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Rankin Family History Project

Ferdinand & Christina Doerr Klump


German Ancestry    Life on the Family Farm    Preserving the Union    The Farmer Takes a Wife    The Next Generation    "No fancies or frills..."    Children of Ferdinand Klump and Christina Duerr    Links    Email    Credits   

German Ancestry

"There are also within our borders many who are not native born but who came here early in life and have made Perry County their home who have passed their four score years. Most of whom are included in the following list: John May, George Zahner, Ferdinand Klump..."
The Centennial History of Perry County, Missouri, 1921

Not so. Ferdinand Klump was a Perry County native.

Ferdinand Klump was born 06 March 1842 on the Klump family farm east of Perryville, Missouri. He was the fifth of six sons born to Anton and Theresia Doll Klump, who had immigrated from Baden, Germany ten years earlier. He was baptized on 13 March 1842. The choice of his given name was probably suggested by that of his sponsor, Ferdinand Sutterer.

"Ferdinandum Klump, born 06 Mar 1842, son of Antonio Klump and Theresia Toll [Doll]. Sponsors were Magdalena Wilhelm and Ferdinandus Sutterer. Fr. Aloysius Prather".
Baptisms, St. Mary's Church of the Assumption, Perryville, Mo.

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Life on the Family Farm

Ferdinand's parents, being immigrants, probably spoke limited English only when necessary. Most certainly they spoke German at home and retained many of their other German customs. Ferdinand would have learned to speak both German and English, but probably had a distinctive accent. There are many instances, as in the history published in 1921, where he was perceived to be a German immigrant rather than a Perry County native.

Ferdinand grew up on the farm, and many of his friends were other young men who shared a common German ancestry. Henry Huber wrote of his friend Ferdinand Klump,

"...we were raised in the same neighborhood and was on their place often during Harvest seasons and we belong to the same Church and met there in our young days almost every Sunday..."
Civil War Pension File

Another friend was Michael Bergman, who wrote,

"...I have known Ferdinand Klump...as far back as I can recollect as I was raised on adjoining farm to him and we grew up together and played together in our boyhood days..."
Civil War Pension File

Ferdinand's education was geared towards becoming a farmer in his own right when he grew up. He apparently never attended school and thus could not read or write even his own name. There were schools in Perry County at that time, but formal education was not all that important in rural America in the mid-19th century. A man could make a good living for himself and his family through farming or with skill in a needed craft such a blacksmithing or carpentry.

When Ferdinand was just 14 years-old he lost his mother, Theresia. She was the first of the Klump family to be buried at the Catholic cemetery in Perryville, Mt. Hope.

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Preserving the Union

Nineteen year-old Ferdinand was working on the family farm when the Civil War began in 1861. He was described as being six feet tall with dark hair and dark eyes. The state of Missouri sided with the preservation of the Union, and many of the men in Perry County joined the local militia groups.

Ferdinand Klump became a private in Company C of the Enrolled Missouri Militia on 09 August 1862. There were no major battles fought in Perry County, so most of the time life went on as usual. Ferdinand spent a total of 58 days in active service in 1863, and 64 days of active service in 1864. By the following spring, the war was over and life in Perry County got back to normal.

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The Farmer Takes a Wife

By the summer of 1865, the Civil War was officially over. After four years of hardship and heartbreak, the people of Perry County were ready for some fun. The Weekly Perryville Union proudly boasted of the town's two brass bands. These would play frequently at the picnics, balls, and other social functions that the populace now enjoyed. The dances that were held in Perryville were especially popular with the young men and women who attended them.

Ferdinand Klump was a young man, and with his soldiering days behind him, he was ready to settle down and begin living the life of a typical Missouri farmer. That meant finding a wife, and since he was a Catholic, his bride would have to be of the same faith. It wouldn't hurt if she could speak German as well. Ferdinand most likely attended the picnics and dances held that summer, and it may have been there that he courted and proposed to his bride, Christina Doerr.

"29 August 1865, Ferdinand Klump, son of Joseph [Anton] Klump and Theresa Doll married Christina Doerr, daughter of Philip Doerr and Teresa Michael. Witnesses were John Bolin and Mary Kenny. Fr. A. J. Meyer."
Marriages, St. Mary's Church of the Assumption, Perryville, Mo.

