Hermann and Margarethe Grungras Dickenhorst


(Anna Marie) Margarethe Grungras

Hermann Heinrich Dickenhorst

Parents: (maybe) Hermann Heinrich Gruenegress and Anne Margarethe Trebbe

Parents: Catherina Maria Obervahrenholz and Johann Peter Hoermann [Dickenhorst]

Born: August 31, 1820 in Wallenbruck (Westphalia), Germany

Born: June 8, 1818 in Spenge (Westphalia), Germany (birth record)

Married: 1- September 6, 1840 to Hermann Dickenhorst in Wallenbruck and 2- August 13, 1858 to Heinrich Menkhoff in Concordia, MO

Married: September 6, 1840 to Margarethe Grungras in Wallenbruck

Emigrated: October 25, 1851, Bremen to New Orleans, SS Julius (Passenger List and ship)

Emigrated: October 25, 1851, Bremen to New Orleans, SS Julius (Passenger List and ship)

Died: July 24, 1873 in Concordia, MO (death record)

Died: circa 1857 in Concordia, MO

Interred: St. John's Cemetery in Concordia, MO (tombstone)

Interred: maybe also St. John's -- can't find any records or tombstones, but since Fred Dickenhorst was buried at St. John's in 1864, assume Hermann was too.

Margarethe's children were very proud of her -- she supposedly had been a lady-in-waiting in Dresden/Westphalia—so her daughter Maria told her own daughters—although to date there have been no confirming documents found. One story asserts that when Margarethe decided to marry a commoner, her family disinherited her, and she soon thereafter moved to America. But if this were the case, it seems (what appears to be) her father would not have been present at the christening of the first child. The Grungras family lived since at least the 1550s in Wallenbruck, when Herman Gronegresch lived at #10. It surprises me that the Dickenhorsts would chose to emigrate to America when Margarethe was 8 months pregnant -- it is hard to imagine having a baby on board in those small, unprivate and unhealthy conditions, although it was not unheard of. After her husband died, leaving her with five children 0-14, Margarethe remarried and had another daughter -- but it is most curious that all the children did not seem to live with them. In 1860, Henry (9) lives nearby with friends, and Maria (13) and Catharine (18) cannot be found. This is surprising since stepfather Henry was known as being fond of and good to his stepdaughters. Margarethe died at age 52, living long enough only to see the birth of four of her 46 grandchildren.

Hermann, the youngest of four boys and three girls (and two half-siblings), lost his mother when he was two. As the older Dickenhorst brothers settled in the same farmhome in Spenge (#15), their growing families (10 children between them), plus all the step-siblings, must have seriously cramped the accommodations. In fact, only the first of Herman and Margarethe's children is born in Spenge, before they moved to neighboring Neuenkirchen. The two oldest brothers stayed in Spenge, but Hermann's brother Fred (six years older) emigrated in 1847, probably following his sister/cousin Caroline Dickenhorst Frerking to Concordia (who emigrated with her husband and family in ~1839). However hard life was to make them want to leave (Spenge was a hotbed of political discontent in the 1840’s), it only got worse in America. One daughter died upon landing, and Hermann died just six years later, only 39 years old, leaving five young children. After his death all the Concordia German families were terrorized for three years during the civil war by bushwhacker raids which occurred even during religious services; Hermann's brother Fred was killed in the final and most brutal massacre in 1864. It is no wonder that no more Dickenhorsts ever emigrated! The last Dickenhorst-surnamed descendant died in 2002.

Census data: 1860, 1870

Census data: (none)

Land records: 1856 and 1858


Children:

Name

Date of Birth, Place

Date of Death, Place

Married - date and to whom

# children

1. Anna Margarethe ("Catherine")

1/23/1842 Spenge

1870-1873 Clinton, MO?

11/20/1860 Andrew Vegele

0?

