Ben Hemmann in Coffeyville

The city of Coffeyville, Kansas, seems to pop up on this blog once in a while. Today will be another story that ends up there. I’ve been thinking for a while now that Coffeyville might have to be classified as another one of those places that I call a Perry County suburb.

A name that seems to pop up on this blog once in a while is the name, Ben Hemmann. At least two such men have been discussed in previous stories. You will read another one today. Conrad Benjamin Hemmann was born on May 14, 1883, making today his 139th birthday. Ben was the son of Julius and Christine (Mueller) Hemmann. That was a Hemmann family that settled in the Farrar area, but not until after Benjamin was born. He was baptized at Grace Lutheran Church in Uniontown. I am away from Altenburg for several days, so I will not be able to display church records. I am guessing that if I was able to look at Ben’s baptism record, it would be shown as Conrad Benjamin Hemmann, but later in life, he would go by Benjamin or Ben C. Hemmann. He also was from the clan of Hemmann’s in which we find several descendants who spell the surname with only one “n” at the end.

Benjamin is not found in a census record until 1900, and by that time, this Hemmann family was living in the Salem Township. Benjamin was the last child born to his mother, who died when he was just one year old. Julius then married Gesche Hesse, and that couple had several more children. So, this census entry spills over two census pages to include them all. Ben was 18 years old and working on his father’s farm.

1900 census – Salem Township, MO

Ben is found in another census entry before he was married. It was the census taken during the year of his marriage, 1910. Benjamin was still living with his father and stepmother, but now he was called a carpenter.

1910 census – Salem Township, MO

Let’s now look at the woman who would become Ben’s wife. Her name was Anna Friedericke Margaret Kassel, who was born on January 25, 1889. Anna was the daughter of Frank and Louise (Bangert) Kassel. She was baptized at Salem Lutheran Church in Farrar. Like Ben, she is found in her first census in 1900. She is the 11 year old in this miserable image from that township’s census. Her father was a farmer.

1900 census – Salem Township, MO

Anna was still living with her parents right up to the time when she got married in 1910. She was listed as 19 years old, but I calculate that she was a bit older.

1910 census – Salem Township, MO

Benjamin C. Hemmann married Anna Kassel on November 13, 1910 at Salem Lutheran Church in Farrar. I can only display this couple’s marriage license, not their church record.

Hemmann/Kassel marriage license

I can also show you the wedding photo taken of this pair.

Benjamin C. and Anna Hemmann wedding

In 1918, Benjamin had a World War I draft registration completed. This form says that he was employed by Kassel and Company. That company was in the threshing and sawmilling business. This is the last document I can display that shows the Hemmann’s living in Perry County.

Benjamin C. Hemmann – WWI draft registration

Our German Family Tree lists 4 children born and baptized in Perry County, two of them stillborn. By the time of the 1920 census, we find this family living in Oklahoma. The Hemmann’s were living in the Henry Schuetz household where Ben was laboring on that farm. Three children were listed. Since there was a boarder also living in that household who was called an engineer at a sawmill, I suspect Ben may have been involved in that trade also.

1920 census – Nowata County, OK

The above census entry is from Nowata County in Oklahoma which is just south of the Kansas border where Coffeyville is located. In the next census taken in 1930, we find the Hemmann’s living in the Cherokee Township of Kansas, which is located just outside Coffeyville. Ben was a farmer. Now, there were 5 children in the family.

1930 census – Cherokee Township, KS

The 1940 census has this family living in the Fawn Creek Township, also near Coffeyville. Ben remained a farmer.

1940 census – Fawn Creek Township, KS

Benjamin had a World War II draft card completed in 1942, even though he was already 58 years old.

Benjamin C. Hemmann – WWII draft card

I had no trouble finding the Hemmann’s in the 1950 census. Ben and Anna were living in the household of their son, Runold, and at the age of 66, Ben was helping on Runold’s farm.

1950 census – Cherokee Township, KS

Anna Hemmann died in 1953 at the age of 64; Ben died in 1963 at the age of 80. These two are buried together in the Fairview Cemetery in Coffeyville, Kansas.

Benjamin C. and Anna Hemman gravestone – Fairview, Coffeyville, KS

You might notice on the above gravestone that there is only one “n” at the end of the surname. It was also spelled that way on his World War II draft card. I have no idea when this family made that spelling change. I know that when I write a Hemmann story, my fingers automatically put two “n’s” at the end of German names.


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