Sophia Margertha Stahl

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Sophia Margertha Stahl

Immediate Family:

Daughter of Jacob Frederick Stahl and Christina Stahl
Wife of William Gottlieb Zechiel
Mother of Sylvester Amandus Zechiel; August Sophia Zechiel and Elva Ruth Zechiel
Sister of Charles Henry Stahl; Louisa Christiana Stahl; [-?-] Stahl; Regina Barbara Zechiel; lewis freederick Stahl and 1 other

Managed by: Judith "Judi" Elaine (McKee) Burns
Last Updated:

About Sophia Margertha Stahl


1. Jacob peter Stahl, Historian, Stahl Famil History, The (Dayton, Ohio, August 10, 1924; publisher not stated), pg. 89-92.

"Sophia Margeretha (Stahl) Zechiell Family 

Sophia Margeretha second daughter of Jacob Frederick and his wife Christina (Gehring) Stahl was born in Gechingenn, Germany, May 4, 1852. She was only a "babe" four weeks old when the family emigrated to merica. In speaking about the trip across the Atlanic, Mother said that a certain gentleman who had become a friend of the family, would take our little baby and toss her up in his arms and say, "You will make a good feed for the fishes". But he never threw here over-board. She arrived safely on the American Side and still lives to tell us much of the sotry of her life.

SOphia becomes reminiscent - - Summarizing and paraphrasing, the historian will give her autobiography as nearly in the language of the auther as possible and her ilfe's  story in her own       way, avoidinh duplications of things given by those preceeding her. - - Well, I can not tell anything of my brithplace nor my first three years in Ohio. I remember some of the flowers in Tressie Eisenhauer's flower bed, and a lady who lived down the road who had auburn hair and the Axters and a certain lavender dress that Mother wore.

Speaking og the time when the family lived in the Polly place in Fulton county, Indiana she says: We lived nearby a man by the name od Eddinger, Peter Eddinger. There the Lutherans had CHurch services occasionally and that was the first church I ever attedned. A Lutheran Minister by the name of Basler, came from Bruce Lak. At Crum Pollys a little brother of ours was born. I can just remember the little casket and mother crying. That is the litte "babe" who liea in the Leiters Cemetery.

COncerning the family living at the Dr. G. A. Durr place, or Delong, she relates. There I had the nicest time in my childhood life. Here father and the boys had to  break up the ground. They had a large break plough and hitched from  four to six or eight yoke of oxen to it and in that way did the clearing. We little ones had to learn to work early, picking up litlle limbs that fell from the trees. Lter, when the crops were out, we had to watch the pigs by the river's side for they would swim the river and get into our fields of grain. 
In the river bottom and all around these premises, there were many berries and crab apples and hazel nuts and walnuts and these we gathered and carried home by the bushels; aslo fime plums and red haaws. 
Another enemy of the ripening crops were the black birds and the pigeons and these had to be shewed off with clapping of hands or of small boards or shingles. Once Sophia fired off a shot-gun and  in that way frightened the birds and she add  teh gun did no kick over me either.
The first school I ever attended was in the Dodd School house. The school was loctaed about two miles north of where the family loved on the north bank of the Tippecanoe River. It was a log house with two windows and big long desks on three sides of the room the little ones had to sit on the front benches.

My first reacher's name was Maria DeMoss. We had a few weeeks or summer school and three months of winter school; those winter months were December, January and February. But one winter we had no school at all

School days in the Kaley schoolhous: -About eighty scholars were enrolled with an average attendance of about sixty-five. We had pupils as old as twenty years or more and the little people did not receive much attention. I never got to study history, geography physiology; not much of grammer and was sent to the blackboard for work (problems in arithmetic probably) only twice in my life.
Her life in church and home has always been of the character of deep consecration and spiritual mindedness. There was an instance in connection with the Sunday school and the writed will never forget it, it was this: It was the custom in those days to give out  blue and red cards which contained scripture verses which the holder was to commit and then recite the nect Sabbath. After we had learned four blue-card texts we received a red-card. This was interesting to some, not so interesting to others. But our Sophia could not be held within the limits of red and blue cards. She learned large portions of the scripture, somethimes whole chaptures and so, at the end of the sunday school year she received on several occasions the prize for having committed the greates number of scripture verses which one year (if my memory serves one right) ran up to more than one thousand verses. Those ere interesting and profitable experiences and a revival of the custom in our modern  sunday school work would possibly help our youth to a better acquaintance with the word of God. 
Thrilling Incidents
IN those pioneer days it was customery to let the cattle run out in the open commons. In the evening the smaller ones of the family would go after the cows so she writes: One I had to go after the, and when I found them they were on one side of a certain  "slew" and I on the other. How to get over this "slew" was the question, for there was no safe crossing within a mile or so. SO I waded in stepping from one grasspatch orbog toanother. But I kept going doown into the mud deeper and deeper until once I was in nearly up to my arms. Two men seeing me called tome to get out or else I would drown. I could hardly get back. I had gone down ther, no one ever would have known what had become of me. 

Once I was bitten by a rattlesnake. The incident of her being bitten by a rattlesnake occured one evening while she was carring the milk into the cellar. The reptile was snugly curled up and lying by the side of the path and as she stepped near by it struck her in the foot. Immediate attention saved her life. The historian well remembers when she was hopelessly ill with measles and incident illness. He also remembers when Father carried her down stairs after having had a very severe spell of tyhoid fever. But those are incidents that teach us the expectancies of life and stimulate our faith in God.


Sophia Stahl was married to William Gottlieb Zechiel on November first 1877 in the Zion Reformed Church by the Pastor Reverend Jerome B. Henry. This was the Parson's first wedding and perhaps the embrassment of the minister was as great as that of the young couple who stood before him at the amrriage alter. But he did a "good job" for they have stuck together now these forty-seven years and there is no evidence of a "break' between them even yet. 
To this union were born one son and two daughters, Sylvester Amandus, Augusta SOphia and Elva Ruth. Her husband is a farmer and carpenter. In each particular he has "made good" and always provided well for the house-wife and the children at the fire-side. Themselves not having had the best advantages of a liberal education they saw to it  that their children should have the best circumstances would allow. No parents ever yearned more deeply and provided for the religiou training of their children more carefully than has this plodding pair. Verily they will have teir reward."
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Sophia Margertha Stahl's Timeline

January 3, 1879
near Marmont now CUlver, Marshall, Indiana
February 10, 1884
April 23, 1894