Pvt. Heinrich M. Hessemann
MO Vol Inf, Co. B & E, 1st Reg.
Henry Matthias Hessemann was born in Westbarthaussen, Kreis Halle, Waltphalia, Prussia on October 27, 1839, the first child of Johann Henrich Philip and Charlotte, nee Vahlkamp, Heesemann.
Henry was a plasterer and farmer. He came to the United States with his brother, Friedrich, at age 19 on the bremen ship E. F. Gabin, landing at New Orleans, Louisiana on November 15, 1858. They worked their way up from new Orleans as plasterers. They worked in some of the big mansions in New Orleans. Just how long it took to reach Gasconade County, Missouri, I do not know.
Henry and his brother, Fritz, went on to Gasconade County, Missouri where they had friends and family from the old country. In 1860, they sent back to GErmany for their father and the rest of the family.
The Civil War broke out April 12, 1861 and April 4, 1862, Henry Hessemann enlisted in the infantry, fighting for the North. He enrolled at Hermann, Missouri, Col B., 1st REgiment, Missouri State Militia as a Private. This organization subsequently became Company E, 1st REgiment, Missouri State Militia. His commanding officer was Captain Kelling. Henry was honorably discharged April 16, 1865. His brother, Friedrich, also served during the Civil War.
The name Heesemann was orginally spelled heseman in records from Germany but somehow the military put an extra e and n in the name. He said there was so much red tape to correcting it that he let it go. His family is the only one that spells it Heesemann.
According to the Gasconade County Courthouse records, on page 691, October 22, 1866, Henry become a Naturalized Citizen of the United States.
He bought his first acreage in Gasconade County before he was married in 1868 and built a small log house on it. I've been told the log house is still standing and being used as a garage. A large brick house was built in 1892.
February 12, 1868, Henry married Anna Louise Schweppe. She was born December 24, 1848, in Borgholzhausen, Westphalia, Prussia. They were married by Rev. Fred Drewel at Henry's home place, southwest of Stony Hill. Here the couple cleared the lands and gradually built a good farm. (The fourth generation now farms the land.)
Nine children were born to Henry and Anna Louise:
1. Charlotte, born 1 March 1869
2. Friedericka, born 6 Sept 1870
3. Emilie L., born 27 Oct 1872
4. Henry P. W., born 29 Aug 1874
5. August, born 24 Dec. 1877
6. William, born 11 Nov. 1881
7. Friederick, born 15 June 1884
8. Caroline, born 20 April 1887
9. Stillborn, born 9 May 1890
They were active members of their church and community. In 1900, Henry and Anna enjoyed a trip to Germany to visit her parents and other relatives. On February 12, 1918, Henry and Anna celebrated their Golden Wedding Anniversary.
Henry M. Heesemann died Sept. 20, 1923 at home. He was 83 years, 11 months old. Anna, nee Schweppe, Hessemann, died at her son's home in Nebraska City, Nebraska on January 22, 1932. They are buried at St. Jacobi Evangelical Church Cemetery in Charlotte, Gasconade County, Missouri. They left a numerous and respectable family and many of their descendants are still residents of Gasconade County.