Wilhelmina Steinway Vogel Candidus

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Wilhelmina Steinway, also known as Minna, (b. April 5, 1833 in Sessen, Germany; d. January 31, 1875 in Berlin, Germany) was an elder sister of William Steinway.(3) In 1852 she married Theodore Clemens Friedrich Vogel, who died in 1864. She married William Candidus on October 26, 1865.

Wilhelmina Steinway was the second daughter of Henry Engelhard Steinway and Julianne Thiemer. Like most women of her time, the men in her family defined her life. She was the daughter and sister of piano makers. She married twice. Her first marriage around 1852 to Theodore Clemens Friedrich Vogel, ended with his death in 1864.(4) She and Vogel had four daughters, only two of whom lived into adulthood: Louisa (1853-1898), Clara (1855-1856), Anna (May-December 1861), and Albertine Helene Sophia (1863-1934).(3)

William rarely mentioned his sister Wilhelmina in his diary, but noted on occasion having a social evening with her, e.g. at the opera,(Diary, 1863-12-04), again at the opera with Mr. and Mrs. Vogel(Diary, 1864-04-08) or in home settings.(Diary, 1863-12-24)

Nearly eighteen months after Vogel's death, Wilhelmina married William Candidus, an opera singer.(1)(3) William noted that "Wilhelmina Steinway, widow of Vogel, marries Candidus."(Diary, 1865-10-26) Ten months later he noted that "Mrs. Candidus gets a baby boy who dies."(Diary, 1866-08-06) Wilhelmina had three other children with Candidus: Henry W.T. (1867-1902), Johanna (1868-1929), and Gustav Julius Louis (1874-1907).(3) William mentioned only the birth of the second son in his diary: "Theo in his letter yesterday says that Mrs. Candidus had a fine boy."(Diary, 1874-11-01)

Wilhelmina, sometimes with her husband and/or her children, attended gatherings that included William and other family members.(Diary, 1869-04-16, 1870-06-04, 1871-01-05) Candidus moved his family to Germany in April 1872 to pursue his musical studies.(1) William noted "Candidus, wife and the four children depart for Germany on steamer, Deutschland.(Diary, 1872-04-05) Fewer than three years later, on January 31, 1875 Wilhelmina died in Berlin.(2) William received a telegram the following day reporting that "Sister Minna, five days sick had Typhus, died last night. Steinway, Braunschwieg." (Diary, 1875-02-01)



1."Candidus, William," International Cyclopedia of Music and Musicians. New York: Dodd, Mead & Company, 1985, p. 354.
2. "Death Notices," New Yorker Staats-Zeitung, February 3, 1875, p. 5.
3. Maniha, Ken and Richard Riley, Descendents of Henry Englehard Steinway, pp. 7-8.
4. "Marriages and Deaths: Vogel," The New York Herald, May 15, 1864, p. 5