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Andrew and Christina Doerr
Prussian Emigrants to Missouri, 1795-1845

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"Andrew Doerr, a Native of the principality of Nasau Usingen in Germany, and now a resident of Perry County and State of Missouri, this day came into open Court, and being first sworn on the Holy Evangely of Almighty God, declared that it is bona fide his intention to become a Citizen of the United States and to re[n]ounce forever Allegiance and fidelity to any foreign prince, potentate, State or sovereignity, and particularly all Allegiance and fidelity to the Prince of Nasau Usingen in Germany."
Source: Aug 1836, Missouri, Perry County, August Term, Vol. 2, pg. 141

Just a year and a half before making this declaration, Andrew Doerr had brought his family to America. Andrew Doerr was born in the kingdom of Prussia in 1795. His wife Christina (nee Doerr) was born in 1797. As they shared the same surname even before their marriage, it’s likely that they were related in some way, possibly cousins. Andrew and Christina married about 1820 and eventually became the parents of six sons that we know of.

In 1834, Andrew and Christina Doerr and their boys boarded a ship bound for America. The children and their ages at that time were: Philip 12, Heinrich 10, Wilhelm 5, and little Johann, just a year old. Ship travel in the 1830s was difficult, but the boys probably viewed the weeks on the open ocean as a great adventure. Christina, who was in the early stages of another pregnancy, may have had a different point of view.

They landed at the port of New Orleans in December 1834. From New Orleans, they made their way up the Mississippi to their final destination of Perry County, Missouri. The Doerr’s were Protestants, possibly Evangelical Christians or Lutherans, and preceded by a few years the wave of German Lutherans who would also find their way to Perry County. Shortly after their arrival, in May 1835, son August was born.

The following year, Andrew Doerr made his declaration of intent to become a citizen of the United States. In 1838, he purchased 40 acres of land from the government, at a time when the going rate for land was about one dollar per acre. Lewis was born in 1838, and one other son by 1840. In the 1840 census, where only the heads of household are named, "Andrew Dier" is listed with one female (30-39) and seven male minors in the household.

In August 1842, Andrew expanded the farm by purchasing another 40 acres of government land. By this time, his two oldest sons were young men and they probably worked many long days to make a success of their family farm.

Christina Doerr died on 08 December 1842. There is no record of what caused her death. Medicines and medical care were scarce or impractical. Doctors were still using leeches for treatment. Epidemics of cholera and typhoid were frequent. When people became ill, even with what today might be considered minor illnesses like a cold or the flu, they often did not survive them.

After just ten years in America, Andrew Doerr died on 26 March 1845. A neighbor, Archibald Little Hager, who began keeping a diary to record local events a year earlier, wrote a brief statement on the 27th, "The old man Deer died." He was just fifty years old. Andrew and Christina are buried together on the family farm.

Eldest son, Philip, inherited half of the farmland and took on the responsibility of raising his younger brothers, whose ages ranged between five and thirteen years. Heinrich, who was about 21, inherited 40 acres of farmland which he later sold when he moved to St. Louis. After Philip's death in 1861, the younger Doerr brothers went into business as merchants in Perryville and became involved in local politics. Johnann, by now known as John or J. C., served as county tax collector, and William was coroner. A descendant of Lewis is U. S. Senator from Missouri and a former governor of the state, Christopher Bond.

Family of Andrew and Christina Doerr

Andrew DOERR, born January 22, 1795 in Usingen, Hesse-Nassau, Germany, Kingdom of Prussia; died March 26, 1845 in Perry County, Missouri. He married Christina DOERR Abt. 1820 in Hesse-Nassau, Germany, Kingdom of Prussia. She was born July 17, 1797 in Prussia; died December 8, 1842 in Perry County, Missouri. Andrew and Christina Doerr were buried on the family farm.

Children of Andrew and Christina Doerr are:

i. Philip DOERR, born February 13, 1822 in Hesse-Nassau, Germany, Kingdom of Prussia; died December 04, 1861 in Perry County, Missouri; married Mary-Theresa MICHAELS May 18, 1845 in Perryville, Perry County, Missouri. She was the daughter of James MICHAEL and Susannah LAYTON; born August 8, 1826 in Perry County, Missouri; died after 1880 in Santa Barbara County, California.

