Katherine Elisabeth Thomasmeyer
- Born: 17 Nov 1841, Essen, Wittlage, K. of Hannover, Germany
- Christened: St. Nikolai Church, Essen, Wittlage, Kingdom of Hannover, Prussia
- Marriage: Johann Christoph Heinrich Obrock on 5 Dec 1861 in St. Paul's German Evangelical Church, Cincinnati, Hamilton Co., Ohio
- Died: 26 Dec 1883, Quincy, Adams Co., Illinois at age 42
- Buried: 28 Dec 1883, Quincy, Adams Co., Illinois
Katherine Elisabeth Thomasmeyer "Elise" emigrated from Bremen, Germany to the U.S. on board the ship "Admiral", arriving in Baltimore on 14 June 1860. Thomasmeyer cousins were already located in Cincinnati, and brothers in Quincy, Illinois. It was in Cincinnati that Elise met young Christian Obrock, who lived only a one-half block from the Thomasmeyer Cigar Shop on Vine St. in Cincinnati. They were married in 1861 in Cincinnati, and by 1862 had moved to Quincy, where Christian became employed by her brothers in the Thomasmeyer Trunk Mfg. Co. (later becoming the Gem City Trunk Mfg. Co.- see Johann Heinrich "Henry" Thomasmeyer). Henry emigrated only 3 years earlier, on 12 March 1857. On the emigration records (which were filed for two different dates), he noted that he had 3 cousins living in Cincinnati. In the records it notes that he was a "resident on Bretholds site in Bohmte". Bohmte and Wittlage both represent "suburb" areas of what was known as the town of "Essen", renamed "Bad Essen" in 1904, following the construction of the Mittellandcanal.
Documents exist for the Thomasmeyers giving the place of origin as both Bohmte and Wittlage. They are separted by only about 5 miles, and Wittlage represents not only a small farm area, but is also the name of the district. It is possible that entries were made on some documents listing the district, so as not to be too specific with the farm area, much the same as the Obrock immigration paperwork shows him as being from "Hannover". He was from Oldendorf, by Melle, near Osnabrück, in the Kingdom of Hannover. It is also known from personal interviews, that there was a Thomasmeyer farm located on the Mittelandcanal in Bad Essen proper. As of yet, it is undetermined which Thomasmeyer was located at which farm in the Wittlage and Bohmte areas of Bad Essen.
Whether it was pure coincidence, or not, Elise' village was located only about 8 miles north of village of Oldendorf, where the Obrock farm was (and still is) located. Did either of them know each other before meeting in Cincinnati? Or, was the discovery of the proximitiy of their original homes a chance converstaion piece that led to their eventual relationship?
Christian and Elise Thomasmeyer Obrock went on to have 11 children, 7 of whom lived to adulthood, with one of those dying at 24 from infected wisdom teeth. Of the 6 remaining, all lived to at least age 66 (Henry), with the oldest living to age 90 (Louisa, who happened to be the oldest child). Elise died during childbirth of her 11th child, who subsequently died 6 months later.
The Thomasmeyer Cigar Shop was owned by Elise' cousin, Clamor Heinrich Thomasmeyer, son of Elise's uncle Johann Heinrich Thomasmeyer and Charlotte Louise Henriette Möller. There is another Clamor Heinrich, a cousin, and he also worked in the shop, as did other Thomasmeyer family members. They lived in the apartment above the shop.
History of the Thomasmeyer home area
The Teutoburger Forest near the city of Osnabrück, and it's neighboring "suburbs" of Essen (Bad Essen), Oldendorf, and Westerhausen, is in the mountain country in the northwest of Germany. The Teutoburger forest extends on a length of approximately 110 kilometers from Osnabrück southeast to the area of Detmold.
In the year 9 A.D. a battle between the Teutons under Arminius and the Romans under general Publius Quinctilius Varus took place in this forest. The Teutons lured the Romans into an ambush and destroyed the 17th, 18th and 19th Roman Legions and their auxillary troops. They were killed over several days in a carefully planned running ambush led by Arminius- also known as Hermann the Cherusker- a Roman trained German warrior adopted and subsequently knighted by the Romans. He was determined to stop Rome's eastward advance beyond the Rhine River. By the time it was over, some 25,000 men, women and children were dead and the course of European history had been forever altered. "Quinctilius Varus, give me back my legions!" Emperor Augustus agonized aloud when he learned of the devastating loss.
The battle was originally thought to have occurred in the Detmold area, and a large monument to Hermann is erected there. However, in the late 1980's archealogical evidence places the actual battle farther to the northwest in the peat bogs just north of Osnabrück, near Kalkriese.
Following the so-called Varusschlacht the Romans lost all possessions east the Rhine, which represented thereby the northeast border of the Roman realm.
The Thomasmeyer farms are located about 12 miles east of this epic battle that changed the history of western civilization.
Katherine married Johann Christoph Heinrich Obrock, son of Hermann Henrich Schweer, Obrock and Maria Elisabeth Menke, on 5 Dec 1861 in St. Paul's German Evangelical Church, Cincinnati, Hamilton Co., Ohio. (Johann Christoph Heinrich Obrock was born on 25 May 1840 in Oldendorf, Melle, K. of Hannover, Germany, christened on 31 May 1840 in Marienkirche, Oldendorf, Melle, Osnabrück, K. of Hannover, Germany, died on 5 Oct 1916 in Cincinnati, Hamilton Co., Ohio and was buried on 8 Oct 1916 in Quincy, Adams Co., Illinois.)