|Birth: ||1801, Germany|
|Death: ||Aug. 25, 1858|
The Habsmeyer family, Mr. Habsmeyer, wife, and five children, immigrated from Rehme, Govt. District Minden, Westfalia, 18 January 1841: Name: Frederick Habsmeyer: Age: 39; Occupation: Farmer; Ship: Clementine (140 passengers; Master: T. Gesselmann); Port of Arrival: Baltimore; Origin: Minden; Departure: Bremen; Destination: Missouri. Settling in Warren County, MO, the Habsmeyer surname was conveniently shortened to Meyer. The name varies according to record: Habsmeyer, Husmeyer, Habsmeier, Hapsmeyer, Mier, and Meyer.
The first deed located for the purchase of land by Johann Friedrich Meyer was in 1844. On June 10, 1844, Frederick Meyer bought 80 acres of land in southern Warren County for $325. This was described as the SW 1/4 of the NE quarter and the NE 1/4 of the SE quarter, Section 33, Township 46 N., Range 3 W. Daughter Wilhelmina Meyer was born on the Meyer place on March 10, 1846. One month after her birth and a short two years after the initial purchase of the land, Frederic and Frederica sold 40 acres to Christian Thee for $300 on April 18, 1846; thus, they sold half of their land for almost as much as they had originally paid for the whole. Relations between the Meyer and Thee family appeared cordial, for a Meyer daughter married Christian Henry Thee's son Wilhelm in 1849 (Wipperman 1934). In July of 1847, Frederick and Christine F. Meyer borrowed $150 from William Barry using their remaining 40 acres as security; other information regarding this transaction was not located. Three years later the 1850 Warren County Census of October 21, listed the John Frederick and Frederica Meyer family of Warren County, District No 99: Fredrick Mire, age 49, occupation Farmer, Value of Real Estate Owned, $250, born Germany; Fredrica Mire, age 48, born Germany; Louesa Mire, age 17, born Germany; Fredrick Mire, age 27, occupation Farmer, born Germany; Charles Mire, age 25, occupation Farmer, born Germany; William Mire, age 8, born Missouri; and William Mire, age 4, born Missouri (listed male). This last child, William Mire, age 4 was presumably Wilhelmina 'Minnie' Cordelia, the future wife of Fred Lichte. Friederke, 'Rieke,' in family records, passed away at the age of 49 on July 15, 1851, one year after this 1850 census. Her husband and at least one child living at home survived her: Wilhelmina "Minnie" Cordelia Meyer.
Two years after Friederike's death, Friedrich Meier married Anna Maria Elsabein Sielemann nee Rosemeier on September 9, 1853 (Immanuels United Church of Christ 1989). One year later on October 28, 1854, Johann Friedrich Meyer bought three lots along the Missouri River totaling 120 acres. He bought lots numbered 2, 5, and 8 in Section 35, Township 45, Range 2 West. Through long and complicated land transactions from 1854 through 1855, he completed the acquisition along with the right to sell corded wood on a fourth lot, spending approximately $500 in the purchase and long-drawn-out process.
This was the era of the river steamboat. Rivers were the first highways of the country and the steamboat industry was at its peak. In the early 1800s, flatboats were the means of transport and taking crops to market. A Missouri farmer delivering goods to St. Louis or Cape Girardeau would travel downriver by flatboat and then walk all the way back home. By the middle of the 19th century, steam boating became the transportation of choice and commerce. The decade prior to the Civil War is often referred to as the golden age of steam boating, and Friedrich Meyer probably resolved to take advantage of the times and his land along the Missouri: He planned to sell cord wood to those steamers traveling the Missouri River. These early steamboats were designed to operate on wood; wood was readily available along the river and it was cheap. A cord of stacked wood is four feet high, four feet deep, and eight feet long. Although wood could be stacked on the steamboat, it would take valuable room and increase the danger of fire; therefore, frequent stops were made to take on more fuel. By 1840 almost 900,000 cords of wood were sold for steamboat fuel, an astounding amount. With the increase in steamboat traffic in the next ten years, the need for wood was insatiable; however, wood was still reasonably inexpensive. In 1851 a cord of wood sold for only $1.75; therefore, one needed opportunity, good fortune, and hard work to make a go of this enterprise. Fortunes were made, but failure was all too common. Johann Friedrich Meyer joined those aspiring to succeed. On the other hand, perhaps he simply hoped to provide a comfortable living for his family by selling wood to the steamboats.
