Category Archives: Family Tales

Details from Charles Chase – Elizabeth Mulqueen Marriage License

We’re able to add some details to our Mulqueen family story from the 1894 marriage license of Charles Henry Chase and Bridget Elizabeth Mulqueen. A copy of the document was obtained from the Wisconsin Historical Society.

The couple were married September 4, 1894 at St. Patrick’s Catholic Church in Askeaton, a hamlet in southern Brown County, Wisconsin. The wedding Mass was said by the newly ordained Rev. Gervase J. O’Connell, pastor of St. Patrick’s. Witnesses to the marriage were  James Clancy and Mary Mulqueen, sister of the bride.

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Father Gervase J. O’Connell, rector of St. Patrick’s Catholic Church in Askeaton, Wisconsin (1894).

Charles Henry Chase is described as the son of Horace Chase and Catherine Whalen. He was a resident of Marinette, Wisconsin, at the time of the wedding. His occupation is listed as “farmer, then butcher.” He was born in Bangor, Maine. His residence in Marinette lines up with the long-held belief that his son, Earl J. Mulqueen Sr., was born in the seat of Marinette County. However, the Marinette County Register of Deeds can find no record of Earl’s birth (January 7, 1895) under any surname. The Wisconsin Historical Society’s pre-1907 vital records database does not have any birth record for Earl in any Wisconsin county.

Charles’ birthplace on the marriage record contradicts what is listed on U.S. Census and other documents. Those records said Earl’s father was born in Vermont. A search of U.S. Census and other genealogy databases turned up no documents of a family headed by Horace Chase with wife Catherine and son Charles. Milwaukee once had a mayor named Horace Chase, and there was a man by that name living in Bangor in La Crosse County, Wisconsin. But neither fit the bill of the Horace we’re seeking. So it would seem that each answer we find generates several more in return.

The Mulqueen surname is listed as Micqueen or M’cqueen on the 1894 marriage record. Daniel and Mary (Corcoran) Mulqueen are listed as Elizabeth’s parents. The McQueen and Mulqueen surnames were used interchangeably in newspaper articles, U.S. Census records and church documents. We believe Mulqueen to be the correct Irish usage of the surname. If you go back far enough in Irish history, you will find the Gaelic Ó Maolchaoin, which according to the 1923 book Irish Names and Surnames by Rev. Patrick Woulfe, means “descendant of Maolcaoin (gentle chief).” This version of the name appears to date to before the year 1096. Another very similar Gaelic variant, Ó Maolchaoine, means “servant of St. Caoine.” I’ve not found any Catholic saints by that name, but perhaps there is an English translation that will provide a clue. The Mulqueen clan appears to have originated from an area that includes counties Clare and Limerick in Ireland. I have no memories of my grandpa Earl, but from what my mother has told me, “gentle chief” is a moniker that would fit him well.

Our quest to track down Charles Henry Chase continues. We were always told that both of Earl’s parents died when he was very young. Elizabeth died in March 1897, when Earl was 2. Earl and his sister, Elizabeth, chose to take their mother’s maiden name. Charles had at least one other child, Mary Chase, outside of his marriage to Elizabeth Mulqueen. Our most recent documentary evidence of Mary was in Earl’s September 1965 obituary, which lists his half-sister as living in Pleasant Hill, California.

– To see the complete 1894 marriage license, click here.

Carl Hanneman Pharmacy Papers Donated to Marquette University

Carl F. Hanneman’s college pharmacy notebooks and study guides from 1924 and 1925 have been donated to the Department of Special Collections and University Archives at Marquette University in Milwaukee. The material was turned over to the university and accession papers signed May 26, 2017.

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Carl F. Hanneman

It was a long road for the college pharmacy materials, kept by the senior Hanneman at homes in Wisconsin Rapids, Janesville, Fond du Lac and Mauston. When Carl died in May 1982, the papers went to his youngest son, David D. Hanneman (1933-2007). Now, more than 90 years after they helped Carl become a registered pharmacist, the papers will be preserved by Marquette.

Carl earned his licensure in January 1925 after completing Marquette’s short course in pharmacy. He went on to a pharmacy career that spanned nearly 60 years, much of it behind the counter at the Mauston Drug Store.

