|Birth: ||Oct. 28, 1814|
|Death: ||Nov. 5, 1897|
St. Louis County
Husband of Caroline (Schine) Bayer.
Father of Enrst Bayer.
Father of Gottlieb Bayer.
Father of Amelia (Bayer) Boisselier.
Immigrated in 1843.
ST LOUIS COUNTY WATCHMAN
Nov 12, 1897
(At Rest in Wildwood by Wildwood Historical Society, 2005)
Thomas Bayer, aged 83 years, whom we last week reported having been run over by a horse and cart driven by John Gaehle of Melrose, has since died. His remains were buried from his residence near Bonhomme last Saturday. Mr Bayer was the oldest and most highly respected citizen of that section of county.
Thomas F Bayer was born in Bavaria, Germany on the 28th day of October 1814. He left there on the 18th day of September 1839, and crossed the ocean in a frail sailing vessel, landing at New Orleans, where he took a steamboat up the river, but got icebound about 50 miles from St Louis, and had to foot his way up with his companions. He arrived here on the 1st day of January 1840, and at once went out in the bottoms, where he passed nearly 57 years, till his tragic end a week or so ago.
Being a carpenter by trade, he worked as such for the first four or five years, building lo houses, barns and cabins for the settlers. This bottom was a vast wilderness at that time, and in winter he occupied himself with making furniture, and several specimens of his skillful workmanship are at present treasured by his descendants.
When more settlers arrived, the neighborhood became badly in need of a blacksmith and wagon making shop. He was thereby induced to put up a shop. The slaveholders were raising hemp and tobacco, and he made all the implements for that industry, such as wagons, plows and hemp-breakers; a contrivance used to separate the fiber from the stalk. The farmers later went to raising wheat, and needed some harvesting implements, as there were no reapers at that time, and it had to be done with grain cradles. Mr Bayer then made cradles, and was very successful in this enterprise, turning out hundreds of them every year until the reaper came into use. People used to come 20 miles sometimes to get a cradle from him. His name became widely known throughout the county as Thomas Bayer, the "Old Cradlemaker."
A few years before the war, he gave up the shop and went into farming and in 1874 retired from business. He cast his first vote for Zachary Taylor and his last for William McKinley, the present incumbent of the Presidential chair.
This is the plain narrative of the life of an honest, hard-working man, who had no enemies and was dear to all who knew him. With him passes away from the Bottoms the last connecting link between the first settlers of the fruitful, productive land near the Missouri river and the present generation.
Let us look at a few incidents in his simple career. He was the contemporary of the old Latin settlement, whose members cam over here full of Utopian ideas, played whist, had their boots and shoes blackened by their valets, and dreamed of a wonderfully independent existence.
Bayer's name recalls Privy Counselor Weber, Robert Barth, Adolphus Meier, Dachredens, Kremminger, Steffens, Becker, Boisselier, Kram, Schaefer, Dr Kueckalhalin, Dr Gegenbauer and other whom we have known for many years, but now in the realms above. The only remaining old settler is Mr Joseph Riegert, now quietly living near Ballwin with his estimable wife.
Mr Bayer was one of the first members of the Old Settlers' Association, and always made it a point of being present at its reunion. We had the honor of knowing Mr Bayer for many years, have passed hours of pleasant confab about old and present times, and felt extremely shocked when we heard of his sudden demise. About the old Settlers' reunions, allow me to add just one short reminiscence of the power of music.
Mr Bayer, Mr Becker and ourselves were present at a meeting of the Old Settlers' Association at Creve Coeur Lake several years ago. Mr Charles Vollrath was the leader of the orchestra. Mr Bayer express the wish of meeting Mr Vollrath, and that gentleman came over to the table and asked what the old gentlemen would like to hear. We suggested a potpourri, and Mr Vollrath readily consented. He men played with verve, enthusiasm and feeling; and while we three sat there motionless, enraptured and carried away by the sweet strains of the music, we noticed the tell-tale tears trickling down the cheeks of the bronzed, sturdy yeoman. Mr H Becker confided to us that some of the melodies recalled his early musical experience in Vienna, when he was a strapping boy of 19, whirling around with his (to him) charming inamorata; and Mr Bayer referred to the martial airs of the different nations he had heard in his long career in this mundane sphere. Music made us all akin; and let us advance the proposition that; while there has never been built a church in the Bottom, still Thomas Bayer will now be listening to the anthems of archangels, angels, seraphim and cherubim, till he chooses to be reincarnated. (SIGNED) Victor Spiegelberg
He was a man among the few.
Sincere on virtue's side;
And all his strength from scripture drew,
To hourly use applied.
In Memory Of
Born in Bravaria
St. Louis County
Created by: Lori A Burkhardt-Lurk
Record added: Oct 05, 2005
Find A Grave Memorial# 11892270