IIABRAHAM ZUNDEL 1836-1917
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Orson Pratt Brown's Uncle-in-law
Abraham Zundel was born January 26, 1836 at Phillipsburg, Beaver, Pennsylvania to John Jacob Zundel (1796-1880) and Sarah Forstner Zundel (1809-1898). He married Abigail Abbott.
"John Jacob Zundel was born Johann Jakob Zundel on 28 August 1796. He was born in the small town of Wiernsheim, in the kingdom of Wuerttemberg to Johann Eberhart Zundel (1761-1819) and Juliane Pflueger Zundel (1764-1815) . Today, Wiernsheim still exists, but has incorporated three additional villages into one larger town administration. The kingdom of Wuerttemberg no longer exists as such, but is now incorporated into the federal state of Baden-Wuerttemberg in the Federal Republic of Germany. Technically, John Jacob Zundel was not born in Germany, because the country of Germany did not exist as a unified country until the late 1800’s.
The Zundels originally came from the area of the village of Sargans, in the Canton of St. Gallen in what we today call Switzerland -- but it is my understanding that we can not trace them past the year 1501 due to the local church burning down with all its records. The Zundels moved to Wiernsheim sometime between 1648, the end of the 30 Years’ War, and 1666. That is where John Jacob Zundel was born. The countryside in Germany had been devastated by that long war and the local rulers invited foreigners to move there and boost the population and, thereby, their revenue. To illustrate what the Zundels found when they moved to Wiernsheim: in 1601, before the 30 Years’ War, the town had 400 inhabitants. In 1654, 6 years after the War, it only had 129. By 1661, probably about the time the Zundels arrived, it still only had 181 inhabitants -- or less than 1/2 what it had 60 years earlier.
Today Wiernsheim still has a street called “die Schweizerstraße” or the Street of the Swiss (or Switzerland Street) -- where the newcomers from Switzerland lived. There is still a house on the street which is called the Zundel building (Gebäude Zundel) -- a large old 1/2 timbered, typical German building.
The Zundels were in Wiernsheim for about 250 years before moving to America. Of course, not all came here and today you still find many Zundels in the phone book of Stuttgart, Germany -- the closest large city to Wiernsheim....
The 1986 history of Wiernsheim says:
“Presumably, the original ancestors came from Switzerland. There, the Zundels had two coats of arms. The first a line from Sargans: On a red background, two golden stars rise above a silver mountain, which is burning. The second coat of arms, is from descendants from the land around Sargans: On a red background, a golden flame over a silver mountain with three peaks, with two golden stars, one on either side of the mountain. The symbols “burning mountain or “golden flame” makes one think the origin of the name was the smith guild. The stars show that they were town councilmen [Ratsherren].” (Wiernsheimer Heimatbuch, by Karl P. Seeger, 1986, page 404.)
Remember that Martin Luther nailed his 95 Theses to the door of the church in 1517 and was excommunicated in 1520. In 1534 he published the compete Bible in German. Martin Luther and others in this period and before worked to reform the Catholic Church. This continued in the years following. However, after the founding of the Lutheran church, the political leaders and church leaders did not want any further divisions. Reformers continued to appear and point out the errors of the existing churches. This is what was happening in the religious world in the region around Wiernsheim in the late 1700’s when John Jacob Zundel was born. In the 1700’s the Separatist movement was persecuted greatly in the various German states. One of the Separatists was Hans Jerg Rapp -- known in America as George Rapp.
Rapp taught that the Lutheran and Catholic churches were corrupt, and that believers should have all their worldly goods in common. He and his followers did not recognize the sacraments, including baptism, of the existing churches, and finally founded their own church with George Rapp at the head. In Germany, these people are called the Iptingen Separatists, after the town where George Rapp lived and taught. Wiernsheim, where the Zundels lived, was just about 5 miles away, and people came from many times that distance to listen to Mr. Rapp preach. Persecution by the state continued to increase, as did the numbers of adherents of George Rapp greatly increased. The Iptingen Separatists decided to follow in the footsteps of the English Quakers who had gone to America and founded the state of Pennsylvania as a place of religious tolerance.
