Our Vogel and Weinmann Immigrants from Plauen, Germany to the United States

Part 2 - Martha Vogel Arrives (1914) and She and Her Brother Move to Springfield, Massachusetts


On August 8, 1914, Richard Vogel’s sister Martha arrived in the U.S. at the port of Boston aboard the S.S. Cincinnati.  She had sailed from the German port of Cuxhaven on July 29, with the passage paid for by her brother.  According to the passenger manifest, her occupation was servant, she was 5’ 3” tall, and had light hair and brown eyes.  She joined Richard and Lena in Bellows Falls.

S.S. Cincinnati after it was
renamed U.S.S. Covington

S.S. Cincinnati after it was renamed U.S.S. Covington

In 1915, Richard, Lena, and Martha moved south along the Connecticut River to the industrial city of Springfield in central Massachusetts.  Richard was apparently drawn there by the presence of the Bosch Magneto Company manufacturing plant.  Bosch was a German firm that had developed a magneto ignition device with a spark plug.  Sales of magneto ignition devices on the American market rocketed in the early twentieth century as the automotive industry grew rapidly.  Originally Bosch made their ignition devices in Germany and imported them into the United States.  In 1910, punitive U.S. customs tariffs on imported products prompted Bosch to open an American production facility in Springfield.  This plant undoubtedly drew many German immigrants to the city.  Richard Vogel began working at Bosch in 1915, was listed as a tinsmith in 1917, and later became a foreman there.  He remained at the Springfield Bosch plant for the rest of his life.

Bosch Magneto Company

On March 11, 1916, at Springfield, Martha Vogel married German immigrant Paul Menge. He had been born in Berlin, Germany and arrived in Boston on the S.S. Amerika on July 24, 1914.  Menge worked at the Bosch plant with Richard Vogel.  In 1917 he was a tool maker and in 1930 he was a machine tender.  Karl G. Vogel (later known as Charles G. Vogel), who emigrated from Germany in 1913 with his wife and daughter, lived in West Springfield and worked as a machinist at Bosch.  No evidence has been discovered yet to tie him to Richard and Martha, but his arrival in the same era and work for the same employer makes one wonder if there might be a connection.

Many relatives of Richard and Martha remained in Germany.  They undoubtedly tried to keep up contact, although this would have been very difficult, if not impossible, while Germany and the United States were at war in 1917 and 1918.  The Bosch plant in Springfield stayed open during World War I, but the American government expropriated it and sold it to an American investment group.

Richard's nephew Johann Mocker (son of Hermann Mocker and Bertha Vogel) was working as a sailor on a German cargo ship in the Pacific Ocean in 1917 when U.S. military authorities seized the ship and held the crew as enemy aliens.  They were sent by ship from Manila to San Francisco, arrving on December 18, 1917.  The record showing this information does not give details of how long they were held prisoner in the United States, but since it does show that Johann's Uncle Richard lived in Massachusetts, perhaps he was released in his uncle's custody.

On June 22, 1921, Richard Vogel, his wife Lena, and daughter Mildred entered the circuit court at Springfield and completed the process of becoming naturalized U.S. citizens.  The Menges soon did the same.


California Passenger and Crew Lists, 1882-1959, http://www.ancestry.com (Johann Mocker, 1917)

Martha Vogel listing, S.S. Cincinnati Passenger List, August 8, 1914 (Page 1) (Page2), Ship Passenger Lists for the Port of Boston, Record Group 85 – Records of the Immigration and Naturalization Service, National Archives and Records Administration.  

Richard Vogel’s passport application, July 23, 1921, Record Group 59 – Records of the Department of State, National Archives and Records Administration, Washington, DC

Richard Vogel’s draft registration card and Paul Menge’s draft registration card and Karl Vogel’s draft registration card, Record Group 163 – Records of the Selective Service System (World War I), National Archives and Records Administration. 

Richard Vogel family listing and Paul Menge family listing, 1930 Federal Census of Springfield, Hampden County, Massachusetts

Springfield City Directory for 1917 and 1918 and 1931

Obituary for Richard Vogel, Springfield Morning Union (newspaper), June 5, 1940, p. 7.



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