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History of Pierre Clerc & the Hillsboro Poultry Farms

by Kay Clerc-Fakhar 

 

Pierre Clerc, Sr., an immigrant from France is said to have come from an educated and affluent family in Brest, Finnistere [Bretagne] France.  Wishing to leave behind an environment filled with abundant conflicts such as the Franco-American War and desiring to escape an economic depression that continued to plague Europe, he immigrated to the United States in 1881, filled with youthful dreams and the anticipation of seeking his fortune.

 

According to the History of Jefferson County, by H. Litton, although Pierre Clerc spoke very little English, he was able to support himself by producing and selling a special stove polish in his home located below the county garage in Hillsboro.  By 1892, he married Anna Umhoefer, a German immigrant.  Articles written in local newspapers during that time indicate he rented the Vollmar farm, where he began a business in marketing the poultry products he developed, such as Clerc’s Chicken Lice Killer, Clerc’s Disinfectant Insect Powder, Clerc’s Specific, Clerc’s Chicken Food and Clerc’s Egg Producer. 

 

In 1903, he was financially able to purchase a home and acreage from William Carver, located on Brickyard Road in Hillsboro.  This property and his business became known as Hillsboro Poultry Farms.  Land records show that James and Cecilia Carver originally sold the property to James' brother, William Carver in 1897.  It’s believed that James received the property from his father, Talbert Carver and that Talbert Carver purchased the property with his father, John Carver during the 1850s.   

 

An addition was made to the original cabin and known to have been built by Pierre Clerc immediately upon purchase of the property, because the year 1903 had been etched into a section of the concrete foundation.  Seven of the eight children were born by this time, Margaret (Dolly), Pierre Jr. (Pete), Rose, Francis Eugene, Paul Lafayette, William Oliver (Billy) and Marian, so additional space was likely needed.  Unfortunately, in recent years, this addition has collapsed due to neglect, but the original homestead, as well as a large outside stone cooking area and a stone well still remain on the property. The cabin, made of stone and wood, has 2 large fireplaces and a unique basement with built in storage cubicles.  The home is situated between 2 creeks that merge together just beyond the point where a well constructed stone spring house also still remains.   

 

Pierre was successful in developing and manufacturing his products for many years.  Two publicly published affidavits, legally sworn to by customers were discovered, both stating his products cured cholera in various livestock - cholera had become an epidemic in the area at that time.  It is speculated that this must have been the time period when he was approached by investors to do business on a larger scale.  His refusal and lack of trust in others who were interested in expanding his business may have been his first mistake. 

 

Hillsboro Poultry Farms had prospered quickly and by 1913, additional acreage was purchased adjacent to the farm, where a wooden barn-like manufacturing plant was built.  Soon after this expansion, the Clerc home and business began to suffer from vandalism.  Felix Leutzinger was a neighbor who lived adjacent to property’s back 5 acres and is who the Clerc's believed to be responsible.  Numerous complaints were made to the Sheriff’s office, and the family became frustrated when the sheriff was unable to put a stop to it.   

 

Based on personal correspondence that has been found among family records, it appears the Clerc family was on good terms with the other neighbors in the area and since Leutzinger’s property had easy access to the Clerc manufacturing plant, it is likely their accusations were correct.  Several members of the Clerc family ultimately were fined $1 fees for disturbing the peace as they became more vocal with their complaints.  Within this same time period, a record of a quarrel between Pierre and Anna was found, also likely a result of continued frustration due to the ongoing problems.   

 

Meanwhile, Pierre continued to hold his own, and in 1916, assumed a mortgage on prime commercial property within the town of Hillsboro (Block 3).  This purchase included an entire town block (4 streets) w/ the exception of one corner building.  Evidently there were plans to expand the business there.  Interestingly, John Heller, the tax collector, who had loaned Pierre money 3 years earlier [of which only three monthly payments remained], also happened to hold the mortgage Pierre assumed from the Richard & Nellie Schroeder, who were the previous owners of this commercial property.  

 

The new manufacturing plant was set on fire immediately following Pierre’s purchase of the commercial property located across from the courthouse in 1916.  Funds were no doubt already dwindled between the expenses incurred from the ongoing vandalism and the recent purchase of property.  Pierre was 60 years old at this time, and likely found the work load required to rebuild and recoup difficult at that stage in his life. The destruction caused by this fire limited production of his products and put the business and family into immediate financial difficulty.  Its unfortunate fire insurance wasn’t a common practice for those living ‘outside of town’ in those days. 

 

Jefferson County was just starting to build more permanent roads at this time so the two oldest sons, Pete and Francis began working with the road engineers.  They weren’t able however, to make enough to support the family, rebuild the business and pay off both debts in the time required.

 

It was during this time that Pete Clerc, Jr. and Felix Leutzinger ended up in town at the same hour.  Pete had just finished his work day with the engineer and apparently saw Felix at the local bar.  An immediate verbal confrontation began in regard to the vandalism and this led to a scuffle.  Pete left the building, went to the road surveyor’s office where a pitchfork was kept, returned to threaten Felix with it, ultimately prodding one of the tines into Leutzingers' leg.  Pete was charged with felonious assault.  

 

His lawyer pled temporary insanity, suffered due to business and family problems as a result of the ongoing vandalism.  Pierre was fined, but didn’t have the funds and served 20 days in jail in lieu of payment.  While Pete was in jail, Pierre Sr., now angrier and more frustrated, managed to do something to warrant being charged with disturbing the peace again.  He spent 10 days in jail at the same time as his son.  The attorney expenses incurred because of this added to the financial burden.  With two family members enjoying the comforts of home behind prison bars, instead of earning a living, the family was left unable to afford the additional legal fees needed to pursue with a lawsuit against Leutzinger for property damages.

 

This final act of vandalism not only put the business in jeopardy, its timing with the purchase of the prime commercial property, was the downfall of the family business.  Hillsboro Poultry Farms had been used as collateral, and this forced the Clerc family into bankruptcy.  

