Bloomington Historical Society banner

The Franz J. Pahl Family Album

A Pictorial Journey from the Old World to Bloomington

The United States is a nation of immigrants. Their stories have a familiar ring because they are chronicles of the journeys taken by our ancestors--past generations who came across oceans seeking a fresh start and a better life. These pioneers married, raised children and worked hard. They built homes, businesses and communities. They fought in wars and found churches. They passed their hopes and dreams onto their children.

The Pahl Family's second generation of Americans has had ties to Bloomington since the early 1900s. The family's journey from the late nineteenth through the mid-twentieth century is documented here.

Pahl Family Tree

The first generation -- Franz and Susan Pahl

Franz Joseph Pahl
1839 - 1892

Hier ruhet Franz J Pahl geb. 5 Juni 1839, Gest. 15 Juni 1892

Franz J. Pahl left Baden-Wurttemberg, Germany, in 1857.

Manifest with name highlighted.

Passenger #49 on the Ocean River was Franz J. Pahl: age 18; occupation: farmer; origin: Baden; destination: United States of America; traveled: below deck.

The document to the left reads:

District of New York–Port of New York

I, M. F. Pickinng, Master of the Ship Ocean River do solemnly, sincerely and truly swear that the following List or Manifest, subscribed by me and now delivered by me to the Collector of Customs of the Collection District of New York, is a fully and perfect list of all the passengers taken on board of the said ship at Havre from which port said ship has now arrived and that said list is truly designated the age, the sex, and the occupation of each of said passengers, the part of the vessel occupied by each during the passage, the country to which each belongs and also the country of which it is intended by each to become an inhabitant; and that said List or Manifest truly sets forth the number of said passengers who have died on said voyage, and the names and ages of those who died. So help me God.

Signed M. F. Pickinng, Dec. 3, 1857.

Civil War Pension document

In 1864, seven years after arriving, Pahl enlisted as a Private in the Union Army. This document is Pahl's Civil War Pension record. Below is a brief record of his time in the service.

Service Record

Name: Franz Pahl
Enlistment Date: 24 August 1864
Distinguished Service: DISTINGUISHED SERVICE
Side Served: Union
State Served: Minnesota
Unit Numbers: 1149

Service Record: Enlisted as a Private on 24 August 1864 at the age of 25 in Company A, 11th Infantry Regiment Minnesota. Mustered out Company A, 11th Infantry Regiment Minnesota on 26 June 1865 in St Paul, MN

Regiment: 11th Infantry Regiment MN

Date Mustered: 26 June 1865

Regiment Type: Infantry

Enlisted Died of Disease or Accident: 0
Officers Died of Disease or Accident: 3
Enlisted Killed or Mortally Wounded: 1

About the Minnesota 11th Infantry (One Year)

Eleventh Infantry--Col. James Gilfillan; Lieut.-Col. John Ball; Maj. Martin Maginnis.

This regiment was organized during Aug. and Sept., 1864, and was mustered in by companies at various dates. It left the state Sept. 20, was detained in Chicago a week, and reported at Nashville, where it was detailed by companies to guard the railroad against guerrillas. Headquarters were established at Gallatin, with Cos. E, G and I as guard at that point, A was located at Buck lodge, B at Edgefield Junction, C at Richland, D at Sandersville and Alexander's bridge, F and K at the tunnel, and H at Mitchellville. The regiment passed the time of its service in that region in the somewhat wearisome work imposed by guard, picket and patrol duty, and the life was spiced by an occasional chase after guerrillas. A herd of 1,500 cattle, captured by a band of mounted guerrillas, was recaptured and 2 men were killed by the guerrillas March 12, 1865, near Gallatin. In the early summer the guerrillas surrendered to Lieut. Hall, post provost marshal, and on June 26, the regiment started for home. It was mustered out July 11, 1865.

Battles Fought: Fought on 12 March 1865 at Gallatin, TN.

Source Information: Historical Data Systems, comp. Military Records of Individual Civil War Soldiers. [database online] Provo, UT:, 1999-. Data compiled by Historical Data Systems of Kingston, MA from the following list of works. Copyright 1997, 1998, 1999, 2000 - Historical Data Systems Inc.P.O. Box 196 Kingston, MA 02364

Page from the 1880 Census.

The 1860 U.S. Census shows Franz J. Pahl as a resident of Minnetrista, Minnesota, 21 years of age with real estate valued at $200 and a personal estate value of $70.

By the 1880 U.S. Census, pictured left, Franz had become the Americanized "Frank." He had moved to Richfield and had a wife, Susan, and seven children-- Frank, Peter, Caroline, Anne, John, George and Susan--ranging from 17 years to 3 months old.

Susan (Aspald orAsfeldt) Pahl
1844 - 1927

Susan Aspald married Franz Pahl on February 22, 1862, in St. Bonifacious, Minnesota. She was born August 10, 1844, in Butler County, Pennsylvania, and died July 27, 1927, in St. Paul, Minnesota.

Surrounded by children.

Susan Pahl and her 22 grandchildren.

Studio portrait.

Susan Pahl and one of her children (Frank?).

Seated in a pasture.

Susan Pahl seated in a reading chair, holding a cake with many candles.

Standing with the Sister in the pasture.

Susan Pahl, one of the founders of Assumption Parish and Sister Adelbert (Teresa Pahl), daughter of Peter and Elaine (Wendlick) Pahl.

A group of women.

The Assumption Hen Party 1 - Susan (Aspald/Ashfelt) Pahl is in the front row, second from left. Dolores St. Martin, a member of another prominent Bloomington family, is third from right in back.

Susan seated in the pasture with baby in arms and son and granson behind the chair.

Susan Pahl is seated with three generations of Pahls at a family gathering. Frank Pahl's mother (Susan) and his wife Louisa Bohl Pahl's father were present. The four generations of Pahls are, listed clockwise, Susan Pahl, grandson Herman (Andrew?) Pahl, son Frank Pahl (married to Louisa Bohl) and great grandson Kenneth (Lawrence?) Pahl.

Andrew Bohl seated in the pasture with baby in arms and son and granson behind the chair.

At the same family gathering, four generations of Bolls posed for the camera. Listed clockwise, Andrew Boll (seated), Louisa (Boll) Pahl, grandson Herman (Andrew?) Pahl and great grandson Kenneth (Lawrence?) Pahl.

Courtesy of the Franz J. Pahl Family, Greg Faust.

  Home     About BHS     Collections     Heritage     History     Links