The original Kaempfe family arrived aboard the Johann Georg as part of the Gesellschaft in 1839. I wrote a post about the early years in Perry County for the Kaempfe’s that was titled, Prof. Godfather. These Kaempfe’s eventually had a farm in Millstadt, Illinois, and one of their sons, Traugott, moved back to Perry County, and the folks around here that carry the surname, Kaempfe, probably came from his branch of the family.
Today, I am going to discuss in further detail what happened to those first Kaempfe’s. However, before I move on, let me discuss some inconclusive issues. Let’s start by looking at the passenger list of the Johann Georg showing the Kaempfe’s. It consisted of Johann Samuel, his wife, Juliane Christiane, and one son, Samuel. They were from Pestitz.
When we see the Kaempfe family in the listing of passengers in Zion on the Mississippi, we see them as being from Kleinpestitz.
Right below the Kaempfe names on the Johann Georg passenger list was a pair with the surname Palitzsch. Here we see this duo in the Zion on the Mississippi list.
The two Palitzsch’s were not husband and wife. They were brother and sister. You can see that they were also from Kleinpestitz. If you go back far enough in history, you find that the Palitzsch family was once the owner of the property that eventually became Kleinpestitz. That location was also the ancestral home of Juliane Lippisch, who married Johann Samuel Kaempfe. Here is a drawing of a Palitzsch building located in Kleinpestitz.
There is a fascinating similarity in the two names in the above list, Palitzsch and Palisch. The Palisch name leads us to another Kaempfe connection. Johann Gottlieb Palisch was married to a Kaempfe. Johanna Chrisitana (Kaempfe) Palisch may have been the sister of Johann Samuel Kaempfe. The Palisch family is listed as the family right above the Kaempfe’s on the Johann Georg passenger list. They were said to be from Lobtau. In the map below which shows the Dresden area in Germany, we see both Lobtau and Kleinpestitz, and they are not very far from each other.
Samuel Kaempfe married Juliane Lippisch on February 5, 1837 in Dresden. An image of their marriage record can be found on Ancestry.com.
This marriage likely took place at St. John’s Church in Dresden where Rev Martin Stephan, the leader of the Gesellschaft, was the pastor.
There are a lot of potential connections between the Kaempfe, Palisch, and Palitzsch names, but I think more documentation is needed to conclusively describe those connections.
Let’s return to the Kaempfe’s after they arrived in Perry County. A set of twin boys was born to Samuel and Juliane in 1842. They were baptized at Trinity Lutheran Church in Altenburg. Below is their baptism record.
One of these twins died right away and was buried in Perry County. That began a series of years when there were plenty of deaths in this family. Since the next church record we find for a member of this family can be found in the church books of Old Trinity Lutheran Church in St. Louis in 1844, they must have moved during the interim. Here is a list of births and deaths that occurred during the 1840’s.
- Carl August, the other twin boy, died in April of 1844.
- Christian Ferdinand was born in January of 1845. This birth and baptism is not included in the Old Trinity books for some reason.
- Gottlieb Daniel was born in March of 1847, but died about 3 weeks later.
- Pauline Elisabeth was born in April of 1848.
- Juliane, Samuel’s wife, died in July of 1848.
- Pauline Elisabeth died in August of 1848.
- Christian Ferdinand died in November of 1848.
This left Samuel as a widower with just his two oldest sons. Before I discuss the next event in Samuel’s life, I want to share a story that still gets told amongst the descendants in the Kaempfe family. It is said that Samuel was once the carriage driver for Rev. C.F.W. Walther in St. Louis. Rev. Walther was the pastor of Old Trinity Lutheran Church, but in the early days of his service in St. Louis, several other preaching stations were begun in different neighborhoods in that city. Those preaching stations eventually developed into Immanuel, Holy Cross, and Zion congregations. During those early years, Rev. Walther was the only pastor and would have needed transportation to get him to those preaching stations. This would have also been the time when Samuel lived in St. Louis. Perhaps he was in the business of being a carriage driver. However, all the baptism and death records that indicate Samuel’s occupation say that he was a farmer or agriculturist in St. Louis County.
