pub-769827371306972 pub-769827371306972
top of page

Bluffton's Hauenstein druggists and musicians

Steve Hauenstein is the author of this material. His bio is at the bottom of the feature.

Heinrich (Henry) Hauenstein was born in Unter Endingen, Switzerland, situated in a narrow valley called Surbthal in the north.

He was raised from the age of 7 by an uncle after his father, Andreas Hauenstein, died at the age of 45 while working in a stone quarry in France. At the time a canal, requiring building stones, was being built from the Rhône River to the Rhine River. Note: Hauenstein translates to “Pound Stone” or Stone Cutter.

Heinrich apprenticed as a Cooper, in Unter Endingen. At that time a cooper was not only the maker of barrels, wine casks and large tubs, a cooper was also required to look after “people’s wines.” After his apprenticeship, Heinrich traveled all over Switzerland as a journeyman cooper.

Heinrich married his neighbor, Verena Meyer in 1842 and the family began to grow. They made homes in Tegerfelden, a mile below in the valley and Under Endingen. Andrew was born in 1844, Lizetta in 1847, John in 1848, Verena in 1851 and Karolina 1852.

By 1853 finances were tough and they contemplated moving 8 miles away where Heinrich thought his business would better flourish. They sold their entire estate to a Jew for approximately $1,000. In Andrew Hauenstein’s journal (eldest son of Heinrich), Andrew writes:

“I must mention here that up to this time and some years later the Jews had not the right to hold real estate and not the same rights as citizens of Switzerland. The man to whom father sold his land proposed to make a test case of it, refused to pay for it until a good clear title was given him, under existing laws father could not do this, was deprived of land and money and was therefore in a tight place.”

“In the meantime, our family had nothing to live on and the authorities of the Village of Inter Endingen finally proposed to give father enough means to take us to America and they would fight it out with the Jew.”

In February of 1854, Heinrich, Verena, and five children aged 10 to 1 began their journey to America with no particular destination in mind. Heinrich had heard of Ohio but had not communicated ahead of time with anyone in America. They joined three families from U. Endingen by the name of Sen and made plans with an agent to emigrate to America.

The family took “busses” and a train to Le Havre, France, where they had booked passage to New York. Upon arriving in Le Havre, they learned that their ship had not come in and would not be available for another voyage immediately. A ship was ready to start for New Orleans and the agent allowed them to change their passage at the same rate.

“We embarked on an old sailing vessel, a three-master for New Orleans. It had about 200 passengers and was crowded – accommodations were poor,” according to Andrew Hauenstein. The journey lasted 51 days. They landed in New Orleans on the first of May 1854.

Due to a cholera outbreak on the steamer that was to take the family upriver, the family stayed in New Orleans for about six weeks. Heinrich found work at a brewery. Cholera became widespread in New Orleans and the family was advised to leave New Orleans. The family packed up and procured passage on a steamboat for Memphis in June, but cholera was there as well.

“About three weeks after our arrival in Memphis, my oldest (Lizetta) and youngest sister (Karolina) became ill and died the same week. In addition, Heinrich’s wife, son John and daughter Verena also were stricken with Cholera. Verena died a week after Lizetta and Karolina. All three girls were left in unknown graves in Memphis.”

Heinrich booked steamer transportation to Cincinnati. The journey from Memphis to Cincinnati took a little over a week. During their first year in America (1854) the family looked for German-speaking communities in Ohio.

During this time they moved from Dayton to Breman and Wapakoneta, Heinrich finding any work he could along the way. Another child, Emma was added to the family in 1855, their second year in America. It was while living in Wapakoneta that the family learned of a Swiss settlement beyond Lima: Beaverdam.

The family moved to Beaverdam in the spring of 1856 and added yet another member to the family, Fanny. Heinrich worked at carpentering, as a Cooper, and for wealthy farmers in the area.

In the fall of 1858 Andrew, the family’s oldest son, began working for John Meyer and Jacob Moser, who owned a “little grocery” in Shannon. A “grocery" at the time was much more of a saloon than a grocery. Thus began Andrew’s introduction to the business world.

From Andrew Hauenstein’s journal “I made myself proficient in arithmetic writing and bookkeeping and profiled generally by Mr. Mosers business methods.”

He worked in the store for the next five years and at the age of 19 entered school. But Andrews's schooling didn’t last but for a few months. The battle of Gettysburg had been fought and the war department was looking for volunteers. Andrew enlisted to fight the “War of the Rebellion” on Jan. 4, 1864, just short of his 20th year. He served in the U.S. Army for 17 months.

“The town was incorporated in 1861 and given the name of Bluffton, some said that it was Mr. Moser who proposed that name because he came from the vicinity of Bluffton, Indiana,” according to Andrew.

In 1865 Andrew was reinstated in the Drugstore of Meyer and Moser at $15 per month plus board.

Looking for a better situation, Andrew found work through the influence of Mr. Moser at the wholesale Drugstore of West and Truax of Toledo, but returned to Bluffton in 1867.

Meyer and Moser had sold their drug business to two local farmers (West and Merriman) who did not have experience running a business of any kind. Running the business fell to Andrew’s expertise.

Dr. S. S. Yoder, owner of another drugstore in Bluffton approached Andrews and together they purchased West and Merriman’s drug store.

