Born abt. 1826 in Baden, Germany. Died in Chicago, Cook, Illinois in 1900.

15 Jun 1827 1
Baden, Germany 1
26 Mar 1900 1
Chicago, Cook, Illinois 1

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Personal Details

Full Name:
Anton Sebastian Fabian Ditt 1
Also known as:
Anthony Ditt 1
15 Jun 1827 1
Baden, Germany 1
Male 1
26 Mar 1900 1
Chicago, Cook, Illinois 1
Burial Place: Waldheim Cemetery, Forest Park, IL (Lot W. 895, Block N.) 1
Mother: unk 1
Father: unk 1
Catharina (Margarite) Fischer 1
04 Nov 1851 1
Bridgeport, CT 1
To: 22 Oct 1866 1
Friedericke Schreck nee Heiliger 1
16 Oct 1867 1
Evansville, Vanderburgh, Indiana 1
To: 26 Mar 1900 1
Safe Maker, locksmith 1
Lutheran, United Church of Christ 1
Race or Ethnicity:
German 1

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  1. Contributed by AGA2428


The Travels of Anton Ditt, Safe Maker

United States of America

Known residences of Anton: 1826 Baden, Germany > 1851 Bridgeport, CT  > 1860 Philadephia, PA 1860 > 1866 Evansville, IN > 1868 Milwaukee, WI > 1871 Evansville, IN > 1873 Louisville, KY > 1878 Cincinnati, OH > 1885 Chicago, IL.

Anton Ditt immigrated to the United States before 1851. It is unknown if he came with family or alone. Very little is known about his early life. After his arrival in the United States, he never stayed in one place for very long . Anton mostly lived in cities where there were large German populations. There are many periods of time where Anton's whereabouts are unknown. His known resident locations have been identified from original documents or photographs taken in specific cities and confirmed with city directories. Online resources have also been invaluable in tracking Anton's journey throughout the United States. But there are two attributes that make Anton easier to track than most individual who moved frequently, his rare name, "Ditt" and his uncommon occupation of safe maker or locksmith.

The first possible record that has been found for Anton is in Bridgeport, CT. Antoin Ditt married Margarite Fisker (Fisher?) on 4 Nov 1851 by Rev. Gurson S. Coit, Rector of St. St. John's Church (Episcopal), Corn. Broad and Cannon Streets, Bridgeport, Connecticut. The bride's first name is the most inconsist fact that this is the marriage Anton Ditt and Catharine Fischer. Many people of German descent had four or five names. Is Margarite one of Catharine's names? Well quite possibly. The ages and dates match very closely with Catharine Ditt's death record discussed below. In the 1850 Federal Census, Catharine Fisher, 26, f, Germany was enumerated in the 1st Ward of Bridgeport City, Fairfield, Connecticut p. 454 line 3 living in a bording house. Anton has not been found in the 1850 Federal Census. There were no Ditts, Fiskers, Fishers listed in the 1855/56 Finning's Bridgeport town and city directory... by Pomeroy & Morse.

Anton and Catherine were found in the 1860 Federal Census in Philadelphia, PA enumerated in the Fourteen Ward, by H. G. Sickel on July 2, 1860 on p. 86, line 26 under Anthony Didd, 38, safe maker, b. Baden; Catharine, 34 b. Baden; Mary Larceny, 12, servant, b. Pennsylvania.

Catharine Ditt nee Fischer wife of Anton Ditt in Evansville, IN died on 22 Oct 1866 source LDS FHL US/CAN Film 1481055 Items 9-10. The following is a transcription and translation of the death record for Catherine Ditt from St. John's Evangelical United Church, Evansville, Indiana:

 Catharina Ditt, nee Fischer, was born in Nürnberg in Bavaria, came single into the land(province) in the year 1844, married Antoni Ditt in 1852, died near Dalas(?) on 22nd October 1866, was buried 23 October 66.

Catharina Ditt, geborene Fischer, war geboren zu Nürnberg in Bayern, kam ledig ins Land im J. 1844, verheirathete sich 1852 mit Antoni Ditt, starb bei Dalas(?) am 22. Oktober 1866 u. wurde beerdigt am 23. Oktob. 66

I believe what the translator thought was"bei Dalas" is really kinderlos meaning childless.

She is buried in Oak Hill Cemetery, 1400 East Virginia St, Evansville, IN 47711.

Ditt, Catherine, Burial No. 3489, Sect 32, Age 41, Date of Death 10/22/1866, Date of Interment, 10/1866, Female, Place of Birth Germany, Cause of Death, Hydropo Pectoris, Dr. Flling, medical att, Comments "Old Part".

After Catharine's death in 1866, he married Friedericke (Fredericka) Schreck nee Heiliger in Evansville, Indiana in 1867. It is not know whether Friedericke had any children with Mr. Schreck. Mr. Schreck's possible given name may be Peter who may have been a brewer. Fredericka's parents and siblings are a mystery as well. On the back of a family photo, it says that Fredericka was born in Gelnhausen, Hesse (thanks to my cousin Pat R. for photos and several other original documents mentioned in this story).

