Christine Elisabeth (Fiegenbaum) Wellemeyer
1827 — 1918
Grandmother Wellemeyer Dead.
After a long illness Grandmother Catherine Wellemeyer died at the home of her son, Prof. Charles Wellemeyer, of College Heights, Friday, February l, at the advanced age of 89 years, 2 months and 25 days. 1 The end came very peacefully Friday morning when she fell asleep, as it were, to awake on the beautiful shore beyond.
Catherine Elizabeth Wellemeyer, nee Fiegenbaum, was born in Westfalen, Prussia, October 6, 1827, and came to America with her parents in 1834. 2 With them she lived in the typical pioneer home in the wilds of the new world; first near Femme Osage, in St. Charles county, and later in the Hopewell vicinity, Warren county. At the latter place she spent her childhood and young girlhood days. While in St. Louis she came under the influence of the German Methodists; was converted, and joined the church when she was eighteen years old. In August, 1847, she was married to Henry F. Wellemeyer, and they established their home in the Steinhagen vicinity in this county. After several years they moved to Wapello, Iowa, where they resided for a quarter century. In the fall of 1875 they moved to Garner, Iowa, where they made their home until the death of her husband in 1899, two years after the celebration of their golden wedding. The death of her companion broke up the peaceful home of a half century, and after visiting with her sons and daughters for several years, Mother Wellemeyer established her home with her daughter, Mrs. Geo. B. Addicks, in Warrenton. After several years she made her home with her son, Prof. Charles L. Wellemeyer, and even though she had attained to an advanced age, looked after many of the duties of the household. 3 During the past year she was almost helpless. It was then that Prof. Wellemeyer showed her the most kindly and careful attention and devotion, and there was no want that she ever had that was not supplied by him if it was possible. He cared for her, and entertained her in the sunset years of life in a manner that won the admiration of all who knew the conditions in their pleasant home.
Mother Wellemeyer became the mother of ten children, one of whom died in infancy. 4 Two sons, Rev. Frank H. Wellemeyer, and Henry F. Wellemeyer, also preceded the mother to eternity, each dying at about the age of 60, after long years of usefulness. The following children survive: Mrs. Geo. B. Addicks, and Prof. Charles L. Wellemeyer, Warrenton; Mrs. Lizette Minden, Meridian, Idaho; Mrs. Julius Neuman, Wymore, Neb.; William H. Wellemeyer, Wymore, Neb.; Edward M. Wellemeyer, Garner, Iowa, and George L. Wellemeyer, Harris, Iowa. Thus she saw all of her children, except one, grow to manhood and womanhood, and to years of usefulness. She survived all of her brothers and sisters, and most of the friends of her youth; full of years and honor, and beloved by all who knew her. After many years of usefulness, her spent body yielded to the continuous assaults of man's inveterate enemy, and her restless spirit returned to its rightful estate on the date mentioned.
Funeral services were held at the College church Sunday afternoon, when the pastor, Rev. Lemkau, and President Kriege of the College, paid her fitting eulogies. The body was then sent to her old home at Garner, Iowa, for burial. Professor Wellemeyer accompanied the remains of his devoted mother to their final resting place. 5
Family members conducting research in documents in Germany have reported this woman's given names as Christine Elisabeth and state that she was born on 25 October 1827. Various sources from the USA have identified her as Catherine Elizabeth, born on 6 October 1827. Until this discrepancy can be resolved, I have chosen to use the information shared with me from Germany, unless I am quoting a document which uses other data.
Regardless of which date of birth is accepted as correct (6 October or 25 October 1827), her age at death as calculated and reported in this obituary is not correct. She did attain an age of 90 years, 2 months and either 7 or 26 days.
Catherine Elizabeth (or, Christine Elisabeth) Fiegenbaum was the first of two daughters born to Adolph Heinrich and Christine Elisabeth (Peterjohann) Fiegenbaum. The first five children were born in Lengerich, Province of Westphalia, Kingdom of Prussia. The last child and the fourth son was born in Missouri in 1837.
Although not all sources agree on the date of immigration, I believe that 1834 is very probably correct.
Marie Wilhelmine Wellemeyer (1862-1936) became the second wife of Rev. George B. Addicks (1854-1910) on 26 June 1884 at Garner, Hancock County, Iowa. About 1890, George was elected the Niedringhaus Professor of Practical Theology and Philosophy at Central Wesleyan College at Warrenton, Warren County, Missouri. He was president of the college from 1895 until his death in 1910.
Charles Louis Wellemeyer (1870-1946) married Bertha Anna Wengler (1881-1859) on 22 August 1917 at Warrenton, Warren County, Missouri. From about 1900 to 1922, Charles was a professor of Greek and Latin at Central Wesleyan College at Warrenton, Missouri. He had met his wife when she was a professor of art and domestic economy at the college.
During 1954 and 1955, Franz Arthur Wellemeyer, a grandson of "Mother Wellemeyer," gathered information from relatives and wrote three family histories, one of which concentrated on the Fiegenbaum and Wellemeyer families.
In the course of his research, Arthur Wellemeyer discovered that at some point when his grandparents lived near Wapello, Louisa County, Iowa, they were the parents of a still-born child. "This child was not named but buried privately by its father in the house yard near their home." Arthur noted that he had completed parts of his genealogy before he learned this information and that some of his essays erroneously refer to nine children instead of 10.
To date, I have not learned any details about this birth and this child has not been included in my accounts of the family history or in the genealogy database.
Catherine (or Christine) Elizabeth (Fiegenbaum) Wellemeyer was buried next to her husband in Concord Cemetery near Garner. Henry Frank Wellemeyer had died on 12 August 1899.