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Please submit Sporleder History
Judy Sporleder Maupin
Chateau de Maupin, Box 63
Commiskey, IN 47227


Alice Sporleder
5345 E County Rd 900 N
North Vernon, IN 47265

The history of the family that remains in Indiana has been omitted for the protection of the privacy of the living. As time passes the remaining history can be added. I encourage the living family members to submit their historical contributions so it can be added for completeness. Please send any information ( in any form ) to me and I can add it. I am interested in any pictures that may be copied and added also. Judy Sporeleder Maupin



Judy Sporleder Maupin

The Sporleder family began in southeastern Indiana when Henry and Adam settled in Jennings County. Henry was the first to arrive in Indiana, soon after his arrival in America on the Helene from Bremen, Germany. He arrived May 3, 1851 in New York, and traveled to Cincinnati, Ohio. Family history, passed from father to son, has recorded that he then walked to Jennings County, where he settled in Columbia Township south of Zenas. He lived his whole life after coming to United States of America near Zenas until his death, July 13, 1898. Family history has also recorded that there were three Sporleder sons who came from Germany; two settled in Jennings County. There was a Sporleder listed in the ship's passenger list as Analie Sporleder. The other Sporleder son family member is unaccounted for, but was supposed to have traveled on at Cincinnati to Texas. This story has not been confirmed to date.

Adam, the brother of Henry, did not come to USA until about ten years following Henry. Adam arrived in New York aboard the Tuisko, April 17, 1860 enroute to Cincinnati, Ohio. The origin of the Henry and Adam Sporleder family has not been determined at this time. The search is continuing. The records at the Bremen port from Germany were destryed by fire threrefore the connection to Germany cannot be located. I travelled to Germany and visited with Heinrich Sporleder who lived near Cassell, Germany. He was able to take me to a farm near there that bears the Sporleder name carved in a wooden timber of a house/barn that has the date of 1747 carved near the Sporleder Name. I met with the family that lives there now but no one was able to tell the history of the farm. Heinrich did review the church records in that area but was unable to locate any connection to our ancestor, Henry. I visited the Weser River area but was unable to locate any new information. The river is very beautiful and is emaculately kept. Mr. Heinrich Sporleder has since died and his son Echert does not seem interested in the search.

The Sporleder name seems to be indigenous to a few areas of the Prussian province of Westphalia, to the former duchy of Brunswick and the adjoining areas of the former kingdom (from 1866 Prussian province) of Hannover. The origin of the Sporleder name is not documented in any genealogy of the name. However, the name itself and the records of history partially furnish evidence and a meaning which cannot be mistaken, as written by Louis Bernhardt Sporleder, Sr. in, "My Lineage......In Brief." He writes:

"The Name 'Sporleder' reaches back to those days, when the inhabitants of Europe were divided only into town's people, Lords, serfs and Ecclesiastics. My ancestors , the Sporleders, were Herren vom Spornleder, literally translated into English, 'Lords of the spur or spurleather', had bestowed upon them, that honorary title , for valuable military service, rendered the numerous petty chiefs and rulers of those Saxon tribes in Germany, which before the Norman conquest, had already settled, to a great extent, in England."

"Of purest Saxon blood are the "Sporleders", and their affiliation to England, the country they helped to populate has endured, ..even to this day."

"The title itself, 'Lords of the Spur', never became hereditary. It remained one of Honor only, to the individual who earned it by his valor and prowess. For a century or more, the title was adopted by bands of freebooters who thrived through plunder and pillage. After the thirty years war, the various organizations of the 'Lords of the Spur' disintegrated, the members settling down peacefully to various pursuits, mostly as small landowners in the country adjoining the great river Weser."

