Wendel History (copied from handwritten copy by Dad)

Dec. 2, 1946


Charley Wendel our father was born in Kornig Bergen, Germany, Sept. 13, 1829,[1] the second son of Henry Wendel and Christena Rottenstein Wendel.  At the age of 44 years in Sept. 1873, he fell ill complaining of a severe headache.  I Charley was only seven years old and was with him all day.  We had been looking for our cows that had strayed from the pasture.  Upon our return home, father picked a little seed corn, but had to quit because of the headache.  I remember he said the pain was at the bridge of the nose and above his eyes.  He took to his bed and after a few days, passed on to his eternal reward.  Doctor said it was “brain fever.”  Medical science now makes me believe it was sinus infection.


Our mother, Marie Rau was born Nov. 21, 1831, in Erie Co., Pa. and died Feb. 1, 1924.  She was the daughter of Christian Godlieb and Dorothea Elizabeth Hauber Rau, their ancestry were Germans and they came from a family of teachers.  From Pa. they came to Wabash Co. Ind. In April 1844.


My grandmother died in giving birth to my mother, so in her infant days she was cared for by her only sister, Barbara.  She with three brothers made up the family, later Barbara married a man, who was a tailor by trade.  She helped her husband in the shop so it left mother alone during her childhood days.  Many times mother in her loneliness, would sit outside watching the large fleecy clouds float by, hoping in her childish way to see her mother floating by on a cloud.  Just a childish dream.  A child’s idea of heaven.


On August 23, 1855, she married by father Charley, they moved on a 40 acre farm 4 miles north and east of LaGro, Ind. near the Hopewell Methodist Church.  This tract was about half timber, consisting of oak, walnut, and hard maple, Father cleared all of this timber except 5 acres.


On these 5 acres were enough hard maple trees to furnish enough sap to make syrup and maple sugar to do us all year and for several years after Father died.


I well remember the log rolling days when the neighbors came to help pull these nice big logs to a pile.  With skids and ropes they put these logs on top of each other until the pile was long and high, then they would set them on fire which took days to burn.  They weren’t worth anything on the market.   Today timber like that would go a long ways in paying for a farm.


Those were the days when men used axes and they always kept the cutting edge very sharp.  One winter morning, Father was going to cut wood, so he brought the ax into the house to warm it before using for these hard tempered axes would often snap and large pieces would chip if used when cold.  As soon as he brought it into the house, a nice white frost would gather on it and Father not being in the house and mother not watching, I picked up the ax to lick off the front and when I did, my tongue stuck to the ax and left some of my tongue sticking to it.  An act I never repeated.


Father did have a barn, smokehouse, pump house, and logs enough to build these buildings and a four room log house.  The barn Father built had two hay mows, one on each side of a large drive.  The straw carrier of the machine would go out through the rear door, where the straw was always neatly stacked.  The wheat and oats bins were in the barn plus stalls for six horses.  Father had the reputation of being the best horseman in the community and he did have five nice ones.  We also had a few peafowls, beautiful birds and always before a rain the male would fly upon the barn and crow, a sure sign of rain.


When Father was building the log house, logs were lying all around in the yard he asked me to bring him the hatchet, which was very sharp.  I was careless in carrying it and hurrying.  I fell so the blade cut through the bridge of my nose.  The bleeding was terrific, so our neighbor Mrs. Williams, was called.  She then pow-wowed and murmured something and the blood at once stopped.


Wild game, deer, turkey, squirrel, were plentiful.  Wild pigeons came by the thousand.  I saw many large limbs broken from large oak trees broken by pigeon roosts, where they had crowded on these limbs.


We had lived, only a short time in our new log house, when my Father died.  In those days there were no funeral directors or homes, but in every community, there were a number of men and women who could take care of the dead. In our community, Mr. Philip Sell, who operated a sawmill had walnut lumber on hand from which he made my Father's coffin. He was buried from the Lutheran Church of which he was a member.  The cemetery was on the church ground. The church known as the County Line church in Huntington Co.  The parsonage was in Wabash Co.


