The Henry Helm 




Photos and story submitted by Gerry Lang.






On 12 July 1879 Henry married Catherine (Kate) Horschmann.  They married in Cambria (now Tipton), in Monroe County.  Marriage documents show Henry as age 20 and Catherine as 17.  August Millman signed the marriage documents for Henry as his legal guardian.  Henry and Catherine were married by Hough Murphy who was the Justice of Peace.  Peter Horschmann and Catherine Murphy were witnesses to the marriage.  Hand written family notes show Catherine and Haugh Murphy were neighbors.  On the 1880 Census (Henry) William Helm, his wife Catherine and a daughter Sarah are shown living on Prairie du Long.  Henry's occupation was farmer and laborer.

Family papers show Catherine Horschmann's father coming to the United States, from Holland, at age nine.  Catherine's brothers were Casper and Jake.  Her sisters were Mary and Caraline (spelled this way on the paper work) who died at a young age.


A daughter, Sarah Elizabeth (Marie), was born at home on 28 Dec 1879 (Baptized on 08 Feb 1880).  Isabel (Isabell or Isabella) Catherine, shown as Elizabeth on both the 1890 and 1900 Census, was born in Oct 1883.  I'm told the name "Isabel and Elizabeth" were used inter-changeably in some languages (i.e. Scott).  Isabel was born in Red Bud, Randolph County, Illinois on 12 Oct 1883 (baptized on 14 Jan 1884. 


Another daughter, Catherina (Kate) Emma, was soon born.  Catherine has a variety of birth date information from family records.  Birthdays 8 (27) and birth months June.  Birth years were 1888 (1885 and 1889).


Additional Birth date conflicts exist between daughter Dora (Eldora?) and son Henry Jr.  Hand written family notes show Dora's birth date as 03 Jan 1887.


A "RETURN OF A BIRTH certified abstract of Vital Records", for Henry Jr., shows his "last name" spelled as Hellan.  Henry Helm, and Katie Hossman (as opposed to Horschmann), are shown as his parents.  Henry's occupation was Blacksmith.  Henry Jr's date of birth was written as 10 Jan.


Henry Juniors "Birthday", and "Birth Month" were similar to Henry Senior's.  Henry Sr. Birth Day and Month are shown, pn most documents as 10 an (1859).


No birth year was recorded on the "Day and Month" line on the Abstract.  The "Date of Return" on the abstract is 1887.  Henry's place of birth is shown as Prairie Dulong (Prairie du Long).  Henry Seniors age is 29 and Katie is 24.  Henry Jr. was shown as baptized on 26, Feb 1887.


Three other children were born to Henry and Catherine.  A son William (Bill) Christopher, was born in 19 Dec 1890.  Margaret Lillian was born on 08 Apr 1893 and Adeline (Addie) was born on 02 Sept 1895.


On 10 Sep 1900 St. Augustine School opened with Sister Mary Caecilia as their teacher.  This was to be the last year with classes in the old building (barn).  Katie Helm was shown as one of the students attending the school.


To support his family Henry first tried farming.  He proved not to be a very good farmer.  Henry next turned to blacksmithing.  According to Granddaughter Elsie (Lang) Hetrick "Henry was a pretty fair Blacksmith".  Blacksmiths were an essential part of every community.  They shod horses for farm work, transportation of people and movement of goods.  In addition, they manufactured nails, scythes, harness fastenings, pot and pans, plowshares and many other items.


Henry's "Working Life" is documented in (his) hand written letter.  In that letter he wrote he started to learn his trade at Hecker in 1874 with Joseph Myerscroff (6 months).  In 1875 he started in with Henry Scrivery in Ruma, Illinois (6 months).  In 1876 he started with A. Carvell at Ruma (one year).  He also worked for A. Carvell in Ruma in 1877.  In 1878 I started grubbing for a living.  In 1879 he worked in Fillys (?) Foundry in St. Louis.  In 1880 he lived on the Stear Place.  In 1881 he worked at his trade at Yankley Lawn (one month). At 1893 he worked at Burkesville Station. IN 1900 he started working at Pyaller Station in Perry County, Illinois.  He worked there 11 years.  IN 1911 he started to work at Pinekeys(?) Cripple Creek.  ( I am unsure of the correct spelling for some individuals, and locations, in Henry's letter).