Probate records paint a grim picture of life for the Meyer family in late summer of August 1858, the last month of Friedrich's life. William Sealemann submitted a bill to the Meyer estate in November 1858 of $22 for Aattending on say'd Meyer in his last sickness at one dollar per day. Another bill was submitted December 15, 1860, for $4.75 by Dr. L.A. Powell: July 22, Visit to wife & med., $1.75; July 24, Med. for wife, 50 cents; July 31, med for daughter, 50 cents; Aug 3, med. for wife, 50 cents; Aug. 20. med. for wife & daughter, $1.50. It appeared that all three members of the family were sick and treated over a period of time: stepmother, daughter, and father (possibly in that order). It was summer and the family lived and worked along the Missouri bottoms; it is conceivable that the deadly swamp fever, malaria, was the cause of death. Symptoms of malaria may be flu-like: fever, chills, headache, sweats, fatigue, nausea and vomiting. When the fever subsides, the patient feels exhausted and falls asleep. In many cases, a cycle of chills, fever, and sweating occurs every other day, lasting for a week or month. Quinine, made from the bark of the Cinchona tree of South America, was used to treat malaria; more than likely, that was the medicine provided to Minnie and her stepmother. It wasn't until 1880 that the carrier of malaria was found to be the mosquito. People respond differently to malaria depending on their immunity: One person has a mild case and for another it's deadly. Whatever the cause of Friedrich's death, his illness lasted for several weeks ending in his death on August 25, 1858.
When Friedrich Meyer died, he was heavily in debt with bills, promissory notes, subpoenas, and notices later filed in probate records. Some bills reflected the personal life of the family: to daughter, 1 pair shoes, $1.50; 4 yds, black ribbon, 25 cents; 7 yds blocked cotton at $1.26 a yard (August 18th); making wagon wheel, $3.50 (from February 1858); and making coffin for deceased, $6.50 (August 1858). The payment for the coffin was due George H. Brinkmann and witnessed by Henry A. Brinkmann. One promissory note indicated that $56 was owed to Wm Lichte & Wm Pohlman; Wilhelm's son, Fred, married Johann Friedrich Meyer's daughter, Minnie, in 1866. It is possible that Wilhelm worked for Johann Friedrich Meyer prior to the Lichte family move to Montgomery County in 1857. Wages paid for chopping wood were probably superior to those of a farmhan
Friedrich's estate was settled over a period of three years and two administrators. His farming equipment, livestock, including 50 head of hogs, 84 cords of wood, four axes, several saws-four axes, along with other and sundry items sold on October 8, 1858, for a total of $473.80; this equates to $8,654.00 in today's money, an impressive amount for an estate sale (Friedman 2003). The Hapsmeyer estate, as it was referred to in some of the probate records, was settled on May 20, 1861. The three lots, for a total of 120 acres on the river, which Friedrich purchased in 1854 for $509.23 were sold at public sale at the Court House door in Warrenton. Notices for the sale of real estate were published in the Warrenton Nonpareil for seven successive weeks through January to February 20, 1861. This sale included the privilege of using lot 12 marked, AReserved for the purpose of cording wood for sale. Heinrich Adolph Brinkmann was the highest bidder paying $2500 for the lots and privilege included; equivalent dollars in 21st century money is approx. $47,354.70 (Friedman 2003).