Christina Doerr had grown up on a farm in a family of ten children, including her father's four younger brothers whom he was raising. She had probably known Ferdinand and his brothers since childhood. Her parents were Philip Doerr, who came to America from Prussia as a child, and Mary Theresa Michaels, daughter of Susannah Layton and Belgian immigrant James Michael (formerly Michel). Philip Doerr was from a Protestant family, but his wife and his children were Catholics.

Christina and her sister, Susannah, were twins, born in 1846, each one named after one of their grandmothers. Susannah had died as an infant. Until her sister Matilda was born in 1851, Christina was the only girl in a household full of young men. She grew up speaking English and German. Her father, Philip, died when she was sixteen years old, and as the oldest child, she probably took on a lot more responsibility in helping to raise her younger siblings. After three years as a widow, her mother, Theresa, married her second husband, Lawrence Baylard. Christina was nineteen years old when she married Ferdinand.

       Christina Doerr Klump, Photograph courtesy of Esther Lambattus


Newlyweds Ferdinand and Christina Klump began their life together on part of the Klump farm in Perry County. Their family grew quickly, eventually numbering ten children. As each was baptized, they were given family names from both the Klump and Doerr sides. Their fifth child, name unknown, died in infancy.

"Died on Monday night, September 6th 1875 at the residence of it's parents, an infant child of Mr. Ferd Klump."
Abstracts from the Perryville Union, 13 September 1867 - 28 December 1877, PCHS

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The Next Generation

Ferdinand and Christina's children grew up on the family farm, which they inherited when Anton Klumpp died in January 1875. One of the crops that grew successfully that year was wheat, yielding 938 bushels after threshing. In 1880, Ferdinand bought 104 acres on Perry County from Christina's younger brother, John Doerr, who had moved to Santa Barbara County, California, in 1874, with his mother and step-father.

All the Klump children probably attended school until about age 14. In 1900, Mary Laura, Mary Theresa, Cora Agnes and August were married, and in 1902 daughter Eva married. Ferdinand and Christina eventually had more than thirty grandchildren. These must have been the happiest times of their lives.

By 1915, Ferdinand and Christina had been married for 50 years, and as they grew older, sadness would touch their lives more and more. Six of their children and seven of their grandchildren died by 1922. Most of them were buried in Mt. Hope Cemetery.

In 1922, Ferdinand was 80 years old, Christina was 76. Like many of their generation, sons Louis and George had moved away from Perry County. Much of the responsibility for the care of their aging parents fell on Cora Klump Sutterer and Mary Theresa Feltz who still lived in Perry County.

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"No fancies or frills..."

Ferdinand became ill on 01 September 1925 and died on 03 September 1925 at the age of 83. His obituary appeared on the front page of two local newspapers. He did not leave a will, and so his estate went into a long probate. Cora's husband, William A. Sutterer named as administrator.

Christina Klump lived as a widow for four more years, and then she too passed away on 27 July 1929, also at the age of 83. She was buried next to her husband of 60 years in Mt. Hope Cemetery, beneath a beautiful stone marker that stands as a tribute to them both. Ferdinand and Christina Klump.  Photograph taken in April 1998 at Mt. Hope Cemetery by Shirley Ann Rankin

"Mr. Klump was born in this county and was the son of Mr. and Mrs. Anton Klump, deceased. He was a good, quiet, honest and agreeable citizen. There were no fancies or frills about him - he just lived a plain, honest and upright life and nearly as possible, fulfilling the commandment which says 'Love They Neighbor As Thyself'. "
Perry County Sun, Perryville, Missouri, Thursday, November 10, 1925

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Children of Ferdinand and Christina Klump

Ferdinand KLUMP, born March 06, 1842 in Perry County, Missouri; died September 03, 1925 in Central Township, Perry County, Missouri. He was the son of Anton KLUMPP and Theresia DOLL, immigrants from Baden, Germany. He married Christina DOERR (sometimes spelled DUERR) August 29, 1865 in at St. Mary's Church in Perry County, Missouri. She was the daughter of Prussian immigrant Philip Henry DOERR and Mary-Theresa MICHAELS. They are buried at Mt. Hope Cemetery, Perryville, Missouri.

Children of Ferdinand KLUMP and Christina DUERR are:

  1. Louis Klump, born August 24, 1866 in Perry County, Missouri. Louis is named in the estate papers as an heir and not being a resident of Perry County, Missouri. It is not known if he married or had children.At the time of his father's death, his residence was Makanda, Illinois.

