(Editorial Note: Part 131 of a series of further development in the early days that impacted Franklin County.Sources: Franklin County Citizen, April, 1917; Cache Valley Newsletter, compiled by Newell Hart;St Joseph/Mapleton, a hundred years of History in Cub River Canyon, by 1991 Mapleton Centennial Committee)
German born citizens of Franklin county were targets of hateful rumors being spread about during World War I. A glimpse of that time is found in this letter to the editor of the Franklin County Citizen of April 12, 1917.
Since the declaration of war against Germany by the United States I have taken the time to talk with the citizens of our community who were born in Germany and I find without any exception that they are loyal to the United States of America. Of course I knew this to be true without talking with them but on account of a few agitators spreading reports that they were not loyal, I took it upon myself to make a personal investigation.
“Personally I have lived in this country for over 37 years, having come to this country before I was of age and I became a naturalized citizen, having renounced all allegiance to the Empire of Germany. I believe that the United States will do a great work in this world and that the masses of German people after they have succeeded in throwing off the form of government that has prevented them from having a voice in all the affairs of the nation that they will rejoice and will ever after hold up the United States as a great emancipator.
“I look on the address of President Wilson as a new declaration of independence to the world and whenever the country desires men of my age to go to the front in battle I will be willing and anxious to go; furthermore, whenever my boys may be called, they will go with my hearty approval and consent. I love the masses of people of my native land and I can see in the new move made by this government that they will be freed from the governmental bondage under which they have lived for centuries, and every American citizen of German birth or otherwise, will gladly hail the day, and to that end I am ready and willing to do my part to bring to a successful conclusion victory to the United State of America which is a victory to the world.
The Citizen’s editor affirmed that sentiment:”Many rumors are going out in regard to Mr. Nuffer that are entirely without foundation. The Editor of the Citizen can vouch for the loyalty of Mr.Nuffer, and it is the height of unreason for people to hatch up yarns seeking to pull down the loyalty of any man, especially a man of Mr. Nuffer’s caliber. Mr. Nuffer is justly indignant of such talk and we ask those unseemly gossips who are blowing their heads off to cease such slurs, because they may be subject to prosecution.”
Fred Nuffer was a man well respected in this county. He had come to the United States from his home in Germany at age 16 with his parents who had converted to the The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in Germany. He became a naturalized citizen. The family settled in Providence, Utah, then moved to Mapleton, Idaho, three years later. Nuffer spent these years employed in a variety of jobs, mainly with the Utah & Great Northern Railroad, traveling much of the northwest, gaining experience, learning the English language as he went. He had been in the US nine years before he, too, joined his parents new church.
He married his sweetheart, a young lady from Providence, Anna Elizabeth Rinderknecht and within a few years, they had settled and started farming in Cub River where Nuffer developed a rock quarry. His older brother, John Nuffer, was a stone cutter and mason, and was supervising the building of the Oneida Stake Academy at this time. Stone from the quarry was in demand for building up and down Cache Valley: the Academy, the Logan temple, the Weston Tabernacle, many homes and businesses in Preston.
Fred and Anna had nine children and the whole family was very involved in the progress of the county and its citizens. The Nuffer families, both Fred’s and John’s, contributed much to the development of local business and civic affairs. Fred’s older children spread to California and census records indicate that Nuffer was living there in 1920. Fred Nuffer is buried in California.