"This much of my family history is of course traditional, delivered orally from father to son, but without proof of documentary evidence, except now and then corroborated by old chronicles and ancient records. My grandparents were proprietors of a small estate near Furstenberg, a town situated on the Weser, in what was then the Duke Dom of Brunswick. Three sons my grandfather begat; Henry, the eldest (not our Henry), Frederick, the second my father and apprenticed to a manufacturer of art furniture, served his full quota of time in what appeared to have been a very profitable branch of the industries. He became an efficient artisan, not only establishing a reputation in his own community. but also doing honor to himself in his wanderings as a journeyman."

"In the far away thirties of the last century, a time of much political unrest all over Europe, the three brothers, not in sympathy with policies of the government , determined to leave Germany forever, and seek the freedom of the then thinly settled Western United States."

"The origin of all these families can easily be traced to a common center or point,.. the region of the country, extending along the Weser, almost at it's source, at the junction of the two rivers, the Fulda, and Werra. From there also originates that line of the Sporleders residing in Reval, Estland, on the shores of the Baltic Sea. That family is still in close relation with England, living up to the older traditions, according to which, many of the young men did military or civil service under King George The Fourth and Duke of Brunswick, who carried English titles."

"Brunswick Wolfenbuttel; his brother founded the new line of Brunswick. Luneburg, and as such became the ancestors of the House of Hanover. King George the Fourth of Britain, was also the ruler of Hanover. The present Duke of Cumberland still maintains his claims to the Hanoverian Throne."

"It is more than likely that my mother's ancestors could boast of a continuous residence in the same little town of Hessia for a thousand years. The Hessians, or "Gatti", as the Romans called them, were always a firmly established people, rarely if ever leaving their native soil. This is partly accounted for by the exceptional beauty of natural surroundings in that fair land of forest covered hills and lesser mountains, where each hilltop is crowned with castle or tower, mirrored in slow flowing, crystal clear streams."

"The historic sense of the Hessians appears to be but little developed, for the town of Eschwege, where my mother was born never carried an archive, in which the annals of the community were recorded. Only church registers remain, and these are composed only of the records of births, confirmations, marriages and deaths. Yet several historical works have been compiled of Eschwege and her citizens, gathered chiefly from the archives of the houses of Nobility and neighboring towns and estates."

(Louis Bernhardt Sporleder was the son of Johann Frederick Christian and Caroline Friederika Horche Sporleder b. Feb. 2, 1857 in St.Louis, MO, d. Mar. 24, 1943.)

Henry,my great great great grandfather, came to the United States apparently for the same reasons many others from Germany made such a drastic move. They wanted an improved economy, to own their land, political independence from government control and improved opportunities in the USA. during the early 1800's poor agricultural seasons had nearly starved many of the farmers in northern Germany. The emigrants came from Germany because they could not own their own land and had to work as tenant farmers. The inheritance laws contributed to many men not having any land or of any hope to ever own land. The first born son inherited all of the land left by the parents. The other sons had no land and would always work as tenants. Because of this tradition I have to assume that Henry and his brother, Adam, must of had an older brother that inherited the land. They came to the new frontier that was opening up in the mid-west in Indiana.


