IAGenWeb Project

Iowa History

       An IAGenWeb Special Project


Join the IAGenWeb Team



Miscellaneous Bios

Researched and Transcribed by


The Davenport Democrat and Leader, Sunday, December 27, 1908, page 12.


Captain August Reimers, Formerly One of Davenport’s Best Known Manufacturers, Dies After a Long Illness--A Notable War Record--Success Won by Honest Endeavor.


  When a man passes from a bed of suffering into the Valley of Peace, after having so abundantly earned his eternal reward as we must all believe Captain August Reimers had, the occasion may well be one not of mourning, but of resignation to the plan that does well by him, while leaving a void in his home and in the city where he lived, to which only the healing hand of time can accustom his friends and loved ones.

A Rare Affliction.

  Captain Reimers passed away at “Claremont,” his home on the upper river road, in Bettendorf, Friday afternoon shortly after 2 o’clock.  The end came as a relief from a long illness--an unusual illness, the sufferer having become gradually helpless under the steady progress of a disease so rare that surgeons have known of but comparatively few cases of the same kind.  Technically, they term it spastic paraplegia, and in unethical language they explain that this is a progressive paralysis that is not a paralysis.

  Contracting the germs of the disease probably by exposure during his service in the war, it was some seven years ago that the trouble showed itself in a stiffening of the muscles, beginning at the toes and steadily progressing upward, until the limbs became hard and helpless from stiffening, instead of soft and useless as in the case of the commoner loco motor ataxia and other forms of paralysis.  Sense of feeling remained instead of being lost.  Captain Reimers traveled in Europe and elsewhere, and sought the best surgical advice that the world afforded, but the invariable reply was that recovery from his particular trouble was practically unknown.  Its basis is in a lesion of the spinal cord, and its advance is slow but certain.

  Captain Reimers has thus faced the inevitable end of his affliction, in recent years and months, with the same courage that he showed as a soldier and the patience and gentleness which he manifested in all his relations with his family and his friends.

 A Rare Character.

  All those who knew him well will testify that his was a rare nature.  None who come in touch with him but were better for having known him.  To have lived for 67 years; to have started with nothing and have achieved a fine business success;  to have been a soldier, manufacturer, tradesman, financier; and to have made friends of all and enemies of none---this is given to but few, but it was unquestionably the record of Captain Reimers.  Those who were his business competitors have nothing but words of kindness and esteem for him; those were his neighbors and friends feel a personal loss in his going, exceeded only by that of those who knew him in the more intimate relationships of family and home.  More beautiful than the flowers that filed his sickroom and the blossoms that friends will join in heaping on his bier, is the tribute that goes up from the hearts of those who had enjoyed his companionship, profited by his counsel, and whose affection for him reaches though the filmy veil that separates this life from the beyond, confidence that while here are wet lashes and mourning hearts, all is well with him.

Orphaned at Eleven Years

  Born in Schwerin, Mecklenburg, Germany, Sept. 23, 1841, August Reimers was left fatherless at the age of nine, when his father lost his life in the revolution of 1848.  The mother, Sophia Leonhart Reimers, gathered her brood of three sons the following year, and came to America, living in New York for a time, then going to St. Louis.  There she too died in 1852, leaving the subject of this sketch to fight the battle of life with little aid, at the tender age of 11.

  He became the office boy in Balmer & Weber’s music establishment, until 1855, and then became a baker’s apprentice, working on the boats that plied the lower rivers for three years.  Then he became a candy maker’s apprentice in St. Louis and by 1860 was employed there as a journeyman candy maker.

A Splendid War Record.

  News that the first gun had been fired on Fort Sumter was flashed across the country April 12, 1861. Nowhere was greater patriotism aroused by the word than at St. Louis, where the German-Americans were of the bravest and sturdiest that rallied to their country’s call, saved Missouri for the Union, fought under Lyon and “mit Sigel,” and poured out their blood on countless battlefields from Wilson’s Creek to Appomattox.

  Six days after Sumter, August Reimers was enrolled as a private in Company B, Third Missouri Volunteers, for 90 days--a period which two successive reenlistments lengthened to the end of the war.  He was thrice wounded during this period, but never put out of service.  On the battlefield of Stone River, Dec 31, 1862, he was promoted to first sergeant, and he was commissioned first lieutenant in May, 1865, and brevetted captain in September, before being mustered out.  Few had a more notable, none a more honorable, record.

Comes to Davenport.

  After the war, he returned to St. Louis, resuming work at his trade of a candy maker.