Father's death left mother with five dependent children.  Jacob Henry Wendel having died when very young, Mary Christena born Apr. 29, 1857, died Feb. 23, 192?[2].  She had married Peter Speicher and to this union four children were born.  All have passed on at this writing Dec. 2, 1946 but Reuben Speicher of Francesville, Ind.   Amilia Catharine Wendel Jenkins was born Oct. 2, 1863 and died Apr. 21, 190?[3].  She was buried in Wabash Cemetery.  One daughter May Jenkins, still living today. Dec. 2, 1946.


Charles & Anna Wendel - 50th Wedding Aniversary 1943 [15]

Charles  D. Wendel was born in LaGro Twp. LaGro, Ind.  Sept. 9, 1866 and is at present writing this bit of family history.  l married Anna E. Koenig, April 30, 1893.  Seven children were born to this union, Elmer Charles Wendel, born Dec. 1?[4], 1894, in Des Moines, Ia.  He married Louella Stark of Story City, Ia. and today is living in Nevada, Ia.   Paul Henry Wendel was born Nov. 2, 1896 at Decatur, Ind.  He weighed only 2 ½ pounds at birth, with no nurse or incubator to care for him.  He married Edna Montgomery of Nevada, Ia.  They are the parents of one son, Gary Charles and now live in DesMoines, Ia.


Dwight Daniel Wendel was born Mar. 31, 1899 on a farm in Plymouth County, Ia. The address being LeMars, Ia. He also was a 2 ½ pound baby, with no doctor.  My wife’s mother and I cared for mother and baby.  Today such tiny babies are cared for in the hospital, Dwight married Luella Collins of Galveston, Tex.  They have no children but Louella had a son Monroe, by her first marriage. At present, they live near Washington, D.C.


Lois Marie Wendel was born June 24, 1901 in the parsonage 4 miles north of Prescott, Ia.  She weighed 8 pounds, again no doctor present.   I went to get Mrs. Allen to help with the delivery but when I returned Lois was born.  Lois married Merle Dickinson of Colo, Ia.  A son, Wendel Francis was born but died in birth.  Patricia Ann was born Mar. 9, 1925 and was married to Bernice B. Bowers of Colo and they are presently living in Ames, where be is attending college.


George Moody Wendel was born Jan. 12, 1905 at Audubon. Ia. weight 7 pounds.  He married Margaret Houghtelling of Des Moines and they are now living in Iowa Falls, Ia.  They have no children.


Helen Elizabeth Wendel was born in Audubon, Ia. April 24, 1907, weight 6 pounds.  She married Golden O. Thompson, of Colo, Ia.  Two little twin boys were born to them but died in infancy in 1934, Joseph Charles and Daniel Joseph.  Their other children are Wendel, born Apr. 15, 1936, JoAnn, June 3, 1937 and Karen, Aug. 22, 1938, and Mary Oct. 11, 19  [5],   They all live in LeMars, Ia.


Ruth Viola Wendel born Sept. 11, 1909 at Mt. Zion church parsonage in Viola Center, Ia.  She married Elmer Mussig from Gladbrook, Ia.  They have two children Marshal Frank, born Dec. 13, 1938 and Margery Ruth, born Nov. 5, 1944. 


I will now return to the days after my father's death.  Mother after good advice and her unusually good judgement, had a sale, which brought enough to pay the debt on the farm, 60 acres.  My uncle, Jake Shinkel, farmed the land. Mother had bad luck with the few hogs she had, all but three died from cholera, the three that lived, lost all of their hair but otherwise were healthy.  Mother bought a very large, old sow; she had 15 pigs, I think most of them lived.


After a few years, my oldest sister Christena married Peter O. Speicher.[6]  They lived with us and Peter did the farming.  Then six years after Father’s death, mother married Godlieb Amacher on Nov. 25, 1879.  Elizabeth, Clara, and I went with mother to her new home near Bremen, Ind.  I lived there about a year and then went to live with my sister and husband, Mr. and. Mrs. Peter Speicher near LaG Ind.  A few years later, Amacher sold his place and bought one near the Hopewell Church, 3 miles from LaGro.  After a few years, they sold their farm and bought near Urbana, Ind. then later they quit farming and moved to Urbana, where they lived until my stepfather died. From then on, my mother made her home with my

youngest sister Mrs. G. O. Miller.


