Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Tombstone Tuesday: Johann "John" Keller, 1815-1890, Fredericksburg, Texas

In mid-September, I was once again in Fredericksburg, Texas, visiting my parents. Fredericksburg was founded in 1846 by German settlers. We again stayed at a bed and breakfast that is about half a mile from St. Mary's Catholic Cemetery (the second one, founded in 1875; the first one, established in 1860 and called the Old Catholic or St. Mary's Pioneer Cemetery, is another half mile north).  Again, I fulfilled some photo requests for this cemetery on FindAGrave.com, and I also took a few more photos of interesting graves and tombstones.

This one is for Johann "John" Keller. He was born March 21, 1815, in Niederelbert, Nassau, Germany.  In 1845, he emigrated to Texas with his wife, Katharina Menges Keller (1815-1877), their children Maria Magdalena (also called Helena and Ellen, age 6) Hannah (also called Anna, age 3), and Adam (age 1), and a Maria Keller, age 50, possibly Anna Maria Keller (died 1860), and possibly Johann's mother.  They arrived in Galveston on November 20, 1845, on the Barque Straba.  The family originally settled in Gillespie County, Texas.

According to the passenger list, Keller was a wheelwright and farmer.  On the 1850 Census, he's a farmer living in Fredericksburg, and the family has grown to include son Carl (Charles P. Keller, 1849-1889).  Interestingly, on this same census, an Ann Mary Keller, age 64, is living nearby with Johann Adam "Adam" Keller, the future husband of Katharina Lang Keller who I profiled last week.  Adam was on the same boat as John, and not traveling with another Ann/Anna Mary/Maria, so I have to wonder if they had the same mother.

By the 1860 Census, the John Keller family has moved to adjacent Mason County, Texas, in the Fort Mason area.  John is still a farmer.  Oldest daughter Ellen is out of the house, as she married Wilhelm Jung on July 9, 1857, at St. Mary's Catholic Church in Fredericksburg.  However, John and Katharina have three more children:  John Keller (1851-1917), Adolph Adam Keller (1854-1919), and August William Keller (1856-1931) - although the names of the last two were switched on the census.

On the 1870 Census, the family is still living in Mason County, near the Hedwigs Hill post office, but John is now listed as a merchant.  Daughter Anna had married her brother-in-law Wilhelm Jung's younger brother Jacob on October 16, 1860, in St. Mary's Catholic Church in Fredericksburg.  Son August does not appear with the family on this census - which is odd, because his future father-in-law, Francis Kettner, was the enumerator.

By the 1880 Census, John Keller is a widower, and is living with his son Charles and family in Mason County.  He is a merchant.

By the time John Keller died, on December 29, 1890, 36 of his 40 grandchildren had been born, and at least 26 of those 36 grandchildren were still living.
The tombstone reads:
Hier ruht in Gott
Johann Keller
Geb.
zu Niederelbert Herzogthum
Nassau
21, Marz 1815
Gest.
29, Dez. 1890
Friede seiner Asche.
A translation:
Rest in God
Johann Keller
Born
in Niederelbert Duchy [of]
Nassau

March 21, 1815
Died 

December 29, 1890
Peace to his ashes.



© Amanda Pape - 2013 - click here to e-mail me.

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