Notes for Fredericka "Frederica" Pittman

a/k/a - Fredericka Puttmann

Fredericka Pittman was originally named Fredericka Puttmann. Her name was changed with most of the other family members upon arriving in America.

Burial: March 17, 1913 - Mt. St. Mary's Cemetery, northwest of Shackelford, Saline County, Missouri.

"The following transcript was written in 1957 by Anna Stockman"

Fredericka Pittman Meschede, daughter of Joseph Pittman and Mariana Degenhardt, was born March 13, 1830 at Eversberg, Westphalia, Prussia, a component providence of Germany. She had two sisters and three brothers. Frederick, Joseph, and Charles Pittman, Theresa Pittman Hillebrand (Mrs. Frank Hillebrand) and Lena Pittman Henke (Mrs. Henry Henke). Her father died when she was quite small. She received her education in a Catholic school in Eversberg. She worked as a nursemaid for a Catholic family for several years. She took care of several small children and was paid the sum of $12.00 per year. She was married to Richard Meschede August 15, 1849 in the Catholic Church at Eversberg, Westphalia. They moved to Callenhardt, Westphalia, Prussia and established a home there.

To this union eleven children were born. Theresa, Annie, 2 sons who died in infancy, and Angelica (Lena) were born in Callenhardt, Westphalia, Prussia. Richard, Fredericka and Elizabeth were born in St. Louis, Missouri. Joseph, Mary, and William were born in Saline County, Missouri.

Fredericka Pittman Meschede suffered many hardships while living in Germany. In 1856 two of her brothers, Frederick and Joseph decided to come to America. It grieved her to think of them going so far away and into a strange land. When they came to tell her good bye they begged of her to dry her tears and be of good cheer, promising they would send her the money for the transportation for her and her family. Two years later they fulfilled their promise to her. They sent the money for their transportation and assured her things would be better for her and her family in America. Having spent 28 years of her life in Germany she was leaving now to go to America with her family. She had 3 small children, Theresa 8, Annie 5, and Lena 12 days old. Members of the Pittman family who made the trip with them were her widowed mother Mrs. Mariana Degenhardt Pittman, her brother Charles Pittman and family, her sister Theresa (Mrs. Frank Hillebrand) and family, and her youngest sister Lena Pittman. They all left Callenhardt, Westphalia together and made the trip overland to Bremen to board the ship on which they had transportation. It was a hard trip for her as her baby was only 12 days old. They arrived in Bromen in the evening of March 10, 1856. They found the sailing vessel, "The Grosse Hermann" in port ready to sail the following day. On March 11, 1858 Fredericka Pittman Meschede said good bye to her native land and set sail for America.

Their voyage across the Atlantic took 11 weeks. On their way across Anthony, youngest son of her sister Theresa Hillebrand became very ill and in a few days died and was buried at sea. They landed in New Orleans, Louisiana May 28, 1858. Here they boarded a river boat and 9 days later they landed in St. Louis, Missouri where they found her two brothers Frederick and Joseph Pittman awaiting them. Great rejoicing took place that all were reunited in America. Her brothers had rented a small house for her and her family. They bought some pieces of furniture and other things that were absolutely necessary to go to housekeeping with. They had very, very little money, but had faith and courage and immediately went to work to provide a home for themselves and for those entrusted to their care.

Fredericka sent her children to a parochial school which was near their humble little home. This school was conducted by the Sisters of St. Joseph who were so kind to her and her family.

In 1864 her husband was stricken with Inflammatory Rheumatism and was completely helpless and confined to his bed for 22 weeks. She was now faced with great trouble. She had 6 children, a very sick husband, and no one to provide for them. She needed money to pay a Doctor and buy the medicine needed. Realizing all this she hesitated at no sacrifice for her loved ones and bore her burden with true Christian fortitude, knowing that such is the inheritance of the servants of God. She left the two oldest children, Theresa and Annie at home to care for their sick father and the younger children, while she went daily into homes and done their family washings for them. She earned the living for this family of 8 on a washboard. In spite of all her troubles, worry and heartaches, she never lost courage or faith. Days, weeks and months went by and through the heat of the summer, and cold of the winter, she walked to and from her work. Often exhausted from a hard day of washing she would return home to her anxious family who so eagerly awaited her, with a smile on her care worn face and a parcel of food in her tired hand for her loved ones.

There was great rejoicing in her home when at long last her husband was fully recovered and able to return to work. Her heart was filled with loving prayers of gratitude to Almighty God for what He had done for her and her family. She continued to live in St. Louis, Missouri until 1866 when she and her family moved to Saline County, Missouri. She lived for awhile on the Petit Saux plains, later in 1873 moving to the Missouri river bottoms on a farm which they bought, and which is still known as the Meschede place. Here she reared her family. Her daughter Elizabeth 8 years of age developed tuberculosis and died soon after the family came to Saline County.

Fredericka Pittman Meschede's life is a beautiful story. Her life was consecrated with unselfish devotion to her family, her home, and her church. She was that type of splendid womanhood who was endowed by nature with the beautiful and noble instincts of a good mother. She died March 15, 1913 at the age of 83 years and two days. Funeral services were held at the Immaculate Conception Church at Shackelford, Missouri March 17, 1913, conducted by Father Lawrence Meany, and the sermon was delivered by Father M.F.X. Jennings of Slator, Missouri. She was buried at Mt. St. Mary's Cemetery northwest of Shackelford, Missouri.

Fredericka Pittman Meschede left to her children and her descendants a priceless legacy, true Catholic faith, a generous spirit and a noble life, worth of emulation.

Note: The above transcript doesn't mention Fredericka had another younger brother that died in Prussia.

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