In 1803 George Rapp and a few followers traveled to the Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania area to acquire land. Seven hundred members of the Rapp Society, as they were often known in America, followed in August and September 1804. The Zundels, Johann Eberhart Zundel, with his wife Juliana Pflueger and their children, arrived in August 1805. John Jacob Zundel turned 9 years old two days after they docked in Philadelphia. They made their way across Pennsylvania to the new town of Harmony several miles north of Pittsburgh. [January 8, 1809 Sarah Forstner was born in old Harmony, Butler County, Pennsylvania to Johann George Forstner and Anna Maria Zoll-- the first settlement of the Rapp Society or Harmonie/Harmony Society in the United States.] The Zundels lived in Harmony for about 10 years before deciding that the land did not live up to their expectations for agriculture. They moved further west to New Harmony, Indiana -- but only stayed there for 10 years before the society made their final move back to the Pittsburgh area where they founded the town of Economy. Today the original town of Economy where the Harmonists lived has been turned into a huge museum. One can tour the fancy house where George Rapp lived, gardens, the houses where the men lived and the houses where the women lived, the kitchens, the wine cellar, etc....
John Jacob Zundel was almost 19 when his mother died at New Harmony, Indiana. He was only 22 which his father died a few years later -- also in New Harmony. His youngest sister was only 11 at the time. They were, however, not alone. The Rapp or Harmony Society was a communal society -- holding everything in common, so even orphans were looked after very well. They were considered children of the society, not just of certain parents.
Other tenants of the Society were the belief that George Rapp was God’s messenger on Earth and that all members must obey him in everything he said. Shortly after moving to America, George Rapp started preaching that people should be celibate -- or not marry -- which caused a problem for John Jacob as he was of marrying age when his parents died. This also eventually caused a problem for the society which after a time, did not admit any new members. Eventually the members grew old and died -- and the society died with them. The society, was fairly wealthy for its time. It was a great success financially -- and one wonders what this utopian society could have accomplished if it had allowed new members in and not encouraged celibacy.
In 1832 a German who called himself Count Leon, came to Economy and introduced himself to the Harmony Society as their savior. He had a magnetic personality and lured a large minority of the Society after him. He and his group split from the Harmony Society and founded another Society just a few miles north. The new Society encouraged marriage, but initially still held everything in common. John Jacob Zundel and Sarah Forstner married at their earliest opportunity -- about 1831, possibly even before the split of the two Societies became final. They had two children, Magdalena Zundel (8-1-1833 to 3-26-1919) and Abraham Zundel (b. 1-26-1836), in Pennsylvania before they met the Mormon Missionaries.
In 1836 a Mormon missionary, Elder Evert (Everett) taught them the Gospel. They were baptized in the Ohio river, sold their home and business and moved to Missouri to be with the Saints. With the Saints, they were expelled from Missouri and moved on to Nauvoo, Illinois, where he worked on the Nauvoo Temple. John helped teach the Prophet Joseph Smith the German language. Here in Nauvoo, Isaac Eberhard David Zundel was born on November 17, 1840, also Jacob Zundel on February 10, 1843, and Matilda Josephine Zundel on January 16, 1845.
In 1846 persecutions and hardships continued as the Saints were driven from Nauvoo to Rocky Ford, Pottawatomie, Iowa where Daniel Zundel was born on July 25, 1849. In 1852 they joined the Captain Wood company and crossed the plains west. They settled in Willard, Box Elder County, Utah, and built a shanty for the winter. The wagons were moved near the house and the children slept in them.
John Jacob was an accomplished musician, being able to play the flute and clarinet. He was a butcher by trade, and also a successful farmer.
