Progress Notes



Joe Pryor - News Tribune Article Monday, June 04, 2007


Monday, July 7, 2008

Progress Notes

Last week Royal Kallenbach (photo 01) visited the Miller County Museum for the first time since its recent renovation and building addition.

01 Royal Kallenbach
01 Royal Kallenbach

Royal had volunteered much of his time years ago working to transform the old Anchor Mill Hardware store in Tuscumbia into a museum building during the time immediately after it was purchased by the Historical Society in 1989. Although at the time he was a very busy farmer he is the one who built the porch rails and support posts, built the rooms inside the building, and participated in the plumbing and electrical revisions and additions.

One of the toughest jobs he had was removing the years of collected stains from walnuts and other produce and products which were stored on the basement floor over many years. Royal says that this was an "on hands and knees" job as he had to use a hammer and chisel for much the removal over the almost three thousand square foot floor. But without his efforts, the area never would have been acceptable as a place for the meals and meetings held by the Miller County Historical Society over the years.

I took Royal on a personal guided tour to show him how we have incorporated the museum's artifacts and historical items into displays organized by theme and subject capitalizing on the increased square footage to give a feeling of spaciousness. Royal was pleased by the lighting which made it easy to read the very helpful descriptions of each display item printed on placards attached to the walls. But in turn Royal gave me an historical tour of the old building pointing out which sections were used for various functions when it was a hardware store and also pointing out the many changes he and others had made to the building after its purchase.

One major change was to remove the old wood burning furnace and replace it with a gas operated one upstairs as well as putting in new gas heaters in the basement. Another was the installation of bathrooms and construction of a sewage removal system and lagoon. Royal recalled that the present kitchen electric range we still use he purchased for one hundred dollars. The very strongly constructed folding chairs we still use for events were purchased through a deal made by Royal with Wal-Mart of Eldon getting seventy five of them for seven dollars each. Royal built the south stairs leading up from the basement to the main level.

During the middle of our tour I showed Royal the east wall of the new upper level where we have placed the portraits of famous Miller County citizens of the past. It was then that Royal noticed something that was unbelievably coincidental: juxtaposed on the wall were two portraits which were old photographs of Royal's very own grandparents; that is to say, one portrait was of his grandparents on his father's side (Johann Valentine Kallenbach and his wife) (photo 02), and the other portrait was of his grandparents on his mother's side (Greene Lee Tomson and his wife) (photo 03).

02 Royal and Photo of Johann and Maria
02 Royal and Photo of Johann and Maria

 

03 Royal and Photo of Green Lee and Cora Thomson
03 Royal and Photo of Green Lee and Cora Thomson

Royal's Kallenbach family history is one of the more interesting ones of Miller County, for one reason because the first two generations had large families leaving a large number of descendents many of whom have moved to other areas of the state and nation. However, the Kallenbach family has a yearly reunion which is quite well attended and organized. We are very proud that the family has chosen our museum for its 2009 reunion.

As an example of the size of the early Kallenbach families in Miller County we can simply look at Royal's own family. Here is a family photo taken quite a few years ago on the event of the sixtieth wedding anniversary of Will Kallenbach, Royal's father (photo 04). The photo shows the sons and daughters of William and Cora Belle Kallenbach in September 1948.

04 Kallenbach Family Reunion - 1948
04 Kallenbach Family Reunion - 1948

It was taken in front of the home of William and Cora who are seated in the center. Front row, left to right; Dr. Parnell Kallenbach, Robert Kallenbach, William Kallenbach (father), Cora Belle Thomson (mother) Royal, Forrest Jean. Back row, left to right; Gola, Ethyl Mauzy, Harry Kallenbach, Val Kallenbach, Cora Elizabeth Wolverton, Dean Gregory, Kathyleen Blankenship. One of Royal's brothers pictured in the family photo, Parnell, was one of the first Tuscumbia High School graduates to go to medical school and become a physician. Of course, considering that Parnell is now 95, that was quite a few years ago. Parnell practiced for more than fifty years in Mexico, Mo. and delivered more than five thousand babies. He wrote his autobiography, a copy of which we have in our library, which is very interesting and informative, especially about his early years growing up. Here is another really interesting photo of Royal's family taken in 1909 before he was born in 1916 (photo 05). The photo beautifully has been retouched with color and was taken from a Kallenbach website which I will list below a little later in the narrative.

05 Family of William and Cora Belle Kallenbach near Tuscumbia - 1909
05 Family of William and Cora Belle Kallenbach near Tuscumbia - 1909

Another Kallenbach who wrote his own autobiography was Joseph, son of John Edward, and grandson of Johann Valentine Kallenbach (photo 06). Joseph, raised in Tuscumbia, earned a PhD in Political Science and taught at the University of Michigan for many years. His autobiography is in our library also and had been invaluable as a resource of what life was like in Tuscumbia at the beginning of the last century. Joseph was a nephew of Royal's father, Will.

06 Joseph Kallenbach, PhD Univ. Michigan
06 Joseph Kallenbach, PhD Univ. Michigan

Royal is the Kallenbach who donated to our museum a very rare Austrian made shotgun owned by his grandfather, Johann Valentine Kallenbach. The gun was crafted by Austrian gunsmiths in Klagenfurt, Austria in the early 1800's (photo 07). Johann had requested that the gun always be handed down to a Kallenbach descendent who had Valentine as part of his name. After Royal's brother, Frederick Valentine passed away, no other Valentine Kallenbach was living so Royal took possession of the shotgun.

07 Austrian Double Barrel Shotgun
07 Austrian Double Barrel Shotgun

As noted above, the Miller County Kallenbach family is an extended one which by now, more than a century and a half since Johann Valentin arrived, has many members who have moved to various places all across our country. Many of the early Kallenbachs' contributed significantly to Miller County history. The Kallenbach website listed just below by Don Blankenship is very detailed but worth taking a look at. It begins several centuries ago in Europe with the ancestors of the Miller County Kallenbachs' and works forward eventually reaching the Kallenbach who migrated to our county, Johann Valentin Kallenbach. On this site you can see a photo of the village from where the Kallenbachs' originated (photo 08) and the church they attended (photo 09).

