On January 30, 1839, the riverboat Knickerbocker arrived in St. Louis. Included in the passenger list was the family of Georg Joachim Schmidt. Joachim, his wife Maria, and children, Gottwerth (4 years old) and Magdalena (1 year old), had started their journey in Bremerhaven, Germany in November of 1838. They came from the town of Kahla, the same town where Rev. Gotthold Loeber was the pastor. This family of Schmidts were the first of my ancestors to arrive in America. Joachim was a locksmith. Little Magdalena died not long after arriving in St. Louis and never made it to Perry County.
Three other riverboats came up the Mississippi River in early 1839 carrying other members of Rev. Martin Stephan’s immigration society. Those riverboats were the Rienzi, the Clyde, and the Selma.