John Henry Hockemeyer -- Life Story
by: Charles Young

John Henry Hockemeyer

My great grandfather immigrated with his parents and siblings when he was 12 years old. The family left their home in Germany, and settled in Franklin County, Missouri. Includes a detailed description of divine healing.

Autobiography of John Henry Hockemeyer April 3, 1896
Translated from German by George Hockmeyer

John Henry and Meina Hockemer
I was born on November 22, 1834 in Bissendorf in the region of Osnabrueck, Kingdom of Hannover, Germany.

On March 29, 1846 I went on a journey to America with my parents, Hermann Heinrich and Catharina Maria Hockemeyer and my brothers, Johann Friedrich and Friedrich Wilhelm. On June 11th of the same year we landed in Saint Louis, Missouri and after a week came to Franklin County, Missouri.

Along with our relatives, my parents soon joined the Bethlehem congregation of the Presbyterian Church at Union, Missouri. It was there that I was stirred by the fundamental truths of religion and I was publicly confirmed before the congregation.

On November 18, 1858 I was united in Holy Matrimony with Miena Hoener. In January 1864 we re-settled in Campbellton, Missouri and on October 25, 1892 we moved on to Washington, Missouri. On November 21, 1859 a daughter was born to us. She was baptised on December 7, 1859 and received the name Catharina Maria.

Our daughter Maria Juliana was born on March 20, 1862 and was baptised on April 6, 1862. Our daughter Anna Mathilda was born on June 24, 1864 and baptised on July 24, 1864.

Our daughter Miena Carolina was born on April 21, 1866 and was baptised on May 10, 1866. Our daughter Emma Charlotte was born on July 27, 1868 and was baptised on August 23, 1868. Our daughter Anna Eliese was born on August 9, 1870 and was baptised on September 6, 1870. Our daughter Ida Wilhelmine was born on Nov 2, 1872 and was baptised on December 6, 1875. Our son Christian Theodor was born on February 9, 1877 and was baptized on April 1, 1877.

On February 16, 1896 our dear God was pleased to summon our beloved daughter, Miena Caroline, to eternity. Newspaper obituary:

"Sister Miena Caroline Hollman, born Hockemeyer, was born April 21, 1866 in Franklin County, Missouri and died after a short but serious abdominal infection. She had lived in the hope of an eternal life. In 1886 she entered Holy Matrimony with William Hollman of St. Louis. The Lord blessed her with 4 children. Although she was raised by pious parents, she was not certain of the Lord's Blessedness. But on her sickbed, after a sincere struggle, she found the precious Peace of God, so that she could say joyfully to her loved ones that she was prepared to die and join Jesus. After bidding farewell to her loved ones, she passed away. She is survived by her grieving husband, 4 small children, parents, 6 sisters and 2 brothers. Brother C.C. Margaret and the writer visited her during her illness and Brother P.W. Jacoby conducted the funeral service."

H. Schluter

On December 19, 1898 it pleased the dear Lord to release my dear wife from her long and difficult suffering through death. We buried her on December 21 on God's Acre of the Evangelical St. Peter's Congregation in Washington on Lot No. 187. Newspaper obituary:

" Sister Wilhelmine Hockemeyer (born Hehner) died December 19, 1898 in the living hope of an eternal life. She was 58 years old. She came to America as a small child. In 1858 she married J.H. Hockemeyer, her now grieving husband. This marriage was blessed with 7 daugthers and 2 sons. For a number of years she was a member of Port Hudson Congregation of the Beaufort District. But she later moved with her family to Washington and joined the English Church as we have no German congregation there. Sister Hockemeyer suffered for a long time with a lung ailment but bore her suffering with patience and resignation to God's Will. She is survived by her husband, 8 children, a number of grand children and many relatives."

