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Meyer stories

This is the story of the John and Barbara Meyer family in America, as set forth by Mrs. Rose Hemmesch in the late 1970's.  I've mostly just transcribed what she wrote.

John Meyer, Sr., born in 1813, and Barbara Engle both were born in Trier, Germany, where they were married and with 4 children--Barbara 13, John 11, Elizabeth 9, and Jacob 5--came to the U.S. in 1853, settling first near Dubuque, Iowa on 40 acres of land.

Hearsay is that 1 or 2 children died on ship and were buried at sea.  Enroute while in New York their oldest son John fell off a footbridge, breaking his leg.  He and his Mother had to stay in New York while the rest of the family continued on to Dubuque.

In Iowa 4 more children were born to them--Margaret 1854, Catherine 1856, Peter 1861, and Nick 1863.

It appears that by 1863 the family moved to Richmond, Minnesota on a boat up the Mississippi River to St. Cloud, Minn.  They continued on to Richmond, settling on a farm in Sec. 34, Munson Township, later sold to their daughter Catherine and Henry Braegelman, later owned by their son Bernard Braegelman.

Both parents ended their days on this farm at age 69 and 56 years.


1.  Barbara, born in Germany, came to America with her parents at age 13, settling near Dubuque, Iowa, where she at age 18 married Claudius Weber and settled in Richmond, Minn., close to the river where they had a brewery.  Here their youngest son Henry drowned at age 15 years.  13 children were born to them.  Barbara died at age 63, preceded in death by her husband and 2 children.

2.  John P., born in Germany, came to America with his parents at age 11 years.  Enroute while in New York he fell off a footbridge breaking his leg, and he and his mother had to stay in New York while the rest of the family continued on to Dubuque.  About 1863 he and his parents moved to Richmond, Minnesota, where he engaged in the hotel business for 3 years, after which he started farming in Sec. 4, Eden Lake Township.  He married Katherine Lemm and 10 children were born to them, 3 died in infancy.  In 1903 they retired to the village of Richmond where he lived to age 88; his wife and 1 son Jacob preceded him in death.  This farm is still in the Meyer family occupied by their grandson Leander.

3.  Elizabeth was born in Germany and came to America at age 9 years.  When she was 16 years old she married Joseph Lang in Dubuque, Iowa, the son of Conrad and Barbara Lang, who also immigrated to Iowa from Trier, Germany.  In 1866 Elizabeth and Joseph Lang with 3 children--Catherine, Barbara, and Angela--moved to Richmond, Minnesota and settled on a farm in Sec. 10, Eden Lake Township.  Here 4 more children were born to them.

In 1875 Joseph Lang, age 39, suffered a stroke or fell off his wagon, the horses continuing home by themselves.  This left Elizabeth a young widow of 31 with 7 young children ranging in age from 3 months to 14 years.  When her oldest 2 girls were married she sold this farm to her oldest daughter, Barbara, who married Sebastian Seidler, while Elizabeth moved farther north to Sec. 4, now the Flints farm.  In 1889 when her children were all grown up she sold this farm and married Michael Hammer who preceded her in death in 1913.  Elizabeth died in 1931 at age 87 preceded in death by 1 daughter.

4.  Jacob was born in Germany and came to America at age 5 years.  After moving to Richmond, Minnesota in 1863 Jacob married Julianna Meyer (no relation) and started farming in Sec. 1 in Lake Henry Township and Sec. 35 in Spring Hill Township.  This farm is now occupied by their great-grandson Allen Meyer.  Ten children were born to Jacob and Julianna, the youngest only 4 years old when Julianna died at age 48 years.  Later moving to Melrose, Minn., Jacob married Mrs. George Meyer (maiden name unknown) who had 4 children.  Jacob died at age 79 years, preceded in death by 5 children as well as his first wife.

5.  Margaret, the first child born in Iowa, came to Richmond, Minn. with her parents where she married Anton Frank who was born in Austria and settled in Roscoe, Minn.  They started farming in Sec. 29, Munson Township, now the Koetter farm, later retiring to the village of Roscoe.  Thirteen children were born to them.  Anton live to age 82 and Margaret 94, her husband and 1 son preceded her in death.

6.  Catherine was born near Dubuque, Iowa and came to Richmond, Minn. with her parents, where she married Henry Braegelman who was born in Oldenburg, Germany.  They farmed in Sec. 34, Munson Township, where 10 children were born to them.  They later left this farm to their son Bernard and retired to Richmond.  They celebrated their Golden Wedding anniversary and were married nearly 60 years when Catherine died at age 78 and Henry at age 96.  Two children preceded them in death.

7.  Peter was born near Dubuque, Iowa and moved with his parent to Richmond, Minn.  He married Catherine Winter and farmed in Sec. 3, Lake Henry Township, near Spring Hill (now the Klassen farm).  Eleven children were born to them.  Peter died at age 61, preceded in death by 2 children.

8.  Nick was born in 1863 near Dubuque, Iowa and went to Richmond, Minn. as a small child.  He started working as a farm hand at an early age, and engaged in business at Freeport, Minn. where he married Margaret Friedrich [or Friederick?].  After 3 years they moved to Melrose, Minn. where he operated the hotel for years and later owned a clothing store.  In addition, he had a real estate business at St. Gregor, Saskatchewan, Canada.  Eleven children were born to them.  Nick died at age 65 in Melrose, Minn.


My connection to the Meyer family:

    My great-great-great grandfather was John Meyer, Sr.  John and Barbara's eldest daughter, Barbara, married Claudius Weber, and Barbara and Claudius's daughter Catherine married John Ethen.  John and Catherine had a son, Louis Ethen, who was my mother's father.

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