08 Bad Salzungen Germany - Home of Kallenbach Familly for Five Centuries
08 Bad Salzungen Germany - Home of Kallenbach Familly for Five Centuries

 

09 Family Church in Witzelrod Germany
09 Family Church in Witzelrod Germany

Also pictured is the family crest (photo 10).

10 Kallenbach Crest
10 Kallenbach Crest

The section from the website about Johann Valentin Kallenbach I have copied here:

Generation No. 6

35. Johann Valentine6 Kallenbach (Johannes5, Hartmann4, Conrad3, Just2, Claus1) was born 08 March 1816 in Liembach, Germany, and died 28 September 1899 in Tuscumbia, (Miller County) Missouri.

He married (1) Anna Catharina Scharfenberg 19 April 1842 in Salzungen, Germany, daughter of Johann Scharfenberg and Anna Urban. She was born Abt. 1817 in prob. Liembach, Germany, and died 25 May 1856 in Liembach, (State of Thuringia) Germany.

He married (2) Maria Magdalene Recknagel 08 June 1858 in Langenfeld, Germany, daughter of Jacobus Recknagel and Susanne Necke. She was born 14 May 1837 in Langerfeld, Germany, and died 23 September 1875 in Tuscumbia, (Miller County) Missouri.

Notes for Johann Valentine Kallenbach:

Birth records for JOHANN VALENTIN KALLENBACH are from Lutheran Church documents found in Bad Salzungen, Germany by Herr Werner Schneyer, Superintendent of Archives. Mary Louise (Curtiss) Roberts was responsible for performing genealogy research during the early 1980's which initially uncovered the Kallenbach family roots in central Germany. The spelling Kallenbach is in high German as recorded at the time the birth documents was originated.

It is JOHANN VALENTIN KALLENBACH whom we more readily identify as Valentine Kallenbach, the emigrant ancestor who bequeathed us a worthwhile heritage of a love of the land, and a work ethic that the "good life" can only be secured by diligence and a caring for others. His children learned to be resourceful and reverent. They were sturdy and practical, honest and patriotic. It was Valentine whose personal life begins the factual recording of the Kallenbach lineage and history in America.

Up until the early 1980's it was uncertain where Valentine actually came from in Germany. Some recall Valentine saying he came from an area which he pronounced as "Socks-Mining", Germany. Research done by his great great granddaughter, Mary Lou (Curtis) Roberts, unraveled the mystery when she discovered in very old travel books that Socks-Mining was actually Saxe-Meiningen, or the township of Meiningen in the State of Saxony in central Germany. Mary Lou further confirmed this deduction when she discovered an early 1900's postcard sent from relatives in Germany to Valentine's second wife Maria Magdolena which was postmarked Salzungen, Germany, located just a few kilometers from Meiningen, Germany.

Johann Valentine Kallenbach spelled his name Valtin Kalbach on documents he signed in America. Lutheran church records in Germany document his birth in 1816 and reflect the German spelling of his name as Valten Kallenbach. Valten Kallenbach or, to use the Anglicized spelling, Valentine Kallenbach, was a fairly common name in the State of Saxony, Germany during the era in which he was born. Mormon genealogical records show several people by that same name as living in the area of Meiningen, Germany during the 1600's and 1700's. Again, it was Mary Lou Roberts, who in the early 1980's, discovered Johann Valentin Kallenbach's German roots by her arduous genealogical research methods and with the help of a church superintendent in Salzungen, in what was then communist East Germany.

Extracts from the birth register of the Evangelical Lutheran church in Salzungen, Germany for the year 1816 (Page 601 of book 43) reveal that Valentin Kallenbach was the 5th son of five children and that he was born 9 March 1816 in the village of Leimbach, located in central Germany. He was christened on 16 March 1816 in Salzungen, Germany. It is assumed that Salzungen was the birthplace of his mother in accordance with the custom of the day wherein children were christened in the mother's church. His Godfather was Leyherr ((1 word illegible)) Johann Valentin, mayor, miller and farmer of lmmelborn, Germany. From other old church records of the time Valentine is reported to have been a master weaver. Presumably he had successfully passed through the various levels of proficiency of the Weavers Guild to become a master weaver.

Valentine married his first wife, Anna Christina Scharfenberg, at the age of 26 on 19 April 1842 in Salzungen, Germany. She is said to have come from a rather well-to-do family that was possibly engaged in the manufacture of linen or woolen cloth. However, church records indicate that Anna's father was a farmer with no mention of his being engaged in weaving. Anna was the second daughter of Johannes Scharfenberg and his wife Anna Christina Urban.

Sometime around 1855 Valentine and his brother George decided to travel to America via Canada. The two brothers from Leimbach, raised in the state of Saxony, Germany were eager to travel abroad to America. We do not know why they chose to enter Canada first. However, Professor Joseph Ernest Kallenbach believed the reason was due to growing dissension among the Prussian states of that era and the possibility that immigration agreements between the U.S. and the German Confederation of States had not been properly implemented. Therefore, there may have been U.S. immigration restrictions for certain Germanic people entering America during the mid-1800's. It may have been possible that by entering Canada first and establishing temporary residency there, it later would be easier for them to enter the U.S. In coming to America Valentine may have been looking for a possible escape for his three young sons to avoid their being drafted into service for the Prussian army. Uprisings began in the German States in 1848 in an attempt to end the vestiges of feudalism that existed there at that time and also to bring about greater democracy. There was a desire to unify these German States under a stronger central government. Political and military conflict among German people during the 1850's seemed inevitable.

After arriving in Canada George and Valentine may have sometime later slipped into the United States. John Edward Kallenbach, the second child of Valentine by his second wife Maria Magdolena, recalled for his son Joseph Ernest that Valentine and George first traveled to Western Ontario, Canada just across the U.S. Canadian border. They apparently stayed there for a while. It was never clear that George and Valentine did, in fact, enter the U.S. during Valentine's first trip to North America. Valentine, then 40, probably returned to Germany sometime around 1856 and found that his first wife Anna, whom he married at the age of 19, had suddenly died from smallpox while he was traveling in North America. It is believed that his brother George remained in North America after Valentine returned to Germany. Rumors were that George may have died at the hands of American Indians but there are no facts to support the story and there is no historical basis for Indian uprisings at that time in the areas they are likely to have visited.

