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Friedrich 'Frederick' Gaumer


Friedrich "Frederick" Gaumer was born on Feb. 1, 1778 in Macungie Township, Lehigh County, PA, the son of Johann "Friedrich" and Catharina Barbara (Eisenhardt) Gaumer. When he was five weeks old, he was baptized on March 8, 1778, with Jacob Gaumer and Barbara Heiling serving as his sponsors.

Friedrich was married twice. On Oct. 27, 1801, he was joined in wedlock with his first wife, Salome "Sallie" Däsch ( ? - ? ), also spelled "Desch," daughter of German immigrants Adam and Gertrude Däsch.

Salome's father had emigrated from Württemberg and obtained land two miles south of Macungie Township, which he patented on Sept. 23, 1788. Later, in 1793, the father acquired an adjoining 179 acres from Conrad and Hannah Haas. During the American Revolutionary War, Salome's brother Philip is said to have been captured by Tories and died as a prisoner in Norristown, Montgomery County, PA.

The Gaumers produced four children -- Charles B. Gaumer, Hannah Gaumer, Susanna Gaumer and Samuel Gaumer Sadly, the youngest three died in infancy, all between the years 1804 and 1807. 

Later, by 1810, he was united in holy matrimony with Hannah Bader (1790-1857). There was a 12-year difference in their ages.

Friedrich and Hannah bore one son of their own, Elias Gaumer, born in 1810.

Friedrich passed away in 1811, at the age of 33, leaving behind his wife and two young sons.

Hannah lived for another 46 years. She joined him in death on Feb. 3, 1857, in her 67th year. She is interred in Solomons United Church of Christ Cemetery in Macungie. [Find-a-Grave]

This family is spelled out in Myrtle Knepper Weniger's work, The Gaumer Family and Allied Lines.


~ Son Charles B. "Carl" Gaumer ~

Son Charles B. "Carl" Gaumer (1802-1871) was born on April 6, 1802 in Macungie Township, Lehigh County.

He wedded Lucy Ann Snyder ( ? - ? ).

Their six offspring were Edward Benjamin Gaumer, Sarah Gaumer, James Aaron Gaumer, Charles Madison Gaumer, Sophia Gaumer and Josephine C. Gaumer.

He succumbed to the Angel of Death on March 1, 1871 in Macungie.

Lucy Ann's fate is not known.

Son Edward Benjamin Gaumer ( ? - ? ) married Alice S. ( ? - ? ) of Urbana, Champaign County, OH.

Daughter Sarah Gaumer

Son James Aaron Gaumer

Son Charles Madison Gaumer

Daughter Sophia Gaumer

Daughter Josephine C. Gaumer


~ Son Elias Gaumer ~

Son Elias Gaumer (1810-1842) was born on Oct. 2, 1810 in Macungie Township, Lehigh County.

Elias wedded Sophia Christman (Sept. 23, 1814-1908), daughter of Macungie hotel keepers George and Sarah (Fegely) Christman. 

They produced two children, Ann "Caroline" Wentzel and Maria Desch.

Sadness cascaded over the family when Elias died at the age of 32 on July 15, 1842 in Macungie. The cause of his passing is not yet known. His remains were placed into repose in the Solomons United Church of Christ Cemetery in Macungie. [Find-a-Grave]

The widowed Sophia, age 28, went on in 1848 to marry a second time to Henry Gabriel (1812-1887), an immigrant who arrived in 1839 from Herborn, Germany. He had been married before, to Cornelia Eggert/Eckert ( ? - ? ), and Sophia became stepmother to his two children, William H. Gabriel and Ellen T. "Ella" Gabriel.


In 1848, Elias Gaumer's widow Sophia married Henry Gabriel, founder of this mill, along the Little Lehigh River.


They also bore eight children of their own, among them George Gabriel, Sarah "Sadie" Lodge, Anna Helwig, Milton Gabriel, Mary Alice Deeths, Henrietta Gabriel, Emma Wilhelmina Gabriel and John Oscar Gabriel.

The mixture of the combined families totaled at least a dozen offspring.

The Gabriels relocated into the city of Allentown in 1850, and became occupants of a home at 704 Lawrence Street. There, Henry founded the Allentown Mills, also known as Henry Gabriel's Sons, "which he operated very successfully for many years," said the Allentown Leader. It was located "along the Little Lehigh at the foot of Water Street," said the Allentown Morning Call. Initially, the plant produced bedspreads, blankets, flannels and yarns. But it was destroyed by fire in August 1873.

When reconstructed, the mill "was a custom mill, and the farmers and country folk brought their wool to the mill to have it either carded, spun or woven into cloth, or simpoly corded and made into rolls, which were afterwards spun into yarns, by the women folks, and the yarn generally brought back so that coverlets might be made out of their own productions," said the 1905 book Historic Homes and Institutions and Genealogical and Personal Memoirs of the Lehigh Valley, volume 2, co-authored by John Woolf Jordan, Edgar Moore Green and George Taylor Ettinger.

Henry is said to have captured first prize for his products at the Centennial exhibition in Philadelphia in 1876.

The family belonged to the Zion Reformed Church.

At the age of 75, Henry died on Oct. 16, 1887.

Sophia outlived her second husband by more than two decades, remaining in her home with her unmarried daughter Emma at 704 Lawrence Street. At her 91st birthday, in 1905, the Allentown Morning Call reported that she "is still hale and hearty." Then at her 93rd birthday, the Morning Call said she was "in the best of health outside of a weakness of the limbs due to her advanced years [and] is unable to leave her room and occupies a large rocking chair. Her hearing is acute, her eyesight is good and her appetite is of the best."

Suffering from pneumonia, she passed into eternity on St. Patrick's Day 1908, at the age of 93. Rev. H.M. Klein and Rev. F.C. Seitz jointly led the funeral service. She sleeps for all time in Fairview Cemetery in Allentown.

Daughter Maria Gaumer (1836-1909) was born on Feb. 3, 1836. She married Rev. Henry Desch ( ? - ? ). The couple dwelled in Allentown. After Henry's death, Maria dwelled at 831 Jackson Street. Having contracted pneumonia, Maria passed away at the age of 72 on Jan. 25, 1909. Burial was in Macungie, and F.A. Fetherold signed the death certificate.

Daughter Ann "Caroline" Gaumer ( ? -1901) was born in (?). She married German immigrant, Charles G. Wentzel ( ? -1907), who had originated in Groesschonenau, Saxony and arrived in America in 1853. The Wentzels lived in the Eighth Ward. Their brood of offspring included William Wentzel, Christine Wentzel, Mrs. George Reinhard, Henry Wentzel, Frank Wentzel, Carrie Wentzel, George Wentzel and Mrs. John Schlegel. Charles earned a living as a carpet weaver. He was active in local politics, as a school board director and on the Select Council of the ward. They were members of Zion Reformed Church, and at one time taught in the infant department of the Sunday School. He also belonged to the Lecha Castle of the Knights of the Golden Eagle. Their address was 440 North Seventh Street. Charles became seriously ill in mid-1899 and was off work for 20 weeks. Sadly, at the age of 64 years, five months and eight days, Caroline passed into eternity on Sept. 28, 1901. Funeral services were held in the family home. An obituary in the Allentown Morning Call invited "relatives, friends and the Beneficial Society of Zion's Reformed Church" to attend the funeral. Burial was in Allentown Cemetery. Charles outlived his wife by six years. For the last five years of his life, Charles shared a home with his married daughter Mrs. George Reinhard. He suffered a stroke and died several days later at the age of 83 on Sept. 24, 1907. Co-officiating at his funeral service were Rev. H.M.J. Klein and Rev. I.F. Bergstresser. An obituary in the Allentown Leader said he "was the last of his family."

  • Grandson William Wentzel
  • Granddaughter Christine Wentzel
  • Granddaughter (?) Wentzel married George Reinhard.
  • Grandson Henry Wentzel
  • Grandson Frank Wentzel
  • Granddaughter Carrie Wentzel
  • Grandson George Wentzel
  • Granddaughter (?) Wentzel wedded John Schlegel

Sophia's stepson William H. Gabriel (1844- ? ) was born in about 1844. At the age of 16, in 1860, he was an apprentice machinist working in his father's wool mills. He did not marry.

Sophia's stepdaughter Ellen T. Gabriel (1847- ? ) was born in about 1847. She was a teacher in Allentown from 1867 to 1919 and was pictured and featured in the Aug. 11, 1936 edition of the Morning Call.

Sophia's son George Gabriel (1850- ? )

Sophia's daughter Sarah "Sadie" Gabriel (1851- ? ) was born in 1851. She was united in the bonds of matrimony with Charles V. Lodge. Their children were Henry Lodge, Mary Lodge, John Lodge, George Lodge and Harold Helwig "Harry" Lodge and perhaps also Benjamin Lodge.

Sophia's daughter Anna M. Gabriel (1852-1934) was born on May 27, 1852. She was joined in wedlock with Elias O. Helwig ( ? - ? ). In her widowed years she made a home with her presumed son John R. Helwig at 102 South Madison Street. At the age of 82, she died of a stroke on June 29, 1934. Interment of the remains was in Fairview Cemetery, and John R. Helwig signed the death certificate.


Milton's bio, Historic Homes and Institutions
Courtesy Google Books

Sophia's son Milton Stephen Gabriel (1853- ? ) was born in 1853. He is profiled a length in the 1905 book Historic Homes and Institutions and Genealogical and Personal Memoirs of the Lehigh Valley, volume 2, co-authored by John Woolf Jordan, Edgar Moore Green and George Taylor Ettinger.

Sophia's daughter Mary "Alice" Gabriel (1855-1882) was born in about 1855. She married George W. Deeths ( ? - ? ). The couple did not reproduce. Grief overcame the family when Alice contracted tubercular spinal meningitis and died on March 31, 1882, at the age of 27 years, two months and 10 days. A death notice appeared in the Allentown Democrat.

Sophia's daughter Henrietta Gabriel (1856- ? ) was born in 1856. She did not marry.

Sophia's daughter Emma Wilhelmina Gabriel (1858-1912) was born on June 4, 1858. She never married. For many years, she dwelled with her widowed mother at 704 Lawrence Street in Allentown. At the age of 54, suffering from tuberculosis and having lapsed into a uremic coma, she died in Allentown on Nov. 3, 1912.

Sophia's son John Oscar Gabriel (1859- ? ) was born in late 1859 or early 1860. He was joined in holy wedlock with Kathryn Guiley ( ? - ? ). The couple did not reproduce.

Copyright 2000, 2015, 2016, 2018-2020 Mark A. Miner

Myrtle (Knepper) Weniger's work, The Gaumer Family and Allied Lines, has contributed to this biography.