28 April 2013

Heinrich Wilhelm Oberhellmann

1823 — 1902

Biographical Material

Henry W. Oberhellmann

(Farmer, Post-office, Holstein)

With the large influx of German settlers in North-east Missouri between 1830-1840, and particularly in St. Charles and Warren counties, was the father of the subject of the present sketch, Henry A. Oberhellmann, who came to America with his family in 1833 and settled in Warren county.1   He was a millwright by trade in Germany, but intended to follow farming exclusively in this country.  He died, however, in about a year after settling in the county.  Henry W. Oberhellman, the subject of this sketch, was about 10 years of age when the family came to Warren county.  In 1849 he was married here to Miss Engel Niemann, a daughter of F. Niemann, of Warren county, but formerly of Germany. 2   To them were born two children, one of whom died in infancy.  The other, William, is a merchant and postmaster at Holstein. 3   Before his marriage Mr. Oberhellmann had begun farming for himself, and this he continued afterwards.  In 1852 he had the misfortune to lose his wife, who was taken from him by the inexorable hand of death. 4   Subsequently he was married to Miss Sophia Bierbaum, a daughter of Henry and Elizabeth Bierbaum, originally of Germany, but at the time residents of St. Charles county, both of whom are now deceased. 5   By his last marriage were born nine children, two of whom died in infancy.  The others are:  Henry, Mina, Fritz, Johanne, Martin, Daniel and Anne, the last of whom is the eldest and wife of Fritz Lichtenberg, a farmer of this county.  Mr. Oberhellmann has for years been justly regarded as one of the industrious farmers and worthy citizens of Charrette township.  His tract of land contains 255 acres, a large part of which is under fence and well improved.  He was one of the founders of the German Church at Holstein.

Source: History of St. Charles, Montgomery, and Warren Counties, Missouri, Written and Compiled From the Most Authentic Official and Private Sources, Including a History Of Their Townships, Towns and Villages, Together With a Condensed History af Missouri; a Reliable and Detailed History of St. Charles, Montgomery and Warren Counties - Their Pioneer Record, Resources, Biographical Sketches of Prominent Citizens; General and Local Statistics of Great Value; Incidents and Reminiscences (National Historical Company, 1885), pages 1,046-1,047.


  1. In other documents, the father of Heinrich Wilhelm Oberhellmann is identified as Arnold H. Oberhellmann; the mother was Margaretha E. Dannebrock. The family lived in the Province of Westphalia, Kingdom of Prussia before their journey to the USA. I currently do not know how many family members made this journey.

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  2. Heinrich Wilhelm Oberhellmann and Marie Engel Nieman were married on 14 December 1848. The marriage was recorded in the archives of the German Evangelical Church on Charrette in Holstein, Missouri (known since 1957 as Immanuels United Church of Christ). Friedrich Schlomann and Gerhard Hackmann were witnesses.

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  3. The names of the two children are mentioned below in the Brief Genealogy.

    A brief description of Oberhellmann and Brueggenjohann, merchants and traders at Holstein, Missouri, was published in the same source, immediately before this biographical sketch. A transcription of this description is available elsewhere in the Documents section of this web site.

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  4. Marie Engel (Nieman) Oberhellmann actually died on 13 September 1851 at the age of 19 years, 8 months. Her death was recorded in the archives of the German Evangelical Church on Charrette at Holstein, Missouri. The same source recorded the death of her son, Friedrich Gerhard Oberhellmann, on 3 October 1851, noting that his age was 4 months, 1 day.

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  5. The second wife was Catharina Sophia Wilhelmine Bierbaum. The marriage was recorded in the archives of the German Evangelical Church on Charrette at Holstein, Missouri. Pastor Joseph Rieger officiated. Gerhard Hackmann and Friedrich Steinkamp were witnesses.

    Catharina Sophia Wilhelmine Bierbaum was the daughter of Johann and Anna (Wibbeler) Bierbaum. The family had its origins in Westphalia in northwestern Germany. She was the brother of Johann Heinrich Wilhelm Bierbaum (1812-1872).

    Johann Heinrich Wilhelm, his wife, Anna Christine Elsabein (Fiegenbaum) Bierbaum (1815-1894), and their only child at the time, Heinrich Wilhelm Bierbaum, age 1 year, emigrated in 1841 from Ladbergen, Province of Westphalia, Kingdom of Prussia to the USA. An 18 year old Catharina Sophia Wilhelmine Bierbaum accompanied them. In all, at least 13 members of the extended family departed Germany from the port of Bremen on the bark Leontine. Of the 102 persons on board, 56 were identified on the passenger list as former residents of Ladbergen. Four other persons were from the nearby towns of Brochterbeck and Lengerich. The Leontine arrived at Baltimore, Maryland on 28 June 1841. The Fiegenbaums, Aufderhaars and Bierbaums traveled further west and settled in Warren County, Missouri.

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Brief Genealogy

Marie Engel Nieman's family

I currently have no information about Marie Engel Nieman's birth family.

Heinrich Wilhelm Oberhellmann & Marie Engel Nieman family

Heinrich Wilhelm Oberhellmann's 1st marriage

Catharina Sophia Wilhelmine Bierbaum's family

Heinrich Wilhelm Oberhellmann & Catharina Sophia Wilhelmine Bierbaum family

Heinrich Wilhelm Oberhellmann's 2nd marriage

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