Valentine married for the second time at age 42 on 8 June 1858 in Langenfeld, Germany to Maria Magdalena Recknagel, the only daughter of master tailor Jacobus Recknagel and his wife Susanne Necke of Langenfeld. Valentine was a man of medium height, sturdily built with reddish-brown hair and rather deep-set brown eyes. He was a man of robust strength and evidently very enterprising and a hard worker. He liked to hunt and fish. His wife Maria was described as a stronger than average woman, somewhat taller than Valentine. She had brown hair and blue eyes. Accounts agree that she was a good mother both to her three stepsons and to the seven children she had with Valentine.

It is said that Valentine's inheritance from his first wife Anna's estate later paid for travel expenses for Valentine's sons Henry, John and George and his beautiful second wife Maria (Mary) Magdolena Rechnagel to emigrate to the United States. The money also paid for the Kallenbach family farm Valentine later purchased some three miles north northwest of Tuscumbia, Missouri. It is known that Valentine paid for the 365 acre farm with $550 in gold he brought from Germany. Aaron and Elizabeth Roberts sold him the farm on 14 July 1860 and the deed was officially recorded on 20 July 1860. Twelve years later on 18 May 1872 Valentine entered into a lease agreement for mineral rights on the property he had earlier purchased. The lease allowed him and two of his sons, John and George, to also mine the property. Among the minerals on his land were coal, silver, lead, copper, kaolin and iron. He was to be paid one cent per bushel of coal, one twentieth of a cent per bushel for silver and ten cents per ton for iron. However, there is no information available to suggest the farm site in Miller County was ever mined for any of these minerals. It also may be noted that the total population of Miller County in 1850 was recorded by the U.S. Census Bureau as 772 people. About half this number lived in the County Seat of Tuscumbia along the Osage River, which then was a major transshipment point with connections to other waterways.

The property Valentine purchased had a small log cabin which was expanded in size sometime after he purchased it in mid-summer of 1860. The exact location of the log cabin, some three miles north northwest of Tuscumbia, Mo. was latitude 38 degrees, 16 minutes 38 seconds North and longitude 92 degrees, 28 minutes, 22 seconds West. The farm site remained in Valentine's name until 1897 when he sold it to William Kallenbach (Royal's father), a son by his second wife Maria Magdolena Rechnagel. The log cabin was torn down around 1900 when William Kallenbach replaced it with a more modern two story structure that later burned to the ground in about 1913. The farm site offered about 20 to 30 acres of good bottom land for growing crops along the Little Saline creek. On these productive acres he raised corn, wheat oats and hay. There also was abundant land for vegetable gardens and orchards. There were woods on most of the hilly land surrounding his crop lands and this provided fuel. Many old walnut trees still abound there today. On the farm were deer, wild turkeys, rabbits, quail and squirrels which augmented the crops they raised.

When Valentine and his family traveled to America his second wife Maria was only 21 and he was 42. They were married in 1858 some two years after Valentine's first wife died. It appears that while Valentine and his brother George were in America, Maria apparently had cared for his three sons by his first wife Anna following her death. Maria Magdolena reportedly was a cousin of his first wife Anna. Valentine's three sons Henry, John and George who came with him to America in 1860 were at the time 17, 14 and 9 years old, respectively.

Early maps of Valentine's birth place clearly show the locations of the linen, wool and silk manufacturing industries in Saxony, Germany where he grew up. Unfortunately the organization of factory union groups after the industrial revolution coupled with the famine of the mid 1800's created much rioting and many union members were jailed or banished in that part of Germany. Also, the political unrest and the ever growing menace of the Prussian army may have motivated him to come to America with his brother George during the 1850's. We can easily assume that he was anxious to emigrate to America, the place he had been hearing about for so long. The beauty and the opportunity to settle in Missouri had been well publicized by a German friend who had come to Missouri from Coburg, southeast of Meiningen. This man returned with glowing reports about the bountiful land and the great opportunities. Chances are that Valentine had a definite idea of where he wanted to settle when he returned to America in 1860.

During Valentine's second trip to North America with his three German born sons and his second wife Maria, they traveled on the sailing vessel Louisiana which arrived in New York harbor on May 17, 1860. The ship's master was D. Mueller and it departed from Bremen, Germany. Sometime after departure the sailing ship was be-calmed at sea and the subsequent delay required mandatory rationing of food and water. During the Atlantic crossing it was reported that his son John Valentine became quite ill and they thought he might die. His illness was only an intestinal disorder, possibly caused by the food or water. The ship's passenger manifest, now located in the National Archives in Washington DC, stated that Valentine and his family intended to make their final destination Cleveland, Ohio. Cleveland was then a large center for German immigrants and Valentine may have intended to search for his lost brother George whom he left in America three or four years earlier. We don't actually know if he went to Cleveland first before stopping in St. Louis and later Osage City or Jefferson City, Missouri. We do know, however, that the 1880 census for Ohio shows a certain George Kallenbach was living in the township of Salem in Ottawa County, not far from Cleveland. Unfortunately no relationship can be inferred nor can we assume that this particular George Kallenbach was related to Valentine.

A search of available U.S. census records at the time of Valentine's arrival in 1860 indicates that only one Kallenbach was recorded in the 1860 census and that person was Henry Kallenbach living in New York. Ten years later in 1870 the available U.S. census records show a Jacob Kallenbach living in California, a Christine Kallenbach living in St. Louis and an Andrew Kallenbach living in Illinois. Census records for the U.S. during the mid-1800's are undoubtedly incomplete or missing but by 1880 there still were fewer than 20 Kallenbach's noted on these U.S. census records.

One of Johann Valentine Kallenbach's old family trunks was stamped with the word Frankfurt. From this it is assumed that he and his family traveled from his home town in or near Leimbach, Germany northward to Frankfurt and then further north to the port of Bremen, Germany where his family sailed for New York City. A railway map of Germany for that era shows a rail line traversing this route. Unfortunately, all German passenger documents regarding the ship Louisiana and its May 1860 passage to America were lost during allied bombing raids in World War II.

