Search billions of records on

Stanley McKinley Kochendorfer

-son of Albert Henry Kochendorfer and Ida Hall

-grandson of Johann David Friedrich Kochendorfer & Maria Kirchner

-g grandson of George Michael Kochendorfer and Rosina Barbara Seybold

-gg grandson of George David Kochendorfer & Maria Barbara Butz

-ggg grandson of Georg Martin Kochendorfer & Barbara Kraft

-gggg grandson of Andreas Kochendorfer & Anna Ritter

-ggggg grandson of Georg Kochendorfer & Maria Jorg

-gggggg grandson of Hans Kochendorfer & Margarethe Hohnstein

Our Kochendörfer ancestry hails from the Black Forest area of southwestern Germany, from a small town called Michelbach am der Lücke which is in the Wurttemburg province (like a large county). Grandma Marge's mother was born Julia Marie Kochendörfer.

While my parents and I were in Europe, we drove from Luxembourg over to the Michelbach area to visit with a present-day cousin named Karl Kochendörfer. Karl was born in 1927, a cousin to us through our 4th great grandpa Kochendörfer. Karl's ancestors stayed in Germany, while ours emigrated to America. Previous to my visit with Karl, I only had our Kochendörfer ancestry back to the 1700's. While we were visiting with Karl, he happened to mention that he had some "old papers" at his house about the Kochendörfers, and promised to send me copies of them. I received the papers which were handwritten in old German script sometime in the 1800's by a Kochendörfer relative or ancestor by the name of Mr. Ernst Melber. Through these papers I was able to take our direct line Kochendörfer ancestry back to the year 1593, all thanks to cousin Karl! And from these papers I learned that the occupation of "Miller" that our Fred Kochendörfer practiced here in America had been passed down for many generations.

The recorded Kochendörfer ancestry for our direct line starts with Hans Kochendörfer, who was born on March 18, 1593 in Wollmershausen, near the Heinzenmühle. Hans was my 8th great grandfather and married Margarethe Hohnstein on July 15, 1617 in Tiefenbach. Margarethe was born in 1597 in Rüddern and died on May 24, 1675 in Wollmershausen, the daughter of Michael Hohnstein. Five children were born to Hans and Margarethe: Margaretha on February 14, 1619, Georg, a child with the first initial of "L" that was born in 1625, Andreas who was born on March 9, 1629, and Helene who was born on August 21, 1632, all were born in Wollmershausen.

Hans' son, Georg Kochendörfer, was born on March 27, 1628 and died on November 28, 1702 in Weidenhausen, being our next direct line ancestor. Georg married Maria Jörg on February 4, 1651 in Tiefenbach, daughter of Hans Jörg..Twelve children were born to Georg and Maria: Johannes on November 7, 1651, Georg on June 10, 1653, Michael on October 23, 1654, Johannes on December 5, 1656 (died as infant), Barbara on February 23, 1658, Apollonia in 1660, Eva on December 18, 1661, Andreas on October 23, 1663, George in 1665, Susanna on June 2, 1667, Maria on November 11, 1668, and Apollonia on June 12, 1670. All children were born in Weidenhausen.

Georg and Maria's son, Andreas, was our next direct ancestor, and was my 6th great grandfather. Andreas is the first recorded Kochendörfer ancestor to have the occupation of miller, being the "Master Miller in Weidenhausen and Tiefenbach", according to these papers from cousin Karl. Andreas married twice, first to Anna Barbara Hertwig on November 6, 1694. Anna was born on February 7, 1659 in Lobenhausen and died on January 21, 1719 at Weidenhausen. They had three children: N. was born and died in infancy in 1695, Johann Michael was born on August 3, 1697 and died on July 27, 1770, and Maria was born in 1700 and died on April 12, 1701, all in Weidenhausen.

After Anna Barbara died, Andreas remarried to a lady by the name of Anna Ritter on December 2, 1721, daughter of Michel Ritter. Two children were born to Andreas and Anna: Georg Martin was born on March 1, 1723 and Anna Maria was born June 26, 1726 and died that same year on August 29, all in Weidenhausen.

George Martin Kochendörfer was my 5th great grandpa and was born on March 1, 1723 to Andreas and his second wife. According to the notes on these papers, it says this about George: "This child was baptized in the family home as it was a horrible weather and the road from the mill to the church was in bad conditions".

George married a lady by the name of Eva Barbara Kraft. His occupation was that of "Master of Mill in Heinzenmuhle". The Heinzenmuhle was the milling center of the region where the Kochendörfers lived. The Kochendörfers had a total of twelve mills that they managed in the Heinzenmuhle. The ruins of the Heinzenmuhle are located near the town where cousin Karl Kochendörfer lives today, and he is trying to have them restored to their original grandeur for posterity. Karl sent me a newspaper article about his efforts and I'd like to share this with you now. It will give the reader some taste of the history of the milling industry and the actual mill that our Kochendörfers lived and worked at for many generations.