Henry Sporleder came to Jennings County and settled on what is now known as the "George Roberts" farm in Columbia Township a few miles south of Zenas. He stayed there until his death. Henry died in 1898 and Anna Elizabeth (Annie) died in 1907. Both Henry and Annie were born in Germany. The family members are buried near this farm in the Kline Cemetery except for little Henry who was burned when his clothes caught fire as a small child and he later died. Little Henry was buried on the hillside near the family home. Little Henry has a stone placed at his gravesite by relatives in the late 1990’s. The other family members’ markers can be found today on the George Duffet Farm in the middle of the woods. Henry was married to AnaElizabeth Ulery in February, 1854. She died in January, 1855 apparently during childbirth and she and an infant daughter are buried at the same sight. Henry remarried in 1855 to Elizabeth A. Trarback (Trabsch) (Dunberger). They were married by John Rafferty, JP, in Jennings County. Elizabeth was the mother of all of Henry's living children and descendants. They begat nine children: Michael, John Jacob, Henry, Catherine, Adam, Albert, William, Leana, and Emma. John Jacob is the lineage of most of the Sporleders now living near Zenas. Michael was last known to have been living in Colorado and practicing as an optician until he became ill with kidney disease. He requested to return to Oklahoma to be near Adam, his brother. He is buried there near Okemah. He was also a carpenter and built the house that now stands on the Charles Miller farm across the road from where his father is buried. He was a beautiful artisan. He bought the farm in December, 1882 for $625 and sold the farm May 19, 1898, for $825 when he was recorded as living in El Paso County, Colorado. The farm was purchased by Joseph Sutton and later sold that same year to William Sporleder for $900. William Sporleder owned the farm until 1906 when he sold it for $1250 to William Gault. William was recorded as living in Okemah, Western Judicial District of the Indian Territory. Adam Sporleder and William Sporleder located in Okemah, Oklahoma and operated a general store there. I have in my possession a picture of them taken in the Store. Albert lived around Zenas all his life and never married. He was somewhat impaired and without good judgment. He stayed near John Jacob and the rest of the family. It was told that he kept accounting of the days by notches on a tree. He did this so he would know when the next big dinner at the church would be so he could make sure to attend. The mischievous members of the family used to tease him by making an extra notch on the tree so he would lose count and miss the dinner. Leana Sporleder married Mr. Martin Schuyler and we do know that she had three daughters with Schuyler. He died in 1910 she remarried a Mr. Jakob Knootz and moved to Kokomo, Indiana. She later died in Kokoma of an automobile accident in 19 ________. Emma Sporleder married George Yeager and she moved to Conrad, Montana. George Yeager was the brother of John Jacob’s wife Louisa Yeager Sporleder. Catherine Sporleder married Christian (Christlieb) Steuri from Napoleon, Indiana. She died April 29, 1895 in Versailles, IN. Other information has been found about her daughter in Census reports of 1910, in which Christian Steuri has another wife and a daughter, Anna (18), who is in the household. His wife and he had only been married fourteen (14) years. Catherine died three years after the birth of Anna, her only daughter.

The elder Henry Sporleder came to the Zenas community after he had walked from Cincinnati. He settled near Nebraska, Indiana on the above mentioned farm of about 80 acres that was ascertained from Michael Cable of Ripley County. The records of that transation have now been found and recorded. He lived three until his death in 1898.


Helen Cleland describes Zenas in her book, History of Jennings County, Indiana, " Zenas was entered in 1821, August 7, by Stephen Beard who sold the land to David Elliott, who plotted the town in 1837." Zenas Baptist Church was established in 1843. Henry and his first wife were married February 26, 1854, by Enoch Tilton, a Baptist Minister. We do not know if they were married in the Zenas Baptist Church. It is understandable that Henry would have stayed near Zenas because during 1884, Zenas boasted of many businesses. Among the many businesses were: Thomas Woods Drygoods, Groceries, Hardware, Queensware, Boots, Shoes, and General Merchandise; George Miller, School Teacher; William H. Baker, Notary Public and Farmer; Benjamin J. Payton, Attorney and Counselor at Law Office at the residence on the farm; A.L. Grindstead, Dealer in General Merchandise and Produce and Huckster; a large tanning yard for tanning hides, making leather shoes and other products; several shoemakers; a Tavern; a Saloon; a Wagon Factory; a Grist Mill; two blacksmith shops; a cooper shop; several sawmills for working timber which was the chief industry until timber gave way to agriculture; a school house; Zenas Baptist Church; a telephone company and a post office. The USA and Indiana must have looked very exciting to the German emigrants who came to America because of the European Wars, the rise of Prussia, and hereditary obstacles. In this new land the emigrants would have freeholding of land, would find personal freedom, and perhaps even, find prosperity.


