Tombstone Tuesday: Lorenz Stoehr (1790-1876)

Lorenz Stoehr was born in or near Weißenstadt, Upper Franconia, Bavaria, Germany, a village located a mere twenty miles from what is now the Czech Republic.1 Weißenstadt was named “white city” as a nod to its landmark white church, and is situated on the shore of a lake in the Fichtel Mountains.2 From the inscription on Lorenz’s tombstone, his birthdate can be calculated to 04 September 1790.3

As a young man, Lorenz served approximately six years in the military during the Napoleonic Wars, first under Napoleon and then, as allegiances shifted, with the Germans.4 As the story goes, he was eventually wounded on a march to Paris and was then discharged and granted a pension.5 Lorenz was trained as a master tailor, a trade he pursued during the winter months as the summer months were consumed with his labors as a farmer.6 Amazingly, several mementos of these chapters of his life survive today: buttons from his military uniform, his discharge and pension paperwork which granted him the amount of five Gulden each month for the remainder of his life, and an 1828 purchase agreement for approximately one and a half acres of land in the Weißenstadt area.7

Lorenz was married to Barbara Feicht in 1820 or shortly thereafter, and with her had the following known children: Margaretha B. (1824-1897), Johann Wolfgang (1826-1883), Eva Margaretha (1831-1906), George Adam (1833-1915), and Johann Friedrich (1842-circa 1857).8

In 1853, at the age of sixty-two, Lorenz arrived in New York harbor aboard the Solon.9 Traveling with him were his wife and youngest daughter; his sons had made their way to America the year prior, disembarking in New Orleans before making their way up the Mississippi River to the community of Garnavillo, Clayton County, Iowa.10

Find A Grave, Inc., Find A Grave, digital image (www.findagrave.com : accessed 26 January 2019), photograph, Lorenz Stoehr (1790-1876), Memorial No. 69221239, Elgin City Cemetery, Elgin, Fayette County, Iowa; photograph by Tammy Miller, 2015.

Lorenz was widowed in 1855 and spent the years thereafter at the homes of his children.11 In 1856, he lived with his daughter Eva and her husband Hiram Hammond on their farm in Clayton County; in 1860 and 1870, he could be found at the home of his son George, a jeweler and dry goods merchant, first in Clayton County and then in neighboring Fayette County, Iowa.12

Lorenz Stoehr died at the age of eighty-six on 07 December 1876, likely at the home of his son in Elgin, Fayette County, Iowa.13 He is buried at the Elgin City Cemetery where an upright tombstone marks his grave.14

Copyright © 2019 Melanie Frick. All Rights Reserved.


SOURCES

1 “George Stoehr,” Portrait and Biographical Album of Fayette County, Iowa (Chicago: Lake City Publishing, 1891), 448; digital images, Google Books (http://books.google.com : accessed 26 January 2019).
2 Wikipedia (www.wikipedia.org), “Weißenstadt,” rev. 15:28, 23 December 2018.
sup>3 Find A Grave, Inc., Find A Grave, digital image (http://www.findagrave.com : accessed 26 January 2019), photograph, Lorenz Stoehr (1790-1876), Memorial No. 69221239, Elgin City Cemetery, Elgin, Fayette County, Iowa; photograph by Tammy Miller, 2015.
4 “George Stoehr,” Portrait and Biographical Album of Fayette County, Iowa, 448.
5 “George Stoehr,” Portrait and Biographical Album of Fayette County, Iowa, 448.
6 “George Stoehr,” Portrait and Biographical Album of Fayette County, Iowa, 448.
7 Personal Papers and Military Buttons of Lorenz Stoehr, Stoehr Family Collection; privately held by Ed O’Leary, 2017, and “Public Member Trees,” database, Ancestry.com (http://www.ancestry.com : accessed 26 January 2019), “Ed O’Leary Family Tree,” entry for Lorenz Stoehr (1790-1876); submitted by Ed O’Leary.
8 “George Stoehr,” Portrait and Biographical Album of Fayette County, Iowa, 448-449, and “Public Member Trees,” database, Ancestry.com (http://www.ancestry.com : accessed 26 January 2019), “Melanie’s Family Tree,” entries for Margaretha B. (1824-1897), Johann Wolfgang (1826-1883), Eva Margaretha (1831-1906), George Adam (1833-1915), and Johann Friedrich Stoehr (1842-circa 1857); submitted by Melanie Frick.
9 “New York, Passenger Lists, 1820-1957,” digital images, Ancestry.com (http://www.ancestry.com : accessed 26 January 2018), manifest, Solon, Bremen, Germany to New York, arriving 01 June 1853, Joseph Stöhr; citing National Archives microfilm M237, roll 126.
10 “George Stoehr,” Portrait and Biographical Album of Fayette County, Iowa, 449.
11 “George Stoehr,” Portrait and Biographical Album of Fayette County, Iowa, 448.
12 “Iowa State Census, 1856,” Volga, Clayton County, Iowa, Lawrence Stohr; digital images, Ancestry.com (http://www.ancestry.com : accessed 26 January 2019), 1860 U.S. census, Clayton County, Iowa, population schedule, Garnavillo, p. 5 (penned), dwelling 33, family 31, Laurence Stoechr; digital image, Ancestry.com (http://www.ancestry.com : accessed 26 January 2019), citing National Archives microfilm M593, roll 383, and 1870 U.S. census, Fayette County, Iowa, population schedule, Elgin, p. 10 (penned), dwelling 69, family 69, Lawrence Stoehr; digital image, Ancestry.com (http://www.ancestry.com : accessed 26 January 2019), citing National Archives microfilm M593, roll 391.
13 Find A Grave, Inc., digital image, photograph, Lorenz Stoehr (1790-1876), Memorial No. 69221239, Elgin City Cemetery, Elgin, Fayette County, Iowa; photograph by Tammy Miller, 2015.
14 Find A Grave, Inc., digital image, photograph, Lorenz Stoehr (1790-1876), Memorial No. 69221239, Elgin City Cemetery, Elgin, Fayette County, Iowa; photograph by Tammy Miller, 2015.

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2 thoughts on “Tombstone Tuesday: Lorenz Stoehr (1790-1876)

    1. Melanie Frick Post author

      Good question! In Germany, it seems Lorenz would have used the spelling Stöhr, which I think would have sounded something like the word “stir.” With the “oe” replacing the umlaut in America, I suspect the pronunciation may be more like “stower” (with a long o sound), but I actually don’t know any Stoehr cousins today to know how they pronounce it! :)

      Reply

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