John Manzenberger, the son of Franz Manzenberger and Theresa Lenz, was born January 18, 1861 in Bavaria, Germany. Nothing further is known about his parents or his childhood.
In the middle-1880s John was married in Germany. The name of his first wife has not yet been discovered. They had one son named Michael, who was born in 1887. John’s wife died either during childbirth or shortly after. In November of 1887, John immigrated to the United States, his port of entry appears to have been Chicago. John left his son Michael behind with Michael’s maternal grandparents. It is believed, but has not been confirmed, that Michael was a German soldier in World War One and was killed in action.
John ultimately settled in Bedford, Lawrence County, Indiana. There was an influx of Germanic speaking immigrants to the area at the time. Most came to work in the limestone quarries of the area. Once in Bedford, John married Miss Louisa Kern, who was also an immigrant from Bavaria, Germany. It also appears Louisa entered the United States through Chicago, but it is not known if John and Louisa met each other before their arrivals in Bedford.
John and Louisa were married November 17, 1888 in Bedford, Indiana. This is a copy of their marriage license on file at the Lawrence County Courthouse.
John and Louisa had eight children, seven surviving to adulthood.
Photo taken late 1898 or early 1899.
1. Joseph Michael Manzenberger 1889-1963
2. John Francis Manzenberger 1891-1964
3. Francis (Frank) Xavier Manzenberger 1893-1942
4. Catherine Grace Manzenberger 1895-1995
5. Lena Helen Manzenberger 1896-1898
6. Leo Albert Manzenberger 1898-1989
7. Mary Elizabeth Manzenberger 1900-1967
8. Rudolph Henry Manzenberger 1902-1989
John’s cause of death was stomach cancer.
John’s Naturalization paper. The dates on this document appear to be in error to some extent and have caused confusion during initial research.
Due to a fire that destroyed almost all of the 1890 Federal Census, John can only be found in the 1900 Enumeration.
John is listed in the 1895 Bedford City Directory.
1115 M Street, Bedford, IN. The house where John and Louisa lived with their children. John passed away here in 1908.
John is buried at Green Hill Cemetery, Bedford, Indiana next to his daughter-in-law, Zella (Williams) Manzenberger. Louisa is buried on the other side of this monument with her second husband, Victor Ardies.
John’s grave marker was cleaned and leveled by Stone Revival Historical Preservation, which is owned by Brad Manzenberger, a great-great-grandson of John.