John William Vossler (-3G)
*marks my direct-line ancestors. The (-3G), etc. after the names indicates the number of generations before Erven Thoma and shis siblings.
- - - - - in St. Louis and Illinois (until ca 1890) - - - - -
The 1864 St. Louis City Directory lists a Christopher Vossler [John's father], a tailor, living at 194 N. 10th St. The 1865 Directory does not list any Vossler family.
Brother Theodore (-3G) was born ca 1866 in Missouri.
The 1866 St. Louis City Directory lists a Christoph Vossler, a tailor, working for Ticknor & Co., living on 13th St. between Cass Ave. and Mullanphy. The 1867 Directory list him as a tailor living at 1516 N. 13th St. in St. Louis.
Sister Sophia (-3G) was born ca 1868 in Missouri.
The 1868 and 1869 St. Louis Directories do not list Christoph Vossler. Since he and the family (inc. John) are in the 1870 Census for St. Clair County, IL, the family probably moved there in 1867 or 1868.
John is listed in the 19 Jul. 1870 Fed. Census for South Illinois Census Index (p. 32) along with his parents and siblings. They are living in the O'Fallon P.O. area, township 2 house #229, of St. Clair County. John's father is listed as a taylor, 45 years old, born in Prussia. The real estate is valued at $800 and the personal property at $400. The last name is spelled "Vosseler". The census was taken July 19. The ages of the John and his siblings are: Johanna (17), Cicilia (13), Theresia (10), Christopher (8), John (6), Theodor (4), and Sophia (2). His wife, Sibilla, is 44, born in Prussia, keeping house. Johanna was born in Prussia, all the other children in Missouri. (microfilm roll 280, p. 514, Series M593)
His father and a couple of his brothers are listed in the St. Louis City Directories for the years 1874-81:
The 1880 Fed. Census for Missouri (1st enumeration) includes John, his parents and siblings (supv. dist. 1, enum. dist. 104, page 2B, dwelling 10, family 21, dated 01 June). The surname is spelled Vassler in the Ancestry.Com Census index. They are living at 2119 Thirteenth Street in St. Louis. The father, Christof, is 55 years old and is a tailor. He and his parents were born in Germany. The mother, Sebilla, is also 55 years old. She and her parents were born in Germany. The first child listed is a daughter Secilia [sic! Cecilia] who is 22 and was born in Missouri. The second child, daughter Teresia. These two daughters are bookbinders. The third child is the son Christ, a plumber, who is 18. The fourth child is John who is 16. He might be a clerk. The last listed child is Therdor [sic! Theodor] who is a lithographer. All children were born in Missouri and are single. [Daughter Johanna is married living elsewhere and daughter Sophia died in 1874.]
The 1880 Fed. Census for Missouri (2nd enumeration) includes John and his parents' family (Natl. Archives T9-0732, St. Louis wards 13-15, supv. dist. 71, enum. dist. 259, stamped p. 123A, page 5, dwelling 33, family 45, dated 09 Nov). The surname is misspelled as "Vossla". I discovered the Census entry by using the LDS 1880 Census Index and searching on the given name Christopher and the letter "V" and the state. Later I revisited the Census on Ancestry.Com. John is 17 years old, born in Missouri, and is a reporter. His father and mother are both 55 years old and were born in Germany. The father, Christopher, is a tailor. He and his parents were born in Germany. The mother, Sebilla, is keeping house. She and her parents were born in Germany. John's siblings, all born in Missouri, are daughters Cecelia (23) and Theressa (21), and sons Christopher (18), and Theadore [sic! Theodore] (15). The two daughters have no occupation; Christopher is a plumber, and Theadore is a lithographer. They are living at 2119 N. 13th Street.
The 1880 St. Louis City Directory lists John W. Vossler separately, as a clerk employed with Holland & Allen. He is living with his parents and siblings at 2119 N. 13th St. The 1881 St. Louis City Directory lists John W. Vossler as a reporter living at 2119 N. 13th St. with his parents and siblings.
The 1882 Directory lists John W. Vossler, reporter at Holland & Allen, living at 2119 N. 13th St. with his mother and brother Theodore. The 1883 Directory lists John W. Vossler, stenographer for Holland & Allen, living at 2119 N. 13th with his mother and brother Theodore. The 1884 Directory has the same info as in 1883.
John's mother, Sibilla, died on 27 Jul. 1885 in St. Louis and was buried in Calvary Cemetery in St. Louis..
The 1886 Directory lists John W. Vossler, stenographer at The Mo. Pacific Railroad Co. located on the west side of 7th near Poplar, living at 4330 N. 19th. He is living with his brother Theodore. The 1887 Directory lists John W. Vossler, stenographer, residing at 4330 N. 19th. Theodore, his brother and engineer, is living with him. The 1890 St. Louis City Directory lists John W. Vossler as a stenographer boarding at Hotel Belvedere.
- - - - - move to Texas (ca 1890) until his death (May 1939) - - - - -
John moved to Palestine, Texas after 1890 to work with the railroad. He was certainly in Texas before Sep. 1891 because he married Rena Priscilla Mears (-3G) on 30 Sep. 1891 in Palestine, Texas. Also, His son James was born on 11 Aug. 1892 in Texas (FHL IGI film #1728266)
His brother Theodore (-3G) died on 02 Aug. 1893 in Denver, CO and was buried on 08 Aug. in Calvary Cemetery in St. Louis.
