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Stiefel, Maria 'Mary' (Mueller) 1840-1933


Posted By: Sharyl Ferrall, IAGenWeb volunteer
Date: 9/16/2015 at 17:42:01

Mrs. Maria Stiefel, a resident of Clayton county for more than 70 years, died while visiting at the home of her nephew, John Roggman, at Garnavillo, on Sunday night, August 6th, after an illness of a month's duration.

Funeral services were conducted by Rev. M.B. Harder in English and by Rev. K.W. Braun in German, at the Roggman residence, Wednesday forenoon at 10 o'clock, and by Rev. Hunger at the Lutheran Evangelical church at Garber in the afternoon at 2 o'clock. Interment was made in Mt. Harmony cemetery, southwest of Elkport.

Mrs. Stiefel, nee maria Mueller, was born at Nieste, Kurhessen, Germany, Dec. 6, 1840. She was the eldest child of Johannes Mueller and his wife, nee Sophia Krueger. Hers was a Christian home, the influence of which she cherished throughout her life.

At the age of 16 years she came to America, alone. The voyage on a sailing vessel required four weeks. Pork and beans, hard-tack, potatoes with jackets and herring constituted the main fare on board. Because of insufficient number of passengers, the vessel landed at New York harbor instead of at Philadelphia, its intended destination. This handicapped some of the passengers, who had expected to be received by friends in Philadelphia. So without money, Mrs. Stiefel and others similarly situated were stranded. Optimistic kinsmen, seeing their distress said: "Why weep? You ought to rejoice, for you are now in America!"

Eager for adventure and exercising faith and that indominatable will so characteristic of Mrs. Stiefel, she soon established herself in this country. Finding it to her liking, she encouraged her parents, brother and sisters to come across.

In the meantime she was married to Christian Stiefel at Spinnersville, Pa., Oct. 8, 1859. Together the couple had been to Clayton county for a brief period of farming in Jefferson township, and had returned to the East before being joined by the home folks from Germany. Then all journeyed to the Middle West to reside.

Mr. and Mrs. Stiefel engaged in farming for about 22 years in Volga township and then retired to Garber, where they lived contentedly for 40 years.

In the year 1909 they celebrated their golden wedding anniversary, with all of the living children and grandchildren present. They also celebrated their 60th wedding anniversary. Three years later the home was saddened by the death of the husband and father on April 26, 1923. Since that time Mrs. Stiefel has made her home with her daughters, Mrs. Conrad Schnepf of Garber and Mrs. Herman Knoernschild of Dubuque.

She leaves bereft her five daughters: Mrs. Melinda Schnepf of Garber; Mrs. Mary Kingery of Buhl, Idaho; Mrs. Carolyn Frank of Chicago, Ill.; Mrs. Sophia Cuthbert of Milwaukee, Wis.; Mrs. Lucy Knoernschild of Dubuque; also 18 grandchildren and 15 great-grandchildren. A twin daughter, Lizzie, died at the age of 4 1/2 years of diphtheria.

Mrs. Stiefel was the last remaining member of her parents' family, her brother Karl having died in 1882, her father several years later, her mother in 1894, her sister, Mrs. Eliese Roggman of Garnavillo in 1927, her sons-in-law, Wm. Kingery in 1917, J. Cuthbert in 1925, Jno Frank in 1928, Conrad Schnepf in 1931; also her brothers-in-law, Frederick Roggman in 1882 and Peter Bahr in 1923, and sister-in-law, Mrs. Karl Mueller Hildebrand in 1932.

Mrs. Stiefel was an admirer and lover of nature in all seasons of the year. Her home was surrounded by flowers of every size, color and description. Many a heart was gladdened in joy and in sorrow by her generous distribution of them. The floral offerings at her funeral were many and beautiful, a fitting tribute to her for her life-long love of flowers.

There are not many who attain an age of 92 years, eight months, who find interest in a changing world and try to adjust themselves to modern trends for the sake of those about them, as did Mrs. Stiefel. The happiness and comfort of others meant much to her. To please her daughters and grandchildren, she made a trip to Chicago, Oak Park, Evanston and Milwaukee last summer. On her birthday, December last, she heartily joined in the celebration tendered her by her daughters, nieces and nephews. She was happier to minister than to be ministered unto. Her goal was not one that could be reached by a path of roses but one that meant pain, sorrow and hardships. She seemed to have a divine insight into the needs of people and with her tireless energy changed circumstances, and like an angel of mercy healed wounds, dired tears, and bade all stretch to things eternal. She struggled and labored, as we all do, to learn the truth. Her Christian character and sympathetic nature always brough inspiration and a good word that left us feeling we ought to be better folks than we are.

She goes to her eternal reward at a ripe old age, loved and respected by all who knew her.

In attendance at the funeral were: Mrs. Melinda Schnepf and son George, Mr. and Mrs. Henry Schnepf of Garber; Mrs. Carolyn Frank and Miss Ina Kingery of Chicago; Mrs. Sophia Cuthbert of Milwaukee; Mr. and Mrs. Herman Knoernschild, daughter Marie and sons Louis and Harold of Dubuque; Mr. and Mrs. Roy Bricker and sons Jack and Bob of Oak Park, Ill.; John Bahr and son Harry, Mr. and Mrs. Walt Saur and son Walter, Jr., Mrs. Henry Wolf and Mrs. Fred Wistrick of Elkader, Mrs. Elsie Hauschen and sons Julius and Junior of Clayton; Mrs. Sophia Smith, the Misses Marie and Lena Bahr, Mr. and Mrs. John Wittman and sons LeRoy, Julius and Carol of West Haven; Mr. and Mrs. H. Hafner, Mrs. C.D. Beck of Elkport; John Roggman and sisters Amelia and Lucia, Mr. and Mrs. Chas. J. Roggman, Mr. and Mrs. A.D. Roggman, Mrs. W.F. Meyer, Mrs. John Wirkler, Mr. and Mrs. Chas. Fehlhafer, and Frank Baxter of Garnavillo, besides neighbors and friends.

~Clayton County Register, Thursday, August 17, 1933

Transcriber's comment: This is the kind of obituary we wish all of our ancestors had!! What a goldmine of information!


Clayton Obituaries maintained by Sharyl Ferrall.
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