Caspar Diederich Jäger was born on 17 May 1816 in Dortmund, Westphalia, son of Johann Friedrich Wilhelm Jäger and Clara Wilhelmina Frederica Niermann. He was baptized at Reinoldikirche, an Evangelical church. His 1831 confirmation named him “Heinrich,” a name he continued using on all but the most official documents until 1862.

At another Dortmund Evangelical church, Marienkirche, on 12 November 1837, “Heinrich” Jäger married Henriette Wilhelmine Busch, daughter of Friederich Ambrosius Koch and Henriette Christina Franzline Busch. Of seven children, just William and Henry survived.

In October 1848, Caspar, a miner, obtained a family passport for passage from Bremen to North America. The passport listed wife Mina Busch and children: Wilhelm, nine; Heinrich, seven; and Mina, six weeks. On the SS Louisiana, daughter Gertrud Frederica Wilhelmine Jäger, eight weeks, died on 26 October 1848, and wife Henriette Wilhelmine Busch, forty, died two days later. Caspar and sons arrived in New Orleans on 10 December 1848 and traveled up the Mississippi to St. Louis.

Caspar Yaeger House
Caspar Yaeger House
Photo in the collection of Carol Whitton
Used with permission

In St. Louis, “Heinrich” married widow, Catherina Maria Disselmann, on 20 May 1849 at St. Peter’s Evangelical Church. Catherina, was born on 1 May 1821 in Neuenkirchen, Melle, Grönenberg, Hannover. Catherina’s two children Margaretha, six, and Carolina, six months, joined the family. Their daughter Mathilda and son Gustave were born in 1852 and 1856.

The family apparently lived on Blue Ridge Road near the Henry Shaw estate, then an industrial area. Caspar made bricks. He naturalized in 1856 about the same year Catharina died. No records of Catharina’s death have yet been located.

“Henry” married a third time on 6 September 1860 at Holy Ghost Evangelical Church to Johanna Friederica Müller, born in March 1813 in Württemberg. Known as Friedericka or Ricka, she was a homemaker and raised Caspar’s six children. They had no children of their own.

From September 1862 through March 1865, Caspar served as a second lieutenant in the Civil War, Company G, the “Webster Groves Company,” of the First Regiment of the Enrolled Missouri Militia. Local militias guarded county lines and rivers. After the war, Caspar strongly supported and actively participated in Republican causes. He was selected as an election precinct judge and a road overseer.

On 28 September 1872, Caspar became a farmer, purchasing their homestead in Webster Groves—four acres at Jackson and Big Bend Roads. He added three more acres in 1876, extending his estate to Sylvester Avenue. In 1985, the Webster Groves Historical Society honored his house with a 100-year plaque; it is still a home today, as you can see in the photo.

Ricka sponsored the baptism of her granddaughter, Mathilda Friederika Yaeger in May 1876. Ricka died on 16 November 1882 at home, at age sixty-nine, with burial in the Yaeger plot at Oak Hill Cemetery, Kirkwood. Caspar remarried twice more: to Mary Kristman in 1883, who died six months later, and to Dorothea Grosser in March 1886.

Caspar Yaeger died at home on 28 July 1886 at age seventy. Caspar’s tombstone in Oak Hill Cemetery, Kirkwood, records his death incorrectly as 1889; the stone was cut after the probate ended.

Written by Carol Whitton
April 2017
© 2017, St. Louis Genealogical Society

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Last Modified: 25-Oct-2018 21:23