Hans Jacobs Bechtel
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Daniel Beghtel


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1. Mary Ann Cox

Daniel Beghtel 1

  • Born: 17 May 1815, Conemaugh(ville) Huntingdon County PA
  • Marriage (1): Mary Ann Cox on 7 Nov 1837 in Tucarawas County Ohio
  • Died: 27 Jul 1896, Clear Creek Township, Huntington County, Indiana, USA at age 81

bullet  General Notes:

These notes came from the web page prepared and maintained by Marilyn Jacobs:

From the 'Huntington Herald', Huntington, Indiana, July 31, 1896
Daniel Beghtel died at the home of his daughter, Mrs. C.A. Sickafoose, on West Market street, Columbia City, July 27, 1896.
Father Beghtel has been in feeble health for over four years. Had not been able to leave his home for over two years, had not been out of his room since a year ago last April, and had not been out of his bed for eight months. He was born in Stark county, Ohio, May 17, 1815. Died July 27, 1896. Aged eighty-one years, two months and ten days.
He came to Indiana in 1844, with his wife and family of four children, when this country was a wilderness. He knows something of the hardships of a pioneer life. He settled down on a farm in a dense forest in Clear Creek township, Huntington county, in the spring of 1846, where he, with his faithful companion lived for nearly 35 years, when he rented his farm to his youngest son and moved in a little home near by, where they lived a happy retired life for nearly 15 years. Here they were permitted to celebrate their 50th anniversary, Nov. 17, 1887 - an enjoyable time to all present. Two months later his companion was taken from him by death, Jan. 8th. They were married Nov. 7th, 1837. To this union ten children were born, seven sons, three daughters. Two sons and one daughter have preceded in death.
Father Beghtel embraced religion and joined the U.B. church in 1857 and lived a consistent Christian life. Their home was the home of the minister. He donated the ground on which the present Beach Grove church stands.
Sept. 11th, 1890, he went to Columbia City and made his home with his daughter Mrs. C.A. Sickafoose, where he lived till death.
There is left to mourn his loss five sons and two daughters. Henry, Isaiah, William, Joseph and Ely. Joseph now preaching at Macy, Ind. Daughters are Mrs. C.A. Sickafoose and Mrs. James Lehman, of Columbia City. He leaves thirty-one grandchildren and eleven great grandchildren. Com.
Note: Spelling and grammar and punctuation as printed in the original record.

Daniel Beghtel, Henry Schutt and George Warner were appointed "trustees of meeting house Clear Creek Township" on December 5, 1857. Two years later this was recorded. Both Daniel Beghtel and George Warner donated adjoining lots and land measuring 4 1/2 rods long. This land was located in a beautiful beech woods. The deeds were dated June 10, 1859, and recorded August 2, 1859. On December 13, 1889, the cemetery plat was recorded, although burials had been made there before that date. In 1858/9 and again in 1869 great revivals were held in the Beech Grove Church and there were scores of converts. At the dedication a hundred people were fed and their horses taken care of at the Beghtel home. It was a 12 point circuit. Among the charter members were Daniel and Mary Beghtel, George Warner and wife, John Quick and wife and Henry Shutt and wife. In 1885 the building was razed and a new structure was erected. After a merger with the Methodist conference it became known as Faith Chapel United Methodist Church. The cemetery is located south of the Clear Creek School grounds on the Columbia City road, CR-300W and 900N. Note: One of these articles is by Doris M. Chambers and appears to be from a Huntington,Indiana, area local newspaper. The other is the Homecoming Program for the Centennial--- Homecoming of Beech Grove Church (Evangelical United Brethren) which was celebrated on Sunday, October 12, 1958, with a message from Rev. Cecil Smith.

Daniel's son, Eli had a son Floyd Eldon whose Family Page is in the history. His son, E. Howard had a son, Chris. In 1958 Chris had become interested in knowing something about his family history. The following is the letter Floyd Eldon wrote to his grandson, Chris Beghtel on July 2, 1958.

Master Chris Beghtel
Dear Grandson

Your father has written that you are interested in knowing something about your family history. I have nothing written down on this history but will write down what I remember. Some of this may not interest you now but if you keep this letter it will be of increasing interest to you as you grow older.

My grandfather's name was Daniel Beghtel. He came from Pennsylvania with his wife and several children. We do not know where they lived in Pennsylvania but the 'gh' in the name is Dutch. My grandmother's maiden name was Cox. She could not speak English when they came west, so we suppose that her family lived in Pennsylvania Dutch Country not too far from Lake Erie.

Grandfather made a trip to Indiana and selected a tract of land in the forest to be used for farming. It was located in Clear Creek Township, Huntington County. He made arrangements to buy it from the Government.

After buying the land he packed a few possessions and took his family to Lake Erie. They got on a boat at Lake Erie and came down the Erie Canal which crossed Ohio and passed through Ft. Wayne, Huntington, Wabash and then on down the Little Wabash Valley.

Somewhere in Ohio they stopped at a settlement and he worked for several years for a farmer. He got a cow and some other possessions and then got on a boat again and came on to Huntington. Since there were no roads, and it was 4 1/2 miles from the Erie Canal to the farm, they hay have used a wagon.

