- Barbara (Kraus) Kirmse
- Julius Kirmse
Portrait of Barbara (Kraus) and Julius Kirmse.
Circa 1900 – just a guess from their apparent ages.
Missouri – possibly Farrar, Missouri or Perryville, Missouri
The marriage record for Julius Kirmse and Barbara Kraus gives Julius’s surname with a phonetic spelling “Kermson”.
Julius Kermson To Mar Bet. Barbara Kraus
I subscriber do hereby certify that I have this day Julius Kermson & Barbara Kraus in the holy bonds of Matrimony. Perryville 20th Nov 1866. Fr Bessel Luth Pastor Recorded July 15th 1867. Attest James C Noell Recorder By Wm A Castam Depty
Perryville is the county seat of Perry County, Missouri where the marriage was recorded. Rev. Friedrich C. Bessel was pastor (1863-1872) of the Peace Evangelical Lutheran Church which is in Friedenberg, Missouri. Rev. Bessel also served as pastor (1864-1866) of Salem Lutheran Church, Farrar, Missouri of which Julius was a founding member (1859-1915).
There is no record of Julius and Barbara’s marriage in the Salem Lutheran Church records. The records of Peace Lutheran Church were destroyed when the parsonage burned in 1942. In an attempt to recreate the history of Peace Lutheran and Friedenberg, the Friedenberg Lutheran Historical Society prepared a book, “Friedenberg Remembrances: A Story of Peace, Faith and Life”, 1998 from a variety of sources. Neither Julius nor Barbara are mentioned in this book. Since, their marriage is not listed in the Salem Lutheran Church records, the recreated list of members in the Peace Lutheran history is from incomplete records, and Rev. Bessel officiated the marriage of Julius and Barbara, possibly it did occur in the church or parsonage of Peace Lutheran Church. Or, maybe the marriage took place somewhere in Perryville as the record states.
JULIUS KIRMSE (1835-1915) and BARBARA (KRAUS) KIRMSE (1842-1920)
Julius Kirmse, a German immigrant and a Union soldier in the Civil War, was a farmer for more than a half-century in Perry County, Missouri. He and his wife, Barbara, had seven children, all reaching adulthood except one.
Julius was born on February 6, 1835, in Fichtenhainichen. Duchy of Sashen-Altenburg (now Altenburger Land, Thuringen, Germany). According to the records of the Protestant Evangelical Church, Rositz, Sachsen-Altenburg, Julius was the legitimate son of Christoph Kirmse, native farmer of “Fichtenhaeynchen” (Fichtenhainichen), and his wife Justine nee Kratsch native of “Craasa” (Kraasa), 3rd child and 1st son of mother. He was baptized on February 15, 1835. His sponsors were Gottlieb Dietze, house owner and carpenter of Rositz; Marie Meuschke, housewife of Michael Meuschke of “Criebitsch” (Kriebitzsch) and Melchior Kratsch, neighbor and gardener of “Craasa” (Kraasa),
Julius spent his youth at home and family lore has it that at the age of 5 he herded family geese. Julius had two older sisters (Eva born April 5, 1830 and Maria born March 8, 1832) as well as half-brothers and half-sisters. At the age of 7, his mother passed away (October 21, 1842). His father later married Sophie Weigner and they had a son (Bernard born April 16, 1845). Julius’s father had previously been married to Marie Findersen (a native of Zipsendorf) with whom he had six children (Christine born February 21. 1820, Hermann born January 23, 1822; Melchior born August 9, 1824; Maria born January 26, 1826-died July 14, 1827; Jacob born April 5, 1827-died April 22, 1827; and Christoph born 13 October 1828) The mother Maria died after the birth of Christoph on November 24, 1828. Julius’s stepmother Sophie died August 4, 1854 and his father died on February 2, 1863.
On February 2, 1853, Kirmse was granted an emigration certificate from the Sachen-Altenburg authorities for permission to immigrate to America and was released from all duties of a subject of the Duchy of Altenburg. Before leaving home, Julius supposedly was befriended by a medical doctor who was returning to America and who subsequently paid Julius’s ship fare. The passenger list of the Bark Kosmos, Bremen arriving in the New York City port on April 22, 1853 includes Julius as traveling in steerage. The voyage from Bremen, Germany took 42 days during which time the drinking water ran out and everyone on board got seasick.
