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Daniel Stomm. The best way to identify Daniel Stomm with the citizenship of DeKalb County is to say that he is proprietor of Vistawald in Fair- field Township. He was born May 20, 1862, and is now the senior in the house of Stomm in the United States. He looks both backward and forward over two generations of the family in DeKalb County.

The house of Stomm was first established in this country when his uncle, Daniel Stomm, whose name he bears, accompanied by a sister, Margaret Stomm, located in Pittsburg, Pennsylvania, in 1851. They were soon followed by the rest of the family from Baden, Germany. In 1854 George Henry Stomm and his family arrived in DeKalb County, after living for a short time in both Pennsylvania and Ohio. The son Daniel, who was a blacksmith in Pittsburg, died there unmarried, but the daughter Margaret came on with the family to the new home in Indiana. When George M. Stomm and wife, Margaret (Holtzworth) Stomm, crossed the Atlantic to join their son and daughter in America they were accompanied by four children, Henry, Elizabeth, Barbara and Catherine.

Henry, who was the father of Daniel, the present head of the Stomm family, was born in Germany March 24, 1833, and had just attained to manhood when he came to DeKalb County. He had learned the weaver's trade in Germany, but agriculture has been the forte of the Stomm family in this country. The naturalization papers of Henry Stomm are now a matter of record in the DeKalb County court house. Today the history of all that generation of the Stomm family has been written on the tombstone in the DeKalb-Steuben County Line Cemetery in Steuben County. The Stomm family name was identified with the German Reformed Church, and in politics the family vote always went to democratic candidates.

Henry Stomm married Anna Maria Gettz on January 9, 1856. She had come with her parents, William and Eliza (Hosier) Gettz, from Pennsylvania. Two of her sisters, Sarah and Susannah Putt, who married brothers, are living at Garrett, Indiana. The seven living children born to Henry and Anna Maria Stomm are: Daniel, Elizabeth, Moses, William, Mary, Nora and Clara. Three others deceased were Sarah, Amanda and Cora. The mother died October 1, 1882, and Henry Stomm married Catherine Bickle, who helped rear his younger children.

On January 1, 1886, Daniel, who, it will be noted, was born about eight years after the family came to DeKalb County, married Nancy Elizabeth Urey. She became the mother of two sons. Voyde G. and Roy C. She died January 3, 1891. On October 10, 1894, Mr. Stomm married Mary AI. Borger, of Owen County, Indiana. She is a daughter of Joseph and Emma (Hostetler) Borger, whose eight children were: George M., Costa M., William F., Mary M., Ida A., Esther, Martin J. and Jacob E. An older set of children than these were seven half brothers and sisters bearing the name Borger: Rachel, Benjamin, Levi, David, Elizabeth, Catherine and Sarah.

The three children born to Daniel and Mary M. Stomm are Ralph B., Ruth O. and Emma M. The two older sons, Voyde and Roy, were reared in the same household. Voyde married September 28, 1917, Iva High, and they have one child, Lois M. Roy married. May 31, 1914, Mary Benjamin, and their son, Austin Leroy, and the father, Roy, are both now deceased. The son Ralph B. married Theresa M. Hanes December 2, 1917. They have one son, Robert G. Ruth O. was married January 1, 1919, to Hubert Boyd. Lois May and Robert Gerald Stomm are the two representatives of the fifth generation of the Stomm family in DeKalb County.

Since 1887 Daniel Stomm has lived in his present home in Fairfield and today Vistawald is one of the most picturesque and attractive farmsteads in the entire county. The hill top building site is high and dr3', and the home buildings are well set in orchard and small fruit groves. Strawberry culture is a specialty. Spraying and other necessary work is done in season in order to secure high class fruit A small apiary is maintained with the double purpose of honey on the dinner table and the better polenization of fruit. There is a stucco house with full basement story, modern heating, electric lighting and water system, the water being forced into the house by hydraulic ram from a spring that supplies sufficient water for all domestic purposes and for the live stock as well. Winter or summer there is no water to pump and a stream down the hillside from the fountain, encased in cement, has a continuous and bounteous supply.

There is the second basement barn, one having been destroyed by lightning in a storm in which six other barns were burned in the same neighborhood. The silo back of the barn was one of the first built in DeKalb County.

Vistawald is a scene of thrift and contentment and of work in which all members of the family participate. The farmstead is hills and dales and adapted to diversified farming and fruit, live stock and agriculture. There are yet some unfinished plans, the World war delaying some of them, but the traveler will go a long way before he finds a more attractive spot than Vistawald.

("History of Northeast Indiana: LaGrange, Steuben, Noble and DeKalb Counties," Lewis Publishing Co., Chicago, 1920)

This website created October 17, 2011 by Sheryl McClure.
Indiana American History and Genealogy Project