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Anton Rieger (1824-1905)

From Wuerttemberg to Pennsylvania and Beyond
A Biography of Anton Rieger, 1824-1905

By Peggy Link Green, 2007

Anton Rieger, son of Joseph Rieger and his wife Ursula Strobl, was born 23 Jul 1824 in the village of Onatsfeld, and baptized at the Catholic parish of Huettlingen, which is located in the diocese of Rottenburg, Aalen (the governing city), Wuerttemberg (state), Deutschland (DEU). (The country of Deutschland translates into English as Germany.)

Huettlingen is located 83.23 kilometers ENE of the city of Stuttgart, presently (2003) located in the German state of Baden-Wuerttemberg. Today, there is at least 1 hour, 33 minute travel by automobile.

Anton was the fourth of eight children. The firstborn was his sister Veronica, born 30 Jul 1818, followed by Maria Anna who was born 26 Oct 1820 and died 3 Apr 1850; Joseph, born 23 Sep 1822, married Barbara 25 Nov 1850; Anton; Caspar, born 18 Jan 1828 and died 28 Feb 1828; Maria Theresia, born 18 Sep 1829; John, born 1 Jul 1832; and Victoria, born 6 Dec 1837.

According to his obituary, Anton served six years in the German army. It is interesting that when immigrating to America, he and his brother John left Europe through Antwerp, Belgium while the rest of their family traveled the normal route out of the port of Bremen. They could have been leaving the country in secrecy because of his having been in the army. From Aalen, where they would have to go in order to emigrate, it was about a 395-mile journey.

On 9 Apr 1853, Anton and his brother John arrived at the port of New York City and were listed as passengers from the ship Probus out of Antwerp, Belgium. Anton was then 28 years old and listed as a carpenter. John was 25 and a farmer. The rest of their family arrived in New York five months later (7 Sep 1853) on the ship Bremerhaven out of Bremen, Germany. Their brother Joseph was listed as the head of the household at age 19 years. Their father Joseph was then 56 and their mother was listed as Marianne and 54 years old. (This could be a second wife, but German church records (the familienbuch) do not indicate that Ursula died prior to the family leaving Huettlingen 24 Jun 1853.) Other family members immigrating to America were Veronica, 26, Theresia, 20, and Victor(ia), 16, who was listed as a male (was she in disguise?).

Six months later, on 11 Oct 1853, Anton Rieger paid $600 for property in Carroll Township, Cambria, Pa from Jacob Dupont and his wife Barbara Teresa containing 100 acres and an allowance of 6 percent. Just 8 months later, 5 Jun 1854, he sold this same property to Joseph Rieger (father or brother, not sure which) for the same amount of money. This property was part of a larger tract of land surveyed in pursuance of a warrant granted by the Commonwealth of Pa. to John Lyon, and being the same lands and premises which the executors and trustees of James C. Fisher, late of the city of Philadelphia, by their deed dated the 8th day of April A.D. were sold and conveyed to Jacob Dupont.

Two days later, on 7 Jun 1854, Anton married Maria Anna Weiss, daughter of Joseph Anton Weiss and Katharina Ebert. She was born in Huettlingen, a neighboring town of Onatsfeld. The only member of her family to emigrate, she followed the Riegers to America also in 1853, when she was 19 years old. The wedding was held at St. Benedict Catholic Church in Carrolltown, Cambria, Pa. Witnesses were Anthony Schuster and Anthony Weile.

On 5 Mar 1855, Anton had been in the country for two years and thereupon filed his declaration to become a citizen at the Cambria County Courthouse in Ebensburg. The document states that he was born in Wittenburg, was 30 years old, and came from Germany, migrating from Antwerp.

On 22 Mar 1856, he purchased property in Carroll Township from the estate of James C. Fisher, which contained 78 acres, 80 perches for $194. This land was part of a larger tract surveyed in pursuance of a warrant dated May 3, 1793, granted to John Lyon whereby the deed dated Jan. 4, 1794 conveyed the same to James C. Fisher (the elder) to whom it was duly granted by the said Commonwealth by patent dated May 17, 1794.

Marianna gave birth to their first children, fraternal, twins, on 14 Sep 1856. Son John and daughter Veronica were baptized on 15 Sep 1856 at St. Benedict's in Carrolltown. Their godparents were their uncle John Rieger and aunt Veronica Rieger.

