Kohmueller Farmstead

 Fredrick Kohmoller or “Kohmueller” of Krukun, Hannover Province, Germany, was born in 1805. He came to the United States in late 1843 or early 1844. He wanted to come sooner when some others of his family and neighborhood emigrated, but stayed to settle some legal matters for his family. In September 1842, Fredrick and his sister Marie and brother John Henry sued in Melle for settlement of the Kohmueller estate at Krukum. Fredrick had his interest and represented the interests of other members of his family that had already gone to America. The partition of the estate was made in May 1843. Fredrick left for America after that action.

In November 1843 Fredrick immigrated to St. Louis, Missouri. On February 1844, Fredrick bought 80 acres of land on the west edge of Washington, Mo. The land was the west ½ of the northeast quarter of Section 21 and included a small log home. He purchased the land and home from Andrew McCallister for $900. The land had several fairly level areas and contained rich topsoil. Under the soil was clay deposits that were good for pottery and bricks.

On April 26, 1844, Fredrick (age 39) marries his first wife, Anna Maria Thiemann, in St. Louis. She was 20 years younger than he. Fredrick and Anna Maria (who is shown on the 1850 Census as Christina) had seven children.

                       *George Heinrich – born June 9, 1844 – died August 23, 1844

                        Henry Louis – born September 29, 1846 – died May 26, 1921

                        George Fredrick – born March 5, 1849 – died November 15, 1910

                        *August Fredrick – born May 10, 1851 – died October 30, 1859

                        *Eduard – born November 10, 1853 – died April 12, 1856

                        *Fredrick – born April 10, 1856 – died August 16, 1857

                        *Maria Christina – born May 1, 1859 – died May 1, 1859

                                    (* Died before age of nine.)

 Anna Maria (Thiemann) Kohmueller died in childbirth on May 1, 1859. Born in 1823, Anna was 36 years old.  She, along with all the above named children except Henry Louis and George Fredrick, are buried on the grounds of the farm, along Grand Avenue on the hillside south of the house and the 1908 barn.

Fredrick operated a clay mine on the southwest corner of the 80 acre property. Clay was mined and shipped by train to brick makers in St. Louis. After the death of Fredrick, son Louis continued to operate the clay mine.

In 1859 Fredrick married widow Anna Gronefeld at St. Peters Evangelical Church in Washington. She is approximately 50 years old at this time with a birthday about 1809. She had four grown children (two boys and two girls) living in St. Louis.  Anna died in 1875 at about age 66.

In 1864, Confederate soldiers under the command of General Marmaduke marched across the farmstead on their way west to Miller’s Landing (now New Haven).  St. John’s Road (now west Fifth street) crossed the southern portion of the 80 acres. On October 1, 1864, 18-year old Louis joined Company A of the 54th Enrolled Missouri Militia. He was mustered out on November 14, 1864.

In 1866, seventeen-year old George Fredrick went to live with his step-sisters and brothers in St. Louis. In 1873 he married Anna Niemann and they had one daughter.

Although Frederick was still officially the property owner in 1878, it appears that the house and smokehouse were built under the supervision of son Louis. A notice in the Washington Missourian newspaper in November of 1878 stated that Mittendorf and Theerman had received from Louis Kohmueller $435 “on account of house.”

Two months later another notice ran in the newspaper stating Mittendorf and Theerman had received $419 “in full of account.” Washington history lists John H. Mittendorf as being a carpenter. Louis used the clay on the property to build a three room brick house and a brick smokehouse. The house was completed in 1879. In 1908 a large barn was built on the property and still stands at this time.

The date of death for Fredrick is not known. Tax records for 1880 still reflected the property in Fredrick's name. Tax records for 1885 reflect the property in Louis' name. Fredrick's burial place is also unknown but was probably in the family burial plot on the farm with his first wife and children. After Fredrick's death, Louis continued to farm and operate the clay mine.

In 1878, Louis married Anna Charlotte Rueter. Anna Charlotte was born August 21, 1857 and lived until April 18, 1939. Henry and Anna Charlotte had four children.

                        Christine Anna – born August 6 1881 – died December 1, 1949

                        Caroline Bertha – born December 22, 1884 – died December 10, 1934

                        Erwin – born 1887 – died 1942

                        Henry Ewald Louis – born 1893 – died 1976

When Louis died in 1921, the farmstead was left to his widow Charlotte and their four children. Charlotte, daughters Christine and Caroline, and son Erwin continued to live in the farmhouse and never married. In June 1920 son Henry Ewald Louis married Erna Ronsick and built his home on the south side of the farm on St. John’s Road. Louis and Erna had two daughters Norma and Ruth. Norma married Louis William Hausmann and Ruth married Herman Carl Buddemeyer.

Daughter Bertha died in 1934, mother Charlotte died in 1939, and son Erwin died in 1942. Daughter Christine continued to live in the house until 1947 when ill health forced her to move to her brother Louis' nearby home. The farm house was boarded up for a while until it was rented.

For several decades the house was rented and as time passed portions of the farm were sold. By the mid 1980s the house had fallen into disrepair and the property was owned by the City of Washington and the Washington Chamber of Commerce. Over the years since the city's purchase, most of the farm has been converted into athletic fields and walking trails. The YMCA leases the ground owned by the chamber and built the YMCA center.

The farmstead is located at Grand avenue and South Lakeshore drive.