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Rankin Family History Project

Emanuel Urban


Emanuel Urban, a merchant of Longtown, Mo., was born in Germany in 1840, and is the only child of John G. and Sophia (Hopfer) Urban.

John G. Urban was born in Reusa?, Germany, in 1800. He attended Bueggen College, and learned the linen weaver's trade, at which he became a master workman. In 1833 he inherited a grocery store, which he managed in connection with working at his trade until 1841, when he immigrated to America, and located on a farm near Uniontown, Perry Co., Mo. He, however, continued weaving until 1845, when he became colporteur for the American Tract Society, travelling through Southeast Missouri and Southern Illinois. He retired to his farm in 1860, and made his home with his son, Emanuel, from 1865 until his death in 1879. His wife, to whom he was married in 1839, died in 1842. She was born in Saxony in 1822.

Emanuel was educated in the common schools of Perry County, and in 1861 enlisted in the Federal army, joining Company I, Eighth Missouri Regiment of Volunteers, with which he participated in the battle of Shiloh, siege of Corinth, battle of Arkansas Post, and the siege of Vicksburg, from Sherman's attack until the surrender to Grant. After the evacuation of Jackson, Miss., in 1863 he was taken sick and was in the hospital from September until December, after which he served in the Veteran Reserve Corps until he received his discharge in August, 1864.

He was then engaged in business in St. Louis until his marriage in 1865 with Theresa Gertiser of St. Louis. She was born in Switzerland in 1845, and is the mother of twelve children: Belle (wife of C. Wirth), Emma, Eugene, Sophia, Walter, Nora M., Emanuel T., Flora, Carl, Robert, Hilda and John in 1865.

Mr. Urban engaged in business in Longtown, Mo., which he has successfully continued and in 1878 purchased a grist mill which he has also managed. He controls a large trade, and is one of the leading men of the township. He served as postmaster of Longtown from 1868 to 1881, and is a member of the Masonic fraternity and G. A. R. He and wife are consistent members of the Baptist Church.

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The Goodspeed Publishing Company compiled a series of histories of various counties in the U.S. in the late 19th century. The information in the History of Southeast Missouri, published in 1888, was provided by the contemporary residents of Perry County and her neighboring counties. The biographies are a valuable source of genealogical information, despite a few minor inaccuracies. We are glad to present the transcribed biographies here for anyone researching Perry County's history.

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