John Moellenberg (1861 – 1942)

     John Moellenberg was born in Germany on March 30, 1861.  Sometime prior to 1890, John Moellenberg married Adele Barmann.  They welcomed their first son, Frank Moellenberg, on August 30, 1891.  In 1893, John, Adele and Frank immigrated to the United States and settled in St. Louis.

     John and Adele had several more children after coming to St. Louis.  Henry Moellenberg was born on March 22, 1895.  My stepfather Ernest Charles Diaz’s mother, Marie Moellenberg, was born on October 30, 1896.  Their last child Annie Moellenberg was born in February 1903.  Tragically, she died only a few months later in August 1903.


John Moellenberg’s Home in 1940 – Courtesy of Google Earth

     Tragedy struck again on November 22, 1904 at 6 am, when Adele Moellenberg nee Barmann passed away at 40 years of age from an unknown disease.  A year later, John married Wihlemina Lansing.

       John and Wihlemina had one child, Johanna Moellenberg, who was born on March 30, 1907.  Prior to his death in 1942, Johanna and her two young sons lived with John and Wihlemina.

     John found himself fearing for young Marie’s life in 1910.  During a routine vaccination at the Carondelet School, a young boy named William Kunz died after receiving a vaccination  Several other children fell ill, some of them to the point of death.  Marie was one of the children sickened by the vaccinations.  She told authorities, who investigated the doctor, that all of the sick children were vaccinated by the same needle.  Fortunately for the family and Dad, Marie pulled through.

     On July 4, 1922, John was working in his Standard Oil filling station, when two gunmen entered, made him lie on the floor and took his safe key from him.  The men then emptied the safe and fled.  Although shaken up by the experience, John was unharmed.

     In 1941, John also buried his son Frank, who served in World War I with distinction and had an American Legion Post named after him.  A year later on August 15, 1942, John Moellenberg passed away at 81 years of age from heart disease and bowel obstruction.  John was laid out in his beloved St. Boniface Church in Carondolet before being interred at St. Peter and Paul Cemetery.

     From Germany to St. Louis, John led a full life and left a large family.  His legacy lives on through his great grandchildren and their children.

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