Heritage \ Writings \

Michael Riegel (1852-?)
Born in Germany, in merchandising business in Bay City.

1892 Bio. - Added Jul., 2009.

History of Saginaw and Bay Counties, Michigan, Vol. 2, 1892.


Michael Riegel, the accommodating and popular Postmaster of Salzburg, is also engaged as a general merchant, having his place of business on the corner of State and Morton Streets. He was born at Gundelfingen, near Augsburg, Bavaria, Germany, December 9, 1852, and is a son of Michael Riegel, Sr., also a native of the Fatherland. The paternal grandfather of our subject John K. Riegel, was in the German army and went to Russia under Napoleon, when the army was destroyed and each soldier had to get back as best he could. Mr. Riegel came home on foot and alone, and the sufferings which he endured it would be impossible to narrate. He was a fancy linen weaver by occupation and resided near Augsburg. He lived to the good old age of ninety-eight years, and died, beloved by all who knew him.

Michael Riegel, Sr., was a rope manufacturer, and carried on business in Ulm for a number of years. He, however, returned to his native Gundelfingen, where he prosecuted the calling until his death, in 1866, at the age of seventy-six years. Magdalene Stahl, the mother of our subject, was born in Wurtemburg, Germany, in 1809, and was the daughter of J. Carl Stahl, a native of Wurtemburg, and a manufacturer of toys, which were made from bone. Mrs. Riegel died the same year as her husband – 1886, when seventy-seven years of age. In church relations they were conscientious members of the Lutheran Church.

Seven children were included in the parental family, of whom our subject was the youngest in order of birth. Septimus G. served seven years in the German army, and then mustered out was a Lieutenant; he now carries on the manufacturing business established by his father in Germany. John K. served in the Austro-Prussian War, in 1866, in which he was a Corporal; he came to American in 1867, and died in West Bay City. Christine is now Mrs. Eggert, and resides in West Bay City; Jacob also served in the Austro-Prussian War, and is now a rope and sea-grass manufacturer in the old country; George served three years in the German army and makes his home in West Bay City; Lizzie, Mrs. Fasnacht, makes her home in Germany.

Our subject was reared in the village of Gundelfingen, which numbered five thousand inhabitants, and attended the common schools until thirteen years of age, when he spent one year in a select school. After completing his studies he was apprenticed for three years to a locksmith, and then learned the trade of a machinist in Augsburg and traveled through different parts of Bavaria, Austria, Bohemia, Wurtemburg, Baden, Hesse-Darmstadt and the Rhine Provinces, occupying in all about eight months. On his return home from his travels he decided to come to America, and in June, 1871, sailed from Antwerp, Holland, to Hull, then to Liverpool, and on the steamer “Britannica,” came to Boston, landed on American shores July 20, of that year. He worked at his trade in New York city, and in February, 1872, came to West Bay City, then Wenona.

After being engaged in different occupations for several years Mr. Riegel, in 1878, started in the grocery business on Fitzhugh Avenue, in Salzburg, where he remained one year and then removed to State Street. In 1879 he was appointed Postmaster under President Hayes, and has been retained in that capacity ever since. In 1885 he purchased his present store building, and is engaged in doing a fine general merchandise business.

Miss Mary B. Smith became the wife of our subject in 1878, their marriage being solemnized in West Bay City. Mrs. Riegel is a native of Frankenlust Township, Bay County, and is the daughter of John Smith, an old settler in that place. Mr. and Mrs. Riegel have become parents of seven children, viz: Elinorm, John M., Fred W., Oscar, Minnie, Freddie and Septimus E.

Our subject has been a member of the Board of Education for the past six years, having been President of that body in 1890-91. Socially he is a member of the Independent Order of Odd Fellows, of which he is Past Grand; he also served as District Deputy, and has been a delegate several times to the Grand Lodge. He is President of the Arbeiter Society at West Bay City, which order he joined in 1875; he is also a member of the Royal Arcanum, and the Knights of the Maccabees, and is Commander of Bavarian Tent. In politics he is a firm Republican and has been a delegate to State and county conventions.

Addition Notes:

  • 1880 - Riegel School, built about 1880, in West Bay City, was named after Michale Riegel. (See Riegel School history)

    1890-91 Bay City Directory :

  • Michael Riegel, president of Arbeiter Unterstuetzungs Verien Organization, established in 1870.
  • Post Office, north side State 1 west of State road, Michael Riegel, postmaster.

  • 1908 – President Michael Riegel declined re-election this fall after serving 26 years on the Bay County board of education. (Schoolmaster)
Related Pages/Notes

Michael Riegel.

Related Pages:
{Riegel School}
People Referenced
Hayes, Pres.
Napoleon, Bonapart
Riegel, Chistine (sister)
Riegel, Elinorm (dau.)
Riegel, Fred (son)
Riegel, Freddie (son)
Riegel, George (bro.)
Riegel, Jacob (bro)
Riegel, John (son)
Riegel, John K. Sr (g-father)
Riegel, John K. (bro)
Riegel, Lizzie (sister)
Riegel, Michael Sr. (father)
Riegel, Michael (subject)
Riegel, Minnie (dau.)
Riegel, Oscar (son)
Riegel, Septimus E. (son)
Riegel, Septimus G. (bro.)
Smith, John
Smith, Mary B. (wife)
Stahl, Magdalene (mother)
Stahl, J. Carl
Subjects Referenced
Antwerp, Holland
Bay City, MI
Bay Co., MI
Boston, MA
Frankenlust Twp, Bay Co.
  • Baden
  • Augsburg
  • Bavaria
  • German army
  • Gudelfingen
  • Hess-Darmstadt
  • Wurtemburg
    Liverpool, England
    Luthern Church
    New York, NY
    Salzburg, MI
    Wenona, MI
    West Bay City, MI
  • WRITINGS: History As It Was Written Then.