Saturday, November 5, 2016

Peter Westerhouse - Peter's and Anna's Children #2

Edward Westerhouse

Edward Westerhouse married Katherine (Kate) Breithaupt 11 December 1888.  They settled on a farm in Hesper, Douglas, Kansas, near Ben and Emma Foust's farm. They had two children:

Elmer Edward Westerhouse (1889-1958)
Inez Edna Westerhouse (1892-1975)

Obituary of Edward Westerhouse
Lawrence Daily Lawrence Journal World
27 February 1945, Page 2

Kate died 27 May 1926 and was buried in the Hesper Friends Church Cemetery in Hesper, Douglas, Kansas.  Edward died, 27 February 1945, and was buried next to his wife. 

Headstone of Edward Westerhouse

Headstone of Katherine Breithaupt Westerhouse

Shared Headstone of Edward and Katherine

Aurelia Westerhouse

The 1870 Federal Census for Eudora, Douglas, Kansas, was the only record ever found about Aurelia Westerhouse.  It has been assumed by researchers that she died in Eudora, Douglas, Kansas, before the 1875 Kansas Census was recorded.

William Westerhouse

William (Billy) Westerhouse never married and went by the name of Billy. The 1900 Federal Census reported him as living with Anna and Henry Eggers and not able to read or write.  The 1910 Federal Census listed him as living with Edward and Kate Westerhouse, able to read and write, but not working.  Billy died 6 June 1928 and was buried in the Deay Cemetery in Eudora, Douglas, Kansas.  During a December 1979 interview, Amos Westerhouse, Jr., William's nephew, described digging grave for the bachelor Billy.  He placed the headstone at the foot of Billy's body instead of at his head.

William Westerhouse

Obituary of William Westerhouse
Lawrence Daily Journal World
7 June 1928, Page 2

Amos Westerhouse

Amos Westerhouse married Sophia Meyer 25 February 1891.  This has been verified by the Marriage License found at the Johnson County Courthouse in Olathe, Kansas.  Sophia was from Big Spring, Lafayette, Missouri, where her uncle, Henry Edler (Mary Westerhouse's first husband), and aunt, Katie Edler (Henry Westerhaus's wife), came from.  Amos and Sophia initially settled at the home of Henry and Anna Eggers' farm.  Amos and Sophia had five children, including the two youngest being twins:

Amos Westerhouse Jr (1892-1982)
Ethel Westerhouse (1894-1980)
Oscar Edward Westerhouse (1897-1984)
Alvin Westerhouse (1906-1986)
Allen Herman Westerhouse (1906-1986)

Marriage License of Amos Westerhouse and Sophia Meyer

Wedding Photo of Amos Westerhouse and Sophia Meyer

After many years of renting a farm just south of Anna and Henry Eggers' property, Amos and Sophia purchased an 80 acre farm at the South Half of the South East Quarter (2372 North 900th Road) of Section 34 in the Captain Creek area of Eudora, for $4500, 23 December 1905.  This has been verified by the property deed found at the Douglas County Courthouse.  The first three children of Amos and Sophia were born at the rented farm and their twins, Allen and Alvin, were born at the purchased farm. 

Ethel, Sophia, Oscar, Amos Sr., Amos Jr. at the Henry and Anna Eggers' Farm

Amos would always say "use the best board first then you have the best board last" The idea is that if you use a good board when you need it, then it will still be good even after a long time but if you use an old board it likely won't last and the unused new board will deteriorate over time when not used.

February 1909, Amos was appointed as one of the five Eudora Road Overseers.  His initials can be found inscribed on many bridges which he helped construct around Eudora.  Additionally, Amos constructed water tanks (cisterns) using a form he created.  He sold 100's of these to farmers in the area.   

Based on family stories, Amos and Sophie hobnobbed with the wealthy Eudora families, including the Lothholz and Cory's.  Amos, may have been on the bank board or had some connection with the bank.  Amos, smoked a pipe, chewed tobacco, and used a spittoon.  He enjoyed to share stories about his youth with anyone that would listen.   

During 1926, Amos retired from being a Eudora Road Overseer as well as from farming.  6 September 1926 Amos and Sophia bought a home, located at 110 East 7th Street in Eudora and moved into town.  

According to family stories, Sophia was tall, friendly, enjoyed baking, sewing. It was common to see Sophia wearing an apron.  Sophie suffered from migraine headaches. She would lower a tea towel down in the well and get it cold and wrap it around her head for relief.  Sophia was outspoken and interested in preserving her German heritage, including reading the German newspaper and talking to Amos in German, especially when she did not want the children to understand.

Allen, Oscar, Ethel, Amos Jr, Alvin (Standing)
Amos Sr. and Sophia Westerhouse (Sitting)

Sophia died at home after a long illness with leukemia on 26 December 1932. She was buried at the Memorial Park Cemetery in Lawrence, Douglas, Kansas. 

Obituary of Sophia Meyer Westerhouse
Lawrence Daily Journal World
27 December 1932

Amos continued to stay at their home in Eudora until his death.  Amos died 18 December 1950 from a cerebral hemorrhage at the Lawrence Memorial Hospital in Lawrence, Douglas, Kansas.  He was buried next to his wife.

Obituary of Amos Westerhouse
Lawrence Daily Journal World
19 December 1950, Page 3

Headstone of Amos Westerhouse

Headstone of Sophia Meyer Westerhouse

Sunday, October 2, 2016

Peter Westerhouse - Peter's and Anna's Children #1

Henry Westerhouse, Sr.