The following article is one full newspaper page in the German language. Translation was done by two sweet German ladies that live here in the Palm Springs area, Nina and Paula. The translation is in outlined oration form, not word per word of the article.
Translation of German Newspaper article:

This is a history of an area in Germany called Bolgental. There were thirteen very very famous mills and this area used to belong to a dukedom. Germany was divided into many many dukedoms in that area at that time - in the year 1200. Now, this one particular mill that this article is about is called D' Gaasmihl - and it was located there where an old gentleman lives (Karl Kochendorfer) - and he put this article together and talked about these old mills. At this time, there were nothing but ruins left on these mills - but, the only famous one Gaismuhle was making flour. They were cutting woods, they had a oil press and they had a whole bunch of people employed which were performing different duties. They also had drivers which had to get up at 3 am in the morning and get their little carts and load them up with goods to deliver to the neighbors around the country...... And they had those carts with two horses and two oxen and it was a long day for them, so when they finally get through, they used to stop at the Geishaus and get drunk on beer and schnapp's and forget about all the horses ..... so the horses, when it got dark , and the oxen they took off by themselves. They found their way home and when they got to the gate, they were making noises and they kind of alerted the horses that were in the stables. The horses in the stable were naying and kicking with their hooves, and woke the people that were living in the house where they were running the, they came downstairs and opened the gate and let the horses and oxen in so they could get into the stable and get their food and rest. And of course, the men in the Geishaus had to walk home. Now this went on for 120 years - and then this property with the mill on it went into the hands, or was given by the duke to the cloisters of some monks...and they were producing oil and they were producing the same things as the mill was producing for the duke. Sometime later in 1878, the mill passed into some other private hands and kept producing oil, flour and wood. This went on for another hundred years until the 1900's. The stables and the mills and the living quarters of the people that were running the mill or owning the mills at the time, were breaking down - and they were not being repaired because of new inventions. They did not need the old mills anymore. The old mills were driven by different methods and so they were closed.......and they just stood there and they just kept falling apart. There was nobody to guard them, and so they were vandalized. There was a lot of vandalism. The mills were emptied out and things were taken away and sold. People were using it as a campground and they weren't taking good care of it. They were throwing cans and glasses and paper all over the place - and of course the place started to look pretty bad. Now, this old gentleman is trying to awake interest in the public in these old mills. He is trying to get some financers to supply some money or have someone rebuild the mills or just rejuvenate them so the public can look at them and see them how they used to be in the year of the 1200's. There is a phone number at the end of the article and it gives you a number in Germany, however, to call the number you have to dial 011 and 89 which is the country code - and then of course, you dial 07955592. The name of the person is Kochendorfer and he is from Satteldorf-Groningen and he will give you all the information about all those old mills. Incidentally, when they were looking through the old house of the mill in the basement, they had found a species of bat's that had been long "extinguished" and it is called a {Mapsflatermouse}. That is very interesting because for so many years it was said that this was an extinct species and now it's still alive.

George Martin and Eva's son was named George David Kochendörfer, being my 4th great grandpa. George David was born on December 29, 1765 in Gröningen, Germany, which is about two miles outside of Michelbach. He married Marie Barbara Butz on October 21, 1784 in Michelbach. Marie was the daughter of George Balthasar and Margarethe Barbara Butz from Bronnholzheim in Germany, where she was born on May 22, 1763. Her parents and family had moved from Bronnholzheim to Michelbach sometime previous to the 1784 marriage.

George David and Marie had seven children per records, all born in Michelbach:

-Margarethe Barbara was born on December 12, 1795 in Michelbach, and died at age 5 months on May 25, 1796
-Maria Margarethe was born on May 31, 1797 and died at age 49 on December 12, 1846
-Johann George was born on October 13, 1798 and died on May 10, 1857 at age 58
-Margarethe Barbara was born on August 29, 1800. It was a common tradition to name a subsequent child with the same name of a previously deceased child.
-George Christian was born on April 7, 1802 and died at age 1 on March 14, 1804
-George Michael was born on February 11, 1806 and was my 3rd great grandfather
-Johann David was born on June 11, 1809, married Maria Margaretha Rappold on July 27, 1835 in Michelbach, and died at age 38 on September 26, 1847.

George David Kochendörfer passed away on January 12, 1840 at the age of 74, and his wife Marie died on April 15, 1828 at age 64. Both are buried on the old Kochendörfer land in Michelbach in unmarked graves.

George Michael Kochendörfer is our next ancestor in descent, being my 3rd great grandpa. George Michael was born on February 11, 1806 in Michelbach and married a total of three times. His first marriage was to Rosina Barbara Seybold, daughter of Johann Kilian and Eva Maria Seybold, and with Rosina he had six children. They were married on October 21, 1831 in Michelbach. Rosina was born on November 4, 1807 in Gailroth and died at age 34 in 1842 in Michelbach. George Michael died fairly young at age 55 on March 9, 1861, also in Michelbach.

