In 1837, after the death of his second wife, Dr. Christian William STEMPEL had married Louise GRAF of  PEITZ (the Parish church for Drachhausen); having 7 more children, all born in DRACHHAUSEN.


Three of these children died at very young ages. STEMPEL left this third family behind in Germany, when he traveled to IOWA. His youngest daughter, Marie Louise, who had been born the 26 May 1847, was only 3 months old when STEMPEL left.


This 2nd portion of the family, left from BREMEN, GERMANY; arrived in BALTIMORE, MD on November 24, 1848, on the ship “GUSTAV.”

They arrived at the same location, one year and one month after Dr. STEMPEL’S original trip. They are believed to have taken the same route into IOWA, which would have been a frozen and icy spot when they arrived. Louise had a lot of courage to make this trip with 4 young children. Assuming it took them the same time, they would have arrived on or near Christmas Eve, 1848.


1)   Joahnne Emilie “Louise” GRAF Stempel, 34, of Drachhausen

2)   Ewald STEMPEL, 9, twin whose brother had died

3)   Kuno STEMPEL, 4

4)   Omar Ervin STEMPEL, 3

5)   Marie Lousie STEMPEL, 1

6)   Ferdinand GRAF, 24, brother to Louise STEMPEL   

7)   Wilhelmine URBAN, 24, of  Drachhausen


Wilhelmine URBAN, 24, may have been traveling with the family as their nanny. Her immigration creates an opportunity and incentive for her brothers Fred and Christian, and her cousin or niece, Pauline URBAN to follow.  Fred married Louisa MUSCHICK, another immigrant from DRACHHAUSEN, in 1861.


In the summer of 1849, all three of the older brothers, believed to be Adolph (18), Hugo (16), and Louis Guido (13), who were living out on the farm by the MISSISSIPPI RIVER, suffered from malaria.


At the same time Dr. Stempel sent a carpenter he had brought with him from Germany, out to the site, to start building a home. It is believed this was Adam BERGAMI of COTTBUS, who appeared to be traveling with the group, when they entered the USA. He built a 4 room house with hewn logs and plastered on the inside; which was considered to be a great luxury at the time, and the envy of many neighbors.


When the home was finished, Dr Stempel and the family, still in FORT MADISON, moved in. This may have caused some friction because son Guido Louis, mentions in his 1907 biography, that “the three sons thereby lost their position, becoming only common members of the family.”


With the whole family back together, it should have been a happy time.  STEMPEL, at 72, had been extremely old to be making this arduous trip in 1847; though a testimony to his vigor and determination to create a future for his children, it had been hard on him.  He tragically died, within 6 months of the arrival of Louise, in the summer of 1849; the 6 children, from his previous family, were left orphans and the family was broken up.


It appears that the children from his first families inherited little to nothing and were forced to make their way with whatever work they could find. Perhaps Dr. STEMPEL’S remaining wealth and farm were inherited by his wife Johanne GRAF, and reserved for her children. The property was still owned by “STEMPEL heirs” in 1874.


Louise GRAF STEMPEL, widowed at 36 and caring for 4 young children from Dr. STEMPEL, married a neighbor, Ernst LANGE, Sr. from GREEN BAY TOWNSHIP, in about 1850. She had three children with LANGE; Ernst LANGE Jr. (1851), and Mary (1853) showed in 1854 Iowa Census.  Rudolph, (b 1854) the youngest Lange child, was also born in Lee County, Iowa.  All the LANGE children were half Wendish. 


It would seem as Dr. C.W. STEMPEL’S widow, she inherited half of his land, and her children divided the other half between them. Unfortunately, the other children from

STEMPEL’S 2nd wife, were not acknowledged, and were simply cheated out of any part of the inheritance.


In 1853, three deeds have been found, signing over the rights of Cuno (10), Omar (8) and Louise (6), to their step father, Ernst Lange. In theory, he was the highest bidder in an auction, that generated $576. A deed for the 4th child, Ewald, has not been found. It is extremely odd that Ernst would have purchased this land, since he is by this time the children’s step father. It is also difficult to believe any of the children saw any of the money, or that any money changed hands at all. As their step father, and they being minors, Ernst would have been giving the money to himself, so it appears all of STEMPEL’S children, including those born of Louise, largely lost their inheritance.


