Waterloo Region Generations
A record of the people of Waterloo Region, Ontario.
George Stemmler

George Stemmler

Male 1824 - 1896  (72 years)

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  • Name George Stemmler 
    Born 15 Apr 1824  Rottenburg, , Baden-Württemberg, Germany Find all individuals with events at this location 
    Gender Male 
    Interesting pioneer, story 
    Residence 1849  Wellesley Twp., Waterloo Region, Ontario, Canada Find all individuals with events at this location  [1
    Eby ID Number Waterloo-106032 
    Died 30 Apr 1896  Hesson, Mornington Twp., Perth Co., Ontario Find all individuals with events at this location 
    Person ID I106032  Generations
    Last Modified 29 Sep 2019 

    Father Joseph Stemmler,   b. Abt 1790, of, Rottenburg, , Baden-Württemberg, Germany Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. Yes, date unknown 
    Mother Josepha Op,   b. Abt 1790, of, Rottenburg, , Baden-Württemberg, Germany Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. Yes, date unknown 
    Family ID F44675  Group Sheet  |  Family Chart

    Family Caroline Weidmayer,   b. 17 Jan 1817, , Germany Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 13 May 1904, Hesson, Mornington Twp., Perth Co., Ontario Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 87 years) 
    Married 22 Sep 1847  St. Boniface Roman Catholic Church, Maryhill, Waterloo Region, Ontario, Canada Find all individuals with events at this location  [2
     1. Cunigunda Stemmler,   b. 2 Mar 1849, Wellesley Twp., Waterloo Region, Ontario, Canada Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. Yes, date unknown
     2. Josephine Stemmler,   b. 13 Mar 1854,   d. 21 Jul 1948  (Age 94 years)
     3. Maria Stemmler,   b. 1856,   d. Yes, date unknown
    Last Modified 30 Sep 2019 
    Family ID F27556  Group Sheet  |  Family Chart

  • Event Map
    Link to Google MapsBorn - 15 Apr 1824 - Rottenburg, , Baden-Württemberg, Germany Link to Google Earth
    Link to Google MapsMarried - 22 Sep 1847 - St. Boniface Roman Catholic Church, Maryhill, Waterloo Region, Ontario, Canada Link to Google Earth
    Link to Google MapsResidence - 1849 - Wellesley Twp., Waterloo Region, Ontario, Canada Link to Google Earth
     = Link to Google Earth 

  • Photos
    George Stemmler and wife
    George Stemmler and wife
    From the book "The Catholic Church in Waterloo County Book 1" by Rev. Theobald Spetz

  • Notes 
    • With Father Gehl's appointment to St. Clement's, a better period began for the colony. He took a great interest in it, came more frequently, and directed the Mission wisely. In the year 1883 the Bishop of London appointed the Rev. John Heitman to Listowel, from where he attended Hesson. In Listowel there were very few Catholics, and therefore little support for the priest. On that account Father Heitmann took up his abode in Hesson, living for a time with one family, and then with another.

      In a few years a two-acre site was bought for a church and rectory on the, south side of the road running west. The school is on the north side. On this new site the brick rectory was built in 1886. The site and house cost about $1,120. After six and a half years of service at Hesson. Father Heitmann died in the spring of 1890. Then Father Gehl was given charge again of Hesson and took steps to erect a new church. The corner stone for it was laid in the spring of 1892, and the building completed under the supervision of Mr. George Stemmler and Brother Alexander, of Berlin. ..... Mr. George Stemmler and wife from Rottenburg, Wuertemberg, came here in the 40's to hew a home out of the forest for themselves. In 1847 Mr. Andrew Bissinger joined them. Gradually many other followed from various sections, mostly Germans.