I will now ramble about for a bit, in our family life. Skipping many things of interest, while referring only to the ones my memory recalls. Those were the days, when we lived much as we believe God intended for us to live. We had much time to be neighborly. We were not interested in fashion, in getting rich or going places to spend money, for we didn’t have any to spend. We went to Wabash our county seat, about twice a year to buy what groceries and other things we

could not get at LaGro.  We needed shoes and clothes that LaGro could not supply.  It was 10 miles to Wabash and required a day made by wagon, we took a little hay and a few ears of corn for the horses and a home packed lunch for the ones making the trip, for there was no money to buy a lunch.


Evenings, during the winter, were spent with neighbors, visiting, piecing quilts, knitting socks, and mittens out of homespun yarn, sewing carpet rags and eating roasted sweet corn, eating apples, making taffy out of cane sorghum or maple syrup, cracking hickory nuts, etc.


We lived 5 miles east of the Hopewell School and Methodist church which was located in the corner of a large cemetery.  This was on the Stratton farm, the home of Gene Stratton Porter. I very well remember her as a chubby girl with black hair and eyes. She was always delighted in fixing other girl’s hair.  I knew all the characters in “Laddy Boy” her brother Leander, who was drowned in the Wabash river one summer afternoon, when he was 18 years old.  This Laddy Boy story was a true story in fiction, l was present at the “Fox Chase", remember the butting sheep buck and fished in the same deep place in the creek, where she caught her big one.


One night, we children were alone. Mother and Pete and wife had gone to a protracted meeting.  We children were not courageous staying alone, so were easily frightened.  Imagine our fright when all of a sudden our house, the yard and everything around got as bright as day, we heard a hissing sound then a heavy thud and all was dark again.  Needless to say, it seemed like ages before the folks returned and were we glad to see them.  Since there were no radios, telephones or daily papers, it was about a week before we learned that a meteor had fallen, about three miles east of us.  It looked like a large chunk of melted, iron, and rock.


One afternoon, mother went to LaGro, with my uncle Jake.  Mother gave us strict orders to stay home but for some reason, we became frightened and had a good excuse to go to uncle Jake's house, a quarter of a mile away.  There were 8 cousins in the Shinkel family and we were having the time of our lives playing which made the clock count time very fast and before we realized, the folks were home.  We hit the dust for home but that did not prevent us from getting our promised switching. I stood it pretty well but Elizabeth says she can still feel the sting of the switch.


Later on I got a spanking that I really felt. Our neighbor Bill Collons, had a lot of ducks. One day, after a rain, the ducks got into the water on our side of the road. Well it was fun for the ducks to puddle in the water and it was fun for me to club them. I killed three and covered them up nicely but l didn’t know that Bill had seen me. I had just reached home when Bill came and was showing mother the ducks. I wasn't hungry that night, so didn't want any supper but as darkness came, I had to come in, then mother took me up to neighbor Bill’s, where I had to apologise (sic), beg pardon and offer to pay for the ducks.  Oh, boy was that ever a good lesson and a spanking I’ll never forget.


Father was cutting logs for a new house and logs were scattered all over the yard.  He asked me to bring him a hatchet.  I was only five years of age but I had been taught to obey and I was quick to act but I hadn't been instructed in carrying a sharp tool, so I was not as careful, as I should have been. I was trying to step over the logs and in doing so, fell on the sharp blade, cutting the bridge of my nose.  The bleeding would not stop, so one of my sister’s ran to our neighbor Mrs. Williams.  She came right over powwowed a little and mumbled something not understandable and the bleeding stopped.


The winter before, Elizabeth was rocking in her small rocker, near a hot stove.  All at once she fell forward, throwing her hand up against the stove.  Her hand stuck to the stove and in pulling it loose, she left the inside flesh of her hand on the stove, the burn was very painful.  Again Mrs. Williams was called. She came and did the same thing, then blew on the burn and like magic the pain was gone, Elizabeth soon fell asleep and the burn soon healed.


I don't know if this one is on mother, Clara or the teacher.  When Clara was quite young, her teacher praised her for being a model student, especially in not exchanging love notes with the boys. After the compliment, mother went to a little container, and handed the teacher a handful of notes Clara had received from Alfus Ringle, so one can never tell.


