History of the Seibold Family
1813 - 1926

 It shall be the purpose of this sketch to record for posterity the lineage of the SEIBOLD family, so far as it is available at the present time. May its descendants find it a source of inspiration and pride to meditate upon the sterling qualities which marked their worthy ancestors, who, like the patriarchs of old, left their kin and embarked for a new and strange country, never again to behold the place which memory endured and enriched with all the charm and beauty that the name “FATHERLAND” implies. Cheerfully they bore the hardships, and patiently the privations incident to so great a venture; ceaselessly and ardently they toiled to establish their new home.

May they be tendered the admiration and respect they so richly deserve, and may their off-spring constantly endeavor to emulate the example of their forefathers. The faith and sincerity; the honesty and integrity; the industry and thrift, which characterized them shall be a heritage unto all the succeeding generations. May the memory of those long since departed be cherished in the hearts of those who bear their name.

(or Balthas)

The son of Johann Phillip Seibold and Friedericke Hess, was born on July 18th, 1812, in the little town of Fellbach near the beautiful city of Stuttgart in southern Germany, and this was also the home of his ancestors. His father and mother succumbed to a typhoid epidemic and left the hapless orphan, only 1 ½ years old, and his brothers and sisters to the mercy of relatives and friends. For several years he was cared for by his grandparents, then upon their death, came into a family named Morgenthal, who very diligently collected the allowance which had been set apart for his support, and gave as little as possible in return. He was unceremoniously introduced to hard work and his early years were devoid of the love and sympathy which is a child’s rightful inheritance. In the womanly heart of Friederike Neeff he found that which he had so long been deprived of, and they were wedded in the year 1838, when he had attained the age of 25 years, and his wife 23. They operated a small farm and planted their vineyards, employing some help.

Eight, fine, healthy children came to bless their household; four boys and four girls, as follows:

Frederick J. born Aug. 27, 1839
Friederike born Nov. 28, 1840
Wilhelmina born Dec. 13, 1841
August born Feb. 21, 1843
Karolina born Oct. 27, 1844
William H. born Apr. 13, 1847
Ernest born Sep. 13, 1849
Bertha born Jan. 17, 1851

These children were baptized in the Lutheran Church, attended the public school, and assisted their parents in their work and vineyard.

Bad seasons, crop failures, and a strong immigration to America in 1853 and 1854, gave rise to the thought of setting out for the new continent. Frederick and Friederike, the two oldest children, with youthful ardor declared their intention of accompanying their father and mother, and jointly they succeeded in converting the other members of the family to the project. The farm was sold and they left their old home on June 1, 1854, traveling through France to the seaport Havre, where they set sail on June 16, on a fine, new ship from Boston, called the Marciaday. They were seven weeks enroute because of a long spell of calm, still weather. About a week before reaching New York, off the coast of Newfoundland, the boat almost ran upon a rock due to a heavy fog and a careless sailor on the look-out. Another sailor caught sight of the rock and alarmed the Captain, who gave hurried orders, and helped the man at the stern, the danger being averted before half of the passengers were aware of it. The Fourth of July was celebrated on board ship by the officers and sailors donning their best clothes.

On August 3rd, they landed in New York; and two pleasant days were spent in Brooklyn with relatives of the father. In the evening of the second day the family boarded a steamboat on the Hudson River, and arrived in Albany before morning. They proceeded in an immigrant train to Buffalo, stopped there one day, thence in a steamboat to Detroit. On Lake Erie the boat carried a cargo of coffee on deck and the family had been disporting themselves on these coffee sacks as best they could. In the evening a kind-hearted officer directed them to some unoccupied berths in the staterooms and they were comfortably established for the night. Some hours later the boat was rammed by another vessel, and the place where they had been sitting was literally covered with wreckage. The protecting arm of God was ‘round about them and kept them from harm.