Adam Sporleder, brother to Henry, arrived in America April 17, 1860, approximately nine years after Henry. He entered the Port of New York aboard the Tuisko from Bremen. He was listed as a shoemaker and was bound for Cincinnati. It seems apparent he planned to join his brother Henry. Adam was about thirty-one years old when he arrived. He married Minnie Steinmetz (Stonematz) (Stimits) on August 26, 1865, in Jennings County, Indiana. They lived near Margaret Yeager and George Yeager(brother to Margaret), about one mile south of the present Hershel Speer farm on the Muscatatuck River near Zenas, Indiana. They begat three sons: George Washington, Samuel Adams and Benjamin Franklin (Frank). Adam died at an early age in about 1875. Minnie Steinmetz Sporleder later married Jacob Krummel. Adam Sporleder was the lineage(ancestor) of the present Charles "Dennis" Sporleder, who lived in Seymour, Indiana. Adam Sporleder is buried in the "old" Zenas Baptist Cemetery, west of Zenas, near the marker identified as Jacob Krummel as a Civil War Veteran. Adam has no marker for his grave. Dennis Sporleder told me that George Curtis Sporleder, the small son of George and Mary May Robyler Sporleder, is also buried in the same cemetery plot with Adam. Even though Adam was identified as a shoemaker on the ship's passenger list when he arrived in New York; the family history has identified him as a slaughterhouse worker in Cincinnati and a farmer in Columbia Township in northeast Jennings County, Indiana. It is believed that he contracted Tuberculosis while working in the slaughterhouse and later died from that disease.

After Adam died the census report lists the children as living with various families in Columbia Township-the Eliza Shephard family, the Adam Steinmetz family, and the Jacob Krummel family. After Adam Sporleder died, Minnie married Jacob Krummel and in 1880 George(14) and Franklin(9) Sporleder were living with the Krummels and Franklin and George W. were living with the Eliza Shephard household while Samuel(12) was living with Adam and Rhoda Steinmetz, the grandparents. Adam and Henry Sporleder are both listed in the 1870 Census of Jennings County of Indiana as born in "Hesse Cassel" which is the city in a state of Hesse of Germany.

Franklin and Samuel Sporleder are believed to have moved west to Illinois, near Matoon. George married Mary May Robyler and had two sons, George Curtis and Roy. George Curtis lived only about four years and died. Roy was born in 1894 in Decatur County, Indiana where his parents made their home with the Robylers. Roy was nine days old when his mother died. He was raised by his grandmother, Minnie Steinmetz Sporleder Krummel until she died in 1914. George re-married Emma Booth in 1894 and they were later divorced by the 1900 Census. George later married Carrie _______ from Illinois and moved to Illinois near Matoon. They begat three children: Harry, Mary and Ruby. Mary Sporleder-Gilson is living today near Deerfield, Michigan. The others have deceased. Harry died in Toledo, Ohio after living there for several years. George died in Toledo, Ohio, also because Harry cared for him in his late years. They are buried in Toledo.

                                                                                               Roy and Charles Dennis

Roy Sporleder Married Pearl Eberwein and they begat Charles "Dennis", Curtis and Raymond. Pearl died at time of the birth of twins in 1924 and left three sons ages 9, 5, and 2 years. The boys were raised by their father, grandparents, David Eberweins and (Charles) Dennis stayed frequently with Aunt Flo ( Flora Blythe ). Charles Dennis graduated from Butlerville High School and worked driving a milk truck from 1934-1942, one year at Charleston Proving Ground and then became employed at Seymour Central Pharmaceuticals. He retired after 28 years with Seymour Manufacturing. Dennis married Edith Foreman and had two daughters: Lois Ann and Debra Jean. Lois Sporleder Demaree Brondyke lives in Columbus and has one living daughter, Stephanie Demaree Olson. A son, Scott died. Debra McGill lives in Bloomington, Indiana, and has three living daughters, Cathy, Jessica and Amy, and a living son, Sean. A son , John, died

Dennis tells a humorous story about working for Aunt Flo. He and his brother Curtis were digging potatoes for Aunt Flo and she had told them they were to separate out every 10th row of potatoes and "save them for the Lord (church)." After they had spent some time digging potatoes and had gather several potatoes for the Lord, Dennis suggested to Aunt Flo that the Lord would get fat eating all the potatoes. Aunt Flo punished him for saying such a thing about the Lord and made him sit on the porch the rest of the afternoon. His brother thought he got the best end of the deal because he had to dig all the rest of the potatoes by himself while Dennis sat and watched. The minister told this story at the memorial service for Dennis when he died October, 2005.


