By Ann Chrissos
The Konnemans were another entrepreneurial family who established businesses and residences in Chesterfield. Francis Everett, Sr. (b. 1876, d. 1949) was one of the first men to deliver mail on horseback from the Chesterfield Post Office. He was the son of John F. (b. 1847, d. 1905) and Hannah C. (Enloe) Konneman (b. 1847, cl.1908) and the brother of Maude and Minnie. Francis and first wife Lena Heimann (b. 1883, d. 1919) had six children, Emily, Francis Everett, Jr. (b. 1907, d. 1983), Elzada, Zena, Clyde and Glen (b. 1914, d. 1984). A year after Lena’s death in 1919, Francis married Charlotte Wilhelmine Buck (b. 1883, d. 1923). Their brief marriage ended with Charlotte’s death in 1923, and Francis once again married a year later. His third wife was Eliza Macbeth.
In the early 1930s, Francis’ oldest son Francis, Jr. (called Everett) started his own delivery business called the Olive Street Road Express. He transported vegetables, fruits, cattle, hogs, and other items to market and on his return trip he hauled supplies for the local stores. At first Everett conducted his business with only one truck, but eventually he added two more trucks to the delivery service. In 1935, Everett married Viola Ann Schiller, who was working for the Telephone Company as a phone operator at the old Chesterfield Bank Building (corner of Baxter and Old Chesterfield Roads). They lived on Conway Road with their two daughters, Katherine and JoAnn. Everett purchased a bus and became the first school bus driver for the R-6 Consolidated District.
Glen Konneman shared his older brother’s entrepreneurial spirit. He and his wife Leona Koebel purchased a store in 1946 and added frozen food lockers and other equipment in 1951. They processed produce and meat including deer for the customers who rented their lockers and also for people with home freezers. The Konnemans had a truck to transport freshly slaughtered beef from nearby farms to their store where they processed, cured or smoked it. When their six children, Layne, Fay, Larry, Dale, Gail and Lynn became old enough, they also worked in the business. The boys helped with the meat processing, while the girls helped in the store.
In 1956, Glen and his brother Everett got into the water hauling business. For the next several years they hauled water to many people in the Chesterfield area. When large supermarkets moved into Chesterfield in the early 1960s, the Konneman’s food business began to decline. To make ends meet, Glen became a concrete truck driver for Breckenridge Material Company. Leona continued to operate the store until they both retired in 1979. That same year, they sold the store, locker plant and the white house next door to the store to Charles Fawcett. The building is still in use on the north side of Old Chesterfield Road, just east of Baxter Road.
Many of the early Konnemans are buried in the Gumbo Cemetery at 245 Long Road. The Konnemans, Hochs and Rinkels are just a few of the early families who helped move Chesterfield from a country farm community to an established city.
Konneman, Lena and Francis Everett
Wedding photo of Lena Heimann and Francis Everett Konneman in 1903. Courtesy of JoAnn Konneman Barton.
JoAnn Konneman Barton interviewed by Marcella Mertz and Arland Stemme, 7 June 1994.
Leona Konneman interviewed by Arland Stemme, 2 March 1993.
Mertz, Marcella Stranz. Chesterfield, Missouri: Cemeteries
, c. 2000.www.findagrave.com