  He came to Davenport in 1871, opening a candy factory of his own.  Three years later he took into partnership Wm. H. Fernald, and the firm conducted a growing manufacturing business for the next 25 years, adding crackers to their output.  They disposed of this business to advantage several years ago.  Since then Mr. Reimers has interested himself in various lines of business as a director of the First National Bank, the Davenport Building and Loan Association, the Carnival City Packing company, and for the past couple years, since the enlargement of its capital stock, in the Independent Baking company.

  His office, with G. M. Bechtel & Co., bankers, knew him daily right up to his period of helplessness of the past few weeks.

  Such, in brief, was the life history in its larger activities of the citizen whom Davenport is called upon to mourn today.

  He was a member of Fraternal lodge, A. F. & A. M., the Knights Templar, of the A. O. U. W., of the Grand Army of the Republic, of the Elks, and of the Loyal Legion.  August Reimers camp, Sons of Veterans, honored him in it name, when it was organized a few years ago.

The Family.

  The fifth of a family of six children, he was the last to survive.  A brother, Carl and sister Dorothy died in Germany in childhood.  His brothers Henry and Alexander came to St. Louis when he did, and their sister Johanna had preceded them there.  The sister lived there and frequently visited him in Davenport, up to the time of her death a couple years ago.

  During his residence in St. Louis Mr. Reimers married Miss Christian Hamm, whose death occurred here in 1877.  Of their children Mrs. George Garner, Mrs. Geo. M. Bechtel, and Gustav are living.  Their sister Lydia died a year ago.  In 1879 he married Miss Mary Schmidt of Muscatine, who died in 1892; one son of this union, James Morgan, survives.

  In 1893, after a trip to his native land, Mr. Reimers was united in marriage to Miss Clara Elizabeth Filzhut of Berlin, whose faithful and loving care he has had throughout his illness, and who remains to mourn the loss which relatives and friends in such large number share with her.

  His son Gastav, now connected with a large furniture house in St. Paul, arrived here Friday morning.  Mr. Reimers realized that the end was near, Christmas morning, and the good-byes were said some time before he fell asleep.


The Funeral.

  The funeral will be held at 2 o’clock Monday afternoon, with services at the family home, and interment in Oakdale cemetery.  The Knights Templars will have charge of the services, and the prayer will be by Dr. Leroy M. Coffman, pastor of the First Presbyterian church.  The acting pallbearers, will be Frank W. Smith,J. P. Risley, W. F. Winecke, W. F. Fidler, P. L.  Ottesen, and Charles Robeson.  Two honorary pallbearers will represent the Grand Army, two the Elks and two the Sons of Veterans.

His Personal Reminiscences.

  A year or so ago, Captain Reimers dictated some reminiscences of his early years, on war times and incidents, and on his own character.  In a simple and direct way he tells much that will be read with interest not only by his friends; but by the general reader.  Some selections from these memoirs will be most timely on this occasion.

His First Narrow Escape.

  “My earliest recollections of childhood is of the old flagstone in front of my father’s house in Schwerin, where I used to play when a small child.  .  .  .  .

  “We went to Hamburg and were booked to sail on a large clipper ship.  But when we came down to the ship to go aboard, the ship was crowded, and there was some 20 people left over, we among them.  A small Norwegian brig, by the name of the Sleipmer, was chartered.  The ladies were put in the officer’s cabin but the rest of us had to go between decks.  Ninety people were about all that the little craft could hold, so we sailed for the Land of Liberty.  We encountered a very severe storm on the way over, but arrived safely in New York after 32 days on the briny deep.  We had a lot of friends on board the big clipper ship, and when we got to New York, we were anxiously waiting for them to arrive.  But they never came.  The clipper ship, with all on board, was lost, and no one ever knew what became of them, while our little Norwegian brig weathered the storm, and carried us over safely.  .  .  .  .

The Trip Out West.

  “We lived in New York until 1852.  In the Fall of the year, my sister wrote from St. Louis, where she was located, asking us to come to St. Louis.  We started on the cars to Buffalo, and from there took steamer over the lakes to Chicago to get a chance to ride on a canal boat to La Salle, Ill.  From there we went down the Illinois river on the steamer Belle Golden, arriving in St. Louis after 15 days from New York.”

  His recollections of his steam boating days which followed showed that he was first on the Herald, running up the Missouri.  “Steamboating at that time was in its glory,” he writes, “Sometimes the levee would be crowded with boats, his recollections of his steam boating days which followed showed that he was first on the Herald, running up so that one would have to wait, in order to get a chance to land.  In the fall, when the Herald laid up, I took a berth on the steamer Equinox, running up the Tennessee River. “Then next summer he was again on the Missouri, and in the fall, shipped on a boat that took a theatrical troupe down the river to New Orleans, playing at all stops.

Boats Run By Slaves.

