Joseph Johannes Vorst


Birth: 3 Apr 1831, Rellinghausen, Germany
Death: 14 Mar 1885, Sainte Genevieve, MO
Burial: 15 Mar 1885, Valle Spring Cemetery, Ste. Genevieve
Father: Johannes Marten VORST (1799-1844)
Mother: Anna Gertrude LEGRAND (1801-1864)
photo of Joseph Johannes Vorst
Joseph Johannes Vorst

Reprinted in The Fair Play in 1960:

Died---On Saturday morning, March 14, 1885, at his home in Ste. Genevieve after an illness of several weeks, of dropsy, Joseph Vorst at the age of 53 years 11 months and 11 days. After a life of activity and usefulness, he quietly ceased from his labors and went to rest. The earthly remains were interred in the Catholic Cemetery of Ste. Genevieve on Saturday afternoon and the ceremonies were witnessed by a large concourse of mourning friends who had come to pay the last honors to their departed brother.

Mr. Vorst was born on the 3rd of April, 1831, near Essen in Rhenish Prussia and left the fatherland when a young man of about 18 years to make his home in the U.S. After landing in New York, he proceeded toPennsylvania where he was for some time employed in the coalmines. He afterwards went to New Orleans and thence to St. Louis. At the breaking out of the Civil Ward he enlisted as a private in the 12th Mo. Volunteer regiment of the infantry and was steadily promoted until he became first lieutenant. On the 26 of Aug., 1864 he was married in St. Louis, to Miss Anna Scherer, of Ste. Genevieve, and soon after moved to this place where he has resided ever since. From the union sprang eight children, of whom five survive their father. Shortly after his removal to Ste. Genevieve he established a saloon on the sight occupied by Naumann's meat shop, and prospered so well in this undertaking that in 1869 he was enabled to build the Jefferson House. He kept this establishment until 1874, when he sold it to Mr. Naumann and purchased the Southern Hotel, over which he has presided since.

The deceased was a man of strong convictions, a true friend, and a jovial companion. From his childhood up, he was the favorite of all his acquaintances on account of his pleasant and delightful ways, and his strict integrity made him an honored and respected member of society. Throughout all his manhood he was distinguished for his industry, attentiveness to business, and quickness of perception. This was the secret of his success, which was reached by continued and progressive effort, rather than by great strokes of good fortune, until he had secured besides the esteem and confidence of his fellow citizens, worldly ease and competence. For the last few years he had been suffering from frequent attacks of asthma, which gave him great annoyance and often pain, especially in the last hours of his life, until at last the angel of death kindly released him. May he as 'A man faithful and diligent in his business, stand before his King.'

Fair Play

Looking Back, Friday March 11, 1960:
March 1885
Joseph Vorst was a native of Essen, Germany, emigrated to this country in the year 1855 at the age of 24 years. After various locations he came to Ste, Genevieve in 1864 and began business in a little frame house located on the site now occupied by Mr. Charles Naumann as a residence and butcher shop, keeping a grocery and liquor store, in a small way. Afterwards in 1869 he erected the brick building now occupied by Mr. Naumann and added a boarding house to his other business, all of which he conducted successfully until 1874, when seeking to enlarge his business, he purchased the old Matthew Kern property from the late Felix Valle, which he refitted for a hotel calling it the Southern Hotel. He has managed the business ever since assisted by his industrious wife. During the great war Mr. Vorst served in the Union Army in the 12th Missouri Volunteers and was honorably discharged at the close of the war with the rank of Lieutenant.

Charlie Naumann's was located near the intersection of Third and Merchant Streets. Jefferson House is the red brick building at 70 South Third Street next to the Old Brick (which is said to be the first brick building west of the Mississippi.) In 1875 Jefferson House was still being used as a hotel. It was the site for many years in the early 1900s of Rutledge's Drugstore.

photo of The Southern Hotel
The Southern Hotel

The Southern Hotel, located at 146 South Third Street, was built in the 1790's. It was constructed of brick in the Federal style. The six dormers were added in the summer of 1884. The cupola on top of the hotel was used to watch for the steamboats approaching Ste. Genevieve. When boats were spotted the kitchen would begin to prepare the food, and the wagons and carriages were sent from the livery stable to carry the guests from the landing. The hotel had a pool hall, the first west of the Mississippi, and there were gambling rooms.