H Schlutter

On December 11, 1899 it pleased the dear Lord to call our beloved daughter, Emma Charlotte, to Eternity. Newspaper obituary:

"Sister Emma Charlotte Schluter (born Hockemeyer), born on July 27, 1868 in Campbellton, Franklin County, Missouri. She was converted to God in her youth during a revival. Evidence of this remained with her until she triumphantly went home. She united with our congregation in Port Hudson, Missouri and was herself a true model among the young people. In 1891 she married Peter Schluter, a brother of the ministers William and Hy. Schluter. The marriage yielded two children. A year of suffering brought on by grippe led to consumption and caused her death on December 11, 1899. Her outlook for the future was hopeful and she lived in the sweet peace of the Lord. Survived by her husband, two children, an elderly father and seven siblings."

C. Gunther

John Henry Hockemeyer - Logan and Eldon Miller
Last photo of John Henry Hockemeyer -- grandsons; Eldon Miller and Logan Miller on his knee.

Divine Healing

The reason I am writing this down in this way is because I have re-read to book THE POWER OF A BELIEVER'S PRAYER and I felt in my soul that these facts were so vivid to me, that I consider it my duty to record them.

In the sixties (1860's) my dear wife came down with a lung infection. The illness became worse from day to day until one morning I sent for my parents to come. I wasn't home when they arrived, but when I came in I found them both seated at the foot of the bed.

I went to my wife, took her by the hand, and asked how she was doing. She whispered to me, almost unintelligibly, that her tongue seemed to be paralyzed. As we were seated in the dark, I lighted a lamp and then realized to my horror that she was dying.

Her eyes were growing dim in death. I asked my father to pray and he started to cry. I knelt down by the bed and prayed the best I could. My faith was strengthened a little and I told my mother to sit by the bed because I wanted to go outside for a while. I went behind the smoke house and threw myself down on my face and started to pray. I made promises to God in words that I was never able to express aloud before. My faith became stronger until I was finally able to call out "Lord, I will not forsake You. Bless me for I confess my belief in You with all my soul."

I arose happy and went back in the house to the bed and took her by the hand and asked how she was doing now, and she whispered she wasn't any worse. I told her she would get better and that the Lord had heard my prayer. From that moment on, she slowly recovered and got well again.

Children! This is the reason that you did not become orphans and those, who had not (yet) arrived (been born), are (now) in existence. Do not forget this as long as you live and thank the Lord. (If you or your ancestors are listed in this box, then he was talking to you!)

I wrote this down in the 78th year of my life ( 1913 ).

I wrote this portion in the 83rd year of my life (1918 ).

I read the book THE POWER OF A BELIEVER'S PRAYER again and, for the first time it became clear to me that I am to blame for Carrie's death. When I came to her she asked that I pray with her. I think she knew how our dear God had made your mother well because of my prayer.

I prayed devoutly for her recovery. On the next morning the doctor came again and examined her and said to me that it is generally expected (believed) that sick people (respond) to a change. I didn't tell him that we had prayed for her recovery as I was afraid he would scoff at me. For days he had resorted to hot vinegar compresses and then told me we should go away for a day.

It is now my firm conviction that if we had put aside all of the medicine and compresses, then Carrie would have gotten well again. Yet the Lord has forgiven me and I am certain we will find her in Blessed Eternity.

John Henry Hockemeyer signature Phyllis Karsten shared a note written by John Henry Hockemeyer.

Newspaper obituary:

"Johann Heinrich Hockemeyer, born November 22, 1834 in Bissendorf, Germany came to this country with his parents as a 12 year old boy. They settled in Frankklin County, Missouri. Later, Brother Hockemeyer moved to Campbellton and then to Washington, where he died on March 28, 1918. In 1858 the deceased married Minnie Honer, who preceded him in death by 19 years. The marriage yielded 9 children, of whom 2 died, leaving 5 daughters and 2 sons to mourn his death. Father Hockemeyer led a pious way of life. He joined the Methodist chruch early and was a true witness of the redeeming Grace of Jesus Christ. The Bible and the Apostles were his best friends."

Franz Piehler

Photos courtesy Robert Miller.
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