My great-great-grandfather, Friedrich Ernst Kuemmel (anglicized spelling Kimmel) was born in Voigstedt, Province of Saxony, on Jan. 15, 1854 to Gottfried and Johanna Christina Schneider Kuemmel. Ernst, as he was called, married Therese Jacobine Helene Friederike Wilhelmine Rabenaldt on May 31, 1870 in the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Voigstedt.
The couple had three children, all of whom died at relatively young ages. Karl Otto was born Oct. 3, 1876, died Apr. 20, 1896, Anna was born Jan. 26, 1880, died Aug. 3, 1880, and Paul E. was born Jan 26. 1882 and died Aug. 11, 1917.
The Kimmel family emigrated to Texas in 1885 along with Therese’s parents, Carl Gottfried Christian and Henriette Caroline Amalie Schmidt Rabenaldt, and Therese’s brother, Edmund Rabenaldt. They arrived in New York on Nov. 16, 1885 on the ship “California,” with their stated destination being Schulenberg, Texas.
By 1886 the Kimmel and Rabenaldt families were living in Wied in Lavaca Co., Texas. By 1890 they had moved to Gruenau, a small farming community near Yorktown in DeWitt Co., Texas.
Ernst and his son Paul were active in the Gruenau Turn und Schuetzen Verein. According to family legend, Ernst as Gruenau Hall Treasurer was in charge of ticket revenues after a dance at Gruenau Hall one night. The famous outlaw John Wesley Hardin was waiting to steal the money from Ernst on the road he usually took home. Unbeknownst to Hardin, however, Ernst took a different route home that night because the roads were so muddy from recent rains. Hardin, realizing his mistake, hurried to the Kimmel home. As Ernst rode up to the house, he hollered to his wife to bring the gun, which she did, and the outlaw rode away.
Making his living as a farmer, Ernst Kimmel also served for many years as a deacon in the Lutheran Church. Friedrich Ernst Kimmel died Jan. 7, 1942 in Yorktown, Texas at the home of his granddaughter and her husband, Anna Kimmel and Adolph Schroeder. Therese Jacobine Helene Friederike Wilhelmine Rabenaldt Kimmel died Jan. 10, 1924 at Gruenau. They are both buried at Sandy Gate Cemetery near Nopal, DeWitt Co., Texas.