George Michael and Rosina's children were:

1. Margarethe Barbara born November 25, 1831 and died July 26, 1865 at age 33. No further info.

2. Johann George was born on May 21, 1833 in Michelbach and went by the first name of George. He was my 4th great uncle, and was the first of our Kochendörfer ancestors to brave the Atlantic Ocean in search of a new beginning in America. In September of 1853, George made application in Germany for his passport to emigrate to America. At the age of 20 in April of 1854, George boarded a ship by the name of "Welkin" at the port of Havre, and arrived at the port of New York on May 12, 1854. George moved to a location that was 80 miles from Philadelphia, the name of the town is unknown, where he was working when his brother John arrived in America two months later.

By 1859, George had moved to the town of Waumandee in Buffalo county, Wisconsin, with his brother John who had joined him in America. On April 21, 1861 he was married to Miss Anna Oertli in Waumandee, daughter of John Oertli. After working his land for five years, George received a patent from the government for his 40 acres, dated May 10, 1873, issued by President Ulysses S. Grant.

By the 1880's, George and his family had moved over to Brookings, South Dakota. In 1884 a smallpox epidemic swept through the area, and George, his wife Anna, and their three year old daughter Alice all died from the epidemic in October of 1884. It appears the rest of their children survived, growing up and marrying.

The eight children of George and Anna (Oertli) Kochendörfer:

-Rosari, nickname Rose, married George Gagstetter in 1887. Their children were Agnes, Eva, Clarence, Walter, Edna, Edwin, Helen, Reuben, John, and Rose.

-Adolph George born on September 8, 1871 in Waumandee, married Laura Tina Benz on November 28, 1895. Children were Louella Amanda, Elsie Florence, and Maurice. Adolph died in 1947 at age 75.

-Mollie was born in 1875 in Waumandee and married a Mr. Mathis.

-Clara was born in 1879 and married Peter Seibel.

-Alice was born in 1881 and died with her parents at age 3 in October of 1884 of smallpox.

-Amelia married Ferdinand Carstead, children were Lawrence and Ruth.

-Robert Kochendörfer, wife unknown, children were Earl, Robert, and Gayle.

-Louisa married Henry Koester, children were Alvin, Florence, Cora, Roy, Edward, and Ruby.

3. Johann David Kochendörfer was born on June 15, 1835 in Michelbach, and went by the name of John. In May of 1854 John made application to emigrate, #573630. Upon his arrival in America, he wrote a letter home to his family that has been preserved for the descendants. The translation of this letter tells John's emigration story for us:

Port Penn-October 8, 1854

Dear Parents, Brothers, and Sisters,

If you write you have good health, we hold, as we have now, it will please me much, God be praised, we are happily both well. On July 19 we came to Hilbran in the steamboat in the morning at 9 o'clock, and in the evening at 5 o'clock we cam to Mannheim. There we stayed 1 1/2 hours, then came in on another steamship into Rotterdam; there we stayed another day, then we could go with the same boat on the North Sea to Havre. There we had to again stay 4 days until July 29, when we went into a big sailboat "Hartenzia" when we soon went into the open sea.

There soon also was seasickness, but I fortunately did not have it. We were on the sea 37 days, for on July 29 we boarded ship and on Sept 4 at 5 pm we came into New York where I stayed one day, then I came by train to Philadelphia. I came safely to all Michaelbacher (people) and in the evening I came to these two comrades who last fall came to America with George and the Wogts. They are now in the house where John Wogt was.

There I stayed then on another day I wrote immediately to my brother George, but in 8 days there was no answer. I wrote him another letter and had the address written in English. He might have gone on the train to Philadelphia and gone immediately to the Leonard Warner's, which I know is 50 miles from Philadelphia. The same day also came a Merchant from Port Penn, also 50 miles from Philadelphia and wanted a worker. We went immediately with him for $8.00 a month, but washing and ironing must I have done besides and that is very expensive in America. The merchant said that I should get ready, he would stay in Philadelphia over night and the next morning I should take the steamboat which goes every day to Port Penn, my brother George to go with me when the merchant came. George also came home again the same day. The merchant where I am has no farm. He has only bought hay and straw from the farmer and there he had a washing which was put together in bundles and delivered to the larger cities. The place where I am there are noisy English people and mostly young, black as Negroes. There is only one German here and he is already here 23 Years. It is real near to water and each day I see ships sailing on the water. How I feel now I can hardly write, but you can imagine yourselves when a person comes into a strange land where you cannot speak to anyone. About the people where I stay, they are very good people but so far I cannot do much talking with them. I can so far also not advise you to come to America. The profit in America is much better than in Germany and especially for single people and also there are very good prices.