Why Valentine Kallenbach and his family chose Tuscumbia, Missouri as their final destination in America is unknown. The town is located on the north bank of the Osage River. It is almost in the geographical center of both Miller County and the state of Missouri. The land which Tuscumbia sits on was designated the county seat even before an actual town was established there. The first real evidence of western civilization in Tuscumbia was a small log cabin nearby the "Shut-in" branch (or stream) which flows into the Osage. This apparently was the location of a trading post for dealing with the local Indians. The log cabin was constructed during the 1820's by the Dixon family who gave Tuscumbia its name. They arrived at this spot on the Osage River from a village in northern Alabama called Tuscumbia which had been named after an Indian chief whom the Dixon's admired. Indian chief Tuscumbia then lived along the Tennessee River in northern Alabama. The Dixon's decided to name their new Indian trading post in Missouri by the same name as the Indian chief they so admired in Alabama. Some fifteen to twenty years later the Dixon family no longer owned the trading post at Tuscumbia, Missouri because by 1837 all of the surrounding land had been acquired by a man named Harrison who had emigrated there from Virginia. Harrison offered some of his land around Tuscumbia to Miller County if they would establish it as the new County seat of government. The offer was accepted.

In addition to Tuscumbia becoming the County seat, it also became a thriving way station along the Osage River. A great deal of steamboat traffic arrived and departed there and a considerable number of these boats plied the Osage River from around the time of the Civil War up until 1900. The names of the steamboats of this long ago era owned by well to do people of Tuscumbia were the "Fredrick", "Alice Gray", "Hugo", J.R. Wells", "Ruth", and the "Homer C. Wright." A couple of steamboats were actually built in Tuscumbia. The "Ruth", for instance, was built by Dan Tomson (also Thompson), whose sister Cora Belle Tomson (also Thompson), later married Valentine's son William Kallenbach. The Hauenstein's and Marshall's were the principal owners of many of these steamboats which hauled freight and people up and down the Osage River.

Valentine apparently spoke only German when he arrived in America but his wife Mary Magdolena could seemingly converse, and perhaps write in broken English. In his later years, after living in America for some time, he did learn to converse in English. However, in their log cabin home near Tuscumbia we know that only German was spoken among Valentine and his immediate family. John Edward Kallenbach, son of Valentine, related to Joseph Ernest Kallenbach (1903-1991) the fact that German was always spoken between Valentine and his family members at home. Some six years after Valentine purchased his farm he was required to appear at a trial in Tuscumbia on 28 August, 1866. We know that during the trial Valentine required the use of a translator to address the court. This was a trial against a man who had threatened to use a gun to kill Valentine and one of his cows. The man who made the threat was a farm hand hired by Valentine to work for him. With the help of William H. Hauenstein as the court's translator, Valentine Kallenbach handily won the case. The man who made the threats, Abraham J. Hoagland, was required to pay the court a $100 bond for his breach of the peace.

Valentine built a loom, and being skilled as a weaver of fine cloth, he wove coverlets and Linsey-Woolsey cloth for his growing family and his neighbors. He also farmed the land. Seven children were born to Valentine and Mary Magdolena. The last two were twin boys named Charles Melton and John Milton, born 7 January 1875. Sadly, Charles Melton died at the age of three months. Valentine made a little wooden coffin for the dead infant and he was buried in a serene spot under the trees, not far from the log cabin. Stories were often told by Cora Belle Tomson, who with her husband William Kallenbach, owned the old Kallenbach farm site for 61 years, that on the exact site where baby Charles Melton was buried there sometimes appeared a soft blue-white light. Her grandchildren often would gaze at the hillside burial site in awe and anticipation they too might witness such an event.

Five months after baby Charles Melton died, the young auburn haired mother, Maria Magdolena, died quite unexpectedly at the relatively young age of 38. She died on 3 September 1875 of an abdominal ailment leaving seven young children motherless. Her ailment presumably was appendicitis. When she died her youngest son John Milton was only eight months old; Emma Augusta was three; William (who later married Cora Belle Tomson) was five and a half; Mary was nine; and Louise Kallenbach was 14. A story is handed down that on the warm September day of Maria's death, Valentine was outside the house chopping wood. The sky was clear blue with no clouds. Quite suddenly, a single, very mysterious stroke of lightning bolted across the sky. This startling event has never been explained. Valentine continued to live at home for the next 24 years. He and his children did the best they could to manage as a family following the death of their mother Maria. Stories are told of Valentine continuing to care for the surviving infant John Milton. He often would get up at night to fetch warm cow's milk when his baby son cried. It was not an easy task for this man, then approaching 60 years of age, to carry this heavy burden of responsibility.

Valentine began fathering children with his second wife Maria when he was 45. His last children, twin boys John Milton and Charles Melton, were born when he was just two month shy of his 59th birthday. Within the Kallenbach--Thompson family tree, it is Valentine Kallenbach who holds the record for fathering children at the oldest age. Only Valentine's son, Henry Kallenbach (by his first wife Anna,) and Green Lee Tomson (the father of Cora Belle) even come close to Valentine's record. Both Henry Kallenbach and Green Lee Tomson fathered their last children when they were 55 years old.

Two years before Valentine's death in 1897 he sold his farm to his son William Kallenbach, who five years earlier had married Cora Belle Tomson. William and Cora were then living in Valentine's log cabin. It is said that Valentine suffered greatly from arthritis pain during his final years. He was 83 years old at the time of his death. Johann Valentine Kallenbach was buried next to his second wife Mary Magdolena in the Tuscumbia cemetery in September 1899. His son William and wife Cora Belle also were buried in the same cemetery near William's emigrant parents.

A description of Valentine Kallenbach and his home and farm near Tuscumbia, Missouri was prepared in 1968 by Clara Mae (Kallenbach) Huegerich (1879-1972). Clara Mae was the daughter of Valentine's son George Kallenbach (1851-1889) who married Mary Ann Jeruwsha (Wright) Kallenbach. George was the youngest son of Valentine by his first wife Anna Scharfenberg. When Clara Mae's mother Mary Ann and father George died suddenly in January 1889, she went to live as a foster child in the home of Valentine. She was a young girl of 10 at the time and Valentine was then 73.

