Highland News Leader

Here’s a genealogist’s search for the Steiner family of Highland

Roland Harris
Roland Harris

Vincent Steiner and his wife, Louise Kaiser Steiner, are part of this week’s column, but I wasn’t able to find much information or genealogy about them.

Louis Latzer Library was my next stop and Shawn Riggs helped get a blurred copy of the March 16, 1933, Highland Journal, published by Vernon Ittner.

The microfilm for John G. Steiner, who Roy Worstell thought was Vincent Steiner’s son, is in bad shape but I believe we have deciphered the details and they follow: “Steiner’s son, John G. Steiner was born on a farm northeast of Highland, on January 8, 1853.” The obituary does not give his father and mother’s name, so we were still are not certain that his father’s name was Vincent Steiner and his mother’s name was Louisa Kaiser Steiner.

My next call was to Mark Frey in Louisville, Kentucky, as he was the co-author of the “Frey Family to America” book, which they published in 2000. I printed out pages 15 and 28, which had Steiners and Wagners listed but no Vincent Steiner.

I remembered that George and Verena Steiner had a son listed as John, but we had very little information, except his wife’s name was Bertha Droesch.

I went to Roy Worstell’s Droesch genealogy and found that a John G. Steiner had married Bertha Droesch. So John G.’s father was George Steiner, not Vincent.

Who are the children of Vincent Steiner and Louisa Kaiser Steiner and where did they live? Now, I need your help. If you have additional information on Vincent Steiner, please give me a call, 618-654-5005, email at harlo6@sbcglobal.net or come to the Highland Home. Thanks.

Then back to Louis Latzer Library on Friday to find the 1933 obituary in the Highland Journal, as the 1933 copy of the Highland News Leader is missing at the library. I found the 1933 obituary and also called Mark Frey in Louisville, Kentucky, to get the correct answers.

I found George Steiner’s son, John G. Steiner (1853-1933) married Bertha Droesch (now spelled Dresch) and they had seven children and lived near Old Ripley. They resided on the farm until 1908, when they moved to Highland.

The children in 1933 were: 2 sons: ‘John M.’ on the farm and ‘Joseph Paul’ married Lelia Essenpries and they lived in St. Louis; (This John M. Steiner, turned out to be John Mathias Steiner (1881-1964) and he was of Bond County and the son of John G. Steiner. The five daughters were: ‘Mrs. Sophia Steiner (Fred) Neuman, Mrs. Louisa (Julius) Neubauer, Mrs. Florence (Eugene) Nagel, the late Mrs. Matilda (Frank T.) Winter, all of Highland. (Mrs. Winter was killed in an automobile accident, several months previous.)

The four daughters were from Highland and Mrs. Alma (Joseph) Beismann of St. Louis. John was also survived by three sisters: Mrs. Sophia Steiner Stoecklin, Mrs. Rose Steiner Ambuehl, both of Highland and Mrs. Frances Steiner Stumpf of Sedalia, Mo.

John Mathias Steiner in 1904 in Pierron married Josephine Wagner and their six children were all born in Bond County and were Alexander J. Steiner, Alice Steiner Velazquez, Elda Steiner Fischer, Edna Steiner Espinosa, John Floyd Steiner married Melba Mills and he died in Granite City and Ewald J. Steiner was born in 1921, no other information.

All of these original Steiner Families to the Highland area, in the 1800’s, are probably not close relatives, but they have made a great impact on our Highland area.

In my files, I have many Steiner relatives who were farmers and many who were in business in the Highland area. My files have the following businesses in alphabetical order: “Steiner Brother’s Grocery Store, started in 1930 and was owned by Edward (Rox) Steiner and Albert (Pat) Steiner.

Edward Steiner’s Super Market was sold in 1953 to Harvey Hug and Orville Case (today Foppe DeSigns, Inc.) at 809 Broadway; Steiner’s Highland Cleaners of Eldridge Steiner, was purchased from C.H. Molt and was in the Highland News Leader building at 820 Broadway and Laurel. Then Steiner moved to the Arnold Baumann building at 803 Broadway.

Eldridge Steiner sold to the Loyet Brothers, Arthur & Clarence, in 1942 and the Loyet’s continued calling it, Highland Cleaners. Arthur Loyet became the owner and later the Highland Cleaner’s building was destroyed by an explosion at Tom’s Mobile Service Station in November 1982; Steiner’s Men’s Wear, was started in the former A. & P. Grocery Store building by Eldridge Steiner, after he sold Highland Cleaners.

Eldridge Steiner ran the store until he was ready to retire and move to Florida. He sold to Wally Hug, who changed the name to Hug’s Men & Boys wear. Wally retired and sold the store to Henry & Norma Rinderer and it is now Lee’s (Rinderer) Loans, Jewelry & More at 919 Main Street; “John C. Steiner Store in rural Highland, now called the Sebastopol area, started by Timothy Gruaz.

Gruaz in 1858 opened a general merchandise store in the new French Settlement, southeast of Highland, calling it T. Gruaz & Co. By 1860 Gruaz had laid out the town of Sebastopol, in the French Settlement, where his store was located. In 1862, Gruaz sold his store to John C. Steiner.

The John C. Steiner’s Store in Sebastopol, was later ran by his son, John and was still operating the store in 1882, when the 1882 History of Madison County was printed.

The Steiner descendant girls had husbands who were also in business, but are not easy to recall and find in my files, but Carl Rikli Bakery and Roscoe Menz, Banker, are just two of many that would be in that category.

Have any of the Steiner Families, tried to see which of the Steiner’s may have been related back in Switzerland or Germany?

Thanks to Mark Frey and ‘The Frey Family to America’ book. Page 15 and Page 28 gave the information about Emma Frey and their oldest daughter, Josephine M. Wagner. Also thanks to the Highland Journal, Roy Worstell, Loyet Genealogy and my files.

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