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Ignaz (Henry) Riehle – Baden to Southern Indiana

With Some Updates and Corrections

Ignaz Heinrich (Henry) Riehle (1828-1903) was born to Josef Riehle (1803–1872) and Franziska Späth (1807–1865) in Renchen, Baden (not in Wagshurst with parents Franz Joseph Riehle (1784-1842) and Franciska Hoog (1785-1831) as previously reported here*). His grandfather, Martin Johann Riehle (1741–1830), was born in Wagshurst and connects with the lineage of the Wagshurst Riehle line, going back to Markus Riehle (1650–1732).

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 about 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 distant 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 he may have been in touch with these relatives and discussed the location with them prior to his time there.

Henry then moved to Ripley County Indiana sometime between Joseph’s birth and the birth of his second son, Bernard, in 1860. Another distant cousin, Felix Riehle (1796-1868), also from Wagshurst, had moved to this area the decade before so perhaps Felix persuaded Henry to come west. However there were numerous others from the same area of Baden who moved to Ripley County, including relatives of Henry’s mother, Franziska Späth. Henry’s godfather, Jakob Späth lived in Ripley Co. around 1850* and may have enticed him to the area.

By 1862 Henry’s residence is shown in Cincinnati. 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.

* Our thanks to Rolf Federle for help with certain details and corrections in the above article. Rolf lives in Bühl, Baden-Württemberg, about 20 km from Wagshurst. Rolf is the first cousin, three times removed to Nicholas Federle who was a founding resident of Ripley County. Nicholas’s daughter, Theresia Katherine, married Henry’s eldest son. Also, Nicholas’s wife, Barbara Doll, was the second cousin, once removed to Clemens Riehle, mentioned above.

For Family Tree related to Henry see our page for
Riehle Family Trees


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Mason Schutte
Mason Schutte
June 30, 2022 7:19 pm

The majority of the people in the hay thrashing image are Schneider’s (brother’s of Ignatz’s son, Nicholas’s wife, Mary). Henry (Ignatz) Riehle is the man with the beard between the two children. The two children are John and Joseph Riehle, the oldest two children of Nicholas Riehle who is standing to the right of them with his hat in the air. Image was taken around 1898.