      As soon as St. Clement's received a resident priest, the Rev. Columban Messner, O.C., in 1852, these settlers attached themselves to that parish in as far a distance and bad roads allowed. But before that time the Jesuit Fathers of St. Agatha and of New German and Guelph called here occasionally. The colonists were in the habit of assembling in one of the settlers houses for lay services on Sundays and holidays. This pious practice they kept up when they had no priest until they obtained a resident pastor. ....

      The Catholic Church in Waterloo County, Book I, by Rev. Theobald Spetz, C. R., D. D., 1916


      Facts of Hesson Legend Discovered at Linwood
      submitted by Shirley Hammar
      Found in Wellesley Tweedsmuir History -
      Michael Stemmler was interviewed in 1944

      LINWOOD: When a modern housewife needs a crock to hold her nine day pickles she phones to the nearest store and
      within the hour has the required vessel delivered at her door. Needs in a household were not so filled so easily in the 1830's when Western Ontario was being converted into the garden of the Province.

      In the Community of Hesson, Mornington Township, the story of one crock shopping expedition has become a legendand the pieces of crock brought on this occasion a treasured heirloom. The incident occurred in the early 1850's. Mr.& Mrs. George Stemmler founders of the Village of Hesson, left their home in the Queen's Bush and walked to Bloomingdale, a distance of 30 miles, to buy supplies. Among their purchases were a dozen crocks and these Mrs.Stemmler carried on her head, her husband walking behind her with a small trunk filled with groceries strapped on his back. When they were crossing the Creek west of Macton, George accidentally slipped on a log and fell face first into the water. This might have been disastrous but Mrs. Stemmler loosened the straps of his burden so he could rise and they continued on their way.
      They had covered practically the whole of the 30 miles without further mishap and were almost within sight of home when Mrs. Stemmler stumbled and fell, breaking all but one of the precious crocks for which she had walked so far.

      "Dunder Weddew" (I asked my aunt-Marcella Menard if she knew what this meant and said it is probably (For Goodness Sake). "Dunder Wedder" exclaimed Mrs. Stemmler as she saw her cargo broken about her, but the catastrophe didn't daunt her. On she went with her one remaining crock and throughout the years she kept it so safely that it lasted till the end of her lifetime and for many years thereafter. It is greatly regretted that in recent years Grosmutter Stemmler's Bloomingdale crock was broken in the home of one of her descendants.

      To get the facts about the Hesson crock story The Record paid a visit to the 87 year old son of its heroine, Mr. Michael Stemmler of Linwood.When he had recounted the "legend" he was induced to draw on his memories of the past and from the tales told him by his parents for historical data concerning the Hesson settlement.

      He recalled that his parents left Rottenburg von Neckar, Germany, in April of 1837. After 40 days on the ocean his parents, with only $14.00 along with Mr. & Mrs. Andrew Biesinger and Mr. & Mrs. Joseph Letscuss, set foot on land. Knowing of the settlement in the New Germany District now Maryhill, they went there. His parents were married there and they are the fifth marriage performed in New Germany. That summer these pioneers helped with the harvest in the German settlement near Berlin now Kitchener.

      In the fall the sextet trekked westward to the townline east of Macton. Here they rented a log cabin for the winter. With the assistance of a settler by the name of Moritz Hahn, who lived near St. Clements, the men went on to Mornington township where land for future farming was picked out. That winter Messrs. Stemmler, Biesinger and Letscuss cleared land and built a log house. The men would return to their shanty near Macton at nightfall and then make another trip to Hesson the next day.

      After the cabin was completed the men returned to Mornington Township one day and to their dismay found the newly built home torn down. They immediately started to build a second one and that afternoon had it partially completed. When the trio returned the following day they found three strangers in the act of tearing down their second cabin. Then, as Mr. Stemmler described it, "there was war."After a fierce fight in which the newcomers from Germany emerged victorious, a settlement was reached.

      Another faction, it developed. was envious of the Germans settling in that district. It was also claimed that they were original ones with the aid of the men who had previously demolished the cabins.

