Christoph Straub, 1849–1891
Christoph Straub, son of Friedrich Wilhelm Straub Jr. and Dorothea Meyer, was born on 9 March 1849 in Meramec Heights, Bonhomme Township, Missouri. He was baptized at home and his baptism recorded on 15 April 1849 at Immanuel Lutheran Church in Olivette. He was known as Christ Straub and named for his uncle Christoph, also called Christ Straub, who lived further north and west in the county.
He attended school between 1855 and 1867, but it is not clear exactly where. There were public schools in Kirkwood at the time. However, German churches also sponsored parochial schools because the public schools did not teach in German and immigrants wanted their children to learn in both German and English. Christ was confirmed at St. Paul’s Lutheran Church in Des Peres on 29 March 1863. As a young man, he worked on his father’s farm in Meramec Heights.
Christoph Straub married Henriette Louise Klocke, daughter of Johann Hermann Klocke and Wilhelmine Sofie Amalia Dröge, on 29 March 1875 at Concordia Lutheran Church in Kirkwood. They had eight children, six of whom survived infancy: Wilhelmina Dorothea, 1875; William Andrew, 1876; Fredrick Peter, 1878; Heinrich Christoph, 1880–1883; Margaret Maria, 1882; Elizabeth, 1883–1885; Louise Christine, 1885; and Charles Henry, 1888. Initially they may have lived on his parents’ farm.
On 15 December 1879, using a mortgage, Christ purchased property in Kirkwood at the southwest corner of block 33 on the corner of Monroe and Webster Avenues (now Kirkwood Road). His lot extended 150 feet along Monroe Avenue on the south and seventy-five feet along the east side of Webster Avenue.
He worked as a stone mason, running a business ad for contracting services in the St. Louis County Watchman, advertising all types of stone masonry or bricklaying, particularly foundations, cisterns, and cellars. In 1881 and 1882, St. Louis County paid him for excavating local roads and for repairing bridge abutments on Pardee and Hanley roads. His last project was laying the cornerstone for the Webster Groves Presbyterian Church, which was rebuilding after an 1890 fire.
Christoph Straub died suddenly, at age forty-two, on 28 May 1891, at his home in Kirkwood. His death caused some local controversy because on 30 April in an incident at Henry Niemeyer’s saloon at the Eleven-Mile House on Manchester Road, Christ had been assaulted by John Vogelsang with a blow on the head, causing Christ to collapse in unconsciousness. When Christ took sick immediately thereafter and seemed likely to die, Vogelsang was arrested and charged with assault with intent to kill. However, after investigation and a postmortem by four physicians, the court was convinced Christoph had died from natural causes and Vogelsang was released. Christ was buried the day after his death at Oak Hill Cemetery in Kirkwood in a family plot that has no early headstones.
Written by Carol Whitton
Photo in the collection of Carol Whitton
Used with permission
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Last Modified: 25-Oct-2018 21:31