Biography of Theodore Hemmelgarn
Mercer County, Ohio Biographies

THEODORE HEMMELGARN, a pioneer settler of Granville township, and one of its best known residents, now residing with his son Anton, to whom he sold his 160 acre farm, was born in Germany, September 4, 1829, and is a son of Henry and Mary (Derkas) Hemmelgarn.

The parents of Mr. Hemmelgarn were born and married in Germany. In 1835 they came to America, accompanied by an uncle and aunt of Theodore, the former of whom, William, died at Cincinnati, and the latter, Mary, married Henry Brockman, and died at Cranberry Prairie, Mercer County. The Hemmelgarn were poor when they came to this country and they struggled through several years before they reached Mercer County. The father then bought 40 acres of land from the State which he subsequently cleared, and built first a round log cabin, later, a hewed log cabin, in which the parents died. This was at a time when pioneer conditions prevailed, the country being but sparsely settled. Herds of deer, numbering as many as 20 individuals, would invade the farm and wild turkeys provided a greater part of the family sustenance. The children born to Henry and Mary Hemmelgarn were: Mary, who married Bernard Drahman, both now deceased; Elizabeth, a nun in a religious institution, who died in Massachusetts; Theodore; Henry, who married Catherine Smith; Joseph, who married Gertrude Smith; and Catherine, who died in childhood.

Theodore Hemmelgarn was six years old when he came with his parents to America and he remained with them until his marriage, in 1853, to Mary Hulsman. After a happy married life of 37 years, she died June 21, 1890. She was a daughter of Herman and Margaret Huisman, who came to America about the same time as did the Hemmelgarns, she being a babe at that time. The other members of her family were: Bernard, Henry and Joseph, of whom Henry is the only survivor.

Mr. and Mrs. Hemmelgarn had. 13 children, as follows: Theodore, who married Mary Nordenbrook; Henry, who married Elizabeth Racheling; Joseph, who married Anna Wagner and lives in Minnesota; Bernard, who married Anna Krimblebeck; John; Anton, who married Lena Shendeler; William, who married Takla Eau; Josephina, who married John Thresher; Theresa, who married Joseph Steinbruner; and Mary, Benjamin, William and Elizabeth, deceased.

For to years after his marriage Mr. Hemmelgarn lived near St. Henry, en a farm which he bought right in the midst of the woods. This farm he sold at a later date and in 1864 purchased from David Wintered the one mentioned above, on which a frame house stood. At that time the country was very wild in every direction and Mr. Hemmelgarn pastured his cows in the woods and, when he went in the evening to bring them home, would often take his gun along and shoot wild game for the evening meal. He worked hard to develope this farm and was cheerfully assisted in all his efforts by his estimable wife. He is very proud of his seven grandchildren, Anton's children, who are named: Aloysius, Alvina, Regina, Ernest, Leona, Charles and Adolph. The family belongs to St. Bernard's Catholic Church at Burkettsville. Politically Mr. Hemmelgarn is a Democrat.

History of Mercer County, Ohio
and Representative Citizens
Edited & Compiled by: Hon. S. S. Scranton
Published by: Biographical Publishing Company
Chicago, Illinois

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