According to the Bark Kosmos ship manifest, when Julius debarked at New York’s port of entry, his final destination was Buffalo, New York. To work off his obligation to the doctor for payment of his ship fare, he took care of the doctor’s horses and kept one ready day and night in case the doctor should have to ride on a case. He also worked in a dry goods store where he learned English. He heard of a Lutheran community in southeastern Missouri and decided to seek out this group. After completing his year obligation, Julius moved to Illinois where he worked on the Illinois Central Railroad laying tracks.
No records are known of Julius or his whereabouts during the next four years. Family lore has that at one time he worked as a mud carrier for masonry construction. Family lore also has that he attended church services at Paitzdorf (now Uniontown) by 1855. Julius is listed as one of the founding members of the Salem Lutheran Church, Farrar, Missouri that held its first service the first Sunday after Easter in May 1859.
Kirmse was in Missouri by February 7, 1859 (Perry County Deeds 11:638-639), when he bought land in Perry County. He paid $105, about $2.62 per acre, to John B. and Joanna E. Foster, for 40 acres in Section 22 (Township 35 North Range 12 East), on a branch of Omete Creek, north of Farrar and southeast of Crosstown. Foster had purchased this tract, the northeast quarter of the northeast quarter section, and more at the US Land District Office at Jackson, Missouri.
Despite Kirmse’s earlier land purchase, he has not been found in Missouri’s 1860 census. The sellers, John B. and Joanna Foster, however, were enumerated (Perry County Federal Census 1860:617-618[#514]:39-40,1-2) with their eight year old son and two little girls. The thirty-one year old Missouri-born farmer still had land, valued at $1,000, in the immediate vicinity of the parcel that he had sold to Kirmse. Julius, however, does not appear in the census in either Perry County or St. Louis.
Kirmse was a twenty-six year old bachelor, in 1861 when the Civil War broke out. Like most of the German immigrant element in Missouri, a state severely divided in its loyalties, Kirmse supported the Union cause. In the summer of 1862, Kirmse enlisted as a private in Company C, 64th Regiment of Enrolled Missouri Militia, which was recruited mostly from Perry County. Colonel Robert M. Brewer was the regiment commanding officer and Captain John C. Ocks was in charge of Company C along with First Lieutenant Christian Popp and Second Lieutenant Thomas Hooss (who was promoted to the Regiment Adjutant) and Second Lieutenant Adam Hahn (Appendix to the Annual Report of the Adjutant-General of Missouri, 1863, p. 619). Enrolled militia regiments served mostly as local protection of roads, railways, bridges, and military installations. According to the Weekly Perryville Union paper, the 64th Regiment of Enrolled Missouri Militia also saw service in St. Genevieve, Fredericktown, Irondale, Pilot Knob, and Cape Girardeau. Kirmse served eight months in Company C.
In April of 1863, at Iron Mountain (Ironton), he was detached to Captain Eddlemon‘s Company B of the 8th Regiment Provisional Enrolled Missouri Militia. This regiment was commanded by Colonel McLane. The Provisional Enrolled Missouri Militia was a “picked force of men,” to be detailed from the Enrolled Missouri Militia, “for a more permanent service” (Appendix to the Annual Report of the Adjutant-General of Missouri, 1863, p. 149). On or about the first of October 1863, at Cape Girardeau, Private Kirmse became sick with a badly swollen liver and went home “for medical treatment and a different diet.” While Kirmse was absent, the 8th Provisional Regiment was ordered to Ironton and disbanded.
When he recovered from his illness, Kirmse was transferred to Captain Henry Little’s Company E of Kirmse’s old 64th Regiment. According to the regiment roster of officers (Appendix to the Annual Report of the Adjutant-General of Missouri, 1863, p. 619), First Lieutenant Jos. A Abernathy and Second Lieutenant Joseph Wormack were officers of Company E at that time. He served thereafter in Company E until March 12, 1865, when the entire Enrolled Missouri’ Militia was vacated.
As Kirmse would testify later, all his military service “was rendered free gratis, for I never received one cent for pay. When the 8th Prov. E.M.M. was paid, I was absent on detached service and on Novbr. 6, 1863 (date of disbanding of Regt.), I was absent, sick as aforesaid.”
