Englebert Spieler will be today’s story, but first, some more information about the new are in the Highland Home Museum dedicated to the area’s war veterans.
I’m very excited about having this new cabinet from Family Care Medical, which had taller sides added by our Highland Home maintenance men, to house information on our war veterans. Each war veteran will have an 8-by-5 or up to a 8-by-10-inch space — if that much space is needed. The space will allow for a photo (I recommend a about 3 by 5 or 4 by 6) and service story to be included in a book devoted to each war. These books will be in the new cabinet, listed by alphabetically the wars. I hope you are excited as I am to have this additional veterans cabinet. I also encourage all to secure the needed information, as quickly as possible, for yourself or any relative or friend to be included in one of the books. We hope to have this project completed by Memorial Day 2018.
We would also appreciate a $5 donation, or more if you can, to cover the cost of the supplies needed: three-ring binders, fillers, ink, photo paper, etc. Make your check to Highland Home Museum, War Veterans Project.
We will need more volunteers to finish this project. Will you volunteer, once a week, or once a month, at your convenience? Call me at 618-303-0082 if you can lend a hand.
Now, back to Englebert “Bert” Spieler (1824-1902).
Spieler, in 1852, was a shoemaker by trade in Molach, Baden, Germany. He came to Highland, where he followed his trade of shoemaking craft throughout his whole life. He had also two apprentices from Baden, Germany, working in his shop.
Spieler’s wife, Pauline Beichel Spieler, and his mother,arrived in Highland about 1853. His mother died in 1863 at age 77. The information I have states that she was buried in the “Trinity Catholic Cemetery” of Highland. I wonder when the cemetery name was changed to St. Joseph Cemetery?
By 1860, Spieler also owned 300 acres in Helvetia Township. Also that year, he became a U.S. citizen.
Spielerwas a very busy Catholic, as he became treasurer of St. Paul Church in 1857 and was also in the St. Joseph Society, where he served as second vice president. Spieler and Lorenz Winter were also the early trustees of St. Paul Catholic Church. One source I have says he retired as a trustee in 1885, but another source says he was trustee until he died.
His wife Pauline died on May 4, 1864 and left five children: Charles, 4; Anna, 8; Barbara, 10; and two older sons, Emil and Frank.
On Nov. 20, 1864, Bert married Anna Marie Raeber Urban, a widow with two sons. One assumes that Spieler acted as quickly as possible to find someone to care for his family.
Anna Marie Raeber is probably the younger sister of Alois Joseph Raeber, who was born in 1816 in Kuessnacht, Canton Schwyz, Switzerland, and came to Highland in 1847. (Alois J. Raeber was also my wife Lorna’s great-great-great-grandfather. Reread my columns from Feb. 20 through March 12, 2006 for more Raeber family information.)
Spieler and his new wife, in 1867, bought lots 7and 8, in block 31 of Highland, the northwest corner of 12th and Laurel streets, for their home and his shoe factory. This residence/business was just behind where the old the Highland News Leader office was for many years on Broadway. Later, it was the Ted Beck home at 819 12th St.
The Spieler/Raeber family had five more children, but only two, Augustine and Pauline, survived their father.
Anna Marie Raeber Spieler died in 1886.
By August 1888, Spieler married for the third time, this time to Rose Buehlmann Ackerman, the daughter of Frank and Elizabeth Wuest Buehlmann. Their daughter, Elizabeth Spieler, was born on the Dec. 23, 1889.
Englebert Spieler died on April 25, 1902. He was 78 years old and survived by his third wife, Rose, and their child, Elizabeth. Also surviving were his children from his first marriage, Emil, Louis, Anna and Barbara; children from his second marriage, Gus and Pauline; four stepsons; plus grandchildren and great-grandchildren.
(Thanks to Anna Miller, a great-granddaughter, for information for this column, as well as Betty Spindler Coats and her book, “The Swiss on Looking Glass Prairie,” published in 1983 by Highland Historical Society and Friends of Lovejoy Library.)