MEHM and ELIZABETH BRAHL
Brahl Mehm and her sons came over from Hesse-Darmstadt (Germany)
some time in the 1860's. Her husband's name could have been Wendall,
and he apparently did not come to the US with his family. He probably
died in Germany before they came over.
The 1870 W-B Census lists a Mary Mehm, living with her children
Lewis, Franklin, Charles and Caroline in Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania.
Next door was living a Joseph Mehm and his wife Matilda. I would
guess Joseph was another son of Mary(Elizabeth). There is confusion
as to why the mother's name was listed as Mary, she could have been
Mary Elizabeth or Elizabeth Mary.
Elizabeth was born about 1818 probably in Hesse-Darmstadt. Her brother
Christopher was born in Hunfeld, near the city of Fulda.
The 1889 Wilkes-Barre City Directory listed an Elizabeth Mehm, widow
of Wendall, living with Frank Mehm. Wendall may have been the father's
name. But her brother Christopher Brahl's obituary lists his sister
as Elizabeth Brahl Helfert. It's possible she remarried a man named
Helfert in Wilkes-Barre. Elizabeth is buried in Mt. Greenwood Cemetery,
Trucksville, PA, with her son Frank's family.
GREAT-GRANDFATHER CHARLES MEHM Sr. was born in Hesse, Germany in
1853. He immigrated to the United States around 1865 or 1870, depending
on which Census report you believe. I first located him living in
the town of Salina, Kansas according to the 1880 Kansas census records.
At that time he was a farmer living in Saline County with his wife
Agatha GRIESHABER and their one year old daughter Mary, who was
born in Kansas City. Their son William was born in Kansas City also,
in 1880. The family moved to Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania, some time
between 1880 and March 1882, when my grandfather Charles Andrew
was born. Charles Sr. died February 22, 1931, in Wilkes-Barre.
WIFE AGATHA GRIESHABER WAS BORN IN 1857 in Baden, Germany. Her father
was listed as Wilhelm GRIESHABER, and her mother Victoria HALL.
Agatha's name appears in the publication, "Germans To America" Volume
27, as arriving in New York on May 20, 1872 on the ship "Vandalia".
She came over with her sister Therese, (who was two years older
than Agatha). The ship left Germany from the port of Hamburg. Two
other familiar surnames traveling on that ship were Xaver SUPPLE,
age 53, a farmer with his family, and Fr. KRACHENFELS, age 17, a
laborer. Agatha died May 18, 1909, in Wilkes-Barre.
I don't have a photo of Agatha, but would love to find one.
CONTACTED THE Smoky Valley Genealogical Society in Salina, Kansas,
and they were kind enough to do some research for me. They discovered
and sent me a copy of Charles and Agatha's marriage license, dated
October 19, 1878. At that time Charles' age was listed as 25 and
Agatha 22. They were married by the first Catholic priest in Salina.
The Sacred Heart parish still exists where they were married, but
some records are missing for that period of time. Therefore no baptismal
records were found for their children Mary and William. Clck
Here to view an image of Charles and Agatha's marriage license.
The genealogical society also found and sent me copies of the township
plots and parcel of land they lived on and farmed. They were not
identified as the owners of the property.
I DON'T KNOW but would love to find out:
Did Charles and Agatha know each other before they moved to Kansas?
Why did Charles move out to Kansas, was there an offer of free land,
for farming it for a length of time?
How did they travel, wagon train? train? other means?
Why did they move to back East to Pennsylvania? To be close to the
rest of the family? Got burned out on the farming situation?
According to John Mehm, son of George L. Mehm, the story was handed
down that the move from Kansas followed an incident involving lightning
striking a tree in Salina, Kansas. The story was handed down by
Carl, son of William Mehm who heard it when he was a child. Anyone
with more information on this, please let me know.
Questions, questions, questions.
So many questions, not enough answers.
GRANDFATHER CHARLES ANDREW MEHM was born in Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania,
March 26, 1882. In addition to siblings Mary and William, he had
five younger brothers and sisters born in Wilkes-Barre: Frederick,
Anna, Helen, Harry and Edward. Charles lived on Park Avenue all
his life, and worked 45 years as a machinist at Vulcan Iron Works
in Wilkes-Barre. He served in the Army, 109th Field Artillery about
1907/08/09. Charles married Jeanette D. KLINE in 1911. Charles played
the Cornet in several German bands for many years, such as Pokorny's
Band, Oppenheim's Orchestra and Johnny
Ney's German Band (Click Here). He was also active in St. Conrad's
bowling league at St. Nicholas. Charles died November 20, 1949,
KLINE WAS BORN May 24, 1884 in Wilkes-Barre. Her parents were John
KLINE, a plasterer by occupation, and Elizabeth Mary BIGGINS. Jeannette
lived on Blackman Street and worked in a silk mill prior to marrying
Charles. Jeannette and Charles had six children including my father,
Harold William. Harold was the oldest with three sisters, Regina
(Jean), Jeannette and Mary; and two brothers Charles and John (Jackie).
Jackie died at age 3. Jeannette died December 1, 1946, in Wilkes-Barre.
DAD, HAROLD WILLIAM MEHM was born February 29, 1912 on Park Avenue
in Wilkes-Barre. He attended St. Nicholas grade school, and G.A.R.
High School in Wilkes-Barre, until it was necessary for him to go
to work at age 15 to help support the family. My dad worked as a
machinist all his life, in several shops in the Wilkes-Barre area,
as well as in Berwick, Pennsylvania and Trenton, New Jersey. My
dad never talked about the past much, I guess that's the way he
was raised. I wish it could have been different, there's so much
more I could have learned from him. My dad died in 1971 in Wilkes-Barre,
at the age of 59.
"There are only two things to worry about-
Either you are well or you are sick.
If you are well, then there is nothing to worry about.
But if you are sick, there are two things to worry about.
Either you get well or you will die.
If you get well there is nothing to worry about.
If you die there are two things, either you will go to heaven or
If you go to heaven there is nothing to worry about.
But if you go to hell you will be so damn busy shaking hands
with friends, you won't have time to worry."
MOM, SARAH AGNES MULHERIN, was born January 29, 1912 on Spruce Street
in Wilkes-Barre, where she lived until she married my dad in 1939.
Her parents were Andrew J. MULHERIN, born in Wilkes-Barre, who worked
for the Lehigh Valley Railroad for 36 years as a trainman and conductor;
and Theresa GALLAGHER, who was born in County Donegal, Ireland,
and came to the U.S. as a young girl. Sarah attended St. Leo's grade
school in Ashley, Pennsylvania, and G.A.R. High school until 12th
grade, when she returned to St. Leo's to graduate. In her later
years, after her child rearing days were over, my mom worked as
a seamstress. Just one of the skills she'd acquired during those
homemaker years. She could have just as well gone into the bakery
field, food preparation business, counseling field, home repair
business, gardening field, financial planning or any one of a thousand
other trades I felt she was qualified for. My mom died in 1986 in
Atlantic City, New Jersey, at the age of 74.
I miss my mom.
GENEALOGY | SURNAMES
MEHMS | LINKS