Of interest is the fact that today’s German Saints consider John Jacob Zundel to be the first German to join the Church. Wiernsheim, Germany is today in the area covered by the Stuttgart Germany Stake. In 1997 the entire Church celebrated the sesquicentennial or the 150 anniversary of the arrival of Brigham Young and the Saints in Utah. The theme of the celebration was “Faith In Every Footstep.” That fall, the Stuttgart, Germany stake had a theater production about the early days of the church, leading up to the Pioneers entering the Great Salt Lake Valley on 24 July 1847. As part of the program, they showed how John Jacob Zundel left Wiernsheim, went to America and joined the Church there. They then had the character of John Jacob Zundel narrate the rest of the play showing how the Saints moved West. (Norma Zundel) was thrilled be at the play in Stuttgart and watch the production. The Saints there were thrilled to have a descendant of John Jacob Zundel present.
We, as the descendants of John Jacob Zundel, are not the only ones to “Keep The Light Burning” but are joined by thousands of German Saints who have followed in his footsteps and who also remember him.
Just a few words about me. I was born into a family who loved Genealogy. My mother’s sister started a “genealogy club” for several of us cousins when we were very young. When I was 9 years old, my family went from Arizona to Utah and visited with family genealogists -- including Joseph M. Zundel, who gave us some of his genealogy and let us photograph his version of the Zundel coat of arms.
John Jacob Zundel was always my favorite ancestor. So much so, that I took two years of German in high school and hoped to go on a mission to Germany. Not only did that happen, but the mission I was called to included the town of Wiernsheim where John Jacob Zundel was born. I’ve always thought of that mission assignment as much more than just coincidence!" ... Talk by Norman Zundel.
A Great Adventure:
Heart Throbs of the West Volume 3: Mormon Colonization in the West Colonization in Neighboring States:
Salmon River Mission, Idaho. It was at the annual conference of the Church, held in Salt Lake City, April 7, 1855, that a number of brethren were called to go and locate a settlement among the buffalo-hunting Bannock and Shoshone Indians in the far off north, in what was then Oregon Territory, and Elder Thos. S. Smith, of Farmington, Davis County, Utah, a man of considerable experience, was appointed to take charge of the colony. Most of the brethren who were called on this mission, made preparations at once to fill it, and on the 15th of May, 1855, President Smith, together with other brethren, left their homes in Farmington, and other places, and on the 19th they arrived on Bear River, north of Brigham City. On the following day (the 20th) the camp, consisting of the following named brethren, were organized for traveling Thos. S. Smith, President of the mission; Francillo Durfee, Captain; Wm. Burgess, Jr., Lieutenant; B. F. Cummings, Sergeant; D. Moore, Historian of the camp; Ezra J. Barnard, Thos. Butterfield, Wm. L. Brundage, Nathaniel Leavitt, Pleasant Green Taylor, Israel S. Clark, Charles Dalton, Geo. R. Grant, Isaac Shepherd, Geo. W. Hill, Gilbert Belnap, Wm. Birch, John Galligher, J. W. Browning, David H. Stephens, Baldwin H. Watts, Joseph Parry, Ira Ames, Jr., Abraham Zundel, Charles McGary, Wm. H. Batchelor and Everet Lish. [Abraham Zundel served for a total of eight years among the Indians of Salmon, Idaho.]
Heart Throbs of the West Volume 7: The Mormons in Wyoming and Idaho Lemhi County
Fort Lemhi. At the conference of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints held in Salt Lake April 6, 1855, twenty-seven men were called by President Young to go on a mission to the Indians in Idaho and adjacent countries. Thomas S. Smith of Farmington, Utah, was chosen as president of the mission. The other missionaries chose him as their colonel, with Francillo Durfee, captain; William Burgess, lieutenant; D. C. Cummings, sergeant; and David Moore, historian and clerk of the mission. Members of the company were Pleasant Green Taylor, William L. Brundage, Israel J. Clark, Charles McGeary, Gilbert Belnap, George W. Hill, Charles Dalton, Ezra J. Barnard, Isaac Shepherd, George R. Grant, Baldwin H. Watts, John W. Browning, John Galliger, Joseph Parry, David H. Stevens, William Burch, Abraham Zundell, Thomas Butterfield, Ira Ames, Jr., Nathaniel Leavitt, William H. Batchelor, , and Evart Lish.
