April 13th 2016
The Hathenbruck Legacy or Fantasy?
A Review from the Book Utah Gold Rush
F.W.C Hathenbruck and Family Circa 1920
At no time in this report is it my intention to slander, diminish or embarrass any individual alluded to within, especially the ancestor FWC Hathenbruck. My purpose is to inform Hathenbruck decedents that the only story concerning their ancestor that has been published so far appears to be a complete fabrication. In my mind, this was a blatant and intentional act to deceive the many descendants of this man as to whom he was, or in this case, as to whom he was not.
I have compiled my findings that the descendants may know a part of truth concerning FWC Hathenbruck. I don’t mind a good fictional fantasy story, but when I spend my time, which I value, trying to learn the truth of my roots, the last thing I will put up with are the vain imaginations of what appears to be an intentional fraud for what seems to be for self-notoriety and self-gratification.
Each of us from time to time discovers some colorful individuals in our past, sometimes a frontiersman, famous outlaw, lawman, a founding father, or sometimes even a member of the past Royal families. I don’t know about you but I get a thrill in discovering my ancestry, learning of those whom I may have a physical connection.
As I research the many ancestors, from time to time we find some incredible stories such as is the case with the enigmas FWC Hathenbruck. Who was he? And where did he come from and are among the questions that would weigh on my mind.
Some years ago while researching this ancestor of many; I stumbled across a web site which seemed to have some considerable information concerning this elusive character. What I read on the site seemed a bit incredible and later in years I discovered a book which the same claims had been published.
The individual from the web site and apparent co-author of the book claimed to be a descendant of the subject at hand, this was not difficult to verify, as I always find the most original source in my research and check the credibility of the individual making such claims and because the claim seemed a bit far-fetched, I just had to investigate the source material for those claims.
Making contact with the individual who apparently is the source for all the claims made on the now closed downed web site and the book, I was assured that the information was in his personal possession but to this very day have never received as promised the information to verify the claims made.
With initial contact I took notes of things I was told, one of which concerning how the ancestor in question lost his arm, I was told he lost it in a mill accident, but as it would seem, the story has grown into an almost unbelievable event.
Over the years I have also checked the qualifications and character of the author of the book, a man I would not suggest looking into, with what I would say is a very questionable back ground. A relative of mine served as a Physiologist and Captain at the Utah State Prison, he had known the author of the book quite well having talked with him many times over in his career, while his residence at the prison was had, I was told he served about 8 years for beating his wife to death with a 2 by 4, needless to say, the credibility of this authors integrity and qualifications were diminishing. More often than not some just believe or want you to believe that just because they are decent of some firsthand experience, that this somehow makes them an expert in the field.
However giving everyone the benefit of the doubt, I continued to inquire and research hitting nothing but dead ends in trying to verify the many claims made by the descendant of FWC, which so far was the only truth I had found.
I decided to start at the root of some of the claims and contacted several of the Historic Royal societies in England, with today’s internet capabilities; it has become much easier to track down not only contact information but resource material as well, vital statistics, travel records etc...
One such claim that almost seemed unreal and was the reason for contacting the pre mentioned societies, is the claim that FWC was the illegitimate son of Frederick III, German Emperor and King of Prussia.
Frederick III, Father of Kaiser Wilhelm
Father of Kaiser Wilhelm I,
Not the Father of FWC Hathenbruck
To my surprise, none of those contacted, had ever heard anything of the sort, no accounts of Frederick III being promiscuous were among them, and none of them had ever heard of the Fraulein Louisa Hudinburgh, (Hanna Louisa Haddenbrock, A Fictitious person, having supposedly been born 1825 entered on two Genealogy sites) in fact to this day I have not been able to verify that she ever existed and with several different variations of spelling. After all these years I am convinced she is a complete fabrication, perhaps someone can provide some form of proof of her existence.
However each of those whom I contacted suggested or was eager to tell me the story they each felt the claim came from, and that it occurred at nearly the same time. It would seem that it was not Fredrick III who had the affair, but Frederick III’s Father Wilhelm I who was promiscuous, the Kaiser Wilhelm’s Grandfather or who would have been the Grand Father of FWC IF in fact the claim made by the co-author were true, from this point, the story relayed to me was near identical in detail as to the story I was originally told by the co-author many years ago, yet differs from the printed story in some detail.
Kaiser Wilhelm I, The Promiscuous one...
