Muscatine County, Iowa


Submitted by Sebastian Demuth from Bad Berleburg,
district of Siegen-Wittgenstein, in North Rhine-Westhpalia, Germany.
January 2, 2021

Reverend Johannes P. Jans

Sebastian writes: "I am German and am writing to you from Germany. I would like to share with you a picture of the German immigrant Johannes Jans, a former reverend of the evangelical protestant church in Muscatine around the year 1909. I found your email address on the IAGenWeb Project's website, where I also read about Rev. Jans. in the 1911 History of Muscatine County.

I found this picture in an old photo album that I bought recently on eBay. On its back, it is written in German:

    “Pastor Johannes Jans aus Gutenberg – Jugendfreund von Großmutter Helene Einwächter, später Reverend in Muscatine Iowa USA.”

This translates to:

    "Reverend Johannes Jans from Gutenberg – childhood friend of grandmother Helene Einwächter,
    later reverend in Muscatine Iowa USA."

As can be seen, the picture was taken in Strauss's photo studio at 1245 Franklin Ave., St. Louis.

I read that this was a well-known photographer in St. Louis and that many people traveled over St. Louis to Muscatine.

Thus, the picture was not taken in Germany, but it was either send back to Germany or brought back by someone.

Jans probably gave it to his childhood friend Helene Einwächter".

Lynn McCleary found some additional information on Reverend Jans:

According to the 1911 History of Muscatine County, Reverend Johannes (John) P. Jans was the pastor of the Evangelical Protestant Church in Muscatine. This church was built in 1860. 2020 this church still stands at 401 Iowa Avenue and is called the First Presbyterian Church.

Looking in Muscatine City Directories we find Rev. John Jans and wife, Hannah, as living at 907 Iowa Avenue from 1902 through 1910. In 1913 the family were living at 318 Sycamore St.

We learned more of Rev. John Jans’ family by looking at the 1910 Federal Census of Muscatine, Ward 2, District 0110, Muscatine County, IA.

    Jan John Head, aged 44 yrs, married 22 yrs, came to the US in 1884 and was naturalized, he and parents were born in Germany, occupation clergyman German Evangelical Church
    Hannah, Wife, aged 40 yrs, married 22 yrs, b. IL , father b. Germany, mother b. Swiss German
    Paul, Son, aged 20 yrs, b. IA
    John, Son, aged 19 yrs, b. IA
    Walker, Son aged 17 yrs, b. NE
    Ralph, Son, aged 15 yrs, b. TX
    Martha, Daughter, aged 13 yrs, b. WI
    Fred, Son, aged 11 yrs, b. WI
    Flora, Daughter, aged 10 yrs, b. WI
    Elsa, Daughter, aged 9 yrs, b. IA

Rev. Jans was not found in the 1915 Iowa State Census as living in Muscatine. In the 1920 Federal Census he is found living in Fort Collins, Larimer County, CO. His occupation was noted as minister of the Evangelical Church. Shortly after 1920 the family moved again to Wayne County, MI.

According to Find A Grave Rev. John and his wife are buried Grand Lawn Cemetery, Detroit, Wayne Co., MI

    Johannes Peter (John) Jans
    b. 11 Jan 1866 Halle-an der-Salle, Germany
    d. 2 Mar 1928 Detroit, Wayne Co., MI

    Hannah Verena Doehring
    b. 1870 Millstadt, IL
    d. 14 May 1950 Deer Lake, Independence Twp., Oakland Co., MI

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Page created January 2, 2021 by Lynn McCleary