1833 - 1910 (77 years)
||Luise "Louisa" Benkelman [1, 2, 3, 4] |
||14 Sep 1833
||Schneiderhof, Waldhausen Parish, Welzheim, Jagstkreis, Württemberg, Germany [2, 4, 5, 6]
||22 Oct 1910
||Cass City, Tuscola County, Michigan [1, 2, 7, 8]
||Elkland Township Cemetery, Cass City, Tuscola County, Michigan 
- German Parish records show "ist 1852 ausgewandert" (left for America) in 1852. BonnieMargaret Jacobs wrote that Louise travelled to America at the age of 19, with no other family members to accompany her, however it was likely other villagers made the journey with her. BonnieMargaret speculated that "perhaps her brohters had already spotted one of the Striffler brothers as a likely spouse, and wanted the eligible Louisa on hand." (p. 81).
At the time of the 1900 Census, she was living with her son and daughter-in-law, Samuel and Mary Striffler in Cass City.
Cass City Chronicle
October 28, 1910
Pioneer Lady Laid to Rest-
Mrs. Louisa Striffler Passed away Saturday-
One of the Pioneers of Elkland TownshipWhose Life Was a Blessing to Others-
Death released from her suffering Mrs. Louise Striffler, whose illness had been mentioned several time in the past two months. Her demise occurred at the home of her son, Solomon Striffler, two miles northeast of town.
Louise Benkelman was born in Oberamt Weltzheim, Wurtenberg, Germany, on Sept. 14, 1833. About 1850 she came to America and settled at Lancaster, N.Y. A few years later she was united in marriage to Jacob Striffler in that village. In the year 1850 they came to Michigan, settling in Elkland township. Mr. Striffler died 14 years ago.
Mrs. Striffler was converted to the Christian faith under the labors of Rev. Henne, a pioneer minister of the Evangelical Church. She was one of the charter members of the church of that denomination at Cass City. Before the society erected a church here, they worshipped many times in the Striffler home which was thrown open with the generous hospitality of the pioneer days.
Mrs. Striffler was a good and kind mother and beloved by all her aquantances. She was at home by the bedside of the sick and delighted in all kind and neighborly deeds of helpfulness. Her life was one of usefullness. In such a death there is really no cause for grief. Her life work was done, and well done, and weary of suffering and waiting, she is now at rest.
The funeral service was held at the Evangelical church Tuesday afternoon, Rev. J.A. Schweitzer officiating. Interment was made in the family lot in Elkland cemetery.
Deceased is survived by two sons, Solomon and Samuel of Elkland township, one daughter, Mrs. Geo. Zinnecker of Owendale, two brothers Leonard Benkelman of Manitowoc, Wisc. and John Benkelman of Portage, Wisc., and two sisters, Mrs. Jno. Striffler and Mrs. M.M. Schwegler.
(Transcribed by Melinda McLemore Strong, Spring 2007)
A copy of her actual Michigan Death certificate can be seen online here:
Indexed as Louisa Striffler
- (Medical):See attached sources. 
||Strong Family Tree
||17 Aug 2014 |
||Johann Leonhard Benkelmann, b. 6 Feb 1796, Schneiderhof, Waldhausen Parish, Welzheim, Jagstkreis, Württemberg, Germany , d. 24 Feb 1848, Schneiderhof, Waldhausen Parish, Welzheim, Jagstkreis, Württemberg, Germany (Age 52 years) |
||Maria Dorothea Stähle, b. 5 Jan 1800, Börtlingen, Göppingen, Donaukreis, Württemberg, Germany , d. 22 Oct 1853, Transit to America, Lost At Sea (Age 53 years) |
||20 Nov 1822
||Schneiderhof, Waldhausen Parish, Welzheim, Jagstkreis, Württemberg, Germany [5, 9]
- BonnieMargaret and her husband Bruce visited Germany in September, 1980. In a letter to Ben and Avis dated October 13, 1980, she shared the following information "Then we were on to Börtlingen, where Adam and Catherine were married. The church there was built in 1484 and is one of the most beautiful we saw anywhere. I decided to see the village of Breech--for no particular reason except I that I'd heard Elsie Anthes speak of it and it had turned up in various records. WE had no real family association there--but it was nearby. What a stroke of dumb luck! Without that decision we might never have found the Schneiderhof, where Adam and his siblings were born and lived until they emigrated. The Schneiderhof is not a town and is not on any map. It's just a cluster of about 4 houses and supporting buildings, just down and across the road from Breech, and if you were looking away for just a second, you'd miss the sign to it.
