Twig, Tree and Treasure; A Genealogical Sojourn Temme Family

A History Of

The Henry W Temme Family

Compiled By

Walter W Temme

The following is a copy of the history of the Henry W Temme family, as recorded by Walter W Temme.  Photocopies of the documents were sent by Walter Temme to Linda Bianchi. Linda transcribed them taking care to preserve the original “flavor” of the writing, reprinted here with the permission of Walter Temme


Johann Xolph Christoph And Catherine Elizabeth Temme nee Tempe

Johann and Catherine Elizabeth nee Tempe are the first Temmes recorded on our family tree  They were located in the 1809-1839 Evangelical church records of West Barthausen. There isn’t much information on them, except that they lived in West Barthausen Prussia, now known as Germany  They had two children, a son Christoph Heinrich and a daughter, Christine Willimine, who was wed to Frantz Kicker.  The  records show that when Christoph  wed in 1835, his father was married to his second wife. (Margarette Catherine Struwe).  If the records were searched after 1839 they may show Johann and Catherine’s death dates.  If the death records were found, they would probably give their parents names, adding another generation to our family tree

Christoph Heinrich and Anna Margarette Temme nee Lindhorst

     Throughout this article I will refer to Christoph Heinrich as Christoph even though he used the name “Henry” after he was in the United States. I will do this to avoid confusion later, when more “Henrys” are entered, Christoph was born August 31, 1810 to Johann Christoph and Catherine Elisabeth nee Tempe in, West Barthausen, district of Halle, Prussia (Germany).  We don’t have a record of his baptism but do have records of his confirmation and marriage.  He was confirmed April 10, 1825 and wed October 21, 1834 in the Evangelistic Church of West Barthausen.  Christoph was wed to Anna Margarette Lindhorst. They had one son, Henry Wilhelm born in Germany before immigrating to the United States in 1837.  Searching the ships logs of 1837 from New Orleans we were able to find Anna and Henry Wilhelm on a voyage leaving Bremen Germany, August 30,1837 and arriving at New Orleans November 20. 1837. They sailed on the American ship “Charles Henry”.  We searched ship logs from 1835 to 1838 but Christoph was not listed.  Did Christoph maybe come in thru a different port earlier to find a place to live and send for his family later or did he hire on as a crewmember to help pay for their passage?  I guess this is one of  those little mysteries lost in time.
     It was passed down by family, that Christoph and his family came up the Mississippi to St. Louis where some of his family went to Illinois and Christoph moved on to Missouri.  Our first find of Christoph in Franklin County is his application for citizenship on June 15, 1840.   It also was reported by family that Christoph and his family lived in the Clover Bottom area for a period of time. This is very possible as he is listed as one of  the founding fathers of the German Evangelical Lutheran Ebenezer Church in 1846  near Clover Bottom.  Christoph is later listed as one of the founding fathers of St. Johns Lutheran Church at Beaufort in 1852.
     The first  land purchased by Christoph in the Beaufort area was In 1846 and was described as being on “Shovel Creek” later called “The Feldbitkin”.  Christoph received a “land grant” for forty acres in 1851 signed by President Fillmore. This grant, for some reason was made out in Wilhelm’s name. Christoph appears to have prospered in the short time he was here, as he owned 200 acres at the time of his death in late 1853 or early 1854.  This farm stayed in the Temme family until the late l950s.  In Christoph’s will, he refers to this property as his “Plantation on Shovel Creek”.
     After arriving in the United States, Christoph and Anna had four more children.  They were Mary Eliza born in 1839, Dina Christina born 9-21-1840, Fredericka Dorothea born in 1844, and a second son born in 1848 also named Henry Wilhelm, the same as his older brother.
     Probate court  records in Franklin County show that Christoph farmed and was also a wheel wright or wagon maker.  We found a wealth of  information in the probate records that we would not have found other wise. It gave us clues as to what Christoph did for a living, when Christoph died, and who survived the “cholera”.
     Christoph’s will was written in late 1853 and probated in early 1854.  We don’t have the exact date of his death but do know it was in this period of time.  He was buried along with his oldest  daughter Mary Eliza on his beloved “plantation” on Shovel Creek.  Legend has it that there were neighbors by the name of Kampschmit buried there also.  We have often wondered why they weren’t buried on the St. Johns Lutheran cemetery but I guess that when you died of cholera you were buried as soon as possible to stop the spread of it.
     Less than a year after Christoph's death, his wife Anna was remarried. I have a feeling this was out of necessity more than the lack of respect for Christoph. She was left with a lot doctor bills from the sickness in the family and six mouths to feed Anna was maimed to the Reverend Ernst F. W. Riemenschneider who moved her and her family, except  the oldest son Henry Wilhelm to Washington County Illinois.
     There were other families of Temmes from Ostkilvar Pussia living in the area where the Riemenschneiders moved to. I often wondered if there was any connection  between the two Temme families. There has always been a strong tie to Washington Co., maybe future research will confirm this.
     Christoph’s two remaining daughters married men from Washington Co. Dina Christina married Johan Heinrich Jacobs in 1857 and Fredericka Dorothea married Conrad Fledderman in 1864. We were able to find the marriage record of the youngest Henry Wilhelm, but nothing after.  His wife’s maiden name was Lydia Chesney.
     Christoph’s oldest son, Henry Wilhelm stayed in Missouri  where he bought  his father’s farm on the court house steps, being sold to pay for debts incurred during his families illness. The oldest Henry Wilhelm used only the name Wilhelm and later William. so from here on I will refer to him as Wilhelm and the younger son as William which is the name I think he used in Illinois.


