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The William Jehle Farm

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Surnames/tags: Jehle Nuwer
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The story of William Jehle’s farm begins with Joseph Gundy.

Theresia Nuwer married Joseph Gundy, the son of Sebastian Gundy, on October 17, 1869 at St. John’s Church in Alden Center. Theresia was the daughter of John Nuwer of Lancaster. In the following December Joseph Gundy became the owner of his father’s farm which consisted of two parcels of land totaling 66 acres of land—one parcel was 16 acres and the other was 50 acres of land.

Over the next few years Theresia gave birth to two sons. John was born April 17, 1872 and Joseph, Jr. was born April 19, 1873. Then on October 29, 1873, at the age of only 26, Joseph Gundy, Sr. died. He and Theresia had been married only four years.

There is a deed in the Erie County archived with the same date, October 29, 1873, conveying the 16-acre parcel of land back to Sebastian Gundy. The legality of that transfer is not altogether clear. But the result was that Sebastian Gundy was given a resource he could use to fund his retirement. He probably had planned on his son Joseph’s support. But that was no longer available. Thus, on December 8, 1873 Sebastian sold the 16-acre parcel of land to George Roll, Jr., a neighbor to the east. Sebastian was then able to live off the $800 proceeds of the sale. Theresia Nuwer Gundy inherited the remaining 50 acres of land. [1]

Theresia Nuwer was a widow for about a year when she remarried. Her second husband was William Jehle and they were married November 10, 1874. After the wedding William lived at the Gundy family farm on Westwood Road. In 1880 Theresia Jehle was 29 and William Jehle was 34 years old. John and Joseph Gundy were living in the household and Theresia had given birth to two daughters, Katie and Bertha Jehle. [2] The 1880 Agricultural Census reports that the farm was composed of 50 acres of land, 2 horses, 4 milk cows, and 50 chickens. This enterprise produced corn, wheat, oats, and barley in the grain fields, potatoes, butter, hay, and eggs for Buffalo markets. The family also provided room and board to a 14-year-old boy in exchange for help with the farm labor.

At the end of the 1881 growing season, George Roll, Jr., who was the Jehle’s neighbor to the east moved his farm from lot 43 to lot 36 on Westwood road. Since he no longer had need of the 16-acre parcel of land he purchased from Sebastian Gundy, George sold the parcel to William Jehle. The Jehle farm was then the same 66 acres of land Joseph Gundy had received from his father in 1869.[3]

The Jehle family worked this farm for another twelve years. In the decade of the 1880s Theresia lost one of her daughters and added two more children to her family. In June 1882 Bertha (baptized Bertha Christine) died at the age of three years. (Theresia’s mother, Catherine Nuwer, also died in 1882.) Three years later, in October 1885, Theresia gave birth to another daughter, who was named Bertha Maria. Finally, at the end of the decade, in February 1889, Anna Jehle was born.

Sometime around 1892 Theresia and William Jehle left their Alden farm and moved to Lancaster. Theresia’s brother, John Nuwer, Jr., operated an 84-acre farm on Main street (now Broadway) in Town Line. The land was part of his father’s farm and had been operated by John, Jr. since around 1875. This farm also had a hotel on the property—it was known as the Tobie Hotel. The 1892 Census tells us that John Nuwer, Jr. had moved to Elma and that William Jehle was working John’s former farm. Then in the fall of 1892 William Jehle liquidated his farming assets and began managing the hotel fulltime. [4]

William Jehle did not sell his Westwood road farm after he and his family moved to Lancaster. There are agreements in 1901 and 1912 between William Jehle and the Alden and Batavia Natural Gas & Fuel Company, granting the company rights to explore for gas on the Westwood road farm. There are also newspaper reports from 1909 and 1914 identifying Thomas Staley as the occupant of the “Jehle farm” on Westwood road.

William and Theresia Jehle retired from the hotel business in 1912 and moved to the Village of Lancaster. Theresia Jehle died in May 1923 and William Jehle died in October 1926. Land records show that George Makohonski conveyed the farm to Antoni Przywara in December 1933, but the deed that transferred the land from William Jehle to George Makohonski is still missing. [5]

Further Reading


  1. Joseph Gundy to Sebastian Gundy
    Sebastian Gundy to George Roll, Jr.
  2. “United States Census, 1880, William Jehle, Alden, New York,” FamilySearch database with images, (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:MZZ5-9CM).
  3. George Roll to William Jehely
  4. “William Jehle will sell at public auction at his residence on the John Nuwer [Jr] Farm, on the Main Road in the village of Town Line, on Wednesday, October 26, at 9 o’clock a. m., four horses, 1 stallion, 2 colts, 13 cows, 3 pigs, wagons, sleighs, 10 tons of hay, 10 tons of straw, 200 bushels of oats, 1 tread power and all kinds of farming tools. E.H. Wagner, auctioneer.” Lancaster Times, October 20, 1892.
  5. George Makohonski to Antoni Przywara, December 8, 1933

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Categories: Westwood Road Farms