My Genealogy Hound

Below is a family biography included in The History of Polk County, Missouri published by Goodspeed Publishing Company in 1889.  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.

* * * *

Charles Koch, proprietor of the mineral springs at Fair Play, Polk County, Mo., is a native of Switzerland, born in 1819, and is one of the much-respected citizens of the county. He is the son of Jacob and Mary Koch, both natives of Switzerland, the father born in 1777. He was a mechanic by occupation, and died in his native country. The mother also died in Switzerland in 1835. They were the parents of ten children, all of whom lived to be grown. Charles Koch grew to manhood in Switzerland, and attended school fifteen years. He learned the carpenter trade of his father, and worked at contracting and building in his native country for thirteen years. In 1848 he sailed for America, landing in New York, and there worked at his trade for some time. He then emigrated to Missouri, located at St. Louis, and there worked at his trade until the breaking out of the late war, when he joined the Federal army, and was in service for three years, in Company G, Tenth Missouri Cavalry, and filled the rank of third, sergeant. He lost $2,000 during the war. After the conflict he settled in Warren County, followed farming, and lived there for eighteen years, after which he moved to Springfield, followed his trade there, and remained in that city five years. He came to Fair Play in 1887, purchased a farm on a hill, and has discovered water which is strongly impregnated with medicinal properties. This has been thoroughly tested, and many have been benefited by use of the same, viz.: Mr. Blair, of Fair Play, was cured of dyspepsia; Mr. McCarty, of kidney trouble; Mr. Yost, of dyspepsia; and Mr. Neal, of vocal trouble. Many with sore eyes have been benefited, and one, Mr. Grigsby, badly afflicted with dropsy, was cured. Mr. Koch has been married three times, and to his present wife fifteen years ago. One living child has been born to this union, Annie R., and one died in infancy. Mrs. Koch has also been married three times, and by her first husband became the mother of these children: Samuel Caldwell (deceased); John Caldwell, Emma Caldwell, wife of Samuel Sanders. Three children are deceased. Mrs. Louisa Koch is the daughter of John T. and Sarah (Howard) Hurt. John T. Hurt was born October 14, 1786, in North Carolina, and removed from that State to West Virginia with his parents at the age of eight years. Two years later he moved with his parents to East Tennessee, his father settling where Nashville now stands. He emigrated from Tennessee back to West Virginia, and there John T. was married, in 18n, in Russell County, to Miss Sarah Howard. He died March 21, i860. Miss Sarah Howard was born in West Virginia October 15, 1807, and grew to womanhood in her native State. She died in February, 1858. She was the mother of ten children, three now living, and Mrs. Koch being the sixth in order of birth. The paternal grand father, Garland Hurt, was born about 1750, in North Carolina, and grew to manhood in that State. He married Miss Martishia Thurston, in North Carolina, in 1793, and died in West Virginia about 1840. The paternal grandmother was born about 1760, and died a number of years before the death of her husband. They were the parents of ten children. The maternal grand father of Mrs. Hurt, Larkin Howard, was born about 1780, in North Carolina, and grew to manhood there. When about twenty-one years of age he emigrated to West Virginia, and about four years later returned to North Carolina, and was there married in 1800 or 1801. Soon after marriage he returned to West Virginia, but later emigrated to Indiana, and there died about 1829, a few months after reaching that State. The paternal grandmother, Miss Rachel Herndon, was born in England in 1785, and emigrated with her parents to America when about nine or ten years of age. In their family were ten children. She died in Indiana about 1855. The paternal great-grandfather was originally from England, and died in North Carolina about 1770, and was a grand-nephew of the Princess Rachel Howard, a descendant of the house of Stuarts. The paternal great-grand mother was a Miss Nancy Taylor, who died in North Carolina. The maternal great-grandfather, Edward Herndon, was born in England, and was married in that country to Miss Hawkins. Mr. Koch is a member of the Roman Catholic Church, is a Republican in politics, and is a member of the G. A. R.

* * * *

This family biography is one of 132 biographies included in The History of Polk County, Missouri published in 1889.  For the complete description, click here: Polk County, Missouri History, Genealogy, and Maps

To view additional Polk County, Missouri family biographies, click here

Use the links at the top right of this page to search or browse thousands of other family biographies.