I cannot tell you my excitement! ...There is nothing new there. Adam would recognize it as if he had never left. The tools and equipment are there as they have been for who knows how long. It is surrounded by orchards (apples) and small plots of vegetables. Börtlingen is on a hill and is lovely with good views. The Schneiderhof is on top of the world, looking out on miles of hills and valleys and villages. It is incrediably beautiful. Again I found myself out in some cabbage patch, trying to explain to some farmer that this was my family heimat (home)...Clearly Americans are accepted as eccentric and harmless!...Vocabulary doesn't reach the beauty of that hilltop and its vistas out over hazy valleys, looking at other hills where red tiled houses form little villages. I can just imagine it at night--looking out over perhaps two dozen sparkling little villages on other hills around. One climbs from Börtlingen to the Schneiderhof. But going down the back side of the mountain, through dense forest, the trail winds back and forth across the mountain into Waldhausen--which the Schneiderhof also looks down upon. This is the trip the family took to get to church, and probably to work."
In her 1981 unpublished manuscript, BonnieMargaret noted that only the top floor of the Benkelmann home shows from the road leading in. The house is three stories high on the back side, two stories high in the front. It was built in 1733, by the state, to provide housing for state licensed artisans who were not allowed in the town as guild craftsmen. Apparently it gained its name from its first inhabitants, since the name literally means "the place of tailors." The official state description of the Schneiderhof in 1845 states that it was a place with 22 Evangelical residents, lying on the mountain top about one-half an hours walk from Waldhausen. The rents were paid to the city of Göppingen, in 1845 twelve of those residents would have been Leonhard and Dorothea and their 10 living children, others would have included Leonhard's widowed mother and some of her children by Herr Heller, and likely their families. The land was described as rocky and and lying on a mountainside, "even today it is impossible to use machinery to work the land" and that the "people who lived there would have to have outside work." The house itself lies on the very crest of the mountain, with the house built on the downside of the mountain, overlooking Waldhausen. A very small patch of is on the level crest at the top of the mountain. When BonnieMargaret visited the home in 1981, she said it had four or five dwellings in all, and barns and sheds nearby the house and in the orchards. Just west of the house stands the old Bauernhaus, perhaps the homestead of Leonhard's maternal grandparents. The fields to the south were planted in potatoes and turnips, the high production crops that all of southern Germany turned to in the early 1800's. Beyond the westernmost buildings were apple orchards, beautiful and well tended. (pp. 68, 69 and accompanying photos).
BonnieMargaret also noted that German life centered in the family. Even today we're told that day to day life included few close relationships with people outside the family. Certainly they were cordial and friendly with neighbors and cooperating artisans, but the joy of living was carefully protected within the walls of the home. Country people had no protection but each other, and the trusted "other" were kinsmen. Unlike the towns that were structured to protect the citizens from difficult times, the country folk were on their own, in good and bad times. Parents carefully nutured the bonds of affection and caring, and though they may have experienced the sibling rivalry that modern children do, it was not expressed in the German home, where only mutual caring and consideration were approved and encouraged.
Names and birthdates for this family were from the Waldhausen Parish Kirchlichen Familienregister Band I, Blatt 244, Dekanat Welzheim, Schwäbisch Gmünd. BonnieMargaret noted that all the family information shown on pages 95 and 96 of her book were certified by Pastor Rau of the Ev. Pfarramt Waldhausen to be the complete record of the family of Johann Leonhard Benkelmann, with the exceptions of the dates of death, which were included by BonnieMargaret from other sources. They had one stillborn child, neither name or sex listed, on 4 July 1838. She also noted that they were married on November 20, but the year was illegible.
The family register for the family of Georg Friedrich Stähle and wife, Anna Maria Leins shows that Maria Dorothea was the fifth of their 15 children. She was married at the Schneiderhof on 20 Nov 1822, approximately 10 months after the birth of eldest son Friedrich.
||Benkelmann, Johann Leonhard and Dorothea (Stähle), Church Family Registry (German), page two|
German Church Family registry, second page, which lists the fifteen children born to Leonhard and Dorothea. Four of these children died young, the twelfth child was stillborn ("todgeborenes"), and the remaining 10 children all emigrated to the United States between 1849 and 1873.
