The Story of the Banwarth House
Banwarth Family History
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The original home was built in 1868 and stood a few hundred yards from its current location. The coming of the railroad in Elizabeth forced the house to be moved. In 1876 an addition was completed, making the house double in size. The ownership of the building itself stayed within the Banwarth family for nearly a century. ​​​​
Karl & Wilhemina Banwarth​

Mr. Karl Banwarth was born in Baden, Germany, where he lived mostly upon a farm until eighteen years of age. He then began his apprenticeship as a blacksmith and machinist, serving for three years. Later he traveled all over Germany, following his trade as a journeyman, and in the spring of 1867 took passage on a steamer bound for the United States.


He made his way directly to Jo Daviess County, settling in Hanover, Illinois. Upon leaving Hanover Mr. Banwarth began a business for himself as a blacksmith in Elizabeth. He purchased the house and businesses of Mr. John Helmick which still stands as the 1876 Banwarth House & Museum.

Mr Banwarth married 
Miss Wilhemina Himmelreich. Together they had four children, Caroline, Charles, Minnie and Annie (who died in infancy).
Elizabeth Community Band, including Charles, Caroline and Minnie Banwarth
The 1876 Banwarth House & Museum is now owned and operated by the Planetary Studies Foundation.
Karl Banwarth
Wilhemina Banwarth