By Ann Chrissos
Frederick (Fritz) Motz (1851-1929) was born in Alsace-Lorraine, France in 1851. Following the defeat of France in the Franco-Prussia War, Fritz emigrated to Meramec Township, Missouri in 1871, where he acquired 80 acres of farm land. He planted peach orchards and produce and raised pigs and cows. He took his fruits and vegetables into St. Louis to sell and local taverns purchased his pork and beef. Fritz met the George Heinrich (Henry) Jacob family at St. John’s Lutheran Church in present day Ellisville. Henry (d. 1896) and Magdalena (1836-1909) Jacob owned 80 acres near Hutchinson Road. On November 28, 1880, Fritz married Henry’s daughter Christine.
Fritz and Christine Motz lived on a farm off Valley Road on which they raised their two children: son, Daniel Albert and daughter, Katherine (Katie). While Daniel and Katie were growing up, Fritz would work all day in his fields, then walk into town to purchase tobacco. Daniel Albert (1885-1961) married Martha Schindler (1896-1961), a Texan by birth, in St. John’s Lutheran Church on November 6, 1916. They lived on 40 acres on Valley Road across from Daniel’s parents, but their holdings grew to 120 acres following the death of Daniel’s father. Daniel’s sister, Katie, married William (Bill) Eberwein in 1916. They operated a filling station in Ellisville during the 1930s.
Daniel Albert and Martha had six children: Leanoria, who married Norman Eatherton; Albert, who married Mary Messmer, George, who married Elveria Fick; Daniel, who married Geraldine Haus; and Marty, who married Donna Kesslering. Daniel, like his father, was a successful farmer, who also sold his farm products in St. Louis. His early acquisition of a tractor helped with his success.
Daniel’s and Martha’s son Albert (1921-2012) married Mary Messmer (1925-2014) in St. Louis, but they resided on Clayton Road near Hutchinson and Valley Roads. They are buried in St. John’s Lutheran Church Cemetery in Ellisville. Albert and Mary had a son Richard (b. 1953), who married Anita Cole (b.1954) In St. John’s Church in 1981. They have two children: Jennifer (Jen) (b. 1985) and Richard, Jr. (b.1987). Richard, Sr. is a retired carpenter.
Anita Cole Motz’s family story will follow. For more information about Chesterfield’s families go to http://www.chesterfield.mo.us/historical-commission.html or visit the Chesterfield Heritage Museum in Chesterfield Mall.
Albert and Mary Motz.jpg
Albert and Mary Motz. Courtesy of Richard Motz.
Motz, Richard & Anita and Jennifer Motz Wells were interviewed by George and Ann Chrissos on January 4, 2022