Benjamin Franklin, Son of Thomas Jefferson

I will go all the way back to the arrival of the ships that were part of the Gesellschaft back in 1839 and follow a family branch until we find a mail carrier in Benton, Missouri.  The family was named Tirmenstein, and I have done several stories about individuals in that family before.  Here is the Tirmenstein family on the passenger list for the Olbers that arrived in New Orleans.  There were ten folks in this family when they arrived.

augustin tirmenstein passenger list olbers
Tirmenstein family – Olbers passenger list

The one on the list we will follow today is the one named Gustav Adolph, who was 4 years old.  For a short time, the Samuel Tirmenstein family lived in Perry County.  We find them in the 1840 census, although the census taker wrote their name as Doomenstine.

Tirmenstein family 1840 census Perry County MO
1840 census – Perry County, MO

Not long after that census, this family moved to St. Louis. We have this photo which is said to be of Gustav Adolph (on the right) and his brother Samuel Martin Tirmenstein (on the left).

Samuel Martin and Gustav Tirmenstein
Samuel Martin and Gustav Adolph Tirmenstein

On the day after Christmas in 1859, Gustav Adolph married Bertha Hanny in Cape Girardeau, Missouri.  Here is their marriage record.

Tirmenstein Hanny marriage record Cape Girardeau MO
Tirmenstein/Hanney marriage record

I found a transcribed record of this marriage in the books of Trinity Lutheran Church in Cape Girardeau.

Tirmenstein Hanny marriage record Trinity Cape Girardeau MO

We see this interesting 1860 census entry in which it says Gustav Adolph was a watchmaker.  In their household was another watchmaker, a druggist, and a cigar maker.

Gustavus Tirmenstein 1860 census Cape Girardeau MO
1860 census – Cape Girardeau, MO

This couple had 5 children, 4 girls and a boy.  We see this family with 2 girls in this photo.

Gustav Adolph Tirmenstein family
Gustav Adolph Tirmenstein family

The next character in this branch we will follow is the only son in this family, Robert Tirmenstein.  We see him in the 1870 census for Cape Girardeau at the age of 2.

Robert Tirmenstein 1870 census Cape Girardeau MO
1870 census – Cape Girardeau, MO

I’m going to skip up to 1890 when we find Robert Tirmenstein marrying Margarethe Hink on July 17th.  We see Robert’s family in the 1900 census.  At this point in his life, Robert was a dealer in poultry in Byrd Township (probably Jackson, Missouri).

Robert Tirmenstein 1900 census Byrd Township MO
1900 census – Byrd Township, MO

The next and last person in the Tirmenstein line that we have followed is Robert’s oldest daughter, Norma Tirmenstein.  She was born on November 17, 1894.  The 1910 census shows Norma as a 17 year-old.  The family was then living in Moreland Township (probably Benton, Missouri) where Robert was a superintendent of a flour mill.  Norma is listed as an assistant postmistress.

Robert Tirmenstein 1910 census Moreland Township MO
1910 census – Moreland Township, MO

On the document shown below which lists the appointments of postmasters, we find that Robert Tirmenstein was also the postmaster in Benton when the 1910 census was taken.

Robert Tirmenstein postmaster appointment Benton MO
Robert Tirmenstein – Postmaster appointment list – Benton, MO

This document is difficult to read.  I can tell you that it says Robert was appointed the postmaster in 1908 and then again in 1921.  If you look at the list below of U.S. Presidents, you will see this is another example of how postmasters changed when Presidents changed.  Robert was a Republican.

US Presidents list 1909-1923

On today’s date, December 18, 1913, Norma Tirmenstein married Benjamin Franklin Adams, so today would have been their 116th anniversary.  We have their marriage license.

Adams Tirmenstein marriage license
Adams/Tirmenstein marriage license

The pastor on the above license, Rev. Langehennig, was the pastor of St. Paul’s Lutheran Church in Jackson, Missouri.  In the obituary for Robert Tirmenstein shown below, it says that Robert was a charter member of that congregation.

Robert Tirmenstein obituary
Robert Tirmenstein obituary

Let’s take a look at Norma’s husband, Benjamin Franklin Adams.  He was born on March 6, 1892 in Benton, Missouri.  He was the son of Thomas Jefferson and Anna (Miller) Adams.  If you follow his lineage back in time, you find that his family came to Missouri from Rowan County, North Carolina, which happens to be where many of the folks originated who came to Perry County to form Brazeau Presbyterian Church.  Benjamin’s father was a farmer, and Benjamin shows up as an 8 year-old in the 1900 census.

Benjamin Adams 1900 census Moreland Township MO
1900 census – Moreland Township, MO

We find Benjamin once again in the 1910 census before he was married.  He was 18 years old.

Benjamin Adams 1910 census Moreland Township MO
1910 census – Moreland Township, MO

That gets us up to the Adams/Tirmenstein wedding.  This couple would have two children.  In 1917, Benjamin had his World War I draft registration completed.

Benjamin Adams – WWI draft registration

We see the first of them in the 1920 census.  Benjamin was a rural mail carrier in this census, which is reasonable given his father-in-law’s involvement with the postal service.

Benjamin Adams 1920 census Moreland Township MO
1920 census – Moreland Township, MO

We find this family once again in the 1930 census. Now there were two children.

Benjamin Adams 1930 census Benton MO
1930 census – Moreland Township, MO

We have one more census to view, the one from 1940.  Benjamin continued to be a mail carrier.

Benjamin Adams 1940 census Benton MO
1940 census – Benton, MO

Benjamin had a World War II draft card completed in 1942.

Benjamin Adams – WWII draft card

Benjamin died in 1979 at the age of 87.  This is too recent to view his death certificate.  Norma died in 1986 at the age of 91.  We have her obituary.

Norma Adams obituary
Norma Adams obituary

Both Benjamin and Norma are buried in the Cape County Memorial Park in Cape Girardeau, Missouri.

I have discovered Tirmenstein’s and descendents of the original Tirmenstein family all over the country.  Today’s story tells the tale of one of those Tirmenstein’s who started around here, and after a stint in the big city of St. Louis, ended up in the little town of Benton, Missouri, only one county away from here.

I sometimes am amazed that so often I find photographs of people from farther back in history than I can find of people from not so long ago.  Today is another one of those cases.

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