Saturday, January 14, 2006

Joseph John NIEBAUER Sr

  • BIRTH: 5 JUN 1883, Anchorville,Macomb,Michigan,USA
  • DEATH: 19 FEB 1965, South Bend,Saint Joseph,Indiana,USA
  • BURIAL: 22 FEB 1965, South Bend,Saint Joseph,Indiana,USA
Father: John Joseph NIEBAUER
Mother: Theresa Ann BUHR

Wife: Bertha Louise BRENDAHL
  • MARRIAGE: 24 APR 1906, New Baltimore,Saint Clair,Michigan,USA
  1. Magdalen Ellen NIEBAUER
  2. Frederick Charles NIEBAUER
  3. Ruth Helen NIEBAUER
  4. Cecelia NIEBAUER
  5. Joseph John NIEBAUER
  6. Robert Louis NIEBAUER

                        |John Joseph NIEBAUER
_Joseph John NIEBAUER _|
|                       |Theresa Ann BUHR
|--Magdalen Ellen NIEBAUER
|--Frederick Charles NIEBAUER
|--Ruth Helen NIEBAUER
|--Cecelia NIEBAUER
|--Joseph John NIEBAUER
|--Robert Louis NIEBAUER
|                        |Fred W. Brendahl
|_Bertha Louise BRENDAHL _____|
                         |Augusta Brendahl

Sunday Morning June 17, 1956 Joseph J Niebauer is on surprisingly intimate terms with a number of famous people. He called Gen. MacArthur “Douglas," at the same time tweaking off the great warrior's gold-laced cap to show his sidedrape hairdo. Ex-president Truman is just plain “Harry” to him, and kept in a lot closer proximity to the party's mascot donkey than one would imagine is enjoyable. The truth is, the celebrities and figures of several others are Niebauer's own creations, whittled from blocks of poplar wood as a hobby to enliven retirement. They represent only a portion of his output. He also makes pictures, carving them in high relief and continuing to the paint job with which they, as well as his wooden friends, are finished. LEISURE WAS SOMETHING to which Niebauer became accustomed with difficulty after he and Bendix parted company four years ago. Even so, he was well past the usual age for quitting, since he will be 73 during the summer. His life  began on a farm in St.Clair County, Mich. and when he and Mrs. Niebauer were married 50 years ago, they settled in the country.  But rural life palled and almost at once they decided that he should seek a city opening in a building trade. Niebauer’s first Indiana stop was Gary, then in the initial stages of its mushroom growth.  He describes it as a sand-pit with residents living in tents-definitely not his dish.  Moving on to South Bend, he and his wife established a home and he became an expert concrete finisher. The railing on the LaSaIle Ave, bridge is his handiwork. He also made one on the Angela Bivd. bridge, but it was replaced when the structure was widened. Many important buildings owed steps, railings and ornamentation to his skill, but of them have given way to modernization. HIS CAREER as a maintenance supervisor at Bendix commenced in 1929, but even before that, he and his wife had bought their present home at 1054 O'Brien St. That part of South Bend was mostly woods when the Niebauers moved in.  There were no sidewalks or other improvements.  Water came from a well in the back yard.  But the city grew up to and around them, and they became as advanced as their surroundings. They were active workers in the Civilian Defense Filter Center up to the time of its removal, and are still enrolled in the Ground Observer Corps, taking their turn at weekly duty. PAUL REVERE rides again in this wood carving picture by Joseph Niebauer, plant engineer of South Bend. Poplar wood Figures of Gen. MacArthur and Harry Truman also are included in the collection during pension hours. Two Copies of the raising of the Flag on Mt. Suribachi have been turned out by Mr. Niebauer.  Except for one Marine the representation of the historic event is all piece.   Replicas of two homes are favorites among the Niebauer collect.  First he did one of the house in which he grew up and later a likeness of the O;Brien St. homestead.  Birthdays amoung six children cause no problem when Dad can whip up something original.
THE SOUTH BEND whittler did so well with his imitation of a white pigeon that the family parakeet works itself into quite a temper over the intruder.  The wooden bird has to kept out of sight when the parakeet is allowed out of its cage. Pensioner’s Time-Killing Craft Develops Into an Accomplishment of Many Rewards Niebauer was plant engineer at the Mishawaka branch of Bendix when the time of his retirement rolled around, and after responsibilities of such weight, he couldn’t relish idleness. Whittling, a favorite recreation of, his boyhood, was a natural remedy for boredom one which grew on him as his skill increased. IN TRIAL FLIGHTS he mastered some traditional tricks, such as carving a linked chain from one piece of wood. Then came a replica of his boyhood home and figure studies, both human and from _the animal world. His pictures are copies of” paintings or are taken from life. He has carved a likeness 0f:the O'Brien St. homestead, drawn painstakingly to a scale of one-eighth inch to the foot. He succeeded so well with his imitation of a white pigeon as to have aroused the jealousy of the family's parakeet. The carved bird was suspended in a sunny bay window near the parakeefs cage. Air currents would sway it gently in a believable imitation -of flight, so that the parakeet became convinced that he had a rival in the house. When he was liberated for exercise, he flew at the pigeon, pecking its wings s0.vigorously that it had to -be moved out of sight to stay whole. ALTHOUGH HIS PARENTAGE is half French and half German, Neibauer’s choicest subjects are extracted from Americana. One of his best pictures portrays Paul Revere’s ride, and turning to more recent history, he has fashioned two copies of the raising of the American Flag on Mt. Suribachi at Iwo Jirna. These are not relief picture; but statuettes, and quite remarkable in that except for the fourth Marine at the back of the group, the representation is all in one piece.  When Niebauer departs from using a single block for a figure, he contrives amusing changes of appearance by the movable sections. Heads can be turned from side to side, come off, or some of the accessories can be altered. Possibly the most ambitious venture is a farm. wagon grouping, complete with pfssengers, horses, a load of milk .cans and even a small dog running alongside. He calls it “Me and My Gal,” in tribute to early married life in the country. In its reminiscent the little dog is a replica of a departed and mourned pet, while the wagon faithfully images the time-honored Studebaker product. NIEBAUER’S CRAFT was undertaken primarily as a time-killer, but it has borne other rewards. The Niebauers are parents of six grown children, and when birthdays or other occasions for remembrance roll around, it is ‘(cry handy that Dad can cut out an attractive present. He has also received the recognition of an Award of Merit from the Hobby Show of the Altrusa Club. He and Mrs. Niebauer are regular participants in activities of the Hobby Center now under civic sponsorship. This is a congenial pastime to carry on at home. A newspaper spread over the kitchen table and a small cigar box of of them self-made--provide both setting and instruments for the process. It isn’t always easy to find the right wood, particularly in sizeable chunks, Poplar is tops, for it has practically no grain to cause splitting when it is cut or gouged flat at a lumber company; a better source is a wrecker’s yard, where several varieties of well-aged wood will turn up. Walnut is another acceptable material. With a golden wedding behind them, this couple is apt to have increasing reluctance to find entertainment away from home, but they never lack company when a shelf full of -favorite characters is at hand. The address remarks to their wooden companions as freely as to each other, and so familiar have they become that although Niebauer says they have never yet talked back to him, he be in the least surprised if some day they did. THE FARM WAGON complete with passengers, horses, milk cans and dog running alongside was designed in tribute to early married life In the country.  “Me  and My Gal."

