Ehlmanns in America–The 1860s

The 1860s

In 1860, only two families of Ehlmanns are listed on the St. Charles County census:

Diedrich, age 31, his wife Mary, age 27 and their children, Eliza, age 5 and Ann, age 2.
Henry, age 44, his wife, Anna, and their children, Dietrich, age 15, Herman, age 13, and Henry, age 10

Ehlmanns in the Civil War

Herman, Diedrich Sr. (1827) and Diedrich Jr. (1844) are listed as Privates in Holrah’s (John H. Hollrah) Co. M, Missouri Home Guard.   My original notation for Hermann Diedrich Jr. was that he died November 28, 1861. However, in checking notes of Civil War records, I found:

  • Ehlmann, Dietrich Jr.
  • Private Civil War Union
  • Enrolled Militia August 10. 1863, St. Charles
  • 27 Regiment E.M.M., Co. D
  • Capt. J. D. Hollrah
  • St. Charles Home Guards Co. M.

If this handwritten information from my notes is correct, the Dietrich Jr. I had listed above, could not have died in 1861.

The website “” describes the Home Guard as:

  • Created in the summer of 1861 by General Nathaniel Lyon, the Home Guard were supposed to stay at home and go into action only to defend their neighborhoods. Around 15,000 Home Guard were enlisted.
  • They were armed by the Union government but received no pay unless on active duty.
  • They wore no uniforms, and only 10,000 troops actually received weapons. The rest used their own.
  • Camp gear and food were supplied for some when on active duty.
  • Approximately 241 Home Guard companies were formed, but they were disbanded in late 1861.

Additionally, Dietrich Ehlmann, Sr. was listed for three months from May-August 1861 in Co. K, 4th Regiment USRC Infantry

Ehlmanns Acquire Real Estate

Steve Ehlmann, St. Charles County Executor and our cousin wrote in his book, “Crossroads, A History of St. Charles, Missouri” about the German Immigrants and the impact the Civil War had on land ownership.

He writes:

Germans quickly adapted to the geographical conditions and adopted many American crop-farming techniques. Germans, however, ‘drew the line’ when it came to adopting the tobacco culture and slavery. Out of mre than 1,000 German head sof families in 1850, only 17 owned slaves…Slaveholding among the Americans remained substantial as the Civil War stated with the largest slaveholders in the county being Colonel John Pitmn of Dardenne Township (23), Captain John Woodson of Callaway Townshi (25), Francis Howell of Dardenne Township (23), Judg Daniel Griffith of S. Chales Township (23) and Major Nathan Hrald of Dardenne Township (20).

The Germans favored the emancipation of slaves in Missouri during and after the Civil War because it was in their economic self-interest to do so…

Robert Sandfort, in his work Hermann Heinrich Sandfort, Farmer and Furniture-Maker from Hahlen, Germany, relates the fate of the Griffith plantation and its owner, Judge Daniel Griffith during the Civil War and after.

In the 1860s, one industrious man and his family could farm around 100 acres. The Griffith family, in the traditions of the southern aristocracy, bought slaves to do the actual farming and domestic work on their 1,200 acres plantation. The Griffith family saw its 17 slaves run away, enlist in the Union army or become emancipated in 1865. Harassed by Unionists during the Civil War because of southern sympathies, the family was forced to continue to sell parcels of land to German immigrants. Before the  war they had sold land to Dietrich Thoele, John Geoge Pfaff, Jacob Peters, Hermann Osthoff, Henry Gronefeld, Johnn Dietrich Zumbehl and Johann Dietrich Hollrah. After the war, major portions of the plantation were sold to Hermann Dennigmann, Hermann Dietrich Boenker, Hermann Dietrich Ehlmann, Hermann J. Bruns…an Hermann Dietrich Sandfort.

Hermann Gerard Ehlmann, Immigration, Marriage, Children, Death

Hermann Gerhard, born November 14, 1819 in Hahlen, Mensalge, Hannover, Preussen immigrated with his family in 1860, and died March 27, 1864. His first wife was Anna Maria Bernhardine Foeth who he married February 11, 1845 in Menslage Lutheran Church, Hannover, Germany. She was born April 8, 1824 and died August 20, 1859, leaving Hermann Gerhard to raise six children on his own. Was it for this reason he decided to immigrate to the United States to join the rest of his family?

On October 29, 1860,  Hermann Gerhard, age 41 and his children immigrated to America. On this day,

  •  Hermann Friedrick, age 19 (b. 1841),
  • Herman Heinrich, age 15 (b. Aug. 29, 1845, d. Sept. 9, 1916) m. Catharina Margarethe Elsabein Kruse
  • Anne-Marie, age 13, (b. 1847),
  • Catharine Marg. age 11 (b. 1849),  married J. D. W Ermeling (?) Dec. 1, 1864
  • Anne-Marie, (Anna Margaretha Adelheid) age 6 (b. Feb. 2, 1854), m. Johann G. W. Buthfer, Mar. 27, 1873
  • Herman Dietrich, age 4 (b. Aug. 26, 1856, d. Dec. 20. 1930)

disembarked from the ship Senator Iken where they had traveled Steerage class. The Senator Iken is described as a 3-masted, square-rigged ship built by the shipwright Johann Lange in VegesackkGrohn for the Bremen firm of J. W. F. Iken & Co. and was launched on 18 July 1860. It was one of the largest wooden sailing vessels built Lange.

Gerhard Ehlmann Marries Catharina Moehlenkamp

Anna Catharina Margarethe Beckebrede married Hermann Heinrich Moehlenkamp, who died May 3, 1857. The Moehlenkamps lived on several plots of land on and surrounding the land which would later be our Ehlmann farm in Harvester. Gerhard married the widowed Anna Catharina Margarethe Beckebrede Moehlenkamp on March 27, 1862. A little over a year later on April 23, 1863, they welcomed twin boys, Gerhard Heinrich and Hermann Dietrich. But sadly neither of the boys would live to adulthood. Gerhard Heinrich died when he was two and a half on October 12, 1865 and Herman Dietrich died March 24, 1881 at the age of 18 years.

It would seem there would be a family connection between Hermann Gerhard’s wife, Anna Catharina Margarethe Beckebrede and Hermann Dietrich’s wife, Anna Maria Bekebrede; however, I haven’t been able to find the connection. Did Hermann Dietrich write to his widowed brother, Hermann Gerhard and encourage him to immigrate to America and meet the widowed Catharina?

Herman Gerhard Ehlmann died March 18, 1864 at the age of 44 years 4 months and 4 days leaving behind two minor children.

On October 28, 1867 Probate records show that Herman Diedrich Ehlmann (1827) was appointed curator of the estates of Herman Diedrich (1856) and Anna Margaretha Adelheid Ehlmann, minor heirs of Herman Gerhard Ehlmann.




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