  “I then shipped on the steamer Capital, one of the largest steamers that ever ran on the river,” he continued.  “She ran between New Orleans and Bayou Sara, making three round trips a week.  This was in the old slavery days, of course, and the company that owned the boat, also owned all the deck hands and firemen who were slaves.  She was a three decker.  The Negro quarters were the apt part of the middle deck and I used to love to go back there in the evening, and hear the Negroes pick on the banjo, and dance.  It was very exciting, and I spent many an evening there, enjoying the sport.”

A Race on the River.

  The Capital had a mail contract, and the republic was built along speed lines, in the hope of outracing her and securing the contract.  Captain Reimers relates the story of their famous race from New Orleans to Bayou Sara, the Capital reaching each town first and the Republic passing her during her stop to put off the mail.

  “The negro hands were the most excited of anybody on the boat,” he says.  “One of them got a coil of rope, and when we were passing the Republic, threw the rope toward them, and hollered out, ‘I say there, you Republic, catch on behind.’  We did not lose our mail contract.”

“Broke,” and Far From Home.

  Being taken ill in February, young Reimers found himself unable to work, and out of money.  A friend on the Philadelphia insured him a steamboat ride to Cairo, but there the river was blocked with ice, in that extremely cold winter.  A companion had 40 cents and he had 75, with which to get to St. Louis.  They walked 18 miles down the railroad that day; then boarded a passenger train.  The conductor, coming along, heard their story, and said, “You must get off at the next station.”  But they didn’t, and were allowed to ride on the St. Louis.  “I was never so poor in my life,” writes the Captain.  But he adds, “However when I got home, I had some money deposited with my brother and I soon regained my health.”

First Visit to Davenport.

  The next year, he shipped on the Conewego, and was eight months aboard her, running to St. Paul and back.”  It was his first visit to the upper Mississippi.  One trip, coming down, they crossed Rock Island rapids in a storm, “and bumped along pretty lively.  When we struck the old Davenport bridge, the wind blew us straight against the piers, and our wheel was wrecked.  We had to lay three days at the levee in Davenport to fix our wheel.  This was my first visit to this city, in 1857.

Youthful Financiering.

  “The panic struck us, and business was getting pretty bad.  In fact, so bad that money was almost worthless.  Along in the fall, I was paid off with my $20 one day, and I went up into the city to buy a pair of jean pants for $2.50, but my $20 would not buy the pants.  So I went back to the boat and handed my $20 back to Mr. Griffith, who was clerk on the boat, and told him I did not care for any money, that I would prefer to have it credited to my account, and to keep it until the boat had laid up.  Mr. Griffith said that I was a very smart young man.  So when the boat laid up, I had quite a little sum of money coming to me, and by the time bank notes had recuperated, so the money was worth something.

The War Cloud Lowers.

  Captain Reimers in the days that followed, for he quit steam boating that fall, was in the midst of the stirring events in St. Louis that accompanied the breaking out of the war.  They are a part of the country’s history, well known to readers of the events of that period as chronicled by the historian, or by the novelist in such stories as Winston Churchill’s “The Crisis,” in which one has a graphic picture of St. Louis life at this very period.

  “The war cloud began to lower and we in Missouri knew there was going to be trouble,” says Captain Reimers, “so we organized and drilled in secret, I was enrolled in Captain Zels’s company, and as early as December, 1860, we used to drill at the Apollo gardens.  Along in April it got to be pretty lively in St. Louis.  They raised a Secessionist flag at the corner of Fifth and One Streets, and everybody was excited.  Pretty soon Fort Sumter was fired upon.

  “On the 18th of April, I went down to drill at Apollo gardens.  When I got there no one was there except the sentry at the gate, who told me to go inside the house.  When I got inside, I was asked my name, and was told to go home and get a blanket, and report at the arsenal, which I did, and my career as a soldier commenced.  .  .  .  Franz Sigel was elected colonel of the regiment, and Frederick Zels was captain of my company.”


Capture of Camp Jackson.

  On the 10th of May, Captain Reimers was a participant in the capture of the camp of the Secessionist state guard, Camp Jackson, the bold stroke of General Lyon which insured the control of the city to the Union forces.

  “I went out to Camp Jackson in my shirt sleeves,” he says, “with the 40 rounds of ammunition in my pants pockets, and the caps for my gun in my vest pocket, and that is the most of the men went out there.  .  .  .

Off for the Front.