Anthony's father Joseph Rieger died on 5 Jan 1858 at the age of 74 years with sacraments, having been born in Onatsfeld, Diocese of Rothenburg, Wurtemberg. According to church records, he was buried in St. Benedict's Cemetery on 7 Jan 1858.

On 7 Jun 1858, daughter Maria Anna was born and baptized 8 Jun 1858 at St. Benedict's. Her godparents were John and Veronica Rieger, all residing in Carroll Twp. On 26 Aug 1858, she died at the age of 2˝ months.

Sister Veronica married Anthony Leibold, son of Joseph Leibold and Magdalena Steibeisser, of Plattling, Diocese of Regensburg, Bavaria, Germany on 10 Sep 1858 in the chapel of St. Benedict's. Witnesses were Joseph Rieger and John Rieger, both sons of Joseph Rieger and Ursula, all of Carroll Twp. Banns were read September 5th and 12th.

Brother John married Josephine Fehrenbacher, daughter of Michael and M. Anna Fehrenbacher, of Carroll Twp., on 15 Feb 1859 at St. Benedict's. Witnesses were Bernard Fehrenbacher and Catherine Fehrenbacher. Banns were read on January 30th, February 6th, and 15th. John's parents were listed as Joseph Rieger, (dec.) and Ursula, of Wurtemberg. (I can find no further mention of Ursula after this date.)

Daughter Margaret was born on 20 Jul 1859 and baptized at St. Benedict's on 15 Aug 1852. Godparents were her uncle John Rieger and his wife Josephine.

The 1860 Federal Census found the family living in Carroll Twp, Cambria, Pa. The entry was made on page 110, line 28, dwelling #1381, family # 1373. Anthony Rager was 36 years old, a farmer and laborer, value of real estate $500, value of personal property $300, birthplace Wurtemberg; Mary A., was 26 and her birthplace was listed as Wurtemberg; John was 3, Veronica, 3, Margaret was 1. All children were born in Pa.

Also on the 1860 Census was Anthony's brother John and his wife Josephine, both 28 years old. They were living in Carroll Twp with a Carrolltown post office. The census taken 31 Jul 1860, found them on page 194 (108), line 13, dwelling #1366, family #1356. John was a farm laborer, value of real estate $1500, value of personal property $300, birthplace for both him and Josephine was Wurtemberg. Living on the same farm but with a different family number (1357) was his sister and brother-in-law Veronica and Anthony Leibold. Their record on page 107 states that Anthony was 28 yrs, a laborer, value of real estate $300, value of personal property $200, birthplace Bavaria. Veronica was 30 yrs, birthplace Wirtemberg.

On 8 Jul 1861, son Anthony was born and baptized at St. Nicholas Catholic Church in Nicktown, Cambria, Pa. His godparents were listed as John and Josephine Reger.

Anton, who was now known as Anthony, Sr., sold property in Carroll Twp. to Peter Sanders on 7 Apr 1862.

On 2 Aug 1862, his son Julius (Julian) was born and baptized 3 Aug 1862 at St. Benedict's. Godparents were Leonhard and Juliana Keller.

On 5 Feb 1863, Anthony sold agricultural property in Carroll Twp. to Henry Hoppel.

Daughter Theresa was born 4 Oct 1864 and baptized 5 Oct 1864 at St. Benedict's. Her godparents were listed as Laurentz and Theresa Zitelsberger.

Daughter Maria, also known as Mary, was born on 28 Mar 1866 and baptized 4 Apr 1866 at St. Nicholas. Godparents were listed as Anton and Veronica Leobold. This would be her aunt Veronica and her husband Anton Leibold.

Daughter Anna Catherine was born 23 Nov 1867 and baptized 6 Dec 1867 at St. Nicholas, Nicktown. Godparents were Joseph and Margaretha Steinbeiser.

On 17 Aug 1868, Anthony sold property in Carroll Twp. to Leonard Mangold.

On 24 Sep 1869, daughter Barbara was born and baptized 27 Sep 1869 at St. Nicholas.

The 1870 Federal Census was taken 19 Aug of that year and the family was living in Susquehanna Township, Cambria, Pa. A copy of the census shows them on page 27, line 37. Antony Reager is listed as 38 yrs, a farmer, birthplace Germany, cannot read or write English; Mary, 40, keeping house, birthplace Germany; John, 14, at home; Frances, 14; Margaret, 10, at home; Antony, 9; Julius, 8; Theresa, 7; Anna, 3; Barbara, 1. All were born in Pa. (The census taker forgot to add Mary, age 3, but did so at the bottom of the second page.)

