Friedrich Wilhelm Straub Sr., son of Johannes Straub and Johanna Elisabetha Bÿßel, was born on 10 January 1790 in the village of Burkhards, Hessen-Darmstadt, and baptized in Burkhards Evangelical Church. Friedrich had just started school when the French invaded Hessen in the late 1790s. His marriage indicates he did join the church.

Anna Margaretha Luft, daughter of Conrad Luft and Anna Katharina Rasch, was born on 1 December 1781 in Crainfeld, Hessen-Darmstadt, and baptized 2 December 1781 at Crainfeld Evangelical Church. On 25 June 1801, Anna Margaretha, nineteen, married, at Crainfeld, Johannes Windecker, son of Conrad Windecker and Anna Elisabetha Rohberger. Anna Margaretha and Johannes had two children, Andreas and Sebastian Windecker. On 13 November 1807, Johannes Windecker died, leaving Anna Margaretha a young widow with two infants.

By 1810, Friedrich Straub had met Anna Margaretha Luft Windecker. Friedrich chose prudently. She had inherited two houses in Crainfeld from her first husband. By becoming a well-established married family man, Friedrich effectively removed himself from possible conscription as a soldier during Napoleon’s era in Hessen. Friedrich Wilhelm Straub Sr. married Anna Margaretha Luft Windecker at Crainfeld Evangelical Church on 8 July 1810, adopting her two sons. Friedrich and Anna Margaretha had eight more children: Sabina, (married in Germany); Anna Catharina (died in infancy); Anna Margaretha, 1; Henry; twins Frederick W. Jr. and Catharine; Christoph; and Anna Margaretha, (known as Gretchen), 2. Their house still stands in Crainfeld and is inscribed with a dedication by Friedrich Straub, mentioning him.

Straub House in Hessen
Home of Freidrich Straub Sr.
in Crainfeld, Hessen

Photo in the collection of Carol Whitton
Used with permission

In 1839, Friedrich, Anna Margaretha, and six children boarded the ship Kutusoff in Bremen and arrived in New Orleans on 11 December 1839. They traveled up the Mississippi River to join Luft and Greb relatives already in St. Louis. The two Windecker sons immigrated later, as did Peter Bopp, who had first married daughter Sabina Straub, who died in Germany.

In 1840, two Straub daughters married at Zion Evangelical Church in Des Peres. At that church, Anna Margaretha sponsored the 1841 baptism of Margaretha Greb. Friedrich sponsored Friedrich Greb’s baptism in July 1843 at Trinity Lutheran in St. Louis. In 1845, Friedrich, fifty, son Henry, twenty-four, and sons-in-law Andreas Luft, twenty-seven, and Johann Greb, twenty-eight, declared intentions to become U.S. citizens.

In 1840, Friedrich apparently purchased forty acres in Central Township in St. Louis County, but he failed to pay the 1842 taxes and the land was auctioned. Friedrich and Anna Margaretha moved in with daughter Catharine and Johann Greb at their farm on Grand Glaize Creek. Friedrich still farmed with his son-in-law.

In 1849, a major cholera epidemic occurred in St. Louis, killing thousands of people. Friedrich Wilhelm Straub Sr. died of cholera on 21 July 1849 at age fifty-nine; wife, Anna Margaretha, sixty-seven, died the next day. By December, both daughter Catherine Greb and her husband Johann Greb also had died. Two surviving Greb grandchildren were taken by a Greb relative. The Straubs were buried at Immanuel Lutheran Cemetery in Olivette.

Written by Carol Whitton
April 2017

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Last Modified: 25-Oct-2018 21:52