Father of Ferdinad Emil Weinrich
Not the Father of FWC Hathenbruck
It would seem the well-known story among the Royalist History groups, was in that Wilhelm I had an affair with the widow Bertha Caroline Shonborn resulting in the bastard child Ferdinand Emil Weinreich being born in Konigsberg, East Prussia, the illegitimate son of Kaiser Wilhelm I. This event occurred at nearly the same time making Emil Weinreich about the same age as Hathenbruck. Apparently it is a well-known story among the Historic Royalists. Emil eventually settled in Denmark and married, some of his descendants joined the Mormon Church and moved to Provo Utah and to my knowledge Emil Weinreich never came to the states.
Ferdinand Emil Weinreich, the illegitimate son of Wilhelm I,
King of Prussia and Half Uncle to Kaiser Wilhelm II
(See Ferdinand Emil Weinreich: His Life Story)
To this day, I have never seen definitive or even remotely curious evidence that shows even the slightest legitimacy of the story told concerning FWC being the illegitimate son of Frederick the III, there is absolutely no evidence what so ever not even the slightest implication other than the imaginative story fed to the descendants of Hathenbruck, It would appear the story of Emil Weinreich has been high jacked.
It would seem from what appears to be reliable information depending on Hathenbruck’s motives, What I have found believed to be true is that he arrived in the States in 1866, when he got here it would appear he was married at age 17 or never officially married as I cannot find any record of it, in the 1900 12th Census he stated that his parents were both from France, he being born in England. In 1920 in the 4th census, he answers the question again, Born in England, Father being French and French listed as native tongue, but this time he shows his mother as being from Holland and native tongue as Dutch, and he is marked as a manager in a Slate Quarry. I do not know what to make of the designation of the parents, personally I do not think Hathenbruck ever had the idea in his head that his Father was the Kaiser, I believe it was created by a glory seeking nobody, I don’t care how much someone would want to keep it quiet, he would have told someone.
From the 14th or 1920 census
Among many other claims made in what appears to be the only source concerning FWC’s origins and now appearing unreliable, my attention was drawn to the very tiny photos found on page 210 and 211 in the book in question. I always wondered why such small photos were used in the book when larger photos were in the possession of the chest pounding story teller. I do not know where the story teller got the photos but one source who knew the co-author in the 1990’s claimed he was told by the co-author that he had stolen the pictures from two Hathenbruck brothers from Cedar City. If anyone recognizes the photos presented here in as evidence to be weighed against the very large claims made with each of the tiny photos found in the book, please do tell and inform the rightful owner. It is rumored that other things were stolen as well.
Looking at page 210 and 211 of the book in question of the co-author previously mentioned, we see to first of several photos which are from the same early 1900’s photo shoot session with one exception being the photo in the top right of page 211 with the text beneath it “Hathenbruck Wagon” This claim could very well be true, as the middle individual even in this barely discernable picture is without a doubt FWC, this photo is of a different source. So with that said, let’s move to the other pictures which creates much concern and in my mind destroys the credibility of the claims and deals a large blow to all other information which has been used in the so called Hathenbruck Legacy. I wanted to believe the wild stories of the ancestor, and although I suspected some exaggerations, I had no idea how bad this exaggeration was.
Keep in mind, the original photos in their large format were available to the co-author at the time the book was publish, why would anyone use such small photos when such large claims are being made?
Claim #1 page 120
Actual size as printed in the book
Now when I first saw this page, having written many research articles, I could not help but wonder why this image was so small, to my knowledge no camera takes such small photos and if they did, why have the camera? The authors of the book would have to scan the photo for publication so unless the operator of the scanner was a complete idiot, there had to be a reason for the very small photos, I can think of a couple.
Some years ago a fellow researcher shared some old western photos from the basin area with me, at the time I was not concerned with where they came from, I just needed some old western photos, I had no idea he was handing me the very photos which are used on the pages in question. Having looked at the photos many times, I became familiar with them. It wasn’t until I opened the book again years later and happened to turn to page 210 that I realized the photos were one and the same. Wow! I thought finally I can see the outlaws in the photos, needless to say I was very disappointed, and angry at the same time. I went from photo to photo only to find the same disappointing results. This is the first real time I made this research a matter of priority rather than accepting the author’s word for it.
Lets look first at the 2nd claim attributed to the photo and go right to the specific individual in the photo mentioned. (Claim: Hathenbruck is third from the right.)
Picture # 1 The Overall Larger Image
Now please feel free to correct me if I am wrong but this man is definitely NOT FWC and this man would appear to be about late 30’s to early 40’s but most noticeable is this man has both arms. FWC had lost his arm long before this, there isn’t one man in this photo shoot who is missing an arm. These pictures although the exact date is unknown, were taken sometime around 1900 to 1906. This same man appears in picture # 3 on the far left.