Probate records support the theory that Friedrich Meyer was an entrepreneur of his time and that his business venture was selling cord wood. He bought land along the Missouri River and he acquired the right to use lot 12 for cording wood. Eighty-four cords of wood sold at his estate sale, an extraordinary number. The 84 cords brought a total of $102.45, which is only about $1.20 a cord; cutting, with an ax and a crosscut saw, and stacking a cord of wood and earning only $1.20 per cord goes a long way to explaining the extraordinary amount of manpower needed to prepare the wood in order to sell it. No wonder Friedrich died! This does explain, to some extent, why so many entrepreneurs failed when selling cord wood to the river steamboats. A hefty price of $2500 was paid for the 120 acres of land and the privilege of cording wood on lot 12. The estate was overly complicated with legal papers and two administrators. The period of time taken to settle the estate was lengthy. Interestingly enough, much of the area along the river, comprising the three lots that brought a sizeable price in 1861, had all but disappeared by 1901 (Ogle 1901). Much of Section 35 had fallen victim to the Missouri River.
The second and final administrator of the Hapsmeyer estate was Wilhelm Thee, Friedrich's son-in-law. Friedrich's widow, referred to as Isabel in probate records, married Heinrich Adolph Brinkmann four months after the estate was settled; this was the same Brinkmann who bought the three lots. This marriage was referred to as Heinrich Adolph Brinkmann married Maria Elsabein Habsmeier nee Rosenmeier (widow) on June 28, 1861 (Immanuels United Church of Christ 1989). Heinrich Adolph Brinkmann passed away October 21, 1866, at the age of 73 (Immanuels United Church of Christ 1989). No other records were located regarding Elsabein/Isabel.
Because family legend and oral history suggest that Mr. and the first Mrs. Meyer/Habsmeyer attended the Smith Creek Church, both were probably buried in the old cemetery close to the original site of the Bethel Methodist Church, the Bethel Cemetery of Smith Creek Church. This church is now referred to as the Smith Creek Methodist Church. The first structure and cemetery was called Bethel, from the Hebrew "beth El," meaning "house of God" (Schroeder 1994). This first and oldest cemetery, Bethel, is separated from the present-day cemetery. "We know, however, that the Bethel congregation [known today as Smith Creek] did bury the dead collectively on a knoll near the church site during its early years, before the church was moved to its present location. Approximately twenty stones of that original cemetery still remain, resting peacefully on a myrtle covered slope in what is now a wooded area near the original church site. The stones are only crude markers, actually rocks set on end in identifiable rows, and none have any engraved names or identification on them (Schroeder 1994)."
Above information is from Jane Denny's LICHTE FAMILY OF MISSOURI,Edwardsville, IL, 2003, Library of Congress: LC Control Number: 2004556886 Call no. CS71.L6948 2003. This remains a subjective accounting of the Habsmeyer family of Warren County constructed from Warren County, family, and other records. The list of Habsmeyer children came from descendant Dr. Raymond Lichte.
Photo to right is Mr. Meyer's naturalization entry: Husmeyer, Fredrick, Prussia: 2nd oath: 9-28-1847, Book B, p. 291; 1st not recorded; Warren County, MO - Photo taken September 2008.
Christine Friederike Millsmeyer Habsmeyer (1802 - 1851)
Elsabein M. A. Brinkmann (1800 - 1872)
Carl Friedrich Wilhelm Meyer (1823 - 1865)*
Carl Henry Meyer (1825 - 1883)*
Caroline Henriette Habsmeyer Thee (1831 - 1896)*
Christina Louisa Henriette Meyer Niedergerke (1833 - 1915)*
Wilhelmina Cordelia Meyer Lichte (1846 - 1914)*
Although some Habsmeyer family events are documented in the Immanuel UCC records, family oral history reports that Johann Frederich and his first wife, Christine Friederike 'Rieke" (Millsmeyer) Meyer, were probably buried in the old cemetery close to the original site of the Bethel Methodist Church, the Bethel Cemetery of Smith Creek Church.
Note: Friede ihrer Asche und Ehre ihrem Andenken! (Peace to their ashes and honor to their memories!)
Smith Creek Cemetery
Created by: Jane Denny
Record added: Sep 17, 2008
Find A Grave Memorial# 29857548