Johan Rudolf Urech
History of my Paternal Grandfather by Bertha Maria Urech Newman
A few lines as they are remembered by myself, of the life of my Grandfather
Rudolf Urech was born on the 17th of February 1822 in Niederhallwil, Canton Aargau, Switzerland. He was the oldest son of Kasper Urech and Maria Wirz. His father was from Hallwil and his mother from Serwill, Aargau. The family consisted of six children—three boys and three girls. Rudolf, Verena, Jakob, Anna Maria, Susanna, and Johannes. These names have been found through research work. The earliest recollection is of the farm home in Muttenz where Grandfather owned and cultivated a farm. We have learned that the family came from Niederhallwil where a castle is situated. The Urech title bears record of the fore bearers having lived in the castle and in the seventeen hundred years many changes took place in these held titles.
Just when Grandfather left the home fires (we never learned from him personally) but he and Grandmother established a home in Muttenz and raised their children there. My personal recollection is quite vivid of the farm home. As children, we were permitted to visit several times during the seasons, namely—
Easter time– I can still recollect the beautiful meadow with so many different flowers and where the grass was highest the Easter eggs were hidden to our great delight. Grandmother busily engaged in having those milk bread buns—each one for everyone who came to visit.
Harvest season in the fall– I can remember Grandfather in that nice, large barn having the wheat on the threshing floor, and with some neighbors assisting, and how they would use those flails to pound out the wheat kernels.
Later, during the harvest vacation, we would go to the farm and help pick the grapes. Hanging over the sides of these tubs are tromping mats. We were allowed to help with the aid of big sticks to extract the juice from the grapes and taste the juice and later the cider with some baked goodies from the kitchen. As we grew up and could make the trip from Basel to Muttenz, Mother would pack up some things to take to Grandfather and Grandmother but we always came home with some delicious fruit and that good open-stove cooked bread.
Grandfather was active on the Village Board and a very respected citizen, until his health did not allow him too strenuous work. He was ill only a few days and passed away on the 26th of May 1906 in Muttenz and was buried in the Church Yard Cemetery there.
In the year 1949, I, his granddaughter, having been on a Mission for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, visited the cemetery but found that the complete yard had been turned over and no marks remaining of the tombstones that were placed there. However, I do remember attending the funeral as was custom in that time. The family would walk behind the funeral cortege for the full distance to the cemetery. I was sixteen years of age at the time and feel I was really privileged in knowing my fore parents as much as I have. My desire shall be to sometime go back into history and learn more of the background and the forefathers of these valiant Swiss peoples. Pictures gathered during the visit speak for themselves. How I truly treasure them.
Typed June 2005 by Adele Newman Knudson from a copy written by Bertha Maria Urech Newman