Businessman/politician. Born in Bavaria, Germany, he served an apprenticeship as a baker. Upon hearing of the success of his countrymen in America and because of the lack of business opportunities in his homeland, he decided to emigrate to America. He arrived in St. Louis in 1836. He worked as a baker for two years and after having saved enough money, he started his own bakery.He received his naturalization papers in 1841 and soon became involved in local politics. In 1843 he was appointed the city weigher for three years, then served as a clerk in the post office for one year. From 1851 to 1858 he was a justice of the peace and served on the City Council from 1855 to 1861.In 1851, when he became a justice of the peace, he became associated with the St. Louis Fire and Marine Insurance Company. He became their president and directed them into one of the more successful insurance companies in the West.Because of Vogel’s interest in politics and his involvement in the German community, he became a leader in the large anti-slavery German liberal faction. He received the nomination for sheriff in 1862 and his personal popularity led to his election.He led the indignant, anti-slavery citizens who supported General John Fremont when he was relieved his command by President Lincoln. Councilman Vogel, who was elected by other German civic leader to head a committee of support, made a strong speech, which favored the views of Fremont over Lincoln’s.Vogel, who supported the radical wing of the Republican party, was involved in the scandalous sale of the Iron Mountain and Cairo and Fulton Railroads. The state foreclosed on the railroads and sold it to one of the lowest bidders. The successful bidders were A. J. McKay and “others.” John Vogel was among the others.” The successful bidders sold the railroads for a $375,000 profit a month later to Thomas Allen who had been one of the original high bidders. The governor who permitted the sale was the radical Republican Thomas Fletcher.
Sophie W. Vogel