February 25, 2013

Henry Pflaumer, son of Jacob and Anna Maria Hokenberger Pflaumer

Information on the first family of Jacob Pflaumer and Anna Marie Hokenberger was little known among the grandchildren (my mother-in-law and siblings). In fact, they often said that only one brother survived from the 8 children of Jacob and his first wife.  When, in fact, two sons survived - Henry and John.       This photo may be of Henry and his wife, Katherine Spohn - it was among the Pflaumer things and we know that son alone moved to Missouri.
Heinrich Pflaumer was born in Elsenz, Germany on August 22, 1837, and immigrated to the United States in 1854 with his parents.  He appeared in the 1860 census with his family in Smithfield Township, Dekalb County, IN, at the age of 22.  A militia enrollment of Dekalb County in about 1863, in the midst of the Civil War, (a roll of able-bodied white, male citizens over 18 years and under 45 years, subject to military duty), listed Henry Pflaumer, 25, and his brother, John 19, farmers.  The militia was a local group designated to protect their home county against invasion by the enemy.

In 1869, Henry left his Indiana home and headed for Missouri, and in 1870, purchased farm land just east of Craig, Missouri.  (The woman he would eventually marry, Katherine, was born on April 23, 1868 in Nebraska.)  I have not been able to find him in the 1870 census, but in 1880, he was living alone, at 35, on his acreage.

On May 14, 1889, he married Katherine C. Spohn when he was about 51 and she was 21.  By 1900, the census taker located them in Union Township, Holt County, Missouri, just east of the Big Tarkis River. They had two children: John L., 4, born in January 1896, and Mary L., 3, born in April 1897.  Two more children would be added to the family: George H. and Francis C.
The Holt County Sentinel (Oregon, MO) reported on September 3, 1909:
"Mrs. Henry Pflaumer was taken quite sick the first of the week.  Her daughter, Miss Mary, has been quite ill of typhoid for the past month.  The Pflaumers have engaged a nurse, Miss Hattie Burtch, of St. Joseph, to care for the girl during her illness, but the nurse was also stricken by sickness and had to return to her home.  Another nurse was secured Tuesday evening.  At last reports, both were improving." (Craig Leader)

Another insight into the family was shown in the Holt County Sentinel of September 10, 1915:
"James Steele and John Pflaumer left on the 'Flyer' Tuesday evenng, for Fayette, Mo. where they will enter Central College for the winter's work.  Steele spent last winter as a student in Central, but this will be the first term for Pflaumer.  We are glad to see our boys from the High school show an ambition to be thoroughly prepared for life's battle..."

When Henry was 82, the census taker visited him for the last time on his farm.  In the family in 1920, along with Henry, were Catherine, 51, George H., 16 and the young Frances, 13.  Henry's brother, John, 76, was living there, too, having been widowed.

Henry Pflaumer died on December 21, 1921. His obituary (source not labeled):
"Death of Henry Pflaumer
Henry Pflaumer, a long time resident of this vicinity,died at his home in Craig early Friday morning, after an illness extending over many months.  Death was due to general debility and the infirmities of old age.
Henry Pflaumer was born in Baden, Germany, August 22, 1837, and was 84 years, 3 months and 17 days old at the time of his death.  He lived in Germany until he was fourteen years of age.  His family emigrated to the United States in 1851, landing in New York City, having been on the water for 36 days, quite a difference from the fast going ocean liners of today.
The family first settled on a farm in Ohio, where they spent a year, when they moved to Dekalb county, Ind.  Here the family lived until 1865 when they moved to a farm near Fort Wayne, Ind.  He lived with his family until 1869, when he moved to Holt county.  The following year he bought the farm east of Craig and has owned and operated it ever since, with the exception of the past few years when his health was such that he turned it over to his oldest son.
On May 14, 1889, he was united in marriage to Miss Katherine C. Spohn of Craig.  To this union four children - John, Mary, George, and Francis- were born, who with their mother, survive. He also is survived by a brother, John Pflaumer of Elkhart, Ind. who has been making his home with him for the past two years.
He was one of eight children in his family, all of whom are gone but the one brother who survives.  His father died twelve years ago, and was 97 years of age at the time of his death.
In early life, Mr. Pflaumer united with the German Reform church and kept his membership after coming to this country.  After his marriage, he united with the Presbyterian church in Craig and remained a member the rest of his life.  He was a good Christian man and the world will miss him. 
The funeral services were held at the Presbyterian church last Sunday afternoon, conducted by his former pastor, Rev. L. P. Parker.  Burial was in the Odd Fellows cemetery."

"Cards of Thanks.  The family of the deceased return their heartfelt thanks to the neighbors and friends for their assistance during the sickness, death and burial of husband, father, and only brother, and are ready to return the kindness at any time when needed.  Mrs. Catherine Pflaumer and children, and brother, John."

Catherine died in 1945.  It was good to know that these first sons kept in touch with their father by sending photos and perhaps letters.

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