Now lets look at the 3rd claim pertaining to this specific photo, it is said that the man on the right with open vest is Matt Warner. The first claim of this photo is that these are FWC’s gunfighters, but based on the overall picture from this photo shoot, all men are carrying Shotguns, One man is holding the kill of the day, a sage hen or pheasant, right by the pheasant is two bird dogs, a Labrador and a Britney Spaniel, in another photo from this same photo shoot not used in the publication is a dear hanging from a tree. Also one of the men is wearing a shooting vest made for shotgun shells, not one man is seen as wearing a pistol and since when do gunfighters run around in Wagons and a carriage? Something just isn’t right.
Matt Warner Prison Photo
The same man above said the be Matt Warner is also in picture number 2 second from the right with a strange man all the way to the right dress in white, we’ll come back to him. He is also in picture # 5 back row and second from the right. Now I am not line up expert but this is not Matt Warner, maybe you think it is.
Now let’s look at the second photo on page 210 on the right and second picture down from top and the claims made with it.
Claim # 2 approximate actual size of photo as it appears in the book
The man on the left in the above picture is said to be FWC, this man is clearly in his late 30’s to early 40’s, and as you can see, holding a shotgun with his missing right arm is not possible, however just looking at him, it is clearly not Hathenbruck. Also notice the man on the right wearing a shotgun shell vest and at his right knee you see the head of a Britney Spaniel. This is the man who is claimed to be “Elza” Lay in picture # 5, His name is actually Elzy.
The man in the middle is the one which is claimed to be Matt Warner.
I will leave it up to you to see if you can find a match for any of the names mentioned as being in the photo.
Elzy Lay Elzy Lay? I don’t think so.
I have no idea who Henry “Hen” Lee is except that he is mentioned in a book written by A.C. Wlkerson nor Iowa J. Hall.
The following images are according to the authors of the book in question, Bub Meeks but they call him Bob in one photo and Bill in another, His real name was Henry Wilbur Meeks (Bub)
Man Claimed to be Bub Meeks Same Man from other photo
Young Bub Meeks Older Bub Meeks
And from the third photo is the same man, however the authors claim in this photo that this man is Butch Casidy?
The Conclusion for me is an absolute, this is not Bub Meeks, or Bill or Bob.
With this let’s move to the 3rd claim on page 210 bottom left photo.
Approximate size of actual photo from the book
Photo # 3
The only real claim from this photo is that the man standing in the center is Butch Cassidy shown previously.
Now just in case the authors made a mistake, here are the two men to the right, and the three on his left, and once again, I do not see Butch Cassidy in this picture.
Man in the middle said to be Butch
Claim # 4 Page 210
Now I’m not certain what the author was implying here as there is no such thing then or today as “Hathenbruck Crossing” or gunfighters for that matter. In case you haven’t put it together yet this photo shoot was a hosted hunting party in the Uinta Basin area near Blue Bell and likely the photos were taken somewhere between Sand Wash and Twin Pots, wait till you see who the guest and primary host of this hunting party was, the authors of the book apparently never saw it.
Claim # 5 page 210
We have pretty much already covered each of these, in addition let me say Bub Meeks was no small guy, said to be the second from the left, front row in the picture below.
Still no Elzy Lay
Keep in mind in the following the authors of the book claim the photos to be form 1905-6, and this might be a good time to point out from much more reliable sources, the Elzy Lay was arrested in 1899 and held in Prison until 1906, according to the source he never saw the now defunct Wild Bunch Gang again.
Bub Meeks was imprisoned in1897, he did at least 12 years, (1909) after which several sources cannot agree.
Matt Warner About 1896, while on a prospecting trip, was ambushed in a gunfight, killed two, wounded a third, was arrested and convicted. After serving four years of a five-year sentence for this shootout, he was pardoned and released by Utah Governor Heber M. Wells in 1900. In the early 1900's he became a Justice of the peace, deputy sheriff, night guard and detective in Price, Utah. Matt Warner’s real name is Willard Erastus Christianson.
Butch Cassidy or Robert Leroy Parker, made his plea for amnesty in 1896, while awaiting, he happened into more trouble and as a documented fact he fled for New York in 1901 and sailed to Argentina where he remained until
at least 1908 where in it is said he was killed but at this point in 1908 historians cannot agree some believe he lived out the remainder of his life under an assumed identity.
