Henry Dehnel was born in Germany in 1842, and came to the United States when he was nine years old. He enlisted as a private in Company G of the 65th Ohio Infantry during the Civil War. The Civil War Pension Index, available at Ancestry Library Edition, indicates that Henry Dehnel, a soldier in Company G of the Ohio 65th Infantry, served under an alias name, Henry Liedkie. Mr. Dehnel’s military service lasted from October 1861 to October 1864.
After the Civil War, Henry Dehnel served in the Ohio National Guard. During his time in the National Guard, Dehnel led a group of men to Massillon, Ohio to quell a group of rioters. His leadership in handling this incident was commended by Ohio military authorities. From the 1870s until 1884, Henry Dehnel was in the jewelry business in downtown Sandusky with Lewis M. Lea. In 1884 Mr. Dehnel moved the jewelry store from the 100 block of Columbus Avenue to the 200 block of Columbus Avenue. By 1886 Henry Dehnel was the sole owner of the business. His listing in the 1886 Sandusky City Directory read: Henry Dehnel, The Leading Jeweler, 211 Columbus Avenue.
After Sandusky’s street numbering system changed in 1915, the Henry Dehnel jewelry store’s address was 225-227 Columbus Avenue.
Henry Dehnel died at his home in Sandusky on October 23, 1925. He had been a member of the Sandusky Business Men’s Association, the Odd Fellows Lodge, Ogontz Lodge, No. 666, the Knights of Pythias, and he had formerly served on city council and the board of public safety. Mr. Dehnel was survived by two sons, William and Albert, a granddaughter and grandson. Mrs. Dehnel had predeceased her husband in 1909. Funeral services for Henry Dehnel were held at the Dehnel residence on East Washington Street. Taps were played as the casket was lowered at Oakland Cemetery. Honorary pall bearers, lifelong friends of Mr. Dehnel, included: John J. Molter, G.A. Boeckling, August Kuebeler, Jr., Edward A. Smith, W.H. Ritter and Louis Osberg. Active pallbearers were Hugo Allendorf, Arthur Little, Lyndon Scheid, Russell Whitney, Thomas Edwards and George A. Beis. Several obituaries for Henry Dehnel are found in the 1925 Obituary Notebook. One article read in part, “Captain Dehnel won the respect and friendship of all with whom he came into contact. The business which he founded shortly after the close of the Civil War is one of the most successful in Sandusky, and a successful business man Captain Dehnel used his influence for the betterment of the city whenever the opportunity offered itself.”