The following paragraphs in quotes are Clara Mae's own words written when she was 89 years old. They record her remembrances of Valentine Kallenbach and his farm near Tuscumbia, Missouri:

"It was a large creek valley farm along a large creek -- the little Saline on one side and a wooded hill on the other with plenty of fields to raise all we needed and sell some, for what they raised and sold is all the way they had of getting money."

"In the fields were raised corn and wheat and a good garden; and meadows for hay and to let the cattle graze some. All, farm products were gathered in when ripe except the young corn. Some of that was gotten in to eat by the family when very young and tender. And there were some fruit trees scattered over the farm, but there was a regular orchard on the hill. Fruit was mostly apples and peaches that also had to be canned for winter use. In the woods were wild cherries, plums and mulberry trees, black haws and red hews. And on small bushes were huckleberries, some strawberries and lots of blackberries to make pies and be canned for winter use."

"The men folks raised horses, cattle, pigs and sheep -- also many chickens and geese -- no ducks. The feathers from the geese were used to make warm feather beds for us to sleep between in winter. And the wool cut from the sheep's back was washed and taken to a carding mill which was run by the power of water from a very large spring. The wool, cut from the sheep's backs was washed and taken to the Wright's carding mill which was run by the power of water from a very large spring. It then was turned into long rolls and prepared for grandpa's use on his big loom he brought from Germany for he was a weaver as well as a farmer. Clara Mae remembered wearing dresses Valentine wove, and he made blankets so nice and warm, and heavy blue cloth to make men's pants."

"There were rabbits, squirrels and quail, all of which were good to eat. The o'possums and raccoons were not good to eat. There were lots of snakes in those days -- copperheads, rattlesnakes and big black snakes that would swallow hen eggs and small chicks if they found them."

"Grandpa's (Valentine K.) house was a large log cabin with a summer kitchen where I would wash dishes and sing as I washed. And when the time came that we two orphans must go to school, we had to walk about one and a half miles through all kinds of bad weather to the little (Wright) school house. But it was a good life."

A story told by Valentine's son John Edward is that a severe drought affected central Missouri during the 1870's and caused tremendous hardship on the Kallenbach family. Accompanying the drought was an infestation of grasshoppers or locusts. As a consequence the crops failed and the family's food supply during the following winter was seriously affected. The family had been entirely dependent upon what they raised for food. By the end of the following winter their food supply was entirely exhausted such that the only food they had to live on was corn bread, parched corn and sow belly from a semi-wild hog Valentine had managed to stalk and kill in the woods.

During Valentine's final years he became somewhat crippled with arthritis, and it is said he was confined to a wheel-chair, partly because of having been butted by a goat. During that time he was cared for by his son William who was then married to Cora Belle Tomson. Valentine died on September 1899. His burial place is alongside that of his wife Maria and is marked by a stone in the Tuscumbia, Mo. cemetery.

Many stories were told of the strength and determination of Valentine the man. Once when returning home after paying his taxes he came upon a group of men butchering hogs. The location of the site was several miles distance from his home near Tuscumbia. He purchased one of the butchered hogs by bartering his beautifully embossed gun powder pouch used for his muzzle-loader gun which he carried for protection. Both the gun and the pouch were made in Germany. After making the trade he then proceeded to carry the pig carcass, weighing over 100 pounds, to his home some 15 miles away. He simply hoisted it on his back and trudged the distance (Note: the gun, photo 07 above, now is on display in our museum).

Wilma (Page) Kallenbach (1907-1978) was the first wife of Harry Kallenbach, a grandson of Valentine Kallenbach. She did much early research and genealogy on the Kallenbach family and related many stories of the legendary strength of Valentine Kallenbach in his middle years. Valentine, she recalls from accounts, was able to lift and carry a whole hog great distances, or to hoist a log or clear a field -- yet he was tender and kind to the orphaned infants he cared for. Angered by the Prussian militants, Valentine was capable of patriotism for the Union cause in the Civil War. He taught his children to love the soil and to cherish his adopted country. His children adapted so readily to life in central Missouri that he apparently never looked back to his European roots.


After talking with Royal and learning about his family history I thought it would be interesting to take a tour with him of the Little Saline Creek valley and let him point out to me who was living where a hundred and more years ago. After admiring his large garden (photo 11) we left his house in Eldon and traveled south on route M turning right after a short distance onto a recently black topped road which passes through some of the prettiest scenery in Miller County.

11 Royal's Garden
11 Royal's Garden

This area is made up of hills and valleys which have rapidly flowing creeks with flat rock bottoms fed by numerous small springs hidden by ferns and large trees (photo 12). One large sycamore along the road Royal rememberd as the same one he walked by when he was a boy (photo 13).

12 Spring Fed Creek
12 Spring Fed Creek

 

13 Old Sycamore Tree
13 Old Sycamore Tree

Soon we came to a large white house which was built in 1903 by Royal's uncle, Dan Thompson, the carpenter. I discussed Dan in this space several weeks ago (5 12 2008). Presently, Mr. and Mrs. Chet Zuck live here have bought the property several years ago. They have spent much time and effort restoring it to its original beauty (photo 14).

14 Dan Thompson - Zuck Home
14 Dan Thompson - Zuck Home

The Chickpea tree in the yard is the same one as when Royal was a boy except it is larger (photo 15). Royal remembered black snakes would crawl up the tree trunk to catch insects to eat, sometimes hanging off a branch wagging their heads from one side to another surveying the other branches of the tree.

15 Old Chickpea Tree
15 Old Chickpea Tree

Mrs. Zuck met us in the yard and showed us around pointing out the many areas of landscaping they have laboriously placed around the property.

Then we and the Zucks' traveled on down the Little Saline Creek road to go to the original Kallenbach property which was where Johann Valentin built his first home and where the Zuck's son, Clint and his family, live. On the way we passed by a rather large hill. Royal said this hill was called, simply enough, "High Hill (photo 16)."

16 High Hill
16 High Hill

Royal said that in the winter time when the leaves were off the trees you could see in the distance five different towns in Miller County. Once he cut thirty thousand feet of logs off this hill and with a team of horses brought them down to the valley below.

Then we reached the Kallenbach home place. One can appreciate how new and fresh it looks after the renovation by Mr. and Mrs. Zuck and son, Clint (photo 17).

