Lusher or Luscher Familes, from Redwood Falls MN to Pasadena CA

Henry Luscher and Family

We have many colourful stories about my grandfather's great-grandfather. He was (supposedly) born William Rudolph Haberstiech (Jnr) in a small Swiss village (perhaps in Aargau), on 8 Jul 1841. His father was the town Obermeister (Mayor). Our family tradition implied that William Snr. was a terrible tyrant, would beat his wife and children; and punish his sons by putting them down a well. Upon his death the wife (Anna Maria) ran away to Canada with at least three children (hint that she may have had a hand in her husband's death). In Canada the family assumed the mother's maiden name, Lusher/Luscher/Luesher or Lusher. William Jnr. renamed himself R Henry Lusher and renounced his father's fortune.

It is said that at the age of 15 Henry joined the US Army. He served during the Civil War, supposedly as a personal messenger for General U. Grant (I have tried in vain to verify this and all the other claims). Henry came out of the Army with a heart problem, but still lived to be 85 yrs old, walking 10 miles every day typically. There are records online for a private Henry Lusher's service in the IL Light Artillary, Company L, regiment 2, during the US Civil War (more info on his service might be on A Godfrey Lusher, who I presume to be Henry's brother, Samuel Godfreitt, also has recorded Civil War service

Debts to Marjorie Gallagher and Christian Heilmann), whose findings increasingly make some of those stories look, at the very least, exaggerated! It appears from documents that Henry's mother immigrated to New York in about 1852 with her very much alive husband; the marriage broke down soon after and he went back to Switzerland. Anna Maria and the children are living in Michigan about this time. Later Anna Maria (Luscher) travelled back to Switzerland to persuade her husband to agree to a divorce. One starts to imagine if it was Anna Maria rather than her husband who was the bully. Following the divorce she promptly remarried another Swiss immigrant to the USA, Johannes Duscher (various spellings). The Haberstich family was prestigious, and has been traced back to the 1600s in Switzerland (data from Chistian Heilmann no longer available, but I saw the tree layout back to the 1600s before it was taken offline, some info here and here). One set of records suggests that Rudoph Henry Haberstich Snr. was having severe financial difficulties by about 1851 (so much for the family fortune). Anecdotes from distant cousins suggest that there were fall-outs among the children and grandchildren of Anna Maria which has made it difficult to trace the family.

I have found no evidence of Henry joining the US Army at age 15, or that he was a messenger for General Grant.

I feel more confident about the family stories about Henry, for the period after the US Civil War.

Story is that right after the US Civil War, Henry married Mary Ellen (Fitzgerald Eldridge). She was (according to family lore) an immigrant from Ireland to Canada and then onto the USA at the age of 14 (I haven't found her in 1860 or 1861 Census, though). She married at age 16 to a John Eldridge who died in the notorious Libby prison (American Civil War) at the hands of Confederate captors. Mary Ellen, or "Ella" as she is usually known, had a son called John A. with her first husband. I haven't found any records to verify details of her first marriage or immigration, but her son John is found living with the Luschers in the Census records.

The Lushers settled in Minnesota until at least 1885. Henry worked as a farmer, and they had many children, including Ella Louise ("Louiza" or "Lulu"), They are in Redwood Falls in 1870 and 1875, and in Todd Co. MN in the 1880 and 1885 Census. They ended up in Chicago where the Henry became wealthy as the owner and manager of a retail goods store (he is down as Coal Merchant in the 1900 Census). Mary Ellen seems to have died after 1899. Henry's children are generally to be found in the Census and marriage records in the Chicago area from 1895-1900.

In 1897 Henry's eldest daughter (Ella Louisa) married Alexander Gillan Robson; Ella's little sister Florence is living with the Robsons in 1900. Due to Alexander's health problems, the Robsons immigrated to California, where they lived on a ranch in San Jacinto from about 1902-1917. Alexander died in 1908. In about 1917 the Robsons moved to Pasadena (where I suspect they had cousins). Henry Lusher is living with the Robsons in 1910 and 1920. Henry died November 1926 -- my grandfather Robert Francis Brainard, b. 1922, had a few memories of his great-grandfather Lusher.

Studying the Census records, there are several other farming Lusher families found in Redwood Falls MN in about 1880, also born in Switzerland about the same time as my Henry Lusher. It is believed that some are related to Henry (but some are not). The most intriguing are SG Lusher (down as a female, but I think this is actually Henry's brother Samuel Godfrey). Several of SG's/Godfrey's children also end up immigrating to southern California and Pasadena, starting around 1900. Other researchers have found other siblings of Henry & Godfrey ending their lives in Southern California in the early 20th century. Therefore, if you can trace your Lusher family back to SoCal, and especially Pasadena CA in the 1890-1920 period, there is a strong possibility that you are related to my Henry Lusher. Gravestones for several of these Lusher relatives are easily found online (findagrave)

I'd love to hear from any distant cousins.

