Brian Charles Ziegenfuss Story


from e-mail, June 2000.


For mail to Brian C. Ziegenfuss

As you know I am the great great grandson of Charles H Ziegenfuss. I will include the full lineage:
Hans Jacob Ziegenfuss, b 1691
.... Andrew Ziegenfuss b 1723
........ Michael Ziegenfuss b 1758
............ John Henry Ziegenfuss b 1809
................ Charles H Ziegenfuss b 1840
.................... Samuel J Ziegenfuss b @ 1870's
........................ Charles W Ziegenfuss b @ 1900's
............................ Donald Thomas Ziegenfuss b 1932
................................ Brian Charles Ziegenfuss b 1959

John Henry Ziegenfuss, (sometimes referred to as Henry), was born 1809 in Durham, Bucks County, PA. And died in1899 in Friedensville, Bucks County. He married a Sarah Marsteller who was born in Northampton County, PA. Sarah was an active member of the Reformed Church. The Marsteller family came from Germany as early as 1740. John Henry Ziegenfuss was a shoemaker by trade, but while residing in Friedensville was in the employ of the Lehigh Zinc Company for 30 years. John Henry lived in New Jersey for a while and moved to Friedensville in 1829. John and Mary had seven children. The following information is all that is known to me at this time. (I am in the middle of research so I expect more information to become available). William Ziegenfuss was a Pvt. With K Company of the 54th PA Vol. INF. It is known he died in Alexandria but the date is unsure. The 54th Regt. has a valiant war record. Rebecca Ziegenfuss married Thomas Readington of Amber, PA. Aveline Ziegenfuss married Joseph Stern. Evaline died before 1894. Matilda Ziegenfuss died before 1894. She was unmarried. Amos Ziegenfuss died before 1894.

Charles H Ziegenfuss: Born 19 January 1840 in Friedensville, Bucks County, PA. Died after 1910. He married in 1861 to Eliza Bender, born in 1842 in Hellertown. She died in Cuba in 1899 presumably of Yellow fever or Malaria due to an outbreak during that year in Cuba. Charles H worked on the farm until the age of 17, then for one year worked in the iron ore mines, and then four years in the zinc mines. For a number of years he was the superintendent of all the iron ore mines owned and operated by the Bethlehem Iron Company, (now Bethlehem Steel Corp), being in the employ of this company for 40 years. On 11, Nov.1862 Charles H. was drafted/joined E. Company, 176th PA Vols. (Drafted Militia), in Lehigh County for nine months of service until 18 Aug 1863 where he mustered out in Harrisburg. His unit went to Suffolk VA for training and then went with General Foster to reinforce the defenses of Charleston SC. He saw no major action.

In 1883, he went to Cuba, where he was the superintendent and manager of the Bethlehem Iron Company and Penn. Steel Company, both known under the name of Inraqua Iron Company. He was also vice-president and General Manager of the Ponnpo Mining Company, Santiago de Cuba; President of the Sabanilla and Moroto Railroad Company, and consulting engineer of the Cuban Steel Ore Company. He was considered an expert in the iron ore business, and had charge of as many as 6000 men. He was in Cuba during the Spanish-American War. On a visit to his home in PA, he was called to Washington DC into consultation with officials of our government, where he gave information which was of material assistance to the United States in the conduct of the war, unbeknownst to Queen Isabella of Spain. She presented Charles H. with a military badge made of cut silver with the Emblem of Spain on it, the Royal Standard, and the Maltese Cross. This badge is in the possession of his great grandson Donald T Ziegenfuss. He also received a number of personal letters from the Queen, and had a personal acquaintance with all the leading Spanish and American Generals.

Charles acquired a large collection of firearms while in Cuba. Some of them are: One Colt 12 Ga. side by side shotgun with rabbit ears and damascus twist barrels; a Remington cal. .45-70 rolling block action carbine rifle with saddle ring and U.S. stamped in the butt plate; a Quackenbush single shot .22 rifle; a Mod '98 Mauser bolt action in 7mm, with bayonet; a .32 cal. revolver, US Arms Co., nickel plated, hammerless; A saber, broken in half, of Spanish and German origin, and a short sword, made in Hartford Ct. Both with leather sheaths.

