Our great grandfather, Christof Adam Dobler, left Beutelsbach in Remstal, near Stuttgart Germany, in 1797, and made his wayto Cherwinka, Botchka Yugoslavia (presently known as Austria). In 1803 a son, Peter Michael, was born to them. Michael, as Dad referred to him, was among the immigrants who came down the Danube Valley to the Black Sea in 1817. The trip was made during the winter and many of those who began the journey were unable to survive the conditions. Michael was one of the founders of the village of Teplitz in the province of Bessarabia, Russia. He was the second generation of the immigrant band and was the grandfather to our father, John Dobler. Michael married a girl by the name of Heu, and a son called Leopold was born to them. After the death of Heu, Michael married an 18 year old orphan girl, Wilhelmina Christena Wirth. She had been born in Germany and had migrated with 2 sisters and 1 brother, along with their guardian, Gottlieb Mader, to Teplitz. To Michael and Wilhelmina were born 3 sons, Christian, Jacob and Joseph. Michael died in 1842 and Wilhelmina married twice more. The second husband's name was Kurz and the third was Joseph Haubach, a widower. No children were born to either of these unions. Mr. Haubach had a son from a previous marriage, Jacob F. Haubach, who was born Oct. 11, 1812 and died in August of 1900.
Leopold Dobler, the oldest son of Michael, was the direct ancestor of the South Dakota Doblers, and also of Dr. Leopold Dobler of Teplitz, and later on of Germany. He was the father of 2 known sons. Jacob, the eldest, came to America earlier and was influential in bringing his uncle, our grandfather Christian, to America. Another of Leopold's sons, Andreas, remained in Teplitz. His son, Leopold, born in 1888, became the doctor who was widely known in the region and was forced to join the refugees and finally made their way back to Beutelsbach where Dr. Dobler had visited the Dobler families in the early 1920's.
Our grandfather, Christian Dobler, was born Nov. 11, 1938, at Teplitz, Bessarabia Russia, the eldest son of Michael and Wilhelmina Dobler. He learned the trade of wagon building, and later became the builder of the Teplitzer Wagons, the Cadillac of wagons in the country during this period of tim6. On October 8,1859, he married Dorothea Handel (born Aug. 30, 1842). To this union 16 children were born, 8 of whom died in infancy. The 8 surviving were our dad, John, born Nov. 6, 1875, and Dorothea, Christina, Katherine, Chris, Theresa, Maria, and Leopold all born in Teplilz.
In 1863 the family moved to New Teplitz where grandfather was mayor for a period of time. After a 10 year stay, the family moved on the village of Nesselrode, Birsula in the provmce of Chereson. They remained here until 1884. After a summer in Alexandrinka, which was near Bergdorf, they decided to come to America. The day before Christmas of 1884, they began by rail through Austria and Germany. They sailed from Bremen, Germany on board the freighter, "Hopsburg", with a one-day stopover in Liverpool, England, to unload dried hides.
There is somewhat of a discrepancy in the records as to the time it took to cross the ocean, 12 days or 18 days, but this was explained by the differences in the calendars. We do know they landed in New York during the first part of February, traveling on to Scotland, Dakota Territory, by train with a 1-day stopover in Chicago.
Upon arrival in Scotland, they rented a farm near the town during 1885-86. Grandfather then took employment at "The Farmers Elevator" in Scotland, working up to the position of business manager, from 1887 to 1889. Following the death of his wife, Dorothea in 1889, he moved his family toward Colorado. They arrived in St. Francis, Kansas on March 2, 1890 and then moved on to the German Settlement located north of Bethune, where they homesteaded on Section 37-45 West, which to this present day remains in the Dobler family.
Our dad, John, lived on the homestead with Grandpa Christian from 1890 until 1892. During 1893 and 1894 he was employed at London Dairy in Denver, Colorado. In 1895 he returned to the homestead until the crops were hailed out. Then he and Peter Knodel went back to Denver and following a series of odd jobs, they both found employment at the smelters.
Dad's brother Chris married Sophia Grosshans. Lee (Leopold) returned to the Dakotas, later making his home in Idaho. The Dobler daughters entered in the following marriages: Dorothea to Chris Strobel; Katherine to Chris' brother Jacob Strobel in a double wedding with her sister Christina, who married Peter Knodel; Maria to John Stahlecker. This will help to explain some of the family trees throughout the Settlement.
John, our Dad, was united in marriage to Magdalena Stutz on Easter Sunday, April 2, 1899, and took over the farming of the family homestead after having farmed with his brothers for a short period of time. Grandpa Christian remained on the homestead along with the newlyweds.