Carl Wittman, Sr. 1877-1950

Carl Wittman and Mary Thalmyer Wittman had two sons, Walter and Robert (Bob). Walter and Jeanette Freeman Wittman had two children, Jane and Carl.

Carl Wittman was born in Germany and came to the U.S. at the age of 14. From 1900-1910 he mined gold in Alaska, traversing the length of the Klondike three times on foot and dog sled. Carl received his citizenship in 1902 in Alaska. He was one of the few miners to actually make–or at least keep–money from his efforts and in 1911 he began a trip around the world. He stayed for a time in Hawaii where he joined the Socialist Party and wrote editorials on the politics of colonialism. In his return to the East Coast, he journeyed by covered wagon with two horses and his dog.

He traveled to Japan and extensively in China, then riding on the new cross continental Siberian highway to Russia. He collected postcards along the way, documenting highlights of the foreign sights. He had previously met his wife to be, Maria Thalmyer of Saalfelden in 1910 and married her in 1913 in London. They traveled through Europe and their son Walter was born in Dresden.

They settled in Paramus, NJ in 1916 and had a chicken farm until 1926 when he established the weekly paper The Clarion serving Paramus and Fairlawn. He joined the Socialist Party in Passaic Co. in 1916, and his editorials in The Clarion reflected his leftist positions. He often wrote editorials and letters to the editors of other publications under the name “Spartacus.” His obituaries spoke eloquently of the respect other editors and citizens had of his well thought out positions and timely writing. His younger son Robert managed The Clarion before and after his death in 1950.

In the photos that follow Carl is in Egypt in 1912 pictured in one wearing a turban and in the other holding the tail of a crocodile. He is shown as a young man in the oval photo and the other is of Maria (Mary) Thalmyer, his future wife. Another is of Carl a year before his death.

carl sr pics

Obituaries and Remembrances: