German Americans of Cleveland

Cleveland Press Articles

15 German Families Here by 1833

"100 Years of Nationalities in Cleveland"
Sixth of a Series
By Theodore Andrica
Cleveland Press, October 2, 1950

While there is no exact knowledge about the name and arrival of the first German family in Cleveland, records of the Western Reserve Historical Association show that by 1833 there were about 15 German families here.

Settling along Lorain St. on the West Side and in the vicinity of Superior and Garden (E. 17th) streets on the East Side, the Germans soon made an impression in the then-small community with their industriousness, skill and anxiety to establish a permanent home.

The earliest families were the Silbergs, butchers; the families of Neeb, Kaiser, Denker and Borges, tailors; Wigman, mason; Schiele, gardener; and the Diemers, Fingers, Rissers, and Fryes, whose trade is not known.

They were followed by the Wanglein, Laisy, Steinmeir, Hessemmueller, Henninger, Ehringer, Schaaf and Umbstaetter families.

From West Germany

Most of the pioneering Germans came from the western states of Germany, notably from the Rheinpflaz and Wuerrtemberg.

Among the earliest Germans here, according to the files of Waechter und Anzeiger, were Carl Soheekley, a native of Zell, Wuerttemberg, who came from here in 1832, and John Krebiehl, who later changed his name to Crable. Krebiehl came from Wachenheim, Rheinpflaz in 1833.

Karolina Hecker, born in Klingenmuenster, Rheinpflaz, came to Cleveland in 1834. Fritz Hoffman came here in 1834 from Steindorf, Nassau.

Among the Germans who came to Cleveland in 1836 were Katharina Beckenbach, a native of Klingenmuenster, and Elisabeth Hecker of the same town. Evidently these two followed Karolina Hecker who arrived here two years earlier.

Bavarian Watchmaker

Gregor Dietz, a watchmaker of Weismain, Bavaria, arrived here in 1837. John Denzer of Wuerttemberg; Margaretha Koerges of Heppenheim, Hessen-Darmstadt; and Eva Waegenbauer of Erlenbach, Rheinpflaz, came to Cuyahoga County in 1839.

Among the 1840 arrivals were Katharina Burger from Mandel, Prussia; Leonard F. Lautetwasser of Ilsfield, Wuettermberg; Abraham Klein of Unsleben, Bavaria; Phillip H. Repp of Mutterstadt, Rheinpflaz; Peter Schuetthelm of Hamm, Rheinhessen.

In 1841 came Karl Ball of Asbach, Alsace, and Adam Stephen, whose birthplace is unknown. In 1842 came George Brehmeier of Rothenacker, Wuerttemberg, and Peter Koerper of Weiber, Prussia. Heinrich Ernst Bochning came from Barkhausen, Bavaria, in 1843.

We have the names of four arrivals in 1844: Stephen Buehrer; Franz Henke of Hanover; John Ernst Kappler of Ittersbach, Baden; and Pauline Umbstaetter.

In 1845 came Meyer Fuldheim from Grenzhausen, Nassau, and Christian Risser of Schwabing, Bavaria. Among the 1846 arrivals are Heinrich Heil of Elchen, Kurhessen; Walentin Schaab of Darmstadt; Andrea Steinbrenner Baden and Heinrich Walker of Hannover.

From the Rheinpflaz the following Germans came to Cleveland in 1847: Elisabeth Comery of Oggersheim. Paul Kinvater of Bochl. Rosina Mchringer of Oggersheim. Louis Muellet of Alsenz. Ferdinand Paillon of Oggersheim, Johann Probeck of Dirmstein. Jacob Unkrich of Hoschstetten. Philipp Jacob Urban of Ungstein. Mathias Wirtz of Horathen.