These are the FACTS about the Franklin Castle
and its first resident. Everything that you have
read about Tiedemann ownership is correct to the
best of my knowledge. I'm certain that many aspects
of it may seem boring and only interesting to
anyone who's really into genealogy and early Cleveland
Ohio History, but it is all part of the haunted
history, tragedy and life of a fascinating family
who arrived in this country as immigrants only
to leave an enduring American legacy to succeeding
The story begins in the early summer of 1848.
In May of that year a 16 year old boy named Hannes
Tiedemann arrives in New York with his 51 year
old mother Wiebeka (pronounced “Veebkah”),
brothers Claus (age 25) and Ludwig (age 21) sisters
Catharina (age 19), Rebecca Elise (age 11) and
Lowiese (age 5). Left behind is the ancestral
farm outside the village of SÃderau, Holstein,
Prussia (now Germany) and another brother, 20
year old Heinrich, who decided to remain on the
family lands with his new wife, Anna. Hannes’
father, Han, was the local blacksmith and is now
at this time deceased.
Franklin Castle orbs
The Tiedemanns purchase, sight unseen, adjoining
farmlands located in the townships of Brooklyn
and Rockport, Ohio. In 1849, Hannes accompanies
his mother and sister Louisa to Ohio to take up
residence on their new lands. The whole family
travels to Ohio settling on a farm in Brooklyn.
Ludwig continues on and settles in Defiance, Ohio
where he marries and raises a family. Catherina
Tiedemann remains in New York, where she meets
Catharina met Gaston G. Allen in Ohio where he
lived since about the age of 10. He was originally
from New York state, where, on October 31, 1852,
they are married. Hannes joins them in Cleveland
around 1855, finding employment as a clerk with
the wholesale grocery firm of Babcock and Hurd,
then located at No. 146 Water Street (now West
9th Street). Hannes boards at a rooming house
– the Bennett Forest City House located
on Seneca Street (now West 3rd) – and remains
at this address until 1863 when he moves into
a house located at 112 Hanover Street (now West
28th) on the northwest corner of what at the time
was Hanover and Franklin Circle.
Around this same time, Hannes Tiedemann marries
his first, Louise (some accounts record her name
as Louisa or Luise) who, like Hannes, is a native
of Prussia. The following year (1864) Hannes enters
into a partnership with Bavarian-born immigrant
John Christian Weideman, whom he had met when
Weideman was working for a rival grocery firm
adjacent to Babcock and Hurd. The new venture
would be called Wiedeman and Tiedemann, Wholesale
Liquor and Grocers and operated out of No. 30
Hannes marries Louise HÃck in 1862 in
SÃderau. Hannes and Louise Tiedemann had
their first child, named August J. Tiedemann,
in 1864. Another child, a daughter whom they named
Emma, followed in 1865. On October 6, 1865, the
growing Tiedemann family moves from the Hanover
Street house to a house located at 279 Franklin
and previously owned by a Mr. Alonzo Wolverton.
City rezoning changes the address to 275 and then,
in 1869, to 283; around the turn of the century
another redistricting changes the home’s
address to 4308 Franklin, which it remains to
In December 1869 a third child is born to the
Tiedemanns, a boy whom they name Ernst. Sadly,
on July 10th of the following year, baby Ernst
succumbs to fever of the brain (meningitis) and
was interred by his grieving parents in Cleveland’s
Monroe Street Burying Ground. In September 1870,
a first child is born to the Tiedemanns, a girl
named Wilhelmina. Ten weeks later, however, the
infant girl dies and was buried alongside her
ill-fated brother. In 1871, another child –
the Tiedemann’s fifth – is born: a
daughter named Dora Louise. A sixth and final
child, a son named Albert, is born in 1873 but
also died in infancy, joining his siblings in
Around this time, Hannes sells his interests in
Weideman and Tiedemann, but keeps his business
offices in the Weideman building. In late 1880,
Tiedemann (who calls himself the “Capitalist”)
has two houses built. The first was located at
12016 Lake Avenue in the Rockport hamlet of Lakewood.
Tiedemann named this house “Steinburg”
which in English is translated “TheStone
Castle.” The house, though quite beautiful,
was not constructed of stone, nor did it resemble
a castle, although it was four stories high and
built in the half-timbered English Tudor-revival
style popular at that time. It was the second
home, however, that history would name “The
Franklin Castle,” after the road on which
it was built and because it does, in fact, resemble
a castle in many ways. Over the years some have
speculated that Tiedemann merely commissioned
the modification of an existing structure at the
Franklin Street site, however, , that is a mystery
that may never truly be solved.
