I found this little history of Mother's Grandfather Twelker on a post card in one of Mother's boxes. It was addressed to Aunt Lily from --------(name illegible, possibly A W B or A M B, possibly a Boehmer):
"Johann's parents died when he was very young. The people who raised him were not good to him. He ran away at 12 years and shifted for himself. He had a half sister, age unknown or if she came to America. He was born near Bielefeld, Germany, came to the US in 1846. Johanna Louise had two half-sisters, not known if their name was Beste. They all came to the U.S. together. One half- sister died soon after of either small pox or cholera. All had small pox soon after arrival in U.S. Grandma T. had some marks on her face. Came to U.S., St Louis 1848"
(Mother's) Uncle Paul moved to San Diego around the turn of the century. He convinced Mother's father (John Christopher) that he should also come out as the climate was so much better. Papa had rheumatism and it was thought the milder winters would be beneficial.
Mother had typed the names of the participants from her recollections of her relatives. Edgar supplimented that information with another list. There is a draped portrait and a bouquet in the center of the picture, but Mother did not know why it was there or who the person in the portrait was. Edgar sent me a list that supplemented the people that Mother didn't remember. I have since learned from George Hockmeyer that the picture is of Anna Johanning, Grandpa Twelker's daughter.
One of the things that has made my study so confusing was not only the doubled relationships, but the tendency to use the same names. Children are named after aunts and uncles and in some instances the same name may have been used for two children in the same family. A couple of the favorites for the men were Johann, Friedrich and Wilhelm to be used in mix or match style. The use of Eliese and its variations of spelling, Elise, Elsie and Lizzie, were popular among the women. Of course some of the spelling variations have to do with Anglicizing the German spellings.
David Boehmer writes that John Twelker was a founding member of the Salem Methodist Episcopal Church. The following newspaper article says that John Twelker was the local minister, and preached when the regular minister was absent. Perhaps the "regular" minister may have been a circuit rider? David Boehmer: dboeh at home dot com | Email help
Verne Twelker Brown gave this newspaper clipping to David Boehmer;
Mr. and Mrs. John C. Twelker clebrated their golden wedding anniversary at their country home at Port Hudson, Franklin County, Missouri on June 8, 1899.
Mr. and Mrs. Twelker were born in Bealefield, Germany, and came to this country in 1849. They were married in St. Louis June 3, 1849. To this union were born 6 children, as follows: Mrs. August Boehmer, John, Mrs. Joammig, (deceased), Mrs. Adolph Boehmer, Henry and Paul.
In 1854 the family moved to Port Hudson, where the aged couple now reside.
At the appointed hour Rev. Goetz, the pastor of the German M.E. (Methodist Episcopal) Church, followed by the bride and groom, their children, and grand-children marched into the room prepared for the occasion, where their many friends were awaiting them. A little time was then devoted to songs and prayer, and a short address was delivered by Rev. Goetz. The oldest son, John, then in a very impressive and beautiful speech delivered lovely presents to his parents. To see their surprise and delight made all present rejoice. Congratulations were extended to the aged couple, which ended that part of the program.
In the afternoon a photographer from Washington arrived to take the pictures of the crowd. The first one was of the entire company and the second one was of the aged couple alone.
The children of this couple had arranged everything without the knowledge of their parents until the day preceding the anniversary. They also put forth every effort for all present to have a pleasant time, and their efforts were not in vain. They had made arrangements for all their children, with their families to come, which made quite a large family altogether, their being 21 grand-children.
In the afternoon the young people of the church serenaded the couple, which was another very pleasant surprise for them. A nice dinner was served at the proper time, and during the afternoon and evening refreshments ere served.
Mr. Twelker is in his 85th year, and has been the local minister of his church for the past 22 years, always taking the regular minister's place when he was absent. Mrs. Twelker is in her 76th year. They are both enjoying very good health.
Their youngest son, Paul, and family live with the aged couple, to care for them in their old age and to manage the farm. Paul was a resident of New Haven a few years ago. At an appropriate hour the guests departed, bidding farewell to the aged couple, and wishing that they might have the pleasure again of spending another day with them.