52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks: Alone

Johann Albert Naegeli and Frances Witte

Franciska Witte was the second out of nine children born to Victor and Anna Marie Witte. She was born on April 28, 1864 and grew up in Washington County. She married Johann Albert Naegeli on December 22, 1881 at the age of 17.

Johann was born on April 24, 1854 in Kilchburg Canton, Zurich, Switzerland. He was the fourth child born to Hans Heinrich and Anna Marie Voegler. The family immigrated to Texas in 1857 and settled in Winedale where Hans and his eldest living son Emil became well known for their woodwork.

Albert and Francis, as they were known, bought land from her parents just north of the Rudolph Witte farm. They had five children and Albert settled into farm life. He died unexpectedly on March 16, 1901 at the age of 47, leaving Francis alone to raise five children ranging in age from three to seventeen years of age. Her brother Rudolph and his family were living nearby, but aside from that, she was left to rear the children and provide for the entire farming operation. How difficult and lonely this must have been. Fortunately, a neighbor, August Schill, assisted in tending to the farm.

Francis died on December 20, 1938 at the age of 74. She and Albert are buried side by side in the Jaeger Witte Cemetery.


Below are the before and after images of the the restoration of Albert’s headstone, completed in 2020 by Lowell Herzog, a well known conservationist in Washington County.




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