Thomas Johann Eidmann was born on 23 January 1813 in Richen, Hesse-Darmstadt. He was the third child of Johannes and Anna Dorthea Lehr. When Thomas was almost one year old, his mother died on 12 February 1814. In August of that year, his father married Anna Christina Brenner. In 1815, Johannes and Christine had a son, Adam, who was Thomas’s half-brother. In 1820, his half-sister, Christine, was born. When Thomas was seventeen, his father died; this was in January 1830.

Eight years later, the family would immigrate to the United States, arriving in Philadelphia on 11 September 1838 aboard the barque, Hope. The ship’s register lists them as Eitmans.

The first record of Thomas in St. Louis is in the records of Holy Ghost United Church of Christ in July 1840 when Thomas was a sponsor for a baptism. Also that year, he applied for naturalization in St. Louis. On 1 April 1844, Thomas became a U.S. citizen.

According to the 1841 St. Louis City directory, Thomas lived at 277 North Twelfth St. and worked as a shoemaker. On 1 April 1842, at Holy Ghost Church, Thomas Eidmann married Maria Elizabeth Petrie, the daughter of John Nicolaus Petrie and Elizabeth Wurm. Maria was born on 4 March 1825 in Dietzenbach, Hesse-Darmstadt. Thomas and Maria had four children: George Heinrich, Johann Phillip, Anna Marie, and Johann Georg.

Four weeks later, Thomas received a government grant for 79.92 acres of land in Washington County, Illinois. In 1845, we find Thomas living at Seventeenth Street and Carr, working as a shoemaker.

According to a grandson, Thomas went west during the Gold Rush, returning to the area before 1855. Thomas worked as a farmer in Illinois, living near Lively Grove in Washington County just east of Darmstadt, which is in St. Clair County. Maria Elizabeth (Petrie) Eidmann died in 1855 with burial at Darmstadt Cemetery in Darmstadt, Illinois.

On 21 February 1856 in St. Louis, Thomas Eidmann married Julianna Schaller, the daughter of Anton Schaller and Catherine Raisch. Julianna was born on 30 December 1834 in Neunausen, Alsingen, Kreis, Neckar. Thomas and Julianna had five known girls: Elizabeth, Marie Magdalene, Anna Katharina, Maria Louise, and Anna Margaretha.

On 3 July 1883, Thomas died. His death notice appeared in the newspaper. “Mr. Thomas Eidmann, an old settler of St. Clair precinct, died suddenly on Monday evening about six o’clock. Mr. Henry Petrie went to Benton Tuesday to announce the news to relatives there.”

The family buried Thomas in the churchyard in Darmstadt where his tombstone reads “Thomas Eydmann.” His second wife died on 14 April 1895 with burial at the same cemetery.

(Sources: Census records, family interviews, marriage licenses, baptism records, ship register, and church death records.)

Written by James W. Eydmann
September 2016

© 2016, St. Louis Genealogical Society

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Last Modified: 26-Oct-2018 19:38