Biography of Carl Hankel                                             




"CARL HANKEL came with his parents as a lad of 15 in 1861 from Germany by boat to Wisconsin.  In the census reading of 1870 he was listed as a farm laborer and still at home age 24 years.  Two of his older brothers William and Robert were now married.  Two years later he was to find his wife who was from Madison, Wisconsin."   Source: 50th Hankel Reunion Book, 1986.  JAS, 8/2000.

" . . . The National Homestead Act had gone into effect in 1862.  In 1873 it was amended with the Timber Culture Act which would help homesteaders.  It allowed them to gain another 160 acres by planting one fourth of it in trees with in [sic] four years.  The completion of railroads in 1867 and the bridge built over the Missouri River in 1872 opened up Nebraska to more immigrants. . ."  Source: "50th Hankel Reunion Book, pgs 1-2.  JAS, 10/2000.

"The Railroad companies probably played into four brothers who was to move on and into Nebraska.  From 1862, The Union Pacific rails crept from the Eastern states westward.  The Central Pacific was building eastward from Sacramento, California.  Not many rails were laid during the War between the States but with thousands of released soldiers the rails went west with a frantic pace.  The Union Pacific and Central Pacific met in 1869.  Many branches of railroads were laid off on this main railway opening up the west."  Source: "50th Hankel Reunion Book", page 2.  JAS, 10/2000.

"Now, one of the greatest advertising campains [sic] in America history began.  The land-grant railroads made extraordinary efforts to attract settlers from Europe as well as those recent immigrants already in the States.  . . ."  Source: "50th Hankel Reunion Book", page 2.  JAS, 10/2000.

"On September 18. 1872 Carl and CHARLOTTE SABRINA FRYER were married.  Their first child EDWAR[sic] CHARLES (HANKEL) arrived July 13, 1873 and his brother ROBERT (HANKEL) has left for a new area, Nebraska.  Nebraska was a new state being admitted to the union in 1867.  The railroads companys [sic] were now building into this area and advertising huge tracts of land for sale that had been given to the railroads by the Federal Government.  Carl, Charlotte and son Edward moved to Hampton, Hamilton County, Nebraska in 1874 where they had to live in a sod shanty until they could build a home on their homestead.  Here in May 1875 a second son William arrived.  There were to live in Nebraska for ten years when they decided to come by railroad to Portland, Oregon.  IDA, ROBERT, MINNIE and MARY (HANKEL) were born here in Nebraska."

"Carl became a United State Citizen while in Nebraska in 1879.  The home he built and lived in, the owners he sold too in 1884 celebrated 100 years in 1984."

"The first Transcontinental railway crossed into Washington and Oregon in 1883.  Oregon had become a state in 1859 leaving the Washington territory.  Leaving his brothers and families [sic] in Nebraska he came by train with his wife Charlotte and six children age 11 years to one year.  In 1884 Portland, Oregon is a busy center.  They were to settle some 20 miles south of the city in Sherwood, Oregon German settlement.  Here two more [sic] sons were born, George and Herman being confirmed in the Lutheran Church."

"In 1887 the Washington territory was being advertised by railroads and promoters so Carl once again on April 13, 1887 went to LIncoln County, Washington and got land near the town of Wilbur, Washington.  The land was some 12 to 15 miles south at Fairview, now Wheatridge area.  They lived in a dug out down in the rock coulee until a house was built on the land.  A Dug Out is a long trench dug in the ground next to a rock wall and rocks built up to lay pine poles on across, then tulles or any material was used to keep the rain out.  Washington became a state in November 1889.  His descendants are Pioneer to the state [sic]."

"The town of Wilbur was started in 1875 by WILD GOOSE BILL CONDON was one store. [sic]  In 1883 the country was new, and neighbors were few.  The first Post Office was 1885 but soon failed.  Their [sic] would be many post masters before the town was settle [sic].  The first home was constructed in 1888.  Wilbur was first incorporated in March 1889 but after admission of Washington too [sic] a state in November 1889 all such incorporations were declared void.  Finally in 1890 it was declared lawfully a 4th class town.  By now their [sic] are 350 residents, 3 or more saloons, 2 general stores, a combined furniture and undertaking parlor, meat market, and Hays Wagons and Farmers needs"

"Carl had come by railroad to Sprague (railroad center) some 40 to 50 miles east and south of his land.  He drove his cattle and horses across country to his farm in 1887.  When the railroad came into Wilbur to haul grain in the 1889 and 1890 their [sic] was soon a bank a mill, and a stage line.  But their [sic] were many hard times ahead.  The summer of 1889 the crops failed due to late storms and wind drying out the soil."

