Thursday, January 10, 2008


Via Miriam and Apple, and subsequently others, came a post from 100 Years in America: Where was your family in 1908? Well, let's take a look...

I wasn't born yet. My parents weren't born yet. My grandparents weren't born yet. The end.

Just kidding.

In 1908, all eight of my great-grandparents were alive and mostly single.
  • William BENNE, Jr.: He was only 19, living on the family farm northeast of St. Charles helping his father, and five years from getting married.
  • Eleanor SCHUMPE: Her 20th birthday took place at the end of year. She was living with her parents on the farm northeast of St. Charles.
  • Carl BURGER: The BURGERs had been in Missouri for about five years at this point, and 25-year-old Carl was working on the family farm. He was still five years from getting married. (It wasn't until 1909 that the BURGERs moved closer to Carrollton.)
  • Clara KOCH: Five years younger than her future husband, Clara was also living with her parents near Carrollton.
  • Mark HEATON: Just 13 in 1908, Mark was living at home south of Vandalia. He was ten years from joining the Navy and 11 years from getting married.
  • Vera LANKAU: The youngest of my great-grandparents, she would have been in elementary school at the time. I believe that Vera, three at the time, and her family had attended the 1904 World's Fair in St. Louis.
  • August EBERT: I haven't finished researching city directories, but by this time 25-year-old August had likely began as a butcher, which he was for many years after. August and Theresa had been married for a couple of years and had one son.
  • Theresa MEYER: Married two years and mother of one, Theresa was keeping house in downtown St. Louis, the area in which she and her husband grew up. She was nine days younger than her husband.
3rd great-grandparents:
  • William BENNE, Sr.: Several years from retiring in his mid-50s and moving into town, William was farming land a cousin still owns.
  • Minnie BULL: Married for 31 years at this point, 48-year-old Minnie was keeping house on the farm outside St. Charles where she raised five children, ages 11 to 27. Her oldest son would be married in 1908. Minnie was ten years from death.
  • Henry SCHUMPE: 47 years old and farming northeast of St. Charles, 1908 was about the time that Henry bought land that was the first piece of a larger farm my grandpa farmed. A bit of this property is still in the family.
  • Emilie VOSSIEK: She was 48 and a mother of three, ages 14 to 22.
  • George Jacob BURGER: Farming in Carroll Co., he was 48. Some of this land may still be owned by cousins.
  • Elisabeth REINMILLER: She was 43 and a mother of four. Two of her sons died after the family moved to Missouri, one the year before in 1907.
  • William KOCH, Sr.: A German immigrant, he had been in America for just over 40 years at this point. He was 59 years old and still farming in Carroll Co.
  • Caroline SCHOLLE: Like her husband, she was also a native German, immigrating five years later. She was 49 and six of her children, ages 6 to 27, were alive, the eldest having already married.
  • James HEATON: The oldest of my 3rds, he was 69 and farming near Vandalia. Around this time, he would have also been serving as a judge (county commissioner) in eastern Audrain Co. He was tough, but respected in the community.
  • Mahalia HALL: Twenty years younger than her second husband, she was the mother of seven or eight children at this point. (I haven't figured when her oldest son from a previous marriage died.) Her youngest children were 9-year-old twins.
  • Emil LANKAU: The last of my German immigrant ancestors, 49-year-old Emil had been in America for 27 years at this point and married for 22 years. He held a variety of jobs, most involving iron works in Soulard.
  • Alvina RICK: She turned 50 in 1908 and would have been keeping house in the Soulard area of south St. Louis with at least five of her six kids still at home.
  • Martin EBERT: 60 in 1908, Martin was a porter in northern downtown St. Louis. He was also a widower, having lost his wife Friederike HOLTERMANN 25 years prior. All of his kids were married by this time.
  • Gustave MEYER: A German immigrant in the early 1870s, Gustave moved his young family from St. Louis to the County in the 1880s. In 1908, at the age of 51, he was still farming and would have been a few years from moving back into the City, where he would live the rest of his life.
  • Mary POHL: 48 and mother of six. 1908 would have been about the time Mary was in an undated photo we have of her, her mother, daughter and a grandson.
4th great-grandparents:
  • Clara UHLMANNSIEK: 72 years old, this German immigrant (1858) was now living in St. Charles with her retired second husband. The house was still owned by distant cousins as of a few years ago. Clara would live another 13 years, at which point her obit would have the frank title, "OLD LADY PASSED AWAY."
  • Margaret FUCHS: She was a 62-year-old Bavarian immigrant (1851) living on the family farm near Staplehurst, Nebraska. Her husband, Conrad REINMÖLLER, had died in 1901 and she would die in 1919.
  • Adeline SHIPMAN: She was 66 and had been a widow for 11 years (Matthew HALL). She was living with a son in central Missouri. She died in 1925.
  • Carl LANKAU: I'll list him, but I do not know if he was still alive in 1908. Carl would have been about 87 in 1908 and, if alive, would have been my only ancestor still in Germany at the time.
  • August RICK: 78 years old and still working as a team driver in south St. Louis. August was a native of Baden (1851) and lost his wife, Magdalena, in 1908. August died in 1915.
  • Magdalena MÜLLER: 1908 would be the year she died (Sept. 17th). She was 71 years old and had emmigrated from Baden in 1851. All of her adult children were alive. (Three boys died young.)
  • Helena HUHN: She was 76, a widow (Henry POHL, d. 1900) and living in northern downtown St. Louis. She had been in America for 54 years at this point. We have a couple of pictures of her, at least one from right around 1908. She died in 1920.
None of my 5th great-parents were alive in 1908, though two did make it past 1900: Cordelia HOWARD (1822-1902) and Adam FUCHS (1819-1906).


Lee said...

Goodness! You had a lot of folks living in 1908!

David said...

Really? Do I win a prize or something?