Census and other transcriptions below for the Lusher clan, as well as I have been able to trace them

1841 Jul 8 William Rudolph Haberstiech (?Habersteich) b. small village (probably Muhen, Aargau) Switzerland.

1870 Census Redwood Falls Minnesota
Jacob Duscher 51 Farmer b. Switzerland
Mary Duscher 50 b. Switzerland Henry Snr's Mother
RH Luscher 29 Farmer b. Switzerland
Ellen Luscher 26 b. Ireland (so born 1844)
J E Luscher 7 (so born 1863), must be John Aldrink/Eldridge
Henry, Charles both 2 born IL

Both age 80, Jacob and Mary Ducher (various spellings for Ducher) are in Pasadena CA in the 1900 Census. No Luschers nearby or anyone with an obvious connection. According to Census and family tree info on, Jacob had a large number of children with his first wife, who died about 1857 (unless she didn't die, this is the part that gets confusing, did he abandon them?), but none are living with him in 1870 -- why not?? He married "Mary" (Anna Maria), in 1863.

1875 Redwood Falls Twp., Redwood, Minnesota
Christening of Edgar Luscher, b. 29 Mar 1875

1875 May 1 Census MN Redwood Falls, Redwood, Minnesota
Henry Luscher 35, him & his parents born Switzerland
Ella Luscher 23, her and her parents born in Ireland could she have been 29 not 23? Fits with John's age.
Henry 7 b. IL, Charles 7 b. IL
Louiza 3 b. MN Ella Louise
infant Luscher b. 1875, This is Edgar, who disappears between 1880 and 1900
John A. Alored? Age 13 mother born Ireland, father born NY must be John A. Eldridge, don't know what happened to him, either

1880 Jun 10th + 15th Census MN Stowe Prairie, Todd
Henry Lusher 38 self and parents b. Swt mistranscribed as Susher in Census index
Ella 34 self + parents b. Ireland
at school, b. IL: Henry and Charley 12
Mary L. 8 b. MN, at school
Howard E. 5 (Edgar) b. MN

1885 Census MN Stowe Prairie, Todd
Henry Lusher 44, b. Scotland [sic]
Ella Lusher 40, b. Ireland
Born IL: Henry 17, Charles 17
Born MN: Lula 13, Edgar 10 Can't find in 1900 and later censuses, did he die young?
Florence 2

1900 Jun 13 Census Chicago Town of Lake Cook Co. IL
living in a very multi-origin ethnic neighbourhood
Henry Lasher 59 b. July 1840 him + parents b. Switzerland immig. yr=1852 Coal Merchant
Ella 55 b. Apr 1845 herself & both parents b. Ireland immigr. yr=1860 5/5 children living Should be X of 9 children living
Kids b. IL: Henry + Charles 29 b. June 1870 carpenters, 2 months unemployed
Lulu 27 b. Mar 1873

1900 Census Anaheim CA
Jacob J. Ducher 80 b. Jul 1819 Switzerland, 37 yrs married, immig. Yr = 1852
Mary A. Ducher 80 b. Apr 1820 Switzerland, mother of 5 children 3 still living, immig. Yr = 1851

There is a lot of confusing and conflicting information online about Mary and Jacob; I am half wondering if their details have been mixed up with some other people's, or if the life story of Henry Luscher was distorted, as told down thru the generations to my line.

1903 Oct 8 Chicago, Cook, Illinoismarr. Of Henry R. Lusher Jnr. (35yo) To Mrs. May Smith (33yo). Is this Henry R. Luscher who served from IL (& died??) in WWI?

1906 Apr 27 Cook Co. IL marr. Of Florence A. Lusher to Arthur W. Smith (b. 1880)

Henry Snr. lives with his daughter Ella Robson in CA in 1910 & 1920.

1910 Census Chicago Ward 29, Cook, Illinois
Henry Lusher (Jnr) 42 b. IL, father born Germany mother born Switzerland
Mary Lusher 40 b. Iowa, parents born Germany

1930 Census Center, Wapello, Iowa
Henry Jnr. & Mary are here, all details seem to match.
Living with Sophie Schaub mother-inlaw (b. Germany), and her son Gus (b. Iowa)

GODFREY (Gottfried?) S. LUSHER IN MN AND LATER IN PASADENA, somehow related, I'm sure

1870 Jun 9 REDWOOD, MINNESOTA, birth of Alfred to G+M
1873 Dec 11 Paxton Twp., Redwood, Minnesota : birth of Mary Lusher to Godfrey + Mary
1875 Mar 18 REDWOOD, MINNESOTA, birth of Adaline to G+M
1877 May 18 REDWOOD, MINNESOTA, birth of male to G+M
Wrong birth year for this Charles, shucks
?1895 Jul 17 Redwood Falls MN marr of Charles A. Luscher to Inez E. Baldwin

1871 Redwood Falls, Redwood, Minnesota, Charles A. Luscher marries Margaret Kingsle
There's a Godfrey Luscher kicking around in Redwood Falls MN about the same time, several children born to him, I have a feeling Charles & Godfrey could be Henry's brothers. And SG (below) could be a sister-in-law.

1875 May 1 Census Redwood Falls, Redwood, Minnesota
SG Luscher 31, her and parents all born in Switzerland
Mary 23, ditto
Henry 6, Alford 4, Mary 1, Adeline 0y, all b. MN, parents both born Switzerland
Albert Seiger 16, him & parents born in Germany no rel. to HoH
They are next door to the Kingsleys, note that Charles above married a Kingsley.