The first thing they did was cut down trees to build a cabin. There were eighty acres in the farm. At the time they built the cabin they had no idea at which end of the farm the road would be built. They found a spring at the foot of a small hill. On the hill was a huge rock. They built the cabin with one corner on the rock. Later the location of the cabin proved to be near the end of the farm farthermost from the road.

We do not know what the cabin was like, but when I was a boy there was still one apple tree standing near to where the cabin was located. I helped my father blast out the rock and take it away. There was a clump of horseradish that grew near the spring. The spring dried up years ago. Last year I talked to the young man who lives on the farm and he had heard that there once was a cabin somewhere on the farm. I told him about the horseradish and he said it is still there although it is in a cultivated field.

These pioneer families were large. There were five boys and two girls who lived to adulthood. In the cemetery at the Beech Grove Church are several grave stones that mark the burial of other children that died in infancy. The childrens' names, approximately in order of age beginning with the oldest are:
Henry, Katy Ann, Joseph, Sarah, Lydia Ann, William and Eli. Eli was my father.

When my father was about six, they built a new barn on a higher spot 30 rods from the road. It was 40 x 60 ft., made of hewn timbers. The siding was walnut boards and the grain bins were made of walnut, the boards being 18 in. wide. The barn is still standing. It was built about 1850,

The next year they built a house near the barn. All the timber was cut from the farm. It was of brick with 12" thick walls. The bricks were made near the spot. They were molded by hand and laid out on a flat area to dry. My father told that he and his brother, Will, when they were about six and eight years old at that time, were given the job of turning the bricks up on edge so the side which had been down could dry. This house was about 20 ft. x 35 ft., two stories high, with a one-story kitchen in the back.

I was born in that house on December 22, 1886. It was very cold on that date. There was only a little wood stove in mother's room. They say I got pneumonia soon after I was born and the hired girl sat close to the fire for several days holding me to keep me warm.

I helped tear the old house down in 1906 and the house that is now standing was built on the same spot. It is frame with brick veneer. We used the brick from the old house.

The children of this family all married. Henry was a carpenter, William and Eli were farmers and Joseph was a minister.

My father married Sara Jane Wagoner. When they married he was farming for his father. The other children had all married and moved away. He had also worked as a carpenter building farms in the neighborhood. He had bought 20 acres which were located directly behind his father's farm. He had made some kind of an arrangement to buy the home place, and grandfather and grandmother moved into a small house half a mile away. My father farmed all his life but he never really liked it. He preferred to do carpenter work. When it was possible to get his farm work done, he would get a job at carpenter work to make some extra money.

A cider mill was built by my father shortly after settling on the farm. It was a two-story building. There was a ten horse power boiler with the engine mounted on top, an hydraulic press and an apple grinder. Behind this building in a lean-to was a large copper pan 16 ft. long x 4 ft. wide mounted on a brick wall 3 ft. long. There was a cane press run by the engine. They made sorghum molasses and apple jelly.

There were few worms and other diseases of apples and every farmer had an orchard. The farmers would come with a big wagon load of nice apples and several empty barrels. The cider was made into vinegar, or boiled in the big pan into apple jelly. The fee for making cider was one cent a gallon. It seems no one knew as well as my mother when sorghum or jelly was ready to take out of the big pan. The fall of the year I was born, it was said that during October and November my father and others would boil jelly or sorghum all night. When a batch was nearly done, they would get mother out of bed to come and "finish it off".

I remember little about the apple jelly as its use declined. I can remember making golden yellow sorghum. It would be fall and we children would go into the corn field and get big roasting ears and lay them on the hot bricks near the pan, and roast them. Of course, it was field corn but I remember it as being very good.

By the time I was in grade school a small fire had destroyed the copper pan and they turned to making apple butter. When apples were ripe we made cider for anyone who came on Tuesday and Thursday, and I missed many days of school to stay home and help.

When the apples were ground and pressed until no more cider would come out, what was left was called "mommies". This was put into a big wooden tank and covered with water and left to soak over night. Next day it was mixed and pressed again. We called this water cider. It was boiled down and made fine jelly.

The boiling was done on the second floor. A copper pipe was put into an oak barrel partly filled with water cider. Steam from the boiler which went through the copper pipe soon boiled the water cider vigorously. It was not boiled to a thick jelly but just to the consistency that it would pour when cold. then it was put in gallon jars, a paper tied over the top, and set away until apple butter making time.

In fall the best apples were mostly big red Northern Spy. They are very hard to find now, but in my opinion, none of the modern apples come up to them for general goodness. As I started to say, when they were ripe, it was apple butter making time. This was strictly a family project and so was done on Saturday.

The apples were washed in a tub, cut open, and any bad parts cut out such as worms. Those days there were few worms. The apples were then put into a barrel with water and cooked until they were done. Then they were put in a homemade machine much like the early wooden washing machines. It had a bottom of wire mesh and the apples were rubbed with a hand device until all the pulp had passed through into a tub beneath, and the seeds, peel, etc. could be discarded from above the wire.

