Franz X. Blessle

Franz X. Blessle, also known as “Blesser”, “Blessler”, Blasle, “Blassel” or “Bessle”, was born 1822 in Württemberg, Germany.

Franz or "Frank" married Württemberg native Eleanora Businger (1813-1891) on April 30, 1844, in Richtenstein, Germany, and they immigrated to the United States, eventually settling in Michigan. By 1860 he was working as a musician and living in Grand Rapids’ Second Ward with his wife; they were sharing living space with Frank Hesler of Bohemia and his two-year-old son Joseph who had been born in Michigan.

“Frank” was 39 years old and still residing in Grand Rapids when he enlisted as a Musician in the Regimental Band on June 10, 1861. He was discharged for chronic “sinovitis” of the left knee on August 13, 1862, at Detroit Barracks.

Following his discharge he returned to western Michigan, and between 1867 and 1869 he was working as a musician and living on the north side of Bridge Street between Lincoln and Turner Streets in Grand Rapids. He was probably a Catholic.

Frank died of unknown causes on March 3, 1869, in Grand Rapids, and his funeral was held at his residence near Lincoln Hall at 9:00 a.m. on Friday morning, March 5. He was buried in Mt. Calvary cemetery, section 1.

His widow was working as a servant and living in Grand Rapids’ Fourth Ward in 1880; also living with her was another servant, an 18-year-old Polish girl named Julia Funke. In 1890 Elenora was still residing in Grand Rapids when she applied for a pension (no. 480646), but the certificate was never granted.