17 Kallenbach Original Home Place
17 Kallenbach Original Home Place

The website by Don Blankenship copied above has a photo of this same house nearly one hundred years ago (photo 18).

18 Old Kallenbach Home - 1913
18 Old Kallenbach Home - 1913

Here is a photo of a framed picture of the house taken in the fall of the year quite a few years ago (photo 19).

19 Kallenbach Home in the Fall
19 Kallenbach Home in the Fall

Royal confirms the story told above from the Blankenship website that the original home was a log house. A second house was destroyed by fire in 1913. The family had to live in a smoke house (photo 20) until the third one was built, the one pictured in the previous three photos. The new house was built by Royal's uncle Dan Thompson and this is the house which is standing today and which has been so beautifully renovated by the Zuck family.

20 Original Smoke House
20 Original Smoke House

In the narrative above from the Blankenship website the story was told of the young Kallenbach baby, Robert Melton, dying soon after birth. As noted in the story the baby was buried just behind the house next to the hill under two cedar trees and marked by a stone. Over the years the cedar trees have died and the stone has fallen and the lettering has worn off. However, the Zucks sculptured a cross out of the trunk of the old cedar tree as a remembrance of the baby who died so many years ago (photo 21).

21 Burial Site of Robert Melton Kallenbach
21 Burial Site of Robert Melton Kallenbach

Walking around the yard Royal pointed out the hog slaughtering tree, a large walnut tree which had a strong long branch extending off the trunk where the slain hogs were hung to bleed. In later years that branch has fallen off but the tree remains (photo 22).

22 Hog Hanging Tree
22 Hog Hanging Tree

The old barn remains and is in good repair thanks to some rehabilitation by the Zucks' (photo 23). Inside one could see the way the support beams were put together by Royal's uncle Dan Thompson (photo 24). Royal was able to remember the names of the five horses stabled in the barn and which stable each had for its own.

23 Original Barn
23 Original Barn

 

24 Support Beams
24 Support Beams

Inside the home Royal reminisced about happenings of long ago as he passed through each room. Although the home was built by Royal's grandfather, Johann Valentine Kallenbach, it was Royal's father, Will, who ended up with the farm and home after Johann passed away purchasing it from the other heirs. So Royal and his brothers and sisters were the ones to grow up in it and farm the surrounding creek bottom land.

The Zucks' added to the beauty of the home by asking the well known local Eldon artist, Anita Rogers, to paint some scenes of the farm on a door in the drawing room (photo 25). Also featured in the drawing room is a carving on the stair step post done by the builder of the house, Dan Thompson (photo 26).

25 Painting on Door
25 Paintings on Door

 

26 Carving on Post
26 Carving on Post

After thanking the Zucks' for their hospitality Royal and I went on down the road a ways to the Wright Spring. The spring comes up out of the creek valley in a dispersed sort of way forming a large pond out of which the water emerges to form a fast running creek which eventually empties into the Little Saline Creek. Here is a photo (photo 27) of the spring water where it has been concentrated into a trough to lead to the creek away from the pond.

27 Wright Spring
27 Wright Spring

At one time a small mill was operated here Royal says, but a little farther down the creek is where the famous Wright Carding mill was located, built by James Lawrence Wright when he owned the land. The mill no longer is standing but here is an old photo of it (photo 28).

28 Wright Carding Mill at Wright Spring on the Little Saline Creek
28 Wright Carding Mill at Wright Spring on the Little Saline Creek

For orientation to this area is a map taken from the Blankenship website which displays the relative locations of the Dan Thompson home, the original Kallenbach homeplace, and the Wright Spring (photo 29).

29 Map of Kallenbach - Thompson Homes and Wright Mill
29 Map of Kallenbach - Thompson Homes and Wright Mill
Click image for larger view

Going on down the gravel road from the location of the Wright Spring we went by the location where the Wright One Room school was located (photo 29a). It no longer is standing. The photo was from the collection of Ruth Wells who is the one who wrote the caption. The Wells farm was located just a mile or two to the south.

29a Wright School
29a Wright School

Then we came upon the old Saline Valley Church of Christ where the Kallenbach and Wright families went to church. It is still an active church (photo 29b). Here is a painting of the church by Francesca Wright (photo 29c).

29b Saline Valley Church of Christ
29b Saline Valley Church of Christ

 

29c Saline Valley Church of Christ - Painted by Francesca Wright
29c Saline Valley Church of Christ - Painted by Francesca Wright

Then we came upon the farm owned by John Kallenbach, son of Johann by his first wife, and farms owned by John's sons, Edison and Fritz Kallenbach. John Kallenbach (photo 30) was the well known Tuscumbia black smith and wagon maker.

30 John Kallenbach
30 John Kallenbach

The photo just noted is in the possession of Brice Kallenbach of Eldon, one of John's grandsons. John had a blacksmith shop in Tuscumbia across from the old Woodman Hall building. One of his wagons now is owned by Brice, who has loaned it to our Miller County Historical Society for parade events (photo 31). I am sure it gave us the extra feature needed to enable us to win two blue ribbons last year when we participated in community parades.

31 Kallenbach Wagon
31 Kallenbach Wagon

Here is a photo of John Kallenbach along with his half brothers Will, Ed, and Milton (photo 32). As noted above, Will was Royal's father.

32 John, William, Ed and Milton Kallenbach
32 John, William, Ed and Milton Kallenbach

John was well known in the community for which reason he was elected to serve as circuit clerk (photo 33).

33 John Kallenbach - Circuit Clerk
33 John Kallenbach - Circuit Clerk

Being mechanically adept, he had one of the first cars in town (photo 34).

34 John Kallenbach with First Car
34 John Kallenbach with First Car

Ed Kallenbach, another son of Johann by his second wife, lived in Tuscumbia on the east side in what is known as the Crackerneck area. He had a large home on the hill (photo 35) which is still standing and was built by Dan Thompson. Ed had three sons well known in Tuscumbia. One son, Joseph Kallenbach, is pictured in (photo 06 above) and as noted there, became a professor of Political Science at the University of Michigan.

