Doc Kalbfleisch

The characters who will be highlighted today, as far as I can tell, were never found in Perry County. However, the gentleman who has a special birthday today, is found in our German Family Tree because his parents were part of the New York Group that joined the Stephanite group of immigrants in Perry County in 1839. Many of those immigrants lived only briefly here before moving to other places. Most of the New York Group ended up in St. Louis, as is the case with the Kalbfleisch family that will be discussed today.

Adam Heinrich Kalbfleisch would be celebrating his 175th birthday today because he was born on September 1, 1847. We will see evidence that this child’s name would would alternate between him being called Adam and Henry throughout his life. I will use the name Henry. He was the son of Conrad and Rosina (Furch) Kalbfleisch. His mother and father had arrived in New York City in the early 1830’s and were married there. They then joined the New York Group that traveled to Perry County in 1839. There is evidence that Conrad purchased some land in Perry County in 1843, but by the time of Henry’s birth in 1847, the Kalbfleisch family was living in St. Louis. Henry’s baptism record is found in the books of Trinity Lutheran Church in St. Louis. We can see portions of his baptism record from an Excel spreadsheet we have of that congregation’s early records.

Adam Heinrich Kalbfleisch baptism record – Trinity, St. Louis, MO

Henry is found in the 1850 census at the age of 3. His father was a tailor in St. Louis.

1850 census – St. Louis, MO

During the next decade, the Kalbfleisch family relocated across the Mississippi River in Collinsville, Illinois. We find them living there when the 1860 census was taken. Henry was listed as being 12 years old in this entry.

1860 census – Collinsville, IL

Henry’s father established a store in Collinsville. A drawing of that establishment is pictured here. The drawing illustrates that this store specialized in clothing and tailoring. I find it interesting that it is called C. Kalbfleisch & Sons since we are discussing one of his sons today.

Kalbfleish Store – Collinsville, IL

We find Henry in one more census entry from Collinsville. The 1870 census says Henry was a 22 year-old student. A later document will demonstrate that Henry attended the Hahnemann Medical College in Chicago, Illinois. It is likely that this is where Henry was a student at the time of this census.

1870 census – Collinsville, IL

Henry became a medical doctor, and he also got married before the 1880 census was taken. Let’s take a look at the woman who became Henry’s bride. Her name was Catherina Mathilda Conradt. Mathilda was born on September 17, 1853, the daughter of Gottlob and Maria (Schmidt) Conradt. She was born in Peru, Indiana. We find Mathilda in the 1860 census at the age of 2. Her father was a leather merchant in Peru.

1860 census – Peru, IN

Next, we find Mathilda in the 1870 census. She is listed as being 11 years old.

1870 census – Peru, IN

I am unaware of how Henry got to know Mathilda, but these two were married in Peru, Indiana on May 23, 1876. I can only display a transcription of an Indiana marriage record for this event.

Kalbfleisch/Conradt – Indiana marriage record

Based on family histories, it appears that Henry and Mathilda had 4 children. The first census in which we see this couple after their marriage was in 1880. They had actually gotten back fairly close to Perry County. They were living in Steeleville, Illinois where Henry was a physician. Their first 2 children are included in this census entry.

1880 census – Steeleville, IL

We cannot view another census until the one taken in 1900. By then, they were back living in Mathilda’s hometown of Peru, Indiana. I think they were back in Peru by 1885 because their daughter who was born in that year is listed as having a birthplace in Indiana. The 1900 census entry also includes Mathilda’s parents, Gottlob and Mary Conradt. Henry is once again called a physician. Two teenage Kalbfleisch daughters are also listed.

1900 census – Peru, IN

The Kalbfleisch’s were still living in Peru when the 1910 census was taken. Henry was called a physician at a sanitarium. Mathilda is called a physician’s assistant. Mathilda’s parents are still living with them, and her father had the occupation described as manufacturing pottery.

1910 census – Peru, IN

Mathilda’s mother died in 1916. I think it was sometime after her death that Henry moved his family to Texas. When the 1920 census was taken we find the following household for the Kalbfleisch’s who were living in Hidalgo, Texas. That city is located about as far south as you can go in Texas. This time, it says Henry was a fruit farmer. Mathilda’s father is still in their household.

1920 census – Hidalgo, TX

Mathilda Kalbfleisch died in 1925 at the age of 67; Henry Kalbfleisch died in 1929 at the age of 82. A listing of deceased physicians shown below states that he died in Marion, Ohio. This document is also where we find that he attended Hahnemann Medical College.

Henry Kalbfleisch – doctor’s directory

Henry and Mathilda Kalbfleisch are buried together in the Mount Hope Cemetery in Peru, Indiana.

Henry and Mathilda Kalbfleisch gravestone – Mt. Hope, Peru, IN

There was only one person among the original immigrants that came to Missouri in 1839, and he was only a medical student. That person was Dr. Ernst Eduard Buenger. However, today’s tale is yet another one of a medical doctor whose story has been told on this blog that has connections to the early immigrants or lived in the East Perry County area at one time. It is evidence that the German immigrants were a very literate and talented group of people.

One thought on “Doc Kalbfleisch

  1. Pingback: Baptism Triplets

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