  Heinrich Wilhelm Temme
March 9, 1835 - March 21, 1906

Born in West Barthausen Prussia and baptized Heinrich Wilhelm Temme, March 13,1835.  Documents show him first using the name Henry and later just Wilhelm, so from here on he will be referred to as “Wilhelm”.  Wilhelm’s family made the voyage from Germany to the U.S. in 1837 and settled in Franklin Co. Missouri.
     Wilhelm was about nineteen when his Father, {Christoph) died from cholera, It wasn’t too long after his fathers death; his mother married Ernst Riemenschneider, and moved to Washington Co. Illinois, taking all but Wilhelm along ‘with her. Wilhelm remained in Franklin Co. and bought the family farm on the courthouse steps when it was sold to satisfy debts brought on by his father and sister’s illness.
     Our next find of Wilhelm is his marriage to Charlotte M. Strehlmann February 7 1857.  Charlotte’s family had just emigrated from Bockhorst, Prussia, a  town close to where Wilhelm’s family came from.  They settled on a farm along the Bourbose river, just a few miles from Wilhelm’s farm. 
     In 1864 Wilhelm moved his family to Washington Co. Illinois where they stayed with family for about one year, They made this move only after some close calls with Confederate soldiers or raiders as they were called.  One time when they were after Wilhelm, he narrowly escaped by lying next to a  log and covering with leaves.  We were told the trip to Illinois was made by wagon, pulled by oxen.   Wilhelm’s son,  August  was only a couple of  weeks old when they made the trip to Illinois and was baptized in the Venedy Station Lutheran church there.
     When Wilhelm returned to Missouri with his family in 1865 he bought a few acres from August Roedder with a log cabin on it.  This property, located by the old Springfield Road, was to be where he would build his sawmill and wagon shop. Legend has it that Wilhelm and Roedder had agreed on a price for the property so Wilhelm built his sawmill and made other improvements.  Charlotte  warned Wilhelm that he shouldn’t make improvements until he had the deed but he told her “Take care of your pots and pans and I’ll take of business”!  When Wilhelm finally got around to having the deed made, the price had gone up!
     Wilhelm  became one of the best  known wagon makers in Franklin Co.  Walter Temme remembers that nice pin striped farm wagons sold for a little over one hundred dollars in the early part of 1900. The wagon shop was a large building or series of buildings.  When the new Hwy 50 was built in 1928, it took over half of the shop. The remaining half stood until 1975 when Walter sold the contents and had it removed. He donated the money from the contents to the St. Johns Lutheran cemetery fund where Wilhelm is buried.
     Wilhelm’s shop was a testament  to his ingenuity. Until the late 1890’s or early 1900’s, the shop and sawmill were steam powered; later large single cylinder gas engines were used. There was a series of drive shafts arid drive wheels driven by the large engine, these were connected to the machines by heavy leather belts. The belts were slipped off or on the drive wheels to power the machines as needed.
     Wilhelm made most of his machinery. He made power planners, a spoke or pattern lathe, drill press, sander and more. The sander gave some problems at first, when he first  tried it, he made everyone get out of the room and when he slipped the belt on, the sander flew into pieces.  It seems  he had it geared too fast, after changing the gear ratio, it worked fine.  When making machinery Wilhelm would carve gears and other parts out of  wood, and send them to Chicago or St. Louis to be cast out of metal.  His grandson, Walter Sr. still has some of the gear patterns he made.
