Elmer’s Grandma and Grandpa

Last December, our museum lost one of its devoted workers, Elmer Hecht.

Elmer Hecht
Elmer Hecht

Today would have been Elmer’s grandfather’s 153rd birthday.  His name was Heinrich Benjamin Hecht, and he was born on September 28, 1864 in Altenburg and was baptized at Trinity Lutheran Church.  I understand that he went by the name Benjamin or Ben.  His parents were Wilhelm and Wilhelmine (Weber) Hecht.  Wilhelm came to America as part of the Gruber Group in late 1839 as a young child.  Wilhelm and Wilhelmina were members of Grace Lutheran in Uniontown.  Their first five children were baptized at that church.  Benjamin was the first child in this family to be baptized at Trinity in Altenburg.

Benjamin’s wife was Margaretha Stueve.  She was born on February 4, 1865.  Her parents were Herman and Maria (Rese) Stueve.  Margaretha was born in Germany, but she was confirmed at Immanuel Lutheran Church in Altenburg.

Benjamin and Margaretha were married on November 25, 1886 at Immanuel.  Here is their marriage record from that church.  Their records extend horizontally over two pages, so I had to take two photos to get the entire record.

Hecht Stueve marriage record 1 Immanuel

Hecht Stueve marriage record 2 Immanuel
Hecht/Stueve marriage record – Immanuel, Altenburg


We also have the wedding photo of Benjamin and Margaretha.

Hecht Stueve wedding
Hecht/Stueve wedding

I also ran across this picture that shows Margaretha.  It shows her with two of her sisters, Mary and Ernestine.  Margaretha is the oldest of the three.  It’s your guess which one is Margaretha.

Stueve girls Margaretha

I’m pretty sure that Elmer’s widow, Alice Hecht, who still works here at our museum, would be able to identify these three Stueves.

Benjamin’s grandfather, Frederick Hecht, bought 40 acres property in Brazeau Township in 1850.  This image of that land patent shows that purchase.


In 1853, Frederick bought 80 more acres.  Here is an image of that purchase.


In this land ownership map of 1915, we see the land that was owned by Benjamin Hecht.  It is indicated by the red arrow.

Benjamin Hecht land map 1915
Benjamin Hecht land map – 1915

That land was located near the Walther Store that was discussed in a recent post.  The Wilkinson Mill was also once located along the banks of Apple Creek on Benjamin’s land.

I took a little side trip this morning to the location of this Hecht land.  It is where you find an S curve along Highway C about a mile south of Altenburg.  Locals know what I mean when I say it is where The Zoo is located.  I took a few pictures of that area.



We also were blessed with a beautiful sunrise this morning.  Here is what it looked like as the sun rose over what was once Hecht land.


Benjamin was always a farmer.  He and Margaretha had several children.  The first two sadly died at a very young age in 1892 just a matter of days apart as a result of diphtheria.  There were five other children after that.  Margaretha died in 1923; Benjamin died in 1932.  They are buried together in the Immanuel Lutheran Cemetery in Altenburg.

Elmer was a son of Martin Hecht from Benjamin and Margaretha’s family.  After Martin got married, we find his family back at Trinity Lutheran Church.

Another local personality who died rather recently would have called Benjamin and Margaretha his great grandparents.  His name was Robert Hecht.  Robert was the son of another Ben Hecht, a grandson of the first Ben Hecht.  We have this photo which includes “Benny” Hecht when he was rather young.  It shows a baseball team from Immanuel.  The team’s teacher is also in the photo.  The outfits worn by the players are rather diverse.

Immanuel ball team 1935

Benny is in the front on the right, leaning down toward the baseball equipment.

Benny’s son, Robert, went on to attend the University of Missouri- Rolla.  Here is a photo of Robert when he was a student there.

Robert Hecht
Robert Hecht

Robert would later be the proprietor of the Altenburg Machine Shop.  Here is a photo of him in his office at that shop.

  Altenburg Machine & Fabrication Hecht

Robert also accomplished several projects here at our museum while he was still alive.  His wife, Charlotte, died in April, and Robert died in October of 2013.

We certainly miss Elmer and Robert, two great supporters of our museum.

4 thoughts on “Elmer’s Grandma and Grandpa

  1. I have the same picture of the 3 Stueve sisters, but believe them to be: Katie, Ernstine and Maria Stueve, sisters of Margaretha. I believe this picture was taken after 1936, and Margaretha and another sister Anna were both deceased, leaving the 3 sisters in the picture.
    Diane (Gerler) Anderson


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