John Frank (Johann) Heidenfelder was the son of Johann and Maria Anna Neuf Heidenfelder. His parents were married May 19th, 1856 in Germany. They had five children, Johann (John Frank), Maria Anna, Valentine, Magdelena (died at 3 months), and Ludwig (1864-1885). Ludwig died at age 20, just 2 years before the family came to America. John's father, Johann, died March 3, 1870, in Harrbach Germany.
John emigrated to America in 1881, at age 20, on a ship named Koeln, originating from the Bremen port, origin Germany. Arrived 11/13/1881. Occupation listed as farmer.
John, Valentine, Maria Anna and their mother settled in Pacific, MO. Pacific is situated at the junction of the Pacific Railroad and the southwest branch of the Pacific RR. Pacific is 37-miles from St. Louis. In 1867, it contained one Catholic Church and one Masonic Lodge, and had a population of 300, which already included another Heidenfelder family, Gottfried Heidenfelder.
John married Franzieka (Mary Francis) Zieger 5/23/1882 at St. Bridget's Catholic Church in Pacific, MO. They had nine children: John Joseph, Paul Henry, Mary Elizabeth (Lizzie), Theresa, John Lorenz (Lawrence), William, Frank Theodore, Anna Camilla, and Isidore Heidenfelder.
John was naturalized 2/12/1887 in Franklin County Circuit Court.
Pacific Transcript, 12/13/1895: "John Heidenfelder has bought the property of the late Joseph Zieger [his father-in-law], the place on which he has been living. He has six lots and residence complete."
Pacific Transcript, 7/24/1896: "John Heidenfelder and family who have resided in Pacific for the last 10 or twelve years have moved to New Ulm, Minn, where he has obtained a position as a stone mason. He will play in the band as he is a musician."
Pacific Transcript, 7/31/1896: "John Heidenfelder writes S. Netscher that [he] has a good steady position in New Ulm, Minn., a city of 5,000 on city work, and has been engaged to play nights in the orchestra of a fine opera House. He was met at the depot on his arrival there, and a neat house, already rented, awaited him."
New Ulm Review. (New Ulm, Brown County, Minn.), 5/10/1899: John Heidenfelder and family have again removed to Missouri.
New Ulm Review. (New Ulm, Brown County, Minn.), 6/14/1899: Mrs. John Heidenfelder and children have departed for Pacific, Missouri, their future home.
Pacific Transcript, 5/4/1906: "John Heidenfelder went to St. Louis to report to the Mo P. hospital for medicine last Sunday, having been suffering with malaria."
Pacific Transcript, 6/8/1906: "J Heidenfelder [real estate transfer] to J and A Mauthe, prop in Pacific."
New Ulm Review. (New Ulm, Brown County, Minn.), 8/8/1906: John Heidenfelder known to many in this city is now in St. Louis, where he has moved his family on account of recent sickness in the family. Mr. Heidenfelder used to be a member of the Great Western Band the present 2nd Regiment band while he lived in the city several years ago.
John was a musician and composer, and played with The Regimental Band of Pacific where he played the clarinet. He later moved to St. Louis and played at the Hippodrome Theater in downtown St. Louis. He also played the violin and was a composer of music.
John's reason for moving to New Ulm and returning a short time later has been a mystery that may have recently been solved: A copyright for the St. Louis March was recently discovered. the march was written by Heidenfelder, and arranged by B. Grunenfelder. It was copyrighted in 1917 (by the arranger) and the rights are owned by C.L. Barnhouse Company. It is still available today. Having contacted the Barnhouse Company, they were extremely helpful and sent a copy of the March. It is said to be a challenging piece of music, written for a professional band. Research of Boniface Gruenenfelder shows that he was a band director and composer of some renown who lived in New Ulm, Minn. It is thought that John Heidenfelder moved to New Ulm to work with Gruenenfelder. This arrangement did not work out and John moved back to Pacific after a few months.
1896: "The clarinet solo played by J. Heidenfelder is a difficult piece and was well rendered." Pacific (MO) Transcript; Mar. 27, 1896 (Solo was "Sounds From Home,: by Walter Clements.) 1900: Lived in Pacific, MO w/7 children. Lived on Pacific. Laborer-MO Pacific Yards 1910: 4030 Gratiot, St. Louis; janitor at school 1920: 1845 Madison Street; laborer for the government 1926: 4131 Donovan; blacksmith 1927: at death; Arsenal Sanitarium for myocarditis
Died at age 73. Unmarked grave. ____________________________________________
HEIDENFELDER--Entered into rest on Sunday, Dec. 4, 1927, at 8 a.m., dearly beloved husband of Mary F. Heidenfelder (nee: Zieger), and our dear father and brother, father-in-law, brother-in-law and grandfather, in his seventy-fifth year.
Funeral from Krieghauser Funeral Chapel, 4104 Manchester Avenue on Wednesday, Dec. 7, at 8:30 a.m. to St. Bernard's Church. Interment Calvary Cemetery.
Member of St. Bernard's Benevolent Society and Third Order of St. Benedict.
Chicago (Ill.) papers please copy. --St. Louis Post-Dispatch, 12/6/1927