  “After the Camp Jackson affair, we received uniforms, consisting of a gray hat, gray shirt, and gray pants, all trimmed up in red.  And we also received accoutrements and blankets, so we were fitted out for the campaign.  We left St. Louis on the 28th for our campaign to the Southwest.  While we were marching down Seventh Street, my brother, who was in the Seventh regiment, was notified that his wife was sick.  We lived on Seventh Street, so my brother left the ranks and went in to see his wife.  A child had been born, so he kissed the mother and child, came back in the ranks, and was off to war.  .  .  .

  “On the 29th of July, our 90 days expired, and we were to go home.  But General Lyon came up, and made us a speech, saying that we were in front of the enemy and expected a battle, and that if we went home he would have to retreat, and asked us to stay.  The colors were marched 20 paces to the front of the regiment, and those who would stay, were to rally to the colors.  The men commenced to rally, and in less than five minutes, the whole regiment had rallied, and also all the Fifth Missouri.  So we stayed and fought on the 10th of August, the battle of Wilson’s Creek, when our time had expired the 28th of July.”

  Captain Reimers was knocked senseless in this fight, by a piece of canister which struck him in the breast, and that was the last he knew, he says, of the battle of Wilson’s Creek.  The death of the gallant General Lyon made it one of the costly battles of the early period of the war.



Pvt. August Reimers, Co. B, 3rd MO Infantry.

"I was struck by a piece of cannister on my breast, but my breast was protected by my blanket being rolled and carried on my shoulder. But I was knocked senseless, and fell in the middle of the Fayetteville road."

~ photo courtesy of Wilson's Creek National Battlefield, unknown donator


Re-enlists for Three Years.

  “We marched back to Rolla,” runs the Captain’s story, “110 miles from Springfield, and then took the train and came back home to St. Louis.  By that time I was quite able to be around again.  On the 30th of August we were paid off at the munificent rate of $11 per month.  This was quite a comedown for me, being used to earning $3 per day, but money was no object in those days.  I received $40 in gold and some silver for my services.  I went up town and bought a nice silk dress for my brother’s wife, and put the change in my pocket.  Then with some more of my men of my old company, we went to the camp of the Fifteenth Missouri, and we enlisted in Company E for three years.  .  . 

Sleeping in the Snow.

  “In February we marched away to the Southwest on the campaign which terminated in the battle of Pea Ridge.  It was fearful weather, and the first night out it snowed about six inches.  When we got into camp, the roads were rough, and our teams could not come up, so we camped in a cornfield, with nothing but our haversacks to fall back upon, and snowing for all it was worth.

  “Three of us in my company , myself and two others, gathered up a lot of corn stalks, spread a blanket on the stakes, lay down and covered ourselves with the other two blankets and slept all night.    I had pulled off my shoes, they being very wet.  In the morning when we woke up, our blankets were covered with four inches of snow, and we had slept good and snug in under the snow.  I hunted for my shoes, and found them in under the snow, frozen hard, so I could not put them on.  But we had a fire of fence rails, and I soon thawed them out, and put them on my feet.  .  .  .

Baked Bread on Shingles.

  “We were very hard up for provisions, but we got a lot of Confederate trains.  One of the wagons was loaded with flour.  That night we camped alongside an old spring house.  I had the flour, but nothing to bake cakes with, as our baggage was far behind.  So I studied, as I must have something to eat some way.  Finally I made a dough in my tin cup, and stiffened it with flour.  Then I got down a shingle from the old spring house, washed it off, put some flour on the shingle, and then laid my dough on the shingle, and baked it by the fire.  After it was baked on one side, I turned it over, and baked it on the other, thereby getting some very sweet bread.  When the rest of the boys saw what I was doing, they all ran for shingles, and in a little time there was not a shingle left on the spring house.  Everybody was baking bread on a shingle.  We were very hungry, and consequently the bread tasted very sweet.

“The Amiable Enemy.”

  In the course of his reminiscences, Captain Reimers details the army movements and various battles and skirmishes in which his regiment participated, telling many humorous incidents of army life.  He comes in due time to the following story of his promotion to a first sergeantcy:

  “That night we camped in the yard of a large plantation, and were very much in need of water.  The well at the house soon gave out, there being so many men after the water.  A river was not far away, about a quarter of a mile, and I made up my mind to get some water out of the river.  The confederates held one side of the river, while we held the other.  The river was not so very wide--probably 100 yards.  I took about 20 canteens from the men of my company, and started for the river.  When I got to the edge of the river, our picket told me to be careful, as the confederate picket was on the other side, and would probably shoot at us.  I told him I thought not--that the Confederates would not murder a man for getting water.  But I was very careful in getting down the bank, which was about 20 feet high.  I got down to the edge of the water and could see the Confederate picket on the other side, behind a tree.  I let the canteens down into the water one after another, and soon had them filled.  Then I drew them out again and hung them across my shoulder.  The Confederate did not make any move to fire, and I have not the least doubt that he saw me get the water.  So you see the spirit of the fighting man was amiable indeed, when there was not any fighting going on.  The moon was shining very brightly and he could see me very plainly, but was kind enough to let me get the water without shooting me.  I went back to my company, and the boys were very glad to get the water.

