Biography courteously provided by Joyce Riedinger, Delaware County Coordinator.
JACOB BIELER, a worthy citizen and prosperous wagon-maker at Griffin's Corners, in Middletown, Delaware County, was born in the Duchy of Baden, Germany, on December 15, 1838, and was a son of Christian Bieler, who was a farmer, and lived to the age of threescore years and ten. His wife died when sixty-five. They left four children - George, Chisholm, Len, and Jacob Bieler.
Jacob Bieler was education in Germany, and came to this country when sixteen years of age. He crossed the ocean in a sailing-vessel, and landed at New York after a passage of twenty-eight days. He first came to Margaretville, remained three years, and learned the trade of wagon-making. Thence he went to Franklin, in this county, where he made a stay of one year, and went from there to Western New York, and spent some time. Returning to Delaware County, he sojourned awhile in Delhi, and then went again to Margaretville. In 1860 he established himself in trade at Griffin's Corners, but at the end of a year was burned out. After this misfortune he build another shop near the bridge, which, however, he soon sold, and bought a house and lot of land. Here he erected the two shops now standing, where for twenty years he has carried on a large business.
In 1862, he married Essenth Engle, who was born in the town of Halcott, Greene County. She was the daughter of Frederick and Ella (Garrison) Engle, and grand-daughter of John Engle, who was born in Germany, but came to this country and became a soldier in the Revolutionary War. After the war was over, he went to Lexington, Greene County, where he was one of the pioneer settlers. He lived to the very remarkable age of one hundred and seven years, and, dying, left four sons - Jacob, Christopher, Frederick, and Peter Engle - and one daughter. Frederick Engle, Mrs. Bieler's father, was born in Lexington, Greene County, and at the age of twenty-one entered mercantile life in Halcott. After a time he- sold his store. and bought a farm and another store near by, where he was in business until 1845. Then he sold out, and came to Griffin's Corners, where he again established himself as a merchant. Here he remained until his death, which took place when he was about sixty-five years of age. His wife, Mrs. Jacob Bieler's mother, is still living, at the age of eighty-one, with her son Arland, in Laplata, Mo. They had seven children, five of whom are living. and are: Martha Engle, who married George Nesbut, and lives in Minnesota; E. F. Engle, a tin-smith; Arland Engle, whose home is in Laplata; Essenth Engle, the wife of Mr. Bieler; and Aaron Engle.
Some years ago Mr. Bieler built a fine, spacious house, which is now surrounded by delightful grounds and shaded by- beautiful trees. In summer it is thrown hospitably open to people who are seeking a pleasant retreat for the heated term. This roomy- mansion accommodates from twenty-five to thirty guests, and is usually filled with city people who are rendered most comfortable by the efforts of their kind host and hostess, being much more at home than they could be at the large hotels. Mr. and Mrs. Bieler have had two daughters: Minnie Bieler, whom they lost when a fair girl of seventeen years; and Margie Bieler, who still gladdens their home with her presence. Mr. Bieler is a Democrat in politics, and in religious opinions a Presbyterian belonging to the church at Margaretville. He is a complete master of the art of wagon -making, is a genial host. and is, a worthy and highly respected gentleman.
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