Frank Bahret was at the top of today’s death list – having died on March 30, 1888. I noticed that he didn’t have a birthdate – just a year, 1858 – when I tried to find information on him with an Ancestry.com search.
Anyway, I was able to find a few things about Mr. Bahret that helps fill out his life story – including his birthdate.
Frank Fletcher Bahret was born on September 12, 1858 to Jacob and Frederika (Dietz) Bahret in Poughkeepsie, New York. Jacob and Frederika came to the United States from Baden-Wurttemburg, in the southern part of Germany. This was a large family – in the 1860 US Census, you have ten children living with Jacob and Frederika, with ages ranging from 20 to 1 and three more children were born in the next decade. Jacob is listed as a merchant tailor in the 1860 US Census. His son, also Jacob, continued that tradition after the father’s death in 1865, operating his shop in a building he owned on Main Street in downtown Poughkeepsie. J. J. Bahret and Company was frequently seen in the Poughkeepsie Daily Eagle advertising clothing for men and children – school uniforms and the like.
Frank remained in school through at least 1880 and took up the growing sport of baseball, where he played on the amateur Poughkeepsie Browns. At least two of his brothers were also active local players – a story about a junior team featuring two of the Bahret brothers appears in the Poughkeepsie Daily Eagle in 1876 and his younger brother, Frederick, is listed with a local team in The Sporting Life in 1886. By 1884, Bahret was a “…well known base ball player of this city, and who has a good record… ” In 1884, Bahret was signed to play the outfield for by the Baltimore Monumentals in the Union Association. His contract called for a salary of $1000 for the year, but he wouldn’t collect the full salary. He managed to play in just two games, going hitless in eight at bats with a game each in center and right field, before he was released in late April.
With that, Bahret returned home to Poughkeepsie. As he did before he left for a chance at baseball stardom, Frank worked as a clerk in the family business. However, his time on the earth, like his baseball career, was unfortunately brief. Before Frank turned 30, he had died. 1888 was a rough year for the family as three Bahret brothers died that year. Frank Bahret was buried in the family plot in Poughkeepsie Rural Cemetery. It’s the family grave marker that tells us Frank’s birthdate.
1860, 1870, 1880 US Census
1865, 1875 New York Census
“The Junior Base Ball Match,” Poughkeepsie Daily Eagle, September 15, 1876: 3.
“A $50,000 Blaze,” Poughkeepsie Daily Eagle, March 4, 1881: 3.
“Games Played on Saturday,” Baltimore Sun, April 28, 1884: 6.
“Base Ball Notes,” Poughkeepsie Daily Eagle, January 25, 1884: 3.
“Released,” Poughkeepsie Daily Eagle, May 7, 1884: 3.
“Base Ball – The Knights of the Club Laid Out,” Poughkeepsie Daily Eagle, September 8, 1884: 3.
“Notes and Comments,” The Sporting Life, April 7, 1886: 3.