||Striffler-Benkelman Annual Labor Day Family Reunion, 1936 Newspaper article|
In the mid 1850's, in Erie County, New York, two sons of Jacob & Otilla Striffler married two Benkelman sisters. Shortly after their marriages, the couples moved to the Michigan frontier, many of their brothers and sisters following them. The two families remained intertwined for subsequent generations. At a reunion of the Henry Striffler family in 1930 it was decided to enlarge the scope of the reunion to include descendants of Henry, Jacob, Joseph, Christian, John and Susan Striffler. Members and "in laws" of these families first gathered at the Assembly grounds in Sebewaing for a reunion in 1932. As the Benkelman-Striffler family had remained very close over the years, all branches of the Benkelman family were invited to their Sixth Reunion, and since that time it remained a joint event. This articles from the 1936 "Cass City Chronicle" details one of the earliest joint reunions. Attended by over 170 family members, the reunion was held on the John Striffler homestead northeast of Cass City, with attendees travelling from Ontario, Ohio and many places in Michigan. President W.D. STRIFFLER presided at a business meeting in 1936, and Harry HUNT, Mrs. S.G BENKELMAN (the former Mary Striffler), and Mrs. Ben SCHWEGLER (the former Joanna Mark) were elected officers for the ensuing year. The first volume of the STRIFFLER-BENKELMAN BROADCAST was published for the September 1936 reunion.
||Striffler-Benkelman Reunion 1954 Handbill|
Handbill advertising the annual Striffler-Benkelman Reunion, 1954, featuring Cass City's Main Street. At the fiftieth Striffler-Benkelman Reunion in 1981, Ruth Schenck Esau recalled a time when on Main Street, the owners of the newspaper, a farm implement store, both meat markets, the grocery store, paint store, insurance agency, funeral home, and photography studio were all members of the Striffler-Benkelman clan; not to mention a bank teller, many clerks, the music teacher, and many of the town's farmers.
||Striffler-Benkelman Reunion Photo, 1961|
Group Photo fromthe 30th Striffler-Benkelman Reunion, held September 4, 1961 at the Cass City Evangelical Church, founded by members of the Striffler and Benkelman families
Börtlingen 1683/1685 im Kieserschen Forstlagerbuch
||Group Sheet, Family chart
||Jacob Striffler, b. 31 Mar 1819, Kirberg, Imperial Territory of Alsace-Lorraine, Imperial Territory Of Alsace-Lorraine, Elsaß-Lothringen, Germany , d. 24 Sep 1895, Cass City, Tuscola County, Michigan (Age 76 years) |
||Lancaster, Erie County, New York [1, 2, 10]
- BonnieMargaret Jacobs wrote that Bob Benkelman had a copy of their marriage certificate from Lancaster, Erie County, NY. They were married by Reverand Christian Knapp, who had moved from Württemberg to Lancaster to head a Reformed congregation.
Louisa and Jacob had seven children in total, only three of whom survived into adulthood.
| ||1. Adaline Striffler, b. 1 Aug 1854, Lancaster, Erie County, New York , d. 1 Sep 1866, Cass City, Tuscola County, Michigan (Age 12 years)|
| ||2. John Leonard Striffler, b. Jun 1857, Lancaster, Erie County, New York , d. 29 Apr 1874, Cass City, Tuscola County, Michigan (Age ~ 16 years)|
| ||3. Solomon Striffler, b. 5 Apr 1859, Lancaster, Erie County, New York , d. 8 May 1936, Cass City, Tuscola County, Michigan (Age 77 years)|
| ||4. Lydia May Striffler, b. Abt 1866, Tuscola County, Michigan , d. 2 May 1874, Cass City, Tuscola County, Michigan (Age ~ 8 years)|
| ||5. Jacob Striffler, b. Mar 1870, Tuscola County, Michigan , d. 3 May 1874, Cass City, Tuscola County, Michigan (Age ~ 4 years)|
| ||6. Samuel Striffler, b. 28 Feb 1872, Michigan , d. 6 Nov 1954, San Diego, San Diego County, California (Age 82 years)|
| ||7. Lydia Striffler, b. 20 Nov 1874, Cass City, Tuscola County, Michigan , d. 7 Mar 1957, Billings, Yellowstone County, Montana (Age 82 years)|
||25 Jan 2014 |
||Group Sheet, Family chart
|Born - 14 Sep 1833 - Schneiderhof, Waldhausen Parish, Welzheim, Jagstkreis, Württemberg, Germany
|Married - Abt 1853 - Lancaster, Erie County, New York
|Died - 22 Oct 1910 - Cass City, Tuscola County, Michigan
|Buried - - Elkland Township Cemetery, Cass City, Tuscola County, Michigan
|| : Address
: Not Set