Because Henry did not earn enough money (to keep his family together) his daughter's are shown working as Servants on the 1890 and 1900 Census.  On the 1900 Census Elizabeth (Isabel) worked as a servant for The Frank Monike (Frank Annild) family.  Her age was shown as 16.  A "Catharia " Helm also worked as a Servant for The Henry Brums family.  Henry's wife also worked as a caretaker to support their family.  Adeline was shown working as a Servant on the 1910 Census.


A question arose, when tracing Henry's history, regarding land ownership. Waterloo Land Records show (a) Henry Helm owned land at the S/W qtr. Of N/W qtr of sec (35) five in township No. (3).  I was unable to prove what Henry Helm owned this land.


Isabel described "her youth" as growing up in a log cabin.  As a young girl she had to walk down a hill, to a branch, to obtain water for household needs.  There was shale and a little waterfall beside the branch.  I have not found that branch location.  She also walked cows to and from the pasture.


When women (Servants), and men (Laborers), worked for other families the work was hard.  Women washed, cleaned, cooked and took care of children.  Water was hauled from outside the home from either a stream or well.  Washing was done on a washboard.  A typical "week day" schedule might have been Mon-washing, Tues-ironing beside a shot stove, Wed-mending and baking bread, Thu- churning and other assorted chores and Fri-cleaning house, cooking and sewing.


While women worked around the house, men took care of the animals and worked in the fields.


On the 1900 Census Elizabeth (Isabel) is shown living with the Frank Annild family (Frank Monike Family) as a Servant.  On that same Census Catherine Helm is also shown working as a Servant.  I think, "this is" Catherina the daughter, as opposed to Catherine the mother.  Henry is shown as age 41, single and working as a blacksmith.  He lives with the William Parleinson (?) family.  Henry's wife Catherine is shown as single, "widowed" and living with her Father Peter Horschmann.  Her last three children lived with her.  Catherine also worked as a Caretaker in other people's homes.


On the 1910 Census Adeline Helm is shown working as a Servant for the Hominghausin (?) family.


Henry died in Nov 1936 and was buried in Prairie du Long.  Catherine died on 22 Nov 1935 in Hecker and was shown as age 73.  She was buried in St. John the Baptist Catholic Cemetery W/O Red Bud.


Isabel later worked for Jacob Meister.  Jacob Meister was a Carpenter and Builder who had a store located at 314 Church Street.  That street address was written on the rear of a family photograph.  How ever, no town or village is shown.  I have not found the Meister store.


Elizabeth Meister, who married to Martin Lang (II), was Jacob Meister's sister.  One of her sons, Michael Lang, would marry Isabel at a later date.


In 904 Isabel worked in a restaurant across the street from the St. Louis World's Fair.  On 08 Sep 1906 Isabel married Michael (Mike) Lang.  They began their life together in St. Louis, Missouri.


Their first child, Elizabeth Lulla (Elsie), was born on 02 Aug 1907 in St. Louis, Missouri.  Mike and Isabel soon moved to Smithton, St. Clair County, Illinois circa April 1909.  Their second child, Oliver William Clarence, was born in Smithton on 05 Sep 1910.  Mike and Isabel then moved to East St. Louis, Illinois, circa December 1910.  Their third child, Earl John, was born in East St. Louis on 18 Oct 1912.


Michael and Isabel later moved to Pueblo, Colorado (circa July thru Nov) 1918.  They next moved to Torrance, California (circa Dec 1918 / Jan 1919).  Torrance is a suburb of Los Angeles.  The 1920 census shows them living on Carson St.  They later moved onto Normandie Ave. just south of Maple (currently 204th St.).  Mike established his own Plumbing Business and worked until retirement.


Mike died on 24 Feb 1962 and Isabel followed him on 15 Apr 1976.  They are buried together in Inglewood, Los Angeles County, California.


Gerry Lang




Click for larger view.


Henry Helm's Blacksmith Shop.

Catherine Horschmann Helm.

Catherine Horschmann Helm.

Peter Horschmann.

 Catherine Helm, Kate and Addie

Margaret Helm on left.

William Helm

Sarah Marie Helm

William (Uncle Bill) Helm with family and  wife Blanch.

Kate Helm McClure



Isabel Helm

William Helm