 “Among the dead of the day’s fight, were our second lieutenant and first sergeant.  I was at that time a corporal.  Our captain called me up to his fire that night, and told me that he had promoted me to first sergeant.  I told him I would not accept that position, as there were sergeants in the company who should be promoted before I was.  Then he said, ‘You refuse to obey orders.’  I said. “Yes sir.  I do not wish to be promoted over the heads of the other sergeants.’  “Well,” he said, “what would you say if the other sergeants declined the position in your favor?’  I told him I would accept.  He called up the other sergeants, who declined the position in my favor, and I was promoted first sergeant of the company, on the field of the battle of Stone River.”

For Three Years More.

  In January, 1863, came the offer of 30 days furlough and transportation home for a visit to all who reenlisted for three years from that time.  Captain Reimer’s company discussed the offer.  “If Gus reenlists, we will,” was their decision.  “Gus” was ready to, if so much hinged upon his action.  So the company was reenlisted to a man.

  At St. Louis they saw their friends and relatives again, were welcomed and banqueted, and the month was soon over, and they lined up for another campaign.  At this point young Reimers refused the first lieutenancy of Company G.  Having been the cause of his company’ reenlisting, he declined to leave it, and remained first sergeant for a year longer, until a vacancy occurred and he was promoted.

  The next three years of Captain Reimer’s service was active and strenuous.  In his memoirs he tells much about the general operations, and only incidentally of himself.  He was the soul of modesty, and the selections of a personal nature that have been made were only incidental to an extended account of the operations so far as he knew of them which it is to be hoped that the family will some time put into print.  He closes with the following:

His Words of Farewell.

  “There is not a great deal more to say, that you do not know already.  I was with the Blanke Candy co. till 1871, when I made up my mind to go into business by myself.  I went up the river and looked at all the cities between St. Louis and Dubuque and found that Davenport had the best advantages of any of them, so I located here.  The rest is a hard struggle, hard work and long hours, and the joys and sorrows of any ordinary business man.  Children were born and joy reigned in the family--death came and sorrow was our lot.  But you know all about those things, and now we are old and ready to pass on.  And we hope with the blessing of God to be with him in the hereafter.

  “I joined the Presbyterian church in 1866 and for five years in St. Louis, and 16 years in Rock Island, I worked in the Sabbath school.  I still love the old church and expect to stay with them.  Now I will bid you farewell, and hope that these pages will interest you.

Final Trip to the Orient.

  In 1905, Mr. and Mrs. Reimers were members of a Davenport party that enjoyed a trip in the Orient and across Europe, Mr. and Mrs. A. Burdick, Mr. and Mrs. Gus. Haase, and Mr. and Mrs. W. F. Winecke being the other members of the group.  Mr. Reimers also left his family an extended story of this trip that showed him a man of close observation and interesting views.  It was on this trip that, far up the Nile, in the Temple of Luxor, Egypt, the Davenporters chanced upon the Ficke family also from here, and a few minutes later upon the Huntoon, Stevens and Hibbard families of Moline, making a party of 13 from Davenport, and eight from Moline that were soon exchanging greetings and notes of their travels on the porch of the hotel.

  At the time of this trip, Mr. Reimers’ affliction had already made such advances that it was with some difficulty that he got about.  His mind was clear and his spirit as cheery, however, as it remained to the end.






  The official text of Captain Reimers military record reads as follows: 


  Born at Schwerin Mecklenburg, Germany. Sept. 23, 1841.  Entered Military service of the United States as a private Company B, Third Missouri volunteer Infantry, for three month’s service, April 22, 1861.  Capture of Fort Jackson, St. Louis, Mo., May 10, 1861.  Provost duty at St. Louis till June.  Movement on Springfield, Mo., June 16-27.  Marched to Neosho, thence to Carthage, Battle of Carthage, Dry Forks, July 5.  Battle of Wilson’s Creek, Aug.10...Mustered out Sept. 10, 1961.

  Again entered service as private Company E, Fifteenth Missouri volunteer Infantry, Sept. 1, 1861.  Promoted to corporal Nov. 8, 1862, to sergeant Jan. 5, 1863, and to first sergeant May 23, 1865.