Let's turn now to things of more vital importance. I was now 18 years old and living with my oldest sister and husband Mr. and Mrs. Peter Speicher.  We were living just an eighth of a mile from the Hopewell Methodist church. I was the janitor. We had a stove on either side of the church and had good wood to burn.  The Rev. Lewellen, a man who weighed 290 pounds, not much of a preacher was pastor, he lived in LaGro three miles away. Besides this appointment he served three other places, so we only had services every two weeks, in the afternoons.


The time for the yearly protracted meeting had arrived.  You note I said protracted, they often ran for weeks.  He had a local minister,  J.W. Markey assist him.  After five weeks of meetings, our pastor announced on a Saturday night that he was leaving to fill other appointments on Sunday and that Markley would close the meetings Sunday night, if no one came forward.


Well Sunday night 14 young people came forward and there were several real conversions that night. The next night, l was soundly converted and l was a changed man.  No one could ever convince me that it was only a myth or illusion.  I know that something had happened and so did the people that knew me. The meeting continued for another week during which 72 people professed conversion, 62 united with the church.


Peter  Speicher, a man of incessant prayer, was our class leader. Led by the Spirit of God, he was a real leader of the band of young converts.  From the time the meeting closed in Dec. until March, he held prayer meetings four and five times a week and it's almost unbelievable how these young Christians grew in Grace and matured in the Christian life, until they were the praying folks of the church.


During this time John Woods and I felt the call of the Holy Spirit to enter the ministry. We both. spent a year in De Paw university, at Greencastle, Ind.  Neither of us returned for a second year, due to a lack of early education.  I had to quit school after the death of my father, so I’ll never know how I got in a university with such a poor educational background. It was something that placed me under a terrible handicap all of my life. After sitting in the classes at Green Castle for a year, never being able to make one recitation, I knew I could never be a minister. I returned home and my stepbrother[7] and I borrowed some money and bought a store at Rippers, Ind. and like Jonah, felt relieved to break from the call to the ministry.  While we were able to build up a good business and prosperity was coming, here I backslid and became worldly but I never could quiet the call to the ministry, which constantly bothered me. 


After three years, I sold out my interest and returned home, clerking in Adam Cooks store.  During the winter, Rev. J.W. Wildermouth held a meeting in the Evangelical Church at Urbana, Ind. I was reclaimed and I renewed my covenant to preach.  In 1891 I went to conference of the Evangelical Church and was granted probation, which granted the conference the privilege of assigning me to a charge. I refused an assignment, as I told them a friend[8] had offered to furnish money for me to go to school, at Naperville, Ill.  They still prevailed on me to take out a license to preach, which I finally consented.  Bishop Bowman presided over the conference at this time when the division of the church was being done and men were needed. The Bishop said that the charges in Ind. were all filled but the men not employed there would be sent to Iowa. I asked him what he meant; and he said, "you are licensed and we have the say now.”  Thinking there was no other way, I consented, under the condition that they place me as assistant pastor under an experienced man.  Just one week later I received a letter from presiding elder, J.F. Yerger of the Iowa Conference saying that I was appointed to a charge in Harlan, Ia.    A friend of mine from Ind. Conference said to me, “they are going to send you out where the wolves howl”.


Before I left for Harlan, my class leader, Adam Cook, asked if I would preach for them on a Sunday night.  I told him I would preach but asked him not to tell anyone for I had never preached before and I didn’t want people to come.  When I got there, I was invited to the pulpit, my first time in a position like that.  I just didn’t know what to do with my hands, it seemed like I could find no place for them and my feet seemed so extremely large and awkward.  It was spring, it had rained and turned to a heavy fog and roads were bad.  I was glad for I didn’t think anyone would come.  I went to the pulpit, which was rather broad and high, I took the pulpit chair and by the time I was settled in it, I couldn’t see anything but the side of the pulpit.  The springs were weak and low which made it hard for me to get out of, so I announced two hymns to be sung, while still seated in the chair, then when I arose to read the scripture to my surprise, I could see the church was packed and even people standing in the rear.  For some unexplained reason, my fear was gone and I felt as easy as though I was accustomed to preaching.  I had many encouraging words from friends, who were present.  During the following week I left for Harlan.


While on the platform, waiting for the train, my good brother-in-law Speicher put something in my pocket.  When I got on the train, I looked and found a $20 gold piece.  In Chicago, I bought quite a few books from Revell Publishing Co.  From Chicago I was taken to the Rock Island depot, which would take me to Harlan.


