concordia-memories.org Forum Index concordia-memories.org
Recalling Concordia's Past
 
 FAQFAQ   SearchSearch   MemberlistMemberlist   UsergroupsUsergroups   RegisterRegister 
 ProfileProfile   Log in to check your private messagesLog in to check your private messages   Log inLog in 

Coming to America, part 2

 
Post new topic   Reply to topic    concordia-memories.org Forum Index -> Pape family
View previous topic :: View next topic  
Author Message
roger.pape
Site Admin


Joined: 17 Mar 2009
Posts: 385
Location: Liverpool, NY

PostPosted: Fri Mar 07, 2014 12:48 pm    Post subject: Coming to America, part 2 Reply with quote

For some time, I have been trying to track down information about my grandfather Jacob Pape’s journey to America and why he came. He never spoke to the children about the trip or much about life back in Germany. He didn't keep a diary of the journey; neither did he write down any memoirs. So far, the only documentation I have found is the passenger list of the steamship Neckar on which he traveled from Bremen, Germany to New York City arriving on 2 May 1884. Jacob arrived two years before the Statue of Liberty was completed, so he didn't have the thrill of seeing that landmark. How he got to Bremen from his home in Meinstedt, Germany (see photo of the homestead at Old Pape Home in Meinstedt, Germany) and how he traveled from New York City to the Midwest are still unknown. Other information that I have consists of a few letters that he received from his brothers after he came to the U.S. and some family stories. The following is what I have been able to piece together from these sources.

Jacob's parents both died when he was a youngster. Father Claus died the day before Jacob's ninth birthday and his mother Maria Ropers Pape died in 1881 when he was twelve years old. His sister Adelheid emigrated to the US with her boyfriend Peter Schlesselmann the following year (1882) when she reached the age of 21. On the other hand, Jacob was still young and was being raised by older brother Claus until he was confirmed.

After confirmation in 1883, Jacob obviously began to think of what he would do when he grew up. Being the eighth child in the family, he did not inherit any land to farm. As was the custom, oldest brother Claus inherited the family farm. Some of his other brothers became carpenters and probably day laborers. The 1880s were a time in Germany when Iron Chancellor Bismark was building up the German Empire. He had instituted universal military training, so all of the young men had to serve in the army at that time. This was unpopular with many of the young boys so some, including Jacob’s good friend William Horman, decided that it was time to emigrate to America.

Boat passage from Bremen to New York in the 1880s was about $25-30 in steerage (plus other travel expenses). That was more than teenager Jacob had in his possession at that time. It turns out that he did receive a 600 Mark (about $125) inheritance when his parents died; but that was placed in trust so he could not touch it. Brother Claus did not appear to be in favor of his move and did not loan him the money. (Besides, he would lose a helper on the farm.) However, farmers in the U.S. knew about the sentiment among the young men at that time and advertised in Germany that they would pay for a person’s transportation if he agreed to work for them long enough to pay off the costs. So Jacob decided to sign up as an indentured servant to a farmer in Poinsett County, Arkansas who paid for his boat passage.

On his way to Arkansas, Jacob stopped in Concordia, MO to visit his sister Adelheid, who was living there with her husband Peter Schlesselmann. Adelheid was pregnant at the time, so Jacob stayed with the Louis Stuenkel family, another farmer in the area. (It was a common practice for people at that time to board young men arriving from Germany.) While staying at the Stuenkel farm, Jacob became attracted to one of Louis’ young daughters, Marie. At a recent reunion, my cousin Murray related a story told by his father. He said that Grandpa Pape would say that the way to learn another language is from a second-grade schoolchild. It just happens that that was the age of Marie at the time he stayed with her family.

Jacob then continued to Poinsett County, AR to work for his benefactor in the rice fields of that area (near the Mississippi River). While working there, at one point he contracted malaria. When he had worked long enough to pay off his debt, the farmer offered Jacob some land if he continued to work there. However, Jacob wanted to move from the area, so he picked up stakes and went to work in the wheat fields of Washington State (as far from Arkansas as possible). How long he worked in Washington is uncertain; but while he was there, he wrote letters to that young girl he met in Missouri (signing the letter “Your long-legged friend, Jacob”).

Eventually, Jacob decided to return to Concordia, MO to be close to friends and relatives. There he worked for his future father-in-law Louis Stuenkel. He also received his inheritance from Germany. When he had enough money, he purchased a farm northeast of Concordia from Louis where he settled with his new wife Maria.


Last edited by roger.pape on Mon Mar 10, 2014 7:20 am; edited 1 time in total
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail Visit poster's website
roger.pape
Site Admin


Joined: 17 Mar 2009
Posts: 385
Location: Liverpool, NY

PostPosted: Sat Mar 08, 2014 1:35 pm    Post subject: Neckar details Reply with quote

Jacob Pape immigrated to the U.S. on the steamship Neckar (photo below). It left Bremen, Germany mid-April, 1884 and arrived at Castle Garden in New York City about two weeks later on 2 May 1884. More information about the ship can be found at Palmer List of Merchant Vessels. Note that, while it was a steamship, it included two masts for sails to speed its journey and reduce fuel consumption.

The Neckar was operated by the ship line Norddeutscher Lloyd. When he decided to leave Germany, Jacob probably saw posters such as shown below. Whether the farmer who paid for his passage provided tickets for this particular voyage or if he simply took the next available ship when he arrived in Bremen is not known.



neckar-1873-s.jpg
 Description:
Steamship Neckar on which Jacob Pape traveled to America.
 Filesize:  8.87 KB
 Viewed:  3382 Time(s)

neckar-1873-s.jpg



Norddeutscher_Lloyd-Bremen_Amerika_570.jpg
 Description:
Poster advertising voyages to America
 Filesize:  73.53 KB
 Viewed:  3382 Time(s)

Norddeutscher_Lloyd-Bremen_Amerika_570.jpg


Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail Visit poster's website
Display posts from previous:   
Post new topic   Reply to topic    concordia-memories.org Forum Index -> Pape family All times are GMT - 6 Hours
Page 1 of 1

 
Jump to:  
You cannot post new topics in this forum
You cannot reply to topics in this forum
You cannot edit your posts in this forum
You cannot delete your posts in this forum
You cannot vote in polls in this forum
You cannot attach files in this forum
You can download files in this forum


Powered by phpBB © 2001, 2005 phpBB Group