On January 16, 1881, 15-year-old Emma Tiedemann
dies of complications from diabetes. Services
are held from the family home on Franklin Street
and she is the first of the Tiedemanns to be buried
in the new family plot at Riverside Cemetery when
she is finally interred on March 18th of that
year after a two-month wait for the cemetery ground
to thaw sufficiently to receive burials. Emma
was joined at Riverside by Hannes’ mother,
Wiebke , who died of natural causes in April 1881;
in 1883, they would be reunited with the other
deceased Tiedemann children when Hannes orders
the removal of their remains to the new family
plot at Riverside.
Following the deaths of his daughter and mother,
Hannes and his wife Louise leave Cleveland for
approximately two years. It is believed that during
this time they traveled back to the family home
in Prussia.. During their absence from home the
Tiedemann’s son August is left to manage
the Franklin Castle and to supervise his younger
sister, Dora, who is only ten and very likely
still in the care of the family’s nanny.
In 1884, two men arrived in Cleveland from Prussia.
They were Johannes and Ludwig Tiedemann, sons
of Heinrich ( Hannes Cousin) and wife Anna Tiedemann;
Hannes' nephews. Shortly after arrival, Ludwig
took ill with brain fever (meningitis). He was
admitted to Cleveland City Infirmary where he
resided until his death on July 6th, 1886 at the
age of 30. He is buried in the family plot at
Riverside. Johannes (or John as he was called
in the U.S.) stayed with the family at the Franklin
Castle until 1890 when he returned to Prussia.
On June 20, 1889, August Tiedemann married Helena
Elisabeth Rauch or Ella as she was more commonly
known. She was the daughter of Marie Strebel and
Charles Rauch, owner of the Rauch and Lang Carriage
Company who would later build the Rauch and Lang
Brougham and Club Roadster, two of the most sought
after automobiles by collectors. August would
work for this company from 1890 to 1892. They
had two children: Carl H. (1890 - 1929) and Herbert
August Tiedemann (1892 - 1934). Carl would eventually
marry a woman named May Glenn and have two children,
Frances and Carl. Herbert would never marry; he
died in St. Petersburg, Florida.
August was employed from 1892 till 1899 by the
Phoenix Brewing Company located on the corner
of Columbus and Willey Ave. in Cleveland. (St.
Wendelin's Church currently sits on the site.)
He would work briefly at Langenau Manufacturing
and finally at the Beckman Company, until his
death on April 23, 1906 from cerebral lelerosis.
Meanwhile his sister, Dora Louise Tiedemann,
married a man from Holstein, Prussia named Edward
J. L. Wiebenson who worked as a teller at Hannes
Tiedemann's bank. They were married on May 23,
1891 and would have five children Edward R. Wiebenson
(1892 - 1970), Walter E. (1896 - 1992), Albert
A. (1896 - 1896), John J. (1897 - 1969), and Howard
C. (1899 - 1969). The Wiebenson family lived briefly
at 71 McLean St. and later at 4304 Franklin Ave.
Built by Hannes Tiedemann as a dowry to his son-in-law
Edward. It was built on the site of the Weideman
Dora Louise Wiebenson would die from accidental
injuries sustained while vacationing with her
husband in Frankfurt, Germany (or Switzerland
as other accounts state) on December 4, 1906;
less than 8 months after her brother, August.
Louise Tiedemann, Hannes wife, passed away from
liver trouble on March 28, 1895. Services were
from the home on Franklin; she was buried at Riverside
After his wife's death, Hannes traveled to Prussia
where he met a woman named Henriette M. In 1896,
the two were married and returned to the U.S.
later that same year. The Franklin Castle was
ultimately sold to the Mullhauser family in 1897
(not 1895 as previously believed). Hannes and
Henriette moved into Steinberg in Lakewood.
In 1898, Heinrich and Anna Tiedemann, Hannes'
brother and sister-in-law, died together with
their son August from coal oxide gas poisoning.