I cannot write much news now by this time Robert Schusser and his brother have been in America 9 years already, and John Memler and Deschuer. While I was in Philadelphia, they planned to journey farther, and George said to me if they write well about it we will also go there next year. My brother and I are almost 80 miles apart. If we stay well, we could not get together sooner than 4 days when we could send some god (money). George and I will write you from time to time. I have been with the Merchand now since Sept 20.

With heartiest closing wishes that this writing may find you in the best of health, I'll close and remain your true son.

Johann and George Kochendörfer

PS. Also many greetings to dear parents, brother, and sisters from George. Also many greetings to our baptism guests John George K., George K. and his children, also many greetings to Karl Weber and his mother, to Michael Doinizer and Michael Huffman, Leonard Keinhardt and his sister, the Kreizers, and all the others who came to see us off. Write us right away again and let us not misunderstand the right address this time. Leonard Warner is in Philadelphia at Goner Street between Friend and Frankfurt.

Signed, John and George K.

It appears that John and George had both moved from the Pennsylvania area to Wisconsin at the same time, settling on land in Waumandee. John enlisted in service in the Civil War, and fought in the Sioux Indian wars. A Mr. Robert Tegeder has written a family history that includes a few short missives about our 3rd great uncle John Kochendörfer. Oddly enough, Mr. Tegeder descends from another John Kochendörfer, who is also from the same area as our John. Here's what Mr. Tegeder has to say about our John, concerning his involvement with the Sioux Indian Uprising and his Civil War service:

....This sad and terrible event also had far-reaching and tragic consequences for some of the members of the Kochendörfer family.

One of them was John Kochendörfer who had emigrated from Michelbach, Wurttemberg to America in 1854. He first settled in Pennsylvania and later homesteaded land in the Waumandee Township of Buffalo County, Wisconsin in 1859. After the Sioux Uprising on August 17, 1862, he enlisted as a Private in Company K of the 25th Regiment of Infantry and was mustered in for service at LaCrosse, WI on september 14th, 1862. He was 27 years old at the time of his enlistment. His Army record also reveals that his unit spent some weeks with the Army on the western frontier to help drive the Sioux from Minnesota. Originally the 25th Wisconsin had been assigned duty in the south with the Union forces and had traveled to Cassville enroute to Cincinnati when it was ordered to St. Paul. They boarded the steamer "Moses McClellan" and reached Fort Snelling on September 22nd. Three days later the various companies were distributed all along the Minnesota frontier, from Alexandria at the extreme North to Fairmont in the south. Since they arrived three days before the Battle of Wood Lake, which marked the official end of hostilities with the Indians, they were used as a screen protecting the settlements while General Sibley and his Minnesota volunteers campaigned against the Sioux braves who had fled to the Dakotas............. On February 17th, 1863 the Regiment left for Columbus, Kentucky. Later it served in the vicinity of Vicksburg, Mississippi, in Arkansas, in Alabama, in Tennessee, and with General William Tecumseh Sherman in his raid on Meridian, Mississippi, his capture of Atlanta and his famed March to the Sea. On March 24, 1865 it also participated in the grand review of troops at Washington, DC. John Kochendörfer was with the Regiment until his discharge from service because of illness in May of 1864 when he returned to his farm in Wisconsin.....

Two years after our John was discharged from the service, he married Miss Barbara Schmidt on October 27, 1866 in Waumandee. Barbara was the daughter of Johann George and Christina Magdalena Fetzer Schmidt (not related to our Schmidt ancestry that I know of).

One year prior to marrying Barbara, John had been granted his Citizenship papers. He was granted Citizenship on October 9, 1865 in Buffalo County, Wisconsin.

Following are some notes that a granddaughter of John and Barbara has written and that have been preserved:

Marriage entry reads John David Kochendorfer, son of Michael Kochendorfer, farmer in the town of Waumandee, Buffalo Co., WI, born in Michelbach Am Leuke, Wittenburg Germany. Wife Barbara Schmidt's father was Johann George Schmidt and her mother's full name was Christina Magdalena Fetzer born in Ohmenhausen, Betsingen, Wurtenberg, Germany. They got married Oct. 27 1866 in Buffalo County in Buffalo City. Witnesses were Mathias Fetzer and Jacob Maier. Pastor J. Umbriet. Copied from the Buffalo Co. court records on Jan 29 1952. Barbara was born Sept 7 1846 and died Sept 19,1909. John David K. died Oct 20 1911 at age 76. They were both buried at Buffalo City cemetery. He was a Civil war veteran. Hurt his leg in the service & Limped. He was in Co. K, Northern Army at the Seige of Vicksburg as told to me by Esther K. Ottem. He told her in Jan 1911 when she visited him at dad's sister Ida Blank where he stayed after Grandma passed away. Grandpa said the battle lasted almost constantly from May 14 to Oct 4. June 11 they had to go to Madison in 1865 from there they were released to go home. They walked all the way from Fort Snelling to Madison. For awhile their rations were so low they and the animals had to eat unhusked rice. They really walked all over the southern states during the war. To cross water they made bridges by cutting pine trees and piling them up over the water runs. John was confirmed Apr 22 1849 in Germany. He was Lutheran as were all the others in Germany I was told and he spent 2 years in Philadelphia, 2 years in Ohio, 2 years in Jefferson Co., WI, from there to the town of Waumandee for 30 years. Returning from farming to Buffalo City for about 14 years. Taken from Winona Daily News on Apr 7, 1981: "100 Years ago today- John Kochendörfer of Waumandee has received a check from Uncle Sam good for $1,194 for Back Pension and a certificate for $8 per month thereafter."

