My Col. Gimperling Journey–part 2


The Gimperling boathouse and dock where the Col. and I sat and talked so may years ago.

When I researched the Chicago Lock Company and found it had been sold and there were no online  records for their locks I decided to see if I could find anything on Col. Gimperling.

I went to and keyed in “T. N. Gimperling” just as it was printed on the tag attached to the padlock. I had no plan at that time to do anything with the information I discovered. To my surprise several entry’s came back with his name. The first one was from a special addition to the June 1st 1917 New York times indicating he was relieved of duty at an educational institutional upon completion of the military course and academic year. It really did not tell me very much but knowing the US declared war on Germany and the Central European powers in April of that year I was not surprised. I used Jing to copy/past the information into a Word document then went to the next entry.

In my search I was offered a free one week subscription to HeritageQuestonline so I signed up and started searching their data.  The following entries were found through them:

I found “1862 C.E. Bradley and J. E. Gimperling, conductors on the Miami Rail Road were at the Waddell House yesterday.” Leader Sept. 30th, 1962 . I had no idea who the Gimperling was but by the date it could have been Col. G’s father if it was referring to Miami, Ohio.

Then this came up:


From this I learned his full name, place & year of birth. Also his parent’s name and he had three siblings.  And maybe the J.E. Gimperling in the previous entry might be his father.  Now I was getting some place. I was hot on his trail and started searching the 1900 US Census.  The following is what came up:


It might be hard to read but it told me he was in West Point NY at age 20 so it had to be my Gimperling. If you look at his middle initial it shows it as H but H and N can be miss read. I was pretty sure it was my Col. G as a cadet at the US Military Academy.  Note: There was a fire in 1921 and most of the 1890 census records were destroyed. I did not fine Gimperling among the ones left.

Then I discovered the following which pretty much confirmed to me that he was one in the same as the above person.


I was having so much success in finding him in the census data I looked in the 1910 census and was not disappointed.


ludlow-barracks-piLudlow Barracks Hospital P.I.

And now he is married to Helen, has a step daughter, Gretchen Tritch(age 8)  and a servant, Louise from Iowa.  I know the military back in 1910 did not make much money so I’m thinking that Helen must be the one with the family money. And with my father’s memory of her telling him to be a “snob”. Just a guess. This also validated to me my memory of spears, shields, blow guns and bows and arrows which decorated his cottage walls.

They were listed as living is Ludlow Barracks, Mindanao so I went looking for the barracks and found in Google books a malaria study done by the war department comparing the rate increase between 1911 and 1912. Ludlow Barracks had the highest rate of the 17 Army based in the Philippines.  I’m thinking that they probably did not live in the barracks but in a duplex or off base housing and just listed, for census purposes, as living there.  After a little more searching it appears he was probably stationed at Camp Keithley.

camp-keithleyCamp Keithley post card.

The more I searched and found on Col. G the more I took additional side trips to understand what was going on at the time and his involvement in it.

The next census data I found was from 1920:
Here is the actual entry from that census”:


Col. G is 39, Helen is 37, Gretchen is 18 and Louise Rudy or Ruby, their servant, 45 and still single.

If they are in the District of Columbia the chances are he has a staff position in that area. This is before the Pentagon was built (1941-1943). It is only a little over a year since WWI ended  and I’m guessing since he is a regular officer he participated in it.  It would help writing this blog if I could obtain a copy of his military career. Not sure they would share that with me since I am not a relative but I eventually found and have communicated with one of Gretchen’s grandsons but that is later in my journey. Maybe I can register as a military researcher and obtain access to his MPF, Military Personnel File?

This entry was posted in Historical Information and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

1 Response to My Col. Gimperling Journey–part 2

  1. ipe says:

    My grandfather Emil Speth was stationed in Ludlow Barracks in 1914

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