Hermann Beverforden & Sophia Hinnenkamp

Hermann Beverforden was born in Germany circa 1820.  He came to the United States in the 1840's.  He was a butcher by trade.

Hermann married Johanna Friederike Caroline Hinnenkamp  and they came to the U.S.  The couple had four sets of twins during their marriage and all of the babies died.  Hanna contracted small pox and died August 3, 1857.

Hermann brought her sister, Sophia to the U.S. and soon made her his wife.  Sophia was born in Quakenbrck, Germany in 1836. Hermann and Sophie had the following offspring:

Johanna "Marie" b: July 11, 1869
Peter George b: July 9, 1871
Emma Anna b: December 26, 1874
Wilhemina Johanna "Minnie" b: January 12, 1878
Ludwig Gottfried "Fred" b: December 7, 1881

Hermann Beverforden was a butcher in Bellefontaine (a suburb of St. Louis, Missouri) according to the 1867 directory in St. Louis.  In the 1880 St. Louis census he is described as a laborer and living with his wife and their four oldest children.  Hermann died in 1887 and is buried in St. Louis.  His will was provided to me by another researcher and is transcribed below: 

This day, personally appeared before me the clerk of the probate court for the city of St. Louis the undersigned George Strodtman, who being duly sworn upon his oath say that to the best of his knowledge there are the following heirs of HERMAN BEVERFORDEN late of the City of St. Louis aforesaid deceased now in being to wit: Children, Minnie Grayson wife of ? Grayson, Mary Benseler wife of Fritz Benseler, Frederick Beverforden minor of the city of St. Louis, George Beverforden, now deceased who departed this life since the death of his father Herman Beverforden That the said deceased died on or about the day of 1887and the said estate of the said does not exceed the sum of four thousand dollars in value, as this affiant is informed and believes; consisting of real estate which has since been sold. that the best of his knowledge the said deceased died without a will as far as he knows and believes that he will make a perfect inventory of and faithfully administer all the estate of the deceased HERMAN BEVERFORDEN and pay the debts as far as the assets will extend and the law direct and account for and pay all the assets which shall come to his possession or knowledge. sworn this day 10th day of July 1902.
signed
George
Strodtman
3617
Broadway St.
St. Louis

My great great grandmother, Mary Beverforden was called Hanna in the 1880 census (must have been a derivation of the name Johanna-her first name). In the following legal document provided to me by Brigitte Jahnke, a German researcher, my grandmother signed a document stating that she was of age so that she could marry Carl Bensler.  I don't believe she ever married the father of my great grandmother, Louise King.  Louise's father's name was Wilhelm or William King and he lived in St. Louis.  I would love to find more about him.  Here is the copy of the legal document. 

Carl F. Benseler of 626 Hawthorne Ave in the state of Missouri desires to marry Miss Johanna Marie (Mary) Beverfoerden (sic) of 626 Hawthorne Ave hereby swear that I am of the age of 32 years and that the said Miss Johanna Marie Beverefoerden is of the age of 19 years, and that we are both single and unmarried and may lawfully be joined in marriage. signed: Carl F. Benseler  22 Dec 1887.

I, Miss Marie Beverfoerden (sic) do hereby solemnly swear that I am the person named above application for marriage license and that I am of the age of 19 years and that I am single and unmarried, and may lawfully contract and be joined in marriage. signed: Johanna Maria Beverforden  22 Dec 1887 St. Louis, Missouri

Why was my grandmother marrying a man twice her age?  I assume that maybe the family was so poor that Marie was forced to take a job cleaning this older man's home for pay.  She would have already had my great grandmother, Louise -- who would have been almost 2 years old when Carl "Fritz" Bensler married her mother. 

Sophia died on August 29, 1892 from an "bowel obstruction" and is buried in the "Old Bethlehem Cemetery" in St. Louis which has since been destroyed.

**Much of the information contained on this page comes from "The Halfaker Family History" written by William E. Rohrer.  Other information was obtained from German Genealogist Brigitte Jahnke, MA.

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