“Wackman’s father came to St. Louis from Baltimore in 1837 and was a horse trader in the open country around what are now Washington and Jefferson avenues.” Those lines published on 25 July 1923 in the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, page 15, are all I know about my three-times great-grandfather, George Wackmann.

George, the son of Jacob Wackmann and Elisabetha (Gehlbach) Wackmann, came to St. Louis around 1850. His father, Jacob Wackman, was born circa 1790 in Freinman, Bayern, Germany, and his death information has not been located.

Jacob had two children with his wife, Elisabetha: Charles Wackmann and George Wackmann. The Wackmann family has a long line of entrepreneurs and politicians. By the mid-1800s, the family started using the spelling of Wackman instead of Wackmann.

Some descendants of Jacob Wackmann include:

      • His sons:
        • Cpl. Charles Wackmann, a butcher, fought for the Union in the Civil War and was highly respected by his commanders and comrades.
        • George Wackman was a cattle broker and butcher with a meat market in the old Union Market. George and his wife, Anna Maria (Wehn) Wackmann Wagner, known as Mary, built a thriving business. Butchers were common in the Wackmann family for two more generations.
      • Some grandchildren:
        • Adam Wackman, son of Charles, was a wagon maker and active in St. Louis politics. Adam was in the news often fighting the expansion of a parkway to help with growing traffic issues.
        • George Wackman, son of George, was a butcher with stalls 22 and 23 in Union Market.
      • Some great-grandchildren:
        • George Wackman was a butcher with a stall at Soulard Market, active in Republican politics, and a member of the state of Missouri House of Representatives.
        • Edward F. Wackman was a wholesale meat dealer.
        • Clarence F Wackman was a chemical engineer, instructor of chemistry at Washington University, and manager of Wackman Welded Ware.
        • Louis Benton Wackman founded Wackman Welded Ware, a manufacturer of large steel barrels, in 1919. Wackman Welded Ware had plants in St. Louis, Missouri; Kansas City, Missouri; New Orleans, Louisiana; Lake Charles, Louisiana; Tulsa, Oklahoma; and Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. He graduated from St. Louis University School of Law in 1952 at the age of sixty-one, saying “a person is never too old to learn.”
        • Louis and Clarence Wackman won first prize in the twins category of the baby show at Exhibition Hall in May 1893.
        • Lydia Lucia (Wackman) Zehner was an accomplished pianist and graduate of Weltner Music Conservatory.
      • Some great-great-grandchildren:
        • Gertrude (Wackman) Ulrich was a Republican committeewoman and a real estate broker.
        • Theodosia (Wackman) Mattingly was active in Republican politics.


    While I know little about Jacob Wackmann, a lot can be learned from his descendants. Two things are certain: St. Louis has changed from the days when Washington and Jefferson Avenues were considered “open country” and Jacob Wackmann left a legacy of hard-working descendants strong in character and rich in faith.

    Written by Laura Brickey
    January 2020/Revised January 2021

    © 2020, St. Louis Genealogical Society

    Return to St. Louis City/County Biographies.

    Last Modified: 05-Jan-2021 10:03