1900 Census Pasadena Ward 5, Los Angeles, California family 224
G Lusher 52 Jan 1848, b. Switzerland, parents b. Switzerland emig. 1855 Farmer married 32 yrs. Mary Lusher Sep 1851 b. Switzerland, parents born Switzerland, emig. 1863 10 of 10 children living Walter b. Feb 1883 MN Farm Labourer
Elmer b. Feb 1887 CA
Millie b. Oct 1888 CA
Ethel b. Aug 1890 CA

1900 Redwood Falls city, Redwood, Minnesota
Charles Luescher b. Aug 1872 MN wrong birth year,parents born born Switzerland
Inez E., etc.

1910 Census Pasadena Ward 5, Los Angeles, California family 224
Godfrey Lusher 68 him + parents all born Switzerland, immigr. 1849
Mary Lusher 58, her immig. 1867, her + parents all born Switzerland
Mildred 20 b. CA
Ethel 19 b. CA

1910 Census 0111 Pasadena Township, Los Angeles, California (same place in 1900 Census)
Alfred C. Lusher 39 b. MN Jun. 1870 (son of Godfreit + M)
wife = Emma 34 b. MA Mar 1876
Children b.:
Mexico: Alvin 17 b. Jan 1893
CA: Ray 13 b. Mar 1897, Vernon 6, Lilla 4

//2 doors away in 1900 Census///

1900 Census 0111 Pasadena Township Los Angeles, California (same place in 1900 Census)
Henry Luscher 31 b. Dec. 1868 MN, Farmer, parents both b. Switzerland (son of SG Luscher, I reckon)
Ella May Luscher 36 b. Nov 1863 b. IA parents both b. PA
Myers Step children born in Colorado:
Charley Myers 20, b. Dec. 1879
Grace Myers 17, b. Jan 1883
Birdie Myers 15, b. Feb. 1885
Ralph Myers 13, b. Apr 1887
Maud Myers 7 b. May 1893
Willie Luscher 5, b. Mar 1895 CA
Earnest 3, Nov 1896 CA
Lawrence 1, b. Oct. 1898 CA

1920 Census Pasadena , Los Angeles, California
Alfred C. Lusher 49 b. MN (son of Godfreit + M)
wife = Emma T. 43 b. MA
Children b.:
Mexico: Alvin E. 26
CA: Ray E. 22, Vernon C. 16, Lila Lucille 13, Alta 9, Arthur A. 4y1m

Easy to find graves for these people on Findagrave

1920 Census Los Angeles Township Los Angeles City Precinct 666
Ernest E. Lusher 23 b. CA I reckon son of Henry, who is son of SG Luscher
Mary D. Lusher 22 b. MN
Henry L. Lusher 2y11m b. CA
Ernestine L. 1y4m b. CA

1920 Census Pasadena, Los Angeles, California
Godfrey Lusher 76 b. Switzerland
Eliza 72 b. Canada (2nd wife?)


by Sally Pollard on 16 April 2023
Hello! I just found this as I was doing a little research on MyHeritage. Anna Maria Haberstick Lusher is my great, great, great grandmother. Her daughter, Anna Maria Wilhelmina married my great, great grandfather John Charles Walters. They married in Illinois around 1865. So fun to read this!
by R Luscher on 28 May 2018
My dad is Oscar Luscher from Central Valley NY
by Hardy Lusher on 20 October 2012
Godfrey was my great grandfather, Alfred my grandfather & Arthur my dad
by Lucinda Lamb on 29 October 2018
Lila Lucille was my grandma and Arthur was my Dads (Earl Vern ) Uncle. I used to ride the bus with my grandma to Sacramento to visit her brother Art and Wife Peggy.
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by Karen Berby on 17 September 2012
Hello, My name is Karen. My great grandfather was Dr. Charles Luscher whom attended Rush medical school and lived in Redwood Falls, MN., though I was told came from Aargau County, Switerland orignally. I think his parents were Horace Luscher & there is the name Kuenzli relationship somehow.

I am very interested in learning more about the family history and would love to share what little I have. I do know Charles had a brother named Henry.

by Brigitte on 10 October 2011
Have a picture of Godrey's headstone in Alta Dena cemetery if you want it
by Julii Swindells on 12 October 2011
I tried the email you supplied but it bounced back? Get back to us here if you can?
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by Jody Norcutt on 10 October 2011
I have a large amount of information on a Charles Luscher who attended Rush Medical School around 1877, Graduated and then settled in Minnesota. His wifes name was Mary. According to some of the papers (including a life insurance certificate) I believe he died shortly thereafter but couldn't say that for sure. I also have a handwritten copy of his wife Mary's Last Will and Testament. The papers were part of a lot that came from my mother's hosue after she died. (She was a collector and never threw anything away.
by Julii Swindells on 20 September 2012
Hi Jody, I am not sure where we got with this. I have another descendent of Charles in touch who is interested in the papers you have, if still available.
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