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Carl’s notebooks contained meticulous notes on chemistry and other subjects.

The handwritten notes are unique because Marquette previously had little documentation of its popular short course in pharmacy. The university’s degree program in pharmacy was discontinued during World War I because so many faculty and students left campus to fight overseas. The pharmacy degree program was never restarted, but demand continued for higher education to help students pass that state pharmacy board exams.

In 1923, Marquette began offering a “short course” in pharmacy under the auspices of the College of Dentistry. The courses in chemistry, organic chemistry, pharmacy, pharmacognosy, toxicology and drg identification were rigorous. They were taught by Dr. Hugh C. Russell and Professor Frederick C. Mayer, both former deans of the Marquette College of Pharmacy. The two-semester program was designed for young men and women with pharmacy experience, in preparation to pass the state exams.

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Carl Hanneman studies in the mid-1920s.

The books Carl left behind contain hundreds of pages of meticulous notes on chemistry, pharmacy and related subjects. Two of the books have Marquette pennant stickers on the front. Carl’s pocket-size copy of the Guide to the Organic Drugs of the United States Pharmacopœia has a Marquette University seal on the cover. His exam book shows he scored an 82 percent on one test in 1924.

Carl (1901-1982) would no doubt be tickled to know his college work will be preserved in the archives of his alma mater. We think his son David would be rather proud, too.

Read more about Carl F. Hanneman’s Marquette days.

– Listen to David Hanneman’s Remembrances of His Father’s Pharmacy

Mystery in Askeaton: Where are the Mulqueens Buried?

It is indeed a sad situation to be buried in an unmarked grave, seemingly forgotten by the world. Worse yet, to have no one document the burial, or have the records lost or destroyed. That is the apparent reality for five members of the Daniel Mulqueen family of Askeaton, Wisconsin. This includes Bridget Elizabeth (Mulqueen) Chase, the mother of Earl J. Mulqueen Sr. (1895-1965).

We know the family patriarch, Daniel, is buried at St. Patrick’s Catholic Cemetery in Askeaton. We also have every reason to believe these five Mulqueens are buried in the same cemetery:

  • Mary (Corcoran) Mulqueen (1827-1913), wife of Daniel
  • Daughter Bridget Elizabeth (Mulqueen) Chase (1866-1897)
  • Son Thomas Mulqueen (1855-1913)
  • Son James Mulqueen (1853-1917)
  • Son Daniel Mulqueen Jr. (1865-1926)

Newspaper obituaries either directly state or strongly suggest these Mulqueens are indeed buried in the parish cemetery. Yet the only monument is for the father, Daniel, who died in March 1893. Worse yet, there are no cemetery records for the four siblings and their mother. A recent site inspection confirmed the situation, and deepened the mystery.

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The St. Patrick’s cemetery map does not include burial information for most of the Daniel Mulqueen family.

Every cemetery has unmarked graves. Sometimes, families did not have funds to create a headstone. Some burials were marked by wooden crosses or other temporary markers that were destroyed by the passage of time. Small footstones could be swallowed by the earth, lying unnoticed just beneath the surface. Records were often nothing more than index cards. Over more than a century, these records could be lost, misfiled or destroyed by fire.

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The monument for Daniel Mulqueen (spelled McQueen on the marker) includes no  information on his wife or children.

The lot maps for St. Patrick’s cemetery clearly show the plot for Daniel Mulqueen, along the western property line in the oldest section of the cemetery. Underneath his name are the names Mary and Mike. Mary is Daniel’s wife. He had a son named Michael, but he is buried in Dickinson County, Michigan. It is clear upon visual inspection that there are burials to the north of Daniel’s monument. Depressions in the ground often indicate very old burials, since pressure from the earth eventually crushes and implodes wooden caskets. Today, burials in Wisconsin require use of a concrete burial vault to prevent this situation.

There is a good chance all of the “missing” graves are immediately to the north of the Daniel Mulqueen marker. The map is blank for that area, so it appears no one else holds a deed for that space. Other, similar size lots on the cemetery map contain as many as eight burials, so there would be room for a family. About 75 feet north of the Mulqueen lot, there is a small metal cross marking burial of an unknown parishioner. This makes it clear there are at least some undocumented burials at St. Patrick’s cemetery.