This great photo taken by Bill Naeger on South Third Street
shows a bit of Jefferson House on the left, the Old Brick in the center
and the Southern Hotel on the right as they appear now.

photo of South Third Street
South Third Street photo taken by Bill Naeger.

Ste. Genevieve Herald & Fair Play Newspaper

Ste. Genevieve, Mo.
OCTOBER 29, 1874
Joe Vorst bought Kerns Hotel and renamed it Southern Hotel.

Thursday, April 1, 1875
Mr. Vorst, the imitable "Joe" is having the Southern Hotel repainted, the interior whitewashed, papered, etc. No use talking, Joe is one of the go-ahead kind. It is a pity we not have more such in our city than we have.

December 16, 1875
Mr. Joseph Vorst's little girl met with a bad accident last Monday. She was walking near a man who was cutting wood for her father and he, not seeing her, raised his ax, and in doing so struck her in the face with it, cutting her upper lip through to the teeth. A physician was immediately called, and the little girl is now doing very well.

April 10, 1880
Mr. Joe Vorst is having his saloon repainted and repapered and otherwise fixed up.

January 1885
Reprinted in Looking Back 75 Years.
This is the big winter, make no mistake of that. It has been the big winter for sleighing and skating and has been well used by the citizens of Ste. Genevieve and vicinity who transport themselves almost exclusively with sleighs or skates. Nearly all the wheat, produce and wood, for the past thirty days has been brought in on sleighs by our farmers. And, in the evenings, you can hear the tinkle of the sleigh bells and see the pink-cheeked lovelies bundled snugly beside their Knights in those pretty little sleighs drawn by prancing steeds from Mr. Vorst's Livery Stable.

Saturday, June 10, 1882
Mrs. VORST paid a visit to St. Louis this week. Joe told her not to come back too soon, but we know a thing or two. We never saw a man more interested in steamboat whistles than Joe, and that means that he was waiting for somebody.

Saturday, August 5, 1882
Joe VORST has been tearing down his old stable to make room for a new one. Joe is a progressive man bent on improving the city.

Tuesday, Nov. 14, 1882
Joe VORST plead guilty of selling liquor on Sundays and was fined for 6 indictments at $5 each. (It seems several saloonkeepers were protesting the law and received fines. LVSW)

Saturday, Dec. 16, 1882
The ice harvest was going on quite lively last week. Messrs. VORST, NAUMAN and others gathering with all their might, for fear of being left in the lurch by the mild winter predicted by Gen. HAZEN.

Saturday, Jan. 27, 1883
Surprise parties are quite frequent at present. The latest we have heard of were given at Mr. SCHULTZ's, and at Mr. VORST's. All of these entertainments were grand successes in every respect, as the young ladies and gents who took part in them, avow that they had the hugest fun, and one return of the compliment after the other is to be expected.

Saturday, Jan. 27, 1883
Joe. VORST, sent about 100 names, signed to a petition against submission of prohibitory amendment to St. Louis.

Saturday, Feb. 10, 1883
FOR RENT: 4 rooms on the 2d.floor, on 3d. street. South of Market, cheap. Inquire at Joe. VORST's.

Saturday, Feb. 17, 1883
Joe VORST is the champion hog killer of Ste. Genevieve. He killed 5 - shoats he called them - of less than 10 months old, which pulled an
aggregate weight of 1,452 pounds. They yielded 78 gallons of lard.

Saturday, Mar. 17, 1883
Joe VORST says he was very full this week; that is, he wasn't full himself but his hotel, on account of the Probate Court.

Saturday, Mar. 3, 1883
The panther that prowls in the neighborhood will only show himself when he is not expected. Xav. ECKENFELS saw something like him the other day without looking for him, and Joe. VORST was looking his best for him on Wednesday but couldn't see a hair of him.

Saturday, Mar. 31, 1883
The Perryville Circuit Court meets on Monday, April 9th, which will cause quite an exodus of our citizens who are witnesses in the Charley ROY case to be tried there on a change of venue from this county. The sheriff has summoned Joe. VORST, Dr. André, Dr. BRAHAM, Frk. BABB, Emile LELIE and several colored people as witnesses in the case. P.L. LEMPKE will also be summoned as witness, as soon as the sheriff can find him.