Curtis Sporleder never married and made his home in Westport, Indiana with the George Spencers. Mrs. Spencer was the sister to his grandmother, Mary Robyler Sporleder. He worked at Stadler Meat Packing in Columbus, Indiana and helped Mr. Spencer with the farming.


Raymond Sporleder served in the 2nd World War and was killed in about 1944 in Italy before he was unaware he would become the father of a son, Charles Ray Sporleder. Charles Ray lived in Bloomington, Indiana and has three living children: Dianna Marie, Shane, and Ryan. His son, Raymond Daniel died in 1983 at the age 18 of a brain tumor. Later a second son died in an auto accident in Tennessee.

                                                                                                           John Jacob

John Jacob Sporleder, son of Henry, was born in Jennings County May 24, 1858, apparently, the second child of Henry and Elizabeth Trarback Sporleder. He married Louisa Margaret Yeager,a second generation German, February 25, 1883. Lou was born April 13, 1861, in Dearborn County, Indiana, the daughter of Lewis and Margaret (Margaretha) Runck (Runk) Yeager. Lewis Yeager was born August 2, 1838, in Ohio and Margaret Runck was born January 6, 1838, in Berlin or Pfalz County, Bavaria. Lewis was the son of Nikolaus Jaeger (Yeager) born February 2, 1813, in Esinger, Phienpfalz, Germany and his wife Elizabeth Kalenberger born April 10, 1810, in Walshem, Kanton, Landau, Bayern, Germany. Margaret was the daughter of Johann Jacob Runk and Katherine Kauther Runk (Runck).

John Jacob and Louisa lived on the "Taylor" farm which was later owned by Larry Sporleder but has now been sold. They were the parents of six children: John Harlin, Cordia Louise, Arthur Enos(twin), Aaron Anais(twin), Herbert Elrue, and Chester Leroy. John J. worked as a farm hand and was a farmer all his life. Family history recorded that he was a "faithful Baptist" for a lifetime. He was a member of the Zenas Baptist Church. Oliver remembers he was always very kind to his grandchildren. He would sit out on the front porch, eat candy and hold a grandson on each knee. He liked a spicy frosted cookie and would always keep a jar of them on hand. This was always Oliver's favorite cookie. John J. was supposedly the only person who ever got along with Lewis Yeager who was known to be very stubborn and "hardheaded" (probably a trait that he brought from Germany).

In 1917 Louisa and John J. went to Montana to join Aaron and Arthur Sporleder. John J. did not like Montana and returned to Indiana a few months later, without Lou. He lived alone near the children in Indiana until his death July, 1925. Because he lived alone Eliza, Harlin's wife, often took the children and went to John Jacob's to clean his house. Lou and John Jacobs never were in a happy marrriage relationship and the family told they had frequently had a turmoltous marriage and Lou told family members in Montana that it was the happiest day in her marriage the day John Jacob returned to Indiana without her. She did keep informed about him from his neighbors, the Orrells. She communicated by letter with Mrs. Orrell. John jacob died after a short illness with a bowel obstruction in 1925. He was taken to Nebraska and placed on the train to St. Mary's hospital in Cincinnati where he died shortly therafter.


Chester Sporleder moved to Montana and joined the families there. Chester shared with his son, Bob, that he remembered the family did not talk about Germany. The children were not allowed to speak German because they were Americans. They were such proud Americans or fearful of retribution from someone in Germany. The family home burned at one time and all the pictures and memorabilia from Germany were lost.

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