I arrived in Harlan on April 18, 1891.  I carried a heavy overcoat, 2 satchels, on one of those hot, lazy days of spring.  I walked 7 miles to Harlan after being on the train all night, with only a few short naps between stations.  I was physically exhausted, covered with perspiration and dust and with a painful boil on my neck, I arrived at the J.W. Bittle home, where I was welcomed and very kindly entertained.


The Bittles were elderly people, with a son living at home, about my age.  They were German people and I could not carry on a conversation in German but I could understand it very well.  Imagine the thrill I got out of hearing them talking to me in German.


I preached as much as possible and received $90 salary for the year.  The last six months of the year, I was nicely housed with the H.H. Luccke family.  After one year at Harlan, I was sent to Kingsley.


Kingsley was the best paying field in the Conference.  I arrived there on April 15, 1892 and went at once to the home of Rev. J.F. Yerger where I was entertained until I could buy furniture and furnish the parsonage, where I would be setting up housekeeping, awaiting the arrival of my sister, who was coming to live with me.  She remained with me until fall, when because of failing health she returned to Ind.  I lived alone in the parsonage but spent most of my time with the people.  Here I had many interesting experiences.  I served the Beulah appointment, 8 miles south of Kingsley, where we had a prosperous society and a packed house to evenings and a fine audience on Sunday morning.  Morning Star was 11 miles east of Kingsley, where we had wonderful spiritual people.


During the second year at Kingsley, I married Anna E. Koenig, a member of the Stanton Church, eight miles south of Le Mars, Ia.  This was in the year 1893.  In 1894, we were appointed to North Des Moines.  Here we served one year.  I had an evangelist by the name of Thorn, assist in a meeting.  As a result we took in twenty seven very fine and promising young people.  They carried on a young people’s prayer meeting and all were active in the church.  This was a wonderful year, for the small church.  Mr. and Mrs. E.G. Eaton were among the finest Christian people, we ever had, as church workers.  They later opened up a mission in India.  Mrs. Eaton is still active in the Mission work.  Her husband passed away to his reward, a few years ago.


The presiding elder, J.F. Yerger, contacted a strong minister of the Methodist Church, who wanted work for the summer, so I was moved to make a place for the BIG MAN.  During the summer, he disrupted everything we had done, scattering the young people, then left in the middle of the summer.  The church never prospered after that set back.


We were appointed to Maxwell, Ia. A very discouraging move for us.  The parsonage, was an old tumble down house in the country, the rent was $5.00 a month our furniture was moved 25 miles by wagon, much was broken, bolts were lost out of the stove, furniture rubbed again other things until it was almost useless.  At Conference I had pledged to pay $25.00 to Missions.  We had to buy a team of horses, harness and buggy.  I was promised a salary of $120.00 which was set up against, $60.00 rent $25.00 Missions, $60.00 team, $35.00 buggy, $25.00 harness a total of $205.00, left us $85.00 in the red.  After this year my mother asked that we be transferred back to the Ind. Conference.  We did and were appointed to the Decatur charge, which was the county seat of Decatur county.  Here we found a very fine people, but they needed a new church and the parsonage was old and full of bed bugs.  We had never had any bed bugs before and it was hard for us to believe that there could be so many.  With the help of one of the members, we papered the house, and doped the bugs with a spray and we were soon cleaned up.  Work there just held it’s own.  During the second year, at revival time, I was taken down with catarrh[9] pneumonia and had to stop preaching for two years.  We spent the summer at Urbana, Ind. And the inter with my wife’s parents, south of Le Mars.[10]  After that my wife’s brother Chris and I farmed one of the Koenig farms, four miles south of Le Mars, which we farmed for more than a year.  I was appointed by the Iowa Conference to serve the Prescott, Ia. charge, where we had three charges, over some very hilly country in Adams county.


The people on all three appointments, were very discouraged and had told the presiding elder not to send them a preacher, so they were quite surprised at our coming.  Our first meeting was at Mt. Edna, where we had six members.  Two of them never came to church.  We had a six week meeting, with thirty converts, the membership numbers rose to forty.


At Mt. Pisgah, we had a good revival and added a nice group to the congregation.  At Mt. Zion, where we lived, we had some converts, not many joined the church but we had a nice increase in attendance.


