|Birth: ||Nov. 11, 1869|
|Death: ||Jun. 14, 1948|
My great-great-grandfather William Watson Diehl was the eldest son of Joseph Watson and Mary Elizabeth Staudenmayer Diehl, born on November 11, 1869 in Plymouth Meeting, Pennsylvania. He and his parents moved to Philadelphia when he was a little boy. His maternal grandparents, Gottlieb and Maria Staudenmayer came to America some time around 1835 from Württemberg, Germany. As the eldest child, he helped his father raise his three siblings Otto, Catherine, and Jacob after their mother died a few days after giving birth to their sister Augusta when William was fifteen. Augusta joined their mother in Heaven three weeks later. As part of helping his father support the family, his first job consisted of carrying heavy hides on his back for a tannery, an occupation that within a few years gave him the strong, muscular physique that he kept for the remainder of his seventy-eight years.
As an eighteen year-old, once his family's financial situation was in order, he was able to tour Europe with two other young men. While overseas, William immediately set out with his friends to make the most of their time, seeing landmarks they recognized from their textbooks and tasting the delicious local food. After his return to Philadelphia, William eagerly told his family about his experiences overseas.
Throughout his long life, William was constantly pursuing knowledge. As a young man he attended evening classes in the sciences, getting his Bachelor's Degree from Drexel Institute, and later his Master's from Spring Garden Institute in the 1890s.
According to my grandmother, her Grandpa William was a handsome man for his era, with a square jaw, broad face, full head of sandy brown hair, and light blue eyes. It was only a matter of time before he caught the eye of Mary Glaser, and they were married in 1892. From this union three children were born: William Russell Diehl, my great-grandmother Ruth Elizabeth Diehl Huggins, and Robert Earl Diehl. As a father, William was ahead of his time, encouraging Great-Grandma Ruth to attend and graduate from college and start a business career of her own. He and his wife were members of a local gymnasium in Philadelphia, and also regularly attended balls.
When World War I came along in 1914, William was one of the first businessmen in Philadelphia to start selling war bonds, receiving recognition from the U.S. government for his exceptional sales. Despite his new-found wealth, he never forgot his blue-collar origins, and he worked for a navy yard during the same time period, advocated for workers' rights, and seized every opportunity to donate to charity. William's success with war bond sales enabled him to retire in 1919 as a wealthy 50 year-old and live quite comfortably for the last 28 years of his life.
William's wife died on January 18, 1920 of tuberculosis she had acquired from a boy she had been babysitting, but in 1923, he married again, this time to Mary A. Fraser, a family friend and neighbor who had been widowed shortly after William. Their marriage was a happy one, and lasted for 23 years until Mary's passing in 1946, and they enjoyed countless visits from William's five grandchildren, including my grandmother. William enjoyed an amicable relationship with his son-in-law Floyd Huggins, and he was greatly saddened when Floyd died on September 24, 1947. William Diehl eventually went to be with the Lord on June 14, 1948, at the advanced age of seventy-eight.
Joseph Watson Diehl (1831 - 1910)
Elizabeth Diehl (1843 - 1884)
Mary A Diehl (1870 - 1946)
Mary E. Glaser Diehl (1874 - 1920)
William Watson Diehl (1869 - 1948)
Augusta Diehl (1884 - 1884)*
Mount Peace Cemetery
Created by: Raymond Lisle
Record added: Oct 15, 2010
Find A Grave Memorial# 60165865