History of the Haanel and Fox Families

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On June 18, 1861, a twenty-six year old clerk named Hugo Paul Haanel disembarked from the ship Bavaria at Castle Gardens, New York. He was following in his younger brother’s footsteps. Eugene Haanel had left for the United States in 1857. Both would make lives for themselves and settle down with families. This is the beginning of the Haanel family in the United States and Canada.

Map of Prussia and Breslau.Both brothers were born in Prussia. Hugo was born in Leobschutz (now Glubczyce) and Eugene, full name being Eugene Emile Felix Richard Haanel, was born in Breslau (now Wroclaw). Hugo was the elder of the two brothers, born May13, 1835, while Eugene was born on May 24, 1841. It is not known if there were any other siblings.

Their parents were Franz Haanel and Ann Herde. Franz Haanel was a government officer — described as Secretary of the Council — in Breslau. One of the parents came from Austria and the other from Germany, but there seems to be a disagreement over which. This isn’t important because the borders of Prussia changed several times during this period. However, a biography of Eugene states that the great grandfather of Franz Haanel had left Sweden “on account of his politics.”

Both boys had a good education but for reasons unkown by this writer they were sent to the United States. In June 1860, Eugene was recorded living in Baltimore, Maryland, on the census for that year. He was working as a chemist. It wasn’t the most opportune time to begin a life in the New World because within a year of Hugo’s arrival the American Civil war broke out.

Hugo served in C Company, 103rd New York Infantry from April 5, 1862 and was mustered out on May 8, 1862 at New Berne, North Carolina. The reason for his short service is unknown, but when he applied for a Civil War pension in 1905, he was refused.

Meanwhile, Eugene started the War as a steward at a hospital (and strangely enough was in New Berne at the same time as Hugo — one wonders if they met) but before the end of the War was a 1st Lieutenant with K Company of the 2nd Regiment Maryland Veterans Infantry. He was discharged in June 1865.

Following the War, both brothers took up academic posts and both married. Hugo married Emeline (Emelia or Emma) Cordelia Fox (born in Wisconsin in August 1842) of Lansing, Michigan, daughter of Charles and Esther Fox, in 1865 presumably in Lansing, Michigan. At this time Charles Fox was a very well to do farmer and Emeline was recorded on the 1860 census as being a teacher. Before this time Hugo had attended Michigan University where he majored in Law and was recorded as living in Lansing.

Eugene married Julia Frances Darling (born 1845) on November 5, 1866 (another date — May 11, 1866 — is given as well), also in Michigan. Eugene and Julia had been students in Michigan — Eugene at Michigan State University and Julia at Albion College. In 1866 Eugene got a position as assistant professor of Natural Science at Adrian College and the following year held the same job at Hillsdale College. In 1868 he became professor of Natural Science at Albion College.

Little is known of the Haanel family in Silesia but it is possible to trace the Fox family back to England in the 16th century and Esther Fitch’s family can be traced back to England in the 13th century. Charles Fox had been born in Fabius, New York, in 1812 and was the son of Charles Fox and Lois Norton. The elder Charles was the son of Ebenezer Fox and Mary Howe.

The Fitch family crest.The Fox family came to America in the 17th century with Richard Fox and his wife Beriah Smith. It would seem the family came from Hampshire, England. Emeline’s father married Esther Fitch in July, 1839. The Fitch family have a very interesting past. Esther was in 1809 in New York State, and was the daughter of Silas Fitch and Clarissa Howell. It is believed the Fitches go back to four Fitch brothers who arrived in America in the 17th Century. These four men were Captain Joseph Fitch, Samuel Fitch, the Reverend James Fitch, and Captain Thomas Fitch. The latter was the ancestor of Esther Fitch. This family came from Essex, England, and can be traced back to Sir John Fitche, born in 1294. An interesting aside is that John Fitch (1743 –1798), the inventor of a steamboat, was a descendent of the Reverend James Fitch.

On the 1910 Census Hugo, aged 74 and now a language professor, was with Emeline (aged 68), Paul, 29 and a real estate agent, and Julius A and Honora Soward plus their children – Herbert (9), Julius A junior (5), Bernard P (possibly F), aged 3, and eight month old Alice. All resided 4774 Greer Ave. in the 26th Ward, St. Louis. Part of the Haanel family moved from St. Louis to Chicago, Cook County, Illinois, including Hugo Paul senior and his wife Emeline, Hugo Paul junior, and the Sowards. Between the census reports Emeline died on 9th April 1918 in Chicago. Hugo was recorded in 1920 living with Hugo Paul junior, and his wife Ruby (no surname known) in Chicago. With them were also children Ruth (8) and Martha (4).

It was mentioned above that Julius Haanel left California. His wife had died on November 13th 1918 (details unknown) and in 1920 Julius was living with the Sowards in Chicago. With him were McKee (14) and Marian (12), plus James (8) and Elizabeth (5). The Soward family consisted of Julius A. and Honora, with Herbert (19), Julius (14), Bernard (13) and Alice (10). They were living at Norwood Ave and Julius senior was a bookkeeper.

Other members of Hugo Haanel family are more difficult to find. Clara Cordelia married a William Henry Wear on October 4th 1910 in New Westminster, British Columbia, Canada, but I haven’t been able to find any further information on them. Alice had married Frank W. Wear and in 1920 they were living in Nassau, New York State, and they had three children: Madeline (20 and married to George [?] Boardman), Charles (16) and Frank (14). A website adds Eunice between Madeline and Charles but gives no further details. One reference gives Frank’s full name as Frank Willis and that he was born in 1911 and died in 1981. I haven’t been able to add any further information about the Maas family either.

Hugo died on 31st December 1921 at 1214 Norwood Ave., 25th Ward, Chicago, at the age of 86. His death certificate stated his last occupation had been a teacher at Washington University, St. Louis. Hugo Paul junior, who had been a stock broker, died in 1943 in Golf, Chicago. He was survived by his wife and two daughters, Mrs. E. Monroe Flyn and Martha E. Haanel. Those who also died in Chicago were Julius Bernard Haanel in 1956, Honora Soward (nee Haanel) in 1963 and her husband Julius, who died a year later.

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