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Family legacy spins to life in antique

Family legacy spins to life in antique

June 4th, 2017 by Michelle Brooks in Local News

LeRoy Engelbrecht poses with two spinning wheels. The one on the right he made in the early 1980s, and the other was brought to the United States from Germany in 1857 by his ancestor.

Photo by Julie Smith /News Tribune.

When Anna Apollonia Grunbaum crossed the Atlantic Ocean with her new husband, Friedrick Ziegler, as immigrants from Bavaria aboard the Steamer Amalie in 1857, among her precious few possessions was a spinning wheel.

She spun the wooden treasure, responsible for clothing generations of her descendants, after they settled in Honey Creek — and continued after Ziegler's death with her second family with Adam Johann Krueger in that Cole County community.

Anna Apollonia's great-grandson, LeRoy Engelbrecht, as a child watched his own mother spin for her family on the same wheel. When Engelbrecht's sister inherited the spinning wheel in the late 1970s, he dismantled it and created a replica before it was relocated to Chicago.

Last week, Engelbrecht received a call from Cole County Historical Society volunteer Doris Schmutzler, who has been researching the spinning wheel, donated to the society a year ago.

That was the first he had heard the family heirloom had returned to Mid-Missouri. This week, Engelbrecht and three more generations of Anna Apollonia's descendants visited the museum to see the antique up close.

"This is my legacy," he said. "I'm tickled it's back in Cole County. This goes back to our family's beginnings in the county. I'm pleased it's back and will be preserved. As far as I'm concerned, it's history."

Engelbrecht, who still lives on the family's farm in Honey Creek, also brought his replica to view side by side with the original. Schmutzler shared her research about the immigrant woman and her progeny with the Honey Creek families.

During her genealogical research, Schmutzler discovered Anna Apollonia was her own grandmother's grandmother.

Anna Apollonia's story, Engelbrecht's replica spinning wheel and other Honey Creek community history will be part of the society's Getting To Know Our Communities Summer 2017 Series.

The program will begin at 7 p.m. Wednesday at Immanuel Lutheran Church-Honey Creek. Those who attend are encouraged to bring old photographs, memorabilia, scrapbooks and family histories.

Among Schmutzler's research sources was a handwritten account of Anna Apollonia's life story, taken down by Anna Apollonia's sister-in-law Margaret Fischer.

Anna Apollonia was born Feb. 13, 1839, in Ashbrook, Germany. She married her first husband, Frederick Ziegler, in a church, before immigrating by way of Bremen, Germany, and New York City.

The couple were legally married Aug. 30, 1857, in Cole County and then lived with his sister, Anna Schmidt. Their first daughter, Anna, was the only to survive to adulthood.

Ziegler died in October 1859. Anna Apollonia, a young widow expecting their second child, was taken in by the Krueger family in Honey Creek.

In January 1860, she married Adam Krueger, who was born in Cole County in 1841, the son of Bartholomaus and Catharina (Duenkel) Krueger.

Catharina's father, Wolfgang Duenkel, born in 1787 in Dohlau, Germany, first bought the land, now called Honey Creek, in about 1840. He donated the land where today's Immanuel Lutheran Church, Cemetery and School are now located.

Adam Krueger, with his brother-in-law, enlisted for three months in June 1861 at Osage Bluff as privates in the Cole County Home Guard. He then enlisted in August 1862 with the 42nd Regiment Enrolled Missouri Militia and served until October 1863, including involvement in skirmishes near Iberia and Waynesville.

Krueger took up arms a third time in fall 1864, as Confederate Gen. Sterling Price threatened to invade the Capital City. He served with the 48th Infantry, which was assigned to the Mississippi River and later Nashville and Columbia, Tennessee, before being sent to Chicago.

Krueger returned to his Honey Creek farm in summer 1865, minus the "good, young horse that he had when he went into service (which) was taken by the Confederates during Gen. Price's raid."

Anna Appolonia and Adam Krueger expanded their farm and built a new house in 1879, where they lived until moving to Jefferson City in 1893. Both are buried at the Trinity Lutheran Cemetery.


Upcoming historical society programs

The first of three programs in the Cole County Historical Society's Getting To Know Our Communities Summer 2017 Series will begin at 7 p.m. Wednesday at Immanuel Lutheran Church-Honey Creek.

The church's history, as well as the rural communities, will be discussed. Those who attend are encouraged to bring old photographs, memorabilia, scrapbooks and family histories.

The July program will focus on St. Margaret's in Osage Bluff, and August will feature Trinity Lutheran Church in Russellville.

Call 573-635-1850 for more information.