There are ways to find unmarked burials. Sunken grave markers can by found using a steel earth probe. The same earth probe can indicate unmarked burials, since the earth in the burial location is less compact than surrounding, undisturbed ground. Those methods can be tried on a future cemetery visit. Other methods, including use of ground-penetrating radar, are too expensive to be practical.

We plan to examine the record books for St. Patrick’s Catholic Church, which should include death, funeral and burial information. Those records are most likely held by the Diocese of Green Bay, where we have already filed a request for access.

Mulqueens Major Donors to Build St. Patrick’s in Askeaton

The Mulqueen family that came from Ireland to settle near Askeaton, Wisconsin, donated today’s equivalent of $15,000 to help build St. Patrick’s Catholic Church in 1908. The donation amounts from four Mulqueen family members are etched into a marble monument in the narthex of the church in southern Brown County, Wisconsin.

A recent visit to the tiny hamlet of Askeaton unearthed more details of the Mulqueen family that settled there in the 1850s. These pioneers are the ancestors of Earl J. Mulqueen Sr. (1895-1965), who grew up on his grandparents farm just a couple miles from St. Patrick’s Catholic Church.

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The names of Mary, James, Daniel and Thomas Mulqueen are etched into the donor monument at the back of St. Patrick’s Catholic Church in Askeaton.

On the southern wall of the narthex of the church is a beautiful marble monument with the roll of donors who put up the funds to build the new St. Patrick’s that was dedicated in 1908. It replaced the previous church structure that had been across the road on land that is now part of the parish cemetery. The family matriarch, Mary (Corcoran) Mulqueen, donated $100, while her sons Daniel Jr., Thomas and James donated a total of $500. The $600 Mulqueen family donation represents at least $15,000 in 2017 dollars. For this hard-working farm family, this was no doubt a major sacrifice. Overall, parishioners raised the 2017 equivalent of $475,000 to build the church.

One thing is clear looking at the monument and examining some of the early church books: the family name was Mulqueen, not the McQueen that appears on headstones in St. Patrick’s Catholic Cemetery across the street. The two surnames seemed to be used almost interchangeably, but the Mulqueen spelling is what appears in church records.

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The old St. Patrick’s Catholic School on the edge of cemetery property in Askeaton, Wis.

St. Patrick’s is a stunning church with an arched ceiling and a collection of some of the most beautiful stained glass windows you will ever see. The windows depict saints and scenes from the New Testament, including Jesus’ baptism in the Jordan River, the Resurrection, the Blessed Virgin Mary at Lourdes, St. Michael the Archangel, the Sacred Heart of Jesus, a Guardian Angel, St. Patrick and more. Mass is still said here twice a week.

It is very clear looking at the church, the two former school buildings and the well-kept cemetery that the Catholic Church has always been at the heart of life in Askeaton. Even before the Irish immigrants could build the first church in Askeaton, they attended Mass in each other’s homes. Before long, though, they built the original St. Patrick’s Catholic Church and had a full-time resident priest. Earl Mulqueen and his  younger sister Elizabeth no doubt received First Holy Communion and Confirmation in this church.

Audio Memories: Carl Hanneman’s Pharmacy Work in 1930s and 1940s

The essence of wintergreen that wafted out the windows onto Division Street in Mauston, Wisconsin. Bottling and selling hand-crafted mosquito repellent at taverns and resorts across northern Wisconsin. Filling pills behind the pharmacy counter as a child. In this installment of audio memories, Dave Hanneman (1933-2007) remembers the work of his pharmacist father, Carl F. Hanneman (1901-1982). This interview was recorded in mid-November 2006 at St. Mary’s Hospital in Madison, Wisconsin.

Audio Memories: Great Depression and World War II in Cudahy

Growing up in an Irish family of 11 children during the Great Depression and World War II left Mary K. (Mulqueen) Hanneman with vivid memories. The seventh child born to Earl James Mulqueen Sr. (1895-1965) and Margaret Madonna (Dailey) Mulqueen (1895-1982), she has tender memories of her parents and life in Cudahy, a southern suburb of Milwaukee.