 

By Aug 1917, the property was auctioned to the highest bidder.  The highest and probably only bidder turned out to be none other than John Heller, the same man who held the mortgage backed by Hillsboro Poultry Farms.  He bought both foreclosed properties for a mere $35, about one tenth of what he was owed (approx. $350) and certainly for just pennies on the dollar based on the value of the properties.  Records show that Heller soon resold the commercial property on Block 3 to his neighbor for an amount much higher than the original selling price [basically profiting twice on the same property, and was possibly his main objective at the time].  It was additionally interesting to find records showing that Heller had also done business with Leutzinger's in-laws in the past. 

 

The Brickyard Road property, however, was not sold until 1931, twenty-three years after the bankruptcy, and the acreage evidently had been rented until that time, possibly to Felix Leutzinger. In 1977, the property was divided and resold.  A little further digging revealed that the closest neighbors of the tax collector, John Heller, were the sheriff, the judge, the attorney and those other town officials, whose names appeared in some shape or form in Clerc's bankruptcy records. 

 

Local historians recognized this situation to be of a similar nature to other bankruptcies involving many of the same townspeople.

 

~Background of the Clerc Family~

 

~Pierre L. CLERC~

 

Birth: 1858, Brest, France

Death: 7 April 1925, Hillsboro, Jefferson County, Missouri

Immigration: 1881 Citizenship: Sept. 19, 1892, Jefferson County, MO; (Application for citizenship 1890)

Spouse: Kunigunda ‘Anna’ Umhoefer

     Birth: 9 February 1872, Saal a.d. Saale, Unterfranken, Bavaria, Germany

     Parents: Clara Umhoefer & Johann Steuerwald, unmarried; stepfather: Zacharius Glueckstein

    Immigrated: 1889 [‘Weser’; Bremen to Baltimore, May 27, 1889 - April 12, 1889]

    Death: 29 March 1926, DeSoto, Jefferson County, Missouri

    Burial: 31 March 1926, Jefferson County, Missouri

Marriage: 1892

Divorce: June 19, 1919 St. Genevieve, MO [Applied for in Jefferson Co., Jan 1918, Dismissed by Court May 1918. Change of Venue granted to St. Gen. Jan. 1919]

Children of Pierre and Anna:

Margaret Marie (Dollie) (1893-1976)

Pierre Louis (Pete) (1894-1964)

Rosetta Flora (1896-1931)

Francis Eugene (1897-1953)

Paul Lafayette (1899-1976)

William Oliver (1900-1972)

Marian Clara (1904-1976)

Pauline A. (1909-1957)

Unknown Male (1910 - ?)

 

2nd marriage: Pierre Clerc to Mrs. Matilda Shoults, June 24, 1919, Jefferson County, MO; (Book 8, p. 376)

Children of Pierre and Matilda: No children.

          [Mrs. Matilda Clerc married Mr. Joseph J. Hamshire Sep 1928 JeffCo]

 

            1910 Valle, Jefferson, Missouri

            Joseph Shoults 62 MO married 26 years; farmer

            Matilda Shoults 47 MO; 9 children/6 living

            Stephen Shoults 20 IL; farm hand

            Laura Shoults 17 IL

            Calvin Shoults 14 IL; farm hand

            Blanch Shoults 11 IL

 

RECORDS for Anna and Pierre:

Important Citizens of Hillsboro – ‘Pierre Clerc , a Frenchman who spoke little English, made an excellent stove polish in his home just below the County Garage’.

1892 Sept – Circuit Court - Citizenship Granted - Pierre L. Clerc 

1893 Nov - Newspaper - ‘Peter Clerc, who occupies Mrs. Vollmar’s farm near Hillsboro, wants to know who fired the woods near him.  He had to fight the fire for several hours to save the place, and then lost 500 fence rails. He thinks it was done by a hunter.  Such careless acts are inexcusable’.

1893 Jun - Newspaper - Birth of 1st daughter - Mrs. Peter L. Chas. Clerc

1893 July - Newspaper -Mrs. Peter Clerc was quite low last week with puernal fever, but is now convalescing.  There was, we understand a little girl added to Pete’s family.

1894 - 1920 Newspaper Advertisements - Clerc’s poultry products: Clerc’s Chicken Lice Killer, Clerc’s Disinfectant Insect Powder, Clerc’s Specific, Clerc’s Chicken Food, Clerc’s Egg Producer.

1895 Mar - Newspaper –‘Now that spring is open it is time to raise spring chickens.  Try Clerc’s Chicken Lice Killer and Clerc’s Disinfectant Insect Powder, for the extermination of all kinds of poultry vermin’. 

1895 - Newspaper - Hillsboro Poultry Farm selling Silver lanced Wyandotte eggs for setting 1 ˝ miles SW of Hillsboro, on Old DeSoto Road.

1897 Feb - Newspaper - ‘Peter Clerc started out Tuesday with a wagon load of his chicken medicine.  He expects to introduce it in several of the neighboring counties’.

1897 Jun - Collector Register of Licenses 1894 - Pierre L. Clerc, Merchant License P48 

1903 - Pierre and Anna Clerc purchased acreage for Hillsboro Poultry Farms located at Brickyard Rd.

1907 - Jeffco Directory - Pierre L. Clerc, manufacturer, poultry products and stock food

1911 - Affidavit - State of Missouri vs. Alfred Smith, being duly sworn, on oath says, ‘I had a hog sick with cholera that I thought in a dying condition.  My wife gave the hog treatment, however, and finding that the first dose helped it, we continued the treatment and the hog got well, and I afterward fattened and sold it for a good price.  The medicine we gave was Pierre L. Clerc’s Condition Powders, and I am firm in the belief that it will cure Hog Cholera, as it certainly did for me’, Alfred Smith. [Notarized - John H. Reppy]

1912 Feb - Newspaper - ‘Pierre Clerc had a dance at his factory on the poultry farm.  All Hillsboro’s young men were reported there and had a good time, but Pete had his hands full’.  (This was Rosa’s 16th birthday.)

1912 Sept - Newspaper – ‘Pierre L. Clerc brought a stalk of late yellow corn into town the other day that measured fourteen feet and seven inches.

1912 Sept - Newspaper – Peter Clerc was exhibiting to his Hillsboro friends yesterday, two mammoth tomatoes, weighing together three pounds.

