Pagel Family Reunion

Charles Pagel Children
contributed by Wanda Pagel Jackson

The Pagel Family Reunion is a gathering of the descendants of Friedricke Dieckow and Gottfried Pagel. The reunion has resumed meeting the second Saturday in July every summer. If you would like to receive the reunion newsletter/invitation or have questions about the reunion, contact Rox Ann Johnson. Newsletters from previous reunions may be downloaded below.

Next Reunion

Our 2024 reunion will be held Saturday, July 13th from 1 to 5 p.m. at the Fayette Public Library meeting room in La Grange at 855 S Jefferson Street. See 2023 Reunion Newsletter.

Current Reunion Committee

Janis Richardson (treasurer), Rox Ann Johnson (historian), Jan Ahlstrom, Clay Maeckel. Please let Rox Ann know if you volunteered and are not listed here.

Photos from Previous Reunions

1974 Reunion Photos

1980s Reunion Photos

1994 Reunion Photos

2001 Panoramic Photo

2006 Historical Marker Dedication Photos

2006 Reunion Photos at Shelby

2013 Reunion Photos

2006 Reunion

HTC Medallion & Plaque Dedicated at Pagel Cemetery 

Over 130 friends and relatives filled the Pagel Cemetery at Willow Springs on Saturday, October 21, for the dedication of its Historic Texas Cemetery Medallion and narrative plaque. Originally the Pagel family’s burial ground, this community cemetery is the resting place of many of the area’s early German-speaking families.

Members of the Albert, Eckermann, Heinsohn, Henniger, Kruse, Von Roeder and Zenkner families joined the Pagel family and Willow Springs neighbors in this celebration of heritage. Maynette Heinsohn and Dorothy Albrecht registered the guests who wore nametags indicating which family interred in the cemetery they represented. Before the ceremony guests viewed displays of old Willow Springs-area photographs, looked through a new book on the Pagel Cemetery, and wandered among the decorated graves, where even the twenty-two graves without tombstones were marked with flowers.

Pagel descendants Don, Ted Jr. and Cheryl Heinsohn, along with their sister, Linda Cassidy, opened the program singing “In the Garden.” Don Heinsohn, acting as master of ceremonies for the event, welcomed everyone and led those present in pledges to the flags and the singing of the National Anthem and “Texas, Our Texas.”

Representing the Fayette County Historical Commission, Jo White spoke on the origins and importance of the Texas Historic Cemeteries program which was developed to address the destruction of historic cemeteries and the illegal removal of cemetery fixtures. Fayette County Judge Ed Janecka gave a rousing speech on the importance of preserving the county’s history through the protection of its cemeteries and encouraged those present to write down their personal stories to be cherished by generations yet to come.

Don Heinsohn acknowledged the many people who were involved in obtaining the marker and planning the dedication, as well as those who had cared for the cemetery over the years. He encouraged attendees to take part in the establishment of a Pagel Cemetery Association, to ensure the cemetery remains well tended. Rox Ann Johnson gave the cemetery’s history before Ted Heinsohn, the cemetery’s volunteer caretaker for the last ten years, unveiled the new markers. Ted Heinsohn, Jr. read the text on the narrative plaque.

The Heinsohn family closed the program by singing “Church in the Wildwood,” followed by the benediction given by the Rev. Milroy Gregor, who had also given the invocation. As families began to pose for photos with the new markers, one of the guests fainted. An ambulance was called and a doctor present for the ceremony also attended to her needs. Fortunately, upon further observation, the incident was characterized as a simple fainting spell.

Pagel Family Reunion after Marker Dedication

Following the historical marker dedication at the Pagel Cemetery, about 110 people met at the Shelby American Legion Hall for lunch and the annual Pagel Family Reunion. Many of these were related to families other than the Pagels who are buried in the cemetery. Rosemary and Jeannie Heinsohn greeted and registered guests as they arrived. The Pagels, who immigrated to Texas in 1850, had nine children.  Descendants of Friedrich Wilhelm, Charles, August, Wilhelmine Fischer, Fredericka Ladewig, Emilie Appelt, Ernst, and Julius attended the reunion. Only the Fritz Pagel branch was not represented.