     Walter and I were talking about old days when I asked if  Wilhelm could speak English? Walter didn’t know if he could speak English but said his father told him that Wilhelm’s oldest son, Henry would make out the orders for parts and supplies.  I don’t know if there was a public school  then but I’m sure there was Lutheran church school.  When Walter was growing up he went to public and also church school.  I think they went to both schools until they were confirmed and after that they stayed at home to work in the shop or on the farm.
     Wilhelm’s son  August, told stories of lean times when growing up.  He said the log house was only one room with a ladder going up to the loft  where the kids slept.  At that  time, there were about four or five children.  He also said if they were around when someone came, they were told to hide so people wouldn’t see their tattered clothing, During the first years of establishing his wagon shop, Wilhelm undoubtedly had to manage his money pretty close.  He was paying for the farm he bought on the courthouse steps, the property the bought along Springfield Rd; also he had bought a sawmill, and was adding buildings for the wagon shop and farm.
     Talking to Walter, I asked how Wilhelm found time to construct all the buildings; his answer was that there weren’t  many paying  jobs at that time so Wilhelm probably hired help that would work for pennies a day. I still look at the old foundations  and wonder how they handled such  large stones and how they quarried and cut them to size?  I sure  wish I could have been there to watch them, for a few days; I’m sure it would have been quite interesting.
     During Wilhelm’s career as a wagon maker he taught others the trade while they lived with and worked for him I guess you could say they were apprentices.  Fritz  Strehlmann  a half  brother to Wilhelm’s wife Charlotte lived with them and later became an  accomplished wagon maker in Gasconade Co., Mo. William Segelhorst from Washington Co. IL, also apprenticed with Wilhelm and later married Wilhelm’s daughter, Anne. 
William also moved on to be a successful wagon maker in Washington, Co, IL.
     Wilhelm and Charlotte raised a moderate size family of three boys and three girls.

Henry 1857 - 1935

Henry was the son who helped  Wilhelm order supplies for the business. He was married to Anna M. Segelhorst and made their home on the farm Christoph referred to as his plantation

Sophie C. M. 1860 - 1886
Sophie was married to Jake Honald and made their home at Beaufort Mo. Louisa 1862-1938 Louisa was married to August Segelhorst. They made their home on a farm north of Leslie Mo.

August H. 1864 - 1944
August was married to Anna C. Lahmeyer of Bland Mo. They made their home on a farm that joined the property that Wilhelm lived on Fred W. 1868-1936 Fred was married to Ida E. Bernhardt. They made their home with Wilhelm and Charlotte.

Anna E. about 1871
Anna was married to William Segelhorst who had apprenticed with Wilhelm.  They made their home in Washington Co., II.

     Wilhelm accomplished many things in his lifetime.  He built a thriving wagon making business, he started an undertaking  business  which  included making caskets and bought enough land to give each of his sons a farm.
     After Wilhelm’s death in 1906, his youngest son Fred, better known as “Fritz,’ continued to run, the wagon shop and the funeral business.

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