Lot 17


Tax records suggest that Adam Johnston built a structure ($295) on Lot 17 in 1846. Older town residents refer to it as the “Red House,” which stood at one time on this lot. Tax records suggest that there was a house on Lot 17 as late as 1950; however, according to Paul Young, Jr. there was no house here in the late 1930s and his conversations with older residents suggest that the house was razed in the 1920s. It is possible that the Red House and the Phillip Wengert House were both on Lot 17, which would explain why tax records showed a house on the lot in 1950. In 1885 the value of the Lot increased to $360, which could be the result of Phillip Wengert’s building the small house that still exists in 2007. Since Phillip operated a store in the Red House it could also be that he built the smaller house as a store building. This explanation would be consistent with the nineteenth-century village pattern by which all residence had gables parallel to the street and all store buildings, shops, and public buildings were perpendicular.

Philip Wingert

Wingert, age 33, is listed in the 1860 census as a shoemaker who was born in Bavaria. According to tax records he did not own any property at this time. Members of the Wengert family in 1860 include: Philip, age 33; Magdalena (Jacky Yockey?), 26; Mary E., 5; and John F., 1. According to an obituary, they also had a daughter named Louisa who was born in 1856 and died in 1858. Magdalena was born January 21, 1834. She married Phillip on May 4, 1854 and died February 26, 1861.

By 1870 Phillip Wengert was the owner of Lot 17, which remained in his name until 1925. The 1880 census listed the following members of the Wingert family: Phillip, age 53; Mary E., 36, who was his second wife (born ca. 1844); Mary E., 25, (his daughter, whose mother was Magdalena); John F., 21; George H., 16; Annie C., 14; Emma H., 11; Frederica A., 8; Charles H., 4; and Alice V., 2.

Phillip’s first wife was Elizabeth Stenzel. They had at least one child, Henry, who was born August 2, 1875. Henry became a doctor specializing in eye, ear, nose, and throat and practiced in Grand Island, Nebraska. According to his obituary, he “had excellent educational opportunities and creditably completed the public school course in Woodsfield, Ohio and graduate from Starling Medical College in (?), from which well known institution he was graduated in 1900.”

In July 1888, the Wengert family and, no doubt, all of Miltonsburg was shocked to learn that Annie and Alice Wengert had perished in a flood while visiting their Aunt Barbara Stenzel (born ca. 1813) at her home near Wheeling, West Virginia. While they have the same name, this Barbara Stenzel was not the wife of Frederick Stenzel. Possibly her maiden name was Barbara Wengert and she was Phillip Wengert’s (born ca. 1827) sister. Possibly, also, she married Frederick Stenzel’s brother, who was deceased by 1888.

The following excerpts from the New York Times and the Washington Post present an account of the disaster, which clearly was national news:

The New York Times

July 21, 1888


The Terrible Disaster At And Near Wheeling-Twenty-one bodies swept away, Cattle Drowned, and Crops Injured.

WHEELING, West Va., July 20.-Never since the disastrous flood of August, 1866, has Wheeling been visited by such a tremendous rainfall as occurred last evening. The storm of 1866 commenced at 10 o’clock at night and ceased at 3 in the morning. There were a number of deaths from drowning and lightning at that time, but when communication is once more restored with the various places along the track of last night’s deluge, it is thought the former flood will sink into insignificance. It is impossible to give a correct list of fatalities, but the best estimate tonight makes not less than 25 drowned.

The list of dead as far as could be learned tonight is as follows: Barbara Stenzel, age 65 years; Herman Stenzel, her son, age 35; Annie Wingard (Wengert), age 10; Alice Wingard (Wengert, age 21. … Mrs. Barbara Henzel (Stenzel), resided about one mile up the run. There were in the house at the time it was swept away, her son, Herman, aged 20, and Alice and Annie Wingert, … of Miltonsburg, Ohio, nieces of Mrs. Henzel (Stenzel), who were paying their aunt a visit. The house they were in was lifted from the foundation and floated down about 100 yards where it lodged. Both ends of the dwelling had been crushed in when the house stopped. … This morning the body of Alice Wingert was recovered in the run … and Mrs. Hensel’s (Stenzel’s) body was recovered early this morning.

Excerpts from another account in the Washington Post adds some information about the flood and confirms my assumption that “Mrs. Hensel” of the New York Times article is really Mrs. Stenzel.

The Washington Post

July 21, 1888




… Caldwell’s Run, which passes through the Eighth Ward of this city (Wheeling), was the scene of the greatest havoc. Three houses were swept away and all the families were drowned, they were Mrs. Barbara Stenzel and son, Herman Stenzel, Alice and Annie Wingert of Miltonsburg, O., nieces of Mrs. Stenzel; John Hoffman and Mr. Thomas Hawley and four children. Her husband was in the yard and was swept 100 yards down the stream but managed to reach the bank in safety. Only two bodies have been recovered-Alice Wingert and Mrs. Stenzel.

… Mrs. Stenzel’s and Miss Alice Wingert’s bodies … and will be sent to Miltonsburg, O. also the other two when they are found. Mr. Wingert, the father of the two girls, arrived in the city this evening. He had no knowledge of the drowning of his two daughters until after his arrival. The brothers of the Misses Wingert residing in Indiana were expected to arrive here tomorrow. Mr. Stenzel of Greenville, Ohio, the eldest son of Mrs. Stenzel is also expected tomorrow. The impossibility of reaching the worst localities cannot be appreciated. The creek is still dangerously swollen and the roads washed, bridges caved in, telephone and telegraph lines down. …

Oral History

According to Alice Boyle, granddaughter of Phillip Wengert, there was a brick patio between the Red House and the Wengert house and there was a grape arbor behind the Red House. Phillip Wengert operated a store in the Red House and (?) Grim lived upstairs in the Red House when he worked for Phillip. Bill Stiles, who married Mary Block, the sister of John Block, lived here when he “grubbed on Adolph Claus’ forty acres to the left of the gate beyond the Free Cemetery.”

Alice Boyle also said there was a summer kitchen behind the store in the Red House and that there was a flagstone terrace between the house and the summer kitchen-which was also probably connected to the Wengert House on Lot 18. As noted above, it is possible that both the Red House and the Wengert House were located on Lot 17.


Other people who lived in this house include George and Christine Schrader, and Dorothy Landefeld Feiock.

Lot 17 Owners

(Partial List)

  • 1835 Christopher Steel
  • 1836 Christopher Steel
  • 1837 Christopher Steel
  • 1844 Ohio State
  • 1846 James W. Shankland
  • 1847 James W. Shankland
  • 1848 James W. Shankland
  • 1849 James W. Shankland
  • 1850 William Hobaugh
  • 1855 William Hobaugh
  • 1860 ?
  • 1865 Michael Exavier?
  • 1870 Phillip Wengert
  • 1875 Phillip Wengert
  • 1880 Phillip Wengert
  • 1890 Phillip Wengert
  • 1895 Phillip Wengert
  • 1899 Phillip Wengert
  • 1905 Phillip Wengert
  • 1910 Phillip Wengert
  • 1915 Phillip Wengert
  • 1920 Phillip Wengert
  • 1925 Phillip Wengert
  • 1930 Isadore and Otto Burkhart
  • 1935 Isadore J. Burkhart
  • 1940 Isadore J. Burkhart
  • 1945 Isadore J. Burkhart
  • 1950 Clem and Rebecca Burkhart