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This and That - The Dienstberger Family PDF Print E-mail
Saturday, August 24, 2013 12:00 AM

The immigrant ancestor of all the Dienstberger families in Delphos was Jacob Dienstberger, who came to America in 1850 when he was 18 years old. He came with a friend, George Burger.

Jacob was born 4 July 1831 to Lorenz and Johanna (Schalk) Dienstberger in Baden, Germany. His grandparents were Johann Dienstberger and Gertrud Buche. Jacob was one of four children: Gertrud, born 7 December 1817; Johann Baptist, born 2 August 1819; Nicolaus, born 21 November 1822; and Jacob.

Jacob learned the trade of a blacksmith while in his homeland. He and his friend settled in Pawntucket, Conn. Jacob completed an apprenticeship in blacksmithing in Norwich, Conn. He came to Delphos in September, 1851, and followed his trade for a time, then worked in an iron foundry.

Two of his siblings, Nick and Gertrud, also came to America and both stayed in Connecticut. Gertrud married Philip Ante and Nick married a widow lady by the name of Mary. Their brother, Johann Baptist, remained in Germany.

Jacob declared his intention of becoming a United States citizen in 1852 and was naturalized in 1855. He married Caroline Gessner in 1853. He would have been 22 and she was about 18. They were married in a log cabin east of Delphos. Caroline came to the United States with her parents, Christopher Gessner and Magdaline Grundmiller, when she was about 5 years old. Caroline was born in Saxony, Germany, on 15 January 1835.

In 1860, Jacob began business for himself as a wagon and carriage maker. The 1885 Allen County History described his business success as “and has accumulated a handsome competency.” Jacob built the historic brick house which was once located on East Second Street, across from the Commercial Bank (now First Federal), until it was moved to the corner of Washington and East Second Street. (Note Paul Roger Dienstberger, who now lives in Ashland, proudly stated that he was the last baby born in that historic home.)

The Allen County History noted that Jacob was very interested in the coal and iron trade, from which he derived a handsome revenue. Jacob also served on the Delphos City Council and filled other official positions with honor and trust. He served in the Civil War in the 33rd Regiment of the Regular Ohio Volunteer Infantry Co. I. He was a private. He was a member of the GAR.

Jacob and Caroline had four children: Charles (a blacksmith with his father), who married Rosina Wiedemann; Christopher (a painter with his father), who married Catherine Phlosphler; Amelia, wife of Tobias Foster (a blacksmith in Spencerville); and Mary, who married Henry Jettinghoff.

Jacob and Caroline were fortunate to celebrate their golden wedding anniversary on 26 September 1903. They were loyal members of St. Peter’s Lutheran Church in Delphos. It was noted that in Germany, all of the Dienstberger family had been of the Catholic faith. Jacob died 15 August 1904. He had suffered a stroke back in 1897 and suffered partial paralysis. He was buried in the West Side Cemetery in Delphos, Van Wert County. Caroline passed away 22 December 1922.


(The Dienstberger family will be continued next week.)


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