In April 2009, she sat down for an oral history interview with granddaughter Ruby Hanneman, 9, and son Joe Hanneman. The discussion covered subjects like how the big family made ends meet during the Great Depression, how having four siblings serving in World War II changed family life at home, and the lasting impressions left by her late parents. The presentation lasts 23 minutes 6 seconds.

The photo above shows Margaret Mulqueen and husband Earl across the table for Sunday dinner in the late 1950s. The photo embedded in the SoundCloud player shows Mary with sisters Ruth (Mulqueen) McShane and Joan (Mulqueen) Haske outside the Mulqueen home on East Cudahy Avenue.

Were the Treutels Royalty in Germany?

I often heard the yarn that the Treutel family that came to Wisconsin in the 1850s was descended from royalty back in the old country. Dad would regale us with the story of the “Von Treutelers,” and he pronounced Von like the sound of “fawn.” It sounded royal. I spent more than a few research hours trying to track down the origin of this story. Yes, there were Treutelaars and Treutelers back in Germany. I found nothing to trace them or any relatives to a royal family. Until now.

While searching for something else, I was paging through a scrapbook kept by Emma (Treutel) Carlin (1877-1962), Dad’s beloved Aunt Emma from Arpin, Wisconsin. Emma was a faithful letter writer and keeper of family history. One of the pages of her scrapbook, provided to me courtesy of Bonnie (Treutel) Young, sketches out a bit of a family tree. Down in the lower right corner is a short treatise on Treutel royalty.

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Handwriting from the scrapbook of Emma (Treutel) Carlin, 1877-1962.

“The name Treutel originally was Von Treuteler,” Emma wrote. “Royalty in Germany. The  name in this country goes by the name Treutel. Some Von Treuteler married out of his class in Germany and I believe lost his title or ‘Von.’ ” On another section of the page, Emma wrote: “Any persons having the name Treutel or Von Treuteler are positive relatives some way or another.”

Not exactly a certificate of royal pedigree, I realize, but an indication that the royalty story was passed through the family for some time. Back in July 1854, Johann Adam Treutel (1800-1859) brought his family to America from Darmstadt, Germany (part of the Grand Duchy of Hesse). He and his wife, Katharina (Geier) Treutel, lived at least part of their marriage in Königstädten, just north of Darmstadt near the city of Russelsheim. A rough translation of Königstädten is “king’s village.” So who was the king? Was he a Von Treuteler? That will have to be the subject of more research.

A few pages later in Emma’s scrapbook, I found another item that led me to discover another of Adam and Katherine Treutel’s children who came to America. It was an obituary clipped from the Milwaukee Journal or Milwaukee Sentinel in August 1940. The deceased was named Edward Bredel, age 67. I wondered what the connection was, and why Emma clipped this obituary.

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The 1904 wedding portrait of Emma Treutel and Orville Carlin.

I ran a search for the surnames of Treutel and Bredel at the FamilySearch.org web site and got a very quick answer. By looking at marriage records of a number of people, I discovered parents Christoph Bredel and Margaretha Treutel. A little more reading and I found a death record for Anna M. Treutel Bredel, with parents listed as “A. Treutel” and “Catherina T.” Looked like a match.

I had a Margaret Treutel listed as one of Johann Adam Treutel and Elizabeth Katharina (Geier) Treutel’s children. But I never found any details related to her. Until now. Margaret and Christoph Bredel had at least seven children between 1861 and 1881. It appears Margaret met Mr. Bredel when her parents came to Milwaukee sometime after July 1854. The Treutels established a number of businesses near downtown Milwaukee, including tailor, tallow chandler and blacksmith shops. Christoph Bredel was a shoemaker with a shop located at 313 State Street (now called Wisconsin Avenue). In the Civil War, he served with both the 14th and 17th Wisconsin Infantry regiments. Margaret died at age 59 on 24 April 1898 in Milwaukee. She was buried the next day at Union Cemetery in West Bend, Wis. Many of the original Treutel emigrants are buried in West Bend. Christoph died in January 1916. He was 83.

The discovery of Margaret’s family details puts us one step closer to filling out the history of the Treutel family that came to America from Darmstadt between 1849 and 1854. Katharina (Geier) Treutel’s obituary said she had eight children. I have eight in my database: Adam, John, Philipp, a twin of Philipp who died as an infant, Sebastian, Margaret, Henry and Peter. The only one I have no information on is Peter. Emma’s scrapbook has a notation next to his name: “Southern.” I know some Treutels settled near New Orleans, so perhaps I will find the answer there.