John and Barbara's children were John, George, Franklin, Henry, Edward, Ida, Anna Mary, William, and Otto.

From the history book "Buffalo and Pepin Counties, Wisconsin, Part one", written in 1919, is the following sketch on Uncle John:

John Kochenderfer, one of the early settlers in Waumandee township, Buffalo county, was a native of Wurttemberg, Germany, and came to the United States about 1862, the voyage, made on a sailing vessel, taking three months. Locating first in Pittsburgh, Penn., he worked for awhile in the machine shops there, and then came westward to Buffalo county, locating 120 acres of wild land in Waumandee township. In the following year the Indian outbreak occurred in Minnesota, and Mr. Kochenderfer enlisted as a soldier, fought against the savages and afterwards was transferred to southern battlefields, taking part in a number of battles, and also for awhile being confined to the hospital. While in the South he also became acquainted with the James brothers, who afterwards acquired an unenviable reputation as train robbers and outlaws. After the war he returned to this county and resumed farming in Waumandee township, remaining there until about six years before his death, those last six years being spent in Buffalo City, where he died at the age of 76 years. His wife, whose maiden name was Barbara Schmidt, and whom he married in Buffalo county, was, like himself, a native of Wurttemberg, Germany. She died when about 50 years old. They were members of the Methodist church. Their children were John, George, Frank (deceased), Henry, Ida (deceased), Anna, William and Otto.

And from the same history book, a sketch on John's son Henry:

Henry Edward Kochenderfer, president of the Cochrane Motor & Supply Co.,. at Cochrane, Buffalo county, is a man of wide business experience, and is prominent among the men of enterprise in this part of the county. He was born in a log house in Waumandee township, a dwelling 20 by 20 feet in size, on June 4, 1872, his parents being John and Barbara (Schmidt) Kochenderfer. Brought up on the farm, he acquired his education in the Anchorage school, and afterwards learned the machinist's trade, at which he worked in Waumandee township and at Alma. Then he came to Cochrane, where he established the first blacksmith's shop in the village, and which he maintained as the best, until about 1902, when he sold out, after conducting the shop for 12 years. During most of that time he was alone, but for about two years had a partner. Mr. Kochenderfer then engaged in business as a merchant, building a store, 46 by 82 feet in size, and laying in a stock of hardware, dry goods, groceries and other lines of goods, it being, in fact, a comprehensive general store. Of that he was sole proprietor except for the last year that he was connected with the business, when he had for a partner A.H. Rohrer, to whom he sold his interest. On severing that connection he opened an independent lumber yard and put up a planing mill. In 1910 he engaged in the automobile business as an additional line, and, it proving successful, it was incorporated, in 1916, as the Cochrane Motor & Supply Co., he taking the office of president, which he has since retained. He is also a shareholder in the local elevator. He has been a member of the village board since the village was organized and has taken an active part in promoting local interests, being recognized as one of the enterprising and reliable citizens in this thriving place. He is a member of the Lutheran church and is affiliated fraternally with the Redmen and Modern Woodmen of America. Mr. Kochenderfer was married, Nov. 4, 1897, to Alvina Blade, who was born in Buffalo county, daughter of William and Wilhelmina Blade. He and his wife have had four children: Flora, who died young; Pearl, Dora and Melinda.

4. Maria Margaret Kochendörfer was born on July 11, 1837 in Michelbach, and emigrated to America with her younger brother, Michael. Margaret married Mr. Earnest Herman in 1867 in Cochrane, Wisconsin, and died shortly thereafter in September 1873 at age 36. Margaret and Earnest had one child together, Leonard Herman.