I took on another preaching place, with a membership 14.  So my Sunday days work, was a drive of 30 miles and three sermons.  After four years in Prescott, we were appointed to Audubon, Ia.  Here we had a small church and a small congregation, but a very spiritual people, in the majority.  Here our salary had increased to the enormous sum of $500.00  The church had chairs, hooked together for seating.  We put in pews, repapered, painted and put in a furnace and bought a new organ.  We had a number of conversions and a nice addition of new members.


I helped Mr. Conner work the Canada land deal a little, enough so that we paid for a quarter section of land in Alberta.  It never made us any money but neither did we lose any.  We had many weddings and funerals and made many staunch friends in town and community.


During my pastorate, George Cramer, was converted and entered the ministry, he is still on the job.  After five years, we were sent to Viola Center, Audubon county.  This was a very hard move, 12 miles out in the country.  We faced some very difficult problems but we overcame most of them by God’s Grace and help, which he provided.  I shall not enter into details however the work built up in many ways during our two years there.  In spite of the protest of the congregation, we asked to be moved as we needed better school privileges for our older children.


We were then appointed to the pastorate in Dumont, Ia., a German congregation, They had a solid German service in the morning and a very little English service in the evening.  Here I had many interesting experiences in turning the society from the German to the English, but it took place without any trouble at all.  Here we had a very good pastorate, with these fine people.  Again after three years in Dumont we asked to be moved so that our older children might have a four year High School education.  This time we were sent to Story City in 1914.


Rev. L.J. ? Smay had served Story City for three years.  He had just about (sic) the membership as a result of a revival in which Rev. H.C. Schluter was the evangelist.  The transfer of two classes gave additional opportunities to the Story City charge.  He also encouraged the building of a new church and had around $8,000.00 already pledged.  The blue prints and contractor had already been provided for, but the society had demanded a change in pastors, so a change was made.  We were given the privilege of finishing the work, which was so well begun. 


The church was built in the summer of 1914.  We lacked only seven of doubling the membership during my pastorate there.  The five years spent in Story City were among the finest of our many years in church work.[11]


During the first two years, we served Zenorsville, a church four miles west of Gilbert, where they consented to raise enough money to make it a special mission and have it’s own pastor.


In the spring of 1919, we were appointed to Van Horne, Ia.  There we had a fine church and modern parsonage.  We had seven years of especially fine fellowship.  During our pastorate, the Methodist Church closed and all but one family worshipped with us and united with us.  During the sixth year, we had a most unusual experience, the church needed repair, all buildings needed paint.  The trustees wanted the work done but no one wanted to do the soliciting.  They appointed me to get the money.  They let the contracts and I called for volunteer gifts.  Without any soliciting, $2800.00 came in, enough to pay all bills plus a gift of $100.00 to me and $140.00 left in the repair fund.


Against our better judgement and protest, we were given a second appointment to Audubon, with Viola Center to supply.  They said the reason was because of the many friends we had made at both places.  We were crushed and never recovered from this terrible blunder.  Both places were terribly run down.  Many of our former friends were gone, those who were left were disgruntled.  The church was in an awful condition, the paper was smoked until it was really black, plastering was off in places, with loose ends of paper hanging down, other places were spotted from rain leaking through.  The floor was not only dusty but very dirty the pulpit carpet was simply black from dirt and smoke.  The piano was out of tune and yet there were people who would jump up and say, “I am saved, sanctified, cleaned up and ready to go to Heaven.”


The barn needed repair, during my first pastorate, 20 years before and was really unfit to put a car in.  The doors were hanging on one hinge and flopping about and hanging down.  The basement or hole under the church, where a furnace was put in 20 years before, was now entirely burned out and beyond repair, so it had to be replaced.  An accumulation of two years of musty cobs, plus old musty carpet and clothing, which had been used in a play, was cast in this catch all.  No where in the basement could you touch anything, without getting dirty.  We carried out dirt and rubbish almost two days before we could put anything in.


The steps leading to the front entrance, were not uniform.  One step might be 13 inches and the next one 10 inches.  The spouting was so arranged that all of the water coming from one half the roof fell in the center of the platform just in front of the main entrance.  If you went out during a rain, you had to pass right under all of this water.