ii. Henry (Heinrich) Doerr, born July 1824, prob. in Hesse-Nassau, Germany, Kingdom of Prussia; died August 11, 1895 in Perryville, Perry County, Missouri; married Henrietta Gutherz July 04, 1847. She was the daughter of Johann Philip Gutherz and Phillipina Kreiling Grueling; born August 7, 1828 in Germany; died July 4, 1879 in St. Louis, Missouri. Henry and his wife Henrietta were the parents of seven children: William, Louis George, Henrietta, Amelia, Charles, Andrew, and Edward. In 1880, Henry was living with his son, Louis, in St. Louis, Missouri.

iii. William (Wilhelm) Doerr, born March 14, 1831 in Hesse-Nassau, Germany, Kingdom of Prussia; died January 30, 1911 in Saint Louis, Saint Louis County, Missouri; married Mary N. Klobe October 20, 1855 in Perry County, Missouri. She was born August 1832 in Bavaria. William was a wagon-maker in Perry County for many years and also served as County Coroner. After his retirement, he and his wife moved to St. Louis where they lived at least 11 years until his death. William and Mary were the parents of five children: Emily, Emile, Paulina, Henriette, and John.

iv. John (Johann, "J.C.") Christian Doerr, born April 03, 1833 in Neusalz, Silicia, Prussia according to his obituary; died November 09, 1911 in Perryville, Perry County, Missouri; married Louisa Greenwell October 04, 1859 in Perryville, Perry County, Missouri. She was born 1831 in Perry County, Missouri; died September 6, 1918. Prior to the Civil War, John C. Doerr owned two slaves, a woman and her child whose names are unknown. He was a successful merchant and was in business with his brothers for many years. He served as the county tax collector in the 1870s, on the Boards of Education and Health, as Assistant Foreman of Fire Company No. 1, and was quite well known around town. He was one of the few dozen men in 1888 whose biographies where published in the History of Southeast Missouri. In 1879, he and his wife opened the Doerr Hotel in Perryville. His wife, Louisa Greenwell, had been married previously to Joseph Mattingly. J. C. and Louisa were married for over 50 years and were the parents of seven children: Julia, Chloe, Andrew Robert, Edward, John, John William, and Charles Joseph. Only Julia and John William lived to adulthood. John Christian Doerr is buried in Mt. Hope Cemetery.

v. August (Augustus) Doerr, born May 16, 1835 in Perry County, Missouri; died November 10, 1905 in Perry County, Missouri; married Mary Eveline Entler April 28, 1867 in Perry County, Missouri. She was the daughter of George W. Entler and Anna Rebecca Staley; born March 18, 1839 in Illinois; died October 10, 1919 in Perry County, Missouri. August was a merchant in Perryville in partnership with his brothers. He was the legal guardian of his nieces and nephews after his brother Philip's death in 1861. Prior to her marriage to August, Mary Eveline Entler had been married to Robert Logan Phillips. After his death, August and he became a step-father to her son Thomas Logan Phillips. August and Mary had five other children: Andrew Entler, Edgar Linden, twins Lillian Angela and Lineta (who died at the age of 5), and Clara Josephine. August and Mary Eveline Doerr are buried in Mt. Hope Cemetery. In his will he named as the executors of his estate his son Andrew E. Doerr and his stepson Thomas L. Phillips.

vi. Lewis (Louis) Doerr, born September 09, 1838 in Missouri; died December 29, 1934 in Perry County, Missouri; married Rosa Josephine Pfeiffer April 19, 1868 in Perry County, Missouri. She was the daughter of Joseph Pfeiffer and Rosina Fath; born April 10, 1846 in St. Louis, Missouri; died January 12, 1921 in Perry County, Missouri. Lewis and his brothers, August and J. C., were merchants in Perryville for many years. The History of Southeast Missouri includes a biography of Lewis. Lewis and Rosa were married for 66 years and had three children. Son Arthur died as a young man; Chloe married Robert Varner Brown, Jr.; Ida married Samuel Bond, and their grandson is Christopher Bond, U. S. Senator and former governor of Missouri.

Louis Doerr, at age 82, from the Centennial History of Perry County, Missouri, 1921.
Doerr Family Links

Doerr Surname    Generation 2:  Philip Doerr and Mary Theresa Michaels    Generation 2:  John C. Doerr    Generation 2:  Louis Doerr    Generation 3:  Christina Doerr and Ferdinand Klump    Biography of John Bailard, 1883

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Rankin Family History Project, Sonoma County, California,, Design and content by Shirley Ann Rankin

Thanks to Clementine Stack and Esther Lambattus for their assistance with the Doerr family.
Updated Saturday, June 30, 2001
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