      In the spring Mr. & Mrs. George Stemmler took up residence in this cabin. Mr. & Mrs. Andrew Biesinger erected theirs west of the Stemmler's and Mr. & Mrs. Joseph Letscuss, north-west. It was in this one-roomed shanty that Michael Stemmler and an older brother Jacob and sister Cunnigunda who married Joseph Vollmer were born. The Stemmlers lived in this cabin for seven years before it was torn down and replaced with a two-storey structure.

      When the government surveyors called a few years later, Mr. Stemmler happened to be away helping a friend cut wheat. A neighbour, Gabriel Addis, presuming that Mr. Stemmler wanted only 100 acres. It was his intention to take 200 acres as he had already cleared seven acres on the adjoining farm. The deed for his farm, which was not taken outuntil 28 years later cost him $380. Incidentally, this deed still exists and is kept by Michael Stemmler.

      The Indians

      Mr. Stemmler also told of trouble with the Indians who lived only a short distance from them, "Very often", he said,"the Indians would come with the basketry work to exchange for flour and milk." One of these original baskets isowned by Miss Anne Stemmler, of Linwood, who had it given to her by hermother.

      Mr. Stemmler also told of the fear of bears and wolves which harassed the pioneers. On one occasion his father was in the bush when he noticed a large bear and cub. He immediately ran to the neighbours and informed them ofthe danger. The horn, a signal for help, was sounded and within a short time a small group of settlers gathered with their guns and dogs. The group proceeded to the spot where the animals were seen and found the bear and cub in a tree. As darkness was setting in a fire was built so as to keep the two in the tree. Although several shots were fired, those which struck had little effect Thus an all-night vigil was kept. As dawn was breaking, the dogs began fighting. When the bear came out on a limb the men were quick to take advantage of its position. Two bullets through its head brought the bear down to the ground. It was of such a size that it required six men to carry it. After it was skinned each farmer was given a portion of the meat.

      15 Miles to Church

      In the earlier days the Catholics in the Hesson section attended mass in St. Clements. Every second Sunday they would walk the distance of 15 miles. Mr. Stemmler can recall vividly tramping through the forest to St. Clements to be taught catechism. At this time he was no more of 7 years of age. As an infant, in 1851, he was carried all theway to St. Clements to be baptized. The first teacher in Hesson, according to Mr. Stemmler, was John Mack. He came in the 60's and taught school where Joseph Moser now lives.

      Bethlehem was Hesson's original name. It was later changed when a Conservative Member of Parliament, a man by the name of Hesson, who was soliciting votes, promised if elected to give Bethlehem a post office.The candidate was elected and kept his promise. To show their gratitude for this service the people named the little hamlet after him.Mr. Stemmler recalled passing through Linwood for the first time in 1857. He was then six years of age. At this time Linwood consisted of a sawmill, a store and a few small log cabins. When George Stemmler died, at the age of 72, Michael Stemmler's brother Joseph, was given the homestead - Michael farmed on the adjoining 100 acres on the boundary between Mornington and Wellesley Township from 1882 to 1923 when he moved to Linwood.2a

      Waterloo Region Branch OGS - Our Waterloo Kin Volume 2

  • Sources 
    1. [S419] Church Records - ON, Waterloo, Wilmot Twp - Roman Catholic minsters Lucas Caveng and Ruber Ebner.
      George Stemmler & Caroline b. Wiedmayer. Res: Wellesley Born: 2 Mar 1849 Name of Child Cunigunda

    2. [S91] Church Records - ON, Waterloo, Maryhill - St. Boniface Roman Catholic [found cited on various sources on the internet and family histories], Rev. Bernard Fritsch.
      George Stemler s/o Joseph Stemler & Josepha Op married 22 Sep 1847 to Carolina Wittmayer d/o Michael Wittmayer & Maria Micheler, witnesses: Gabriel Hadis & Andreas Klein, Op from Rothenburgk Wurtenburg