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Friday, December 31, 2010

Perspective on the name "Kleager"

This is from my first cousin, Scott.  We share grandparents of Frank August Kleager and Sophie Drewel.  He lives in Cologne, Germany.

Just so you know... I've started looking for Joseph Kleager's family in Switzerland. I've always assumed that the name "Kleager" was translated incorrectly when Joseph immigrated. I've lived here in Germany now for 20 years; translate German into English for Yale U. and others, so I know for a fact that there simply is no "ea" in German, not even Swiss German. So his real name must have been either "Klaeger" or "Kläger."

"Klaeger" is possible, but "Kläger" is a far more common name and, in fact, I found several families named Kläger in Switzerland. One of them owns and runs a business that makes wooden furniture. It appears to be a relatively large company, as it's a public company listed on the Swiss stock exchange (wherever that is, Zurich, I guess). Their website has pictures of the owners, including a Mr. Kleager, and he looks strangely familiar.

I wrote them in German, explained the situation, they wrote back and said there was no Joseph Kläger who immigrated to the US in the time he actually did. Now, my wife Heike thinks they might have said this because they fear I would have a claim on their business or something -- knowing the strange inheritance laws they have here, she could be right. Since then, I've been pondering how to convince them I'm on the up-and-up.

Switzerland has very good genealogical records -- they have not experienced a war or a similar catastrophe since the 17th-century -- so I'm optimistic. Anyway, I'll keep you posted with anything I find.

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Frank and Sophie Wedding, Part II

The newspaper article quoted in the previous post mentioned that there was a wedding dance in the "B.A.Y. Hall" in Champion City, Missouri.

"B.A.Y."  represents "The Brotherhood of American Yoemen", a lodge/fraternal organization that Frank and Sophie belonged to.  

In 1983 I was in Franklin County visiting relatives and seeing places of my family history, and found Champion City and the hall.  The town of Champion City in 1983 consisted of two abandoned lodges - B.A.Y. and Modern Woodmen of America - a general store, and a Methodist Church up on the hill, overlooking the Bourbeuse River.

Hay had been recently stored in the old frame building when I visited, but there were still backless benches in it.  The hall was one large room, with a fireplace in the end wall opposite the entrance.  There were two small rooms on the right and left of the entrance. There were signs above the doors to the small rooms; "Ladies" and "Men".  Since there was no evidence of a bathroom, and surely the out house had been out back, these must have been "rest rooms" - small changing rooms. 

Sophie's sister Ida Drewel Lake told me in the 1980's:  "After the dance, the couple went back to Sophie's parent's house and were greeted by a shivaree.  All the neighbors came from far and wide and brought crazy old shotguns and shot into the air, and whooped it up.  Well anyway, one of those old buggars got upstairs and into one of the two sleeping rooms and got to messing around and broke out a window.  That made Dad (Louis Drewel) mad because glass was hard to get a hold of.  And they had to get someone up there that night to nail in the window because it was so cold, being February."

Sounds like it was an eventful day!

Monday, December 13, 2010

Frank and Sophie Get Married

My reference and starting point for all the people I want to tell about on this blog are my grandparents, Frank August Kleager and Ella Elizabeth Sophia "Eleanor" Drewel.

This is the wedding picture Frank August Kleager and Sophie Drewel, married 14 Feb 1917.

He was 20, she was 22.

I have a newspaper clipping that describes the wedding day.  I don't know what newspaper it's from - somewhere around Franklin County, Missouri - but it was written by "A Friend" and provides an insight into the events:


   "A pretty wedding took place at the home of Louis Drewel last Wednesday afternoon, February 14, at 2 o'clock, when Miss Eleanor Drewel became the wife of Frank A. Kleager of Japan, Missouri.  Squire F. W. Wenkel spoke the solemn words that bound the two hearts as one.  Miss Irene Heinberg, cousin of the bride, was bridesmaid and Otto Kleager, brother of the groom, was groomsman.
   The bride was gowned in ivory white chiffon taffeta, draped with silk shadow lace, and she wore a white silk embroidered veil with an orange blossom wreath and ivory white satin beaded slippers.  The bridesmaid was dressed in white silk net, trimmed in pink satin ribbon, white satin slippers, and wore pink carnations.
   The bride is the accomplished daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Louis Drewel.  She was born in Lyon township, Beaufort, but came to Boone township with her parents when a little girl and here she had grown to womanhood and has always been a favorite among a large circle of acquaintances.  The groom is a progressive young farmer.  He is a son of Mrs. Luessetta Kleager of Japan.
   At four o'clock an appetizing supper was served at which relatives and immediate friends took part.  In the evening the parties went to Champion City and had an old-time wedding dance in the B.A.Y. hall.  Here refreshments were served at which all did justice.
   The happy young couple have the best of wishes of a host of friends for a long and prosperous married life.  Mr. and Mrs. Kleager will depart for their home in Nebraska where they will make their future home.
                    A FRIEND"