  Regiment organized at St. Louis, Mo.  Attached to Fremont’s Army of the West, September, 1861, to January, 1862.  Osborn’s Fifth brigade, Army of Southwest Missouri, Department of Missouri, to March, 1862.  First brigade, Third Division, Army of Mississippi to September, 1862.  First brigade, Eleventh division, Army of the Ohio, to October, 1862.  Thirty-third brigade, Eleventh division, Third Corps, Army of the Ohio to November, 1862.  Second brigade, Third division, right wing, Fourteenth army corps, Army of the Cumberland, to January 1863.  Second brigade, Third division, Twentieth army corps, Army of the Cumberland, to October, 1862.  First brigade, Second division, fourth army corps, Army of the Cumberland, to July, 1864.  Third brigade, Second division, Fourth army corps. To august 1865. Central district of Texas, Department of Texas, to December, 1865.

  Service--advance on Springfield, Mo., Oct 13 to27, 1861.  Moved to Rollo, Mo. And duty there till February, 1862.  Advance on Springfield, Mo. Feb. 2-13.  Pursuit of Price to Benton, Ark.  Battle of Pen Ridge, Ark., March 6-8.  March to Batesville, Ark., April 5 to May 3, thence to Cape Girardeau, Mo., and to Pittsburg Landing, Tenn., May 11-27.  Advance on and siege of Corinth, Miss., May 23 to 30.  Pursuit to Booneville, May 31 to June 12.  Duty to Rienzi till September.  Ordered to Cincinnati, Ohio, thence to Louisville, Ky.  Pursuit of Bragg, into Kentucky, Oct, 1-15.  Battle of Perryville, Ky., Oct. 8.  March to Nashville, Tenn., Oct 16, Nov.7.  Advance on Murfreesboro, Tenn., Dec 26-30.Nolensville, Dec26.  Triune Dec. 27- 28.  Battle of Stone’s River Dec. 30-31, 1862 and Jan. 1-3, 1863.  Duty at Murfreesboro till June.  Tullahoma campaign June 24-July 7.  Beech Grove June 25.  Hoover’s Gap June 25-26.  Occupation of Tullahoma July 1.  Passage of Elk River July 3.  Chickamauga, Ga., campaign Aug. 19 to Sept. 22.  Battle of Chickamauga Sept. 19-20.  Siege of Chattanooga Sept 24-Nov.23.  Battles of Chattanooga Nov. 23-25.  Orchard Knob Nov. 23-24.  Missionary Ridge Nov. 25.  March to relief of Knoxville Nov. 28 - Dec. 8.  Dandridge Jan. 14-18, 1864.  Operations in East Tennessee till April.  Atlanta, Ga., company May 1-Sept 8.  Catusa Springs May 5.  Demonstration on rocky Faced Ridge May 8-11.  Buzzard’s Roost Gap May 8-9.  Battle of Resaca May 14-15.  Oostenaula May 16.  Adairsville May 17.  Kingston May 18-19.  Battles about Dallas and New Hope Church May 25-June 3-4.  Operations against Kenesaw Mountains June 10-July 2.  Pine Hill June 11-14.  Lost Mountain June 15-17.  Culp’s Farm June 22.  Assault on Kenesaw June 27.  Vining’s Station July4  Chattahoochee River July 5-17.  Peach Tree Creek July 19-20.  Siege of Atlanta July 22- Aug 25.  Flank movement on Jonesboro Aug 25-30.  Battle of Jonesboro Aug 31- Sept. 1.  Lovejoy’s Station Sept.2-6.  Pursuit of Hood, into Alabama, Oct 3-24.  Nashville campaign November and December.  Columbia Duck River Nov. 24-27.  Battle of Franklin Nov. 30.  Battle of Nashville Dec 15-16.  Pursuit of Hood, to the Tennessee River.  Dec. 17-28.  Duty at Huntsville, Ala., to March 1865.  Expedition to Bull’s Gap and operations in East Tennessee March 15-April 22.  Moved to Nashville and duty there till June.  Ordered to New Orleans, La., June 15, thence to Texas July 16.  Duty at Lavacca and Camp Irwin, Texas, till December.  Mustered out Dec. 25, 1865, and honorably discharged from service.


The Daily Times, Saturday, December 26, 1908, page. 6.



Veteran Soldier and Business Man Faces His End Consciously and Bravely.

After an illness that extended over two months during which time he has been confined to his home,  Claremont, on the River road, Captain August Reimers, one of the city’s foremost business men, died yesterday afternoon at 2 o’clock. He was surrounded by his immediate family when the end came, and passed from his sphere peacefully and conscious that his life curtain was being drawn.

  For the past four years Captain Reimers has been a sufferer from paralysis, which affected him first in his lower limbs and gradually crept over his entire body, rendering his limbs of little service to him.  Yet despite this handicap he was to be seen daily at his business tasks, to which he attended faithfully until about the middle of October, when his illness forced him to spend the remaining days of his life at his home.

