The Kaiser Family

Our great great grandparents, Eva Kaminsky and Johann Kaiser were born in Bischofswerde, West Preussen (West Prussia Germany about 50 miles south of the ancient German city of Danzig around 1840. They had 3 children, our great grandmother Wilhelmina (Minna) Kaiser Dahl and her 2 brothers, Julius Kaiser and Adolph Kaiser. Minna was born in Bischofswerde on the 2nd of April 1864. According to stories she told to her grandson George Dahl she spent most of her childhood years in Bischofswerde. Later in her teenage years she moved with her family to the Potsdam area of Berlin in the area of the beautiful Wannsee, a romantic river flowing lazily through the cities of Berlin and Potsdam. Those were the happiest years of her life.

Minna Kaiser met and married Friedrich Johann Dahl who was stationed in Potsdam, serving as a harness maker for Kaiser Wilhelm I. She states that they were married on the German Swedish border when she was about 18 years old.

Minna and her brothers and possibly her mother Eva Kaminsky Kaiser immigrated to Detroit, Michigan, arriving in Detroit around the year 1883.

Minna remarried Friedrich Johann Dahl in Sacred Heart Church in Detroit, Michigan on the 24th of November, 1885 when she was 4½ months pregnant with our grandfather, William Dahl Sr. as she was not sure if her German marriage was legal in America.

Minna and Fred had 8 children, our grandfather William F. Dahl Sr, born 5 April, 1886, Bertha Dahl, born September 22, 1887 who died in infancy, Francis Robert Dahl, born August 28, 1888, Anthony Dahl, born January 28, 1890, George Dahl, born September 24, 1891, Fred Dahl, born September 14, 1893, Anna Dahl Galvin, born March 24, 1896 and Clara Dahl Fredrick, born October 29, 1898.

Fred built his own brick house on Russell St. in Detroit where he and Minna lived till his death at age 49 on October 23rd, 1900 from an intestinal obstruction. Minna subsequently married Robert Henkel in 1904 and had one more child, Robert Henkel Jr.. Robert Sr. died shortly after 1908 from alcohol related complications. Minna was a widow for many years after Robert’s early demise.

Minna died on the 25th of August, 1944 in Centerline, Michigan. She had a very elaborate military funeral as she was a Gold Star Mother, having lost 2 sons, Tony and Fritz in World War I.

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