Fred Eggers authored this second installment to the Konemann story that was posted two days ago. Fred tells me he had some issues which kept him from getting this article written for yesterday. So, you are getting it today. I think you will find it worth the wait.
Yesterday I wrote about Teacher Detrich Konemann and his history up to when he left Salem, Farrar in 1888. Today I will continue his journeys through the remainder of his life and find what I can about his adopted son, David Edwin, later known as Edward D. Kennamann.
Several years ago I found records for Detrich Konemann living in Kit Carson County, Colorado but there was nothing to tell me if he went there directly from Perry County, Missouri. A search of Der Lutheraner, the official newsletter of the Lutheran Church – Missouri Synod, for 1888 found an address change in the August 28 edition.
Teacher Konemann had moved to a small rural congregation in southeastern Nebraska where his old colleague from Perry County, William Adolph Bergt was the Pastor. Additional searches for his name found him as a guest (Gäste) at the meeting of the Nebraska District of the Missouri Synod on September 13 to 18, 1888. I could not find him in similar reports for later meetings, which suggests that he only taught at Tecumseh for one year.
The next record that can be found for the family is the marriage of Anna Wilhelmine Karoline Henrietta Konemann, usually known as Henrietta or “Ettie”, to Friedrich Matthies on October 9, 1891. Matthies was part of a family that owned a hardware store in Beloit and was a widower with several children. Ettie and Friedrich are recorded as being from Beloit. They were married in Burlington, Colorado by Pastor E. Meyer from Goodland, Sherman County, Kansas about 30 miles to the east. Records show that Meyer was assigned several “preaching stations” that had been started in eastern Colorado. The witnesses were Louise C. Konemann, likely Ettie’s sister, and Henry Hoskins, who was the 20 year old son of a blacksmith in Beloit. Henry would later write several histories of the Beloit settlement.
On October 9, 1893 Louise was married to William Byers in the home of Dietrich Konemann in Beloit by Samuel C. Durland, a Justice of the Peace. The witnesses were Dietrich Konemann and Maggie Durland, the wife of the Justice of the Peace.
I had found a death record for William Byers in the past in 1895 in Colorado Springs, Colorado, but I was uncertain if this was the husband of Louise Konemann. Recently I did a new search in FindAGrave.com and found that a volunteer recorded additional information he had that confirmed that this was indeed the husband of Louise. Note that they were then living in Claremont (now Stratton), Colorado.
I have found several histories of the settlement and demise of Beloit, Colorado. I think all of them are attributed in some way to Henry Hoskins, who was a witness at Ettie’s wedding to Friedrich Matthies. To make a very long story short, based on a survey that was made for the Rock Island Railroad from Colby, Kansas to Colorado Springs, Colorado, several land speculators determined where they thought the B & M railroad would intersect with that line and laid out a town site for Beloit at that location in 1887 and 1888. Some of the organizers had been part of the birth of Seward, Nebraska and felt that they could duplicate that success in eastern Colorado. Posters in red ink, four foot long, were plastered all over Nebraska inviting settlers to come to Beloit. The businesses that were started included a grocery store, a newspaper office, a school house, the blacksmith shop of Ed Hoskin, Henry’s father, and the Matthies Brothers hardware store. Unfortunately, neither of the railroads came through Beloit. The Rock Island Railroad located its tracks eight miles to the north and Beloit was doomed. The Matthies store and the grocery store buildings and their stock were moved to Claremont (now, Stratton). Ed Hoskin moved his blacksmith shop to his ranch, two miles to the east. The settlers moved away until there were only one or two families and by 1894 Beloit ceased to exist. Henry Hoskin said that by that time their ranch had no neighbors closer than seven miles. This map of Kit Carson County shows the location of Beloit and the red arrow points to the dark line which is the location of the Rock Island Railroad.
It was bad enough that the Beloit settlement failed, but that was only a small part of what happened in the high plains of eastern Colorado and other states in that area in the 1890s. In researching Kit Carson County, I found a lengthy article entitled Agricultural Adjustments in Eastern Colorado in the Eighteen-Nineties. It tells of the extreme drought conditions as they occurred in Kit Carson County. The years of 1886 to 1889 were all years of extensive settlement. In the spring of 1890 there were 2,472 residents in the county. The settlers were primarily farmers who came to acquire land and plow it and raise crops. They experienced crop failure almost from the very start as the crops they planted were not suited to the arid conditions. 1893 and 1894 were extremely dry and many of the settlers abandoned their farms and left. Many of those that remained were destitute and received aid in the form of clothing, food, coal, and seed grain from Colorado Springs, Denver, and the state. By 1900, the population had dropped by over 36% to 1,580. The settlers that remained had changed from crop farmers to stock raisers.
I did find a record for Dietrich Konemann serving as a Star Service Mail Contractor in 1895. There is a similar record for him in 1899 but none in the other years for which I could find these records. One has to wonder what other jobs he may have held.