From Detroit they journeyed to Chicago in an immigrant train, consisting of cattle cars; then to LaSalle in a passenger train, waiting two days in LaSalle for a boat to Peoria. Progress from there was very slow, as there was not enough water in the Illinois River to float the boat. In Hennepin they were actually grounded. This last lap of their journey required two days. There were no supplies on board, and father was obliged to go on shore to find food. He returned with a basket of hard-boiled eggs, a pitcher of milk, and some crackers, which he had procured at a farm house, and so allayed the pangs of the hungry family.

In Peoria, they were met by old friends (the Schwab family), who had been neighbors in the fatherland, and were given a hearty welcome. They rented a small house in Bloomstown from a man named Bloom, in the territory between Spring and Green Streets, and lived there over the winter, Father obtaining work as a laborer. In the spring of 1855, they purchased five acres of land in South Peoria, in the Griswold Addition, built a home, and established a market-gardening business which is still flourishing at the present day.

Mother Friederike passed to the great beyond on December 30th,1887, at the age of 72 years. She was indeed a devoted wife and mother; her life was spent in sacrificial service for her loved ones. An injury to her hip, sustained in a fall, hastened her death.

Father Baldus’ call came five years later on the 26th day of December, 1892, while living at the home of his daughter, Mrs. Karolina Krause, on Griswold Street. He was a man in the deepest sense of the world and word; a strong and steadfast; righteous and true, and he enjoyed the esteem of all who knew him. His life was well lived and his rest well earned.


The eldest son of the family, at the age of fifteen years, secured employment in Stewart’s Bakery on North Washington Street, later, he assisted Mr. Moenninghof in the Peoria House, then the leading Hostelry in Peoria, where it was his privilege to see the famous Lincoln-Douglas Party. In 1859 he decided to see more of this country, and went to St. Louis. He hired out as cook on steamboats running up and down the Mississippi River and the Illinois and Missouri Rivers, and continued this work for several years until the Civil War broke out and the steamboats stopped running. He enlisted in the Eleventh Regiment of the Illinois Calvary, and served three years, keeping his health until the third year. Then nearly all of the boys became ill, and many, many graves were filled with heroes. When Frederick was paid off at Memphis, Tennessee on December 20th, 1864, he was scarcely able to stand on his feet. Home and father and mother were a welcome sight to the sick and weary soldier who arrived on the day after Christmas.

By early spring he had somewhat regained his strength and went to work for his brother-in-law, Wendelin Kneer, at the Railroad Exchange Hotel, and remained there one year. In February 1866, he entered into partnership with George Schaefer of Henry, Illinois, who had been his comrade in arms, and together they conducted a bakery and restaurant. On the 24th of June, 1867, he was married to Mary Ohl of Peoria, whom he had met several years before, and in May 1868, they moved to Sparland, Il, where he continued his chosen profession until he died, February 26th, 1926, his beloved wife having preceeded him on June 14, 1914. Their union was blessed with seven children, four boys dying in infancy.

To Frederick J. Seibold must be accredited the assemblage held here today. It was his pleasure to gather the members of his family about him on the anniversary of his birth, August 27, and from year to year the company increased until the happy thought of an Annual Seibold Reunion evolved. The organization was perfected on Aug. 30, 1925, about 150 members of the clan being in attendance at South Park, and the occasion proved a most enjoyable one to all present, perhaps especially so to Uncle Fred who sensed that it would be his last earthly reunion with the family.


The eldest daughter was married on February 28, 1861 to John Zimmerman, who lived on a farm near Washington, Illinois. They occupied a staunch, pioneer log cabin home, and eleven children were there born to them, one son dying when he reached young manhood. Mr. Zimmerman followed him on January 5, 1905, and for a time the family continued on the old home place. The fourth son, Fred, then moved to Washington, Il. and organized the Washington Dairy. This concern has remarkedly prospered, until today Washington Dairy milk is a household word in hundreds of Peoria homes. The business has assumed large proportions, and embraces not only the general dairy products, but also restaurant service, and the manufacture of ice cream.


