Charles Joseph Fritscher (1884)


Charles Joseph Fritscher, the son of Joseph and Theresia Appel Fritscher, and grandson of Johann (1810) and Anna Fritscher,  was born July 10, 1884 in Heron Lake, Jackson County, Minnesota.  He was baptized as Joseph Charles, but became known as Charles or Charley very early on, and eventually Charles Joseph.  Charles had a fair complexion with dark, almost black, hair and blue eyes.  At the age of about eight, Charles moved with his parents to Pilot Point, Texas in 1892.  It was there that he grew to manhood and eventually married Dorothea (Dora) Zipperer.  Dora had been born in 1890, in Nebraska in a small community on the Kansas-Nebraska border called Odell in Washington County, Nebraska.  Dora lost her mother when she was an infant.  Her father, Joseph Zipperer, moved the family back to Michigan for a brief time.  It was there that he met his second wife, Margaret Stodola.  After Joseph and Margaret married they moved the family to the settlement at Pilot Point, Texas but Dora remained behind in Minnesota with an aunt and was about four years old when she rejoined the family in Texas.  Dora grew up in the Church parish and it was there that she met Charles Fritscher.

Charles Joseph Fritscher and Dorothea Zipperer were married July 21, 1908, at St. Thomas Catholic Church in Pilot Point, Texas, surrounded by their large families and many friends.  All five of Charles and Dora's children were born in Pilot Point.  Their baptism records were located there, and they were recorded on the 1900 and 1910 census in Pilot Point. Charles' mother, Theresia Appel Fritscher died only a few  years after the family arrived in Texas.   It was not until 1909 that, Charles' father, Joseph, finally married again, to a woman named Susanna (I have not yet found her maiden name.)  In 1918, at the age of 34, Charles registered for the draft. He was described there as being of moderate height, although he was only about 5 feet 7 inches tall. It also identified that he had grey eyes instead of blue. He was living in Tioga, Grayson County, Texas at the time, and registered with the Draft Board in Sherman, Texas. At the time of WWI, there were three rounds of the draft.  The first registration on June 5, 1917 included men born between June 1886 and June 1896.  The second registration on June 5, 1918 extended the age limit to include men a year younger registering men born between June 1896 and August 1897.  The third round of registrations just three months later, on September 12, 1918, included men as old as 46, and as young as 18.  Charles was registered in the third registration which included men born between September 1872 and September 1900.  

It was after that time when Charles and Dora moved their family to Cooke County, Texas where they were enumerated on the 1920 census.  

Another German Catholic community had been developed by the Flusche brothers in Muenster, Cooke County, Texas.  Several of Dora's siblings had settled in the area and had encouraged Dora and Charles to come to the area to be near them. Her brother, Joseph Zipperer and his wife Josephine had settled there to begin their family; her sister Mary and husband Philip Berend, and also her brother Rudolph and wife Frances settled there. 


Charles and Dora and their 5 children are found on the census in Cooke County, Texas in 1920.
E.D. 27, Justice Pct. # 1, page 12B, family 195/196.
C. J. Fritscher 35, head - own property, farmer, MN, parents both Germany (was actually Austria).
Dora 30, wife born NE, parents both Germany (was actually Bohemia, Austria)
Rudolph 10            (Children were all born in Texas)
Laura 8                 (Rudolph and Laura were both attending school.)
Julius 6
Albert 4
Frances 1 5/12
Note: Justice Pct. 1 is described as: "excluding Gainesville, beginning at the mouth of Fish Creek where same empties into the Red River, thence up Fish Creek with its meanderings to the west boundary line of the Hiram Sadler survey and to point on the west."


Charles and Dora's stay in Muenster was brief since they moved on north just a few years later to Oklahoma.  Al Fritcher, Charles' youngest son, remembered that in 1922 when he was about six years old, the family moved by covered wagon to Harrah, Oklahoma County, Oklahoma, a small farming community just east of Oklahoma City.   Although the family was not present in Harrah, Oklahoma during the time of a Federal Census, they are found on records of their Church parish.  In Harrah, they were members of St. Teresa of Avila Catholic Churchand it was there that the two youngest sons, Julius and Albert made their first communion.  The family rented a farm just outside Harrah, and the four oldest children attended the Harrah school.


Within about two years, in 1925, the family moved again, to Hereford, Deaf Smith County, Texas.  Two of Dora's sisters lived in the area.  One in Deaf Smith County and  another in bordering Parmer County.  It is likely that Charles and Dora were encouraged to come to be near the family.  Their son, Albert, remembered that they moved in a Model T Ford and shipped their belongings by train.


Information about the family is found in two Church history books printed by the parishes where they lived:  "A Centennial History, St. Thomas Aquinas Church" was the book of the Church in Pilot Point, Texas;  and they are also noted in the 50th Anniversary Book that was published by the St. Anthony's Catholic Church in Hereford, Texas.


The family remained in Hereford, Deaf Smith County, again only for a couple of years, before making their final move in search of a permanent home.  Before they left Hereford, they had an auction and sold everything but the necessities. Then they moved to Chickasha, Grady County, Oklahoma by train in 1926.  The family found a lasting home in Chickasha and  the children and several of the grandchildren married and raised their families in Chickasha as well.

After arriving in Chickasha, these are some of the memories of Frances Fritcher Morris, youngest child of Charles and Dora:
Mrs. Barney Lubbers found the family a big two-story house on Florida Avenue. The Lubber family had been close friends of the Fritschers in Texas, and as members of the Chickasha community and Holy Name Parish, they were instrumental in helping the Fritscher family settle into their new home.  Charles and son, Rudolph, went to work at the Bitsche Nursery. Charles worked there about a year, and then they moved to a house on a hill by Shanoan Springs Park. From there they moved North of the city of Chickasha about 10 miles out.  Charles and another man bought cotton fields and made a good profit. The children all attended St. Joseph Academy and after school helped with the difficult tasks of hoeing the fields and picking cotton.  Albert, their youngest son, especially loved riding his horse and playing polo in his free time.  He learned to do rope tricks and could even do them while on his horse.  He also learned to play the guitar, the mandolin and the harmonica.  Music was a large part of his life after he grew to adulthood, when he put together a small western band that played locally in Chickasha.  Frances remembered that their father always tried to give them a good home and was fair to each of the children. and he always stood to help them.

In 1930, the Charles J. Fritcher family was recorded on the census in Chickasha, Grady County, Oklahoma. E. D. 13, page 1-B family #11/13.
Charles J. Fritcher 46, MN,   married at 24
Dorothy wife 40, NE,     married at 19
Rudolph J. son 20, TX
Laura M. daug. 18, TX
Julius A. son 17, TX
Albert F. son 14, TX, in school
Frances M. daug. 11 TX, in school

The family was living on a farm outside Chickasha when in May of 1933 they were notified of their son, Rudolph's death. 

In 1937 Charles went to work for Fowlers Grocery. They lived at 1111 Colorado, and three years later he put in his own little grocery store on Choctaw Avenue across from the old Chickasha General Hospital.  He stayed there until his health began to fail. He bought a lot at 1512 South 6th Street just next door to his daughter Frances Morris and her family, and moved a house from another location to the lot.  He then built a store on the driveway of the property and operated it until he suffered a stroke in 1950 and had to sell out. 

Charles Joseph died of complications from his stroke in 1950, and after a celebration of High Mass at Holy Name Catholic Church, he was buried in the Catholic section at Rose Hill Cemetery, Chickasha, Oklahoma in the Frit(s)cher family plot.  Dora Zipperer Fritscher died in 1958 and is buried next to Charles.