Conrad Kuehles Collection : A German-American Family's Story

Conrad Kuehles was born in Carlstadt, Bayern, Germany on March 2, 1833, immigrating to the United States a few years later with his family. He was the third son of Joseph Kuhles and Margaretha (Hohman) of Carlstadt, Bayern, Germany. In 1856, Kuehles married Catherine Ziegler (1837-1917) in Rochester, NY. Catherine was born July 13, 1837 in Epfenbach-Baden, Germany and was the third daughter of Jacob Ziegler and Margaretha Seel.

Their marriage brought them nine children; Fredric Jacob Kuehles (September 2, 1858- March 17, 1859), Bertha (Kuehles) Laufer (June 5, 1860- December 12, 1941), twins, Paul Kuehles and Minnie Kuehles (January 19, 1864- February 20, 1865) (January 19, 1864-1944), Emma (Kuehles) Frank (March 2, 1866-?), William Kuehles (April 6, 1869-?), Katie (Kuehles) Reich (November 28, 1871-1926), Lulu (Kuehles) Frank (January 27, 1874-?), and George Hy Kuehles (April 9, 1876-August 7, 1917).

On April 23, 1861, Conrad Kuehles enlisted in the 13th regiment of New York Infantry volunteers Company C, the local German-speaking company. Kuehles was present for Blackburn Ford, First Bull Run, Siege of Yorktown, Hanover Court House, Seven Days Battle, and the battle of Fredericksburg. He was promoted to corporal on January 19, 1862. He was wounded and captured on June 29, 1862 at Savage's Station in Virginia. Approximately 2,500 were captured or missing after the battle and the battle caused 919 Union casualties. He was returned from Richmond on July 22, 1862. He was then promoted to sergeant on November 21, 1862. On May 14, 1863 he was honorably discharged from the army as a sergeant. After the war ended, Kuehles worked as an agent for the Rochester German-American Society, helping new immigrants traveling west to either settle in Rochester or assist in the navigation of moving westward. For seventeen years prior to his death in 1907 he was a sanitary inspector in the Department of Public Works under the Health Fund.

The Conrad Kuehles Collection consists of photographs, documents, artifacts, drawings, and ephemera from the Kuehles family. Two central themes encompass this collection; Conrad's time in the Union Army and family artifacts and genealogy.

The collection has documentation of Conrad's time with the service including discharge papers, photographs, pins, news clippings, and hand-drawn depictions of the war and camps. The family genealogy includes a marriage certificate, 50th wedding anniversary gifts and accounts, news clippings of family deaths, invoices for funerals, family photographs, and artifacts such as a hand fan, spoon, wallet, autograph album, and case.

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Conrad Kuehles Collection