Thursday, September 23, 2010

Oktoberfest and German Heritage

This Saturday, the area that is known as the southside of Jefferson City, will celebrate Old Munichburg Oktoberfest. This area was established in the 1800's, mainly by German emigrants.

When the blacksmith was asked to participate, little did they know that he had ties to the area.

The Sunday News Tribune paper ran an article July 1934 about a house in the area. Here is an excerpt from that paper:

In 1850 John and Margaretta Asel bought an acre of land to built their log house. They had two sons to fill the house. Three more sons and three daughters would later fill this small home. The house was located only a short distance away from a group of Indians. Mrs. Asel at first was very terrified of them. Later they would become not only her friends but her customers. As many as thirty loaves a day were drawn from her huge oven in the side yard, to be replaced by as many pies. All of which found a ready market.

Great piles of logs, salvaged from Missouri River driftwood, supplied the fuel for this oven and for the little log smokehouse now resting in a corner of the flower-filled yard and wearing a modern coat of cement. A great ice house, forty feet square and holding many tons of ice cut from the river during the winters months, also was built upon the premises and was a great factor in the success of their business. A never failing deep wall, in times of drouth, refreshed the throats of the Indian Camp, and citizens came with their buckets from far and near. A dry cistern was used as a storage room for the valuables of many residents during the Civil War. As the bounds of the Asel property widened, much of the butchering , curing and cooking of meat was done on the place.

Margaretta, with the aid of John after market hours, was said to have made a thousand dollars selling fried sausage to the soldiers. Many sandwiches of home-made bread, pig ears and pig snoots were handed out to neighborhood boys who stood with watering mouths.

The little house does not now belong to a member of the Asel family having been rented several years ago and later sold to Anton Monat (the Blacksmith's great uncle). And if no member of the Asel family longer cared to live in the little log house, no more fitting family could have been found to occupy it.

Seated at a shining walnut table in the center of the front room, when the writer approached the open door, was Anton's father, Peter Monat, playing solitaire. In the middle of the table was a vase of lavender, hardy sweet peas. Peter Monat understands and speaks no English, and so his son, Fritz, came from a painting job across the street to act as host. Peter Monat's wife died two years ago. An enlarged kodak picture of her standing among her flowers and shrubs was near him upon a dresser. Sacred pictures upon the walls bespoke the religion of this family and a furled flag of the United States standing in the corner of the tiny stairway landing attested their loyalty to the land of their adoption. Peter Monat and his sons were born in Germany. Since the mother's death Fritz has been the housekeeper. Shining floors, spotless furniture and crisp curtains evidence his ability and his efforts. Even the kitchen cupboard, with its rows of sparking glass and glossy china, was in perfect order when he opened the doors to show us a cup brought from Meiderich, Germany, bearing his father's name and his title of Reviser in the Artsverein.

Outside, along the porch railing, and all about the house were well-attended plants and shrubs. Could the little pioneer home built by a young German immigrant nearly a century ago, have fallen into better hands?

This was the home at the corner of Ashley and Madison Street. Unfortunately it is no longer there. In the early seventies it was torn down. A concrete parking lot covers the area now.

This is Anton and Fritz, the two brothers that occupied the house.

Great Grandparents Peter and Anna Nauerman Monat.

Saturday we will proudly display the above pictures to show our German heritage.


GardenofDaisies said...

I always enjoy hearing about people's families. The strong pioneer/settler/homsteader spirit that made people come out here and work hard on their land to make something for future generations of their family... It really is amazing. So glad you have this informtaion to pass on to your children so they know where they came from. So much of Eastern and Central Missouri was settled by Germans. Some of my own ancestors included.

Deanna said...

We are really looking forward to tomorrow. It is supposed to be a gorgeous Fall day!

Anonymous said...

What a wonderful post, I enjoyed reading this so much and I loved seeing the pictures, what a pretty house it was, it is so sad it is gone now, thank you for sharing, hope you have a good time tomorrow!