The Family of Nicholas Zehler and Matilda DeTemple
Nicholas and Matilda Zehler - late 1880's
Nicholas Zehler was born in
Nuhweiler, Rhine Province, Prussia, and came to America in 1856, with his parents.  On
May 2, 187239, he
married Matilda DeTemple and settled in Bennington, New York,
where they raised their children.
The children of Nicholas and Matilda are:
Florence Anna Zehler
||Florence was born on February 13,
and she died on November 12, 193534.  Florence married Frank
Frank Nicholas Zehler
||Frank was born on September 23,
and he died on December 28, 18982.  Frank remained single
Josephine C. Zehler
||Josephine was born on April 9,
and she died on February 2, 196540.  Josephine married (1)
William Jacob Breen, and (2) Frank Milton Smith.
Rosa Eva Zehler
||Rosa was born on October 5,
and she died on February 28, 18912.
William Frederick Zehler
||William was born on October 5,
and he died on September 18, 193041.  William married Grace
Emilia Sophia Zehler
||Emilia was born on March 26,
and she died on June 1, 195440.  Emilia married Edwin
Nicholas George Zehler
||Nicholas was born on December 21,
and he died on January 14, 18912.
Family of Nicholas and Matilda Zehler
Seated:  Nicholas, Frank, Emilia
Standing:  Josephine, Florence, William, Rosa
Nicholas Zehler was born March 24, 18455, in the tiny village of
Nuhweiler, the eighth child of Peter Zehler and Anna Maria
Klasen.  Nicholas' baptismal record4, however, gives his
date of birth as March 25th,
a discrepancy which is common for four of his siblings.
(see Peter for additional comments).
Nicholas spent his early years in Nuhweiler.  There he received his first education,
particularly learning how to farm.  In 1856, he accompanied his parents and younger
siblings on the long voyage to America, where the family settled on a farm in Bennington, New
York.  Nicholas lived with his family until the mid to late 1860's.  At that time, he
likely began working as a farm laborer until after his marriage.
On May 2, 187239, Nicholas
married Matilda DeTemple, commonly known as Utilia.  Matilda was born on
December 17, 1846 167, the daughter
of Nicholas DeTemple and Catherine Backe.  She was born at
Fullersville in St. Lawrence County, New York168, where
Nicholas DeTemple worked in the iron industry.  The DeTemple family had a long history
as iron workers and established some of the earliest smelters in the area.
In September of 187423, Nicholas
purchased 51 acres of land on the Moscow and Buffalo road (route 354) just west of Bennington
Center.  Nicholas and Utilia settled into a life of farming and raising their growing family
of seven children.
Tragedy struck the family of Nicholas and Utilia when four year old Nicholas died in January
1891.  The following month Rosa died at the age of nine.  These deaths apparently
had a devastating effect on Utilia, who died a year later on February 14,
18922.  This had a
profound effect on the family and was apparently a factor in Matilda's death, which occurred a
year later.  Her obituary in the Western New Yorker reads as follows:
"Mrs. Matilda Zehler, wife of Nicholas Zehle, died at her home west of Bennington Center
on the 14th inst.  She has been gradually failing in health since the death of her two
children, which occurred about a year ago.  Mrs. Zehler was born in Fullersville, St.
Lawrence county, N.Y., in 1847, her maiden name being Matilda Detemple.  she leaves a
husband and five children to mourn her loss.  She was an excellent woman and a good
Christian, and died trusting in her Savior and his precious promise of life eternal.  Her
funeral was well attended Wednesday,
17th, at the Catholic Church,
Father Huber, officiating."
Nicholas continued to live and raise his family in Bennington, and on
1898169, he married
the second time to Elizabeth Buske.  Elizabeth was born about 1849, in Rochester, New
York, the daughter of John Buske169.  The
marriage record however, lists her name as Elizabeth Richardson Zehler, indicating that she had
been previously married.
In 190033, Nicholas and
Elizabeth were living on the farm in Bennington, along with children William and Emma.
Nicholas' son, Frank, had died in December 18982, adding additional
tragedy to the family.  In 190123, Nicholas sold
his farm to Thomas Fagan for $1,375, which was $75 more than he paid in 1874.  At the
time of sale, the farm was mortgaged for $1,100.  Unlike his brother, Charles, Nicholas seems to have made only a modest living.
After selling the farm in Bennington, Nicholas and family apparently moved to nearby Darien, in
Genesee county.  In 1905170, Nicholas was
living, alone, in Darien, working as a day laborer.  Nicholas died their on September 13,
death certificate lists the cause of death as cancer, but makes no mention of his wife.  The
fate of Elizabeth is unknown.
Frank Nicholas Zehler was born on September 23, 18742, the second child of
Nicholas Zehler and Matilda DeTemple.  After
growing up in Bennington, New York, he moved to Buffalo where he worked for the Erie
died in Bennington on December 28, 18982.  His obituary
reads, in part
"Frank Zahler, who came to his childhood's home from Buffalo last fall, only to
die, passed away at 2 p.m. New Year's day171."
The newspaper account erred in the date, as shown by church
records2, and in the spelling of
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