"In 1890 to start the New Year they had for over a week the worst storms in history.  The settlers were without communication, the railroads were blocked, the stock was starving from the heavy snow and keeping alive must of been hard."

"The Wilbur Register was printed in 1889.  The big news was the County being named after President Lincoln, Wilbur must prosper.  'Now let Wilbur, the Keystone of the Big Bend, be named the capital (apparently of Washington) very grand plans for the small eastern town.  Schools were started in outlaying districts as early as 1884 but taught by mothers or volunteers.  Fairview district was where the Hankel children attended when they weren't needed at home. First school in Wilbur was 1888 and 1891 a $5000.00 two story brick school house was erected on south hill.  Over the years their [sic] has been several schools built on this site."

"July 17, 1891 Carl Hankel has gone to Sprague to serve on the jury.  Beside the first land he acquired in 1887 he added 160 acres paying on April 7, 1891 $874.40 for a total of 235 acres.  The Wilbur paper on July 14, 1893 had this news item:"

"Carl Hankel, living ten miles south of town, met with a distressing accident Wednesday morning.  He is about 50 years of age (was 47) before breakfast, about six o'clock, he took his rifle and went out into the yard to shoot a hawk that was flying over the field.  He made an examination of the gun to see that itwas [sic] properly loaded holding the barrel downward.  In fingering the trigger the weapon was discharged, the shot entering the right leg about two inches above knee joint, passing downward and completely shattering the bone.  The rifle was in such range that its idscharge made a fearful wound.  A messenger (son Robert) was sent to Wilbur for Drs. YOUNT and KING, who arrived at the house at 10 o'clock.  The injured man was attended to and relieved in every way possible, but the wound is of dangerous character that amputation may become necessary."

"July 21, 1893 -- Wilbur paper reports: MR. HANKEL IMPROVING: Carl Hankel, the old gentleman who so badly wounded the 12th of July by the accidental discharge of a shot gun (rifle) is now reported improving.  As stated in the Register last week, the wound was in the knee, the cap being entirely blown off by a heavy load of buckshot.  It is now thought that amputation will not be necessary as at first supposed, although the physicians say that all danger has not been passed."  Source: 50th Hankel Reunion Book, 1986.  JAS, 8/2000.

Carl was adamant that the leg NOT be amputated.  Source: R. Ellen Wagner Artley, 8/2000.

"Of all cases of the same nature recorded in surgery, not more than one in five have recovered.  Mr. Hankel may fortunately regain the use of the limb and be able to walk with the aid of artificial supports.  Dr. Yount, who returned from a call at the ranch Wednesday, reports that the patient is resting well."

"May 18, 1884--Mr. Carl Hankel has started to sod plow in his new ranch (Lots of sons to help)."

"June 1, 1894 -- Carl Hankel has about 80 acres of sod broken on his new ranch.  This farm is now in 1986 where John Wagner a Great-grandson still lives and farms."

"Fall of 1894 after harvest Carl and son William left to get winter wood about 25 miles to Creston.  It was already getting cold but taking two wagons and food for several days they had got one wagon loaded when Carl slipped and fell, due to the unstable knee.  He broke some ribs and injured his side and went into a chill.  Williams got a fire going and since it was too late to start home that night he tried keeping his father warm and early next morning they started home.  Carl suffered from the chill and stress had [sic] pneumonia.  His labored breathing and suffering when on several days and realizing that he may die he asked William to stay and help his [William's] mother.  The older son Ed was 21 was gone and out on his own.  They were not able to save Carl's life and on December 14, 1894 he passed away.  He left his wife Charlotte and 8 sons and three daughters, ranging in age from 21 to 7 months old. . . "  Source: "50th Hankel Reunion, Descendants of Carl Wilhelm Hienrich Hankel, 1846-1894 & Charlotte Sabrina Fryer, 1850-1919" (1986).  JAS, 10/2000.

" . . .  Ironically a brace to keep his leg from swinging back and forth came a few days after his death."  GEORGE and MARY (HANKEL) Wagner purchased the Hankel homestead in 1913.   Source: Hankel Family Reunion Book Addendum (1978), p. 3.  JAS, 10/2000.


I've listed the sources under each paragraph and then JAS and the date.  The JAS stands for me (Judy Artley Sandbloom) and the date is when I keyed the info into Family Tree Maker.  If there are several paragraphs without a source notation the next source cited applies to all of the above paragraphs.  If at all possible, I want the sources listed along with the info.  I really want the people who provided the information to get their credit.  Judy



 Submitted to the WAGenWeb by Judy Artley, Sept. 30, 2003


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