On 4 May 1871, daughter Philomena was born and baptized at St. Nicholas. She died the same year and is buried in St. Nicholas Cemetery.

Anthony sold agricultural property to Adam Luly on 3 Apr 1872.

Son Joseph was born 3 Sep 1872 and was baptized at St. Nicholas. He died in 1873 and was buried in St. Nicholas Cemetery.

On 29 Mar 1873, Anthony bought property in Susquehanna Twp, Cambria, Pa from William Berkstresser and Catherine, his wife, and Daniel Berkstresser and Elizabeth, his wife, all of Morgan County, Missouri, containing 136 acres for $2000. The lands of Adam Luly, Frederick and George Snyders, Sarah Collincey, John Keith, William Douglas, and William Woodsides bounded this parcel of land. This property was part of a larger tract of land surveyed in pursuance of a warrant conveyed to Job Clay dated the 18th day of December 1793 and became vested in the present grantors by deed dated 7th day of February 1852.

Daughter Mary was born 19 Apr 1874 and died the same day.

Anthony's wife Mary A. “Marianna” died 1 Jun 1875 after being married for 21 years and having born 13 children. Born 1 Jan 1834, she was 41 years old at the time of her death.

Daughter Veronica Francis “Franny” married George Duman on 6 Jul 1875 at St. Nicholas Church, Nicktown.

Two years after the death of Marianna, Anthony married Juliana Mohler, age 33, widow of Anton Mohler and daughter of Nicholas Seymour and Christine Becker, on 12 Jun 1877 at St. Nicholas in Nicktown. Juliana had born eight children during her marriage to Anton Mohler. At the time of his death 16 May 1876, her youngest child was two years old.

The first child from the union of Anthony Rieger and Juliana Seymour Mohler was son Francis DePaul, who was born just 10 months later on 2 Apr 1878. He was baptized at St. Nicholas.

In 1879, daughter Veronica “Franny,” her husband George Duman and children Annie, 2 years, and Josie (Joseph), 1 year, left Cambria County and headed west. They settled in Cedar County, Nebraska.

On 7 Apr 1880, another son Joseph Herman was born and baptized at St. Nicholas.

Anthony's daughter Margaret, from his marriage to Marianna, married Gabriel A. Harvey, son of John B. Harvey and Agnes Hitch (Huetsch), on 27 Apr 1880 at St. Nicholas. Witnesses were Anthony Reger (probably her brother) and Maria Hefele.

On 9 Jun 1880, the Federal Census was taken in Susquehanna Twp, Cambria, Pa. The family can be found on page 11, line 8, dwelling # 64, family #64. Anthony Rager was 55 years old, a farmer, he and parents were born in Wittenburg; Julia A, 37 yrs., keeping house, birthplace Pa, parents' birthplace Bavaria; Anthony, 18, laboring on the farm; Julia(us?) 17, at home; Theresa, 15; Mary, 14; Anna C., 12; Francis, 2; Joseph H.; Molan, Michael, step-son, 12. All of the children were born in Pa.

On the same census dated 11/12 Jun 1880, Gabe A. Harvey and his wife Margareth were living in Barr Twp, Cambria, Pa. They can be found on page 9, line 39. Gabe was 21 years old, a farmer, birthplace Pa; Margareth, 20 years, keeping house, birthplace Pa; Rager, Barbara, 11, servant, born in Pa. (This is Margaret's sister.)

Also living in Barr Twp were Anthony's sisters Veronica and Victoria and brother-in-law Anthony Leibold, who was then 48 yrs, a farmer, he and parents born in Bavaria. The family can be found on page 5 (453), SD 8, ED 207, line 21, dwelling 39, family 40. Veronica was 60 yrs, keeping house, she and parents born in Wurtemberg; Rager, Victoria, 43 yrs, boarding, she and parents born in Wurtemberg.

During the 1880 Census, Franny and George Duman were enumerated in ED 85, 1st Precinct (St. James), Cedar County, Nebraska. They can be found on page 4, line 48. There it lists Duman, George, 26 yrs, a farmer, he and parents born in Penn; Frani, 23, keeping house, she and parents born in Penn (this is incorrect); Anna, 3, born in Penn; Josie, 2, born in Penn.

