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Leonhard Muehlfeld

Image Leonhard (or Leonard) MUEHLFELD was born either the 8th or 9th Sep 1835 in Wahlen, Hesse Darmstadt, Germany, the fourth child and fourth son of Peter MÜHLFELD and his wife Anna Maria KEIL. The priest wrote "eighth" and then in very small writing "ninth" on the German baptism record. My impression is that the priest wrote "ninth" as a correction and forgot to cross off the "eighth", so Leonhard's birthdate was probably the ninth. He was born in the afternoon at four o'clock and baptized that evening at 7 o'clock at the Catholic Church in Wald Michelbach, Hesse Darmstadt, Germany with the name Johann Leonard MÜHLFELD. His godfather was Johann Leonhard MÜHLFELD, the single son of Peter MÜHLFELD, citizen and master miller in Wahlen. 1

22 1/2 year old Leonhard left Wahlen, Germany for London, England in 1857 according to emigration information from the Hessen Darmstadt Archives. He accompanied his step-mother Margaret and half-siblings Adam, Peter, and Anna Maria on the trip from London to the United States aboard the "Plymouth Rock" arriving in New York on 25 Apr 1857. Apparently he had learned the trade of shoemaker in Germany as this is the occupation listed for the 22 year old Leonhard on the ship's passenger list.

Less than 2 months later, on 20 Jun 1857, Leonhard filed his declaration of intention to become an American citizen in Springfield, Clark County, OH.2 He officially became an American citizen on 23 Aug 1863 according to the naturalization papers also filed in Clark County, OH.3

1857 proved to be a busy year for Leonhard as still later that year he was married to Katharina KLING on 6 Oct 1857 in Springfield, Clark County, Ohio. They were married by James Ward, J.P. (justice of the peace).4
Katherine was born 25 Dec 1835, also in Hesse Darmstadt, Germany according to her obituary.

We find the family in the 1860 U.S. Federal Census in Mad River Twp., Clark Co., OH. 5 Leonhard and Katherine's first three children were born in Ohio. Census Records from 1870 to 1910 show the family in Frankenmuth Twp., Saginaw Co., MI.6, 7, 8, 9
Leonhard was a farmer and had property on King Rd., across the road from that of his father in Frankenmuth Township. This property later went to his son Valentine. He also had property on Reimer Rd., in Bridgport Township, Saginaw County, Michigan. This property was "just around the corner" from the King Rd. property and later went to Leonhard's son, John. I have been unable to locate Leonhard's widow, Katharina, in the 1920 Census. She is not with her children, Valentine, Christian, or Mary. She could possibly be living at this time with her son John in Bridgeport Township, Saginaw County, Michigan, but I can't find John or his family in the 1920 Census either. (Either the census taker missed them, or I am)

Leonhard and Katharina had 4 children together:
  • Valentine MUEHLFELD, 1858-1930
  • Christian MUEHLFELD, 1861-1936
  • Mary (MUEHLFELD) SCHAITBERGER, 1862-1949
  • John L. MUEHLFELD, 1876-1963

Leonard died 29 Jul 1917 at his home in Frankenmuth Township, Saginaw County, Michigan at the age of 81 years 10 months and 14 days. According to his death record, the cause of death was Chronic Intustral-de and his parents' names are Peter Muehlfeld and Margaret Kehl.10
Katherine died 29 Aug 1922 at the home of her daughter, Mary SCHAITBERGER, 206 Gage Street in the city of Saginaw, Saginaw County, MI.


Saginaw (Michigan) Courier Herald, Tuesday, July 31, 1917, p.3
Muelfeld - Leonard Muelfeld died at 12:30 o'clock Sunday at his home the King road, Frankenmuth township. Mr. Muelfeld was born in Germany, Sept. 15, 1835, coming to this country in 1856. October 6, 1857, he was united in marriage to Miss Katherine Kling who survives him with three sons and one daughter, Valentine of Frankenmuth, Christian and John of Bridgeport and Mrs. Michael Schaitberger, of this city. There is also one brother, Valentine of Ohio, and two sisters, Mrs. Barbara Goepel of Ohio and Mrs. Gertrude Walter of Amelith. Twelve grand children and five great grandchildren also survive. The funeral will take place Wednesday afternoon at 2 o'clock from the residence, Rev. E.W. Pusch of this city officiating. Burial will be in Blumfield.

Saginaw (Michigan) News Courier, Tuesday, August 29, 1922, p.8
Mrs. Catherine Muehlfeld, a resident of Saginaw county for over a half century, died Tuesday morning at the home of her daughter, Mrs. Mary Schaitberger, 206 Gage street. She was born at Hessen-damstadt, Germany, December 25, 1835, and came to this country in 1855. In 1856 was married at New York to Leonard Muehlfeld. They moved to Springfield, Ohio, where they lived for a while and then came to Saginaw County settling in Frankenmuth township where she lived for over 50 years, coming to Saginaw to live with her daughter, eight months ago. Her husband died in 1917.
She is survived by three sons and one daughter, Valentine Muehlfeld of Frankenmuth, Christian and John Muehlfeld of Bridgeport, Mrs. Mary Schaitberger of this city, (12?) grandchildren and three great grandchildren. Friends are asked to omit flowers.

Saginaw (Michigan) News Courier, Wednesday, August 30, 1922, p.8
Katherine Muehlfeld - The funeral of Mrs. Katherine Muehlfeld will take place Thursday afternoon at 2 o'clock from the home of her daughter, Mrs. Mary Schaitberger, 206 Gage street and will be private. Rev. Frederick Volz will officiate with burial in the Johnson cemetery, Blumfield. Friends are aksed to omit flowers.

Leonhard and Katharina are both buried in the Janson Cemetery on Bradley Rd. in Blumfield Twp., Saginaw Co. MI. Their gravestone is inscribed "MUHLFELD, Leonhard geb. 1835, gest. 19  ; Katharina geb. 1835, gest. 19  "

1. LDS Family History Library, Film number 996665, Katholische Kirche Wald Michelbach, Taufen 1808-1847, p. 352.
2. Clark County, Ohio, Court of Common Pleas, Volume 2, p. 37.
3. Clark County, Ohio, Court of Common Pleas, Volume 4, p.66.
4. Clark County, Ohio, Probate Court, Marriage Records, Volume 4, p. 464.
5. 1860 U.S. Federal Census, Ohio, Clark County, Mad River Township, p.3.
6. 1870 U.S. Federal Census, Michigan, Saginaw County, Frankenmuth Township, page 274R.
7. 1880 U.S. Federal Census, Michigan, Saginaw County, Frankenmuth Township, p.30.
8. 1900 U.S. Federal Census, Michigan, Saginaw County, Frankenmuth Township, District Number 35, Sheet Number 9, page 215B.
9. 1910 U.S. Federal Census, Michigan, Saginaw County, Frankenmuth Township, District Number 38, Sheets 2B and 3A.
10. Saginaw County, Michigan, Death Book G, p. 36, Record number 787.

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Muehlfeld Family Genealogy: Leonard Muehlfeld
Last updated Sunday, 14-Jan-2007 08:48:40 MST
Sandy Muehlfeld
1885 S. Beyer Rd.
Saginaw, MI 48601