1913 - Land Purchase Records

1915 - Affidavit - “Use Clerc’s Specific – The following affidavit by a well known Jefferson County citizen tells the story of its efficiency.  State of MO vs. L.R. Meyer – I do hereby certify, that I have lost about one dozen chickens and I think their ailment was either the limberneck or the cholera, and I got a package of Peter Clerc’s Specific and commenced feeding it to the rest of my chickens and I have not lost another one.  Louis R. Meyer. 

Sworn to and subscribed before me, J.P. Miller, Judge of the Probate Court of Jefferson County, Missouri this 5th day of August, 1915.  For Sale by All Dealers.  

1915 Sept – Newspaper - Nellie Grob visits Clerc family. [Who is Nellie Grob/Grobe?]

1915 - Sheriff’s Report - Anna charges Pierre with disturbing the peace.

1916 - Pierre L. Clerc assumes mortgage of Richard & Nellie Schroeder [Warranty Deed – Book 78, page 438]

1916 July – Newspaper – ‘There was some excitement in town Monday at noon.  Pierre Clerc, familiarly known as ‘Chicken Pete’, has been accusing Felix Leutzinger of being responsible for his family troubles, so when he approached a group of men of whom Felix was one, Felix spoke to ‘Pete’ and ‘Pete’ promptly began berating him.  Felix finally slapped him and after a few more words were passed ‘Pete’ went to the highway engineer’s office and got a pitchfork and got after Felix and prodded him once in his leg.  Felix finally got hold of the pitchfork and got ‘Pete’ down and gave him a few slaps before they were parted.  ‘Pete’ was arrested and gave bond for his appearance.  The pitchfork had been used in road survey work to handle weeds and brush that had to be cut away in making the survey and Pete knew of its presence there as he had worked with the road graders, and had been about the office several times while being thus employed. It is said to have been a very lively battle by those who were where they could see it’.

1916 July – Newspaper – ‘An altercation occurred on the Court House block Tuesday between Pierre L. Clerc and Felix Leutzinger.  Some words passed and Leutzinger, it is said, slapped Clerc, who thereupon ran into the Highway Engineer’s office and grabbed a pitchfork, came out and made for Leutzinger.  Leutzinger evaded the fork until he thought he had a chance to get hold of it.  When he caught it Clerc was thrusting at him, but he pushed the fork down and received some slight wounds in his leg, one tine penetrating a hole an inch or more.  When he secured the fork, Leutzinger slapped Clerc in a somewhat unfriendly manner, which under the circumstances was not at all surprising.  Leutzinger made an affidavit before Justice Wease of Victoria and Clerc was arrested on a warrant charging felonious assault, and gave bond for his appearance before the Justice August 4th.  The men are neighbors and their farms adjoin. There has been some feeling existing for some time and Clerc is said to have made threats against Leutzinger prior to this occurrence.’

1916 Aug – Newspaper - A little daughter of Pierre Clerc is ill of fever, possibly typhoid. (Pauline?; age 5)

09/21/1916  - Newspaper - State of Missouri vs. Pierre L. Clerc, Felonious assault.

09/28/1916  - State vs. P.L. Clerc, continued by agreement.

1916 Oct - Anna, Francis, Pierre, Jr. charged with disturbing the peace (of the sheriff)

1917 Jan - Newspaper - Pierre Clerc, Jr. charged with assault with intent to kill Felix Leutzinger. 

1917 Jan – Newspaper -State vs. Pierre L. Clerc, defendant files motion for new trial.

1917 Mar - $7 paid to Anna Clerc by the county for laundry work at jail.

04/05/1917 - Pierre L. Clerk was arrested last night by Sheriff Clark for loud and offensive conversation & disturbance of the peace. Fine $7; 10 days in jail. 

1917 Aug - Hillsboro Poultry Farms Bankruptcy [due to vandalism].

10/04/1917 - Real Estate Transfer - Pierre L. Clerc and wife to John Heller, frc. Blk. 3, Hillsboro $35 [auction].

10/11/1917 - Sheriff acknowledges deed from P.L. Clerc and wife to John Heller, 40 acres land, Sect 8 and 9-40-4. (Bankruptcy/Public Auction)

01/31/1918 - Circuit Court - Pierre vs. Anna Clerc continued (divorce)

05/09/1918 - Circuit Court - Pierre vs Anna Clerc

1918 June - Circuit Court - Divorce dismissed

1919 Jan – Circuit Court -Page 185 –Pierre vs. Anna Clerc: Application for Change of Venue

1919 April - Circuit Court – St. Genevieve – Pierre vs. Anna Clerc: Defendant not present

1919 June – Circuit Court – St. Genevieve Page 85 (Case #557) Pierre vs. Anna Clerc: Action For Divorce; Granted

1919 July - Newspaper - Anna Clerc and 2 daughters visited St. Louis.

1920 Sept - Bank Loan of $10 made to Anna Clerc . (Daughter, Dollie’s appendicitis surgery, St. Louis).

1920 Sept. 16 - Newspaper - Pierre Sr. went to St. Louis on business. (Dollie’s surgery date)

1921 - $3 paid to Mrs. A. Clerc by the county for laundry work.

1922 Oct - Newspaper - Mrs. Clerc and family moved to DeSoto.

1923 - Postcard from St. Louis to Anna Clerc, address 403 N. 3rd Street, DeSoto. 

1925 - Newspaper Obit - Editor states Pierre saw service in the Franco-Prussian War and came from a well educated & affluent family in France.  ‘He came to America a young man to find his fortune and without any doubt, had he been willing to cooperate with those who sought to market his products in a big way, would have very easily been a rich man.  He had little faith in other folks and died a poor man’.  

