NameViktoria Fehrenbacher
BirthAug 19, 1832, Kappel am Rhein, Baden, Germany
DeathApr 15, 1905, Barr Township, Cambria County, Pa.
BurialSt. Nicholas Church Cemetery, Nicktown, Pa.
FatherJohann Georg Fehrenbacher (1768-1851)
MotherFranziska Gänshirth (1788-1845)
Spouses
BirthOct 18, 1807
DeathOct 22, 1885
FatherDennis Brawley (1767-1856)
MotherCatherine (-1862)
Unmarried
ChildrenMathilda (1856-1943)
BirthSep 18, 1810, Saxony, Prussia
DeathDec 29, 1887
BurialSt. Nicholas Church Cemetery, Nicktown, Pa.
MarriageMay 10, 1859, St. Benedict's Church, Carrolltown, Pa.
ChildrenMary E. (1860-1943)
 Henry Celestine (1862-1928)
Notes for Viktoria Fehrenbacher
Victoria’s obituary explains that she was born in Baden, Germany, and that she came to the U.S. in 1853 with her two nephews Charles and Bernard Farabaugh. She was well-known in Ebensburg, having lived with the family of John A. Blair for a number of years. She married Frederick Bechel in May of 1859 and that “[t]o their union” was born Mathilda, wife of Anthony Brewer of Pittsburg[h], Mary, wife of J.L. Sherry and Henry, with whom she made her home. She was “a life long member of the Catholic Church, a good kind mother and a model neighbor.” Victoria had been ailing from lung trouble for 20 years, which developed into dropsy and caused her death.

John A. Blair opened his boarding house and hotel in November of 1853, following his acquistion of the Ebensburg boarding house formerly kept by Mary O. Evans. Victoria lived and worked there with the assistance of Carrolltown’s founder, Fr. Peter Lemke. Dennis Brawley, whose parents were residents of the home, fathered a daughter to Victoria. Victoria raised the daughter, Matilda, and later married Frederick Bechel, settling near Nicktown, Pa.

In 1860, "Victoria" was a 27 year old born in Baden, living in Carroll Township with her husband, "Frederick Bagheal," a 49 year old "farm labourer" born in Saxony, with realty valued at $1000 and personal effects worth $250.

Victoria evidently became a U.S. Citizen on October 7, 1862, the same date as her husband Frederick.

In 1880, "Victoria" was a 49 year old "house keeper," born in Baden, and living with her husband in Barr Township. "Frederick Pichel" was born in Saxony, was 70 years old, and was "not working." The surname apparently evolved from Pichel or Bichel to Bechel, the name assumed by the descendants.
Notes for Dennis (Spouse 1)
As a child, Dennis carried water to the workmen that laid the Northern Pike through Ebensburg, Pa., the predecessor to modern Route 22. In his youth he was a waggoner who transported goods from Baltimore and Pittsburgh to Philadelphia. He became a boatman when the Pennsylvania Canal opened. During the Civil War, he ran boats along the Cumberland Canal. In later life, he assisted with the management of the Blair House hotel, in Ebensburg, Pa.

Census records show that in 1850 Dennis was was a “Boatman” living in Washington Township, Cambria County, with the family of his older brother Michael. His parents were living at the boarding home of Mary Evans in Ebensburg. This boarding house was acquired by John and Mary Jane Blair, and re-established as Blair House, in 1853. Victoria Fehrenbacher / Farabaugh came to work there following her arrival from Baden, Germany, and had a daughter by Dennis Brawley in 1856. The couple did not marry, and Victoria later married Frederick Bechel. Together they raised the daughter and had a family near Nicktown, Pa.

Dennis cannot be found in the 1860 Census, but in 1870, he is living at the Blair House in Ebensburg, where John Blair was working as Sheriff and Dennis is listed in some capacity as “Speculator in [House?}, possibly in connection with the county prison there. In 1880, Dennis Brawley is listed as a 73 year old boarder and "servant" at the Blair House on High Street.

1885 Will Book, Cambria County, Pa. 1-283 Dennis Brawley.
Notes for Christian Friedrich (Spouse 2)

A free passage document, with a government seal from 6 April 1849, indicates that “Christian Friedrick Pichel” was a resident of Lössau, Thuringia, Germany. All of his known family information comes from this document. To verify his identity the declarant also indicates that he would often visit the families of Raush and Springer at Reuss and have dinner with them; and that he went to church to hear the divine words. To his important plans to go to another country to find work it wishes God’s luck and blessings.

A second stamped document, originating from the Justice Office of Reuss-Schleiz, decrees permission for free passage for one year, with the intent of going from an undecipherible location to North America. This document identifies Johann Püchel, a ground worker from Lössau and includes a physical description as being 38 years of age, average statute, light-brown hair, average forehead, light-brown eyes, curved nose, common mouth, light-brown beard, oval chin and reddish or healthy face color. It is dated 8 Mar 1849. The name does not match the declaration subsequently issued, described above. But the subject’s age and location does, and so the document may merit consideration.

On 29 Sep 1852, “Frederick Bechel” purchased 100 acres and 31 perches in Carroll Township, Cambria County, Pa., for $200.00, from the common land agent James C. Fisher.

Frederick became a U.S. Citizen on October 7, 1862. He assisted with the original construction of St. Nicholas Church, Nicktown, Pa., in about 1867.

In 1879, when the Bechel parcel was within Barr Township, “Fredric Büchl” acquired the right to create a 16 foot wide access to the township road from an accomodating neighbor, Nicholas Lambour, for one dollar. The road was to abut the land of John Kirch [Kirsch} and the parcel also adjoined the parcel of Gottlieb and Christiana Pfister.

The Last Will and Testament of “Frederick Pichel,” dated 6 Feb 1881 bequeathed the farm and all property to son Henry, $300 to daughter Mary and $100 to step-daughter Matilda, five years after his death and the death of his wife, with his wife having possession of the entire estate during her lifetime. The document is listed in the 1887 Will Book, Cambria County, Pa., 13-156, under the name “Frederick Pickel.”

When the family farm eventually became Henry’s property, 58 acres evidently became owned by Henry’s son Fred. In 1945, Fred leased the divided portion to “Eleanor Bechel,” his mother, for $100 a year for three years and extended by two, which took the lease up to Eleanor’s death in 1950.
Last Modified Jun 21, 2021Created Dec 23, 2021 using Reunion for Macintosh