 

Smashing a Mulqueen Family Brick Wall

Every family historian has come up against the dreaded brick wall. Something that stops or stalls a genealogy search and prevents you from making progress in writing your family history. So it’s a joyous occasion to smash down one of those brick walls, which is just was I did this week related to my maternal grandfather, Earl J. Mulqueen (1895-1965).

I had been stymied for years trying to learn about Earl’s parents and other ancestors. The story I’d been told was that his parents both died before he was 4 years old and he was raised by two bachelor uncles on a farm near Green Bay, Wisconsin. I was able to find him and his younger sister on the 1900 and 1910 U.S. Census in the Town of Holland, Brown County. But despite years of searching, I could not find any record of his parents, who I was told were named Charles Mulqueen and Mary Chase.

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Earl James Mulqueen (1895-1965) and his wife, Margaret M. (Dailey) Mulqueen (1895-1982), in a photo from summer or fall of 1944.

Fast forward to this week. I met with two of my mom’s younger sisters, to see what information they might have about their father. Only three of 11 siblings in the Mulqueen clan of Cudahy, Wisconsin are still alive, so I was eager to finish this research now. One of the things we reviewed was a family bible originally belonging to my grandmother, Margaret Madonna (Dailey) Mulqueen (1895-1982). A small notation in the family tree section of the bible listed Earl’s parents as Charles Chase and Elizabeth McQueen. McQueen is a common spelling variant of the surname Mulqueen, and the Wisconsin branch of this family used the names almost interchangeably.

At this point, the information started to make sense. If Earl took his mother’s maiden name, it would explain my difficulty finding his parents in the records. On his 1965 death certificate, Earl’s parents were listed as Charles Mulqueen and Mary Chase. Was that information incorrect? I was about to find out. I turned to my trusty subscription to Newspapers.com, a subsidiary of Ancestry.com. I ran the obvious name searches, but turned up nothing. Then I tried a search just for the words “Chase” and “Askeaton,” the latter being the hamlet in Brown County settled by Irish families in the 1850s. Up popped a headline from the March 15, 1897 issue of the Green Bay Gazette: “Death of Mrs. Charles Chase of This City.” Bingo. One brick in the wall fell.

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From the March 15, 1897 issue of the Green Bay Gazette.

According to the article, Mrs. Chase died of fever after giving birth. I knew my grandfather’s younger sister was born in 1897, so this made sense. Next I turned to the Wisconsin Historical Society and its index of pre-1907 death records. Again, the typical name searches did not find anything useful. I then did a broad search for all Brown County deaths from 1890 to 1900 and manually looked through them. There I found a death record for Bridget E. Chase on March 12, 1897. Bridget? I recalled the U.S. Census records for a McQueen family in the Town of Holland, Brown County, had a Bridget listed. Her age was a close match for Bridget Chase. The Elizabeth McQueen listed in grandma’s Bible was actually Bridget Elizabeth McQueen. Boom. Down came more bricks.

I used the same search strategy with the Wisconsin Historical Society’s marriage records. I found a Charles Henry Chase who got married on September 4, 1894. This sounded promising. But when I clicked on the “search for possible spouse matches” feature on the web site, it came up blank. That usually does not happen. So I again took the long road, calling up all Brown County marriages from 1890 to 1900 and zeroing in on the letter M. There I found two matches, both with the same September 1894 wedding date as Charles H. Chase. The first was for “Bridget Micgreen” and the second was for “Bridget E. Mcinween.” Whoa. What merciless butchering of the McQueen/Mulqueen name! As I quickly ordered paper copies of these documents from the WHS, I could hear that brick wall rumbling and crumbling.

Based on the information in these documents, Bridget Elizabeth was pregnant with my grandfather at the time of her September 1894 marriage to Charles H. Chase. Grandpa was born on 7 January 1895. Now I had confirmation of my grandfather’s parents, whom he never really knew. I’m still waiting for the marriage and death certificates from Madison, and I hope they shed further light on this couple. There are still big questions needing answers. Why did Earl take his mother’s maiden name, Mulqueen, rather than his father’s name, Chase? Again, this is not typical, so there must be a significant story behind it. What happened to Charles H. Chase? I had often been told he died while my grandfather was young. But I had also been told his surname was Mulqueen. I am in the process of tracking down his story.