“In 1870 I got married (Barbara Steiner) bought the house opposite the Brewery of Mr. Lewis for 700 dollars and setup housekeeping,“ according to Andrew.

The business apparently thrived and Dr. Yoder offered to buy Andrew’s share of the business. In 1872 Andrew had $1,750 clear of debt. Andrew enrolled in a three-month course conducted by the Analytical Chemistry in the College of Pharmacy in Philadelphia. Andrew became a pharmacist.

Andrew returned to Bluffton, purchased stock from a wholesale druggist and rented a storefront in Bluffton for seven dollars a month “Along side Ewings’ Hardware store, 14 x 40 feet and no backroom.” He opened his store in 1872 and was offered the position of postmaster for the town, which brought steady traffic to his store. The railroad had also come to Bluffton that year and business was good. The village was growing.

Andrew purchased a lot on Main street in “the new edition then called Carnahan's Woods” and built a rather grand home at 414 Main St. He later served as Bluffton’s mayor from 1926-1928.

The Hauenstein family tree

Johan Hauenstein, Born ~1701

3 sons, 1 daughter.





Heinrich Hauenstein

3 sons, 2 daughters



Johan (perished in Russian Campaign 1812)

Names of daughters not known

Andreas Hauenstein

Born in Unter Endungen 1818

Married: Verena Gross

Died: ~1825 in stone quarry accident, Muhlhausen, Elass, France

One son: Heinrich, Emigrated to America in 1854

Heinrich Hauenstein

Born: June 28, 1818, Unterendingen, Aargau, Switzerland

Died: Oct 8, 1890, Bluffton, Ohio

Married: Verena Meyer

Verena Meyer: Born Aug. 26, 1820, Tegerfelden, Switzerland, Died Oct 14, 1892, Bluffton

Emigrated with his family to America 1854

3 sons, 5 daughters

Andrew, Born in Tegerfelden Jan 19, 1844

Lizetta, Born Nov 1, 1846 in Tegerfelden,Switzerland,

Died in Memphis, Tennessee, June 1854

John F., Born October 18, 1848, in Unter Endigen.

Killed in Lima, Ohio Nov 1, 1915

Verena, Born Feb 1, 1851, in Unter Endigen,

Died in Memphis, Tennessee, June, 1854

Karolina, Born March 23, 1852, in Unter Endigen,

Died in Memphis, Tennessee, June 1854

Emma, Born Sept 9, 1855 in Wapakoneta, Ohio. Married name: Plattner

Fanny, Born April 21, 1858 in Beverdam, Ohio. Married name: Hilty

William, Born April 28, 1862,

Andrew Hauenstein

Father: Heinrich Hauenstein Mother: Verena Meyer

Born: Jan 19, 1844, in Tegerfelden, Aargau, Switzerland Arrived in U.S. May 1, 1854, at the age of 10

Enlisted in 54th Ohio Volunteer Infantry at the age of 19

Established A. Hauenstein and son’s pharmacy

19th mayor of Bluffton 1906-1908

Died: April 23 1937, Bluffton, Maple Grove Cemetery 93 years of age

Married: Barbara Steiner Nov 10, 1880

Barbara Steiner: Born Born Mar 19, 1851, Bluffton, Died: Feb 19, 1930, Bluffton,

Barbara’s parents: Christian S. Steiner 1816-1863 and Barbara Hilti 1820-1866

Andrew Hauenstein, Mayor of Bluffton 1906-1908

Four sons:

Edgar Steiner Hauenstein 1877-1967, Pharmacist

Sidney S. Hauenstein 1880-1949, Professor of Music,

Bluffton College and High School

Ray Scott Hauenstein 1887-1959

Armin Herrman Hauenstein 1891-1958, Pharmacist,

26th Mayor of Bluffton 1926-1928

Edgar Steiner Hauenstein

Born May 9, 1877 Bluffton, Died Sept 20, 1967, Kingsville, Texas

Father: Andrew Hauenstein Mother: Barbara Steiner

Took over ownership of A. Hauenstein and son’s drugstore from his father, Andrew

Organist: Presbyterian Church for ~60 years

Married: Lela Mabel Bentley Nov 10, 1870

Two sons:

Hilton Kent Hauenstein, 1905-1965

Roger A Hauenstein Music Professor 1917- 1971

Edgar Hauenstein in his pharmacy

Hilton Kent Hauenstein

Born Aug 20, 1905,

Died Nov 7, 1965

Pharmacist, with father Edger then with Henny & Cooper Marion, Ohio

Married: Anna Catherine Carlson Oct 6, 1933

Catherine Carlson: Born June 9, 1908 Titusville, Crawford, Pennsylvania

Two daughters, one son

Karin Andrea, Born Dec 4, 1937, Marion, Ohio

Died Feb 19, 1995 Maryland

Susan Lynne, Living

Steven Bentley, Living

About the author of this feature

Steve Hauenstein learned to ride his bike on Jackson Street, ice skated at Yoder’s pond spent his summer days floating on an inner-tube at the Buckeye.

He would have graduated with the BHS class of 1971 had he been fortunate enough to live in Bluffton through high school.

He’s lived in the suburbs of Salt Lake City since 1974. He has seven children and 11 grandchildren. And he’ll admit to having two wives. Just not at the same time. He believes we all go to Bluffton when we die.


bottom of page