During the Spanish American War, Charles H. entertained General Wood for two weeks at his residence and met Theodore Roosevelt personally at Santiago. General Woods' staff occupied his residence in Cuba for six months, and presented him a silver Loving cup on which the names of the staff were inscribed. In a book, "Cuba, its resources and Opportunities," Charles H. is mentioned as the most prominent American businessman on the island. He represented various large American enterprises, which had an aggregate value of more than eight million dollars. The book " Soldiers of Fortune," by Richard Harding Davis, was written in Charles's cottage, around 1886. His house was known as "La Luz Cottage." Richard Harding Davis, famous Author, playwright, and war correspondent was close friends with William H Thurston, President of Bethlehem Iron Co. Charles H. Ziegenfuss returned to Bethlehem in 1900 where he resided at 148 First Avenue, West side.

Charles H was an ardent Republican, and was in office as a school director in West Bethlehem for eight years. He was a member of the Holy Trinity Lutheran Church in Bethlehem where he was a trustee for many years. He was a member of Bethlehem Lodge, Free and Accepted Masons; Zinzendorf Chapter, Royal Arch Masons; Allen Commandery, Knights Templar; Philadelphia Consistory, 32nd degree, A.A.S.R.; Coopersburg Lodge, I.O.O.F.; and the Knights of Pythias.

In 1901 he married again to Annie Bell who was born in Nazzan, New Providence, Bahamas. Charles H Ziegenfuss and is probably buried at Nisky Hill Cemetery, Bethlehem.

Nathan Ziegenfuss, brother to Charles H Ziegenfuss: The following is a quote:
* " Nathan Ziegenfuss is a practicing physician and surgeon of Bethlehem, Lehigh County, is rapidly winning an enviable reputation among his professional brethren, while his skill and ability are gaining for him throughout the community a liberal and lucrative patronage. He was born at Friedensville, Lehigh County 20 Dec. 1859 and his father Henry Ziegenfuss was a native of Bucks county. Grandfather Michael Ziegenfuss {born @ 1759},was a farmer in Bucks county where he lived and died. His father came from Berlin{Beedenkirchen actually and his name was Andreas, born 1723], Germany located in Bucks county, and carried on farming pursuits. He is now living in Lehigh County and has reached the advanced age of 86 years.
His mother Mrs. Sarah (Marsteller) Ziegenfuss, was born in Northampton County and was an active member of the reformed church. Of her family of seven children, three are living, Nathan being the youngest but one. William during the late war was a member of Company K, 54th Pennsylvania Infantry, and after serving through that period , died at Alexandria,Virginia. Charles H., who was also a Union soldier, was corporal of the 176th PA Inf.; he is now....located in San Diego, Cuba {Santiago actually}......The members of the family who are deceased are Amos, Matilda and Aveline.
Nathan , of this sketch, was reared in Friedensville, and after obtaining his education in the common schools, entered the employ of the Lehigh Zinc Company with whom he remained 6 years. In 1869, however, he engaged to work for the Bethlehem Iron Co., and being a mechanical engineer, was employed in putting up engines in NJ, principally in the mills of the Company. He continued to work for them until 1877, when he was given the position of Contractor with the Bethlehem Iron Company, and in their interest opened several mines of iron ore and limestone.
Being decious of following a professional career, Dr. Ziegenfuss in 1886 began reading medicine and in the fall of 1888 entered Jefferson Medical College of Philadelphia, where he took five courses of lectures, graduating in spring of 1892. When looking around for a suitable place to locate, he came to Bethlehem, where he has since resided, having a beautiful residence situated on 1st Avenue. Dr. Ziegenfuss was married in 1868 in Slatington to Miss Mary Nonnemaker, a native of that place, and the daughter of Jacob Nonnemaker, a wheelwright by trade. She departed this life in 1873, while residing in Hoffmansville, leaving at her decease three children, of whom John died in 1888, when in his 18th year. Jacob died in his infancy, and Lillie is at home with her father. The second marriage of our subject occurred in 1875, at which time Miss Lillie Kirschner, daughter to Reuben Kirschner, became his wife. To them have been born a daughter Annie, and a son, Claude, the latter dying when a year old. Dr Ziegenfuss is a prominent 32degree Mason and belongs to Commandery No. 20, K.T., of Allentown."
................fron Brian Charles Ziegenfuss e-mail SSGZIG@juno.com

