Tuesday, April 21, 2020

Christopher Apel 1946-1921

1900 LtR back George Peter Apel, Benjamin Christopher Apel,
Anna Matilda Apel, Henry George Apel, Albert Apel, front, Rosa
Apel, Catharine Miller, Christopher Apel, Lydia Apel.

Ben is the oldest in this photograph because the first 3 children died. 
“Christopher Apel was born in Wendershaussen (it is not on most maps as there is no post office there but it is 4 kl  from Witzenhaussen and a village of about 1,800), Hessen, Germany in 1846.  He was the youngest of 5 children and they came to America in 1855 when he was 9 years old.  When I was in junior or senior high, I remember my dad telling me they lived 5 hours from Kassel.  Of course I didn't realize then that would have been by horse and buggy or what ever transportation they had then.  We were in Germany in 2007 and went from Kassel to Wendershaussen which took us about 30 minutes. 

They settled in Illinois, and I found them in 3 different counties in Illinois in census records.  Christopher married Catherine Miller in Pontiac, Livingston Co., Illinois and that is where their first 5 children were born then the next one, Henry was born in San Jose, CA so about 20 years ago I called one of Henry's daughters to ask, why was your dad born in San Jose and she did not know.  I did look up census records at that time and found a lot of Miller's there so I wondered if Catherine's brothers moved there?  The next child was born in Pontiac, Illinois and the next 4 were born in Olpe, Lyon Co, Kansas.  Sometime between July 1891 and Feb 1893 Christopher,

Catherine and family moved to Falls City, NE.  I have my grandpa, Benjamin Apel's autograph book and sometimes his friends would put the date and place when they signed it so July 1891 was then the last person signed it in Olpe and Feb 1893 was when the first person signed it in Falls City.  I do not know why they moved to Falls City. The Christopher Apel family picture would have been taken in Falls City.  The youngest boy standing on the left was born Jul 1891 and the youngest girl standing in the middle was born Jul 1889 so I'm just guessing they are between 10 and 13 in the picture.  I don't know when the picture was taken, I'm just guessing about 1900/1901.  Could be 1896 just don't know for sure.  No date on the picture.   Grandpa Ben was born Sep 1876 and married Elizabeth/Lizzie Scholl Mar 1901 when he was almost 25.  Ben is the oldest child in this picture.  The first 3 before him had died.

Christopher and Catherine eventually moved to Falls City where she died in 1905.  Christopher took turns living with his children as I know he lived some in Alamogordo, NM with Ben and boys (my dad Fred and Uncle Willard) as Lizzie had died in 1914.  Ben was a farmer but Uncle Willard told me Christopher did not like to work in the fields but would do the cooking for them.  When Christopher died, he was living with the oldest daughter, Lydia (sitting on the far right in the picture) and family in Los Angeles. Christopher was taken by train to Falls City for burial.  The train went through Alamogordo and Ben got on the train and went on to Falls City.

Catherine's parents, George and Sarah (Ream) Miller are also buried in Zion Cemetery in Falls City.  I do not know when they moved there.  Catherine was born in Ohio. “(Source: Margie Ingersoll)