35 Ed Kallenbach Home
35 Ed Kallenbach Home

Dewey, another older son, stayed in Tuscumbia and was known as being a genius mechanic and woodworker. Later he owned an appliance store. Here is a photo of Dewey and Charles McDowell, the stone mason who built the old field stone hardware store for Anchor Mill which now serves as our museum (photo 36) In this photo of Dewey and Charles, improvements were being made to the Tuscumbia Cemetery financed by a gift from Hollywood producer, Paul Henning, whose wife, and subsequently himself, were buried there.

36 Dewey Kallenbach and Charles McDowell
36 Dewey Kallenbach and Charles McDowell
Click image for larger view

Leonard Kallenbach ran a grocery store for many years near the courthouse. He also was circuit clerk for awhile (photo 37). Both Dewey and Leonard worked in the old Hauenstein's Store when Mrs. Ida Hauenstein owned it.

37 Leonard Kallenbach - Deputy Circuit Clerk - 1914
37 Leonard Kallenbach - Deputy Circuit Clerk - 1914

So this is Royal's family history. But this history is so much more interesting if one has the opportunity to talk to Royal in person. His memory is excellent and he can recount one old story after another as long as you want to listen. For my part, being born and raised in the area, knowing several of Royal's kin folk, and having gone to school with some of them, I never get bored.


Last week our country celebrated Independence Day once again. This day, commonly known as the Fourth of July, is a federal holiday commemorating the adoption of the Declaration of Independence on July 4, 1776, declaring independence from the Kingdom of Great Britain. One of the symbols most demonstrated during this time of celebration is our national flag. A few weeks ago I featured the collection of memorabilia owned by Al Kliethermes of Eldon having to do with the Bicentennial of that event which was celebrated in our country during 1976. One of the items of Al's display is a beautiful book containing photographs of paintings by various artists having to do with the Declaration of Independence, one of which depicts Betsy Ross sewing the first official flag of the United States (photo 38).

38 Betsy Ross
38 Betsy Ross

Not so long ago I learned that a great great granddaughter of Betsy Ross was our own Mrs. Carl T. Buehler of Eldon (photo 39).

39 Mr. and Mrs. Carl T. Buehler Sr.
39 Mr. and Mrs. Carl T. Buehler Sr.

Carl had a pharmacy for many years in Eldon and his son, Carl Jr. was a medical doctor in Eldon. So I thought it would be appropriate to reproduce here an article from the Kansas City Star about Mrs. Buehler's famous grandmother:

Kansas City Star

July, 14, 1962

Betsy Ross Story

Some pages are missing from the early day history of the United Sates flag. But, in spite of efforts some years ago to discredit the best known story about the first Stars and Stripes, Mrs. Rachel Albright Buehler of Eldon (photo 40) is certain it was made by her great great grandmother.

40 Mrs. Carl Buehler
40 Mrs. Carl Buehler
Click image for larger view

Mrs. Buehler's great great grandmother was Mrs. Elizabeth Griscom Ross Ashburn Claypoole. She is best remembered, of course, as Betsy Ross.

Almost every American is familiar with the story of how the pretty Betsy deftly snipped from red, white and blue cloth the proud new emblem off the still embattled 13 colnies while General George Washington and others watched in admiration.

Heard Story Often

"My grandmother told me about it many times when I visited in her home in Fort Madison, Iowa," Mrs. Buehler, a handsome, white haired lady of 71, says proudly. Her grandmother was Mrs. Rachel Wilson Albright, who was born in Betsy's home in Philadelphia in 1812 (photo 41).

41 Granddaughter of Betsy Ross
41 Granddaughter of Betsy Ross
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"From the time when I was about 8 years old until I was 15 or 16 I would go each summer to Fort Madison to visit my grandmother," Mrs. Buehler recalls. "My father would put me on a train in St. Louis, where we lived, and entrust me to the care of the conductor.

"As we shined the silver or did other housework, she would tell me about Betsy making the first flag. She was very proud and retold the story many times, recounting how she had been told of the historic event first hand by her grandmother Betsy when she was a child.

"Grandmother Albright told of Betsy's meeting with General Washington, Colonel George Ross (an uncle by marriage) and Robert Morris in Betsy's home to discuss the making of a flag.

"Washington and the others had been commissioned by the Congress to obtain a suitable flag and they had a sketch which they showed my great great grandmother. It had stripes which some say may have come from Washington's coat of arms and which others believe came from the flag of the East India Company. It also had 6 point stars but Betsy convinced the group that they should be 5 point stars and quickly clipped such a star from paper to show her distinguished visitors."

Betsy Ross was a 24 year old widow at the time of the flag making incident. Her first husband, John Ross, had been killed in the war between the colonists and the British. She had defied her strict Quaker parents and married the Philadelphia upholsterer and had continued his work after his death.

Another of Betsy's suggestions, Mrs. Buehler said she was told, was that the 13 stripes be retained as they were to represent the 13 original colonies and that stars be added in the future to indicate new states. Her idea was accepted at the time but later was abandoned temporarily before being restored and retained until the present.

Certain of Veracity

"There would have been no reason for my great great grandmother to misrepresent the facts about making the flag," Mrs. Buehler declares, "because at that time she was young enough to had had a full recollection of Betsy's conversation."

Mrs. Buehler's relationship to Betsy Ross is through her father's family. Her father was Daniel Albright, a son of Mrs. Rachel Wilson Albright, who was a daughter of Mrs. Clarissa Claypoole Wilson. Mrs. Wilson. Mrs. Wilson was one of five daughters born of Betsy's third marriage. The famous flag maker also had two children by her second husband (but none by John Ross).

Nearly 40 years ago, a University of Arkansas professor said his research indicated that Francis Hopkinson, a member of the second Continental Congress, had designed the first flag. But the story of Betsy Ross as the maker of the first flag, and instrumental to some extent in its design, has prevailed.

Mrs. Buehler is not interested in the nearly forgotten challenge of Betsy Ross. Her interests lie in helping her husband, Carl T. Buehler, in the operation of their drug store here, and with their son, Dr. Carl T. Buehler, Jr. of Eldon and two grandchildren.

"No," Mrs. Buehler answers with a smile, "I have never made a flag myself, and no one has ever asked me to. But perhaps I do take just a little more pride in our flag than the average person because of my great great grandmother. I hope it always will remain a symbol of freedom."

Why is Mrs. Buehler so certain the story of Betsy Ross is true?