At one time on the web site of the co-author, it was said that Kid Curry and Doc Holiday were also among the men in these photos, however the web site no longer exists. I guess it was discovered that Kid Curry died in 1904 and Doc Holiday in 1907.
This one is by far my favorite of the photo shoot but not for reasons you may think. As you can see neither of the two man are Hathenbruck, how could someone as familiar with Hathenbruck as the co-author not know? Was it because he thought no one would ever see the large photos? The other man is referred to as a companion ON A HUNTING PARTY? I guess it wasn’t as easy to hide the same dog in this photo even by using a small photo as it was in two other photos with the same dog.
I do not know who the man on the left is, but I do know who it is not, but the man on the right I do know who it is, and it is not Hathenbruck either, I can’t understand for the life of me why the authors of the book did not see it.
Now just to recap, nowhere in this photo shoot, and exempting the photo of Hathenbruck’s wagon as it was not among the original photo shoot, Hathenbruck is no where to be found and apparently has nothing to do with the photos.
Now, who is this man on the right and primary guest of this hunting party? The Man on the right is Kaiser Wilhelm II the very man the authors claim is Hathenbruck’s half-brother? but as you have read there is a problem with this claim.
Kaiser Wilhelm in 1899 Age 40
There is no doubt in my mind that this is the Kaiser in this photo, the man on his left is also in the other photos which ties the photos together, and so I ask, what was the Kaiser doing here? Trying to secure the Gold of the
Rhoades mine? Sounds good but I don’t think so; I think he had a much bigger fish to fry. It is only fair to say at this point that the Kaiser did indeed have a withered arm from birth and according to historians and the many photos of the Kaiser, he was in the habit of hiding it from the camera, the reason he is seen posing for a profile photo with his left side protected. Notice his pants are torn which likely occurred in the overturning of the wagon shown in the photo shoot.
If the Kaiser were interested in the Rhoades mine, which is possible, would he handle it himself or would he have used his right hand man, Baron Von Horst? We know that land was being purchase at Sand Wash in Blue Bell prior to 1914, the newspaper articles confirm it was the Kaiser who was buying the land, but the name used in the transaction was his man the Baron Von Horst. I have yet to obtain the earliest of records of the indicial purchase.
It was rumored around 1914 that the German Kaiser had land in the Basin, there are many articles relating as such.
From the Vernal Express 03-28-1913
This is an interesting article as it shows communication “by correspondence” between Hathenbruck, and Baron Von Horst, the Kaisers suspect representative, keep in mind the man was also suspect of being a German spy in England and was arrested as such and by record, shows to be frequently traveling around the world and back and forth from the states to Germany. Did Hathenbruck have part in this?
The interesting thing is, the Kaiser came to the Basin, likely to see the land for himself, I would suspect Baron Von Horst set up the Hunting trip to the Sand Wash area with the hunt taking place sometime prior to 1906, and brought the Kaiser along with him but under a false name, the other hosts of the hunting party likely never knew who he was. No one to my knowledge ever knew the Kaiser came here but the evidences are difficult to refute. Below are the land records showing Baron Von Horst was the man paying the taxes which he often lets go delinquent. Recorded history of other sources does not show the Baron was even in Utah but the many news
articles shows he was without a doubt here, and was frequently in the Basin as late as 1928. The land in question in the below photo is Sand Wash near Blue Bell.
After this recording is was always signed by his brother, E. Clemons Horst until sold in 1942, prior to the entries above it was signed as Mrs. Baron Louis Von Horst, the original purchase date was a company/corporation Call
T. R. Watts which is a surviving company to this day and presumed to be one and the same in Sommerset England, Patent Date was 1913
Hathenbrucks efforts to lease enormous amounts of land on the Reservation came to a halt in 1905, of all the land the Kaiser could have had, why Sand Wash?
Now let me bring you back to the mysterious man that shows in two of the photos. On the co-authors web site the mysterious individual in this first photo was said to be Josie Basset Morris, but this is not the case. It is also claimed the photos were taken by FWC, which I suppose is possible.
The claim and photo which still exists on Pinterest.
SEE Claim # 6
So if FWC was taking the photos, how could he appear in some of the photos taken likely the same day? If you look closely, two different men in the claim photos accused of being Hathenbruck, are in this photo, so how could he take the photo?
Based on all the evidence gathered from the picture, this whole photo shoot is a hosted hunting trip, the host is most likely this individual due to his nice dress, his presumed nice carriage he is standing by, and his guest is likely the Kaiser. This individual is highly suspect of being Baron Louis Anton Von Horst. I have searched for years for a photo of the Baron, and only recently has one been made available. Judge for yourself.
