The Kasten Ziegelbrenners

We begin today’s tale by looking at a wedding which took place not long after World War I.  I suppose you could say that it is another one of those couples about which you could ask that question, “How did those two get together?”  The groom was Arthur Kasten from Jackson, Missouri, and the bride was Hedwig (Hattie) Krueger from Farrar.  They were married on Sunday, November 23, 1919.  Here is their marriage license.

Kasten Krueger marriage license
Kasten/Krueger marriage license

First, let’s discuss the bride.  If you look closely at this marriage license, you will see that the pastor who performed the wedding was Rev. John Krueger.  He was Hattie’s father.  Her mother was Gabriele (Ella) (Plass) Krueger.  Rev. Krueger served Salem Lutheran Chruch from 1900-1924.  Here are photos of Hattie’s parents.

Hattie was born on October 29, 1890 in Monroe, Michigan, where her father was serving as a Lutheran minister.

Next, we move on to the groom.  By the time of this wedding, Arthur Kasten was living in Jackson, but that is not where he was born.  He was a Perry County native, having been born in Uniontown, Missouri and baptized at Grace Lutheran Church.  His parents were Rudolph and Augusta (Bingenheimer) Kasten.  I am going to trace the Kasten family farther back because there are still plenty of Kastens around here and they may be interested in knowing how the Kasten name entered this area.

The original Kastens did not come with the Gesellschaft in 1839, but they arrived shortly thereafter.  The original Kastens were Heinrich and Wilhelmina (Grebe) Kasten who arrived in America in 1843.  They arrived in New Orleans aboard the Diana on June 1, 1843.  Here we see their names on the passenger list for that ship.

Kasten passenger list New Orleans
Passenger list – Diana – 1843

Heinrich came over as a weaver, but once in America, he became a farmer.  They had a child with them when they arrived, but that son died in 1846 at the age of 6.  Here is photo of Heinrich and Wilhelmina.

Heinrich Christoph and Wilhelmine Kasten
Heinrich and Wilhelmina Kasten

These two both died in 1898.  This photo must have been taken not long before that.  These two would have been Arthur Kasten’s great grandparents.

Arthur’s grandfather, Christian Kasten, was born in 1844 and baptized at Grace Lutheran Church in Uniontown.  Christian enlisted in the Union Army during the Civil War.  Here are two forms which detail his service.

Christian is the first of many in the Kasten family to serve their country.  Not long after that war was over, Christian married Seraphina Hopfer in 1867.  That marriage, too, is included in the records of Grace Lutheran Church in Uniontown.  Their firstborn son was Arthur’s father, Rudolph Kasten.  All of the Kasten men in this line up to Rudolph were farmers.  Rudolph followed a different path.  In 1895, Rudolph began a brick manufacturing company in Jackson, Missouri.  Here is a photo of one of their earlier buildings in Jackson.

Kasten Clay Products
Kasten Clay Products

When Arthur filled out his World War I draft registration, he listed his employment as Kasten & Schmuke, with himself being described as a brick setter.

Arthur Kasten – WWI draft registration

I found a Joseph Schmuke living in Jackson at this time who was in the brick and tile business.  That must have been the Schmuke listed on this form.

Arthur did go off to serve in the Army during World War I.   Here is an image showing his military service.

Arthur Kasten WWI military record

This form indicates that Arthur spent almost a whole year overseas fighting in this conflict.  Yet he escaped getting disabled as a result.  These photos were taken showing Arthur in his military uniform.

Arthur was married three months after he returned from Europe.  One has to conclude that there must have been some correspondence between Arthur and Hattie during the war.  Here we have a photo of their wedding.  Unlike so many other wedding photos, this one was not taken in a studio.

Kasten Krueger wedding
Kasten/Krueger wedding

If those flowers are hydrangeas, have you ever seen a bride holding hydrangeas?  I don’t think I have.

Arthur followed in his father’s footsteps by continuing in the brick and masonry business.  In fact, that business prospered greatly over the years, and their stores can now be located in Jackson, Bonne Terre, and Cape Girardeau as well as one in Carbondale, Illinois.

When Arthur filled out this World War II draft card, the business was called Kasten Brothers Brick Company.


Later in their lives, this photo was taken of Arthur and Hattie.

Arthur and Hattie Kasten
Arthur and Hattie Kasten

Arthur died in 1968; Hattie died in 1972.  They are buried together in the Russell Heights Cemetery in Jackson, Missouri.  Here is their gravestone.

Arthur and Hattie Kasten gravestone Jackson MO

In an earlier post, this photo was taken of Karl Kasten, another descendant from the original Kastens, and he is standing in front of a brick house.

Wilhelm Kasten House

The photo shown earlier of Heinrich and Wilhelmina Kasten has a brick house in the background.  I suppose these two photos could have been taken in front of the same house, but I find it interesting that there is evidence of brick being used by members of the Kasten family when they built their homes.  I have often wondered if a Kasten may have had a brick business in the Uniontown area before Rudolph started his business in Jackson in 1895.

And just as a matter of explanation, the German term for brickmaker is Ziegelbrenner.



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