Born Ernst Otto Wilhelm Franz von Damitz in Bolunkuhlen, Schleswig-Holstein, Prussia. He came with his wife Pauline Ernestine Friederike Wetzel and children to the United States in 1847 aboard the Helena. He arrived in Chicago soon after and met and paid two farmers to take him to Greenbush, Warren, Illinois where he lived his life.
The family changed their names to the English spelling shortly after arriving to the United States.
To Ernest and Pauline the following children were born.
Serephene, who died in Prussia at the age of 3.
John, died in Prussia at the age of 8 years.
Ewald died aboard ship and was buried at sea. He was about 2 years old.
Karl, born March 15, 1832 married Emily Spencer, February 1865.
Ernst JR, born January 31, 1834, married Rebecca Spencer.
Francis, born August 4, 1835, married Almarine Holeman, April 2, 1866. Almarine was born July 20, 1845 and died February 11, 1896.
Pauline, born April 4, 1837, married Andrew Sailer, January 9, 1859. She died June 22 1895.
Wilhelm Friedrich, born December 1, 1841, married Mary Jane Palmer.
Friedrich Wilhelm, born December 1, 1841, married Harriet Acton in 1872.(MY GRANDFATHER)
Peter, born April 8 1840, married Sarah Pyle, September 1876. She was born in Cass county, Missouri May 6 ,1852 and died April 5, 1878. His second marriage was to Mary Cooper, February 15, 1880. She was born in Sangamon County, IL, August 29, 1844.
Sarah F. married Elias D. Acton. She died October 1, 1882 at the age of 38 years.
Mary married Daniel Davidson Powers. Both died in Anderson County, KS.
Laura married Gotleib Smith. She married Laboria Weigand after Mr. Smith passed. She died near Wheatland, Mo., August 2, 1892.
Bertha, born May 16, 1847, married Joseph O. Beam. He was born July 30, 1844.
Oskar, born October 5, 1850, married Pauline McKown, August 9 1874. She was born March 25, 1854.
All of the Von Damitz family were born in Prussia except for Oskar, who was born in Greenbush, Warren CO, IL. Friedrich and Wilhelm were twins. At their baptism in Prussia, Friedrich Wilhelm, III, King of Prussia, became godfather. He named one of the boys Friedrich Wilhelm and the other Wilhelm Friedrich. The King also made a present of 100 Thalers to each of them.Ernest von Damitz, the subject of this sketch, belonged to the nobility when he resided in Prussia. His grandfather was one the richest men in the kingdom of Prussia, owning 99 farms, the largest number any man was allowed to own under the law. When the Seven Years' war broke out between Friedrich the Great, King of Prussia, and the Emperor of Austria, Mr. von Damitzs' grandfather, although only fourteen years old, joined the great Friedrich's army and soon became an officer. When they won in battle, this von Damitz soldier boy would treat a whole army corps with the best and costliest wines and good things to eat. He often went into debt, having almost unlimited credit. When the war was over, he disposed of most of his land to pay his debts. During the Seven Years war, this soldier boy smoked a large silver mounted meerschaum pipe, which has descended all along from father to the oldest son. Provided he smoked. Ernst von Damitz Sr. offered this pipe to his son Karl if he would smoke. Carl's first smoking experience made him sick, so he would not claim the pipe. The pipe was then given to Ernst Jr. Wilhelm von Damitz eventually became the owner of the pipe.
Ernst Otto von Damitz's last years were spent in tending a small vineyard on the hillside north of his residence and painting watercolor pictures. He often, with great pleasure, gave his paintings to his neighbors and friends and family.
He was a friendly man and enjoyed visits from his neighbors and friends.