20 August 2010

Charles Herman Fiegenbaum

1869 — 1948

Biographical Sketch

Charles H. Fiegenbaum

Charles H. Fiegenbaum, president of the Index Galena Lumber Company, one of the foremost business enterprises of Index, Snohomish county, was born at Charles City, Iowa, October 22 1869, a son of the Rev. H. R. and Elizabeth (Krumpel) Fiegenbaum, both of whom were natives of St. Charles, Missouri.  In early life they removed to Iowa and the father became a pioneer Methodist Episcopal minister of that state, where he continued his labors as a preacher of the gospel for many years.  In 1901 he arrived in eastern Washington, where he afterward lived a retired life, passing away in 1910 at the age of seventy-three years.  His wife died in 1878 at the age thirty-five years.  In their family were three children:  Mrs. John D. Allen, now living in Denver, Colorado; Charles H.; and Arthur F., who resides in Honolulu, Hawaii. 1 

During his boyhood days Charles H. Fiegenbaum attended various schools in Iowa and elsewhere as his father removed from place to place according to the itinerant custom of Methodist ministers.  At length he was graduated from the high school at Atchison, Kansas, and later he attended the Bayless Commercial College at Dubuque, Iowa.  He afterward took up stenographic work in the Second National Bank of Dubuque and remained in various positions there for twenty-three years, advancing step by step until he became cashier of the institution.  He severed his connection with the bank when in 1910 he came to Washington, making his way to Index, where he purchased an interest in the Index Galena Lumber Company, of which he became treasurer.  He continued in that office until February, 1911, when he was elected president, which position he still occupies.  Something of the extent of his business is indicated in the fact that the firm employs two hundred in the manufacture of ninety thousand feet of lumber and one hundred and fifty thousand shingles per day.  They ship about one million, five hundred thousand feet of lumber per month and the enterprise constitutes one of the most important of the productive industries of Index.  Moreover, Mr. Fiegenbaum has other business connections, being now a director of the Iowa Land Company of Dubuque, Iowa, and interested in the Douglas Lumber Company of Oregon.  He is likewise president of the People's Grocery & Market, Inc., of Index and his business interests are wisely and carefully directed, bringing to him a very substantial measure of success.  In fact the extent and importance of his commercial and industrial interests place him in a leading position among the business men of Index.  His activities have always been of a character which have contributed to public progress as well as to individual success and his worth in the community is widely acknowledged.

On the 22d of July, 1897, Mr. Fiegenbaum was married to Miss Pauline Nehls, of Plattsville, Wisconsin, a daughter of Mr. and Mrs. E. F. Nehls, a well known pioneer family of Plattsville.  Mrs. Fiegenbaum passed away at Index, May 12, 1914, and her remains were taken back to Wisconsin for interment at Plattsville.  She left two children:  Ruth, who was born in Dubuque in September, 1898, and was graduated from the high school at Index in May, 1916; and Carl F., who was born in Dubuque in November, 1900, and is now a high school pupil.

Mr. Fiegenbaum votes with the republican party but has never been a politician in the sense of office seeking.  However, he has served as president of the school board of Index and is interested in all that pertains to the progress and upbuilding of the community.  He has membership with the Masons at Sultan and with the Modern Woodmen of America and he is a trustee of the Presbyterian church.  His influence is always found on the side of progress and improvement, of advancement and reform, and he has done much to further the material, intellectual and moral upbuilding of Index.

Source: Herbert Hunt and Floyd C. Kaylor, Washington, West of the Cascades: Historical and Descriptive; the Explorers, the Indians, the Pioneers, the Modern (Chicago, Seattle, Tacoma: S. J. Clarke Publishing Co., 1917); volume 2, pages 399-400.

Research assistance courtesy of Margaret Riddle, Northwest Room, Everett (Washington) Public Library.


  1. This biography is not completely accurate in its account of Charles' birth family.

    His father, Heinrich Rudolph Fiegenbaum, was born in St. Charles County, Missouri, but his mother, Elizabeth Ann Krümpel was born in the Kingdom of Hannover. I do not know when she migrated to the USA. Heinrich and Elizabeth were married in 1860 at Colesburg, Delaware County, Iowa and were the parents of five children, two of whom died at an early age.

    Elizabeth Ann (Krümpel) Fiegenbaum died at the age of 40 years on 23 September 1877 at Garner, Hancock County, Iowa and was buried there in Concord Cemetery.

    Heinrich married his second wife, Maria Elisabeth Hellweg, on 27 January 1878 at Charles City, Floyd County, Iowa. They became the parents of four children.

    Heinrich died at the age of 71 years on 11 September 1908 at Gooding, Gooding County, Idaho. He was buried in Garner, Iowa, beside his first wife.

    Maria Elisabeth (Hellweg) Fiegenbaum died in October 1924 and was buried on 1 November 1924 in the Wendell City Cemetery at Wendell, Gooding County, Idaho.

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Brief Genealogy

Charles Herman Fiegenbaum's family

His father's 1st marriage

His father's 2nd marriage

Pauline Nehls' family

Fiegenbaum - Nehls family

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