After the war, Kirmse returned to his farm in Perry County.
On November 20, 1866 (Perry County Marriage Records #2656), Julius Kirmse was married to Barbara Krause. Reverend John Bisel, pastor of Friendenburg Lutheran Church, performed the ceremony. The bride was a native of Bayern (Bavaria), was born on May 17, 1842, and immigrated to the USA via New Orleans and Cape Girardeau in 1862.
The couple settled on his farm, near Farrar, where they became parents of seven children, Marie, who was born February 7, 1868; John, born October 3, 1869, but died less than twenty-six days later; Karl (Charles) August, born September 2, 1870; Joseph, born January 18, 1873; William Kirmse, who was born on May 21, 1875; Louis, born October 9, 1877, and Johanne Katarina Kirmse, who was born on June 13, 1880.
On August 22, 1870 (Perry County Deeds 16:163), Kirmse doubled the size of his farm by purchasing an adjoining 40 acres from John B. Foster and his second wife, Catherine. This time, he paid $1 an acre for land in the southeast quarter of the northeast quarter of Section 22. Two factors may have contributed to the lower sales price: fallow land on behalf of Foster and the economic Panic of 1870.
Kirmse was a substantial farmer as shown by relatively high, $1,000 valuation of his farm in 1870 (Perry County Federal Census 1870:278[#14]:34-36).
In October, 1871 (Perry County Naturalizations October 29, 1871), Kirmse filed for naturalization, rejecting fidelity to the King of Saxony and was granted United States citizenship by Perry County’s Circuit Court. This was not an unusual procedure for Civil War veterans although they automatically became citizens when they pledged allegiance to the U.S. upon enlisting in the Union Army. Due to circumstances of his service, however, Kirmse had no military discharge paper.
The Special Census of Union Veterans, Pensioners & Widows (Perry Special Census 1890:[2#77]:20), did confirm his Civil War service, although his name is misspelled, “Kairmsa.”
On January 18, 1892, he applied for an invalid pension, complaining of a hernia, bronchitis, rheumatism, piles and disease of liver and respiratory organs (National Archives, CW R-l .084.993). His claim and subsequent appeals were rejected, however, for want of a record of his having received an official discharge. (Actually, compiled records of the Enrolled Militia were notoriously incomplete, owing to defective character of returns made to Missouri’s Adjutant General. Only records of officers were kept, and few, if any, rosters of enlisted men were maintained. The fact that officers and men were frequently transferred from one command to another or merged into new organizations made it impossible to trace members of various units.)
In 1900 (Perry County Federal Census 1900:ED77:11 [#205]:16-21), Julius reports being a farmer. Ten years later (Perry County Federal Census 19-1910:ED 65:8[#146]:37-41), he still listed his occupation as farmer, although he rented out his farm.
The original house on the Kirmse farm was a log cabin. Kirmse later built a three-room house, the walls of which are a solid gravel material. The log cabin was later torn down and a new frame six-room house was added to the three-rooms. The farm is now owned and lived on by Julius’s granddaughter Helen Kirmse Hacker and her family. The farm was designated a Missouri Century Farm through the University of Missouri Extension Center in 1986.
Julius Kirmse died of acute bronchitis on December 12, 1915 (Missouri Vital Records Perry Deaths 1915:#2781). He was nearly eighty-one years old, survived by his wife, Barbara, and six grown, married children and numerous grandchildren (Perry County Probate, Estates #2352). His remains were interned in the graveyard of Salem Lutheran Church, at Farrar.
Barbara Kirmse survived her husband by almost five years. She died of influenza on February 20, 1920 (Missouri Vital Records Perry Deaths 1920:#8314). She was over seventy-seven years old. She, too, was buried in Salem Lutheran’s cemetery.
Originally researched and written for Norma Martha (Kirmse) Rauh,
by Robert E. Parkin, Genealogical R&P, December 5, 1991.
Revised and updated with additional information by Dale W. Kirmse March 23, 2009.
- Source Information – Ancestry.com. Missouri, Marriage Records, 1805-2002 [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations, Inc., 2007. Original data: Missouri Marriage Records. Jefferson City, MO, USA: Missouri State Archives. Microfilm.