Biography of John Henry Futterer


Nannie and John Henry on their wedding day

John Henry Ernest Futterer (1868-1948)

John Henry was born September 14, 1868 in Germany. He came to the United States in 1885 at the age of 17 from Hanover, Germany, entering through Ellis Island. He may have been aboard the ship Rhein that arrived in New York September 19, 1885 from Bremen and Southampton. View Passenger List

He married Nannie Phears July 14, 1891. Nannie was born April 29, 1864 in Washington County, Texas to Thomas and Sarah Phears of Missouri. She moved to Hamilton County, Texas with her father in 1890. John Henry and Nannie had two children: Minnie, born April 24, 1892 and Eula, born March 26, 1903. They lived in Hamilton County, Texas.

John was a carpenter. He spoke both German and English. Nannie died March 20, 1912, and was buried in Live Oak Cemetery east of Hamilton, Texas.

John Henry married Emma Hulda Kendall on June 22, 1913. Emma did not want to care for a child not her own so Eula went to live with her sister Minnie (who had married Alfred Harlien 18 months earlier). In 1920 Minnie, Alfred, Eula and Minnie's chidren WT and Leonard were living on a farm in Hamilton County owned by Mattie Phears. See Hamilton Home.

John Henry had a 3rd child with his 2nd wife. Ernest Henry was born August 27, 1915.

Eula married Claude Collier on August 28, 1921.

In his later years, John Henry lived part of the time with his daughter Minnie and part of the time with his daughter Eula. Elaine Laughlin has good memories of her grandfather living at her home growing up. She talked about him calling people to eat in German and asking for potatoes in German. He would criticize his son-in-law's carpentry. (This was because he was such a good carpenter, others didn't measure up.) He passed away at his daughter Eula's home in Goldthwaite, Texas, April 17, 1948. He is buried at Live Oak Cemetery, east of Hamilton, Hamilton County, Texas.

NOTE The wedding photograph on this page is from an album owned by Faye Phears. It is believed that this album was brought to Hamilton County by Thomas Phears in 1890. The photograph was identified by Susan Merren. The "house" photograph was from an album owned by Nancy Haynes. It is labeled "Mamie's home." It is thought to be the back of the house Eula Futterer lived in with her sister Minnie Harlien.

Sources: Randy Haynes, Elaine Laughlin, marriage record of Henry and Nannie, marriage record of Henry and Emma, marriage record of Claude and Eula, marriage record of Thomas Alfred and Minnie, Hamilton county cemetery records, Susan Merren and Germans To America Vol. 52.

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Written by Angie Collier August 2002

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