I did find a few tidbits of information that might give evidence of Samuel being a carriage driver. Later in his life, when living across the river in St. Clair County, Illinois, there were some tax records showing that Samuel was paying taxes for a carriage. Here are forms from 1864 and 1865.
It makes sense to me that a farmer would not have to pay taxes on a carriage that would just be used on the farm, but he may have to pay taxes if a person was being paid for the use of that carriage to haul people around.
Another tidbit is the fact that when Gottlieb Daniel was baptized in 1847, one of his sponsors, Daniel Liebernickel, was an undertaker. In those days, undertakers were mainly in the business of making caskets and providing a hearse and carriages for the funeral processions. An undertaker would typically have a stable that housed the carriages and the horses that pulled them. The fact that Samuel had a relationship with an undertaker might indicate that he may have used the stables for his carriage.
The year 1849 was a disastrous one for St. Louis. In the spring, a horrendous fire engulfed a large portion of downtown St. Louis. Many building were destroyed. Then in July, there was a terrible cholera epidemic. I am thinking that with all the previous death in his family, along with these local disasters, Samuel decided to move out of St. Louis. He did not move far. He settled in St. Clair County in Illinois. It is in that county that Samuel married again on January 23, 1850. We have an Illinois marriage index entry for that wedding.
That means yesterday would have been his 170th anniversary. His second wife had also lost her spouse. When Samuel and Christiane (Mueller) Moos married, it became a blended family, with a few Kaempfe children and a few Moos children. We find this household in the 1850 census. It says Samuel was a farmer.
According to a family history on Ancestry.com, Samuel and Christiane had 5 more children. When 1860 rolled around, we find this census entry for this family. It is in two images.
When the Civil War took place, Samuel’s oldest son, also Samuel, enlisted in the Union Army. We find his name on this draft registration form.
Samuel served in the 20th Illinois Regiment as a private. On March 8, 1865, he received a gunshot to the chest in a battle fought at Wises Cross Roads in North Carolina. He died of that wound on March 15, 1865, and is buried in the New Bern National Cemetery in North Carolina, but there is not a marked grave for him. That left Samuel with only one living child from his first marriage, Traugott, who would later return to Perry County.
The last census in which we find either Samuel or Christiane was the one taken in 1870. All the children left in the household were ones born into the second marriage.
Christiane died in 1875 at the age of 55. She was buried in the Kleinschmidt Cemetery in Millstadt, Illinois.
Samuel Kaempfe died in 1879 at the age of 67. We have a death record from St. Louis that says he died there.
The above record says he died at 2612 S. 7th St. A pictorial drawing was made of St. Louis in 1875, and according to my reckoning, this address would have been found in the neighborhood shown below.
Samuel is said to be buried in the same cemetery as his second wife. However, there is no gravestone. There is an empty space in that cemetery which is surrounded by other members of the Kaempfe family, so it is thought that he probably is buried there.
I have three different photos that are said to include Samuel Kaempfe. They all make me ask the question about when and where they were taken. Photography in America is said to have begun in 1839, the same year as the German Lutheran immigration. Photography probably did not get to St. Louis until many years later. And photography certainly didn’t get into East Perry County until even later. However, here is a gallery of those 3 photos. I will not even attempt to caption them. You can click the thumbnails to enlarge.
I found a drawing (courtesy of Concordia Historical Institute) that shows Rev. C.F.W. Walther about to get in a carriage, tipping his hat to the carriage driver. Rev. Walther looks to be quite old in this drawing, so it is not possible that the carriage driver is a depiction of Samuel Kaempfe, but I still love the drawing. You can still view Rev. C.F.W.’s carriage at the museum hosted by Concordia Historical Institute in St. Louis.
In closing, let me point out that this post, to a certain extent, is a birthday present to Carla Jordan, our museum director. She asked me a while back to do a story on Walther’s carriage driver on her birthday, which is today. I gave a little thought to publishing this story yesterday, on the 170th anniversary of Samuel Kaempfe and his second wife, but in the end, I chose to do it today. Happy Birthday, Carla.