Hoch & Rinkel Families

By Ann Chrissos

Most early Chesterfield settlers were farmers; however, some non-agrarian entrepreneurs also made Chesterfield their place of residence and business.  The Hochs and Rinkels were two such families.

Johann Michael Hoch (b. 1805, d. 1860) married Salomea Sarah Wuest (b. 1807, d. 1858) in Alsace-Lorraine, France.  They came to America with the first five of their nine children sometime between 1842 and 1847. 

These included Michael (b. 1830, d.?); John Leon (b. 1832, d. 1907); Edward (b. 1836, d. 1903); Clementine Barbara (b. 1837, d.?); and Barbara Orthas (b. 1842 in Germany, d. 1904).  The birthplace of their sixth child, Salomea Sarah (b. 1845, d. 1909) is uncertain, but their last three children, Dorothea (b. 1847, d. 1912, Henry C. b.1849, d. 1938) and Maria Magdalene (b. 1852, d. 1918) were born in the United States, Dorothea in New Orleans, Louisiana and the two youngest in Manchester, Missouri.  Their father, according to the Daily Missouri Democrat newspaper dated Thursday, 19 January 1860, worked as a brewer in Manchester, Missouri.  He died from a gunshot wound while sitting quietly in Herman Dorle’s tavern.  Dorle, after threatening to kill his wife with a gun, angrily threw the weapon on a table causing it to discharge.  The shot killed Hoch when it lodged in his stomach.  Although witnesses considered his death to be an accident, Dorle was expected to be indicted for manslaughter.

Hoch’s youngest son, Henry, was only eleven at the time of the shooting.  When Henry reached adulthood, he became a brick maker and went into business with his brother Edward.  Around 1880, Henry built a German-style brick cottage at what is now the Walgreens site on Chesterfield Parkway East near Olive Boulevard in Chesterfield.  He and his wife, Lena Mertz, raised their three children, Clementine, John Henry and Edward J., in this house.  (The Hoch home and the Mertz cabin have been relocated to the Faust Historic Village in Faust Park).  Henry took over the ownership and operation of the General Merchandise store which had been established around 1850.  It was located near his home at the site of present day Charlie Gitto’s restaurant.  In 1924, he sold the business to John Rinkel and the name changed to Rinkel’s Market.

Initially, John Rinkel (b. 1880, d. 1958) and wife Anna (b. 1883, d. 1968) operated the store with the help of John’s brother-in-law.  The Rinkel’s  son Nelson also worked there after school.  After John’s death in 1958, Nelson and his wife Polly nee Pauline Kirk continued the business while raising their four children, Jack, Margaret, Ronnie and Joyce.  They retired on 31 January 1982.  Sachs Properties acquired the building site in December 1986. 

From its founding in 1850 until its demise in 1982, the General Merchandise/Rinkel’s Market provided a necessary service and a popular place to shop thanks to early Chesterfield entrepreneurs.  Many of the early Hochs are buried at the St. John’s United Church of Christ Cemetery located at 15370 Olive Boulevard in Chesterfield.

Aaron Kindlesparger interviewed by Marcella Mertz, 2001.
Polly Rinkel interviewed by Jane Durrell and Arland Stemme, 28 July 1991.