Fredericka and Anton had one daughter, Juliette (aka Julia) Wilhelmina Ditt born on 16 November 1868 in Milwaukee, Milwaukee, Wisconsin. Her baptismal sponsors were Wilhelm Heitmann and Juliette Fueger who became Mr. and Mrs. Heitmann. Their daughter, Alma Heitmann was the baptismal sponsors to Julia Ditt and Theodore Eberle's son, Alfred, who were born in Chicago. This is a bit ahead of the story but an important fact none the less. There is no evidence that the Ditts spent more than a couple of years in Milwaukee yet they kept in contact with a family for more 25 years.

Anton and Fredericka have not been found in the 1870 Federal Census. They were found enumerated in the 1880 Federal Census in Cincinnati, Hamilton, Ohio. p. 17, supervisor's district 3, enumeration district 138, line 7. Anton Ditt, W, M, 60, Safe Maker, Baden, Baden, Baden; Fredricka, W, F, 50, wife, housekeeper, Hesse, Baden, Baden; Julius, W, M, 11, son, at school, Wisconsin, Baden, Hesse. Obviously, the census taker bungled Julia's name and sex. The ages of Anton and Fredericka are not accurate here either. But then, it is difficult to tell what their actual years of birth were because neither had a consistant age in their records.

Next is a list of city directories where Anton has been found. There are gaps and sometimes large gaps. Anton and Fredericka moved every few years. It is not known where they lived during these gaps. Were they near family? There are other Ditts in Cincinnati and Chicago. The Ditts in Chicago seem to be from the Catholic religion and not related. How do the Heitmanns and Fuegers fit in? There was obviously a connection. Relatives seem to the more likely answer than friends. And what about his partner in Evansville, Stephen Schreiber? 

Anton finally settled down in Chicago during his later years. His daugher, Julia, married another safe maker's son, Theodore Eberle, son of Friedrich Eberle b. 6 Oct 1830 and Gertrud Staib b. 14 Feb 1836, an immigrant born in Broetzingen, Baden, Germany. Fred and Gertud Eberle came to Chicago cir. 1882, maybe shortly after Theodore immigrated. Fred died in Chicago in 1889 and is buried in Walheim Cemetery in Forest Park, Illinois. It is not known what happened to Gertrud. She may have gone back to Germany. A cousin of Theodore's, Charlie Eberle immigrated to the US. He later changed his name to Edwards and may have lived in Pennsylvania. To the family, he was known as "Uncle Charlie". There are pictures of him but the connections have been lost.

Anton and Fredericka lived with Theodore and Julia in Chicago and saw four grandson's born. The oldest, Theodore, died of pneumonia when he was six years old. The other three grandsons grew up to be successful men in their careers. Anton died in 1900 at the approximate age of 73 according to his death certificate. A few years after Anton's death, Theodore's job took him to Butte, Montana. Fredericka went with the family and died there in 1908. She is buried along side of Anton and her grandson, Theodore Eberle. Their burial plot in Waldheim Cemetery, Forest Park, Illinois is near the grave of the anarchist, Emma Goldman, and the Hay Market Square Massacur Monument. Fred Eberle is also buried in Waldheim Cemetery but his plot was moved when the interestate was constructed and the current site has not been confirmed.

Many, many questions to be answered. Where in Baden was Anton Ditt born? Who are his family members? Why was his age so inconsistant in the records? And WHY did he move so often? Better jobs? Fired from jobs? Business opportunities? Failed businesses? Did he install bank safes or were they the smaller personal ones?

New Haven CT City Directory 1849 p. 69
Ditt, Anthony, spring maker, h 127 Hamilton

New Haven CT City Directory 1853-54 p. 72
Ditt, Anthony, blacksmith, h 91 State

New Haven CT City Directory 1854-55 p. 71
Ditt, Anthony, blacksmith, h 111 Olive

New Haven CT City Directory 1856-57 p. 66
Ditt, Anthony, spring maker, h 68 Greene

Burch and Polk's Evansville City Directory 

no Ditt 1861, 1865

1866-1867 p. 93

Ditt, Anthony, (Schreiber & D.) h s w s 6th b Sycamore and Vine

p. 209 SCHREIBER & DITT, (Stephen S. & Anthony D.) Manufactureers of Fire and Burglar Proof Safes, Locks, &c. n w Sycamore b 5th and 6th

p.14 German Evangelical Church United (St. John's) corner Third and Ingle. Rev. Chas. L. C. Runck, Pastor.

no Ditt listing 1868-69 or 1870-71

Milwaukee City Directory, John Thickens publisher

1868-9 no listing for Anthony Ditt

1869-70 p. 107 Anthony Ditt, locksmith res 614 Market

Burch and Polk's Evansville City Directory
1871-1872 p. 104
Ditt, Anthony, stove polisher, res s s High, bet Leet and Goodsell.

