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Below is a family biography included in The History of Jefferson County, Missouri published by Goodspeed Publishing Company in 1888.  These biographies are valuable for genealogy research in discovering missing ancestors or filling in the details of a family tree. Family biographies often include far more information than can be found in a census record or obituary.  Details will vary with each biography but will often include the date and place of birth, parent names including mothers' maiden name, name of wife including maiden name, her parents' names, name of children (including spouses if married), former places of residence, occupation details, military service, church and social organization affiliations, and more.  There are often ancestry details included that cannot be found in any other type of genealogical record.

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William Blank (deceased) was born in Germany in 1830, and was a son of John and Catherine (Zollman) Blank. He was reared and grew to manhood in his native country, and at an early age commenced to learn the stone-mason’s trade. He immigrated to America in 1847, and settled in Jefferson County, Mo., where he bought a farm and engaged in the pursuit of agriculture. In 1857 he married Miss Dina Fluth, who was born in Hanover, Germany, in 1839, and in 1846 came to the United States with her parents, Jacob and Sarah (Mathesen) Fluth, who settled in St. Louis. Jacob Fluth, a shoemaker by trade, died in 1881 and his wife in 1874, both in Jefferson County, whither they had moved in 1852. To Mr. and Mrs. Blank were born eight children, as follows: Catherine (wife of Charles Becker), Sarah (deceased), Minnie (wife of Augustus Sapper), Adolph W., Mary, George, William and Frederick. Mr. Blank settled in De Soto in 1864, and in partnership with William Knorpp engaged in merchandising until 1882, when he established a wood and coal yard in De Soto, in which business he was engaged at the time of his death, which occurred April 26, 1886. Mr. Blank was also engaged in contracting and furnishing wood and ties for the Iron Mountain Railroad. For many years he was one of the substantial business men of De Soto. He held membership in the Methodist Episcopal Church, of which church his wife has been a member for the past thirty years. Upon the death of his father Adolph W. assumed charge of the wood and coal yard, and is a good business man; he also deals in lime and cement, manufacturing the former in kilns on the old home place, one mile southeast of De Soto, which contains 289 acres; the lime is called white lime, and is of a superior quality. About fifteen kilns are burned per season, averaging 220 barrels per kiln; there is also a stone quarry on the farm, which has been in successful operation since 1875.

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This family biography is one of 224 biographies included in The History of Jefferson County, Missouri published in 1888.  For the complete description, click here: Jefferson County, Missouri History, Genealogy, and Maps

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