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  • Ann D. Watson


Great grandfather Herman Oscar Bauer (1856-1912) came to the U.S. from Germany at the age of sixteen, clean shaven but giving his occupation as "barber." A dapper young gentleman.

Herman Oscar Bauer (1856–1912), aged somewhere between 16 and 23.

He grew a modest mustache ...

Herman Oscar Bauer, about age twenty-three

...Which soon grew very large.

Herman about 1885

All the presidents from Ulysses Grant, president when Herman arrived in America in 1872, to Grover Cleveland who was president until 1897, sported moustaches. J.P. Morgan, business mogul of the time, wore a similarly long moustache. So did Buffalo Bill Cody and Wyatt Earp, as well as Victor, Prince Napoleon, the “Bonapartist pretender” to the French throne, [i] and Archduke Ferdinand of Austria.[ii][iii]

Herman kept his mustache during his years as Captain of Company G, Raritan Guards.

Herman O. Bauer in dress uniform

He continued as a barber for about seventeen years before he became a hotel and saloon keeper.

Herman (L) and an unknown cohort or colleague

He kept his mustache until he died.

Herman about 1911, age fifty-five. He died in 1912.

This post was written in response to this week's theme, "Bearded," in Amy Johnson Crow's 52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks project.


i. “Victor, Prince Napoleon,” Wikipedia ( accessed 5 February 2018).

ii. “Archduke Franz Ferdinand of Austria,” Wikipedia ( accessed 5 February 2018).

iii. “Handlebar moustache,” Wikipedia ( accessed 5 February 2018).

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