Carson's Directory of Louisville
1873 p. 174
Ditt, Anthony, lab, Hackett Mnfg Co. r. 372 Market nr Shelby

Hackett Mnfg Co. 153 Main bn 4th and 5th, mnfrs mantels, grates and burial caskets

No Ditt listing in 1874

1875 p. 187

Ditt, Anthony, finisher Bridgeford & Co., r ? Market, nr Jackson

Bridgeford & Co., Lou. Stove and Grate Foundry, 30 6th nr. Main

no Ditt listing in 1876 or 1877


Cincinnati City Directory, Williams & Co. Publisher

no Ditt in 1873 or 1874

1878 p. 270 Anton Ditt, safe maker h 74 W. court

H. Ditt, patter maker, wks swc Plum and Pearl

1879-80 Anton Ditt, Mach, h nec Court and Vine

1880 p. 288 Anton Ditt, pattern maker h. 78 W. Court

no Ditt listing in 1881 or 1882

1883-84 p. 322 Ditt, Anton, pattern mkr. h. 404 Vine

Ditt, Julia, saleslady, 469 Main, h. 404 Vine

1885-1886 p. 356 Ditt, Anton, mach. h. 35 Carter al

Ditt, Julia, saleslady, 461 Main, h. 35 Carter al

1885 Chicago Directory, The Lakeside Annual Directory of the City of Chicago. 1885.

p. 410

Ditt, Anton, patternmkr. House 155 S. Clark

no Theodore or Fred Eberle

 No listing in the 1888 Chicago Directory for either Anthony Ditt or Theodore Eberle.

1889 Chicago City Directory

p. 502

Ditt, Anthony, safemkr. h. 159 N. Halsted

p. 544

Eberle, Theodore, machinist, h. 159 N. Halsted


1900 Death Certificate lists Anton S. Ditt as 73 years, 8 months, 11 days and occupation as machinist. This means that he was born in 1826.



The Brewery Connection - Schreck and Heiliger

Milwaukee, WI

Max (Mattaeus) Fueger b. 1832 in Kuelsheim, Baden, Germany immigrated to the United States in 1847 with his parents and siblings. They first went to New York so that Max could work for a brewery there. Then, in 1849, they settled in Milwaukee, Wisconsin where Max became a successful brewer. In 1851, he married Margaretha Schreck presumably in Wisconsin and had three children, Juliette (Julia) b. July 1852, Gustavus b. 6 Apr 1857, and Edward b. 1862 all born in Wisconsin.

In 1853, Peter Schreck and Friedericke (Fredericka) Heiliger immigrated to the United States and settled in an unknown place. Peter and Friedericka assumingly tied the knot and became Mr. and Mrs. Schreck. Peter was also a brewer. Peter was found in the 1855 Wisconsin Census in Milwaukee and in the 1857-1858 Milwaukee Directory as a malster. In 1858, he was given $500 by the Swiss Colony of Tell City, Perry, Indiana to start a brewery. The Swiss Colony also gave Peter two lots on April 18, 1859: Lot No. 4 in Block No 249 in Tell City, Indiana and Lot No. 11 in Block No. 101 in Tell City, Indiana both on recorded June 2, 1859. It was not a successful businss. In 1863, Peter paid income taxes for his brewery in Shawneetown, Gallatin, Illinois. Apparently, Peter died. Fredericka then married Anton Ditt in Evansville, Vanderburgh, Indiana 16 October 1867. The three cities where Peter and Fredericka have been found are all along the Ohio River. No children between this union have been found.

Anton and Fredericka then have their first and only child, Juliette Wilhelmina Ditt together in Milwaukee, WI on 16 November 1868. Juliette was named after her baptismal sponsors, Wilhelm (William) Heitmann and Julia Fueger, daugher of Max Fueger, the brewer in Milwaukee. William and Julia married in 1871. They had three daughters, Alma b. Jan 1872, Flora b. 1874 and Clara b. 8 Jan 1876.

The question becomes, is Margaretha Schreck related to Peter Schreck? And if they are realted, how?  Obviously, there is the brewer connection between Peter and Max. The question is did they meet in Germany or the United States. There is a Peter Schreck listed in the 1855 Wisconsin census living in Milwaukee. Further research needs to establish the connection between Margaretha, Peter and Fredericka.

To further establish the familial relationship, the son of Julia Ditt and Theodore Eberle, Alfred Max Edward Eberle b. 8 Aug 1892 in Chicago, Cook, Illinois is named after Max Fueger and Edward Fueger. The Alfred may have come from Alfred Van Eweyk, the husband of Flora Heitmann. Alma Heitmann was the baptismal sponsor for Alfred Eberle.


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