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John and Marie Bergmann Family Collection

Identifier: A3085

Scope and Contents

The collection contains various documents, correspondence, a scrapbook, and newspaper clippings relating to John and Marie Bergmann, seven of their nine children, and two of John Bergmann’s nieces. The files are arranged alphabetically by name of family member (natural order) and date from 1905 to circa 1995. The bulk of the documents date from 1931 to 1956.

The earliest document in the collection is Marie (Happel) Bergmann’s 1905 confirmation certificate. There are also Marie and John Bergmann’s 1911 marriage certificate; a 1920 stock certificate for the Farmers & Merchants Milling Company of Union, Missouri; and a 1949 bank savings record. Most of John’s and Marie’s items pertain to the loss of their two children, Henry and Helen, and include letters of condolence and the settling of military survivor benefits after Henry was killed in action (f.18-20).

Documents relating to Henry Bergmann (1922-1943) date from circa 1934 to 1993 and include his confirmation certificate and several World War II military certificates for crossing the arctic circle and for his posthumous purple heart. There is a memorial scrapbook comprised of newspaper clippings, photographs, and letters written to Henry by his sister, Rose, which he did not receive before the USS LearyLeary sank on 24 December 1943. In 1993, the American Battle Monuments Commission informed Rose that Henry’s name, as a veteran lost at sea, was inscribed on the Tablets of the Missing of the North Africa American Cemetery and Memorial in Carthage, Tunisia. An unknown family member conducted research on the USS Leary and collected photocopies of accounts of its last day and its survivors (f.14-17).

Documents for Charles Bergmann (1931-2002) include birth and baptismal certificates, high school diploma, two pocket address books, church member cards, a bank savings book, and a union dues booklet. There are also documents relating to his service with the Marine Corps: his induction certificate as private first class, a certificate for crossing the 180th meridian, and his discharge papers. Charles kept two pieces of Korean money and a pamphlet printed in Korean from his military service (f.1-6).

Items from Emil (1927-2009) include his birth (copy), baptismal, and confirmation certificates; his military discharge; and a doctor’s letter and pay stub relating to his work (f.8). Note that his birth certificate reads “Andrew Emil.” It is understood that after his birth, Emil’s godparents asked John and Marie to change the order of Emil’s name to “Emil Andrew.”

Included for Eugene Bergmann (1933-2017) are his baptismal certificate, many items relating to high school such as commencement in 1951 and basketball passes, hunting and fishing licenses, miscellaneous pay stubs, and the order to report for induction letter from the Selective Service. He belonged to several clubs and organizations including the boy scouts, the St. Louis Jazz Club, and the Union baseball club (f.10-12).

There are few documents relating to the Bergmann daughters. For Elsie Lucido (1929-1983) there is only a commencement announcement from 1947 (f.7). For Rose Stupperich (1918-2000) there is a World War II letter written to her from Hawaii by Henry’s friend, Eldor Hanson, on 12 August 1944 congratulating her on her marriage (f.21). In Helen’s file are her baptismal certificate, confirmation booklet, an eighth grade completion certificate, and a school autograph book (f.13).

Two of John Bergmann’s nieces are represented in the collection. Erma Bergmann (1924-2015) was the daughter of Otto and Sophie Bergmann. There is one newspaper clipping about Erma which recounts her baseball days with the All-American Girls Professional Baseball League, with which she played for six years. The article also reveals that she was one of the earliest female police officers hired by the St. Louis Police Department allowed to carry a gun (f.9). Veronica (Vera) Bergmann (1904-1999) was the daughter of John and Rose Bergmann. There are two clippings with photos of Veronica from the Franklin County Tribune (f.22).


  • 1905-ca. 1995
  • Majority of material found within 1931-1956

Conditions Governing Access

The collection is open for research use.

Conditions Governing Use

For permission to publish, quote from, or reproduce material in this collection, please contact the Archives Reference Desk at Copyright restrictions may apply. The researcher assumes full responsibility for conforming to the laws of copyright.

