Saturday, July 3, 2010

Surname Saturday: Henry Hanxleden, civil war ancestor

In honor of the 4th of July, I am writing today about the family in my tree that has been in the U.S. the longest.  I'd always thought my family were recent immigrants, coming to the U.S. in the late 1800's or early 1900's, so imagine my surprise when I found out one of my ancestors fought in the Civil War.

Henry Hanxleden (also found as Hanxladen, Hauxleden or Hansleden) shares a birthday with me, born August 30, 1819, Köln, Nordrhein-Westfalen, Germany and died March 19, 1889 in St. Charles, Kane County, Illinois.  Henry married Catherine Maas on October 1, 1946.  They immigrated to the U.S. in June 10, 1852.

Nine years later, Henry became a member of the 8th Illinois Calvary (at age 42) until he mustered out July 17, 1865.  Henry's calvary fought at Gettysburg among many other historic battles.  Henry was a member of the G.A.R. (G.A.R. is the Grand Army of the Republic, a fraternal organization composed of veterans of the Union Army who had served in the American Civil War).

In, Passing in Review: Reminiscences of Men Who Have Lived in St. Charles, Pliny A. Durant writes about Henry Hanxleden: 
"Born in Koln, Germany, in 1819, this hard-working son of the "Faderland" became a citizen of St. Charles in 1852.  He never seemed able to master the intricacies of the English language, and as long as he lived it was nearly impossible to understand him when he spoke.  His own language was so peculiar that the very best German scholars in the community with great difficulty understood him. He was an honest, upright man, and during the War of the Rebellion, served his adopted country faithfully.   In after years he was a member of the local G.A.R. post and always seemed proud of his record as a soldier.  He performed many a day's labor on the streets of St. Charles and always seemed to have a special friendship for John F. Elliott, who somehow had a knack of understanding him, which others lacked.  Poor Henry was laid away at last, and another of the characters of the place has since been missing." 
1885 St. Charles, Illinois city directory:

St. Charles North Cemetery:

Henry's daughter, Elenore (Laura) Hanxleden married Killian Krapf.  Their daughter, Emma Amelia Krapf, married Albert Ruebensam, my great great grandpa.

1 comment:

  1. Great story. Wonderful you have a full description of his character.
    Great post