Category Archives: Missouri Germans

Deutsch Country Days

 Join MO-GERMANS at the largest German Living History Event in the Midwest on October 21 & 22!  !

Back in the mid-1970s our country was celebrating its Bi-Centennial everywhere. History

was alive! Robert and Lois Hostkoetter had found the old Huber Log Cabin from Perry County and rebuilt it on their property in southern Warren County near Lake Creek where the Germans had first settled. In love with Eric Sloane’s Covered Bridges they had added that to the farm as well. They wanted to share their passion for history, the Eric SloaneGerman heritage and their “Luxenhaus Farm” and help others understand and learn it as well. And so Deutsch Country Days was born. They followed this with the eighteen Missouri log structures from Gasconade, St. Charles, St. Louis and Warren Counties — all originally built from 1800 – 1860. These buildings became “LUXENHAUS FARM,” Platt Deutsch (Low German) for “log house farm.” Made with all the hard work and love this dedicated couple could give.

Each year on the third weekend of October people come from all over the world to share in this experience. The Luxenhaus Farm comes alive as a German settlement of the 1800s! You and your family, your children and your grandchildren become immersed in what life was like for the Germans as they settled Missouri. Grandma’s cabin is filled with quilter’s, weavers and spinners who lovingly demonstrate these early crafts. Nearby the mules work the Sourghum press to create

this very necessary commodity used in place of sugar. Further up the hill you will hear the steam engine driving the mill creating the beauty that filled their homes.

Steam mill

As you make your way further you encounter the passionate crafters that have been teaching Bobbin Lace, Candle dipping and Blacksmithing….long forgotten crafts in this

world of technology and iPads. The smell of wood fire fills the air as the Apple Butter churn is worked. This makes you hungry but don’t despair, the local youth organizations MUSIChave prepared some great food that you can enjoy right there. Music fills the air. You need to plan Trapperon spending the entire day. There will be a time and a place for the Trappers of the Starved Rock who have been sharing the days of the fur traders, and the Osage Village as well, to take you even further back in time. In case you prefer, the American Civil War you will find that being shared as well.

Hundreds of volunteers have been making this weekend come alive for over 35 years, and we can be thankful of all of their dedication to history. So many of the crafts provide

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a hands on opportunity for your children and your grandchildren to enjoy and appreciate. There is no other event quite like Deutsch Country Days! Wilkommen!!!

Ralph and Me
Dorris Keeven-Franke and Ralph Gregory


Please join me and all of the Missouri Germans and take a step into this window through time. The farm is part of Missouri’s German Heritage Corridor.GHC logo You can learn more about the event at their website or follow them on Facebook at or you can call them at 636-443-5669!  One thing you must know as well… leave your technology at home… as this is a place where smart phones don’t work and the internet and charge cards don’t reach.  See you at Deutsch Country Days!!!


Dee Dann
Deutsch Country Days by artist Dee Dann

Life of a German Emigrant Family

From the St. Charles County History…

St. Charles County History

In 1832, the Krekel family settled in the far southwestern corner of St. Charles County, in the Femme Osage Township, next to the border of Warren County. This community was dudenknown as Dutzow, where a village had been founded by the “Baron” Johann Wilhelm Bock which was named after his former estate in Germany. Bock had established his village on the southern edge of the farm of Gottfried Duden, an author who had published a book called “A Report on a Journey to the Western States of North America” in 1829. Duden’s book was the impetus for a huge wave of migration from Germany to Missouri in the decade of the 1830s.

“Before leaving Europe my father had decided to settle in this neighborhood. A criminal Judge named Duden with whom my father was personally acquainted had come to America several years previous and wrote such favorable…

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Emmaus Home listed on Places in Peril

The Missouri Alliance for Historic Preservation (Missouri Preservation) announced its 2017 list of historic Places in Peril on Friday evening, August 25, 2017 at a special “Unhappy Hour” event at the National Building Arts Center, NBCenterwhich is located in Sauget Illinois just across the Mississippi River from downtown St. Louis. Seven new endangered historic places were named to the list for 2017 and six were carried over from the previous year, including the Emmaus Homes located in Marthasville, Missouri. Missouri Preservation is a statewide non-profit organization that has at its core a mission to advocate for, educate about and assist in the preservation of architectural and historic landmarks that embody Missouri’s unique heritage and sense of place. Its chief advocacy program is its “Places in Peril”. Begun as a media campaign in 2000 as “Missouri’s Most Endangered Historic Places,” the program calls attention to endangered historic resources statewide that are threatened by deterioration, lack of Pennymaintenance, insufficient funds, imminent demolition and/or inappropriate development. The program was renamed “Places in Peril” in 2015. Once a historic resource is gone, it’s gone forever. By publicizing these places the organization hopes to build support toward the eventual preservation of each property named.
While it is acknowledged that not every historic resource named here can be rescued, the efficacy of the Places in Peril Program will be proven in the many instances where by advocating publicly for its preservation, and planning for its continued contribution to Missouri’s built environment, many an imperiled property will indeed find rehabilitation and ongoing preservation, contributing to the education and enjoyment of future generations of Missourians.

The Emmaus Home Complex in Marthasville

EmmausThe Emmaus Home Complex in Marthasville began as a seminary for the German Evangelical Church in Missouri. A campus of five buildings was completed here by 1859. Four of these remain in various states of repair, those being the Farm House, Bake Oven, Friedensbote (Messenger of Peace) Publishing House, and the Dormitory. The College Building itself was lost to a fire in 1930. The seminary was in operation at this site until 1883, when it moved to St. Louis and eventually became Eden Seminary.


In 1893 the campus in Marthasville became known the Emmaus Asylum for Epileptics
and Feeble Minded. The campus grew to a total of eight substantial buildings including
a chapel, by 1928. In more recent years the religious denomination became the United
Church of Christ and the two campuses the church body owned – this one in Warren
County for men, and the other in St. Charles County for women – became known simply
as the Emmaus Homes. This is an important historic site, having been constructed by
some of the tens of thousands of Germans who emigrated here beginning in the 1830s.
In the area the first Evangelical church west of the Mississippi was constructed, and this
marked the beginning of the Synod of the west, known as Der Deutsche Evangelisch
Kirchenverein des Westens. The buildings in the complex are unique in that they are of
sturdy limestone construction in varying German styles by German immigrants. They
are representative of the tenacity of some of Missouri’s earliest Germans, and are
unique in that most are original with very few modifications over the years. Through the
years the approach toward caring for the handicapped and developmentally disabled
has also changed, and care for the residents at Emmaus has shifted from large
institutional settings to smaller group homes. Emmaus has indicated that they wish to
transition all clients away from Marthasville by 2020. It is hoped that by listing this
campus on the list of Missouri’s Places in Peril that when it comes time to dispose of the
campus, that Emmaus Homes will seek to find a reuse for this campus that will preserve
the historic buildings located here.

  • For More Information:  Missouri Preservation, 319 N. 4th Street, Suite 850, St. Louis, Missouri 63102, Executive Director, Bill Hart, (314)691-1941, Administrator, Riley Price (660)882-5946 Photo and article from Missouri Preservation.