Mary Genevieve Burghart was born on 12 August 1836 to Joachim Burgert and Elizabeth Schnurr. Mary’s christening occurred on 4 September 1836 at St. Mary & Joseph Church in the Carondelet area of St. Louis.

Genevieve married Johann George Kessler on 4 October 1857 at St. Mary’s Church in St. Louis. This couple had ten children who survived to adulthood: Elisa, Julia, George H., Sophia, John J., Genevieve, Martin J., John Joseph, Magdalena M., and Leo.

After the Civil War, soldiers could receive a pension, but it required a deposition from someone who knew them before the war. Genevieve (Burghart) Kessler applied for a widow’s pension from her husband Georgs’s service. Louis Buehler provided the following testimony:

“I am ninety-five years old. My address is at 7423 Minnesota Avenue, St. Louis, Missouri.”

He then stated he was a retired machinist and farmer. He knew George Kessler about two or three years before the soldier, George Kessler, married the claimant. He indicated the claimant, Genevieve Kessler, was “a daughter of my wife’s sister” and the claimant and soldier were married several years before the Civil War.

“She was a Burghart and I worked for her father in Carondelet Township on Mattis Creek on his farm.” Louis Buehler went on to state, “I fixed the date I became acquainted with the claimant in that statement; I remember now as 1849 because I married her aunt that year, and I also remember that I was living on Rosalie and Twelfth Streets in 1854 and became acquainted with the soldier while living there and I now remember that I made him acquainted with Genevieve Burghart.”

“I was in Co. B, 2nd Regiment Mo. Militia at the same time and I served from spring until November and I heard he was in three months service during that time.”

“When I first became acquainted with Kessler he worked for Zimmermann’s Foundry and I worked for Palm’s Foundry. I remember that the Zimmermanns made some tobacco machinery for Christian Peper’s Tobacco Co. and sent Kessler there to put it up for them and then Kessler went to work for Peper and never went back to Zimmermann’s.”

Genevieve (Burghart) Kessler, widow of George Kessler, was eighty-three when she died on 15 April 1920. The funeral was held in her home of sixty years at 2308 Lemp Avenue, with burial at Sts. Peter and Paul’s Cemetery.

Written by Judy Broleman
June 2020

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Last Modified: 05-Oct-2020 10:41