5. George Michael Kochendörfer was born on September 27, 1839 and went by the name of Michael. Michael and his sister, Margaret, emigrated to America together to join their older brothers in Wisconsin. They traveled on the ship named "New York" leaving the port of Bremen in April of 1867 and arriving at New York on March 25, 1867. Michael homesteaded land in Waumandee along with his brothers George and John. On September 5, 1870 Michael married Miss Rosetta Augusta Heineck in LaCrosse, WI., daughter of George Frederick and Margaret (Jung) Heineck. By the early 1880's, this family had left Waumandee, headed for the greener pastures in the western half of the United States. Around 1883 they spent some time in Osnabrook, North Dakota, where they remained for several years. They eventually moved to the Yakima, Washington area where Michael died at age 81 on June 6, 1921 and Rosetta died at age
76 in 1927. Their children were Ellen Emma, Sarah Annie Margaret, Eli Edward, Frank Arthur, Benjamin Gustaf, Rosina Regina, Esther Rosetta, and Lydia Christina.

Cousin Gayle Larson, a direct descendent of Michael and Rosetta, shares the following information about them with us:

"Most of the information I gathered from the notes that my grandmother wrote about her parents and home life.

The Surname in Germany was spelled "Kochendoerffer". Michael's home was in what is now West Germany, Wurtemberg, near the Black Forest. He was a son of a farmer there, and as he grew older, he worked in a book store in Stuttgart, a store which crated books for shipment elsewhere. His daughter, Lydia, said that he often spoke of the Baden country or of Frankfurt-on-the Main. Germany wasn't a country at that time. They were all kingdoms but not united when Michael came across the water.

Michael came down with a cold that he never recovered from. When he died he was a few months short of being 82 years old.

Rosetta's parents came from Saxony. Michael and Rosetta met at a camp meeting of the Evangelical Church in W. Central, Wisconsin. Michael walked many miles to court her, and they were married in her parents' home.

Both came from large families. Michael's father was a Lutheran in the old country. He joined the Evangelical Church (a branch of the Methodist) when he worked on a farm in Wisconsin at the Oertli home.

Michael had an 8th grade plus Latin education in Germany, considered very good in 1867 when he came to America. Rosetta did not have much formal schooling. Michael made a living as a farmer. Farming was one of the very few things an immigrant could do then.

Michael and Rosetta had eight children. Four were born in Wisconsin and four were born in North Dakota. Apparently most of the people in the part of Wisconsin that they lived in spoke German on the streets and in the shops.

They spent the first thirteen years of married life in Wisconsin, Prairie Farm, Buffalo Co., then moved to Osnabrook, near Milton, Dakota Territory on a homestead. Bad crops made them leave there after Ben and Rose were born, then they rented at Forest River. Esther was born there, then they returned to Osnabrook, where Lydia was born in 1890.

Two years were spent near Cavalier, North Dakota; then 1893 - Pembina, on rented farms, until they bought in 1898, a mile from Pembina, where the three younger girls graduated from high school. In Pembina they raised sheep and spun the wool into yarn on a spinning wheel. Rosetta knit socks, mittens, long stockings for the family. They also had cows and a large garden.

They moved to Yakima, Washington in 1912. They rented a cottage for a year before buying on Nob Hill and building a house there.


-ELLEN EMMA KOCHENDORFER, b. August 08, 1871, Waumandee, Buffalo County, Wisconsin; m. HENRY ZOERB. Ellen and her husband had 9 sons and 3 daughters. One of their sons, George, was accidentally shot at age 1 1/2. He lived to be 19 years, but was always a semi-invalid. He was left in a mental institution when the Zoerbs moved to Saskatoon in 1907 to take up homesteads.

-SARAH ANNIE MARGARET KOCHENDORFER, b. May 08, 1874, Waumandee, Buffalo County, Wisconsin

-ELIAS EDWARD KOCHENDORFER, b. October 12, 1876, Wisconsin;

-FRANK ARTHUR KOCHENDORFER, b. February 02, 1881, Prairie Farm, Wisconsin

-BENJAMIN GUSTAF KOCHENDORFER, b. September 23, 1883, Osnabrook, North Dakota; d. January 23, 1966, Yakima, Washington; m. GERTRUDE.

-ROSINA REGINA KOCHENDORFER, b. August 07, 1885, Osnabrook, North Dakota; d. Abt. 1960, Sunnyside, Washington; m. WILLIAM BRIDGEMAN. Rose was a School Teacher

-ESTHER ROSETTA KOCHENDORFER, b. November 24, 1887, Forest River, North Dakota married PETER OTTEM.

-LYDIA CHRISTINA KOCHENDORFER, b. August 26, 1890, Osnabrook, North Dakota; d. December 09, 1980, Lynnwood, Washington."

6. Johann David Frederich Kochendörfer was the youngest child of George Michael and Rosina Kochendörfer, and was my great great grandpa. This grandpa went by the name of Fred. He was born on December 2, 1841 in Michelbach, was educated in his home village, and learned the milling trade from his father. At the age of 19 on April 1861 Fred made application for emigration to America, to join his two older brothers. In June of 1861 Fred boarded the ship "New York" (the same ship his siblings Michael and Margaret would emigrate on six years later) at the port of Bremen and sailed for America. He landed in New York on July 25, 1861. On the ship's manifest, Fred's occupation is listed as Miller, his age is listed as 20 years old, and his home is listed as Wurttemberg. Fred appears to be the only Kochendorfer on that particular manifest.