 

CENSUS INFO:

 

1900 Central, Jefferson, Missouri

Pierre L Clerk      abt 1860 France      Head   immigrated 1881  

Annie L Clerk      abt 1875 Germany Wife   immigrated 1889; 8 children/8 living

Margaret Clerk    abt 1894 MO          Daughter  

Pierce L Clerk Jr. abt 1895 MO          Son

Rosie Clerk        abt 1896  MO      Daughter  

Francis P Clerk   abt 1898  MO     Son  

LaFallie L Clerk  abt 1899 MO     Son

 

1910 Central, Jefferson, Missouri

Pierre L Clerc Sr    52  France - mfg poultry farm/poultry food immigrated 1881

Annie Clerc           42  Germany

Margrett Clerc       16  MO

Pierre L Clerc Jr    15  MO

Rosa Clerc             13  MO

Francis Clerc         12  MO

Paul L Clerc          10  MO

William O Clerc     9  MO

Marianna Clerc       7  MO

Pauline Clerc          2  MO

Note of interest: This census states Pierre was married twice (Poss. in KS?); Anna married once

 

1920 Central, JeffersonMissouri

-Elm Street

Pierre L Clerc  60 France; owns Mfg plant; patent med mfg.; immigrated 1882 

Matilda Clerc   56 AR  

 

1920 Central, JeffersonMissouri

-Walnut Street

Anna Clerc     48 Germany; divorced; immigrated prior to 1900

Perrie L Clerc 25 MO laborer, factory

Francis Clerc  22 MO chauffer; Hack Lines

Marion Clerc   15 MO

Pauline Clerc  11 MO 

 

1920 Central, JeffersonMissouri

-2nd Street

Edgar Marsden Household:

Margret Clerc  26 MO servant

 

1920 Central, JeffersonMissouri

-2nd Street

Lula Huskey Household:

Rosa Clerc    22 MO servant 

 

TAX RECORDS:

1904 Jeffco (Seemel) Land Tax Book 147

#3998 Carver, W.E., Nov. 19, 1904 paid by Pierre Clerc, 5 acres/Total Tax $.37

#4002 Caver, W.E., Nov. 19, 1904 paid by Pierre Clerc, 25 acres/Total Tax $.98

1905 Jeffco (Seemel) Land Tax Book 154, Page 230 

#4087 Clerc, Pierre, Dec. 12, 1905, 5 acres/Total Tax $.37

#4091 Clerc, Pierre, Dec. 12, 1905, 25 acres/Total Tax $.98

1906 Jeffco (Seemel) Assessment Book 162, Page ?

#4110 Clerc, Pierre, 5 acres/Total Tax $.32

#?       Clerc, Pierre, 25 acres/Total Tax $.?

1906 Jeffco (Seemel) Land Tax Book 163, Page 241

#4219 Clerc, Pierre, Dec. 26, 1906, 5 acres/Total Tax $.32

#4223 Clerc, Pierre, Dec. 26, 1906, 25 acres/Total Tax $.86

1907 Jeffco (Seemel) Assessment Book 173, Page 102

#?      Clerc, Pierre, 5 acres/Total Tax $.?

#42??  Clerc, Pierre, 25 acres/Total Tax $.86

1907 Jeffco (Seemel) Tax Book 175, Page 161

#?       Clerc, Pierre, 5 acres/Total Tax $.?

#4271 Clerc, Pierre, 25 acres/Total Tax $.?

1910 Jeffco (Seemel) Tax Book 970, Page 184 

#3277  Clerc, Pierre, Horses 2 - $50, Hogs 2 - $5, Other - $45 Total Valuation $100

Dec 19, 1910 - #2213 [What does #2213 refer to?] Total Tax $1.32

1916 Jeffco (School Dist 52) Tax Book ? Page 244

 #4133 Clerc, P.L.  Lots 6 & Pt5  3E Total Tax $2.85-6  By Whom Paid #3492  

 

PROPERTY DEED RECORDS:

Book 46, Page 172 GENERAL WARRANTY DEED:  July 28, 1897  

James E. & Cecilia Carver to William E. Carver ….$150  acknowledged for 30 (25+5) acres.

Deed Book 56 Page 227 WARRANTY DEED: November 24, 1903

William E. Carver & Mary E. Carver - Pierre L. Clerc… in consideration of the sum of $600….. 

Book 75  Page 173 - 175 GENERAL WARRANTY DEED:  November 4, 1913

Otto H. Baurichter and Rosa M. Baurichter - Pierre L. Clerc and his wife, Anna Clerc… sum of $88.32

Book 42  Page 319 DEED of TRUST:  November 5, 1913   

Pierre L. Clerc and Anna Clerc, his wife, 1st part, John H. Reppy, 2nd part, and John Heller 3rd part: …. promise to pay John Heller $450 to be paid three years after date

Book 78  Page 438 WARRANTY DEED:  August 12, 1916

Richard Schroeder and Nellie Schroeder - Pierre L. Clerc, … $15.00 

Book 80  Page 343-345 SHERIFF'S  DEED:  July 20, 1917 

Frank B. Clark, Sheriff recovered against Pierre L. Clerc and Anna Clerc ….One Hundred Ten dollars and Forty-Five

Book 83  Pages 267-268 NOTICE OF LEVY:   August 24, 1917

John Heller, Plaintiff vs. Pierre L. Clerc & Anna Clerc, Defendants…the amount of said debt being One Hundred Four Dollars and Twenty Cents ($104.20) and of said costs six dollars and twenty-five cents $6.25

Book 80  Page 362 WARRANTY DEED, with Statutory Acknowledgements:  September 28, 1917

Pierre L. Clerc and Anna Clerc - John Heller ….Fractional Block No. 3 in the Town of Hillsboro

(Book #?), Page 65 Circuit Court Minutes, Jefferson County, Missouri, October 20, 1917

John Heller -vs- Pierre L. Clerc and Anna Clerc} Sheriff acknowledges deed under Transcript execution conveying all of twenty-five (25) acres….  Also all of that part of the NE quarter of the SW quarter of Section nine (9), Township Forty (40), Range (4) East …. and 12.62 acres.

Book 35, Page 58 ABSTRACT of Fees, Circuit Court of Jefferson County, Nov. 30, 1917

Of Whom Rec'd: Frank B. Clark, Sheriff For What Services: John Heller - vs - Pierre L. Clerc  Amount of Fees: $1.00

Book 82  Page 27 WARRANTY DEED:  March 8, 1918

John Heller and Kate Heller, and Octavia Buchanan 475 Dollars …All Fractional Block No. 3, in Town of Hillsboro.

