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Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Picture Mystery - St. Louis Photographers

   "There's an app for that" is a popular phrase currently.  Well, apparently, "there is a website for that also"!

    Using google, I found a website called  It has a link called "Early St. Louis Photographers".   Open that, and there is a chart of historic St. Louis Photographers and years that they were in business.  About 1500 of them!  Way more than I thought there would be.
    There are no "Heller" photographers on 1010 Olive Street in St. Louis, but there are:

                         Frederick Keller at 1010A Olive Street in 1910
                         Thresher and Keller at 1010 A Olive Street in 1900
                         Goldsmith-Keller at 1012 Olive Street in 1915 and 1919

    So, if this picture was taken between 1900 and 1919, and the Joe Kleager was say between the ages of 15 to 25, he would have been born between 1875 and 1900 roughly.

    So, back to the list from Part One.
    #1 Joseph M my great great grandfather is too old (1816 - 1884)
    #2 Joseph Kleager my great grandfather is too old (1850 - 1916)
    #3 Joseph Kleager son of August who was son of #1 (1881 - 1952) a maybe
    #4 Joseph William Kleagaer son of #2 (1878 - 1963) also a maybe
    #5 The "Other" Joseph Kleager married and moved to Arkansas by 1865, too old
    #6 Joseph Klager way too old (1796 - 1856)

    That leaves #3 or #4.  Both were fathers.  #3 is a little bit younger, and #4 moved to Nebraska in 1918, and #3 lived in St. Louis.  I'm guessing #3, who was a first cousin of #4.

     Anyone else think differently??  Any other way to approach this?  This is like a sixth grade story problem!

     Other input welcome!!

Also, I made a mistake. Brenda Jenkins Kleager lives in Huntsville, Alabama, not Arkansas. Sorry!

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

A Kleager Picture Mystery - Part One

     Brenda Jenkins Kleager lives in Arkansas and is married to the grandson of my great uncle George Kleager.  She does family history research, and we have recently re-connected on the web.  She scanned the following picture, front and back, and sent it to me.  She found this picture a couple of years ago by googling the name Joe Kleager, and found this from a woman who buys pictures from antique and thrift stores that have names on them, then sells them online for $15.

Front with the matting involved.  In the lower right hand corner it says: "Heller" (or "Keller"), 1010 Olive Street, St. Louis, MO.

The back.  She had to use a contrast feature plus add light to see the writing: "dad Joe Kleager".

So, the mystery.  

What year, or even what decade was this picture taken?  

I think that is crucial to figure out which "Joe Kleager" it is.

This fellow looks fairly young to me, say maybe late teens to mid 20's?  I would welcome any other opinions.  There are skilled people out there who could date the picture by the type of matting, and/or by the hair style, collar, bow tie or suit.  But I am not one of those.  Are any of you??

Living out side of St. Louis would not have been a reason to eliminate one of these because there was rail road access to St. Louis that was very accessible from Franklin County and I have read that many of the Kleagers went to St. Louis for various reasons.

Here's the "Joe's" I know, and a few of the facts about them:

1. Joseph M. Klager:
    -my great great grandfather
    -born about 1816 in Switzerland 
    -arrived in New Orleans about 1846 
    -enrolled in St. Louis in  the U.S. Army in 1847 for the War with Mexico, 
    -married 1848 in Franklin County, Missouri to Elizabeth Jenny
    -1850 has a son Joseph, in 1858 a son August
    - can't read or write

2. Joseph Klaeger 
    - my great grandfather
    - the son above, born 1850 in Franklin County, Missouri 
    - worked as a teamster driving a wagon before marriage, including some time in St. Louis 
    - married in 1875 to Lesetta Mincemeyer
    - in 1878 has a son, Joseph William

3. Joseph Kleager
     - the son of August, son of #1
     - first cousin of #2
     - born 1881 in Bourbon, Missouri
     - married about 1906
     - lived and worked in St. Louis as an adult

4. Joseph William Kleager
    - son of #2
    - born in 1878 in Franklin County, Mo
    - married 1906 to Halle Ellen Renick
    - moved to Nebraska in about 1920

