Valentin and Anna Maria

Emigrated from Schweinfurt, Bavaria, Germany

by

Raymond Rath



Valentin and Anna Maria, circa 1890

Now to continue with the saga of Valentin and Anna Maria.

The above note was written on the cover of a german "Handbook for Emigrants and Travelers to North, Central and South America", 7th Edition, 2nd Printing, Hamberg, 1854, now owned by Greg Fredricks. Translated, it says:

"This book belongs jointly to Valentin Rath and Philipp Mangen. It was purchased on the 2nd of April in the year 1859 in Schweinfurt in the Kingdom of Bavaria for 2-1/2 guilders. We departed from Germany on the 9th of April in the year 1859 and arrived in Sheboygan on the 12th of May."

A search of the records in Sheboygan shows that Valentin Rath bought a piece of land consisting of " Lot number Twelve(12) and Lot number Thirteen(13) in Block's Subdivision, Lots A & B in Bate's addition to the original Village of Sheboygan, County of Sheboygan and State of Wisconsin" for the sum of "One Hundred and forty Dollars" on the "Eighth day of November in the year of our Lord one thousand eight hundred and Sixty".

Additional records show that the street address at that time, or shortly thereafter was 1633 Kinzie and is now known as 1633 N. 13th. A lithograph showing a birdseye view of Sheboygan in 1885 shows two small buildings at that address(N. 13th) which when the picture was enlarged was identified by Kathryn Mitchell, from the layout of the south building, as the two buildings occupying lot 12. She now lives in the south building and has for the past 67 years, it being the original homestead of Valentin and Anna Rath. The following two pictures shows the house about a 100 years apart and the similarity is remarkable after a 100 years! More about this later.

From Lithograph of Sheboygan, 1885, 1633 N.13th St., two small houses right center

House at 1633 N.13th St., in August 1983

I have been unable as yet to determine the exact date(year) that the house was built but I am certain that it was the house in which Valentin and Anna raised their nine children. This is a fair assumption since Valentin enlisted in the Union Army on 15 March, 1864, during the Civil War and I assume he already had the home built, as by that time, in addition to their son John, they had three more children. I doubt he would have enlisted without having his family in adequate quarters.

As mentioned above, Valentin enlisted in the Union Army on 15 March, 1864. He enlisted in Co. C, and later transfered to the reorganized Co.A, 9th Wisconsin Infantry Reg., Vet. Co. as a private. I do not know the significance of Vet. Co., unless it stands for a Veterinary Company.

Apparently he was sick much of the war. He spent most of his last years at the Veteran's Hospital in Milwaukee, coming home twice a year. He came home shortly before his death in Sheboygan on 19 September, 1910

Anna Maria smoked a pipe and had a wisp of hair tied in a knot. She died in Sheboygan on 9 January, 1914. Both she and Valentin are buried in Calvary Cemetary in Sheboygan.

Anna Maria Fesser Rath, circa 1911

Valentin and Anna had nine children. John(Johann or John D.) was born about 1857 in Bavaria and came to America with his parents. Not much is known about John. What little I have will be told in Valentine P. 's story. He was married twice, a first marraige to Elizabeth Hartman on 16 January, 1982 in Sheboygan. He apparently was married again to a Louise as her name showed up on land deed documents in Langlade County. I have not found his death date as yet.

Valentine Phillip was born on 15 February, 1860, married Magdalena Mary Friedrick on 15 May, 1890 in Sheboygan. He died 25 February,1941 in Antigo, WI. They had six children.

Margaretha was born on 19 October, 1861 in Sheboygan. She married a Frank Trimberger, 26 April, 1888 in Sheboygan. She died 20 November, 1946 in Sheboygan.I'm not sure how many children she had.

Dorothea was born 15 February, 1864 in Sheboygan. She married, 4 November,1886, Peter Friedrick, brother of Magdalena, wife of Valentine.She died 30 March, 1944 in Sheboygan. I believe they had four sons and one daughter. Kathryn Mitchell was a grandaughter and still lives in the old homestead.

Dorothea Rath Friedrick and Family, circa 1895

From L-R: Edward, Robert, Dorothea, George, Valentine, Theodora

Frank Xavier, born 22 May, 1866 in Sheboygan, married Susan Scherer, 27 June, 1893 in Sheboygan. He died 14 October, 1944 in Sheboygan. I do not know if they had any children.

Michael, (a twin),born 23 September, 1867 in Sheboygan. Married Regina Leicht, 28 October, 1896 in Sheboygan. He died 16 May, 1918, from a fall from a church steeple where he was working as a mason.They had three sons and four daughters. Philip, the other twin, never married. He died 10 November, 1955 in Sheboygan.

George, was born in 1872 and died in 1889. He was retarded and had fits of epilepsy. He is buried in Calvary Cemetary in Sheboygan.

Barbara, born 10 July, 1874 and died of diptheria in 1889.

I wish to acknowledge having received some genealogy information from Mark Kinzer, the grandson of Jerry Rath who is the son of Michael Rath , a brother of Valentine Rath. Also some from Greg Fredricks, a great grandson of Dorothea Rath and Peter Friedricks. Dorothea is a sister of Valentine, and Peter also happens to be a brother of Magdaline Friedrick Rath, the wife of Valentine.

Greg Fredricks is also a nephew of Kathyrn Mitchell who is the sister of Greg's father, Claude Friedrich, a grandson of Dorothea. And as stated earlier in this page, Kathryn is still living in the old homestead and has been an invaluable source of information about the family and especially about the homestead!!.

The next chapter in the family history will deal with the early life of Valentine P. Rath, his settling in Langlade County, WI., his involvement in local politics and his being elected to the Wisconsin Legislature in 1939, two years before his death.

It will probably also tell his grandsons' recollections of the fine old gentleman, which in itself could make a complete book. Until then, adios.


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Last Update: 16 April,1999