Biographical Sketch

In 1901, John (Johann) Bergmann (1883-1972) immigrated to America aboard the SS Auguste Victoria from Schirradorf, Bavaria, Germany. He was one of several children born to George and Margaret (Weber) Bergmann. Four other Bergmann sons also came to the U.S. and settled in Missouri: John (1875-1932), Henry (1877-1963), Nicholas (1880-1949), and Otto (1886-1972). The eldest Bergmann brother was also named John, therefore, the younger brother was known as Hans or John Jr.

The Bergmann brothers had an uncle, Andrew Bergmann (1832-1908), who came to America in 1853 from Bavaria. Andrew served in the Civil War and became a successful farmer in Franklin County, Missouri. Bergmann family lore claimed that each nephew came to Andrew’s farm to work upon arrival. While three of the nephews moved to the St. Louis area, Hans (the younger John) came to St. Louis to be with his older brother John, where they operated a bakery. However, eventually both the elder John and the younger John returned to Franklin County.

John became a naturalized citizen in 1906 and on 29 April 1911, he married Marie Happel in Wartburg, Illinois. Marie (Maria/Mary, 1891-1968) was one of ten children born in Mohnhausen, Germany to Johannes and Klara Karoline Happel. Her oldest brother, Wilhelm (William) settled in St. Louis, Missouri, in the mid-1890s. William returned to Germany on several occasions and in 1908, Marie decided to come to America with him. She and John Bergmann had nine children who lived to adulthood: William (Bill) George (1911-1984), Otto (Otts) John (1915-1996), Rose (Rosie, Bud) Marie Stupperich (1918-2000), Helen Marie Dorothea (1920-1947), Henry Andrew (1922-1943), Emil Andrew (1927-2009), Elsie (Elly) Marie Lucido (1929-1983), Charles (Charlie) William (1931-2002), and Eugene (Gene) Otto (1933-2017).

Two of the Bergmann daughters, Rose and Elise, married and raised families. Rose married Otto Stupperich in 1944 and they eventually settled in northwest St. Louis County. Helen was hospitalized for an extended period at Bethesda Hospital in St. Louis in 1943. She died in March 1947 after contracting influenza.

The five youngest Bergmann sons served in the armed forces. During World War II, William, the oldest, served in the Merchant Marines while three of his younger brothers served as bakers. Both Otto (USS Mount Baker) and Henry (USS Leary) were bakers aboard ships in the U. S. Navy and Emil was a baker in the Army Transport Command. Charles and Eugene both served during the Korean War. Charles became a marine and was shipped to Korea. Eugene served with the U.S. Army, 45th Armored Infantry Battalion, but did not go overseas.

Henry was the only son that did not return from military service. He perished when the destroyer USS Leary was torpedoed on 24 December 1943 in the North Atlantic. He enlisted on 13 September 1941 and trained at the Great Lakes Training Station in Illinois. The family told the story of Henry’s last visit home during which he left his black U.S. Navy scarf. When his mother found it, she declared it an omen, saying she would not see him again.

Upon discharge from the military, Charles returned to his previous vocation as baker. Eugene worked for the Missouri State Highway Department for many years.


0.8 Cubic Feet ( (2 boxes, 3 oversize folders))

Language of Materials





The files are arranged alphabetically by name of family member (natural order).

Physical and Technical Requirements

There are no physical or technical restrictions.

Donor Information

The collection was donated by the Estate of Eugene Bergmann in 2019 (accession number 2019-027).

Related Materials

Please consult the Photographs & Prints Department and Museum Collections for more items relating the Bergmann family.

Processing Information

Processed with funding from The Stuart Foundation, Inc. by Kristina Perez, 2019.

Inventory of John and Marie Bergmann Family Collection
EAD by Kristina Perez using ArchivesSpace
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Describing Archives: A Content Standard
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Repository Details

Part of the Missouri Historical Society Library and Research Center Repository

225 S. Skinker Blvd.
St. Louis MO 63105 United States