In reading the many articles regarding the Barons dealing in the Basin it is said he was working with his brother. His brothers are; Ernest F. G. Horst, Werner E. A. Horst, E. Clemens Horst, Paul R. G. Horst, Adolf E. Horst. I wonder if one of these brothers has an Alias?
Now I can’t prove a thing at this time, But there is no record of Hathenbruck in his 3 claimed trips traveling to the states twice, and once to Germany although I suspect only one trip TO the states, obviously he was using another name, what name was it?
The genealogist in the Hathenbruck Family would like to believe that Hathenbruck is an alternate spelling of some other form, I do not believe this. I believe the very name Hathenbruck had no existence prior to FWC Hathenbruck and for some reason he was traveling under either his real name, or another assumed name. I would like just as much as any of you to learn the truth of this to discover the true identity of the mysterious man Hathenbruck.
We would all like to believe that the ancestor Hathenbruck was some Doc Holiday, Kit Carson, Butch Cassidy, Thomas Rhoades and Aron Lee Ralston all wrapped up in a ball, but I prefer to think there is a much more interesting and exciting story behind this man, a story of secret agents spies, deceit, betrayal and mystery.
How can anyone of the Hathenbruck family know who they truly are until it is found who Hathenbruck was? Because it would seem quite clear to me that the currently believed fabricated story created by a couple of imaginative and creative minds apparently seeking glory, is a complete and utter fallacy. I just don’t see any truth to the claims of Doctor, Engineer, signing Custer’s death certificate, etc…
Concerning the claim of the 24 year old Doctor Hathenbruck, signing Custer’s equivalency of a death certificate, the State of Montana had this to say,
“The State of Montana does not have death certificate for the person listed below. Montana was a territory at this time and not a State. We only have death certificates starting from 1907 to present if reported to the state.”
Montana Vital Records 406-444-4251
The History of Custer written by qualified individuals states the following;
“When the main column under General Terry arrived two days later, the army found most of the soldiers' corpses stripped, scalped, and mutilated. Custer's body had two bullet holes, one in the left temple and one just below the heart. Capt. Benteen, who inspected the body, stated that in his opinion the fatal injuries had not been the result of .45 caliber ammunition, which implies the bullet holes had been caused by ranged rifle fire.
Following the recovery of Custer's body and that of his brother Tom, the remains were buried on the battlefield side by side in a shallow grave, after being covered by pieces of tent canvas and blankets. One year later, Custer's remains and those of many of his officers were recovered and sent back east for reinternment in more formal burials. Custer was buried again with full military honors at West Point Cemetery on October 10, 1877. The battle site was designated a National Cemetery in 1876.
It would seem Captain Benteen who inspected the body had no issues about who the body was, and the fact that he was dead, however a death certificate may have been required in the State of New York where he was ultimately buried. However their response received just seconds ago as I type this, was;
“The New York State Department of Health (DOH) began filing birth records in 1880 and death and marriage records in 1881.
"For records prior to 1881 you may wish to contact the registrar or historian of the locality where the event occurred to see if they have earlier records. It is possible that no official records may exist for such early events.”
Now one more interesting tid bit relating to the claim of Hathenbruck being a doctor, I was browsing the many newspapers of the past searching the earliest publication of “Hathenbruck” when I discovered this article I had not seen… it is a lengthy article from Salt Lake Herald, 1887-04-10, and so I will give the two sections where in Hathenbruck is mentioned.
The earliest mention of Hathenbruck is found in 1885, what I find interesting in the article is in that Hathenbruck supposedly being a doctor at age 25 and apparently qualified and important enough to sign the nonexistent death certificate of General George Armstrong Custer and now has 35 years under his belt, is working at the Territory Insane Asylum not as a Medical Superintendent, not a physician or even a physician assistant, but as a Steward? Again the evidence doesn’t match the tall tail.
The earliest record of him in the states is 1867 “arrival” under census records, but immigration year shows 1866.
All in all, I don’t care what the truth is, as long as it is the truth. As it would seem, the credibility of the two so called authors has fallen to 0% for me.
There are also many articles in the digital newspaper collections, I highly recommend to any of Hathenbruck’s descendants to search them out at digitalnewspapers.org this alone helped me to understand the man known as Hathenbruck much more. It wouldn’t hurt to research Ferdinand Emil Weinreich, Baron Louis Anton Von Horst and histories of the Kaiser Wilhelm II.