Sunday, May 29, 2016

Herman August Hibsch, Dedicated to Veterans (52 Ancestors #21)

This story originally appeared on 27 May 2014.

I can picture Herman driving away from the cemetery where he spent hours placing American flags on the graves of each interred veteran.   He may have mused about the number of Decoration Days he had ventured to local cemeteries for this heartfelt remembrance.

Little did he know that day, May 28, 1939, would be his last muster at the cemetery.  He was 61 years old when he collapsed at the wheel of his car while driving home with his wife Xowna [Ona] and daughter Theresa.   How ironic.

Private Herman A. Hibsch,
Spanish-American War 1898-1899
Source: Uncle B's Personal Collection
Herman August Hibsch, my great-great uncle, placed American flags on veteran’s graves on every military-related holiday as told to me by my Uncle B who knew him.  He also visited patients in military hospitals.  His service during the Spanish-American War from 1898-1899 must have left such an indelible mark on his patriotic spirit that it prompted this tribute to his fallen comrades.  To honor him and his service, his wife Xowna ensured that the Spanish American War emblem was engraved on his gravestone.   He was buried at Inglewood Park Cemetery, Inglewood, Los Angeles, California.

Born in 1878 in Calumet County, Wisconsin to Prussian immigrants, his family moved to Azusa, Los Angeles, California in the late 1880s.  At age 20, he found himself stationed at the Presidio in San Francisco, California during the short-lived Spanish-American War.  He was married three times – to Mamie [Mary] T. Burns in 1901, Grace [surname unknown] and Xowna [surname unknown].  Two children were born to him and Mamie – Herman B. Hibsch who died at age 3 and Theresa.

For many years, Herman worked for the Los Angeles City Engineering Department.  Uncle B said his work had something to do with managing the heating and air conditioning system for several city buildings in downtown Los Angeles.

My Uncle B remembers his Uncle Herman as a nice man who enjoyed having his nephews visit to play on the swings in his backyard.

Photo by Denise Hibsch Richmond
at Inglewood Park Cemetery, Inglewood, California
Future Research

  • Obtain military, marriage, divorce, death and property records
  • Determine availability of city employment records
  • Map residences


  • marriage and death information
  • Uncle B: military photo, flag decoration, employment
  • Cemetery: personal visit by author

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