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Earl J. Mulqueen, circa 1964.

While I was on a research roll, I turned to Elizabeth Mulqueen’s parents. I easily located them on the 1860 U.S. Census for the Town of Holland in Brown County. Daniel and Mary Mulqueen, parents to James, 9; Thomas, 5; Margaret, 3; and Michael, 1 month old. On the 1870 U.S. Census, new children appeared, including Margaret, 7; Daniel, 5; Bridget, 4; and Mary, 1. That makes two Margarets with different ages, so either the 1870 Census is in error, or the first Margaret died and a new daughter bore the same name. The Census put Earl’s mother’s birth year at around 1866.

I next used my Family Tree Maker software (powered by Ancestry.com databases) to look for more information on this family. I found little Mary Mulqueen’s Wisconsin birth record, which listed the mother’s maiden name as Corcoran. So now I knew Daniel Mulqueen married Mary Corcoran, likely prior to 1851, when the family lived in Ohio. But I could find no birth or death records on file for any of the couple’s other children.

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This 1889 plat map shows the farms of Dan Mulqueen, James, Mulqueen and Thomas Mulqueen in the Town of Holland, Brown County, Wisconsin. The family owned 200 acres just to the northwest of the village of Askeaton.

By digging more through news microfilm, I discovered that Daniel Mulqueen spent his final years at the Brown County Asylum, having been judged “insane.” Unfortunately, I have no information on his case, which could have simply been dementia. People with infirmities that could not be handled at home often ended up in county asylums, sometimes called “poor farms” or “insane asylums.”

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Mary (Corcoran) Mulqueen died on the family farm near Askeaton, Wisconsin. This 1913 news article is from the Green Bay Gazette.

Dan first entered the asylum on June 7, 1888. He was in and out of the institution over the next few years. He died at the Brown County Asylum on March 30, 1893. The only obituary, in the Daily State Gazette of Green Bay, read thusly: “Daniel McQueen, an insane man, died at the county asylum yesterday afternoon. He was 74 years of age. The funeral will be held tomorrow in the town of West Holland.” How sensitive. This man emigrated to America from Ireland, raised a large family on a successful farm in Wisconsin, yet the local paper only remembers him for an illness in his final years.

My Grandpa Earl and his sister moved to the Mulqueen farm near Askeaton after their mother died in March 1897. Their grandmother, Mary, lived on the farm until her death in 1913. The men of the farm included Daniel Mulqueen Jr. and his older brother James. I believe Dan and James are the bachelor uncles about which I’d been told.

Determined to start a life of his own, Earl left the Mulqueen farm and moved south to Racine County around 1916. He spent time as a farm hand in Kansasville, where his good friend Howard Gilson lived. Earl later moved to Racine and worked for J.I. Case before starting a long career for Wisconsin Electric. He met and married my grandmother, the former Margaret Madonna Dailey, at Racine on Nov. 23, 1920. They moved to Cudahy, Wisconsin, in the mid- to late 1920s.

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The 1910 U.S. Census for the Town of Holland shows Earl and Elizabeth Mulqueen.

The little hamlet of Askeaton, Wisconsin, is named for a village in County Limerick, Ireland. Farmers from County Limerick emigrated to America starting in 1844 and eventually made their way to Brown County, Wisconsin. Askeaton, Ireland, has a fascinating history, with ruins of a medieval castle that dates to about the year 1200 and a Franciscan abbey founded in 1389. It was once a large walled town, but in 1846 was described in an Irish gazetteer as “a poor lumpish village.” The population at the time the group of farmers left for Wisconsin was about 4,400.

In the span of just a few days, I’ve unearthed more information on Earl Mulqueen’s ancestry than I found in more than 10 years of searching. Now that the brick wall has come down, I look forward to fruitful research in the coming days and months.

