Ignaz Heinrich (Henry) Riehle (1828-1903) was born in Wagshurst, Baden to Franz Joseph Riehle (1784-1842) and Franciska Hoog (1785-1831). His mother died when he was two years old and his father remarried to Petronella Mundy (1786-1853) four years later. Petronella survived Henry’s father’s death when Henry was 14 and we assume Henry remained with his step mother until his moved to America.
According to the 1900 census, Henry arrived in the US from Germany in 1849, when he was 21 years old. Although we have no information where he disembarked upon his arrival or where he first lived in the US, we do know he married Maria Theresia Knapps (1836–1889) in 1856, likely near, Hamburg (Erie County) New York where their first son, Joseph, was born the following year.
Henry’s younger first cousin Martin Riehle (1831-1922) arrived in that area in 1852 with Martin’s brother Clemens arriving there in early 1854. Although we don’t know when Henry arrived in Erie County it is likely he was in touch with his cousins and discussed the location with them prior to their brief reunion in this area.
Henry then moved to Ripley County Indiana sometime between Joseph’s birth and the birth of his second son, Bernard, in 1860. Henry’s second cousin once removed, Felix Riehle (1796-1868), also from Wagshurst, had moved to this area the decade before so perhaps Felix persuaded Henry to come West. We know there were numerous other Wagshurst emigrants living in the area, including relatives of Henry’s step mother, Petronella Mundy.
Meanwhile Clemens Riehle moved to Cincinnati from the Hamburg/Buffalo area around the beginning of 1855 and by 1862 Henry’s residence is shown in Cincinnati as well. It is not clear why he moved from Indiana but he remained in Cincinnati through the birth of his son Nicholas Riehle in 1865. We can speculate this had something to do with the war and/or Henry and Maria’s wish to save money to purchase a farm. Regardless, Henry had returned to Indiana by the time his son Anton (Anthony) was born in 1867. The 1870 census shows Henry and family farming in Adams Township, Ripley County, Indiana with real estate valued at $2700 and “personal estate” valued at $375, although as shown below, his farm seems to either have been in Franklin Township or extended across the township line into Franklin from Adams Township.
The above shows the location of Henry Riehle’s farm on the line between Adams and Franklin Townships in Ripley County. Note that the property just to the east was owned by Joseph Schneider. The photograph below was posted on Ancestry.com by Brian Riehle and is described as “Riehle and Schneider Family Wheat Harvest from the late 1890’s”. Henry is in the middle with two of his grandsons. The young man waving to the camera is Nicholas Riehle who had solidified the neighborly bond when he married Mary Anna Schneider, daughter of neighbors Joseph and Albertine “Bertha” (née Sauer) Schneider.
By our count Henry and Maria had a total of six (6) sons and four (4) daughters. Maria died in 1889 at age 53 while Henry survived into the new century, meeting death at age 74 in 1903.
For Family Trees related to Henry see our page for
Riehle Family Trees
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