NIEBAUERS TO MARK GOLDEN DATE - Mr. and Mrs. Joseph Niebauer, 1054 N. St., will celebrate their golden wedding anniversary with a dinner to be given in their honor next Sunday by their son, Frederick, in his home at 174 E. Cleveland Rd., followed by an open house from 2 to 5 p.m. The couple was married April 24, 1906, in New Baltimore, Mich., near Detroit. They came to South Bend Aug. 8, 1906.  Niebauer is a retired maintenance supervisor of the Bendix Products Division, Bendix Aviation Corp. They have six children, Magdalene, Chicago; Frederick; Mrs. Ruth McCormick, Winfield, Ill.; Mrs. Cecilia Brown, Lima, Pa.; Joseph Jr., McKinley Highway, Mishawaka and Robert, Los Angeles, and nine grandchildren.

Joseph J. Niebauer Joseph J. Niebauer, 82,of 1054 N. O’Brien St., died Sunday in his home after a brief illness. A retired employee of the Bendix Corp., he was born in Anchorville, Mich., on June 5, 1883, and had been a South Bend resident since 1906. He married Bertha Brendahl, who survives. Also surviving are three sons, Frederick of South Bend, Joseph J. Jr. of Cassopolis and Robert of California; three daughters, Miss Magdeline of Chicago,i Mrs. Ruth McCormick of field, 111., and Mrs. Cecilia Brown of Lima, Pa.; nine grandchildren; a great - grandchild; four brothers, Andrew of Lake Forest, 111., Louis of Chicago, Leo of New Baltimore, Mich., and Ben of Richmond, Mich., and two ters, Mrs. Marie Prall of son, Mich., and Mrs. Ella Cailet of New Baltimore. Friends may call after 7 p.m. today in the Hickey Funeral Home. Services will be at 9 a.m. Wednesday in Holy Cross Catholic Church, which he was a member, andi burial will be in Highland Ceme-i tery. He was a member of thei Senior Citizens and past president of the Bendix Management C 1 u b. Pallbearers will be Charles Rapp, Andrew A. Johnston, Willis L. VanDerbeck, L. F. Schleiger, Clyde A. Rumsey and Robert Anderson, all members of the Bendix Retiree Assn. The rosary will be recited at 7:30 p.m. Tuesday in the funeral home.

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