Part 1 -The Arrival of Richard Vogel (1912) and His Years in Vermont
On September 8, 1912, twenty-four year-old Richard Vogel of Plauen, Germany arrived in New York aboard the S.S. Patricia, after a voyage that began in Hamburg on August 20. Plauen was a textile manufacturing center specializing in the production of lace and other white goods. It is located in Saxony in the very southern part of eastern Germany, just a few miles from the border with the Czech Republic.
Richard was one of the younger children in a family of ten born to Friedrich Hermann and Louise (Bauerfeind) Vogel. He was born on July 5, 1888 in Plauen.
1921 photograph of Richard Vogel
What would Richard's arrival in the United States have been like? After twenty days on board ship, many of the immigrants would have crowded on deck to catch their first glimpse of the Statue of Liberty and the New York harbor. Assuming that the Patricia was at full capacity, she probably carried more than 2,500 passengers. The several hundred first or second-class passengers were generally not immigrants so they would have been processed on board by immigration officials and allowed to go directly ashore in New York or New Jersey. The bulk of the 2,143 people in third-class (also referred to as steerage) would have been immigrants so they would have carried their luggage and possessions onto barges that would take them to Ellis Island. Immigrants were tagged with information from the ship's registry and passed through long lines for medical and legal inspections to determine if they were fit for entry into the United States. From 1900 to 1914 -- the peak years of Ellis Island's operation -- some 5,000 to 10,000 people passed through the immigration station every day. Approximately 80 percent successfully passed through in a matter of hours, but others could be detained for days or weeks. Many immigrants remained in New York, while others traveled by barge to railroad stations in Hoboken or Jersey City, New Jersey, on their way to destinations across the country.
S.S. Patricia as a German troop transport in Tsingtau, 1914
Immigrants boarding the S.S. Patricia from a Holland-American Line tender
Immigrants on an unidentified ship
Ellis Island in 1905
Immigrants in the Ellis Island registration area in 1912
It is possible that Richard Vogel was not the first of his family to come to the United States. Walther Vogel from Plauen (born about 1878) arrived in New York on the S.S. Friedrich der Grosse on November 20, 1902 and again on the S.S. Graf Valdersee on March 12, 1904. Alfred Vogel (born about 1880) from Plauen departed from Hamburg for New York on the S.S. Amerika on November 2, 1911 and a younger Alfred Vogel from Plauen (born about 1892) sailed from Bremen on September 4, 1912 on the S.S. Barbarossa. Max Vogel from Plauen (born about 1891) arrived in New York on June 12, 1913 aboard the S.S. Pennsylvania. These Vogels have not been found in later U.S. census records so they may have returned to Germany. Although they were all from Plauen, we do not know if they were related.
Richard Vogel soon settled in the village of Bellows Falls, Vermont. Bellows Falls is located along the Connecticut River separating Vermont from New Hampshire on the route that trains use to get from New York or Boston to Montreal. The major industry there for many years was paper manufacturing, but there were undoubtedly smaller shops and factories where Richard might have found employment.
He apparently left a fiancee behind in Plauen. Lena A. Grimm arrived in America a little over a year after Richard did, disembarking from the S.S. General Grant in New York City on October 1, 1913, and then going to live with a friend in Hackensack, New Jersey. She and Richard married on February 21, 1914 in New York City and then went to Bellows Falls.
Richard Vogel’s passport application, July 23, 1921, Record Group 59 – Records of the Department of State, National Archives and Records Administration, Washington, DC.
Ship Passenger Lists for the Port of New York, Record Group 85 – Records of the Immigration and Naturalization Service, National Archives and Records Administration, Washington, DC; available as NARA Microfilm Publication T715; Hamburg Passenger Lists, 1850-1934; scans of both are available at http://www.ancestry.com. Richard's name has not been found on the passenger list for this voyage of the Patricia unless he is the person recorded as Richard Walker.
Richard Vogel listing, 1930 Federal Census of Springfield, Hampden County, Massachusetts, Record Group 29 – Records of the Bureau of the Census, National Archives and Records Administration, Washington, DC
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