JOHANN DANIEL MAIER
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THE STORY AS I KNOW IT
Johann Daniel Maier was born Oct 3, 1845 in Bessingen an der Teck, Wurttemberg, Germany. The Maier family was recorded in that village for over 300 years, back to 1577. Maier Genealogy was written in the 1930's while a family member was living in Germany. However, I also have a copy of the Protestant church records of Bissingen microfilmed by the LDS library. The handwriting is in old German and the spelling varies but the detail matches what had been discovered in the 1930s.
Johann Daniel was the third child of Johann Christian Maier and Barbara Gienger. They were also from Bessingen.
In 1868 he emigrated to Wilmington Delaware. The Family Record from Book 1, pages 381, 382 held at the Ratshaus in Bissingen an der Teck states Johan Daniel Maier, born October 3, 1845 "in America".
His father's sister Regina had emigrated in the 1850's. She was married to Johann Daniel Kurz. He was born in Hoesslinswart in Wuerttemberg. He was the son of George Friedrich Kurts. Both spellings Kurz and Kurts are used in the Maier Genealogy. that same piece stated Regina wed Herr Kurz on April 21, 1857 in Wilmington DE . Johann Daniel lived and worked in the the Kurz bakery. It became the Kurz & Maier Bakery. But he quickly established his own home and business in Wilmington. Later his youngest sister Margareta left Bissingen for Delaware. She married Karl Kohlbecker . His brothers Friedrich and Johannes also came to the USA. All four were noted as "in America" in the Family Record. All but one daughter of this generation left the village. I have a copy of the Family Record, CONTACT US if you would like a copy.
We visited Bissingen an der Teck in 2003. The Maier home was just behind the Rathaus, very near the church. We have a photograph of the house as it looked in the mid 20th century. Much of the village is as it was when Johann Daniel was born. The people are friendly and welcoming. The setting between two mountains is stiking. It is surrounded with orchards: cherry, peach and apple. Many residents still farm, but more commute as far as Stuttgart. We were told that it was a very poor village in the nineteenth century and people left to find work elsewhere.
Wilmington had a very active German community. They were centered in the 1870s from Market to Walnut Streets, and 1st to 7th Streets. Johann Daniel became John Daniel and was called Daniel in Wilmington.
Johann Daniel had been a member of the Mannergesangverein in Bissingen. This men's chorus was organized in 1824 and continues to this day. Upon arriving in Wilmington he joined the German singing club, The Delaware Saengerbund as a first tenor. He eventually served as its President for a total of ten years from 1877 to 1895. In 1893 in recognition of his "long, arduous and unselfish labors in behalf of the organization" he was presented with a bronze clock from the Saengergund. We know he returned to Bissingen for a visit, for the minutes of the Delaware Saengerbund include a special luncheon to welcome him home.
On March 26, 1870 Johann Daniel married Wilhelmina Hartmann in Wilmington Delaware at the Zion Lutheran Church. She had been born in Waldeck
region of Hesse, Germany. They had seven known children, all born in Wilmington:
1. John Daniel born Dec. 25, 1871 wed Ella Jane Taylor Compton.
2. Charles, christened Carl born Nov 3, 1872 wed Florence
3. William Christian born March 1, 1875 wed Laura
4. Harry Ludwig born Feb. 18, 1878 wed Emilie Yates Walsh of Baltimore.
5. Lina Wilhelmina born Sept. 10, 1880 wed Harry Bader
6. Maria Louise born July 24, 1889 wed William Cramer
7. Leonard Frederick born March 27, 1892 wed Beatrice.
By 1871 Daniel Maier had a bakery and his home at 903 Market St. That corner is now a bank building. In 1877 they moved home and business to 619 West Front Street. They stayed there until he died. None of the children carried on the business. The Front Street buildings were torn down in the 1970s for a broad entry into Wilmington from I-95. 903 Market St. is now the location of a large bank building.
The Wilmington City Directories between 1897 and 1921 tell the story of the family. The eldest son, John Daniel was usually listed as a bookkeeper. He moved to Charlestown MD in 1908, but after his father died he must have tried to help carry on the bakery for in 1913, Dan Maier was listed as baker at 619 W. Front St. That was the last year of the bakery. The next son Charles Maier was a machinist, living at home until 1904. No further information is known about him. William Christian Maier was variously listed as laborer and watchman. He lived at home until 1914 after that nothing more is known of him. Lina W. Maier was listed as a milliner until she married about 1903 and moved away. Maria Louise married in 1907 at the age of 18 and also moved out of town. The two youngest sons were probably examples of a more profitable time for the Maier family. They both graduated from the University of Delaware. Harry L. (or Henry) Maier graduated as a civil engineer in 1900. He was the only son to stay in town. Leonard Fredrick Maier, known as Fred graduated in 1912. He lived out his life in the Baltimore area.
After the close of the bakery Wilhelmina moved to 228 N. Harrison Street. By 1921 she had moved to 172 W. 2nd Street , still within walking distance of her son, Harry.
J. Daniel Maier was a very active member of his community. Not only a leading member of the Saengerbund but also a member of the Zion German Lutheran choir for more than 30 years, a member of the Lodge of Harugary, and the A.O.U.W. The Delaware Saengerbund sang seven choruses at the funeral in his honor.
Daniel Maier died Dec. 22, 1910. He is buried without a stone in the Lombardy Cemetery on Rt. 202. His wife Wilhelmina lived until Dec. 20 1925.
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Maier_Associates: © Copyright 2004
Date Last Edited: 1/7/2004