This apple sauce was put back into the barrel, which had been carefully cleaned. The correct amount of water cider jelly was added and then it was boiled until experience said it was done. No sugar, spice or any other additives were made. It was dipped into clean gallon jars and set away to cool. Later a paper cover was tied over the jars. When cool a heavy layer would form over the top. This apple butter would keep all winter without any refrigeration. A batch usually made twenty gallons. By working a long day the family of five would make about one hundred gallons.

When we finished making apple butter, it was time to market it. Early the next Saturday morning, the spring wagon was loaded with jars of apple butter. One layer over the flat bed would be twenty-five gallons. With two horses we would start out on the four and one-half mile trip to the county seat. Father was the salesman and I had to hold the horses.

There were no automobiles but the horses were very much afraid of trains. Whenever we got close to a track, they would make quite a fuss when a locomotive passed. I was as much frightened as they but not at the train. I was afraid the team would run away.

To sell the load of apple butter would usually require all day. The sale price was $1.00 a gallon with an exchange crock. At noon we would go to a lunch room (no saloon) and have roast beef with gravy.

Those were most difficult times. Money was hard to come by. There would be a load of fat hogs (8 to 14) to sell each fall and spring. The price was about 4 cents per pound. The money was set aside to pay the taxes on the farm. These were the only taxes we knew.

It was a half mile to the township school and we always walked. The eight lower grades were in one big room with one teacher. The high school was in a room above. At recess we played dare base and tag, while the older boys played baseball.

Winters were very cold in Northern Indiana and our fuel was wood cut on the wooded part of the farm. The fire in the wood stove was allowed to go out at night. In the morning there was ice on the water bucket and the home-made bread was frozen. Mother would put water in a black iron kettle on the wood range. A rack would be placed in the kettle to hold the bread above the water. When the water boiled it would make the bread moist and hot. The only cereal we had was oats. We had milk and eggs. Coffee was taboo. It along with alcoholic drinks was considered harmful.

I had two sisters older than myself, Gertrude and Opal. and two brothers younger than myself, Ray who died when he was six years of age, and Robbin, who died in 1918.

The school year was six months. I graduated from high school in 1906. On the Saturday after I finished high school, I went to town to take the examination for a teacher's license. I had gone earlier with two other boys of my class to see the township trustee. We each told him we wanted to teach school the next year. Late in the summer word came that I was to teach at the school one and one-half miles from home.

I walked to and from school. There were one hundred and twenty days of school and my pay was $1.98 a day. However, I made my own fires in two pot bellied stoves and swept the floors, for which I was paid 10 cents a day extra. I had about twenty scholars, and was the only teacher and I taught eight grades. I doubt if the teaching was of high caliber by modern standards, but one little fellow who was in the first grade when I taught has been superintendent of schools in the county seat for many years.

So far, I have told you very little about my mother's family. Her name was Sarah Jane Wagoner. I don't know much about by Grandfather Joseph Wagoner except that he liked books and I have some account books in which he kept a record of items he sold off his farm. His handwriting was beautiful. The Wagoners lived on a farm two miles from where the Beghtels lived.

Grandmother Wagoner's maiden name was Margaret Hilderbrand. Her family left Virginia when she was a little girl. They came west through the Cumberland Gap with two horses and a wagon loaded with all their possessions. There was a coop of chickens and a cow tied behind the wagon. They settled at a little village of Mt. Etna, several miles south of Huntington. Her father had a tavern and a grist mill. Along with his bent for learning, Joseph Wagoner had a yen to move. After settling on the farm, he wanted to go west but my grandmother refused to go.

I can recall eight children in this family. There were four girls, Sue, Nancy, Sarah and Maggie; and four boys, Martin, John, Henry and Joe.

In those days there were grade schools but no high schools. Also, there were spelling bees and music classes. It was not thought worthwhile for girls to get much education, but they all learned to read and write and to spell.

The four Wagoner boys wanted more than a grade school education so they went to Hillsdale College in Hillsdale, Michigan, at a time when almost no one else was going to college from these farm communities. While at college they rented a room and did their own cooking. Most of their provisions came from the farm at home.

Two of these boys, Martin and John, went into Iowa to teach. Iowa was a western frontier. John married and had a boy. After a few years both of the men died from typhoid fever.

Uncle Henry liked mathematics and studied surveying. He was later made county surveyor. Uncle Joe taught in Michigan and was, for a number of years, State Commissioner of Schools in Michigan.

One of the Wagoner boys was drafted into the army at the time of the Civil War. At that time it was possible to hire a substitute. My grandfather found someone to go in his son's place for the sum of $400. This man never came back. My Uncle Joe Beghtel served in he Union Army for a time. He is the only one in the family ever to be a soldier.
Your grandfather
Floyd E. Beghtel


Daniel married Mary Ann Cox on 7 Nov 1837 in Tucarawas County Ohio. (Mary Ann Cox was born on 17 Sep 1814 in Bedford County, Pennsylvania, USA and died on 7 Jan 1888 in Huntington County, Indiana, USA.)



1 Marilyn Jacobs.

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