  During the time he was confined to his home in practically a helpless condition he was cheerful and bore his affliction with fortitude.  His last few days were given up to cheering his sorrowing friends and relatives.

  In the death of Captain Reimers, Davenport loses one of its old-time business men, and one who has done his mite towards making the city what it is today.  During his residence in this city, which dates back about 35 years, Captain Reimers has been recognized as a worker and one alive to the interests of his city as well as to his own interests.

His Business Life

  From the south, where he had been fighting for the preservation of the Union, Captain Reimers came to Davenport in the year 1873.  He had followed the profession of candy maker previous to being enlisted in the war, and upon settling in Davenport decided to follow this line of trade.  With Henry Fernald as his co-worker he first located in a small building on Front street, where they remained until necessity called for a larger floor space.  From here they moved to the Fulton block on Perry street, and later erected a building on East Second street, where the firm remained in business for about 25 years.

  A deal was negotiated in 1896 by which the Reimers and Fernald firm closed out to the National Biscuit company, the partnership was dissolved and Mr. Fernald left the business entirely.  However, Captain Reimers retained a small interest in the new business and for a few years (unreadable) with his successors.

  From that time he has been connected with various institutions.  He engaged in the cracker business where the Independent Baking company is now located and since then has been interested in this new firm.  In addition to being a member of the Independent company he has been connected with the office of Geo. M. Bechtel, broker, where he remained during most of his business hours.  He continued his active work here until about 60 days ago when his ill health forced him to remain at his home.

Was in Many Battles

  When the civil war broke out Captain Reimers who at that time was engaged on a steamboat on the river, enlisted on the Union side, enrolling early in the year of 1960.  On April 19, 1861, he was in Company B, which was mustered into service on April 28 of that year.  The time of enlistment was set at 90 days.  On May 10 his company took part in the capture of Fort Jackson near St. Louis.

  His company then spent the following spring in the southwestern part of Missouri and took part in the battle of Carthage which was the first battle of importance in which the captain participated.  On August 10 his 90 days enlistment having expired, he enrolled in the Fifth Missouri.  Owing to an injury which he received in the battle of Carthage he was not in active service for some time afterwards.  Later he enlisted in Co E. of the Fifteen Missouri under General Fremont who later was superseded by General Hunter.  His next skirmish was at Lafayette in 1862.  The Confederate forces were under the command of Generals Price and Van Horn while the Union forces were commanded by General Curtis.  After the battle of Pea Ridge, General Curtis was succeeded by General Siegel, this being March 8, 1862.  The battle of Pea Ridge was a victory for the Union forces.

  After this battle, Captain Reimers, with his company was sent to Helena, Ark., and then to Cape Girardeau, Mo.  He was later at the battle of Shiloh, and then in the battle Perryville at which the Confederate forces were under General Buell.  He then went to Nashville, Tenn., under General Alexander McCook and on Dec. 29 took part in the battle of Stone River.  General Sheridan then took command of the forces and Captain Reimers served under this famous general.  Under the leadership of General Sheridan, the Captain took part in the battles of Chicamauga., Look-out Mountain, and Missionary Ridge.

  After this battle, the term of his service had expired and Captain Reimers again re-enlisted on Jan. 25, 1863, for three years service.  His regiment was put in the Atlanta campaign under Sherman and during the next four months the captain took part in seven battles besides a number of minor skirmishes.  He was with General Sherman in his famous march to the sea.  During the remainder of his service Captain Reimers  spent his time in and about Texas.  He came to Davenport soon after he was mustered out of service.

His Life

  Captain Reimers was a native of Berman, having been born in Scheerin province of Schleswig-Holstein, on Sept. 23, 1840, being 68 years old at the time of his death.  When he was a child of about eight years, his parents, Mr. and Mrs. Henry Reimers, came to America and settled in New York City.  Here August Reimers went to school for a few years until the family moved to St. Louis in the fall of 1852.  During his early life and while in St. Louis, Captain Reimers, had a varied experience, spending most of his time on steamboats plying the river.

  He was a member of the St. Simon of Cyrene commandery, No. 9, Knights Templar, the Masonic fraternities, the United Workman, Order of the Eastern Star Loyal Legion, Elks, and the Grand Army of the Republic.  For the past 15 years he has been a director of the First National bank.

  He leaves to survive him besides his bereaved wife. Mrs. Clara Reimers to whom he was married in 1893, and two daughters  and two sons by a former marriage, Mrs. Hannah Garner, wife of Geo. R. Garners, and Mrs. Martha Bechtel, wife of George M. Bechtel, Gus C. of St. Paul and J. Morgan at home.

