Saint Michael the Archangel Church

History from the website of the Saint Michael the Archangel Church in Waterloo, Indiana:

Fourteen Catholic families settled in Smithfield Township, DeKalb County, Indiana, near the small town of Summit. They met resistance from their neighbors because they did not speak the same language or have the same beliefs. The immigrants all spoke the Bavarian dialect of their native land. They attended St. Francis Xavier Church (built in 1967) in Waterloo, Indiana, once a month….

November 8, 1879 – Owing to the distance and inconvenience of attending mass in Waterloo, a meeting was held in the home of Mr. & Mrs. John Mathias Shoudel, and was then decided by these 14 members to erect a church 30′ X 46′. The men present at the meeting were (the fourteen founding families):

John Mathias Shoudel, Michael L. Shoudel, Sr., George May, Mathias E. Shoudel, John Miller, Frank Miller, John Hoffelder, Sr., George Ellert, Frederick Reinig, Frederick Gfeller, Sr., Xavier Smith, Baltazar Shoudel, Michael Leidner, Ferdinand Fetters

You recognize the name Shoudel but the Millers and Fetters are also part of the Shoudel family. John Matthias Shoudel’s wife is Maria Magdalena Miller (originally Muller or Mueller), and her brother is Frank Miller, originally in German Franz Anton Muller. John Miller is probably another brother but I haven’t confirmed that. Fetters married into the Shoudel family.

When John (Shoudel) came to America from Germany, he joined with four others and bought 40 acres of land in Smithfield Township, those four men were Frank Miller, John Miller, Xavier Schmidt and Frederick Schmidt:

There are also many Trapps in the same area, and I’m going to guess those are most likely family connected to Maria as her mother was Anna Maria Trapp. I don’t believe it’s a coincidence.

Thanks for reading!

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