Deed Book 118   Page 394  GENERAL WARRANTY DEED:   August 19, 1931 

John & Katharine Heller and J. Ernest & Maude B. Nicholson… $100 and other valuable considerations. 

All of the twenty-five acres … and also 5 acres …. in the aggregate 30 acres, and … 12.62 acres

Deed Book 120   Page  373 AFFIDAVIT:  August 20th, 1931

John Heller….Pierre L. Clerc and wife

Deed Book 576  Page 1000 GENERAL WARRANTY DEED:  April 28, 1977  

Nicholson-Vowiel

Parcel No. I: All of 25 acres of land, and also 5 acres

Parcel No. II: land acquired by Pierre L. Clerc and Anna Clerc, his wife, from Otto H. Baurichter and wife. {12.62 acres}

GENERAL WARRANTY DEEDs: between Vowiel - current owners: July 31, 1978    

 

Children of Pierre and Anna:

 

Margaret Marie Clerc

Nickname: Dollie

Birth: 26 June 1893, Hillsboro, JeffCo, MO Death: 31 Aug 1976, DeSoto, JeffCo, MO

Spouse: Clark A. Maness; Marriage rec: unknown; possibly a ‘common marriage.’

Child of Clark and Dollie:

      Margaret Helen Maness   8/28/1924-1/14/1996

      Spouse: John Joel LEWIS  4/3/1923-4/19/2000  Marriage: 10/25/1945 Gulfport, MS

RECORDS for Dollie:

1893 – Newspaper - Birth Announcement

1900 - Hillsboro Public School photo/student list.

1905 - Pleasant Ridge School pupil list.

1919 June - Newspaper – Dolly Clerc (from Jarvis) came home because of sickness.

1920 June - Newspaper - Dolly Clerc is ill w/ appendicitis.

1920 Sept. 9 - Newspaper - Margaret Clerc - appendicitis operation in St. Louis.

1920 Sept. 23 - Newspaper - Miss Margaret Clerc has returned from St. Louis where she was operated on.

1922 - Newspaper – Dollie Clerc - eye surgery in St. Louis.

1936 - DeSoto Directory, Dolly Clerc, 17A Easton Street, DeSoto, MO [Effie Maness 17B Easton St., DeSoto]

 

Pierre Louis Clerc, Jr.

Nickname: Pete

Birth: 5 Nov 1894, Hillsboro, JeffCo, MO  Death: 18 Jan 1964, St. Louis, MO  

Buried:  Sect E Site 1269

Cemetery: Jefferson Barracks National Cemetery, 2900 Sheridan Road St. Louis, MO 63125  

Service Info: PFC US ARMY WORLD WAR I    Service Start Date:  28 Jun 1918

Spouse 1:  Lillian Richardson Leas  Birth: 1906    Death: July 1931 (stove explosion)

Marriage: 17 January 1931, Hillsboro, JeffCo, MO [Pierre L. Clerc m. Mrs. Lillian Leas (Bk 11, p 101)]

Children of Pierre, Jr. and Lillian: No children

    [Lillian had one child, b. 1925 from previous marriage - 1st HUSBAND, Arthur Leas; divorced]

Spouse 2: Allie Lou Webb   Birth: 25 Jan 1896   Death:  21 May 1988  

       Cemetery:  Jefferson Barracks National Cemetery   Buried: Sect E Site 1269

Marriage:   23 Aug 1945, St. Louis, MO

Children of Pierre and Allie: No children

     [Allie had children from a previous marriage]

RECORDS for Pete:

1900 - Hillsboro Public School photo/student list.

1905 - Pleasant Ridge School Roster list.

1913 Dec - Newspaper – “Pierre Clerc, Jr. is home again after working a month with John Belcher in Morse Mill”.

1916 -1918 – Newspaper - Weekly pay records while working with county road engineer.

County Road Wages:

      Pierre Clerc, Jr. $18.00 ***(07/05/1916)

      Pierre Clerc, Jr. $25.00 ***(08/03/1916)

      Pierre L. Clerc  $30.00  ***(09/14/1916)

      Pierre Clerc, Jr. $32.00 ***(10/12/1916)

      Pierre Clerc, Jr. $20.98 ***(12/04/1916)

      P.L. Clerc, Jr.     $9.20 ***(12/21/1916)

      P. L. Clerc, Jr.  $11.00 ***(01/04/1917)

      P.L. Clerc        $15.00 ***(03/22/1917

      P.L. Clerk, Jr.  $28.30 ***(04/17/1917)

      Peter Clerc, Jr. $32.50 ***(05/10/1917)

      P.L. Clerc        $20.20 ***(05/24/1917) 

      P.L. Clerk        $22.00 ***(06/21/1917)

      P.L. Clerc, Jr.  $36.00 ***(08/15/1917)

      P.L. Clerc        $14.40 ***(08/15/1917)

      P.C. Clerc, acct Hillsboro  $11.80**(09/20/1917)

      P.L. Clerk         $8.00 *** (12/06/1917)

      P.L. Clerc         $2.00 ***(12/06/1917)

      P.L. Clerc, Jr.   $3.00 ***(12/13/1917)

      P.L. Clerc, Jr.   $2.00 ***(01/17/1918)

      P. L. Clerc        $8.00 ***(02/07/1918)

1916 July - Newspaper - Altercation between Pierre Clerc, Jr. and Felix Leutzinger. 12/28/1916 - State of Missouri vs. Pierre L. Clerc, Jr. Felonious assault.

01/11/1917 - Newspaper -Pierre Clerc, Jr. charged with assault with intent to kill Felix Leutzinger was convicted and fined $100 by a jury in the circuit court this week.  It is said that the jury originally stood 8 for acquittal and 4 for conviction and in the next ballot, 9 for acquittal.  Clerc’s defense was that he was temporarily insane; due to the fact that he claimed Leutzinger had invaded and despoiled his home. Leutzinger denied all or any improper action and the trial resulted as stated.  Clerc will not appeal from this decision and it is hoped that this will be the end of the matter, although there is some talk that Clerc will sue Leutzinger for damages.

01/18/1917 State vs. Pierre L. Clerc, defendant files motion for new trial.