In January of 1907, Hannes Tiedemann retired as
president of the United Banking and Savings Trust
Co. of Cleveland. His son-in-law, Edward J. L.
Wiebenson succeeded him as president. In February,
Hannes changed his last will and testament (his
daughter no longer being alive). He left his fortune,
and it was quite extensive, to his daughter-in-law,
son-in-law, his "hired man" of 23 years
service Heinrich (Henry) Buehning, a west side
home for the elderly, and a trust fund for his
six grand-children. His wife, Henriette, inherited
$50,000 provided she make no further claim against
his estate. One specific item listed in the will
was that Steinberg was to always be called such
and was also to always remain in the family Tiedemann
(referring to Carl or Herbert or any descendants
On January 16, 1908, Hannes Tiedemann suffered
a stroke (Arterial Sclerosis) supposedly while
strolling through Lakewood Park. He passed away
on January 19th at Steinberg and was buried from
McGorray Funeral Home in Lakewood. He was interred
at Riverside Cemetery on January 22, 1908.
On February 20, 1908 Gaston G. Allen died from
pneumonia. He was interred at Monroe Street Cemetery
in the plot where the Tiedemann children were
originally buried. There is a Masonic Lodge named
in his honor. On April 27, 1908 Claus Tiedemann
On August 2, 1909 Emielie Tiedemann, Claus' wife,
died from cancer. She and Claus are buried at
Woodland Cemetery on Cleveland's east side. Edward
Wiebenson died from appendicitis on April 1 1910
and was buried at Riverside with Dora. Catherina
L. (Tiedemann) Allen died August 2, 1912; Henriette
M. Tiedemann died about 1926.
Ella Rauch sold Steinberg in 1915 to W. J. Hunkin
thus breaking the last wishes of Hannes Tiedemann
that it remain in the family; Hunkin tore it down
a few years after the purchase. An apartment complex
named Lake Cove currently stands where the old
building once stood. Ella Rauch remarried a man
named John T. Clarke in 1917. He died on November
10, 1941. At his burial, Ella Rauch had August's
remains exhumed, cremated and reburied beside
her son Herbert. Ella died from heart disease
in Atlantic City, New Jersey on May 5, 1955. She
is buried between her two late husbands.
And that is the history of Hannes Tiedemann and
the early years of the Franklin Castle. All dates
are correct; all names are spelled correctly.
I have spent countless hours over the past thirteen
years researching this subject and I still am
not finished. I still find new facts every few
days, for instance I'm still looking for Henriette's
burial place as well as a maiden name. I am also
still looking for a maiden name for Louise.
Currently I am working on a fiction novel based
on the historical facts surrounding the house
and its founding family.
Was Hannes Tiedemann an evil man: a monster...
wicked and overbearing? I don't know. Honestly,
he seems more like a humanitarian than anything
else. He did leave a sizable amount to an old
folks home when he died. He would also house newly
arrived immigrants at the castle as well as at
Steinberg and help find the jobs. I've never found
anything pointing to him committing murder. That
story comes from a psychic named Eleanora Bernstein
who briefly stayed at the castle in early 1980
who also had the intentions of writing a novel
about Hannes Tiedemann. There was no murdered
sister named Rachel and no illegitimate daughter
named Karen who hung herself. Despite popular
myth, Hannes Tiedemann does have living descendants.
I've been inside the house only once and that
was unfortunately after the fire of 1999. I shot
a fair amount of video footage while my brother
and his girlfriend took numerous photographs.
I've honestly never seen more orbs recorded in
one session on video or film than I did from what
we took that night. There is definitely something
there. Hannes and Louise Tiedemann? Maybe. Hope
you find this helpful if not at least interesting.
William Krejci, Avon Lake, Ohio, © 2006.
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Historic Franklin Castle to become
Cleveland's most unique, members-only club.
Cleveland, OH -- January 1, 2005--
Cleveland-born Real Estate Investor Charles
Milsaps is about to realize a dream that has
been over a decade in the making. His plan:
to transform the legendary Franklin Castle of
Ohio City into the Franklin Castle Club, a private
social club. Franklin Castle Club, located at
4308 Franklin Boulevard in Ohio City, will offer
its members daily lunch and dinner services
as well as dining, banquet and meeting facilities.