2. (Anna) Maria

1/22/1847 Neuenkirchen

3/21/1919 Watertown, WI

1/14/1868 August Dankenbring

11

3. Catharina E

circa1849 (near Spenge)

4/26/1852 St. Louis, MO

n/a

0

4. Henry H.

Sep 1851 At sea

7/1/1914 Lincoln Cty, MO

5/6/1878 Emily Smith in Concordia

4

5. (Catherine) Caroline

4/12/1854 Concordia, MO

12/27/1909 Concordia, MO

9/6/1871 William Brackman

13

6. (Carolina Maria) Sophia

5/26/1856 Concordia

12/15/1895 Concordia, MO

12/3/1872 William Oetting

10

7. Emma Menkhoff

4/25/1859 Concordia

8/2/1929 Concordia, MO

8/26/1876 Ernest Stumpenhaus

8

Grandchildren

Notes: Emma is Margarethe’s child by her second marriage to Henry Menkhoff. I believe Menkhoff was also from Spenge -- I found a Johan Heinrich Menkhof born 1818 in Spenge! Other Concordia, MO names found in the Spenge record books include: Borgstedt, Brockman, Brockhorst, Fischer, Menkhoff, Oberhaus, Oschlaeger, Oetting, Walkenhorst and Westerhaus.

There may have been more children born in Germany, since I have only found the Spenge records so far; I don't believe other towns have been microfilmed -- certainly, those of Neuenkirchen (the yellow highlight on the map) have not. On her 1860 marriage record and the 1870 census, daughter Anna Margaretha was called Catherine for some reason, although her Spenge birth record specifies "Anna Margarethe" and the ship list specifies "A.E."

Catharina Diekenhorst (sic) died 4/26/1852, born Germany, buried German Protestant Cemetery. (Volume B, p.74, SLGS Roll 300, Missouri Archive C10359, County Library RDSL1)

St. John's Church records in Concordia:
birth: Katherine Carolina Dickenhorst, born to Herm. Hein, and Anna Mageretlia nee Grungreis, born Apr 12 1854, baptised June 2 1854, sponsors Maria Dickenhorst and Sophie Dierking
birth: Carolina Maria Sophie Dickenhorst, born to Herm. H. and Anna Magrethe nee Gruengras, born May 26 1856, baptised Aug 3 1856, sponsors Carolina Koopmann, Marie Welsch
death: no record ~1857 for Hermann's death/burial
marriage: Johan Heinrich Menkoff Margaretta Dickenhorst August 13, 1858
death: Friedrich Wilhelm Dickenhorst Oct 10 1864 July 29,1812 killed by bushwhackers
death: Margarethe Menkhoff Gruengras July 24 1873 Sept 18,1869 [note: supposed to be birthdate; obviously an error; she was born Aug 31, 1820 and was 52 y 10 m 24 d upon her death] widow of Dickenhorst, b. in Westphalen, Prussia, wife of Heinrich Menkhoff, mother of 4 daug. 1 son
death: Heimich Menkhoff Jan 9 1902 87 y 10 m 10 d

Hermann's brother Fred married Catherine Anna Marie Bokstiel on April 27, 1853 in Concordia, MO; they had no children. Missouri testate records (BK Page Name Executed Filed Recorded Spouse Children Witness Notes): "99-101 Dickenhorst, Frederick 10/1864 2/10/1865 2/10/1865 Catherina 52 yrs of age. Brother Herrman Dickenhorst's son Henry, and daus. Wife's sisters Mrs. Henman, Mrs. Brinkotters children. The within annexed will is a true copy of original destroyed by fire 10/10/1864 by guerillas who killed testator, redrawn by Henry Miller 11/5/1864. Heinrich Hemme, Henry Steinkohler Henry Hemme, & Henry Steinkohler, Exes." After his murder, Katharina Maria Dickenhorst married Herman H. Kesemann on September 18, 1867. Don Dittmer says that in Robert Frizzell's book Independent Immigrants, of the 27 men killed on October 10, 1864, most where Holy Cross Cemetery is today, F. Wilhelm Dickenhorst was shot and killed in his sickbed, and is buried at St. John. Fred Dickenhorst has land records: On 5/15/1852 he purchased 40 acres in Section 4 and 40 acres in Section 5, Twp 48-N, Range 23-W, Meridian 5th PM, in Saline,MO from the Clinton land office (document #31328 and 31434).

There were records found in Michigan for a Dickenhorst family, but these appear to be a mis-spelling of Diepenhorst, and the family is Scandinavian. There was a Wisconsin record of a Lawrence Dickenhorst who was killed during the Civil War; it is thought he was also likely to be a Deipenhorst.

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