|Birth: ||Oct. 25, 1814, Germany|
|Death: ||Apr. 9, 1890|
Margaretha Gerken immigrated to the U.S. sometime before 1860. By 1860, she lived in Third Creek, Gasconade, MO, with her children, Hermann, Mary, and Catherine. Later census records indicate she lived with her sons, Henry and Hermann: younger son Hermann and wife, Caroline, in 1870; older son Henry and wife, Gesche, in 1880.
Apparently Mrs. Gerken's older son and oldest child, Henry, joined the family at a later date.
Please note the narrative below viewed at Ancestry and courtesy of Jane Strehlman Wright's Strehlman Family Tree:
My father, Walter Strehlman, son of Anna Gerken Strehlman, only surviving child of Henry Gerken to produce heirs, related this oral information to me. His Grandfather, Henry Gerken, joined the German Merchant Marine to avoid having to serve in the German army. When his father died in Germany, his mother decided to emigrate with her three younger children to the United States and wanted to seek passage on Henry's ship. Henry said the conditions in the hold, where passengers lived during the journey, of his ship were so bad that he didn't want to think of his family in the hold while he was above board. His mother, younger brother and two sisters arrived on a different ship and somehow came to live in a German community in central Missouri. When Henry learned of their location he "jumped ship" in New Orleans, came up the Mississippi River to St. Louis and walked inland to his mothers home located in New Bland, Missouri. All three were living in wretched conditions in a log home. Henry was an astute farmer and eventually had large holdings near Owensville, Missouri. Henry and his wife, Gesche Boettcher had 9 children who survived infancy. Of those, four died of Typhoid fever in 1890 when their well, located too close to the privy infected them all. Four sons died that summer. The others survived but the oldest daughter died at some point during childbirth. The sole surviving son, John Gerken, came to work for his brother-in-law, William Strehlman, in the mercantile business in Leslie, Missouri. Two of the daughters, Adelaide and Marie never married and lived with their parents, who sold their Owensville farm and moved to Bland, Missouri around 1905. My father said that Adelaide was mildly retarded (possibly caused by the high fever associated with Typhoid Fever) but Marie was a beauty and had many offers of marriage but turned all down. The final daughter, Anna Gerken married William F. Strehlman and they initially lived in Leslie, Missouri where William owned a general store and a saw mill. Henry's wife Gesche died in 1907 and he followed suit in 1910. When Henry died, it was unseemly for his two maiden daughters to live by themselves in the large house in Bland so Anna and her husband and three children moved from Leslie to Bland. Part of the lower level of the house was made into an apartment for Adelaide and Mary and Anna's family resided in the rest of the house. Adelaide and Mary helped raise Anna's children. Adelaide died in 1927 and her sister Anna in 1935 of a cerebral aneurism. Marie continued to live in the home in her apartment while her brother-in-law lived on his family's side. William Strehlman died in 1943 of stomach cancer and Marie lived in the family home until shortly before her death in 1967. My family visited Great Aunt Marie in the Bland home throughout my childhood and I have many fond memories of the town and my "Aunt Marie." When I knew her, the apartment she had shared with her sister was rented out to a family with two children. The family home was sold after Mary Gerken's death and was subsequently torn down to provide parking for a Toy Factory which operated out of the former International Shoe Factory next door.
Henry Gerken (1835 - 1910)*
Hermann Henry Gerken (1840 - 1873)*
Mary Gerken Holt (1844 - 1898)*
Katherina M. Gerken Neese (1847 - 1894)*
Plot: Cemetery #1, Row 6, Grave 1 (p. 37, Gasconade County Cemetery Survey)
Created by: Jane Denny
Record added: Nov 05, 2011
Find A Grave Memorial# 79913915