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October 21, 2017

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Life Sketch of Frederick William Stammler
Compiled by Stammler Family Historians, Eugen and Dr. Hans Stammler of Germany, in 1959

Frederick William Stammler
Frederick William Stammler

Frederick William Stammler, born as Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Stammler, but was known as Fred W. was the 9th child and 4th son of the Provincial Judge Ferdinand Stammler (1802-1870). He was born in Ulrichstein, Germany on 28 February 1850. He attended high school in Büdingen and then later the technical high school in Darmstadt. From there he began working in the machine factory of Gottlieb and Schramm in Hersfeld. After the sudden death of his father in 1870, he decided to immigrate to America after receiving encouragement by his married sister, Ottilie Thum, who was in New York, and seek his fortune there. After many adversities and disappointments, he returned four years later to his home land of Germany. Here he took a position as an engineer at a place in Kalk near Köln, and then later he took a job in a machine factory of a friend of his named Schmahl in Mainz. In 1879 upon the suggestions and promptings of his former boss in Philadelphia, he went again to America, and after several years of various job positions, he found a good position on 8 May 1882 as an Engineer at the world famous steel factory, The Cambria Steel Works Company in Johnstown, Pennsylvania (which had 8000 employees).

He was married 20 December 1882 to Marie Dorothea Fronheiser, the daughter of the businessman Jacob Fronheiser of Johnstown. She was born 2 July 1854 in Johnstown. To this union were born four children: Emilie Katharine, Mary Louise (who only lived 2 months), George Fronheiser, and Bertha Ottilie.

On 31 May 1889, Johnstown was almost completely destroyed and thousands died by a flood when the damn, which was 300 meters long, 33 meters high, 27 meters at the base, 7.6 meters wide at the top and was 16 kilometers away holding Conemaugh Lake, broke. By this terrible catastrophe, the Cambria Steel Works was completely destroyed. Friedrich's large, beautiful home and all his possessions were lost. He himself and his family saved themselves by clinging to the large beams from the collapsed roof of their house. They were tossed about by the water and driven to and fro. They were finally rescued by being able to crawl into the 3rd story of a large stone house which didn't stand in the way of the rushing water. Luckily, the Cambria Steel Works was quickly built again, this time even bigger, so that Friedrich at least hadn't lost his job too. Soon he also was able to rebuild a new home at the address of 525 Locust Street.

He worked at Cambria Steel Works until 1 February 1900, when he quit his job and went into retirement in Johnstown. He died in Johnstown 16 February 1917.

Last Updated: February 11, 2008  
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