On 6 Jan 1882, John, Anthony's son with Marianna, died at the age of 25 years. He was buried 8 Jan 1882 in St. Nicholas Cemetery.

On 16 Jan 1883, Anthony, Jr. married his step-sister Louise Mohler at St. Nicholas Catholic Church, Nicktown.

Anthony, Sr.'s wife Juliana gave birth to a daughter 9 Dec 1883 and named her Juliana Leocadia. She was baptized at St. Nicholas.

Son Caspar Henry was born 24 Apr 1885 in Carrolltown and baptized at St. Nicholas.

On 6 Jun 1885, daughter Margaret, her husband Gabe, their two children, and her sister Annie were included on the Nebraska State Census. The family had moved out West because of Margaret's ill health on the advice of their doctor. They were living in Midway Borough, Cedar County, Precinct 1, ED 192, page 9B. Gabe Harvey was 26 yrs old birthplace Pennsylvania; Maggie, 25, Penn; Mary, 4, Penn; George 1, Penn; Anna Reger, 17, Penn.

On 30 Jun 1885, son Julius, of wife Marianna, married Martha Scharry at St. Nicholas in Nicktown. In 1900, Julius was a hotelkeeper (possibly the Bakerton Hotel) in Carrolltown and owned his home free and clear. They did not have children.

About two weeks later on 10 Jul 1885, daughter Margaret Rieger Harvey died in Nebraska probably of tuberculosis (TB). Margaret had three children, Mary Agnes, known as Margaret, born 20 Feb 1881; Anna Mary born 26 Sep 1882 and died 25 Dec 1883; and George Pius (my grandfather), born 19 Feb 1884. Following her death, Gabe and the children returned to live in Cambria County, where on 12 Sep 1887, he married Catherine Hopfer.

I am uncertain as to whether Annie returned to Cambria County with Gabe after Margaret died, as her sister Franny's obituary of November 1904 states that Annie was married to L.V. Guye and living in Omaha, Nebraska.

About 1886, daughter Mary, from marriage to Marianna, married David “Davey” Davis. At one time, they lived at 119 Horner Street, Ebensburg. No children were born to this union. They sold their house and property to her nephew George P. Harvey on 27 Feb 1924.

On 25 May 1888, Anthony sold property in Barr Township to Leonard Mangold.

On 19 Jun 1890, he purchased property in Elder Township from Luke Bush and his wife Jennie containing 70 acres, 140 perches for $3500. The land was bounded by the state road leading from Hollidaysburg to Cherry Tree, the public road leading to the coke ovens, and by the lands of John Huber, ? Mitchell, John Beck, Andrew Westrick, and James Westrick. This was part of a larger tract of land the title vested in the present grantors by deed of the Sheriff of Cambria dated Dec. 4, 1878.

Two months later (19Aug 1890) he sold property in Susquehanna Twp. to Thomas Barnes.

On 14 Dec 1891, Anthony sold property in Elder Twp. to Julius Rager.

On 15 Jul 1895, he sold property in Barr Twp. to Augustine Nagle.

In 1900, daughter Barbara, from marriage to Marianna, married Herman Swope in Cambria County. They lived in Johnstown where his family owned a flourmill. To my knowledge, no children were born to this union.

At the time of the Federal Census of 1900 taken on 1 Jun, Anthony, Sr. and family were living in Elder Twp, Cambria, Pa. Anthony Reiger was born Jul 1824 and was 75 years old. He had been married for 36 years, he and parents were born in Germany, he immigrated 1853, was a farmer who worked his own farm. Julia, was born Feb 1844, 56 yrs. old, had 14 children, 11 living, born in Pa, parents born in Germany. Frank P., was born Apr 1878, 22, farm laborer; Julia S., born Dec 1883, 16; Casper H., born Apr 1886, 14; John A., born May 1889, 11; Mohler, Henry, step-son, born Sep 1869, 30, day laborer. All children were born in Pa.

Listed on the Federal Census of 1900 for Barr Twp, Cambria, Pa were Anthony's sister Veronica and her husband Anthony Leibold. Taken 15 Jun 1900, SD 13, ED 102, sheet 9B, line 87, dwelling 147, family 153, it states that Anthony was born May 1832, and was 68 years old. He and parents were born in Germany. He immigrated in 1846 and was naturalized, a farmer who could read, write, speak English and owned his farm free and clear. Veronica was born in 1818, and was 82 years, having had no children. She and parents were born in Germany.