One Sebastian Treutel Mystery is Solved

It was one of the big mysteries in our family tree: what ever happened to Sebastian Treutel, brother to Philipp Treutel, who came to Wisconsin from Darmstadt, Germany in 1854? The only indication we had in our records was that Sebastian died around the year 1877 at age 41. We did not know a place or cause of death.

Thanks to some research done by a local historian in West Bend, Wisconsin, we have more answers about Sebastian. His name appears on a Civil War monument recently placed at Union Cemetery in West Bend, where his brothers John Treutel and Henry J. Treutel are buried. The managers of Union Cemetery confirmed that Sebastian Treutel is buried in Block 2, Lot 19 of the cemetery. There is no headstone visible. It could have been swallowed by the earth, damaged or removed sometime during the past 140 years.

A Grand Army of the Republic medallion, posted in the Treutel family block at Union Cemetery, West Bend, Wisconsin.
A Grand Army of the Republic medallion, posted in the Treutel family block at Union Cemetery, West Bend, Wisconsin.

Information provided by the local historian says that Sebastian died on January 19, 1876. We are working to confirm this with evidence, such as a news clipping. The cemetery has no recorded death date. A 1937 obituary for Sebastian’s widow, Anna Sophia (Schultz) Treutel, listed the year of his death as 1877. It appears that Sebastian’s service in the Civil War weakened his constitution and might have played some role in his death.

Sebastian Treutel enlisted in Company A of the 26th Wisconsin Volunteer Infantry Regiment on August 15, 1862. He was assigned the rank of private. Company A, commanded by Capt. William Georg, was nicknamed the “Flying Rangers.” Sebastian’s last name is misspelled as “Treudel” in regimental records. At the time, Sebastian was living in Milwaukee, probably working with one of his brothers in the blacksmith trade. His younger brother, Henry, enlisted as a corporal in Company G of the 26th Wisconsin, known as the Washington County Rifles.

The 26th Wisconsin fought a critical battle in April and May 1863 at Chancellorsville, Virginia. According to the History of the 26th Wisconsin Infantry, Union forces at Chancellorsville were not prepared for the Confederate assault on their right flank. The 26th Wisconsin and the 58th New York tried to make a stand at Hawkins Farm. They could not hold, but fought bravely enough to give the Union time to evacuate supplies and forces. Sadly, newspapers in New York and Milwaukee unfairly tagged the men of the 26th as cowards, inaccurately claiming they dropped their weapons and ran. the Union suffered 14,000 casualties in the battle, but the Confederates lost their commanding lieutenant general, Thomas Stonewall Jackson. 

Battle of Chancellorsville etching by W.H. Shelton. – Library of Congress collection
Battle of Chancellorsville, etching by W.H. Shelton. (Library of Congress collection)

According to West Bend historian Bev Hetzel, Sebastian Treutel became ill during the Chancellorsville battle. The illness led to heart problems and Treutel was discharged from the war on August 18, 1863. The reason listed was disability.

On November 18, 1867, Sebastian married the former Anna Schultz in a justice of the peace ceremony in the town of Addison, Washington County, Wisconsin. The marriage record says Sebastian was a carpenter. Witnesses to the wedding were Henry Schultz and John Russo. Parents of the groom were listed as Adam Treutel and Catharina Treutel. Parents of the bride were listed as Henry and Anna Schultz. The presider was Justice of the Peace Francis Forster, a farmer from the town of Addison.

Sebastian was listed on the 1870 U.S. Census as a carpenter in Addison, Washington County. Later in the 1870s, he worked as a U.S. mail carrier, working the route from West Bend in Washington County to Theresa in Dodge County. Postal service records show his contract was annulled as of July 31, 1875. Given the suggested death date, perhaps he was ailing at the time.

Sebastian and Anna Treutel had four children:

  • Margaretha Maria, born January 3, 1870. She married Louis Emil Dettmann in 1890. We do not know Maggie’s death date.
  • Ida Magdalena, born February 22, 1872. She married Edward H. Grundmann. Ida died in 1944.
  • Herman Sebastian Ludwig, born May 6, 1874. He married Dorothea Treutel (maiden name unknown). Herman died in 1912.
  • Christina Henrietta, born April 24, 1876. She married Emil Joseph Weiner. Tena died in 1960.

