Friedrich Wilhelm Straub Jr., son of Friedrich W. Straub Sr. and Anna Margaretha Luft, was born on 10 January 1819 in Crainfeld, Hessen-Darmstadt, and baptized the same day along with his twin sister Catherine. He probably received about eight years of education in Crainfeld. He and Catharine were confirmed on 10 June 1832, at the Crainfeld Evangelical Church.

In 1839, Friedrich’s family emigrated from Bremen on board the ship Kutusoff, arriving in New Orleans on 11 December 1839. They were in St. Louis in time for the 1840 census.

Friedrich W. Straub Jr. married Dorothea Meyer at the Immanuel Lutheran Church in Olivette on 10 May 1848. The couple had nine children, seven of whom survived infancy: Christoph, 1849; Friedrich, 1850–1851; Andreas, 1853; Dorothea, 1855–1855; Louisa, 1858–1878; Christiana Katharine, 1861; Margarethe Sabine, 1864; Christian, 1866; and Carl Wilhelm, 1870.

On 17 January 1849, Fred Jr. purchased from his brother, Henry, forty acres of land on the north side of Big Bend Road, south of the Missouri Pacific Railroad and just west of what is now Interstate 270 on the bluffs above the Meramec River. By 1850, Fred was fully engaged in farming. He had improved twenty acres and already had a farm valued at $425. He produced 200 bushels of Indian corn, twenty bushels of oats, and fifty bushels of Irish potatoes with only himself as laborer. Since his family was still small, much of the produce likely was sold for income. He had two horses and two milk cows. Two years later, brother, Henry bought back the northern fifteen acres from Fred.

Click on image to see larger version.Straub Farm
Straub family farm, Bonhomme Township
Photo in the collection of Carol Whitton
Used with permission

On 4 January 1855, Fred Jr. made a declaration of intention to become a naturalized citizen. A biography of Fred’s grandson, William Straub, says Fred, age forty-two, served in the Union Army during the Civil War. No evidence has been found verifying his service, although his younger brother, Christoph Straub, did serve in the Enrolled Missouri Militia, which guarded access to the Meramec, Missouri, and Mississippi Rivers. If Fred served, it was only briefly because he had children born during the period and could not have been away from home for long.

By 1870, Fred’s twenty-five acres were valued at $4,100. He continued to produce 200 bushels of Indian corn, but also produced 175 bushels of winter wheat, 200 bushels of oats, and 120 bushels of Irish potatoes. He still owned only two horses, probably to pull the plow, but had three milk cows and three swine. By then his eldest sons were twenty-one and seventeen and helping with the farm work.

Friedrich W. Straub Jr. died without a will on 15 March 1876, at age fifty-seven. Assets listed in his estate included twenty-five acres of land, two log houses, and $150 at the Empire Bank. It is not known where he was buried; the farm is one possibility, the other is with his wife in the stoneless early Straub plot at St. Paul’s Lutheran Cemetery, Des Peres.

Written by Carol Whitton
April 2017

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Last Modified: 25-Oct-2018 21:52