The ship "New York" of 1859/62 was built by Caird & Co, Greenock in 1858 for Norddeutscher Lloyd [North German Lloyd] and was a sister ship to the "Bremen". She was a 2,674 gross ton vessel, length 320 ft x beam 39 ft, clipper stem, one funnel, three masts (barque rigged for sail), iron construction, single screw and a speed of 10 knots. There was accommodation for 60-1st, 110-2nd and 400-3rd class passengers. Launched on 31/3/1858, she sailed from Bremen on her maiden voyage to New York on 14/8/1858. She made several sailings to Havana and New Orleans as well as the North Atlantic service, but commenced her final voyage for the company on 20/12/1873 when she sailed from Bremen for Southampton and New York. In 1874 she was sold to Edward Bates of Liverpool who removed the engines and used her as a sailing ship. On 20/4/1891 she was wrecked near Staten Island, NY. [North Atlantic Seaway by N.R.P.Bonsor, vol.2, p.544]

On June 7th, 1862, just under one year after Fred had arrived in America, he applied his Intent to become an American Citizen.

UNITED STATES OF AMERICA. State of Wisconsin. County of Buffalo.
I, Frederic Kochendorfer, solemnly declare on oath that it is bonnefide my intention to become a citizen of the United States and to renounce forever all allegiance and fidelity to any foreign prince, potentiate, state of sovereignty whatever, and particularly to The King of Wurtemberg, whereof I was heretofore a citizen or subject. Subscribed and sworn to before me, this 7th day of June A.D. 1862. Signed Frederic Kochendorfer and F. Hillmann, Clerk of the Circuit Court of Buffalo County.

Fred had first settled in Waumandee, Wisconsin, where his older brothers were living. A person needed to live continuously in America for five years before citizenship was granted to them, and on October 16, 1866 Fred was granted his certificate of Citizenship.

While in Waumandee, Fred courted Miss Maria Kirchner and married her on November 8, 1866. This was only about three weeks after Fred had been granted citizenship. We won't ever know for sure because the details have not been handed down in story form to us, but we could assume that Fred was waiting for his citizenship papers before he wed Maria. Their marriage is entered into an index for Buffalo County, indicating the license would be found in Volume 1, page 22, but in the index Fred's last name is spelled "Kochemlofer".

The 1870 federal census shows Fred and Maria and their first three children born to them, living in Waumandee township in Buffalo county Wisconsin. Also living in Waumandee and showing on the same census is two of Fred's brothers, John and George. It appears brother Michael had already moved out of the area. This census was enumerated on June 1, 1870:

Kochendörfer, Fred, age 28, Farmer, born Wurtemberg
Mary, age 20, born in Maine
Julie, age 3, born in Wisconsin
Frederic, age 2, born in Wisconsin
John, age one month, born in Wisconsin

Kochendörfer, John, age 35, Farmer, born Wurtemberg
Barbara, age 23, born Wurtemberg
John, age 2, born Wisconsin
George, age 1, born Wisconsin

Kochendörfer, George, age 37, born Wurtemberg
Anna, age 27
Louise, age 7, born Wisconsin
Rosari, age 5, born Wisconsin
Emilie, age 3, born Wisconsin

The 1880 federal census shows the family as follows:

1880 Waumandee, Buffalo Co., WI census, pg 8
(Note: Charles Kirchner was the census taker)

Kochendörfer, Fred, age 37, Laiborer
Maria, age 29, wife
Julia, age 13
Fred, age 11
Albert, age 8
Lizzy, age 6
Mina, age 4

You can see that son John appears to be missing on the 1880 census. John Alfred had been born on May 5, 1870, and died at age 9 on May 21, 1879.

Between this 1880 census and the birth of their child Otto, which occurred on May 29, 1882, the family moved from Waumandee in Buffalo county over to Menomonie which is in Dunn county, Wisconsin.

The 1900 federal census in Menomonie shows our Fred as having the first name of Fritz. According to Ruth (Schmidt) Solem in 1959 "Fred K. was born Dec 2, 1841 at Wittenberg, Germany, died Nov 22, 1909 at Menomonie, WI. He was a miller at Fountain City for awhile. They called him "Miller Fritz". Grandmother made all his white clothes he wore in the mill. Grandmother was a grand seamstress."

