My Genealogy Hound

Below is a family biography included in the book, The History of Lewis County, Missouri published by Goodspeed Publishing Company in 1887.  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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Henry Steffens, farmer and carpenter, was born in Germany about 1838. Casper A. and Martha E., his parents, came to America about 1840, and in 1846 located seventeen miles east of Quincy. The father was engaged as a day laborer, and, while grading the streets, was buried under a caving bank. While he was being dug out he received such injuries on the head from the workmen’s tools that he was prostrated for a long time. He was in debt after this, and immediately began clearing some land he had bought. In 1863 he went to Knox County, but in a few months came to Salem Township, where he bought a large farm, and became one of the wealthiest land owners of the county, and owned about 2,000 acres. In 1868 he erected a brick flouring and saw mill and wool carding factory, and the following year furnished the means for the first store in the town which received his name. He was the real father of the place. He died in 1873, and the mother followed him seven years later. Our subject received few school advantages, and in January, 1860, he married Evaline, the daughter of John and Emaline Lirley, of Adams County, Ill., and Mrs. Steffens increased our subject’s financial means with $3,000. Two children are deceased, and those living are Alice (the wife of A. L. Rife), John F., Lillie M., Edward L. and Ervin C. He remained in Adams County, Ill., until from 1866 to 1876, when his home was in Knox County. He then bought the mill and factory at Steffenville, and after six years operating that he engaged in farming and carpentering. He is one of the largest land owners of the county, with an estate of about 1,600 acres, 520 of which are in Knox County. In politics he is entirely independent. He is an able financier, and a good manager.

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This family biography is one of 293 biographies included in the Lewis County, Missouri portion of the book,  The History of Lewis, Clark, Knox and Scotland Counties, Missouri published in 1887.  For the complete description, click here: Lewis County, Missouri History, Genealogy, and Maps

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

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