John Jacob Zundel's first son, Abraham Zundel, returned from his church mission to the Indians in Salmon, Idaho where he also had the duty to carry the mail from 1855-1857, winter and summer. Upon his release from his mission he married in Ogden, Weber, Utah, on February 13, 1857, to Abigail Abbott, daughter of (deceased) and (now the fifth wife of , founder of , today known as Ogden, Utah).
Children of Abraham Zundel and Abigail Abbott Zundel
1- Abigail Lucina Zundel b. 9 Jan 1859, Ogden; md. Fred O. Beecher on Jan 9,1879; d. 11 Jul 1948 in Layton; Willard Cemetery.
Abraham Zundel was counselor to President Hockings of Malad Stake Idaho for four years. He was counselor to Bishop George Ward and to Bishop George Facer of Willard Ward for twenty years.
On September 3, 1884 Abraham Zundel married a plural wife, Mary Ellenor Ingram (born on January 21, 1866 at Three Mile Creek, Box Elder, Utah to James Ingram and Charlotte Holland Ingram). Their first child, George Lorezo Ingram Zundel was born in Brigham City, Utah on December 23, 1885, George married Rose Mae Bell on Sept 14, 1910 in Logan, and lived until March 10, 1950. Abraham and Mary's other six children were born in Willard, Box Elder, Utah and all died in infancy or early childhood.
On October 31, 1888, Abraham Zundel of Willard, Box Elder, Utah was charged with unlawful cohabitation as he had two wives, he surrendered himself to the officers.
On June 17, 1889, Abraham's brother, Bishop Isaac Eberhard David Zundel, of Washakie, Box Elder County, Utah, was sentenced in the First District Court, at Ogden by Judge Henderson to four months imprisonment and $100 fine for unlawful cohabitation having four wives: Elizabeth Jane Harding, Philene Hall, Almira Hall, and Iduma Hunsaker. Isaac was discharged from the penitentiary on Saturday September 28, 1889. Isaac then moved to Thatcher, Graham County, Arizona where he served as Bishop of the Thatcher Ward until October 1902 when he was succeeded by William A. Moody. Isaac was the first bishop in the Mormon Church to be ordained to preside over an Indian ward. Isaac went on to be on the LeGrande Stake Oregon High Council.
Abraham also lived in Thatcher as mention is made of his wife Abigail Abbott Zundel by her sister , who was living in Thatcher at this time and until her death in 1914. Abraham Zundel was the bishop of the Thatcher Ward for four years. He was State senator from Box Elder and Tooele counties in the first Utah Legislature. He was mayor of Willard City for two years; and Willard justice of the peace for three terms.
Former General Authority, Rutger Clawson is quoted in A Ministry of Meetings - The Apostolic Diaries of Rudger Clawson, as writing in his journal the following: "I felt sorry for Abraham Zundel, when President Lorenzo Snow asked him privately following a general leadership meeting, to resign as bishop of Willard Ward (Brigham City Stake). When Zundel asked the reason, Clawson, following President Lorenzo Snow's instructions, recited a litany of failings and leadership inadequacies (Pages106-7). Similar appraisals of other leaders give us a window into the past regarding how callings and releases were extended as the early church struggled for consistency and proper authority.
WILLARD UTAH CEMETERY GRAVESTONE
http://mywebpages.comcast.net/nzundel49/Talk-NormanZ.html Talk by Norman Zundel at the John Jacob Zundel Family Reunion on 3 August 2002.
JosephParry, John W. Browning, Abraham Zundel - Salmon River Mission - Fort Limhi : http://www.geocities.com/Heartland/Trail/2120/gibbs/lewis_w.htm
Additional names, dates, bold, pictures, and information added by Lucy Brown Archer.
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Zundel Coat of Arms since 1501 A.D.