Saturday, December 11, 2010

The "Other" Joseph Kleager

Wait, I wasn't done with Joseph Kleager's in Franklin County, Missouri.  There is one more!
This confused me (and others) for years, and was not sorted out until I found a land transaction record where Joseph Klaeger sold land to Joseph M. Klaeger (my Joseph Kleager) in 1865.  Aha ... there are two!

"My" Joseph:
     Sometimes has middle initial of M., and one record had a middle name Mangus.
     Cannot read or write and marks documents with an "X".
     Served in the Army during the War with Mexico from 1847-1848.
     Lived on owned land near Port Hudson, Franklin County, Missouri in 1850 - may have received the        land as bounty land from serving in the Army.  I can't prove that yet.
     Married Elizabeth Jenny in 1850 (she died around 1856), had 2 children: Joseph and William.
     Married Josephine Klaeger in 1857, had 5 children: August "Gus", Terese, Crescentia "Katenza", Paulina Clementina and Bernhard.
"The Other" Joseph:
     Sometimes has middle initial of J.
     Can read and write and sign his name.  In 1875 he was a Justice of the Peace in Franklin County.
     Married Maria Barbara Nier in 1864, had  children Josephine, John Joseph, Joseph Anthony, Mary Angelina, Edward Joseph, Herman Adolph, Amelia Mollie.
     Moved from Franklin County to Arkansas around 1869.
I am convinced that the two Joseph's were somehow related, but I haven't figured out how yet.  I am sort of assuming cousins, and maybe this Joseph was the brother of the Josephine Klaeger that "my" Joseph married.

Monday, December 6, 2010

Joseph Kleager(s)

My starting point is my grandfather, Frank August Kleager born in Franklin County, Missouri in 1896.

His father is Joseph Kleager - the genealogy problem with that is that there are many Joseph Kleagers in Franklin County, Missouri around that time.

Frank's father was Joseph Kleager born 28 July 1850 in Port Hudson, Missouri and died 6 March 1916 at his home on his farm near Argo, Missouri.  He married Luessetta Mincemeyer in 1875, and they had 8 children including my grandfather Frank August, and a son named Joseph William Kleager (1878-1963).

Frank's grandfather is Joseph M. Klaeger, father of the 1850 Joseph.  He was born about 1815 in Switzerland, died 1885 in Franklin County, Missouri.  Joseph M. had another son August "Gus" - who had a son in 1881 named - you guessed it - Joseph Kleager!  He died in 1952 in St. Louis.

There is another Joseph Kleger in the St. Francis Borgia Catholic Church records in Washington, Franklin County, who died 1856 at age 60 and was married to Catharina Barbara Glauss.  He may be Joseph M.'s father (so Frank's great grandfather), but I haven't established that yet.

Sophie Drewel Kleager with her 5 boys.  This was probably shortly after  her husband's death.  Can you imagine being a widow with 5 boys under the age 11 in 1929?

Sunday, December 5, 2010

Goals of this Blog and Welcome!


I am going to send this blog to Kleager relatives that are interested in receiving it.  I hope to make periodic posts of interesting things I have found or am finding about the Kleager family.  Plans are to include scanned documents relating to the family, pictures, and interesting tidbits.  I've been searching for a way to share those.

I won't write about living Kleagers, I am starting with my grandfather Frank August Kleager and his wife Ella Elizabeth "Eleanor" Sophia Drewel, and telling about them and working "backwards" from there.

I want to make each post to be quick and interesting.

I will e-mail each post to a list of relatives who are interested.  That way you don't have to look for the blog to see if there are new posts, I will e-mail a new post to you.

I am sending this first one to all who I think might be interested.  If you are not interested in receiving more, please reply and tell me so and I will take you off the list! If you know of a relative who might like to get these, please forward this on to them or tell me their address.

Also, if you have information to add, or have a picture that could relate, or are a long lost cousin who could help fill in the gaps, please comment or reply or e-mail me!

Here's a teaser to start with:
   This is both sides of a post card sent to Miss Sophia Drewel (who eventually married Frank August Kleager) when she was living with her parents at Leslie, Missouri.  "Guess who  Remember me sometimes when you are all alone"  Who has signed it?  Dan? Don?  And which guy is he in the picture?

Interesting stuff, huh?