      (7 months later, the family lost the original property because it was used as collateral against additional property purchased when expanding the manufacturing business....).

04/27/1917 – Newspaper - Circuit Court – State vs. Pierre L. Clerk, Information filed charging disturbance. Case placed on docket. State vs. Pierre L. Clerk. Felonious Assault.  Motions for a new trial and arrest of judgment were overruled.  Fine of $100 commuted to 20 days in jail.

02/14/1918 - Newspaper - Hunters Licenses: Hillsboro & Routes - Pierre L. Clerc, Jr. - Francis Clerc

06/20/1918 - Newspaper - Leaving for Camp Pike June 28, 1918 - Pierre L. Clerc, Jr. Hillsboro

06/28/1918 - Newspaper - Pierre leaves for Camp Pike

07/11/1918 – Newspaper- More Men Going - Pierre L. Clerc, Jr. is one of the Camp Pike boys that writes back ‘like it fine’.

1918 - Camp Pike, Ark - WWI photo postcard in uniform.

1918 Aug - Postcard - Night scene Hotel Stadler, Cleveland OH, sent from Pete saying he was leaving soon to Camp.

1918 - WWI Christmas soldier postcard sent from Pete to sister, Pauline.

12/12/1918 - Newspaper – ‘Boys of the Olive Drab and the Jackies in Blue - Letters were received Wednesday evening by the parents of Earl Stone, Adoph Jurtgen, Robert Kleinschmidt and Pierre L. Clerc, Jr.  CLERC is now with the famous Rainbow Division and was in the battle that resulted in the capture of Sedan’.

1919 April - WWI Sailing ship postcard (S.S. Aquitania) sent from Pete in New York to sister, Pauline.

1919 April - Newspaper – “Pete Clerc arrived in states with the 37th division, nicknamed the Buckeye Division [the unit he was assigned to after transferring from the Rainbow Division]

1919 May - Newspaper – “Pete was first soldier to return to Hillsboro, having been gone 8 months.  He saved his money, is looking for a job, and is in good health”.

1919 May - Newspaper - Pete Clerc: left 6/1918 for Camp Pike, Ark transferred 8/1918 to Camp  Merritt, NJ, sailed to France Aug 1918 (arrived in Liverpool England two weeks later in Sept and was in France by end of Aug).  He was in the 42nd Division, nicknamed the Rainbow Division which participated in the Meuse Argonne fight.  He had been scratched by shrapnel and burned by gas, but not hospitalized.  He is the first local boy to have actually participated in the battle lines and return home safely - 8 local county army boys were killed in action, 14 died of disease, 2 were prisoners, 23 wounded slightly and 19 wounded severely. He did not receive a cent of pay until he returned home and is glad to be home and swears he will never leave again.

Pierre’s WWI record – Pierre Clerc served with 162 Dep Brig, 161 infantry, reg 41 and 166 infantry, reg 42.   

Pierre’s WWI Register Report - Short, Medium Build, Stout, Blue eyes, Brown hair.

1919 June - Newspaper - Pete Clerc became ill and returned home from his work at making concrete blocks in House Springs.

1919 Nov - Newspaper - Pete Clerc became ill and returned home from his work at making concrete blocks in House Springs.

1919 Nov - Newspaper - Pete Clerc and a friend were knocked unconscious and robbed by 4 men who stopped to help them when they were having car problems in St. Louis County.

1920 Aug - Newspaper - Pierre, Jr. was seriously injured when the truck he was driving for the Highway Dept overturned.

1931 Jan 17 - Marriage record - Pierre Jr. and Mrs. Lillian (Richardson) Leas.

1931 June 25 - Newspaper – ‘Lillian Clerc very seriously burned when a cooking range exploded with little hope for recovery.  She is the mother of one child by a former marriage’.

1931 July 9 - Lillian’s obit, age 26.

1940 Jan - Application for Social Security Number – Pierre Clerc, Jr.

 

Rosetta Flora Clerc

Nickname: Sis

Birth: 18 Feb 1896, Hillsboro, JeffCo, MO   Death: 18 July 1931, Neoga Twnshp, Cumberland Co, IL

Burial: 21 July 1931, Hillsboro, JeffCo, MO (Cause: childbirth/twins)

Spouse: John Otto Hubeli  Birth: 2 Oct 1885, Hillsboro, JeffCo, MO Death: 21 May 1970, Charleston, IL

Marriage: 17 April 1920, Edwardsville, IL

Child of Rosa and George Heiland (unmarried):

     - Georgette Rosely (1917ish MO – 6/29/2002 IN)

           Spouse: Robert Edward Alsop (1915-1970); Marriage: 11/29/1947

Children of Rosa & John Otto: 

     1. John, Jr. (3/17/1924 IL-11/15/2000 IN)

           Spouse 1: Alberta Unknown; Spouse 2: Barbara Jewel (Stover) Wills

     2. Joseph (8/27/1925 IL-12/4/1985 KS)

           Spouse: Carolee Hershey; Marriage: 4/22/1949

     3. Twin boys; 1931 IL – 1931 IL; premature, stillbirths.

 

NOTE: Joseph survived the 1945 sinking of the USS Indianapolis when over 300 of the crew were killed and nearly 900 throw into the sea; only 321 were rescued. [Photo of Joseph at a hospital in Alameda CA in 1945. He remained hospitalized for nearly a year; Awarded the Purple Heart for wounds received during 2 torpedo attacks on U.S. Indianapolis and for spending 5 days in the Pacific Ocean before being rescued.  It was pinned on him by General McArthur at the hospital].

RECORDS for Rosa:

1900 – Hillsboro Public School photo/student list.

1905 – Pleasant Ridge School Roster list.

1916 Dec 2 – Postcard sent from ‘Kathlyn E.’ to Rosa, asking if she had a nice time and telling her to have ‘George’ bring her out to Goldman.  [Kathlyne Meyers Evans]

1916 Dec 28 – Newspaper – “Miss Rosa Clerc of Fenton is home for the holidays.”

1918 July – George Heiland, Jr. left for France (Georgette Clerc’s father served in 329 Infantry & 132 Infantry; was discharged 5/1919.)