At the age of 13 years, found work in the Washington House, where she remained for many years. Her efficiency and superior cooking became reknowned. On July 6th, 1862, just before her brother Frederick departed for the Army, she was united with Wendelin Kneer in marriage. Mr. Kneer had been working on the farm of Sheriff Riggs in Scotland Prairie. They purchased the Railroad Exchange Hotel, and operated the same for 29 years, then retired to a small farm on Lincoln Avenue. Mr. Kneer was injured in a fall which resulted in his death on November 18, 1892. Mrs. Kneer continued the farm for a time, but later, upon the advice of her children, moved to a home on North Madison Avenue, where she was called to her final rest on her birthday, December 12th, 1918, her age being 77 years. Eight children constituted this family; four of whom still live.


The second son, when he had reached a man’s estate, started out with a friend to see California. They made the trip in a covered wagon, as was customary in those days, and returned home by way of New York. He joined his brother-in-law, Mr. Kneer, in the Railroad Exchange, and together they conducted this hotel for a number of years. He then assumed charge of the Central Park, which was Peoria’s only recreation place at that time. He found a help-mate in the person of Susanna Sommers, and they were wedded in October 1871. To them were born ten children, eight of whom survive. After leaving the Central Park, they moved on a farm near the upper free bridge, where the widow still resides. His death occurred on May 29, 1905.


She was married on October 18th, 1863 to Charles Krause. His original profession was painting, but ill health forced him to abandon his trade and he took up gardening. He purchased a number of acres in the Griswold Addition in South Peoria, adjoining his wife’s homestead, and this property is still owned and occupied by members of his family after 61 years. Ten children came to grace this household, four preceeding their father, who died on November 20th, 1922. Mr. & Mrs. Krause, in 1892, crossed the ocean and visited Europe and the old home.


He and Miss Johanna Lemke were married on Thanksgiving Day in the year 1871. To him belongs the distinction of literally following his father’s footsteps. The original property and homestead came into his possession in 1872, and the market gardening business established by his father is still carried on by his family, enhanced and enlarged, an unbroken record of 71 years, and one of which he may be justly proud.

The golden wedding anniversary of Mr. & Mrs. William H. Seibold was observed with appropriate celebration on November 29th, 1921. They were honored by a large company of relatives and friends who came to offer their congratulations upon the happy event. Fifty years of united effort and endeavor, in joy and sorrow, sunshine and rain, is a favor not commonly bestowed on mortals, and this fact was given due recognition.


The youngest son remained unmarried. He followed the blacksmith trade for a time, and died at the age of 47 years on November 13th, 1901.


The youngest child of Baldus and Friederike Seibold, became the bride of Andrew Zimmerman on June 28th, 1869. He was a brother of her eldest sister’s husband, and was associated with the Strehlow and Wetzlau Liquor Firm on Fulton Street. When the call came for service in the Civil War, he enlisted in the Eighty-second Company of Illinois Volunteers, and was seriously wounded in battle. He succeeded in dragging himself from the scene of action, and for four days lay without medical attention or aid. The report came to his family that he had been lost, and they mourned him sadly though prematurely. The hardship and exposure which he endured left a permanent imprint upon him, and he suffered from the effects until his death, January 15th, 1915. Seven children were the pride of those parents, one of whom they mourn.

In conclusion, may it be stated that Monday August 16, 1926, marked the 72nd anniversary of the arrival of the Seibold family in Peoria. A record which but few Peorians are able to boast.
It is meet that a fitting tribute be paid to the brave pioneers, who laid so splendid a foundation in the long ago and contributed so largely to the good of the community.

And, -- THANKS BE UNTO GOD, who gave so bountifully of His blessings to this great family; who endowed them with virtue and strength, and gave them both the will and to do of his good pleasure.


Copyright © Janine Crandell & Karen Madvig
All rights reserved
Updated September 8, 2006