Johann "Fritz" Friedrich Hockemeyer family

Johann "Fritz" Friedrich Hockemeyer family

by: George Hockmeyer

In 1846 young Fritz came with his family from Bissendorf, Germany to Franklin County Missouri. Part of Fritz's history can be found entwined with his parents' history.

Johann Friedrich, or Fritz eventually took the name John Frederick. In 1861 John Frederick married Maria Engel Wiemeyer and, about a week later, war broke out between the states. Maria Engel was also German having arrived in Franklin County with her parents and two brothers some three years earlier. Although the Wiemeyer family had come from the town of Beim, about five miles from Osnabrueck, Maria Engel had been born in nearby Vehrte. They too had sailed from Bremerhaven to New Orleans and had come up the Mississippi River to St. Louis. Two girls, Emma Charlotte and Anna Selina, were born to Fritz and Maria Engel during the time they were on the farm near Union. Anna Selina went by the nickname, Lena. Source: George Hockmeyer

Fritz and Maria's children attended the new Bucklick school nearby.

Fritz Hockemeyer family

Back row left to right: Maria Elise "Lizzie" , Anna Selina "Lena" , Friedrich Wilhelm "Will", Anna Lydia, Maria Margetha
Center row: Wilhelmina Sophia, Maria Engel, Johann Friedrich "Fritz", Emma Charlotte
Front row: Martin Emiel, Meta Christine, Edwin Herman

This photo was made in a studio in Washington Missouri about 1892. The original came from the collection of Milford F. Hockemeyer. Copy courtesy of George Hockmeyer and Phyllis Karsten. As is the case with many old photos, the children's identities are not certain. This is how Phyllis Karsten identifies them.

Lizzie Hockemeyer
Marie Elise "Lizzie"
Will Hockemeyer
Friedrich "Will"
Lena Hockemeyer
Selena "Lena"

Photos provided by Phyllis Karsten who writes;

It took some detective work to identify these portraits. Mother had written "Aunt Lena Durham, Mamma's sister" on the back of the right hand picture, but nothing on the others. Who could they be?

There are some clues from the photographs themselves that allow educated guesses to be made. They were all taken by the same photographer. Notice the use of the same props in the photos of Aunt Lena and Uncle Will. Due to the similarities in over-all format, it is safe to say they were taken at or about the same time.

I have tried to compare these pictures with other identified ones, but because of the family similarities I could not make any head way. George Hockmeyer provided some information and his best guess. I've accepted his logic as follows:

"According to Kiel's Biographical Directory of Franklin County, Mo. The Washington photographer George C. Parks was in business from 1885 to 1886. The girl in the right hand picture appears to be younger than the one identified as Lena. It could be;

b.  1866 Maria Elise
b. 1870 Anna Lydia
That would place the ages of these girls at about 19-20 and 15-16, respectively. My guess is that it is Maria Elise.

So I assume the picture is of Friedrich Wilhelm, or Will as he was called. He would have been 17 or 18 which looks about right." G.H.

"The three sons;

b. 1868 Friedrich Wilhelm
b. 1878 Martin Emiel
b. 1881 Edwin Herman

F. Wilhelm and Julia Hockemeyer

Right: Friedrich Wilhelm "Will" and wife Julia Bury. Married March 1893.


Fritz Hockemeyer farm house

J. F. Hockemeyer Farm, New Haven, Mo. Probably about 1895

Left to right: Two unidentified women, Will, Martin Emiel, Emma Charlotte, Meta Christine, Maria Engel, John Fredrick "Fritz" (plus 2 dogs and a cat) (These identifications are the best guess of George Hockmeyer.) Click on the photo to zoom in. Robert Miller writes;

"Note 2 chimneys in the end. There is only one 1st floor window centered in the end, so one chimney would have been for downstairs and one for upstairs. Brick section and frame section were likely built at different times. Note the way they were joined. There is nothing left on this site. It is now open space. The 2 farms are again joined, and John Henry's house serves as residence for it."

Martin Hockemeyer
Will & Julie Hockemeyer
Will & Julie
Fritz's oldest daughter, Emma, married John C. Twelker. In 1899 Fritz and several family members attended the 50th wedding anniversary celebration for John Twelker's parents. These closeups of Fritz's family were taken from that photo.

LIFE ON GRANDPA'S FARM by: Elsie Twelker Wythe
as told to her daughter, Phyllis Karsten

Maria and Fritz Hockemeyer
Maria and Fritz Hockemeyer
photo courtesy Robert Miller
Fritz and Maria Hockemeyer
Fritz and Maria Hockemeyer
photo courtesy Phyllis Karsten
Travel at the turn of the century was something to be savored. Even the relatively short distance from St Louis to New Haven would be planned and looked forward to weeks in advance. There was the all day train trip to New Haven and then the ride out to the farm by horse drawn vehicle. While on the train the family would try to guess whether they would be met at the station with a wagon, a buck board or, really special, the surrey.