Anna Treutel remarried in 1880. New husband Carl Frederick Bohlmann was 48, while Anna was 29. They had one child, Clara (Bohlmann) Laisy (1881-1964). Mr. Bohlmann died in 1917. Anna died on August 5, 1937 in Milwaukee.

Note: The Treutel family headed by Johann Adam Treutel and Elizabetha Katharina (Geier) Treutel emigrated from Koenigstadten in the Hesse-Darmstadt region of Germany in 1854. Read more about that here. Our connection to the family goes this way: Johann Adam Treutel (1800-1859) >> Philipp Treutel (1833-1891) >> Walter Treutel (1879-1948) >> Ruby (Treutel) Hanneman (1904-1977) >> David D. Hanneman (1933-2007).

©2016 The Hanneman Archive

Wisconsin’s Last Covered Bridge is 140 Years Young

When the wooden covered bridge was built over Cedar Creek in 1876, memories of the Civil War were still fresh and the main modes of transportation were horses and oxen pulling buggies or wagons. The clip-clop of hooves and the rolling thunder of wooden wheels have long since faded, but Wisconsin’s last covered bridge still stands proud at age 140.

Nina Wilson (center) and daughter Laurni Lee (at left) on the famous covered bridge in 1941.
Nina Wilson (center) and daughter Laurni Lee (at left) on the famous covered bridge on June 30, 1941. The woman at right is unidentified.

Located on a scenic route some 20 miles north of Milwaukee, the beautiful span no longer carries vehicle traffic but is still a boon to pedestrian traffic and those armed with cameras. It has served as the backdrop for countless photos over the years. It is such an important landmark to nearby Cedarburg, Covered Bridge Park was built around it and a historic marker from the Wisconsin Historical Society was placed nearby.

Nina (Treutel) Wilson (center) with daughter Laurni Lee (left) and an unidentified woman stand inside the covered bridge north of Cedarburg, Wis., on June 30, 1941.
The bridge uses wooden lattice trusses and interlaced 3-by-10-inch planks.

Our look at this magnificent bridge goes back to late June 1941. Pictured are Nina (Treutel) Wilson (center) and her daughter, Laurni Lee. Nina is the sister of my  grandmother, Ruby V. (Treutel) Hanneman. I believe the photograph was taken by Emma (Treutel) Carlin, who at the time was working at the Washington County Asylum in West Bend. In her scrapbook, Emma kept a July 1941 news clipping on the bridge from The Milwaukee Journal. Across the top of the page, she wrote, “I rode over this bridge June 30, 1941.” 

The Milwaukee Journal article bid poetic tribute to the old bridge:

“Grayed with the snows and suns of many years, it might tell a hundred tales to the traveler who would stop and bend a sympathetic ear. …Leaning under the weight of its years, this friendly bridge (it has no name) still creaks and rumbles heartily and bears its passing burdens of farmers and curious visitors as trustily as the day its last dowels and wedges were driven tight.”

This sketch of the Cedarburg covered bridge, by artist Frank S. Moulton, appeared in the Wisconsin State Journal on November 26, 1950.
This sketch of the Cedarburg covered bridge, by artist Frank S. Moulton, appeared in the Wisconsin State Journal on November 26, 1950.

At that time, the bridge still carried live traffic, although only vehicles weighing 3 tons or less. It was built with just enough height to accommodate a wagonload of hay. The structure was welcome shelter in summer and winter for horses and drivers alike. The bridge is 12 feet wide and 120 feet long. Its construction has been described as a masterpiece, using lattice trusses with interlaced  3-by-10-inch planks. It is held together with 2 inch hardwood dowels. Its road surface is covered with 3-inch planks. A concrete support was added beneath the midway point in 1927 to help the bridge support motorized vehicles.

Wisconsin once had dozens of covered bridges. The last one to be demolished (in 1935) spanned the Wisconsin River at Boscobel. But the folks of Ozaukee County worked hard to ensure their covered bridge would be maintained for future generations. It was taken out of active service in 1962, as another bridge was built over Cedar Creek to handle vehicle traffic. In May 1965, the state historical marker was installed next to the bridge.

Covered Bridge Park is located on Covered Bridge Road, which runs north and south between Highway 60 and Pleasant Valley Road just north of Cedarburg.

©2016 The Hanneman Archive