By Karen Wilcox


Mrs. Louie Achenbach oldest and best known pioneer woman passed away at her home in Polo Wednesday afternoon November 22, 1933. 

We would like to take you on a journey back in time to 1840.  We are in Orangeville, Columbia County, Pennsylvania.  The date is July 18.  A baby’s cry is heard and as an anxious father Mr. Barkley (Barclay) waits to see his wife Susan Zimmerman Barkley and their new baby.  As he enters the room his wife holds up his new daughter and introduces him to Louise Catherine Barkley.

We now advance to April 6, 1842 Orange, Columbia County, Pennsylvania.  In the home of Samuel and Phebe Achenbach a new baby’s cry is heard.  They introduce their friends and neighbors to Charles Achenbach.

Charles grew up and during the Civil War he served in the Army for 3 ½ years.  He participated in the battles of Gettysburg, Antietam, second Bull Run, South Mountain and Fredericksburg.  He was also involved in several lesser battles.

Charles and Louie married on May 25, 1865.  Shortly after the end of the Civil War in October 1865 they relocated near Polo, Caldwell, Missouri on the 80 acre farm that formerly belonged to the father of D. A. Kelmut.

In 1866 Louie and Charles announced the birth of their first son Hope aka Samuel H.  Charles farmed the land until they moved into Polo about 1870, their second son Clarence Charles was also born that year. The third son of Louie and Charles, William Frederick was born in 1875.

After moving to Polo, Charles became engaged in cabinet making and the undertaking business.  He also began manufacturing wagons and carriages.  Louie began a Millinery and Dress making business located on South Main Street.  She later sold the business to Mrs. Charles Smart. 

For many years Louie was a correspondent for various successful newspapers in the community. 

Mr. Charles Achenbach died October 19 1909.  Louie continued to live in Pole with her son William and Hope’s daughter Ada M.

We are now back to 1933.  We have found the obituary for Louie in Elma Clark’s Obituary Collections that are housed at the CCHS.  The following tribute to Louie comes from that obituary.



In the seventy-one years that Mrs. Achenbach

(better known to all who knew her as grandmother)

lived in this community she established a name for kindness,

unselfishness and devotion that were the envy of all that came

to know her.  In her later years, it has been said that her many

acts of kindness and charity to friends caused her to forgo many

of the needs in her home.  Her answer to this criticism was

always that it was her greatest pleasure to spread happiness

and kindness among her friends.

In our association with her we can say that she made this

world better that she lived.



As I was researching Louie I had a strong desire that I wanted to share her story with her descendants.  I have recently found an email address of her son Clarence’s family.  I have contacted that email and am waiting for a response.  I will be checking for other family with





Census Records for the following years:  1850, 1870, 1880, 1890, 1990, 1910

Find a

History of Caldwell County:  (Found at the Caldwell County Historical Society)

Biographical History of Charles Achenbach page 619

Atlas of Caldwell County, Missouri:

Grant Township 55 North Range 28 West for the following years: 1876, 1897, 1907, 1917

Elma Clark Obituary Collection: (Found at the Caldwell County Historical Society)

Zimmerman Cemetery Records: (Found at the Caldwell County Historical Society)

Pages 2 and 9





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