Florian Waldspurger

Florian Waldspurger was born 05 May 1845 in Erstein, Bas-Rhine, Alsace to Franz Waldspurger and Sophie Egermann. A brother, Martin, was also born, though it is unclear at this point if Martin was older or younger than Florian. The family was of German decent.

On 15 May 1874 in Erstein, Florian married Marie Elizabeth Hans, the daughter of Mathieu Hans and Elizabeth Kintz, both of mainly French descent. She was born on 20 November 1874 in Wibolshiem, Bas-Rhine, Alsace. The couple had eight children, five of whom lived to adulthood; Edward, Anna Mary, Ernest, Elizabeth, and Clara. Emily and Joseph both died young, and little else is known about Eugene.

Florian immigrated to the United States in March of 1880, and Elizabeth soon followed with Edward, and possibly Eugene. Their other children would be born in Pennsylvania.

The family settled first in Trappe, Montgomery County, Pennsylvania, then moved to Philadelphia, Philadelphia County, Pennsylvania, before finally settling in Tylersport, Montgomery County, Pennsylvania, where Florian was a farmer. He would renounce his Alsatian citizenship on 9 July 1894 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania and become a citizen of the United States.

On Sunday morning, 2 September 1900, Florian Waldspurger boarded a milk train at the Souderton station in Souderton, Pennsylvania as a passenger, intending to spend the day in Philadelphia with friends. In Hatfield, the train collided with an excursion train, killing thirteen people, and injuring forty-five others. Florian was decapitated and his body was horribly mangled in the accident. The news of the train accident reached his family the following day, and his two of his children, Mary and Ernest, came to Hatfield and identified the body of their father.

Florian was buried in what is now the old section of Saint Stanislaus Catholic Church Cemetery in Lansdale, Montgomery County, Pennsylvania. His wife survived him by 35 years, dying on 28 July 1935 in Montgomery Township, Pennsylvania. She was buried next to him, though no headstone exists for her to this day.

1.Birth Certificate of Edward Charles Waldspurger, (Unter-Elass, Erstein, Eschau, Bas-Rhine, Alsace. Filed 1880).
2.Birth Certificate of Emily Waldspurger, (Unter-Elass, Erstein, Eschau, Bas-Rhine, Alsace. Filed 1880).
3.Court of Common Pleas, Citizenship Papers for Florian Waldspurger, (Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. 9 July 1894).
4.Extract from the Record of Births in the year 1850, Birth Certificate of Marie Elizabeth Hans, (Unter-Elass, Erstein, Eschau, Bas-Rhine, Alsace. Verified 12 June 1880).
5.Marriage Certificate of Florian Waldspurger and Elizabeth Hans(Unter-Elass, Erstein, Eschau, Bas-Rhine, Alsace. Filed 1880).
6.Patricia Mahoney's notes from various interviews with family members
7."Railroad Wreck Frightful Rear-End Collision at Hatfield," Lansdale Reporter. 6 September 1900.

Written by Kelley Wood, 2004.

Page last updated by Kelley Wood-Davis 19 March 2011

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