In 1901, son Frank, from marriage to Juliana, married Theresa “Tresie” Lantz in Cambria County.

On 3 Nov 1902, Anthony sold rights to property in Elder Twp. to Webster Coal and Coke.

In 1902, daughter Julia, from marriage to Juliana, married Stephen Dillon in Cambria County.

Daughter Veronica “Franny” Duman, from marriage to Marianna, died 20 Nov 1904 of TB.

On 22 Oct 1905, Anthony Rieger, Sr. died, at age 81 years, after having asthma for three years. At the time of his death, he was living on Church Street in Carrolltown. He is buried in St. Benedict's Cemetery. During his life, he fathered 18 children.

According to his obituary, his daughter Theresa, from marriage to Marianna, had died before him, but not before becoming the wife of James Dixon of South Dakota.

Following his wife's death in 1909, son Anthony, Jr. moved his family, with the exception of baby Ruth, to Oregon. The 1910 Federal Census taken 15 Apr 1910 shows him living in Stayton, Marion County. His wife Louise had died 31 May 1909 at the age of 42 years of childbed fever after 26 years of marriage and giving birth to 12 children. The family was then living in Spangler. Upon Anthony's move to Oregon, Ruth was left to be raised by his sister-in-law Annie Mohler and her husband Henry J. Springer, who lived in Barr Township, Cambria, Pa. Anthony, Jr. died 1 Apr 1942 of arteriosclerosis and gangrene of both feet at the age of 80 years. His children include William Pius, born 14 Apr 1883 and died 26 Jul 1884. He is buried in St. Nicholas Cemetery; John Henry, born 24 Mar 1885; Emma Agnes, born 21 Jan 1887; Michael Edward, born 20 Nov 1888; Anna Cornelia “Kitty,” born 8 Sep 1890; Mary Edna, born 24 Sep 1892; Lovell Mary, born 4 Dec 1894; Hilda, born 21 Mar 1898; Dorthea, born 23 Nov 1900; Louise, born 14 Feb 1903. He and Louise also had another child who died at birth or in infancy on 15 Jan 1905.

Children from Anthony, Sr.'s marriage to Juliana include Francis, known as Frank, whose second marriage to Clementine Link was held 27 Aug 1929. He died in 1953 and is buried in St. Nicholas Cemetery.

Joseph Herman did not marry and lived in Ohio.

Casper Henry married twice. His first was to Catherine Lanigan 22 Nov 1910, his second to Lillian May Ankers. He died 15 Oct 1929 and is buried in Cumberland, Md.

John Andrew was married to Jane Hoover. He lived in Spangler and died Nov 1967.

Of his siblings: From Veronica's marriage to Anthony Leibold, came one child, a son John, born 26 Aug 1859 and baptized 28 Aug 1859 at St. Benedict's. He died less than a month later 10 Sep 1859 and was buried 12 Sep 1859 in St. Benedict Cemetery. To my knowledge, they had no other children.

Brother John and his wife Josephine had the following children: Mary Anna Ursula was born 9 Nov 1859 and baptized 9 Nov 1859 at St. Benedict's. She died 23 Nov 1859 and was buried 24 Nov 1859 in St. Benedict Cemetery. Catherine was born 24 Nov 1860 and baptized 5 Dec 1860 at St. Benedict's. Joseph Anthony was born 18 Aug 1862 and baptized 27 Aug 1862 at St. Benedict's. Maria Bertha was born 8 Jun 1864 and baptized 15 Jun 1864 at St. Benedict's. I can find no mention of John or his family after 1864 and the birth of his last child.

Brother Joseph was living in the area on 10 Sep 1858 as he was a witness at the wedding of their sister Veronica to Anthony Leibold. I have been unable to find further mention of him except on the deed for property that Anthony sold him on 5 Jun 1854.

Prior to 1880, I can find no mention of Victoria. But she was living with her sister Veronica and husband Anthony Leibold in Barr Twp. at the time of the 1880 and 1900 Federal Censuses. She died 2 Mar 1903 and is buried in St. Benedict Cemetery.

Page Created: 18 Sep 2007, Last Updated: