John (Johann) Manzenberger was born January 18, 1861 in Sonndorf, Bavaria, Germany, the son of Franz Manzenberger and Theresa Lenz. At the moment we know that John had a brother named Valentin who died at the age of three months in 1857 and a sister named Theresa born in 1858.
John was twice married. His first wife was Thresea Bauer. They were married in Germany in 1884.
John and Theresa had a son named Michael, born 1887. I have a copy of a German birth certificate that I believe is that of our Michael Manzenberger. It is my speculation that John’s first wife died during childbirth or shortly after from complications of childbirth.
John entered the United States in November 1887. Michael was born in September 1887. My speculation is that John and his first wife had long planned the move to America and after her death it was decided that John would continue with their plans. Michael remained in Germany with his maternal grandparents. I have found reference to a Michael Manzenberger killed in World War I while in the German Army. I have not verified that it is our Michael.
The records I have found do not show a port of entry but I believe he entered through Chicago.
John worked in stone quarries around Bedford, Indiana. I suspect the availability of work in the local quarries at the time was the reason for the move from Germany. There was, at that time, a large influx of Germanic speaking people to the area for work in the stone industry.
John was married second to Louisa Kern, also from the same region of Bavaria, Germany. I do not know if they knew each other prior to immigrating or if they met in Bedford. They were married on November 16, 1888. Some of the dates on the marriage license do not make sense.
John and Louisa Manzenberger had eight children, seven survived to adulthood.
Joseph Michael Manzenberger 1889-1963
John Francis Manzenberger 1891-1964
Francis (Frank) Xavier Manzenberger 1893-1942
Catherine Grace Manzenberger 1895-1995
Lena Helen Manzenberger 1896-1898
Leo Albert Manzenberger 1898-1989
Mary Elizabeth Manzenberger 1900-1967
Rudolph Henry Manzenberger 1902-1989
John lived with Louisa and the children at 1115 North M Street, Bedford, IN.
John died of stomach cancer March 16, 1908.
He was buried at Green Hill Cemetery in Bedford, IN next to his daughter-in-law Zella (Williams) Manzenberger who died of complications from the flu in 1919. John’s wife is in the same family plot next to her second husband Victor Ardies.