A Brunkhorst-Heins Couple

About two weeks ago, Gerard Fiehler and I attended the Heins Family Reunion in Jacob, Illinois. Today, I will discuss the history of one of the children to come out of the family of Leo and Anna (Versemann) Heins. Sarah Johanna Heins was the 4th child born into this family and is today’s birthday girl. She was born on October 2, 1888 and baptized at Christ Lutheran Church in Jacob, Illinois. An image of her baptism record from that congregation’s books is displayed here.

Sarah Heins baptism record – Christ, Jacob, IL

Fairly early in her life, Sarah was included in a photograph that was taken of the children in her family. Since she is the 4th child (and also the 2nd girl), I figure she is the girl standing on the far left.

Leo Heins children

When Sarah was 11 years old, she shows up in the 1900 census, living with her family in the Fountain Bluff Township in Jackson County, Illinois. Her father was a farmer.

1900 census – Fountain Bluff Township, IL

Next, we need to take a look at the early life of August Friedrich Brunkhorst, who was born on January 11, 1883. August was the son of John and Mary (Luedemann) Brunkhorst. August was the firstborn child in his family. He, like his future wife, was baptized at Christ Lutheran Church in Jacob, Illinois. The record of his baptism is pictured below.

August Brunkhorst baptism record – Christ, Jacob, IL

August is found in his first census in 1900 at the age of 17. He was called a salesman, and since his father is called a grocery dealer, August likely worked in his father’s store. The Brunkhorst and Heins families are found on the same page in this census with only one family listed between them.

1900 census – Fountain Bluff Township, IL

A plat map of the Fountain Bluff Township shows how close the land was that was owned by the Heins and Brunkhorst families.

Brunkhorst and Hein land – Fountain Bluff plat map

When we went to the Heins Reunion and visited the cemetery, which you can find on the above map, the road where it was found had this sign.

August Brunkhorst married Sarah Heins on October 15, 1905. As you probably expected, this couple was married at Christ Lutheran Church in Jacob. The church record for that marriage is shown here.

Brunkhorst/Heins marriage record – Christ, Jacob, IL

The church books for that congregation say the August was released from membership in 1907, and that the family moved to St. Louis. One child, a boy named Leo, was born in 1906 and baptized at Christ, Jacob, but that is the last record for this family that is included in our German Family Tree. We find the Brunkhorst family living in St. Louis when the 1910 census was taken. There were 2 children at the time. It says August was a salesman for a wholesale grocery business.

1910 census – St. Louis, MO

In a 1913 city directory for St. Louis, it says August was a porter.

August Brunkhorst – 1913 St. Louis city directory

August Brunkhorst had his World War I draft registration completed in 1918, and it shows yet another occupation for him. He was working at the McQuay-Norris Manufacturing Company.

August Brunkhorst – WWI draft registration

The company he worked for made piston rings for automobiles. I found this advertisement for this business.

McQuay-Norris Piston Rings advertisement

The 1920 census shows the Brunkhorst family with 3 children. One more child would be born in 1924. August’s occupation is given as a mechanic in a factory.

1920 census – St. Louis, MO

The photograph below is one that is said to be of Sarah Brunkhorst.

Sarah Brunkhorst

Next, we find the Brunkhorst family in the 1930 census. This entry says August was a mechanic at a piston ring company.

1930 census – St. Louis, MO

The last census we can view is the one taken in 1940 where August is called a machinist at a manufacturing company.

1940 census – St. Louis, MO

August had a World War II draft card completed in 1942. This form says August’s employer was the St. Louis Spring Company.

August Brunkhorst – WWII draft card

August Brunkhorst died in 1962 at the age of 79. His death certificate says he was a retired machinist who had worked at Moog Industries.

August Brunkhorst death certificate

We can also take a look at August’s obituary.

August Brunkhorst obituary

The Moog Industries produced spring suspension systems. I found this 1942 advertisement for Moog suspensions in a St. Louis Spring Company booklet.

Moog Suspenion parts ad – St. Louis Spring Company – 1942

Sarah Brunkhorst died in 1968 at the age of 77. Her death certificate says she died at the St. Joseph Hospital in St. Charles County. The informant on this form was Roy Brunkhorst, her son, who lived in Harvester, Missouri.

Sarah Brunkhorst death certificate

Both August and Sarah Brunkhorst are buried in the Laurel Hill Cemetery in St. Louis, but there are no gravestone photos for them on Findagrave. I wish someone would document that cemetery better because this is also where my grandparents are buried, and they, too, have no such gravestone photos.


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