John F Blum is my late husbands’ Great Grandfather. He lost his arm in the Civil war while a teenager, met and married his wife Hulda, in his thirties, and fathered 10 children, of which 7 lived to adulthood. He was born in Pennsylvania, of German parents, brought up his family in Big Stone, Akron, Minnesota, where he farmed for a living and then around 1895/6 he moved to Fitzgerald, Georgia.
Fitzgerald was the dream of P H Fitzgerald, who created it in 1895, in the main part, as a community for Civil War Veterans who had suffered the devastation of the Midwest during the early 1890’s. This destruction of the area was due to drought, rendering a once fertile farming area into dusty wasteland. The situation was made even worse by the depression that spreading over the country as a whole. The desire for a new start was so great, that people moved themselves and their families, by any means available to them, into the area, even before surveys of the land had been carried out. The first year was very hard and it is believed that John and his family were in at the start of it all.