German Settlement of the Cole Camp Area
Index of family names on WorldConnect
THE FIRST ARRIVALS
Benton County was surveyed and sectionalized in 1836, and in 1837, new German immigrants Henry Gehrs, John Gerken, Henry Holtzen, and Conrad Ringen entered land in the Lake Creek area of northeast Benton County. By end of October 1839, Gesche and John Boeschen, John Eifert, Peter Gerken, Oelrich Jagels, Gesche Mueller and son Peter, and Jacob Timken and son John had joined them. Also arriving in the spring of 1839 were John Knoop and his sons-in-law Claus Albers and Peter Ficken, who each purchased U. S. land in the Williams Creek area south of above. Others who arrived before 1840 were Claus Boeschen, Christoph Gerlt, Cord Meyer, Henry Windler, and Cord Mueller. These were Lutheran families from the Kingdom of Hanover, and that continued to be the origin of most Cole Camp area immigrants, although there were smaller groups of Catholics from the Rhineland, and others from varied areas of Germany, Austria, France, and Poland. *In 1850, the Benton County census listed about forty German-born families, and the settlement extended into southeast Pettis County and northwest Morgan County. By 1860, there were almost 600 German families, and later arrivals probably found the best lands and opportunities taken, as at least six of the families who arrived in 1857 were in the Concordia area of Lafayette County by 1870.
THE CIVIL WAR
The dawning of the Civil War had a sudden and lasting impact upon these immigrant families: Most of central and southern Benton County families were from southern states, and many were slave owners, whereas the German families supported the Union. Confederate forces rallied in the Warsaw area, and a "German Regiment" was mustered in the Cole Camp area. The page linked below outlines the result:
CONFOUNDING OF NAMES
By the 1860s, there was such a concentration of families from Hanover that families and individuals with the same full names had become a problem, and notations appear in public, church, and military records to distinguish them. Church records note "on the prairie" for one John F. Feldman, and "on Haw Creek" for the other of that name. In the German Regiment there were many duplicates, and some in the same Company were identified as "Jr" and "Sr" to identify age difference, and not family relationship, while four of the five Henry Grother's in Company D were assigned numbers (the fifth was Captain of Company D). Notes found in the tax ledgers were probably not intended for public eyes, such as "Big Belly" after one individual, and "Johannes Jalace" after another with same name. Anyone researching these families should not assume kinship on basis of surnames alone: They may have been neighbors in both Germany and USA, yet still not be related.
Assisted by: Neil R. Heimsoth Cole Camp resident and Manager of the Cole Camp Maennerchor und Kinderchor.
And: Paul F. Scheele Descendant of the Jagels, Schnakenberg, Meyer, Rodenburg and Holtzen families.