Pioneer Families of Grand Traverse County, Michigan



Philip David Feiger (1839-1893) and Juliana Krauth (1847-1895)

Philip David Feiger was born in Pennsylvania on 13 May 1839, the son of George Feiger and Christiana Hildebrand. As a child he apparently lived in York County, Pennsylvania but probably spent part of his childhood near Pittsburgh and possibly in Ohio. He was described as being 5 feet 10 1/2 inches tall with a light complexion, blue eyes, and light hair.

He married on 1 December 1867 by the Reverend T.A. Polster in the German United Evangelical Church of Birmingham in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania to Juliana Krauth. Witnesses at the wedding were Elizabeth Krauth and Matthew Andrews. Julia (as she was known) was born 25 December 1847 near Berlin in Wurtemberg. Her parents were Samuel and Juliana Krauth. Julia's family emigrated from Germany around 1857. Julia had a brother Jacob Frederick Krauth who was born in Wurtenberg in 1839/1840 and lived in Allegheny County, Pennsylvania.

As a child Julia attended enough school that she was able to read and write in English, a condition that was not shared by some of her American-born neighbors.

Philip's parents moved to Meigs County, Ohio in the 1850s. The 1860 census found Philip living at home with his parents. During the Civil War, Philip enlisted at Pomeroy, Meigs County, Ohio in Company H 18th Ohio Infantry. His boyhood friend Peter D. Wolf, who he went to school with, enlisted at the same time. He was mustered in on 27 May 1861 at Marietta, Washington County, Ohio. He served until 28 August 1861 and was discharged in Pomeroy. On 14 August 1862 Philip re-enlisted for three years with Company B 116th Ohio Volunteers at Chester, Ohio. On 19 September 1862 he was mustered in at Gallipolis, Gallia County, Ohio.

On 18 June 1864, at the Battle of Lynchberg, Tennessee, Philip was shot in the right forearm while his regiment charged the Confederate works near Lynchberg. The minnie ball passed through his arm below his right elbow, breaking the ulna. He spent from June 1864 to February 1865 in the hospital at Gallipolis, Ohio. In January 1865 Philip was promoted to Corporal from Private. On 14 June 1865 Philip was mustered out.

On 2 May 1871 the Feigers were living at Birmingham, Allegheny County, Pennsylvania. The Feigers moved to Grand Traverse County in 1879, appearing in the 1880 census in Traverse township. By that time they had four children: Hattie Louise born in 1869, Walter H born in 1871, Philip born in 1874, and George born between 1875 and 1880.

Philip worked as a farmer in Traverse township and later East Bay township while Julia kept house. By 1885 two additional children were born: Frederick in 1881 and Elizabeth in 1885. Mrs. C. M. Potter served as midwife at both births.

By 1891 Philip was in poor health. He applied for a Civil War pension. On a surgeon's certificate for his pension it was noted that "this mans rheumatism is his whole trouble which is the worst kind & wholly incapacitates him from doing anything he has to be helped out of his chair & to walk has to be supported by attendants." His original pension was for eight dollars a month.

Philip's health continued to decline and he died from pneumonia on 28 December 1893 in Traverse City. Philip was buried in Oakwood Cemetery, Traverse City, Michigan.

Following Philip's death, Julia applied for a widow's pension. Her application states "I have no income only from the place and that does not support the family and I have to work outdoors with the children to raise enough to eat." On the farm there were one span of horses, one cow, a yearling heifer, and a calf. Thirty-five acres were cleared, only a portion of which were farmed by the Feigers. The total farm was assessed as being worth $450 in 1894.

Unfortunately, Julia died on 23 May 1895 in Grand Traverse County. Her neighbors DeEtte Chandler and Elizabeth Fisher were present at her death. Her obituary appeared in the Grand Traverse Herald:


For the Herald

Julia Kranth Freiger (sic) was born near Berlin, Germany, Dec. 25, 1847, and died near Traverse City, May 23, 1895, aged 47 years, 5 months.

In 1867 her parents came to America and settled in Pittsburgh, Pa. In 1867 she was married to Mr. Philip Freiger. They made their home in Pittsburgh until 1879 when they came to Michigan and bought a farm in the vicinity of Traverse City, and there with hard and earnest toil they have wrought a comfortable home.

To this union six children were born, one of whom passed to the Celestial City in infancy. After a long and painful illness her husband passed to his reward Dec. 28, 1893. The remaining children, Hattie L., Walter H., Phillip, George, Fred, and Lizzie are left to mourn, but not without hope. Twenty years ago she was converted under the ministry of the German M. E. church, and has ever since lived an exemplary life. As a wife and mother she was untiring in her duties. As a neighbor she was kind and true, and all her words of cheer and comfort will be missed by many. The writer had the privilege of visiting at her bed side a short time before her death, and found her fully trusting in her Saviour. She said it was all right. Her funeral was attended by a large company of friends from the Potter school house, May 26, at 10 a.m., and her remains laid at rest in the beautiful cemetery at Traverse City. Rev. C.H. Theobald conducted the services."

