|Birth: ||Sep. 12, 1844|
Bavaria (Bayern), Germany
|Death: ||Feb. 2, 1936|
Frank Biebel - Brown County's last surviving Civil War Veteran
Frank Biebel was born September 12, 1844 in Sendalbach, Germany to Joseph and Eva Biebel. He came to America in 1847 at age 3 with his parents and older brother, Anton.
Frank Biebel married Margaret (Hammes) Biebel. Margaret (Hammes) Biebel was born May 3, 1850. She came to America from Germany around 1853. She and Frank Biebel were married on November 4, 1868, by Father Faller at the St. Francis Xavier Cathedral in Green Bay.
Frank and Margaret Biebel had 15 children. Three children died of childhood illnesses, all at age three. The names of two of these children were given to children born later. Twelve of their fifteen children lived to adulthood.
Children, birth/death dates, age at death:
Frank, Jr.: 1870-1873, age 3
John: 1871-1949, age 77
Joseph: 1873-1940, age 67
Catherine: 1875-1963, age 87
Mary: 1877-1880, age 3
Frank: 1879-1933, age 54
Mary: 1880-1967, age 86
Peter: 1882-1931, age 48
Rose: 1884-1973, age 88
Michael: 1886-1962, age 76
Edward: 1888-1982, age 94
Antone: 1890-1893, age 3
George: 1892-1969, age 76
Christine: 1894-1980, age 86
Anna: 1896-1983, age 87
Frank Biebel was a member of Company H, 4th Regiment, Wisconsin Cavalry, the Grand Army of the Republic. As an emigrant to this country, he was very proud to to have fought for his new country. He enlisted in the Union Army in August of 1864. He tried to enlist a year earlier, but he was refused because he ran for a long distance to reach the recruitment center. When he arrived, his heart was beating so fast that he was diagnosed with 'heart trouble.'
During his lifetime, Frank Biebel operated a saloon and dance hall on the northwest corner of east Mason Street and Lime Kiln Road in Green Bay. He also farmed and worked in a saw mill.
The tavern and dance hall became known for miles around as "Biebel's Corner." On the property was a livery stable, and "Biebel's Corner" was the first place everyone traveling to or through Green Bay would stop to refresh their horses and themselves.
All fifteen of Frank and Margaret Biebel's children were born in the home at "Biebel's Corner." The bedrooms upstairs were unheated, and everyone slept beneath feather ticks. The mattresses were stuffed with corn husks and were about one foot thick. The daytime living quarters and the business areas of the property were heated with wood burning stoves. Frank Biebel owned a wood lot on Finger Road where he cut fire wood in summer and early fall.
He was an excellent swimmer and a river man. He drove logs down the East River to the lumber mill by riding them
and clearing the jambs that would occur along the way. He was also a volunteer with the Green Bay fire department, Franklin Hose Company Number 3. The fire wagon had to be pulled and pushed by hand in those days, and Frank often said, "We were never able to reach a fire before the fire would go out."
While he could not read or write and had no opportunity for a formal education, Frank Biebel delivered mail on horseback through the woods from Green Bay to Kewaunee. Arriving at a location, he would let the people sort through and find their own mail. Although he could not read or write, he had a remarkable memory, and he always knew every cent that anyone owed to him.
In 1897 Frank and Margaret Biebel relocated to an 80 acre farm on Lime Kiln Road in Bellevue. A windmill ran the feed cutter, and when there was a shortage of feed, the children had to be awakened in the middle of the night - if that was when the wind was blowing - to help cut feed.
Frank Biebel retired in 1903. His sons Joe, Michael and Edward built a new home for Frank and Margaret on Lime Kiln Road. Later these sons built another home for them at 1145 Crooks Street where they lived the remainder of their lives. Margaret passed away in November, 1924, and Frank passed away in February, 1936.
As of 2013, the number of Frank and Margaret's descendants is nearing 1,000.
As one of the last Civil War Veteran, Frank Biebel often rode in a position of honor in many local parades and was a guest of honor at many celebrations and banquets.
In the year before his death, Frank's son, George, took him to his first Packer football game. After seeing the game, Frank said he did not care to see another one, adding, "I thought the game was far too rough, shouldn't be allowed, and I could not understand why anyone would travel a hundred miles or more to see it."
Frank Biebel lived to be 91 years old and was Green Bay's oldest surviving Civil War Veteran. His death in 1936 officially ended the existence of the Grand Army of the Republic in Green Bay.
The local newspaper story of his death stated:
"To Frank Biebel came the honor and distinction of winding up the long procession that reached back to 1865. It seems fitting proper that this ribbon should go to one who was foreign-born. It may tend to emphasize the inestimable value to America of those sturdy hearts that came to this land not only to live upon it, but to construct and preserve it.
T. O. Howe post, Grand Army of the Republic, passed into history with the death of Frank Biebel. He was the last surviving "vet" of the Green Bay post which numbered 26 when it was granted its charter Dec. 29, 1863."
Frank Biebel honored honesty and fairness, and he and Margaret passed these values on to their children which in turn, passed them on to their children through the generations. Honesty and integrity are traits associated with the Biebel name to this day.
During the Civil War, Frank Biebel's horse was shot out from under him by "bushwhackers." It made him angry, as he felt that hiding in the bushes was a shameful and cowardly way to fight. He had to make his way to a nearby dance hall where he "borrowed" a horse in order to return to his regiment.
If Frank Biebel had been shot instead of his horse, there would have been hundreds of his descendants that never would have been born. The Frank Biebel family is now in its ninth generation with over 9,000 descendants.
Margaret Hammes Biebel (1850 - 1924)*
Margaret Hammes Biebel (1850 - 1924)*
Frank Biebel (1870 - 1873)*
John Biebel (1871 - 1949)*
Joseph F Biebel (1873 - 1940)*
Catherine Biebel DeWitt (1875 - 1963)*
Mary Biebel (1877 - 1880)*
Frank Biebel (1879 - 1933)*
Mary Biebel Patten (1880 - 1967)*
Peter Biebel (1882 - 1931)*
Rose Haupt (1884 - 1973)*
Michael Biebel (1886 - 1962)*
Edward Biebel (1888 - 1982)*
Antone Biebel (1890 - 1893)*
George Biebel (1892 - 1969)*
Christine E Biebel Summers (1894 - 1980)*
Anna M Biebel (1896 - 1983)*
Allouez Catholic Cemetery And Chapel Mausoleum
Plot: Section G
Created by: Jeanne Biebel
Record added: Jul 22, 2007
Find A Grave Memorial# 20573832
Charlene MacKersie Sloan
Added: Oct. 21, 2015
Added: Jul. 13, 2013
There are men and women who have gone before us to make sure we have the freedoms that we do. They are the reasons our voices can be heard. Thank you for your service.|
Added: Feb. 18, 2013
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