Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Tombstone Tuesday: Wendelin Mittel, Fredericksburg, Texas, Pioneer

This past weekend, I was in Fredericksburg, Texas, visiting my parents.  Fredericksburg was founded in 1846 by German settlers. We stayed at a bed and breakfast that is about half a mile from St. Mary's Catholic Cemetery (the second one, founded in 1875; the first one, established in 1860 and called the Old Catholic or St. Mary's Pioneer Cemetery, is another half mile north).  I decided to check FindAGrave.com for any photo requests for this cemetery

One request was for the tombstone of Wendelin Mittel. Some additional research at Ancestry.com turned up the following information:

Mittel was born September 14, 1812, in Baden, Germany. He arrived in 1846 in Galveston, Texas.  According to an 1867 voter registration list, he apparently came to Gillespie County (Fredericksburg is the county seat) immediately, as the voter registration list indicates that he had resided in both the county and the state 21 years at that point). 

Mittel is on the 1850, 1860, 1870, and 1880 censuses in Fredericksburg, Gillespie County, Texas, with his wife Mary (Maria) Anna (1807-1886). His occupation is listed as wood chopper on the 1850 census, and as a farmer on subsequent censuses. He died January 8, 1883, in Gillespie County, and is buried in Section A (the oldest section), Row 8, Space 12 of St. Mary's Cemetery.

Compared to some other tombstones in this section, his is in pretty good shape.  The ivy vines and clasped hands are symbols for friendship or immortality and "farewell" respectively.  The inscription reads:
Hier ruht

which translates to

Here rests
on 14 Sept. 1812.
on 8 Jan. 1883.
Mittel's wife Maria Anna Bladt Fries Mittel (1806/7-1886) was supposed to be buried near him, in Section A, Row 7, Space 3, but I could not find a marker.  As you can see from the photo above, some spaces are empty - if there are graves there, they never had a marker or the marker is long gone.

Maria's first husband was Johann (John) Fries, (1799-1846), whose gravesite is unknown.  He died shortly after arriving in Texas from Germany, and Wendelin married his widow.  Two children are listed as living with them on the 1850 census, Joseph Fries (1839-1864) and Mary Anna Fries Pehl (1840-1906).  Another son, Jacob Fries (1835-1918), had apparently been left with a doctor somewhere between Indianola and Fredericksburg when they arrived in 1846 as he was too sick to make the journey.  He eventually moved to Gillespie County.

Wendelin and Maria apparently had no children of their own, but took in other relatives and orphans over the years. Wilhelm (age 15), Josephine (age 11), and Mathilde (age 9) Burg are listed as living with them on the 1870 census, and Mathilde is still with them in 1880, listed as an orphan.  Also living with them in 1880 was Wendelin's nephew Wilhelm (William) Mittel (1866-1940), son of Wendelin's brother William Mittel (1822-1868), who had immigrated in 1854.  The latter's wife, Margaretha Wueth Deckel Mittel (ABT 1838-1884), also could not be found in this cemetery - she was supposed to be in Section A, Row 8, Plot 6, but I could not find a marker.

© Amanda Pape - 2013 - click here to e-mail me.

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