1920 Sept – Newspaper – Rosa Clerc Hubeli took her sister Marian to stay with her in Illinois.

Neoga, Cumberland Co. IL Directory: George Hubeli, tinner (should be John).

NOTE: A birthday postcard with a partial 192? IL postmark, which read NEO with 2 more missing letters, and was sent was sent to ‘Brother’ Pierre Clerc, signed Mrs. J.O.H., turned out to be from the missing sister, Rosa, who eloped with John Otto Hubeli. 

Additional Hubeli and Heiland family information:

1884 April – Newspaper – ‘A little blacksmith stopped at John HUBELI’s last Saturday, but it will be some time before he will make a striker in the shop’.

1915 May – Newspaper – “Otto Hubeli, son of our townsman, John Hubeli, is at home for a short visit.  Mr. Hubeli is a sheet metal worker and is an expert in his line.

1915 Aug – Newspaper – “John Hubeli, one of the builders of the big Pevely dairy, was home for the weekend. (Interestingly, Oliver Clerc also worked at the Pevely dairy during this time.)  

1917 Feb – Newspaper – ‘Tuesday a refractory oil stove in the Jefferson Hotel got befogged with soot and caused great quantities of black smoke to such an extent that Otto Hubeli had to get a ladder and open the windows in order to get the stove out.  When the smoke came pouring out it caused some excitement but Otto soon got hold of the offending stove and set everybody’s mind at rest.’

1917 Aug – Newspaper –Otto Hubeli repaired ……$52.40

1917 Dec – Newspaper – Otto Hubeli was doing work for Jacob Leutzinger on his farm south of town.

-------------------

1911 Aug – Newspaper – Henry Heiland, brother of George Heiland drowned while on a Sunday school class picnic with teacher Miss Zoe Booth.

1914 June – Newspaper – George Heiland resigned as mail carrier & bought the Spilker saloon. (Grandfather of Georgette)

10/17/1918 – Newspaper – ‘Word has reached here that Robert Kleinschmidt and George Heiland have arrived safely in France’. 

1919 – Newspaper – George Heiland opened a soft drink emporium in the former Marsden store.

 

Francis Eugene Clerc

Nickname: Frenchy 

Birth:  19 Sep 1897, Hillsboro, JeffCo, MO   Death: 14 Aug 1953, Farmington, MO (stroke)

Burial:  Roselawn Memorial Gardens Cemetery, Festus, JeffCo, MO

Occupation: Motor Garage, DeSoto; Pittsburg Plate Glass; Crystal City

Spouse: Grace Sutherland, Birth: 20 Aug 1905, Flat River, MO  Death: 14 Jan 1981, St. Louis, MO

Marriage:  8 Dec 1926, Flat River, MO

Children of Frenchy and Grace:

  1. Francis (Frank) Eugene Clerc, Jr. (5/22/1928 MO – 2/3/1984 CA)

      Spouse 1: Nyla Boyer (divorced)  Spouse 2: Carol Woodruff

  2. James Franklin Clerc (1/22/1930 MO - 12/17/1969 MO)

      Spouse: Lynda Walls (divorced)

  3. Norman Ray Clerc (10/11/1936 MO - 02/1988 FL)

      Spouse: Estelle Torrence

RECORDS for Frenchy:

1900 – Hillsboro Public School photo/student list.

1905 – Pleasant Ridge School Roster list.

Christmas Postcard - [‘Frenchie & Reba’ are written above two skaters holding hands on the card]

1917-1918 – Newspaper – County Road Wages:

Francis Clerc  $20.65 *** (11/22/1917)

Francis Clerc  $12.35 ***(12/06/1917)

Francis Clerc    $3.30 ***(12/13/1917)

Francis Clerc  $12.00 ***(01/17/1918)

Francis Clerc  $14.00 ***(05/09/1918)

Francis Clerc  $19.00 ***(07/11/1918)

Francis Clerc   $7.00 ***(08/08/1918)

Francis Clerc   $8.00 ***(09/05/1918)

Francis Clerc   $5.00 ***(10/03/1918)

Francis Clerc $12.00 ***(11/14/1918)

1917 & 1918 Newspaper – Hunting License Permit: Francis Eugene Clerc

07/05/1917 – Newspaper – June Squirrels et al Hunting Licenses:  Hillsboro – Francis Clerc

11/14/1918 – Newspaper – ‘If all of the hundred and fifty-five men in the last draft whose entrainment was cancelled at the last minute were as disappointed, as one of our Hillsboro boys, Francis Clerc, there are some sore boys in the county.  Francis wanted to go, and wanted badly, to go.’

WWI Registration Card – Short, Medium Build, Gray eyes, brown hair

1920 Sept – Newspaper – ‘ Francis Clerc and Julius Marsden are home again after working several weeks for Washington County in the capacity of truck drivers’.

1920 Dec – Newspaper – ‘Francis Clerc left the automobile business for a couple of days and spent the weekend in St. Louis, having a good time there.’

1921 Jan – Newspaper – ‘Green Hearst, Robt. Kleinschmidt and Francis Clerc made a flying trip to St. Louis’.

1921 Mar – Newspaper ‘Francis Clerk and Adolph Hurtgen (engineer) motored to St. Louis on business’.

1926 Dec – Newspaper Marriage Announcement – Francis Clerc and Grace Sutherland

1926 – Original Photo – Frenchy Clerc/Wall Motor Co, DeSoto [this later became the site for Meyers & Datillo Motor Company. After changing locations this business became known as Texaco Motor Company, and then Bob Lewis Oldsmobile.]

