Caroline Koch Tieman Rehmer: A Story of Perseverance

My 2x great grandmother Caroline Koch was born near Pyrmont, in Morgan County, Missouri, April 2, 1853. While some sources have listed her birth in Germany, a preponderance of evidence supports her American birth including census records and birth and death records of her children.

Her name included the following variations:
 Johanna Caroline Koch – Morgan County marriage records
 Hannah Caroline Koch – numerous ancestry family trees
 Others have reversed the first and second names

Caroline was born to Heinrich Ludwig Christian Koch (1816-1903) and Louisa Caroline Amelia Munstermann (1812-1884). Heinrich Koch was born in Hanover, Lower Saxony, Germany. Henry married Louisa at Trinity Church in Stover, Morgan County on October 26, 1848. Louisa was born in Hanover, Germany on November 9, 1811, or December 20, 1812. Her gravestone and death records disagree on the date. She was just shy of her thirty seventh birthday when they married. It is unclear when Henry immigrated because the 1900 census states, he immigrated in 1849, but marriage records show he and Louisa were here before then. The census also confirms Henry was a naturalized American citizen.

According to Morgan County marriage records their daughter Johanna Caroline Koch married Casper Heinrich Tieman on April 17, 1873. To this union were born three children: Hanna Frances Casdorph (2 Feb 1874-23 Jan 1951), Caroline “Lena” Rasa (16 Nov 1875-23 May 1969) and William Louis Fred (15 Mar 1878-30 Sep 1977). They made a home on the “old Argenbright place” eight miles southwest of Versailles in the Stover area. Their life together was not destined to be a long one. On April 27, 1878, when William was only a month old, Henry was working on the farm on a Saturday when a young colt fell through an old cistern on the property. A newspaper report from a Jefferson City newspaper recounted the drowning of Mr. Henry Tieman:

Mr. Tieman had an open cistern in his pasture, into which a young col, while grazing near it, fell. Mr. Tieman happened to witness the affair, and immediately started to rescue the animal, first crying to his wife to follow him with a rope. Arriving at the cistern, Mr. Tieman descended at once, and buoyed up the colt with one arm while he clung to the rope passed down by his wife with the other.

In this position Mrs. Tieman attempted to bring her heavy and unwieldy burden to the surface, and actually succeeded in drawing them very nearly to the top, when she was told by her husband to take hold of the colt and lift it out, while he took care of himself. Mrs. Tieman caught hold of the colt by the ears and was in the act of lifting it out, when it struggled vigorously and slipped from her grasp, falling backwards into the cistern, and carrying Mr. Tieman with it, when both sank to rise no more alive. Mrs. Tieman had barely strength enough to give the alarm to some of the near neighbors, after which she fainted away and remained speechless for a considerable length of time. An hour or so elapsed after the arrival of the neighbors before they could procure grapnels with which to draw out the body of the unfortunate man and the dead colt…Mr. T. was a German, a hard-working farmer, and was generally
liked in the neighborhood (The State Journal, 10 May 1878, 4).

Another account stated that after having gone down in the well the first time Caroline begged Henry not to return, but he could not allow the animal to struggle unassisted. Against his wife’s wishes, he went in for a second try. According to the newspaper report, Caroline said he sank like a stone, seeming to cramp almost immediately after he entered the water. Caroline tried to pull Henry and the colt out. She frantically ran for the neighbors, but by the time help arrived, Henry had expired. No inquest was made into the death primarily because one of the neighbors was Justice Comp, who attested to the facts of Henry’s death. Henry was buried on Monday in the Pyrmont Lutheran Cemetery. Caroline had an estate sale on Saturday May 17, and likely moved in with relatives. She was 25 and had three children under the age of five. Henry and Caroline had celebrated their 5th wedding anniversary ten days before he died.

According to Morgan County marriage records, Caroline Tieman married Johann Rehmer on February 9, 1879. “John Henry” Rehmer was born in 1833 in Germany and immigrated to the US in 1857. In 1900, the census reported that he and Caroline had been married for 21 years and that Caroline had given birth to nine children, seven of whom were living. In 1883, Caroline and John bought 105-acre farm (west of Florence on Butterfield Trail) from James P. and Ella J. Hook. On this farm they raised four
children Louis Carl (1884-1968), William August Christopher (1886-1958), Martha Clara Josephine Schroeder (1891-1979) and Sophia Wilhelmine Katherine Schroeder (1881-1961), in addition to Caroline’s children from her first marriage.

According to the 1900 Census, their granddaughter Anna F. Koch (age 12) lived with them. Martha married Erven L. Schroeder in May 1914 and Sophie married Louis F. Schroeder in September 1900. Born on 17 August 1886, August Rehmer’s birth record lists his mother as Carolina Koch Rehmer, aged 34, nationality American, born in Morgan Co., MO. John Rehmer, listed as father, was born in Strelitz, Germany and was 53 at the time of August’s birth. The family lived in Richland Township, and this was the seventh child of John and Caroline, only four of whom lived into adulthood.

Caroline Koch Tieman Rehmer died on September 2, 1904 and was buried in the UCC Cemetery in Florence two days later. According to church records she was fifty-one years old and five months when she died. Her life was not an easy one, having endured the tragic loss of a husband and three children. But her legacy survives. John died June 19, 1912, of liver cancer. John and Caroline are buried in the United Church of Christ Cemetery in Florence, Missouri.

1 thought on “Caroline Koch Tieman Rehmer: A Story of Perseverance”

  1. My Mother, Alice May Argenbright Brunjes , grew up on the Argenbright farm that you speak of. It is still in the family

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