The Funeral

  The funeral will be held from the home on the River road Monday afternoon at 2 o’clock and will be entirely in charge of the Knights of Templar under the direction of Dr. Cantwell, the commander.  Rev. LeRoy Coffman of the First Presbyterian church will deliver a short address.  The pallbearers will be two members of the Grand Army, two of the Elks and two of the sons of Veterans.  The internment will be made in Oakdale cemetery.


Sons of Veterans

  Members of Lieut. August E. Reimers camp, No. 12.  Attention.  Meet at court house at 12:30, Monday to attend funeral of our patron August E. Reimers.
  Per Order,                          F. H. Kincaid,
Lewis A. Dilley, Secretary.



G. A. R. Attention

  You are requested to assemble at the G. A. R. hall Monday, Dec. 28 at 12:30 p. m. to attend the funeral of our late comrade Captain August Reimers.
                                                John Burr, Commander,
                                                D. B. Moorehouse, adjutant.


The Daily Times, Saturday, December 26, 1908, page 6.


  The many friends and neighbors of Captain Reimers are grieved to hear of his passing away on Christmas day.

  The family has the heartfelt sympathy of their many friends.

The Davenport Democrat and Leader, Monday, January 18, 1908, page 9.


The Reimers Obsequies.

  It is seldom that a finer tribute is paid to a Davenporter than that which the death of Captain August Reimers called forth.  It came in the esteem that was voiced by those who had touched elbows with him in 35 years of business and personal relations in this city.  At “Claremont,” the family home on River road, this afternoon, it reached its climax in the impressive services of the Knights Templar.  At an appropriate point in the ritual, Dr. Le Roy M. Coffman, pastor of the First Presbyterian church, of which the deceased was a member, led in prayer.  The home was filled with mourning friends, and the floral tributes were many and beautiful.  Beside the open grave at Oakdale, after the conclusion of the Masonic services, the firing squad of August Wentz post, G. A. R., fired a salute and the bugler sounded “Taps” the familiar strain that had marked the close of many a weary day in the soldier life of the deceased.  With the dying away of the last clear note those who had followed the remains to their last resting place, took farewell of their friend.  The pallbearers were Frank W. Smith, J. P. Risley, W. F. Winecke, W. F. Fidlar, P. L. Ottesen and Charles Robeson.



The Daily times, Monday, December 28, 1908, page 12.




Knights Templar Have Charge of the Services--Many Tributes From Friends

  Witnessed by hundreds of sympathetic friends and sorrowing relatives, the last rites were conducted over the body of the late Captain August Reimers at his home on the River road this afternoon at 2 o’clock, and were in charge of the Knights Templar of which he was a member.  At. 1:30 o’clock the members of the Templars and the several other societies with which he was identified, assembled at the Masonic Temple and proceeded to the home.  The services which marked the funeral were impressive and solemn.  A few words of consolation were spoken by Rev. LeRoy Coffman, pastor of the First Presbyterian church, and a short resume of the life of the deceased was given.

  The floral tributes which were offered as tokens of the sympathy extended the family were profuse and beautiful.  Several large emblems from different lodges and societies formed the embankment in which the casket lay.  Acting as pallbearers were Frank W. Smith, J. P. Risley, W. F. Fidlar, P. L. Ottesen, Charles Robeson and W. F. Winecke.  The honorary pallbearers were Major M. L. Marks and Dr. J. B. Morgan from the G. A. R.; Adolph Henigbaum and Charles Cameron from the Elks, and L. A. Dilley and Louis Rudy from the Sons of Veterans.  The interment was made in Oakdale cemetery where appropriate ceremonies were held.



The Davenport Democrat and Leader, Tuesday, January 12, 1909, page 10.

Under the heading “Five Boats For Local Packet Company.”

One New Director.

The old board of directors was reelected with but one change, George M. Bechtel being selected to succeed the late Captain August Reimers.

Resolutions Adopted.

  The following resolutions on the death of Captain August Reimers were adopted:

  Whereas, one of our number, Captain August Reimers, who has been a member of this board since the company was organized 18 years ago, reached the port of final rest Dec. 25, 1908, after a very successful voyage of 68 years;

  And whereas we have depended much on the encouragement of his cheerful presence and the counsel of his sound judgment, it is hereby
  Resolved, That we will not forget his example nor his advice and will show our appreciation of his merit by trying to continue the business in the way we honestly think he would have approved had he been spared to labor with us.

  Resolved, That these resolutions be spread upon the minutes and read at the annual meeting of the stockholders and a copy sent to the family of our much respected friend and fellow director.


back to History Index