His daughter Alma was born on 02 Oct. 1894 in Palestine. He moved to Palestine to work with the railroad.
In the 1900 Fed. Census for Texas (vol. 1, e. dist. 5, sheet 15, line 24), we see Jas W Vossler living at 814 Magnolia St. in Palestine, Anderson County. He is 36 years old, born in Missouri in Feb. 1864. His wife, Rena, is 32 years old, born in Texas in Mar. 1868. Son Jas. M. is 7 and was born in Aug. 1892 in Texas. Daughter Alma is 5 and was born in Sep. 1894 in Texas. Also living there is Mary E. Mears, John's mother-in-law who is 52 years old, born in Jul. 1847 in Texas and Kate Mears, his sister-in-law, 23 years old, born in Oct. 1876 in Texas.
A gazetteer for the United States from a time just after 1900 states that the International and Great Northern R.R. was in Palestine, TX. Palestine was the county seat for Anderson County and had 8,297 people in 1900. It is located 152 miles north of Houston at 31° 45' N and 95° 39' W
Brother Christopher died on 22 Dec. 1902 in St. Louis, MO.
In the 1910 Fed Census for Texas (enum. district 9, supv. district 7, sheet 2, line 46) we see John Vossler, 46 years old, born in Missouri, living in Palestine, Texas. He is working for the railroad as a clerk. Both his parents were born in Germany. His wife, Rena, is 42 years old, born in Texas of a father born in Missouri and a mother born in North Carolina. They have been married 19 years and have had 2 children. Their son, James M. Vossler is 18 and was born in Texas. He does not yet have an occupation. Their daughter Alma is 15, also born in Texas and without an occupation. They own the house in Palestine.
The 1915 Houston City Directory shows John W. Vossler, clerk for the International and Great Northern Railroad, residing at 1906 Caroline. The 1917 Houston Texas City Directory lists John W. Vossler, stationer for I & G.N., residing at 1603 Crawford, Houston, Texas, His daughter Alma is living there too. The 1918 Houston Directory shows John Wm. Vossler, stationer for I & G. N., residing at 1207 Polk Ave.
There is a John W. Vossler in the 1920 Fed. Census for Texas (vol. 88, e. dist. 57, sheet 18, line 64). The surname is misspelled "Vosler". John is 55 years old which falls in line with the estimated birth years given above (ca 1864). He was born in Missouri and is now living in Marshall, Harrison County. He is a roomer at 203 East Rusk. The head of household is Mattie McBride. John is an agent for a railroad company. Also living there is Rena Vossler, John's wife who is 51 years old and was born in Texas. Their daughter, Alma, is 25 years old and is single and was born in Texas. Rena and Alma do not have an occupation. [Their son, James, is married, living on his own.] (precinct 3, T625_1815).
John also worked for Union Pacific R.R. in Palestine (perhaps as a result of a rairoad merger).
The 1930 Fed. Census for Texas (T626_2287, enum. dist. 1, page 4B, dated April 5) shows John and his wife (lines 65-66, dwelling #78, family #97). They are living at 1008 Cedar St. in Palestine city, Palestine Township, Anderson County (precinct 1, ward 1). John W. Vossler, is 65 years old born in Missouri, married at age 27. His parents were both born in Germany. He was an employee of the railroad. He is not in school but can read, write, and speak English. His wife, Rena is 62 years old, born in Texas, married at age 22. Her father was born in Tennessee and her mother in North Carolina. No occupation is listed. She is not in school but can read, write, and speak English.
About 1931 he suffered a stroke and he was hospitalized at the "railroad" hospital in Palestine. This I. G. N. RR. hospital was run by theSisters of Charity, a Catholic order. This fact was interesting because it is said that John was rather critical of Catholics. A living relative said that after the stroke he could not speak and tears would roll down his face in an effort to communicate something. Another living relative said he spoke only in German [but he was not born in and did not live in Germany, though his parents did]. His wife Rena moved from Palestine, TX to Houston, TX to live with their son and daughter-in-law. According to a living relative, his wife and son would travel from Houston to Palestine to visit him often.
The 1935 Houston Texas City Directory lists Mrs. Rena Vossler residing at 1614 Elgin Ave. but does not list her husband John. The same is true of the 1936 Houston Directory.
His sister Cecilia (-3G) may have died in California in Sep. 1937 (see the California Death Index).
His wife died 1 Nov. 1938 in Houston and was buried in Forest Park Lawndale Cemetery in Houston.
John W. Vossler is not in the S.S. Death Index. According to a living descendant, he died 24 May 1939 in Houston (or Palestine), TX and is buried in Forest Park Lawndale Cemetery, 6900 Lawndale Ave. in Houston, TX (Sec. 23, lot 5). Indeed, a visit to that cemetery proves that he is buried there and that he died on the 24th.
There is a John Vossler from Missouri (#487-07-8252, issued in MO before 1951) born 4 Aug. 1879. Is he related to the above? He died in May 1963.
His sister Theresia (-3G) died 14 Oct. 1942 in Riverside, CA.
Some of the information on this page and one of the pictures was supplied by living relatives. Appreciation is extended.
Created Tue, Apr 25, 2000. Updated on 28 Mar. 2006.