March 4, 1886. He died of heart disease. It looks like he is buried there with Peter and Peter's wife Susan, as well as several other family members. I went ahead and created a FindAGrave memorial for Joseph Frick; perhaps next time I'm in town, I'll go take a picture of the Frick family burial location as well. I may also go to Willard Library to see if the Evansville papers have a more extensive obituary.

So, when you see an announcement for a new resource - check it out - you never know what you'll find!

- Submitted by Taneya Koonce

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