The story you will read today is packed with “Farrar Names”. It begins with a baby girl born on today’s date with the surname, Versemann. All of the church records for the main characters in this tale are found in the books of Salem Lutheran Church in Farrar.

Anna Maria Versemann was born on April 1, 1892, making today her 130th birthday. She mostly went by the name Mary. Mary was the firstborn child of Henry and Emma (Koenig) Versemann, although she had some older half-siblings from her father’s first marriage to Ernestine Eggers. She was baptized at Salem Lutheran Church in Farrar. Below is an image of her baptism record.

Mary Versemann baptism record – Salem, Farrar, MO

Mary is found in her first census in 1900 at the age of 8. Good luck reading the information on this image. It is not shown here, but Mary’s father was a farmer.

1900 census – Salem Township, MO

The only other census record in which we find Mary unmarried is the one taken in 1910. Since this Versemann couple has a dozen children listed in our German Family Tree, plus the children from the previous marriage, you can see that Mary was part of a rather large family.

1910 census -Salem, Farrar, MO

Now, we will take a look at the man who would become Mary’s first husband. His name was Julius Louis Steffens, who was born on November 27, 1888. He went by the name, Louis. He was 2nd of 6 children born to Henry and Martha (Hesse) Steffens. Louis’s baptism record from the books of Salem, Farrar is displayed here.

Louis Steffens baptism record – Salem, Farrar, MO

Louis was 11 years old when he appeared in his first census in 1900. His father was a farmer, but that column is not in this image.

1900 census – Salem Township, MO

Next, we find Louis in the 1910 census in his 20’s.

1910 census – Salem Township, MO

Louis Steffens married Mary Versemann on April 10, 1913, and as expected, the occasion took place at Salem, Farrar. We can take a look at the church record for this wedding.

Steffens/Versemann marriage record – Salem, Farrar, MO

We can also take a look at the marriage license for this couple.

Steffens/Versemann marriage license

Louis had his World War I draft registration completed in 1917.

Louis Steffens – WWI draft registration

Our German Family Tree states that Louis and Mary had 4 children. Three of them were born before the 1920 census. Louis and Mary were living with Louis’s parents, and Louis was a farmer.

1920 census – Salem Township, MO

The 1915 plat maps show the Henry Steffens farm located near Farrar.

Henry Steffens land map – 1915

Louis Steffens died in 1924, leaving Mary as a widow. Louis was just 35 years old when he died. His death certificate says he died as a result of a perforation of the bowels.

Louis Steffens death certificate

When the 1930 census was taken, Mary was still a widow. Mary is called a farmer in this entry. This time, the Steffens family was living in the Union Township.

1930 census – Union Township, MO

We now will take a look at the man who would become Mary’s second husband. His name was Martin Adolf Hemmann, who was born on the first day of 1895. Martin was the son of Julius and Gesche (Hesse) Hemmann. Martin was the 6th of 9 children born to this couple, but another 6 children had been born to Julius and his first wife, Christine Mueller. Martin was also baptized at Salem, Farrar. We can take a look at his baptism record.

Martin Hemmann baptism record – Salem, Farrar, MO

Martin is found in the 1900 census at the age of 5. I find it interesting that one page of the Hemmann family entry is rather easy to read, but the next page is not.

1900 census – Salem Township, MO

Next, we find Martin in the 1910 census.

1910 census – Salem Township, MO

We find an interesting situation when Martin has his World War I draft registration completed. He was living in Selden, Kansas.

Martin Hemmann – WWI draft registration

In a previous post, it was mentioned that several Hemmann brothers were in Kansas at that time. That post was titled, Hemmann, the Kansan. Interestingly, that post also mentioned another Perry County native was also living there. His name was Theodore Steffens, who happened to be the brother of Louis Steffens.

By 1920, Martin had returned to Perry County and was living with his parents.

1920 census – Salem Township, MO

In 1930, Martin was still single and in a household by himself.

1930 census – Salem Township, MO

Later in 1930, Martin Hemmann married Mary Steffens on November 6th at Salem, Farrar. The marriage license for this event is shown below.

Hemmann/Steffens marriage license

Two more children were born to this couple in the 1930’s. We see the Hemmann household in the 1940 census. It was a blended family made up of Hemmann and Steffens children.

1940 census – Salem Township, MO

In 1942, Martin Hemmann had a World War II draft card completed.

Martin Hemmann – WWII draft card

Martin Hemmann died in 1965 at the age of 70. His death certificate is pictured here.

Martin A. Hemmann death certificate

Mary Hemmann died in 1985 at the age of 93. Mary, as well as her two husbands, Louis Steffens and Martin Hemmann, are buried in the Salem Lutheran Cemetery in Farrar.

A friend of our museum, Dorothy Hemman, was married to Al Hemman, who was a son of Martin and Mary Hemmann. Dorothy’s son and daughter-in-law, Doug and Bonnie Hemman, now operate the Hemman Winery in Brazeau. You may notice that Dorothy and Al, along with the name of the winery, somehow had one of the “n’s” removed from their surname. Perhaps if you know Dorothy, you might ask her why.

One thought on “Versemann-Steffens-Hemmann

  1. Two interesting fun facts about my Grandma Mary Versemann-Steffens-Hemman. First of all, she had two mother-in-laws. They were twin sisters. Her first husband, Louis Steffens’ mother (Martha Hesse) and her second husband, Martin Hemman’s mother (Geshe Hesse) were twin sisters. Also, because Grandma’s birthday was on April Fool’s Day, she always enjoyed it when we tried to come up with a new way each year to play an April Fool’s trick on her on her birthday. Oh and my middle name (Louise) is named after my Grandpa Louis Steffens.


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