5.  The "Other" Joseph Kleager
    - the guy who confused me for years and years
    - roughly same era/age as #1, slightly younger
    - probably some sort of cousin of #1, but I have not established that
    - sometimes listed as Joseph J. Klaeger
    - married to Barbara Nier in 1864
    - sold land to Joseph M. Kleager #1 - in 1865 which is when I knew there were TWO Joseph's
    - moved from Franklin County to Arkansas sometime around 1869

6.  Joseph Klager
    - lived from 1796-1856
    - married to Catharina Barbara Glauss
    - death record in St. Francis Borgia Catholic Church of Washington, Missouri  
    - same parish records as Joseph Kleager #5 and Joseph Kleager #1  
    - not sure how he is related, but assume he has to be
    - could be the father of either #1 OR #5, unless 1 and 5 are brothers with the same name!!!

Which one is he??????

Friday, September 16, 2011

More Edward Kleager Pictures

Larry Kleager, Edward Kleager's grandson sent me some more family pictures.

        Edward Kleager is my great uncle, the brother of my grandfather Frank August Kleager.  Edward was eight years older than Frank, and moved to Nebraska from Missouri in 1919.  Frank moved to Nebraska in 1917.

        Both Frank and Edward lived the rest of their lives in Nebraska.  
        Frank died in 1929 at age 33.  
         Edward died in 1972 at age 84.

This is three generations of Kleagers:
Lawrence Edward Kleager, his son Larry Lee Kleager and his father, Edward Louis Kleager.

Edward and Jenny's family in the 1940's.
Standing: Jenny, Edward, George, Esther, Lawrence, Dorothy.
Seated: Fred, Irma.
Missing from the picture; Ruth.

Edward Kleager and grandson Lynn Kleager on tractor, Jenny standing.
A shed, Nebraska prairie farmland, a barn and a windmill in the distance.
About 1951.
Ed and Jenny lived near Palmyra, Nebraska.

Edward and Jenny Phillips Kleager (and the photographer's shadow!!).
Early 1950's.

Irma Kleager "taking a bath" with nephews Larry and Lynn Kleager.
Around 1951-1952. Larry wrote "that's how we bathed at our grandparents because they didn't have running water, but I think Irma was just having fun with us".

Saturday, September 3, 2011

Maria Louisa Dierking

My paternal Grandmother is "Eleanor" Elizabeth Sophia Drewel Kleager Weise.  Her father is Louis Henry Drewel.  His mother is Maria Louisa Dierking.

Maria Louisa Dierking has been a mystery to me.  No one in the family knew much about her.  I think that was because she died so young, and her husband re-married twice.

Maria was born 8 April 1845 in the area of Beaufort, Franklin County, Missouri.  She married young at age 18, to Friedrich Wilhelm Drewel, bore six children in the following 12 years, and died 14 May 1875, at age 30, a few days after giving birth to a daughter, Louise.  She is buried in the St. John's Lutheran Church Cemetery, Beaufort, Missouri.

Who are her parents?

That is the hard question.  The only thing I had to go on for many years were the 1850 and 1860 Census Records in Franklin County.  It wasn't that I couldn't find a Maria Louisa that was the appropriate age, it was that I could find 3 about the same age!

Recently, I found a 4 page typed "Dierking Family History" in the regional archive in Franklin County that had no sources, no dates and no authorship, but that stated that there were 3 Dierking brothers that  immigrated from Hanover, Germany to Franklin County.

That makes sense, as there are plenty of Dierkings in Franklin County in the 1850's, 1860's, and 1870's.

But these 3 brothers are even more confusing.  Who knows what three German given names they each had, as to date I haven't been able to find the baptism records in Germany.  When they came to America they seemed to settle into being called: (the eldest) "John", (the middle) "John F." and (the youngest) "George".  Except when the eldest "John" goes by "Georgen" or "Jurgen".

John and John F.??  George and Georgen??  I hope they knew who they were talking about!

And you know what else?  They ALL had daughters named "Maria Louisa Dierking" - three first cousins - who varied in age by about six years between the 3 of them.  No wonder I've been confused for years!

But for now, I believe my great-great grandmother Maria Louis Dierking is the daughter of John "Jurgen/Georgen" Dierking (born about 1796 possibly in Stockendrebber, Hanover, Germany) and his wife Dorothea Meriah/Mary of unknown last name (born about 1798 in the same area in Germany).

They are confusing brothers and cousins!!