On Sunday, I had to preach at Viola Center, 12 miles out, at 9:30 A.M. and I had 30 minutes, to drive back to Audubon, for a 11:00 o’clock service, over roads, which were not graveled and had 14 turns on the way.  They soon had a man for that place and I put in all of my time trying to repair Audubon.


I spoke about repairs and improvements, but the board of trustees, were not in favor of doing anything.  I preached sermons, intending to arouse their interest to bring some action.  At last I preached a sermon which brought fruit, for then one of the officers swung over and began to talk improvement.  Work was begun and plans were made, but to tell you of all the trouble which came up, would fill the pages of a book, so I’ll not get into that.  Suffice it to say that we asked to be moved, at the end of the year.


At Conference, we were moved to Harlan, where we served our first appointment.  It was a very small congregation, but I think the most talented and finest Christian people we had ever worked with.  There were so few members and so many much larger churches, that it was hard to get people to come to a small church, with both church and parsonage, in need of repair.  Yet the dear people said that if we would stay, they would make the repairs.


After three years, we were moved to Radcliffe, Ia., where we had a nice pastorate for five years, nothing of importance took place here[12] this being one of the most limited of fields.


From this field we were sent to Green Mountain, a small country church, north east of Green Mountain.  A very nice, modern parsonage and a very well kept church.  Rev. Russell had served this church well for eleven years and it was difficult for these people to get used to a new pastor, so it was hard to get into their confidence.


However we started in well but the winter set in real early and we had two of the most severe winters we had ever encountered in over forty years, because of ice and snowdrifts, we were unable to hold services for seven weeks.  After the severe winters, it was difficult to get going as in former days.  After a pastorate of three years and because I had reached the age of retirement, we retired and move to Story City where we had bought our first home.  Thus ended forty six years of my ministry.





[Note from Lois written at end of manuscript:  Dear family: I read two copies[13] that Dad had written, put them together as several pages were gone from one copy[14] The other contained some things that were lost, but not as compete as the other.  I learned a lot about Dad that I never knew so hope it will do something for you.


Now that we have all this to go on I feel that each one of us should write the things that we remember in our growing up years and I’ll be glad to put them together for future members of the family to enjoy.  So each one send their memories to me and when this comes back, I’ll get to work on it.  Thanks.  Lois


Just send this around as we do the family letter.  When Mary was out to Elmer’s one time she asked him to tell things he remembered and he did and she taped it so maybe we can add those things to the family history.]


[1] Name is “Karl” and birth date given as September 18, 1828 on German birth certificate.  Copy and translation in possession of Wendel Thompson.


[2] Other sources indicate it was 1920.

[3] Other sources indicate it was 1909.

[4] Other sources indicate it was Dec. 16.

[5] Year was left blank.  Mary was born in 1943.

[6] There is a town named Speicherville between Urbana and Wabash.  I wonder if Peter Speicher had anything to do with that town.

[7] Wendel wonders who this is, since his step father Amacher brought two girls to the marriage from his previous marriage—Mary and Ida. Perhaps it was one who married Mary or Ida who were both about the same age as Charles Daniel.

[8] The person named in the Biography of Charles Daniel Wendel was D.L. Speicher.

[9] A word in the typed manuscript was written over and the replaced word appears to be “catarrh”.

[10] This explains why the family is listed in the 1900 Census living in Plymouth County, Iowa.  Charles D. Wendel is listed first maybe because of his age 33.  Also listed in the same household were Anna, Elmer, Paul, Dwight, Christian Koenig (brother-in-law age 23), and Earl Speicher (nephew age 14).    

[11] No wonder Charles and Anna decided to spend their retirement years in Story City.

[12] Hey, Golden and Helen were married in Radcliffe!

[13] One was probably the Biography of Charles Daniel Wendel and the other this document—the Wendel History.

[14] That may be the missing pages in the Biography of Charles Daniel Wendel.  This would suggest that inspection of the original copy may not reveal more pages than we have here.

[15] The back of the photo has "Mr. and Mrs. C. D. Wendel with 50th ann. flowers. Apr 30, 1943."
Photo submitted by Lori Rute Fortner of Houston, TX, Apr 2015, who said:
"I am not a family member but suspect the photo was sent to my great Aunt Laura Rute Olson who lived in Viola, Audubon, Iowa. I was given a huge box of her memorabilia and photographs. This was inside the box".