Members will have access to additional amenities
such as elaborate guest suites for overnight
stays and limousine and concierge services.
"This is one of my dreams,
I have wanted to do this for as long as I can
remember. The privilege to restore this home
and offer it to others is an honor," said
Mr. Milsaps. The Club will offer its members
the highest quality in culinary delights as
well as first class service in a most unique
atmosphere. "This will be a wonderful addition
to Ohio City and all of Cleveland," Mr.
The Tiedemann House, 4308 Franklin
Boulevard, is the most noted and one of the
most architecturally distinguished residences
on Franklin Blvd., the West side equivalent
of famous Euclid Avenue. Its builder, Hannes
Tiedemann (1832-1908), was a wholesale grocer
with the firm of Weidemann & Tiedemann beginning
in 1864. In 1883 he was Founder and Vice-President
of the Savings & Trust Co., one of the first
institutions organized in Ohio under the law
permitting the formation of trust companies.
The family lived continuously
at this address from 1866-1895 and the present
Second Empire Gothic Mansion was erected in
1881. Its architects, Cudell & Richardson,
who are identified by a carved stone on the
house, were Cleveland's most prestigious architectural
firm in the 1880s. The style of the house, a
large, rock-faced sandstone mansion with a round
corner tower, was contemporary of the times,
which followed architectural trends in Chicago
and New York.
Tiedemann died in 1908 at the
age of 75. In the 20th century, the house was
occupied by a German singing society, the Deutsche
Socialisten, and later by the Bildungsverein
Eintracht club. The house had numerous owners
and uses over the second part of the last century,
serving as private home for some and a Church
to others. In 1999, the house, which had again
become a private residence, was heavily damaged
by a fire. Plans were announced the following
year to restore the home and the structural
repairs were soon completed.
In 2003, Franklin Castle sits,
unoccupied, primed for restoration. To transform
the house into the grand Franklin Castle Club,
Mr. Milsaps has retained the assistance of one
of Cleveland's foremost design talents: award-winning
and nationally acclaimed Architect Robert Maschke.
Together, the two intend to return the house
to its original grandeur, making it the focal
point of Franklin Boulevard, a beacon of Ohio
City restoration and the new home to the Franklin
"When Charles and I first
met, he was a bit hesitant to tell me what he
wanted to do with the castle. But he didn't
need to be... I think turning the Franklin Castle
into a private dining club is a fantastic idea.
Short of using the Castle as a primary residence,
I can't think of one other way to utilize the
building to its fullest extent," said Robert
"I think Cleveland is ready
for this kind of Club and I couldn't think of
a better home for the Club or a better use for
the house. To me, this is part of the home's
destiny," added Mr. Milsaps.
Previous owners have attempted
various renovations over the years, but this
is the first time the castle will be restored
to its original interior design. Mr. Milsaps
explains, "Because of the more public use
of the house, some changes will be made, but
our intention is to make everything as original
The Castle will require major
renovations as part of the restoration, including
all new plumbing, heating, and electrical systems,
as well as rebuilding all 62 windows. "This
kind of investment - in both the money and thought
- helps solidify an edge of Ohio City that hasn't
gotten that attention before... not to the magnitude
of what this is going to be. Charlie's been
thinking about this for years and now we have
the chance to make it happen," said Mr.
The Club is on schedule to open
by years end, serving its members lunch, dinner,
and libations six days a week. An accomplished
chef and experienced fine-dining staff will
cater to a member's every need, including a
Club Concierge and hospitality staff. The Franklin
Castle Club will offer three guest suites for
overnight stays to both members and non-members.
Members will have access to Club facilities
during stated Club hours and access to private
dinning room and banquet facilities by reservation.
Club members will enjoy all the
expected amenities of a private club. The Club
will have limousines and sedans available for
both Club and non-club events and valet parking
will be complimentary during all Club hours.
Member's will also have the Sand Castle, the
Club's Florida beach house, and the Sea Castle,
the Club's 72' Hatteras motor yacht, at their
Memberships are limited and are
available by contacting the Club. Club memberships
are affordable and the limited number will undoubtedly
be sold out before our opening. This is a rare
opportunity to participate in a new era of elegance
for Cleveland's most famous home.
FOR MORE INFORMATION CONTACT:
4308 Franklin Boulevard
Cleveland, OH 44113