"Because my grandmother told me so." She says.


Thanks to Mildred Messersmith Gray (photo 42), I have obtained some information about two gentlemen I remember always seeing around Hauenstein's General Store in Tuscumbia when I was a young boy.

42 Mildred Messersmith Gray - Age 90 - 2007
42 Mildred Messersmith Gray - Age 90 - 2007

They were the Williams brothers familiarly known as Catfish (Charles) and Friday (Willard). They didn't have regular jobs but helped out some around the store when needed. Catfish was the driver for Dr. Kouns since he never learned how to drive a car. Apparently, Dr. Koons had a fear of cars because it was said he would keep the door open with one foot sticking out in case he had to make a fast escape. How Catfish got his name is uncertain but the story was that he was fishing one day and got a fish hook caught in his lip. Friday's name I never did learn for sure the etiology. While those readers not from Tuscumbia may not have heard of the two brothers most Tuscumbia natives have and they may be interested in reading Mildred's note to me:

"I remember the Williams family very well. I know the men were the object of such amusement. I will tell you what I know. In 1900 the family lived in Equality Township. My record does not say Tuscumbia so it may have been after 1900 that Nancy and her brothers lived in the little house near the cemetery. The family in 1900 was too big for that little house. I will enclose the census so you can see for yourself as well as the cemetery listing (photo 43, photo 44 and photo 45). It looks like they came from Indiana.

43 1900 Census 1
43 1900 Census 1
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44 1900 Census 2
44 1900 Census 2
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45 Tuscumbia Cemetery Names for Williams
45 Tuscumbia Cemetery Names for Williams
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Nancy had a son she named Riley. Everyone liked him and had the most respect for him. He was a good fellow. I think he was about the age of Robert (Stillwell) and Roger (Stillwell) and my brother (John Messersmith). They were all friends and Mr. Wright (T.C. Wright, the Tuscumbia School Superintendent) took special interest in Riley and encouraged him to be somebody. I think he may have become a county agent as some of T.C.'s other students did.

The men's names are a little bit confusing. I think they were really Willard and Charles. They had a third brother named Ab. Catfish is the one who was known as "Lantern Jaw." He hung out at Mrs. Hauenstein's store and my boy friend, later my husband, Bill Gray, nicknamed him Dewey's (Kallenbach) detective. My brother and the Stillwell brothers liked to say, "You can't laugh like Catfish Williams."

Catfish was Dr. Kouns' chauffeur. He had to be on call and they said that when they drove Dr. Kouns kept the door slightly open and his right foot in the doorway. Do you remember there were two or three houses hanging on the side of the bluff? Mr. Stillwell (W.S. Stillwell, well known attorney) built an office there but never used it much. I think it was Cat Williams who had a house just above that one. He actually married and had a little girl named Betty Lou, I think. She grew up and somehow was kidnapped into prostitution. Mr. Stillwell and another man or two helped rescue her. I heard that the Katz drugstore people had that as a side business…Kansas City we are talking about here.

One evening Mildred Stillwell (daughter of W.S. Stillwell) and some other young people were playing in the cemetery (I know that sounds strange) and Cat Williams scared them. He had a sheet around him and he rose up and said, "Howdy folksies!" They said that Mildred jumped that six foot fence. I wasn't among them…which is a wonder! She and I played together a lot. She was so funny!"

Thanks Mildred.

I also asked some other Tuscumbia residents last year if they would send me some of their memories about the Williams brothers. Marilyn (Barron) Bosso wrote me the following:

"They were two bachelors who lived up on the hill and who did odd jobs for Ida Hauenstein. She gave them two outfits of clothes every year. They fished on the river most of the time they weren't helping at the store."

Judson Berry, who sadly passed away earlier this year, also wrote me a line or two of his memories of the Williams brothers:

"Friday's hat was always greasy. Catfish wore a fedora. Friday usually sat on a nail keg on the front porch or else around on the north side porch on the well casing. They had a sister named Nancy who later married Arthur Edwards (he was famous for taking more ties to St. Louis by river than anyone else). They had a brother named Ab. Friday never talked much. He had a blind eye on the left which deviated down and always looked inflamed and red. He was very good at rolling cigarettes.

Catfish didn't work Saturdays at which time he put on his clean khakis and took the "mail hack" to Eldon for the purpose as he put it to "get drunk" which was followed quickly by the statement "boy do I hate it". Catfish was the driver for Dr. Koons and after Dr. Koons, Dr. Humphrey. Dr. Koons never learned to drive a car so he had Catfish drive him. Dr. Humphrey probably used him since at first he was new to the area and perhaps didn't know where everyone lived. I hope the good doctors had a substitute for Saturdays."

Thanks to all who wrote me the preceding information. What I remember the most about Catfish was that his laugh made almost a hysterical cackling sound and it could be evoked by what I would have considered rather "noneventful occurrences." The hat to which Judson referred as a Fedora was still being sold in those days at Hauenstein's store, left over from years before when they were more commonly worn. This was the type of hat that golfers used to wear, short brimmed and made of wool or felt (photo 46). Some of these hats were even present boxed up and stored on the second floor balcony area of the store when I was a boy. I bought several of them for twenty five cents each and sold them at school for a dollar.

46 Catfishs Hat Style
46 Catfishs Hat Style

The reason I am writing about the brothers now is because it seems odd to me that these two men, both of them eccentrics in their own way, were so much a part of the downtown scenery in Tuscumbia but no one paid them much attention. But their eccentricity captured a small place in the memory of my boyhood days growing up in Tuscumbia which in these later years raises questions about them that no one seemed to ask or care about back then. Everyone remembers them being there but hardly anyone (except as far as I can determine Mildred Messersmith) knew where they came from or even much of what happened to them. So I am hoping, just for the sake of my own curiosity, that someone will read this narrative and add some more information about this particular Williams family and especially Cat and Friday Williams.

Next Sunday July 13 is the scheduled date for our quarterly pot luck dinner. All members as well as guests are invited for this meeting of the general membership. No charge is made, just bring one of your favorite dishes for the table is enough. We will have a short business meeting of the members after the meal at which time progress made thus far as well as plans for the future will be discussed.

That's all for this week.

Joe Pryor



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