12 June 1900 Menomonie, Dunn county, Wisconsin

Kochendörfer, Fritz, age 57, married 30 years
Maria, age 51, married 30 years, 13 children born, 10 living
Otto, age 18
Georg, age 15
Frank, age 13
Rosa, age 11
Walter, age 7

Grandpa Fred passed away just 8 years later, on November 22, 1908. His death entry record located in Dunn Co. Recorder's office, Menomonie, WI in Vol. 4 of Deaths at page 338, tells us the following:

Place of Death: County of Dunn, city of Menomonie (414 13th Ave, 4th Ward), male, white, Date of birth Dec 2, 1841, died at age 66 years, 11 months, and 20 days, married, birthplace Germany, name of father John Kochendörfer born in Germany, mother unknown, occupation Laborer. Informant was Mrs. Fred Kochendörfer who lived in Menomonie, WI. Date of Death was 22 Nov, 1908 at 1 am. Cause of death was pneumonia for 7 days, contributory was chronic Brights Disease. Place of burial was Evergreen, date of burial was 24 Nov 1908, Undertaker was Frank Hintzman in Menomonie, WI.

On Fred's headstone at Evergreen, he is listed as Ferdinand Kochendörfer, for some unknown reason. Fred's obituary was very short:

Menomonee, WI, Dunn Co. News,Thurs. 26 Nov 1908, pg. 4, reel P28331: Friedrich Kochendörfer, for many years a resident of this city, died Nov. 22 of pneumonia at his home here, at the age of 66 years. He had been in poor health the last year, suffering from Bright's disease. The funeral was held Tuesday from the Evangelical church, Rev. Philip Schneider officiating. He leaves a widow, four sons and three daughters.

Fred's wife, Mary, lived on in their home in Menomonie for another 26 years. She died on October 13, 1934. It has been said that Mary was born on the 13th, died on the 13th, and had 13 children.

Dunn Co. News, Menomonie, WI, 18 Oct 1934, pg. 3, Reel P68-10:

Mrs. Mary Kochendörfer died after a lingering illness Saturday morning, Oct. 13, at five o'clock at her home, 1608 Seventh Street. She was 85 years old. The funeral was held Tuesday afternoon at 1:30 o'clock from the Miller Funeral Home and two o'clock at the First Evangelical church, Rev. W.L. King officiating. Burial was made in Evergreen cemetery. Mary Kirchner was born May 13, 1849, in Bangor, Maine. She was married to Fred Kochendörfer who died about 26 years ago. Four sons, William, John, Edward, and Frank, also preceded her in death. Surviving Mrs. Kochendörfer are nine children, Fred of Cumberland; Julia, Mrs. William Schmidt of Anaheim, CA; Mrs. Elizabeth Follett of Long Beach, CA; Minnie, Mrs. Herman Solem, and Rose, Mrs. Harvey Brown of Menomonie; Albert of Plum City; Otto, George and Walter of Menomonie. She also leaves 31 grandchildren, 27 great grandchildren, two sisters, Mrs. Prussings and Mrs. Charles Hohman, of Fountain City; and one brother, Charles Kirchner of Pomona, CA.

The 13 children of Fred and Maria were:

1. Julia Marie, born on May 2, 1867 and married William B. Schmidt.
2. Frederick was born on August 15, 1868 and married Mary. No further info.
3. John Alfred was born on May 5, 1870 and died at age 9 on May 21, 1879.
4. Albert Henry was born on November 21, 1871 and married Ida Hall on January 5, 1895. Their children were Alfred (nickname "Lefty"), Leonard George, Stanley McKinley (nickname "Dutch"), Henry Albert, and George F. Albert Sr. died on December 28, 1845 in Hastings, MN. at age 74.
5. Elizabeth Margaret was born on November 23, 1873 and married William Monroe Follett on December 1, 1896 in Menomonie. Elizabeth died at age 86 on November 26, 1959 and is buried at Anaheim Cemetery.
6. Minnie Amelia was born on May 16, 1876 and married Herman Henry Solem on October 1, 1896 at Menomonie. Children were Ruth Lovene, Stanley William, Hazel Margaret, Margaret Mae, and Lloyd Harold. Minnie passed away at age 62 on January 11, 1939 in Menomonie.
7. William Frederick was born on October 10, 1878 and died in infancy.
8. Edward Romie was born in June of 1880 and died at age 13 in 1894.
9. Otto A. was born on May 29, 1882 and married Ethel. Children were Drucilla and Mary. Otto died at age 80 in June of 1962.
10. George Frank went by the nickname of "Butch" and was born on July 20, 1884. Butch never married, and passed away in 1960 at age 75.
11. Frank August was born on July 3, 1886, and married Ricka Enger. Children were Robert Carlton and Francis. Frank passed away in 1918 at age 32.
12. Rosa Helen was born on September 21, 1888 and grew up to marry Harvey C. Brown. Children were Janet M., John W., Eddie W., Robert, Harvey and Harold (twins), Richard, and Mary. Rosa died on January 14, 1960 at age 71.
13. And last but not least, the youngest child was Walter Alfred who went by the nickname of "Toots". Toots was born on June 29, 1892 and lived to be 68 years old.