  2. August KLUMP, born October 13, 1868 in Perry County, Missouri; died March 01, 1916 in Perryville, Perry County, Missouri; married (1) Emma Josephine Wilt May 01, 1900 in Perryville, Perry County, Missouri; married (2) Martha Evelyn THORPE April 16, 1907 in Perryville, Perry County, Missouri.

  3. Mary-Laura Klump, born August 26, 1870 in Perry County, Missouri; died March 11, 1922 in Perry County, Missouri; Laura worked as a servant for Congressman Edward Robb until her marriage; she married Jules F. Chappius in 1900. Jules Chappuis' parents were from France, and he had three daughters from his first marriage to Laura's cousin, Julia Klump; Laura and Jules Chappuis had five daughters and one son: William George, Clara Josephine, Cora, Mary L., Julia and Emma Cecelia. They also raised niece and nephew, Henry and Henrietta Klump, children of Laura's cousin Andrew Klump and Jules' sister Mary Louise Chappius.

  4. Mary-Teresa Klump, born October 13, 1872 in Perry County, Missouri; died May 01, 1944 in Perryville, Missouri; married Francis J. Clovis Feltz Abt. 1900. Clovis was the son of Dr. Florenz Feltz and his wife Mary Jeunet. Dr. Feltz had delivered some of the children of Ferdinand and Christina.

  5. "Dr. Florence Feltz was born in Alsace, France, in 1832, being thirteen years old when he came to America. He assisted his father in the cooper's trade, and followed it more or less until 1872 when he purchased a set of medical books from Dr. Staley, a local physician, and began the study of medicine. He graduated in the College of Physicians and Surgeons, Keokuk, Iowa, in the year 1876. He located at Perryville and built up quite an extensive practice. He died February 2, 1907."
    The Centennial History of Perry County, Missouri, 1921

    Teresa and Clovis had one daughter, Mary Viola (wife of Virgil Worstell), who lived to adulthood. Elmer Louis, Francis Joseph, Linus C. all died as infants and are buried together under a combined stone in Mt. Hope Cemetery. Only baptism records for two other children, Gilbert Joseph and Frances Elma, have been found.

  6. Unnamed infant, born 1875; died September 06, 1875.

  7. Cora Agnes Klump, born July 16, 1876 in Perry County, Missouri; died May 24, 1950 in Perry County, Missouri; married William August Sutterer Abt. 1900 in Perry County, Missouri. William was the son of Francis Xavier Sutterer and Barbara Hornberger. They were both born in Missouri, but like the Klumps, their parents had been immigrants from Baden, Germany. Cora and William Sutterer had eight children: Esther, Emmett (husband of Clara F. Schwefferman), Floyd Ferdinand (husband of Florence Pecaut), Elta (wife of Raphael Emmendorfer), Elliott (husband of Virgil Mary Thompson), Eulene Clara (died in infancy), Ralph William (husband of Elfrieda Buchheit), and Frank Philip. They also raised Cora's niece, Cecelia Manetta Klump after the death Cora's brother August in 1916. William and Cora Sutterer are buried in Mt. Hope Cemetery between the graves of Cora's parents and the child they lost in infancy. Cora and William Sutterer's great-grandson is the proud father of the first baby born in Perry County in the year 2000.

  8. Emmett Klump, born June 25, 1879 in Perry County, Missouri; died May 25, 1914 in Perry County, Missouri. Emmett was living with his parents in 1900, but not in 1910. No record of a marriage or children has been found.

  9. Eva Mary Klump, born October 06, 1881 in Perry County, Missouri; died November 03, 1911 in Perry County, Missouri; married Arthur Andrew Sutterer Abt. 1902. Arthur was the brother of Cora's husband William Sutterer. Eva and Arthur had three daughters: Barbara, Esther Clara, and Agnes Mary.

  10. George Joseph Klump, born January 06, 1884 in Central Township, Perry County, Missouri; died October 25, 1963 in Perry County, Missouri; married Louise (surname unknown). George and Louise moved away from Perry County. It is not known if they had children. At the time of his father's death, his residence was Gann Valley, South Dakota.

  11. Mary-Clara Klump, born April 05, 1886 in Central Township, Perry County, Missouri; died January 04, 1913. She was living with her parents in 1900, but not in 1910. She may have married, but no record of a marriage or children has been found.

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Klump Family Pages and other links

Generation 1:  Anton Klumpp    Generation 3:  August Klump    Klump Surname Definition   

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