Louise Henrietta Klocke, daughter of Johann Hermann Klocke and Wilhelmine Sofie Amalia Dröge, was born on 30 April 1850 in Bentorf, Lippe-Detmold, (then a small German country, now a county in Westphalia). She was baptized on 5 May 1850 at Hohenhausen Evangelical Church because Bentorf had no church. She was known as Henrietta Louise. After confirmation, Henrietta lived in the village of Faulensiek, suggesting she, like many German girls of the time, had been sent to live with a relative (or family friend) to learn housekeeping, cooking, and childcare skills.

In 1869, Henrietta and cousins departed from Bremen aboard the SS Hansa, arriving in New York City on 24 May 1869. She may have stayed in New York a short time before journeying to St. Louis.

In St. Louis, on 29 March 1875 at the then newly established Concordia Lutheran Church in Kirkwood, Henrietta Klocke married Christoph Straub, son of Frederick W. Straub Jr. and Dorothea Meyer. Christoph, Henrietta, and nine children made their home on the corner of Monroe and Webster Avenues (now Kirkwood Road) in Kirkwood. In 1885, daughter Elisabeth became the first burial in the newly purchased family plot in Oak Hill Cemetery. The burial place of son Heinrich, who died two years earlier, is unknown.

Christoph, a stone mason, supported the family. But, on 28 May 1891, he died suddenly at their home at the young age of forty-two, leaving Henrietta to finish raising seven children ages three to sixteen. In the probate, the court guaranteed Henrietta’s right to their home, and the family continued living there. But as executor, she had to mortgage it for $1750 to pay debts of Christoph’s estate. In 1893, she paid off the first mortgage with another mortgage secured by her brother-in-law. The second mortgage was repaid in 1905 and the house was again owned free and clear. In 1909, their house had the address 225 South Webster Avenue; in 1917, the street name changed to Kirkwood Road. Daughter Louise, who remained unmarried, lived with Henrietta until her death.

Henrietta was a staunch Lutheran of the Missouri Synod. She sponsored baptisms of Esther D. Straub on 14 February 1904 and of Albert F. Straub on 7 September 1906, both at Concordia Lutheran Church. In the 1910s, she reportedly had difficulty accepting her sons joining the Webster Groves Presbyterian Church, a Reformed denomination.

Henrietta Straub died on 4 May 1925 at home, at age seventy-five, and was buried in the family plot at Oak Hill Cemetery in Kirkwood. As with other burials in this plot, there was no headstone. Her estate was appraised at $4550. Survivors included: sons William A., Fred P., and Charles H. Straub, daughters Margaret Linck and Louise C. Straub, and grandson Ben Groth Jr., son of deceased daughter Wilhelmine Groth.

Written by Carol Whitton
April 2017

© 2017, St. Louis Genealogical Society

Henrietta Straub
Henrietta Klocke Straub
Photo in the collection of Carol Whitton
Used with permission

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Last Modified: 25-Oct-2018 22:04