Steinbach Family

About the Steinbach Family

John Adam Steinbach, born in the disputed region of Alsace Lorraine in 1789, proudly remembered his time as a soldier with Napoleon’s army.  As a young man of twenty three he served in the disastrous Russian attack and even as an old man he would caution his grandchildren to keep away from his feet because they were severely frost bitten during that campaign. 

He married Katherine Stammler in 1818 and emigrated with her between 1828 and 1830 settling in Ohio.  One of the families brought to Keil’s colony as a result of his persuasive preaching, John and Katherine conduced their resources to the new Bethel Colony in 1845.

Bethel and Nineveh

David and Daniel Steinbach’s crossed the Oregon Trail to Aurora in the 1860’s.  Their brother George remained at Nineveh, Missouri where he worked as a blacksmith and married Catherine Miley.  By 1874, the couple had six children.  That year they decided to join their relatives at Aurora.

The Tale of the Trunk

The story of their Oregon Trail migration received fuller illustration a few years ago when Curator Patrick Harris received a call from one of Aurora’s local antique dealers. He had a trunk that he felt might be important to the history of the Aurora Colony.  This trunk, the dealer had been told, came from an estate sale of Steinbach artifacts in 1981.  Inside the lid of the trunk was scribbled “Bethel, Missouri September 19, 1875”.  Research utilizing the original account books proved that on September 20th, 1875 the George Steinbach family received $300 from the Bethel Company to come to Oregon.

A Home by the River

The emigrants arrived safely John Miley wrote of the George Steinbach family.  They were in a home down by the Willamette River, a log house that they would live in until 1883.  A daughter, Catherine Steinbach, had a son named Ernest Becke who, in 1967, donated the cabin to the newly organized ACHS and it was then moved from the farm into the village of Aurora and on to the museum grounds.  This “small” log cabin was lived in by eight people for nearly eight years.  It is now part of the Old Aurora Colony Museum complex.

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