One of the problems of having an unusual name is that is can be spelled in several ways as I blogged about (Joseph Minarzick—How Do You Spell that Name). Fortunately Charles had better luck in getting his last name spelled fairly consistently and that made my life easier.
In the 1870 census Charles is listed as living in Manhanttan, New York, the oldest son of Joseph Minarzick and Regina Wendel along with their 8 other children. By the 1880 census, Charles is listed as the head of the family, which consisted of him and 4 of his younger siblings. Their grandparents—the Wendels-- were living in the same building. Presumably both his parents died, although I can find no record of their deaths, and his other siblings either died or married. On May 15, 1872, Charles enlisted in the2nd Regiment Calvary for 5 years. I think that is a strange choice for someone who lived in New York City, and makes me wonder how and when he learned to ride a horse.
According to the news article about his death, while in the army, he was involved in the first survey of Yellowstone Park. That park is one of my favorite national parks and I am delighted that he had a part in its exploration. Charles was also involved in engagements with the Sioux Indians and Cheyenne Indians under General George Crook. However, Charles did not fight with General Custer at the Battle of the Little Big Horn. Rather he was in the company of soldiers who were to join Custer’s forces. However, they were delayed and unfortunately, when they arrived at the Little Big Horn, they found that Custer and his men had been killed.
After his enlistment in the army ended, Charles returned to New York, where he worked as a furniture carver. In 1883, he married Elizabeth Lang and with her had four children: Christina, Edward, Charles, and Regina. Charles died in 1923 and is buried in Evergreens Cemetery in Queens, New York.