||Benkelman Immigrants, ca 1890's: Six of the Ten Benkelmann Children who emigrated from Württemberg, Germany to the United States|
Top Row, l to r, Lena Benkelman Schwegler, Maria Benkelman Striffler , Georg Benkelman, Louisa Benkelman Striffler
Bottom Row, l to r, Frederick Benkelman, Adam Benkelman
Children of Johann Leonhard Benkelmann and Maria Dorothea Stähle
Must have been taken while George was visiting Cass City from Denver, and sometime prior to 1897, when Frederick died
Wife of Jacob Striffler
B. 1833 Württemberg D. 1910 Michigan
||Striffler Reunion Photo, bet. 1908-1910|
Members of the John Striffler and Mary Benkelman family, around 1908-1910
Standing in the Back row, l to r, UNKNOWN woman in black, Esther Striffler Kaiser, Rudolph Kaiser, Cora Horn Striffler, George Albert Striffler holding his son Irvine, Pastor Schweitzer, Mattie Striffler, Archie Mark, Billy Bien
Seated in the Middle row, l to r, Salome Striffler Bien, Paul Bien, the wife of Pastor Schweitzer, Mary Mark Buehrly, Aunt Lena Benkelman Schwegler (sister of Mary), Martha Mark Darling, Emeline Striffler Mark
Front row, l to r, Mary Rommel Striffler (sister-in-law of John), Christian Striffler (brother of John), John Striffler, Mary Benkelman Striffler, Leonhard Benkelman (brother of Mary), Louisa Benkelman Stiffler (sister of Mary and widow of Jacob)
Seated on ground, l to r, Alma Mark Krahling Seegar, Stanley Bien, Lena Mark Schwegler
PLEASE HELP US IDENTIFY THE UNKNOWN WOMAN IN THIS PHOTO
- [S492] Peck, Edward Arthur THE TEN BENKELMANS WHO EMIGRATED TO AMERICA Ca. 1850s AND CERTAIN OF THEIR DESCENDANTS, 1982.
- [S653] Cass City Chronicle, P.O. Box 115, Cass City, Michigan 48726, Published continously since 1899, archived from 1899 through 2005 at http://newspapers.rawson.lib.mi.us/chronicle/, October 28, 1910 (Reliability: 3).
- [S1610] Jacobs, BonnieMargaret McDonald "The Family Benkelman" Unpublished Manuscript, 276 pages, October 1981 Version, (Copy owned by Barney Benkelman, Helena, Montana; which he xeroxed and sent to Melinda McLemore Strong in San Antonio, Texas), p. 95, 151, 156 (Reliability: 3).
- [S311] Bonnell, Kathy Brandt (email@example.com) "Göppingen, Württemberg, Germany and surrounding villages" http://wc.rootsweb.ancestry.com/cgi-bin/igm.cgi?db=kbonnell, (RootsWeb's WorldConnect Project: Göppingen, Württemberg, Germany and surrounding villages. This database is one large family tree; everyone is connected by birth or marriage. Many of the families were inputted from the family books which were compiled by the pastors of each village beginning in 1808. Villages include Heiningen, Bartenbach, Gruibingen, Faurdau, Schlat, Hattenhofen, Eislingen, Holzheim, Auendorf , Dürnau, Bezgenriet, Ebersbach , Maitis, Gammelshausen, Börtlingen, Boll, and others. Kathy Brandt Bonnell work directly from German records to the computer.).
- [S469] Williams, Dorothy Ball--Family Researcher (firstname.lastname@example.org) 3331 Southwest Villa Place, Palm City, FL 34990 ; based in part on BonnieMargaret Benkelman Jacob's unpublished typescript, THE FAMILY BENKELMAN.
- [S1610] Jacobs, BonnieMargaret McDonald "The Family Benkelman" Unpublished Manuscript, 276 pages, October 1981 Version, (Copy owned by Barney Benkelman, Helena, Montana; which he xeroxed and sent to Melinda McLemore Strong in San Antonio, Texas), p. 95, 151, and 156 (which shows 13 Sept 1833 in error) (Reliability: 3).
- [S29] State of Michigan, Department of State, Division of Vital Records, Death Certificate.
- [S1610] Jacobs, BonnieMargaret McDonald "The Family Benkelman" Unpublished Manuscript, 276 pages, October 1981 Version, (Copy owned by Barney Benkelman, Helena, Montana; which he xeroxed and sent to Melinda McLemore Strong in San Antonio, Texas), p. 151, 153, 156 (Reliability: 3).
- [S1610] Jacobs, BonnieMargaret McDonald "The Family Benkelman" Unpublished Manuscript, 276 pages, October 1981 Version, (Copy owned by Barney Benkelman, Helena, Montana; which he xeroxed and sent to Melinda McLemore Strong in San Antonio, Texas), p. 95 (Reliability: 3).
- [S1610] Jacobs, BonnieMargaret McDonald "The Family Benkelman" Unpublished Manuscript, 276 pages, October 1981 Version, (Copy owned by Barney Benkelman, Helena, Montana; which he xeroxed and sent to Melinda McLemore Strong in San Antonio, Texas), p. 151 (Reliability: 3).