In approximately 1856, the family moved to St. Louis, MO, living near RICHLAND TOWNSHIP, GASCONADE COUNTY, MISSOURI. All the STEMPEL children, (4 of them) who were born of wife #3, Louise GRAF STEMPEL and her 3 children from LANGE made this move, along with Ernst LANGE Sr. It is believed Ernst had a son from a previous marriage, named Joesph LANGE, who might also have gone.


By 1860, Ewald (21), and Omar (14), Cuno (17), three of the four STEMPEL children, who would be step children in the Lange family, had moved on, living elsewhere in Missouri. Mary Louise (13), and Omar (14) are shown still with the family, but this may be a error, as Omar is also listed as an apprentice, elsewhere. He likely was just making the move and was thus recorded in two locations.


The LANGE family’s wealth shows with a live in servant, Johanne Ficher 36, and a whopping $4,000 in property and $1,125 in personal property! This was a massive amount of money at the time and must have been the original wealth of LANGE with the STEMPEL property added in. It seems doubtful whether the original STEMPEL children received much, if any of their inheritance.


It is likely Chrisian William STEMPEL would have been horrified to see how his estate was dispersed, how little his own children got of his inheritance, and how much ended up in the hands of LANGE.


Ewald STEMPEL (listed as Edward Stampel in 1860) lives in BENTON, OSAGE COUNTY, MISSOURI, with wife Elizabeth, who was four years his senior and born in Missouri. He does not appear to have any children. He is working for the post office in Medora, MO, and also a farmer worth $150 in personal property, in 1860. He is a saloon keeper, in 1870.


Cuno STEMPEL, 17 in 1860, is a baker’s apprentice in ST. LOUIS, MO. In 1890, adding to or perhaps changing his name to Victor C. STEMPEL, he shows as a photographer, in his own business at 3624 S. Broadway, St. Louis, MO, in the city business directory. By 1910 he is a notions merchant in Hillsborough, FLORIDA, living with wife Margaret, and two adult children. Son, Julius C. STEMPEL is a bottler at a brewery and daughter Vaelska is married to Clair SHORT, a printer for the newspaper. Both Cuno, also known as “C.V.,” (1923) and wife Margaret (1917) die in Florida.


Omar STEMPEL, age 14, in 1860, is living with the Adolph & Mary Niemetz family, in St Louis, MO, who run a “confectionary and saloon.”   Omar is an apprentice baker.  There is another apprentice in the same shop, Joesph Kleim, who could also be a Wend. By 1870, he is a farmer in BENTON, OSAGE COUNTY, MISSOURI, with the amazing farm value of $7,000. He appears to be married to a 15 year old Elmyra STEMPEL, with a mother-in-law living with them, Caroline Rosson, and a laborer. Perhaps the valuable farm was once his father-in-laws.’  His brother, Ewald, is living nearby.


In 1874, 4 more deeds appear in Fort Madison, IOWA. The one remaining piece of property was sold, likely the best piece of the STEMPEL estate. Louise GRAF STEMPEL LANGE receives $500, and children Omar (28), Ewald (34) , Cuno (30); each receive $150. (Daughter Mary Louise receives nothing, perhaps she died by this date) The deeds total $950 and the land is purchased by other LANGE family members, Paul and Herman, likely their step dad’s brother’s.


One thing is certain: the estate that Dr. C.W. STEMPEL purchased for $3,250, 26 years earlier, sold for a paltry sums of $576 + $950, or $1526 total, and was divided between only the children of STEMPEL’S third wife, Louise, completely ignoring the rest of his children. It is doubtful whether the three children would have received any of the first $576. So, three children received $150 each, after 26 years, and the rest of the estate went to Louise and her 2nd husband Ernst LANGE, who certainly profited mightily from her first marriage, to Dr. Christian William STEMPEL.


Both Ernst LANGE Jr. and Sr. were farmers in the 1880 census, in RICHLAND, GASCONADE COUNTY, MISSOURI. Ernst LANGE Jr. would have been ½ Wendish, from Iowa.


(Revised 2 Nov 2008)




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