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Below is a family biography included in The History of Cole County, Missouri published by Goodspeed Publishing Company in 1889.  These biographies are valuable for genealogy research in discovering missing ancestors or filling in the details of a family tree. Family biographies often include far more information than can be found in a census record or obituary.  Details will vary with each biography but will often include the date and place of birth, parent names including mothers' maiden name, name of wife including maiden name, her parents' names, name of children (including spouses if married), former places of residence, occupation details, military service, church and social organization affiliations, and more.  There are often ancestry details included that cannot be found in any other type of genealogical record.

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F. Steffens, merchant at Decatur, Mo., was born in Hanover, Germany, in 1841, being the fifth of a family of seven born to H. and Eliza Steffens, who were native Germans, the father a miller by trade. At the age of twenty-six years F. Steffens came to the United States, locating in Jefferson City, where he secured employment in Dulle’s Mills, remaining four years. While there he was married to Miss Kate Opel, a native of Germany, who came to America with her parents in her youth. Mr. Steffens afterward rented a mill in Cole County, on the Moreau, where he remained one year, and then came to Decatur and bought the Union Mill in partnership with his brother-in-law, continuing thus for eight years, when he purchased his partner’s interest and also a store in the town, and soon acquired an extensive trade in both enterprises. From time to time he has purchased tracts of land until he now owns 535 acres, lying on Moreau Creek, opposite Decatur. He has 275 acres under cultivation, and the greater part of the rest can easily be put in a tillable condition. Besides this he owns property in Decatur. Since 1888 his mill has been supplied with the roller process, and has four sets of eighteen inch buhrs, and one set of buhrs for grinding corn for feed, the mill having a capacity of seventy-five barrels daily. In 1880 he met with an accident in his mill by which he lost one of his legs. Since 1882 he has been post master of Decatur, but is not very active in politics. He and family attend the Lutheran Church at Lohman. His children are: Theressa, wife of Bailey Landsdown; Joannah, Annie, Emma, Henry, Gus, and Nettie (deceased).

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This family biography is one of 127 biographies included in The History of Cole County, Missouri published in 1889.  For the complete description, click here: Cole County, Missouri History, Genealogy, and Maps

View additional Cole County, Missouri family biographies here: Cole County, Missouri Biographies

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