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Knaur Family


Family of Simon G. Knaur

Simon G. Knaur (1825–1896) and his brother George Ernest Knaur Sr. (1831–1892) were patriarchs of a large clan that had a major impact on the development of Denison beginning around 1880. The brothers were born to parents who had immigrated to the United States from Germany and married in Ross County, Ohio, in 1821.

The Knaur brothers lived in Warren County, Indiana, until moving to Texas in 1879. At that time, Simon was 55 years old and George was 48. It is unclear what the brothers did during the Civil War. In 1860, they were farming in Pine Township, near Rainesville. In 1870, they were still there. They moved their families to Honey Grove, Fannin County, Texas in 1879. A year later, in 1880, the group moved to Denison, in Grayson County.

Simon G. Knaur married Louisa Jane Dawson (1826–1909) in Warren County in 1846. They had numerous children, many of whom lived in Denison:

1.      John David Knaur (1848–1926)

2.      Edward Wesley Knaur (1849–1885)

3.      Albert Allen Knaur (1852–1930)

4.      Clara A. Knaur (1853–?); later Crow

5.      Lewis S. Knaur (1854–1932)

6.      Frances L. Knaur (1857–1936); later Riddle

7.      Estella J. "Stella" Knaur (1859–1938)

Simon G. Knaur

Upon arrival in Denison, Simon listed his occupation in the 1880 Census as farmer, though he was living in town on Woodard Street. By 1887, he was a dealer in lime, living at 1325 West Sears. He had become a brickmaker by 1881, living at the same place but operating his business on the east side of Maurice Avenue, between Crawford and Owings streets. He passed away in 1896.

John David Knaur

Simon's oldest son, John David Knaur, had married Clara F. Barnum in Indiana, but she died in 1880 in Fannin County, Texas. In Denison in 1895, he married Laura L. Coppage Askew, a widow with two children. Meanwhile, in 1891, John was manager at Oliver T. Lyon's yard selling building supplies (lumber, lath, singles, sash, doors, blinds, paints, oils) at the northeast corner of West Crawford Street and South Austin Avenue. Lyon lived in Sherman, Texas.

By 1896, John had become a coal dealer on East Chestnut Street near the MKT Railway. The 1900 Census found him working as a railroad laborer. He was at the Katy shops in 1901 and was a foreman there by 1903. The family moved that year to 320 North Burnett Avenue. By 1909, John was on his own, working as a painter, a trade he continued through 1925. The family moved to 326 West Sears by 1913. John passed away in 1926. Laura lived until 1932.

Lewis S. Knaur

Simon's younger son, Lewis S. Knaur, married Minerva J. "Minnie" McLaughlin (1857–1934) in Warren County, Indiana, in 1878, before leaving for Texas. In 1887, he was working as a car repairer at Denison's Katy Shops. He was living at 524 West Crawford Street. By 1891, he had joined his father Simon as a brickmaker and had moved to 915 West Shepherd Street. In 1896, when Simon died, Lewis was still listed as a brickmaker. In 1900 he was a teamster; in 1901 a "huckster." Such a person "sells small articles, either door-to-door or from a stall or small store." But in 1903 he was back as a teamster. After this, Lewis did not appear in the Denison City Directory, but the Censuses found him farming outside town. Lewis died in 1932. Minerva passed away two years later.

Lewis and Minerva's older daughter Myrtle Knaur (1885–1965) married James Leo Short (1883–1932) and lived in Denison her whole life. His other daughter, Rosa Lee Knaur (1888–1968), graduated from Denison's Educational Institute in the Class of 1906, did not marry, and worked as a stenographer.

Estella J. "Stella" Knaur

Simon's youngest child, Stella Knaur (1859–1938), did not marry. She worked as a teacher and then as a seamstress. She inherited the family home at 1325 West Sears and lived there until her death in 1938 at age 78.


Knaur extended family
ca. 1892 or 1902

Possible Identification
Back row, left to right : Schuyler Colfax Knaur, Abraham Lincoln Knaur, Frank Bright, George Ernest Knaur,
John Simon Knaur, Newell Wright, William Elbridge Knaur
Middle row, left to right : Benita Boone Knaus (wife of Schuyler Colfax Knaur), Ireline Walker Knaur (wife of Abraham Lincoln Knaur), Elizabeth Mary Knaur Bright (wife of Frank Bright), Lula Knaur, Lillian shannon Knaur (wife of George Ernest Knaur),
Grace Carpenter Knaur (wife of William Elbridge Knaur)
Front row, left to right : Nellie Knaur (d/o William Elbridge Knaur), Grace Marion Knaur being held by Elizabeth Knaur (daughters of Jack Simon Knaur), Bertha May Knaur (d/o William Elbridge Knaur), Newell Knaur Wright,
John Sherman Knaur & George Clifford Knaur (sons of Jack Simon Knaur)


Knaur Family History
Elaine Nall Bay

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