Saturday, June 23, 1883
William VORST, brother of Joe VORST the jovial proprietor of the Southern Hotel, died near Essen, Germany, on the first of June, at the age of 55 years. He leaves a widow and nine children, all in easy circumstances. (This must have been Johann Wilhelm. LVSW)

Saturday, July 28, 1883
It was reported that three hogs belonging to Joseph VORST were sun struck this week, one dying from the effects.

Saturday, Aug. 25, 1883
Edward RIEMER, who has for some time, been engaged in grubbing up stumps on Joe VORST's farm near town, killed a copper head last Tuesday which was about three feet long and as thick as a man's arm.

Saturday, Nov. 10, 1883
The Southern Hotel has a fine new bus, a railroad bus. Joe says "we want to go along as we can; first the bus, then the railroad."

Saturday, Nov. 24, 1883
The public will please take note that the omnibus of the "Southern Hotel" will, as heretofore, always be ready to take passengers and baggage from and to all landings near Ste. Genevieve, without fail and in good time. An approaching boat is always perceived from the cupola of the hotel and people should not feel uneasy when a whistle sounds; there is no danger of their missing a single boat. If the omnibus of the "Southern Hotel" does not careen around town to catch passengers, it is always on time.
Very Respectfully,
Joseph VORST,
Prop.

Saturday, 1 Mar 1884
Jos. VORST is as proud as may be, because his new old buggy out shines every other in town.

19 April, 1884
The Southern Hotel bar has been visited by the boss painter and paperhanger, Mr. Jos. S. SIMON, and lo! it looks cheerful and smiling.

Saturday, 7 June 1884
Charles BOYER, the artistic plasterer, came down from St. Louis Saturday night. He is now working at the Southern Hotel with his father.

Chas. CARROLL, first clerk on steamer E.G. Elliott, spent Friday in our town, the guest of Jos. VORST.

The proprietor of the Southern has had Albert BOYER hard at work for the last couple of weeks setting six dormer windows into his newly covered roof. The change not only improves the outward appearance of the hotel, but gives the owner five handsome airy apartments instead of a garret.

Saturday, 2 Aug, 1884
Mr. Joseph VORST took a little trip to St. Louis Monday and returned next day.

The family of J. Vorst in 1878 beginning with Joseph and Anna at the top,
then the children going clockwise, youngest to oldest,
Léon, Marie, Isabel, Joseph Henry and Josephine.

photo of 1878 Family of J. Vorst
1878 Family of J. Vorst
Spouse: Anna M. SCHERER
Birth: 23 Aug 1840, Koblenz, Germany
Death: 19 Feb 1915, Sainte Genevieve, MO
Father: Nicholas SCHERER (1811-1891)
Mother: Anna Maria SCHOOR (~1817-1862)
Marr: 26 Aug 1864, Saint Louis, MO

Source: Fair Play

Mrs. Anna Vorst, a highly respected resident of this city died at her home Friday evening, February 19, 1915, after an extended illness of several weeks, aged 74 years, 5 months and 26 days.

Mrs. Vorst was born in Koblentz, Germany, August 23, 1840, and emigrated to America with her parents at the age of 17 years. She was the daughter of Nicholas and Maria Anna Scherer.

On August 26, 1864 she was united in marriage to Joseph Vorst at St. Louis, who proceeded her to the grave 30 years ago. To this union were born 8 children, 4 of whom are still living, Josephine, Mrs. H. C. Ziegler; Joseph A.; Marie, Mrs. James Moore; and Leon, 14 grand children and 3 great-grand children, one brother, Philip Scherer of California, and one sister, Mrs. Joseph Fitzkam, of this city.

Mrs. Vorst was a kind and affectionate mother, a splendid neighbor and she will be missed by all. She was always ready to extend words of sympathy to the afflicted, and was a truly good Christian woman, and loved by all who knew her.

The funeral occurred on Sunday afternoon at 2 o'clock from the Catholic Church thence to Valle Spring Cemetery. On Monday morning a Requiem High mass was sung for her repose by her nephew, Rev. Father Joseph Fitzkam of Benton, Mo.

(There are some typos and some misinformation in this obituary but it is typed as it appeared. LVSW)

Children: Josephine Anna (1865-1949)
  Joseph Henry (1866-1921)
  Isabel (1868-1898)
  Elizabeth Augusta (1870-1871)
  Marie Anna (1873-1934)
  Léon Charles (1875-1929)
  Unknown (1879-1879)
  Alice Antoinette (1881-1882)

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