1936 – Application for Social Security Number

1938-1940 – Pittsburg Plate Glass articles

 

Paul Lafayette Clerc

Birth: 27 March 1899, Hillsboro, JeffCo, MO Death: 24 Jul 1976, St. Louis, MO

Burial: Lakewood Park Cemetery, St. Louis, MO

Spouse 1: Hulda Ritzman  Birth: 2 Oct 1903   Death: Dec 1974, St. Louis, MO

Children of Paul and Hulda:

   1. Unnamed Child (Stillborn 7/22/1926)

   2. June Laverne Clerc (3/21/1928), Spouse: Bob Repohl

   3. Donald L. Clerc (1/22/1935), Spouse 1: Dion, Marriage: 10/1955; Spouse 2: Karen

   4. Pauline Clerc (3/27/1937 Twin),

               Spouse: Don Reece, Marriage: 9/1955 Hernando, MS

   5. Paul Glenn Clerc (3/37/1937 – 3/5/1938 Twin)

               Burial: Old & New Picker’s Cemetery [Gateway Gardens, St. Louis]

 

Spouse 2: Beatrice Allen

Children of Paul and Beatrice: No Children.

RECORDS for Paul:

Jefferson County Newspaper - County Road Wages:  Paul Clerc   $1.75 ….(10/12/1916)

WWI Registration Card – occupation: S.W.T. and Telegraph Co, Med Height, Med Build, Gray eyes, brown hair

1920 St. Clair, East St. Louis City, IL Census (lineman for Telephone Co.; St. Adalbert’s Congregation Lines)

1922 Aug – Newspaper - “Paul Clerc visited home folks last Sunday.”

1936 – Application for Social Security Number

1930 St. Louis, St. Louis City, MO Census (Vista Avenue)

 

William Oliver Clerc

Nicknames: Billy as a child; Shorty as an adult

Birth: 7 Dec 1900, Hillsboro, JeffCo, MO  Death: 21 Aug 1972, St. Louis, MO

Spouse: Frances Agnes Mund;  Birth: 17 Mar 1904, St. Louis, MO  Death: 17 Nov 1989, St. Louis, MO

Marriage: 12 February 1922, St. Louis, MO

Children of Oliver and Fran:

            1. Norma Jean (Jeannie) Clerc (12/5/1924),

                       Spouse: Mel Karr; Marriage: 2/4/1946

            2. Harold Oliver Clerc (8/13/1928),

                      Spouse: Ruth Shearrer; Marriage: 12/21/1957

            3. Shirley Ann Clerc (8/28/1933),

                     Spouse: Robert Bernard Marquart; Marriage: 9/10/1955

            4. Carol Frances Clerc (1/15/1938);

                    Spouse: Billy Gene Shearrer; Marriage: 3/7/1956

RECORDS for OLIVER:

1922 Newspaper – ‘Oliver Clerc married a St. Louis girl on Jan. 20th.  He is employed by the Bell Telephone Co’.

1936 – Application for Social Security Number

1940 Article – “Whipples celebrate sixtieth Anniversary….Herman and Rachel (nee Hamilton) had no children of their own, but reared two boys, Oliver Clerc and Frank Cannon”.  [Herman Whipple worked at Pittsburg Plate Glass in Festus for 45 years.]

1942 – Delayed Birth Certificate

 

Marian Clara Clerc

Birth: 25 Aug 1904, Hillsboro, JeffCo, MO  Death: 17 Feb 1976, DeSoto, JeffCo, MO

Spouse: Raymond (Smitty) Smith  Birth: 22 Jan 1900 Death: Jul 1979 DeSoto, JeffCo, MO

Marriage: 12 Aug 1922, Edwardsville, Illinois [eloped?]

Children of Marian and Raymond:

Raymond Jr. (1923 -1984), Charles (1928), Norman (1934) and Shirley Ann (1936-2005)

RECORDS for Marian:

1920 Jul – Marian Clerc - listed among 15 who converted to the Union Church of Hillsboro.

1936 – Newspaper - “Charles (Gumpy) Smith, eight years old, son of Mr. and Mrs. Raymond Smith of 512 Eddinger Street was badly injured when struck by an automobile in front of Wease’s Store at Main and Mineral Streets. Charles had just come out of the store and darted across the car lined street in front of an oncoming car driven by Mr. Forest Brimmer, who tried to avoid him, but could not. Mr. Brimmer immediately rushed him to Dr. Durbin’s office and from there he was taken to Dr. Fallet, the family doctor where xrays were taken and determined his right leg was broken in 2 places above the ankle, his left arm was injured and his right thumb dislocated. He also suffered severe bruises to the forehead and nose…he will have to remain off his feet for at least 60 days….His father, who works as a mechanic at Eye Motor Comp. had just given him a quarter to buy a new ball for his bat.  Failing to make the purchase, he was returning to see his father….  The boy is concerned about missing school at North Ward, where he is a 2nd grader.  His mother states that he does not sleep well since the accident, but is otherwise progressing….”

 

1930 Festus, Valle Township, Jefferson County, MO Census

        Smith: Raymond, Marian, Raymond Jr., and Charles

 

Pauline Clerc

Birth: 1909, Hillsboro, JeffCo, MO   Death: Dec 31, 1957  Burial: Gamel Cemetery

Spouse 1: Raymond Huskey

Marriage: 11 Dec 1926, DeSoto, JeffCo, MO [Pauline Clerc m. Raymond E. Huskey; Francis Clerc, guardian of Pauline gives Consent (Bk 10 p 29)  

Children of Pauline and Raymond: No Children; Pauline helped raise Raymond’s 4 children.

     [Raymond’s wife ‘Lizzie’, Loucille nee Blake died Jan 1925; buried Maness Cemetery].

Spouse 2: Edmond Todd (Marriage: prior to 1953)

Children of Pauline and Edmond: no children

RECORDS for Pauline:

1900 Desoto, JeffersonMissouri

A L Huskey 29           

Laura Huskey 30        

Raymond Huskey 8, b. 1891 MO   

Elvio Huskey 7           

Morie A Huskey 5      

Melford H Huskey 4   

Jone Huskey 2           

 

1910 De Soto Ward 2, JeffersonMissouri

Arthur C Huskey 39         

Laura B Huskey 39           

Raymond Huskey 19 , b. 1891 MO 

Lee V Huskey 17  

Morie Huskey 16

Metrad Huskey 15

Irvan L Huskey 12

 

1920 Census:

Raymond Edward 27, Lizzie 21, Edward 5, Margarita 2

[Brother-in-law, William Blake, 17, single, living in household] 

 

1930 Census:

Raymond 37, Pauline 21, Edward 16, Charles C. 9, and Eran D. 6.