(Mother, Elsie) referred to both sets of grandparents as "Grandma" and "Grandpa" without the identifying last names. She called her parents "Mama" and "Papa".

One of the things that impressed Mother was the number of meals they had each day on Grandpa's farm. The day's routine would be to get up before dawn, have some coffee with perhaps some toast with jam and then go out to milk the cows and slop the hogs. Then there was second breakfast which was a real stick-to-your-ribs day starter. Then the horses would be hitched up and the field work begun. Midmorning the women or children would bring sandwiches and cold lemonade or water down to the field for the men. Dinner was midday. At that time, the horses would be unhitched and brought up to the house for water and to rest in the shade while the family had the main meal of the day. There would be a time of rest - mainly for the horses -- before going back into the field. Mid afternoon there would be pie or cake, again brought to the men in the field. After the evening chores were done there would be a light supper of perhaps sandwiches or soup.

Mother, her cousins, and brothers and sisters had great times wading in the pond, playing in the hay stacks or berry picking on these farm visits. The children helped with feeding the chickens or milking. There was a spring house where the cans of milk were set on stone steps to keep cool. Grandma would keep a dipper there so one could get a cold drink of water too. Grandpa was in charge of the hogs and made a contraption that had a gate at the end of a chute. He could pull a chord and the swill would pour into the troughs without him having to enter the pig yard to do the feeding.

At one time they had sheep on the farm. Mother had a blanket that was used as extra bedding in our family. It was the pale cream color of old wool, the pink satin binding was frayed and it was harsh and scratchy, but it was special because Grandfather had raised and sheared the sheep and Grandma had carded, spun and woven the blanket.

Phyllis writes; When Frithjof and I (Phyllis) went to Germany shortly after we were married, we drove through the Osnabruck-Bielefeld country side, the area of Germany where both sets of grandparents came from. The green rolling hills with the farmsteads looked just like Missouri. I could easily imagine the German emigrants arriving in Missouri and thinking that this would be an ideal place to settle and feel at home.

We stopped to take some pictures of a particularly nice old farm house and were invited in to see the lay-out of the farm and house by the old woman who lived there. The buildings were built around three sides of a courtyard. In one wing was a huge hay storage loft over the animal barn where they kept cattle and draft horses. There was room inside this barn for four hay wagons to pull in if a sudden rain storm hit during the harvest.

The living quarters were across the back of the U-shape, and there were other storage or work rooms that completed the third wing. We were told about the pigs, cattle, chickens, the farm dog and the cats that enlivened this farm before the sons went off to war. One was killed in action and the other was missing from the Russian front.

As I strolled along with this little old granny in her long black skirt, apron, and head scarf, and listened to her description of the farm in its hey days. I could see the mind's eye pictures that Mother painted as she described her grandparents' farms.

Maria Hockemeyer
Maria Hockemeyer
Neither set of Mother's grandparents spoke much or any English. But the children managed without that being much of a barrier. One of the expressions Mother could remember was when one of the boys would climb the orchard trees. Grandma would come out calling, "Wo bist Du? "(Where are you?). "I'm up here", would come the reply. Then Grandma would call in exasperation, "Komnt hier, Du alle baese boob". (Come here you very bad boy!)*

* This was Mother's pronunciation of words that she had only heard. The Mid-Westerners say "aye" for the "O umlaut" as in "Baese" for" boese", or "Danke shane" for "danke shoen". The final e is pronounced, "eh."

Translation of article in Der Christliche Apologete:
"Golden Wedding Anniversary"

John F.Hockemeeyer and Maria E. Hockemeyer, nee Wiemeyer, celebrated their golden anniversary on April 5, 1911 in the circle of their children and friends. Both were born in Germany, Kingdom of Hanover, near Osnabrueck. Bro. Hockemeyer was born April 8, 1831; and Sister Hockemeyer was born February 23, 1843. Both arrived in this country with their parents and settled in Franklin County, Missouri. On April 4, 1861 they entered into Holy Matrimony. The marriage was blessed with ten children. Three sons and five daughters are (were) still alive. All, with the exception of a daughter who lives in San Diego, participated in the celebration. Twenty-two grandchildren were present.

Br. and Sr. Hockemeyer joined the Methodist church in 1871 when a church was formed in this community. Br. Hockemeyer was turned over to God in the Presbyterian Church and holds the position of Secretary (Clerk?) and has served the church for many years in that position. Since 1880 The Apology has been by him a well regarded paper. The writer of this article read Psalm 92: 13-16, together with some suitable remarks. After the service the couple received many good wishes, then they had the feast which was enjoyed by young and old.

C.J. Lotz

Fritz kept his farm of 83 acres until 1912, when he sold it to his youngest son, Edwin Herman. The farm was sold in 1941.

Fritz and Maria Hockemeyer are buried in the cemetery at the old Salem Methodist Church at Casco. You can read more about the church and view a photograph of their gravestone.

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