Rev. Milroy Gregor gave the blessing before the catered barbecue lunch. Henry Pagel of San Antonio presided over the business meeting. Treasurer Bob Zumwalt of Hallettsville reported a balance of $358.47 and asked for donations to cover next year’s postage expenses.  Rox Ann Johnson read the minutes from the last reunion and introduced Clay Maeckel, from San Jose, California, who hosts the reunion website on his server.

Many people introduced themselves as attending the reunion for the first time. Other out-of-state attendees were Donna Pagel and Daniel Pennington from Pensacola, Florida and Wanda and Dan Jackson from Coweta, Oklahoma. Victoria Orsak and Mildred Schultz were recognized as the oldest persons present. Six-month-old Kyle Ernst Pagel was the youngest. Carol Pagel of Bellville offered her family as hosts for the July 14, 2006 reunion. The children of Henry Pagel of San Antonio offered to host the 2007 reunion.

Mrs. Johnson remembered the following cousins or spouses who have passed away since the last reunion: Alex Menking, Charles Anthony Pagel, Ray Willemin, David Beckner, Donald Pagel, Geoff Kemp, Edwin Haynes, Jr., LeMont Menking, Glenn Fahrenthold, Hayden Briesemeister, Jimmy Craven, Jamie Ladewig, John Konderla, Lillian Ahlgrim, Olga Roeber, Paula Pagel, Sonia Maeckel, and Wiley Anderson, III. Several people brought family treasures to share. Wanda Jackson brought a beautifully framed baptismal certificate, Henry Pagel brought a nice collection of old photos, and Betty Mohrman brought a box containing minutes and registration sheets from Pagel Reunions dating back to the early1960s.

See all the photos from the October 21, 2006 Dedication of the Historic Texas Cemetery Marker at the Pagel Cemetery at Willow Springs in Fayette County:

Previous Pagel Family Newsletters

PDF versions of all previous Pagel Reunion newsletters

1996 Newsletter
includes Friedrike Dieckow and Gottfried Pagel family history. For updated information see 2000 Newsletter.

1997 Newsletter
includes Magdalena Fritsche and Friedrich Wilhelm Pagel family history

1998 Newsletter
includes Johanna Kuehne and Carl Friedrich Pagel family history

1999 Newsletter
includes Louisa Spieckermann and August Pagel family history

2000 Newsletter
includes Wilhelmine Pagel and Carl Friedrich Fischer family history and new information on the Pagels' home in Kortenhagen

2001 Newsletter
includes Fredericka Pagel and Friedrich Ladewig family history

2002 Newsletter
includes Helena Fehrenkamp and Friedrich Samuel Pagel family history

2003 Newsletter
includes Emilie Pagel and William Appelt family history

2004 Newsletter
includes Anna Appelt and Ernst Pagel family history

2005 Newsletter
includes Anna Rother and Julius Pagel family history

2006 Newsletter
includes history of the Pagel Cemetery at Willow Springs

2007 Newsletter
includes biography of Johanna Zorn Pagel Fritsche, Gottfried Pagel's second wife

2008 Newsletter
includes tips on care and storage of family photographs and papers and the need to preserve them

2009 Newsletter
includes discovery of photograph of Wilhelm and Magdalena Pagel

2010 Newsletter
includes miscellaneous articles from old newspapers about the Pagel family

2011 Newsletter
includes story on Pagel Settlement

2012 Newsletter
includes article on Pagel Family names

2013 Invitation
there was no newsletter in 2013

2014 Newsletter
includes article on the Charles Pagel Family Cemetery

2015 Newsletter
includes article on our WWII casualties

2016 Newsletter
includes article on crayon portraits of early Pagel family members

2017 Newsletter
includes story by Bob Zumwalt

2018 Newsletter
includes news of two more family Historic Texas Cemeteries snd additional information on Charles and Johanna (Kuehne) Pagel

2022 Newsletter
includes an excerpt from Childhood Days, Wildwood Days by Helen Pagel Zumwalt

2023 Newsletter
includes article about the old iron bridge on Willow Springs Road


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