* REFERENCES:
* Portrait and Biographical Record of Lehigh, Northampton and Carbon Counties, Pennsylvania. Chapman Publishing Co. 1894 pg. 385-386
* History of Pennsylvania Volunteers, 1861-5: prepared in compliance with acts of the Legislature, by Samuel P. Bates 1869-1871 Vol. IV 1870, pg. 1244
* Robert Zeigenfuse - researcher/genealogist
* Ray Parsons - researcher/genealogist
* Larry Zickefoose - researcher/genealogist
* History of Lehigh County, Pennsylvania, and a genealogical and biographical record of its families, by Charles Rhoads Roberts...... 1914

Samuel J Ziegenfuss was was the son of Charles H Ziegenfuss and was married to Katherine. They lived on 1st Ave in Bethlehem PA. Samuel J worked at Bethlehem Fabricators. He died in the 1940's and Kate died around 1955 They are believed to be buried at Nisky Hill Cemetery in Bethlehem where the dates can be confirmed. Their children were:

.... 1.Mildred (m. Albert Hawk)
........ dau. Jean(Creitz) - Reading PA

.... 2.Frances (m. Gene Preston) -Allentown PA
........ dau. Cathy
........ son Bobby

.... 3.Catherine (m. Frank Brucker) - Bethlehem PA
........ No children

.... 4.Charles W Ziegenfuss married Gladys R Thomas lived on 5th Ave Bethlehem
.... Charles W b.? d. 1954 Gladys b. 4 Jan 1902 d. 11 Feb 1991 Charles W was a typesetter for Bethlehem Steel Corp Printery. Gladys' father was Wilson Thomas, a Locomotive Engineer for Lehigh Valley RR.
........ Children of Charles W Ziegenfuss :
.....1).. Donald Thomas b.6 Aug. 1932 in Allentown PA,
............ m. Johanna (Joanne) Mary Mcdade b. 7 Nov.1933 in Hazelton PA. parents of Joanne are Joseph Patrick Mcdade died 4 July 1979 born ? and Anna (Annie) Yatko. Annie born in Prague CZ., In 1908. She lives in Nazareth PA with her daughter Patricia (Moser). Joseph Patrick Mcdade was a coal miner and then a millwright for Bethlehem Steel Corp and was born in Hazelton. JP had 2 brothers and 2 sisters and Annie had three sisters and 1 brother.
D T Ziegenfuss was a Civil Engineer, graduating from Lehigh Univ in 1954, was a Capt. in US Army, then worked for the DOD for 35 years, retiring in Cloudcroft, New Mexico, USA.
........ His 4 sons are:
........ Donald Joseph b.11 Dec 1953 Bethlehem PA
............ son: Christian b. 1984 in Fredericksburg VA
........ Brian Charles b. 12 Mar 1959 Pittsburgh PA
........ Michael Hardin b. 11 Apr 1964 Munich Germany ( US Army Hosp)
............ Married: Teresa Lee Sullivan on Oct 1, 1989 in Stafford, VA
............ b. 10 Dec 1956 in Alexandria
............ son: Christopher Anthony Sullivan b. 21 Nov 1977 in Alexandria, Va
....... Joseph Patrick b. 24 Aug 1970 Augsburg Germany (US Army Hosp)

.....................Second son of Charles W Ziegenfuss is:
....2).. Charles of Allentown PA, birth date unk as of now. but he's several years younger than Don. He married a Mary Jane Flaherty and have 2 children

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