On October 4, 1896 Louise was married to Charles C. Reinemer in the town of Yale by a Lutheran Pastor, Gerhard Janssen from the town of Goff. Both of these towns can be found on the above map. Louise gave an address of Claremont and Charles was living in Flagler.
In the 1900 U S Federal Census Fred and Henrietta Matthies are found living in Cornelius, Washington County, Oregon with five children from his first marriage and two from his marriage to Henrietta. Fred is listed as a general merchant. I will not include an image since this census page is very hard to read.
Dietrich Koneman is listed as Father In Law and living with George and Christiane T L (Louise) Reinemer and their children, just before Charles C. and Lilly Reinemer and their children in Flagler. The census has the names of the wives switched. Henry Blancken and his family are listed just before the two Reinemers. The men are all listed as Stock Raisers. Settlers in this part of the high plains of eastern Colorado had tried crop farming but by 1900 nearly all of them were raising Shorthorn and Hereford cattle. Dietrich is listed as a widower, which is the first that we know of his wife’s death, and I have not found any records for it. If she died and was buried in Beloit, we will probably never know. I read one statement that said that some of the people buried in Beloit were later reburied in Burlington, but I could not find a grave for her in any cemetery.
The Reinemer families had migrated to Kit Carson County from the Arnsberg area of northern Cape Girardeau County, Missouri during the 1890s and Henry Blancken who came from Frohna in Perry County, Missouri was married to a sister to George and Charles. In addition there were other members of the Reinemer family living in the Arriba area of Lincoln County west of Kit Carson County.
Fred Matthies died on January 30, 1903 in Cornelius, Washington County, Oregon and Ettie married Julius Peterson on March 7, 1905.
In the 1910 Census, Dietrich Konemann census was living with Charles and Louise Reinemer and their family in Gaston, Oregon which is less than 10 miles from where Ettie was living.
Dietrich Konemann died on June 20, 1916 in Washington County, Oregon. The only record for his death that I found was in the Death Index for the State of Oregon.
Time and space will not allow me to study the lives and families of Ettie and Louise at this time, but I will now show what has been found for their step-brother David Edwin.
The person that is looking for her biological ancestors was able to provide us with a few clues on David Edwin Konemann, later known as Edward D. Kennamann. First, from a family story it is told that when he was around 8 to 9 years old he was sent to work on a Colorado farm. That sounds a little young to me, but is certainly possible. When the family was living in Beloit, possibly 1890 to 1893, and the economy and weather made living difficult for the settlers, it would have made sense for him to live with someone where he could work for his room and board. Just a guess, but Henry Hoskin got his teaching certificate in 1888 at the age of 17 and taught in seven schools over a ten year period while operating the family ranch. Perhaps, David could have lived on the ranch and attended school where Hoskin was teaching.
The family story tells us that Edward returned to the St. Louis area around 1897 or 1898. I have searched for him in the St. Louis, Jefferson County, and Perry County censuses, as well as those of Kit Carson County, Colorado, and have not located anyone that comes close in name or age with a birthplace of Missouri. Likely, he was missed in the census.
The first documentation that we have for him is in the 1908 St. Louis City Directory with an address or 2924 California and an occupation of Dairy.
On September 2, 1908 Edward married Lena Fredericks in Sappington, St. Louis County, Missouri. This is an image of their marriage license.
In the 1910 Census Edward Kennamann, age 37 (actually 29); his wife Lena, age 20: and their daughter Tillie, age 22 months; are living at 2924 California in St. Louis, Missouri. He was listed as a Dairyman in the Dairy industry.
Edward and Lena’s second child, Mary Henrietta, was born prematurely and died on March 16, 1911 according to her Missouri Death Certificate.
Edward registered for the draft on September 12, 1918 giving his address as Affton and stating that he is employed by the Columbia Mineral Water Company in St. Louis.
Their other children were Mathilde (Tillie), born in 1908; Carl, born in 1912; George, born in 1915; Myrtle, born in 1922; and Lester, born in 1924. The family is found in the 1920 Census living at 5125 Linden Avenue in Gardenville, St. Louis County, Missouri where Edward is listed as a Laborer. In the 1930 Census Edward is again listed as a Dairyman, owning his own Dairy. The address is again 5125 Linden, but it is now listed as being in Affton.
Edward Kennamann died on February 18, 1938 at the St. Louis County hospital. His father is listed as Dietrick Kennamann and his mother as Louise Beater on the Missouri Death Certificate, which makes it almost certain that he indeed was the adopted son of Teacher Detrich Konemann and his wife Louise Biester. We also have a copy of his obituary from the St. Louis Post-Dispatch.
Unfortunately, I have not been able to find any records for Edward between his baptism in 1883 and his reappearance in St. Louis in 1908. I have also not been able to find any definite information of who his birth parents were, but I do have some clues that I will research further as time permits.