Julia was buried at Oakwood Cemetery. Her will was probated in Grand Traverse County:

Grand Traverse Co., MI Probate File 876

State of Michigan County of Grand Traverse In the name of God, amen, I, Julia Feiger, of the Township of East Bay, county of Grand Traverse & State of Michigan, being forty eight years of age, of sound & disposing mind and memory, do make publish and declare this as my last will and testament regarding the disposition of my property both real and personal, and I do hereby revoke all former wills and codicils by [illegible] mode.

1. I give devise and bequeath to Walter Feiger, Phillip Feiger, Fred Feiger, Hattie Feiger, and Lizie Feiger, all the real estate of which I may be now seized or in possessionm, the same to be shared & share alike by said parties named to each a one fifth interest in the whole.

2. I give devise and bequesth to Walter Feiger, Phillip Feiger, Fred Feiger, Hattoe Feiger, and Lizzie Feiger share & share alike, all the live stock, household goods, and all other personal property of whatever kind or nature of which I may now be seized or in possession of except as hereinafter provided.

3. I give, devise and bequeath to my son Phillip Feiger my family Bible and it is my desire that he cherish and keep said Bible always in the Feiger family.

4. I also give devise and bequeath to my son Walter Feiger, the sum of four hundred ten dollars toPhilllip Feiger the sum of four hundred ten dollar, to Fred Feiger the sum of two hundred sixty dollars, to Hattie Feiger the sum of two hundred sixty dollars. To Lizzie Feiger the sum of two hundred sixty dollars, said above amounts of money now represented by a real estate mortgage from Willard Gennett given for five hundred dollars, one from Elizabeth Zinser given for fifty dollars, one from Charles Thompson given for four hundred fifty dollars, and notes given by Frank Youka & Marsers for two hundred and fifty dollars and the sum of three hundred fifty dollars now in Traverse City State Bank. If for any reason the full amount of these notes, mortgages & bank account should not be paid in full the said Walter Feiger, Philllip Feiger, Fred Feiger, Hattie Feiger and Lizzie Feiger to share any loss, if such there be. pro rata inproportion to the amount which each one is to take under this will.

5. It is my further will that all expenses of my last sickness and death, together with funeral expensesbe shared by each of my above named children in same proportion to the amount which each one is to take under this will.

6. I hereby appoint as executors of this my last will and testament, William Eikey and DavidChandler.

7. In Consideration whereof I have this the 27th day of November 1894 set my hand & seal to this my last will and testament. Julia Feiger In witness whereof we have this 27th day of November 1894 set our hands as witnesses to the above instrument in the presence of each other and in the presence of Julia Feiger and that she, Julia Feiger, signed said instrument in our presence. Residence W. P. Crotser, Traverse City, Mich.Minnie E. Crotser, Traverse City, Mich. filed and recorded in Liber 7 folio 423, Aug 9th, 1895, James H. Monroe, Judge of Probate

An inventory was made of the estate:
Mtge Elizabeth Zinser $50
Mtge Charles A. Thompson $450
Mtge Willard Gennet $500
Notes Frank Youka $250
wagon $12
sleigh $18
Cuting box $8
buggie $25
faning mill $5
drag $6
plow $2
cultivator $15
head cattle $502
hogs $14
chickens $5house hold goods $30
farm $1500
certificate of deposit $265.25

After Julia's death it was necessary to petition for a pension for the two youngest children, Fred and Lizzie. The children received ten dollars a month until age sixteen. In the 1899 to 1900 calendar year Lizzie Feiger was budgeted $1.75 a week for board, laundry, care, and serving; $15.50 for clothes; $4.50 for shoes; $10.00 for a railroad fair from Traverse City to Fostoria, Ohio; $2.00 for school supplies; and $1.00 for medicine.

 Children of Philip and Julia Krauth Feiger

i. Hattie Louise Feiger was born 22 November 1869 in Pennsylvania. She spent her life in the Traverse City area, worked as a housekeeper, and died there on 17 August 1903 from pulmonary tuberculosis.

ii. Walter H. Feiger was born 28 February 1871 in Pennsylvania.

iii. Philip Feiger was born 1 June 1874 in Pennsylvania.

iv. George Feiger died as an infant.

v. Frederick Feiger was born 17 September 1881 in East Bay, Grand Traverse County, Michigan. In 1910 he was living with his brother Walter's family at East Bay. Afterward, he supposedly moved to the Upper Peninsula, apparently for a mining venture, and died under mysterious circumstances. Family tradition states that he had traveled to the Upper Peninsula with a large amount of cash, however none was returned after his death.

vi. Elizabeth Feiger was born 6 June 1885 in East Bay, Grand Traverse County, Michigan. Elizabeth moved to Seattle, Washington around 1915 and worked there as a secretary until retiring in the 1950s. She died on 7 November 1969 in Seattle, King County, Washington and is buried there.

Pioneers Families of Grand Traverse County