Henry Westerhouse, Sr. married Katherine (Katie) Edler.  Katie, a younger sister of Henry Edler (Mary Westerhouse's first husband), was from Township 48 (Danville area), Montgomery County, Missouri.  Soon after Henry and Katie were married, they changed the spelling of their last name from Westerhouse to Westerhaus.  Initially they settled on a farm east of Weaver, Kansas. During 1904, Henry and Katie bought a farm at Weaver Bottom and developed a large farming business.  Later, they bought a nearby farm and built a more elaborate home.  Henry and Katie had three children:    

         Charles Westerhaus (1880-1914)
         Henry Edward Westerhaus, Jr. (1883-1971)
         Minnie Westerhaus (1889-1944)

Henry Westerhaus' and Katie Edler's Marriage License 

Katie died 28 January 1912, and was buried in the Eudora City Cemetery in Eudora, Kansas. During 1919, Henry retired from farming, bought a home at 720 Rhode Island Street in Lawrence, Kansas, and lived there for the next twenty years.  He moved in with his daughter, Minnie Westerhaus Dickens, for the last two years of his life.  Henry Westerhouse, Sr. died 1 March 1942, and was buried next to his wife in the Eudora City Cemetery.

Mary Westerhouse

Mary Westerhouse married Henry Edler 6 February 1874 at the age of 17.  Henry was from Big Spring, Missouri, a farming community in central Missouri, 300 miles east of Eudora, Kansas.  They moved to Big Spring soon after their marriage.  Henry and Mary had two children:

     Addie Charlotte Edler (1874-1952)
     Henry Albert Edler (1878-1959)

Henry Edler died 31 March 1879 in Big Spring, Missouri and was buried at the Edler Cemetery nearby. Based on family stories, during 1879, Mary's daughter, Addie, went to live with Aunt Katherine Westerhaus Uphaus and her husband Peter Uphaus near Concordia, Missouri.  The Uphaus' had no children of their own, but raised many children whose parent had died early.  Mary moved with her son, Henry to live with Eggers's in Captain Creek.  Mary supported herself as housekeeper in Lawrence, Kansas, while her son lived with Henry and Anna Eggers. During 1884, Addie would be re united with Mary and her brother.  For the next two year they would live with Edward Westerhouse family in Hesper Kansas.  During this time, she would meet and marry David Samuel Clark.

David Samuel Clark and Mary Westerhouse Edler Marriage License

1880 Federal census from Lexington, Johnson, Kansas show Mary living with her children in the household of Henry Meinke.  The census indicates Henry is her uncle and Emma Hurscher living in the household.  Emma was Peter Westerhouse younger sister (Mary Westerhouse Grubart Husher), daughter. Additionally, the 1880 Federal census from Eudora, Doglas, Kansas lists Addie and Henry Edler living with their grandparents, Henry and Anna Edler.  Mary Westerhouse Edler is not listed in this census.  More research needs to be done on Mary's family after Henry Edler died.

Mary Westerhouse Edler married David Samuel Clark 14 February 1885 in Eudora.  David was a Civil War veteran from Indiana who was living in Eudora when they met.  David and Mary had five children, the first three died early from diphtheria:

     Mary Elizabeth Clark (1887-1895),
     David Winfred Clark (1890-1895)
     Howell Clark (1897-1897)
     Oscar Edward Clark (1899-1973)
     Homer Elvin Clark (1899-1977)

David Clark died 22 February 1904 and was buried at the Deay Cemetery in Eudora, Kansas.  Mary died 26 August 1930 and was buried next to her husband.

Photo By Bill Musick
Henry Westerhaus' and Katie Edler's Headstone

Mary Westerhouse Edler Clark's Obituary
The Eudora Weekly, 28 August 1930, Page 1

Amelia Westerhouse

The 1860 Federal Census, Lexington, Missouri, was the only record ever found about Amelia Westerhouse.  It has been assumed by researchers that she died during the Civil War in Lexington, Missouri, as she is not listed with the family in the 1865 Kansas Census.  It is interesting to note, the ship on which the Johann Heinrich Uphaus family immigrated from Bremerhaven to New Orleans was named Amelia.

Emma Westerhouse

Emma Westerhouse married Benjamin (Ben) Foust 16 October 1879.  Emma and Ben initially settled at the home of Henry and Anna Eggers' farm.  
 Ben and Emma had two children:

     Allen Foust (1880-1942)
     Irena Foust (1882-1954)

Benjamin (left), Allen (standing), Irene (center), Emma (right)

Soon after marriage, Emma and Ben would move from the Eggers' farm, onto a farm of their own, in Hesper, Kansas.  Emma was a homemaker and Ben a farmer at the turn of the century, shown in the 1900 Federal Census from Eudora, Kansas. During 1906 their children married and moved out on their own.  Soon after, Emma and Ben moved into town, bought a home in Eudora. Emma continued to be a homemaker and Ben started to work as a carpenter, based on the 1910 Federal Census.  By 1920, Emma was working as a dressmaker, Ben working as a carpenter, living on B Street, indicated in the 1920 Federal Census.  Emma and Ben were retired by 1930, based on the 1930 Federal Census.  Ben died 7 January 1933 and was buried at the Memorial Park Cemetery in Lawrence, Kansas.  Emma died 15 September 1938, and was buried next to her husband.

Benjamin Foust's Headstone

Emma Westerhouse Foust's Headstone

Emma Westerhouse Foust's ObituaryLawrence Daily Journal World16 September 1938, Page 2

Sunday, September 25, 2016

Peter Westerhouse - Post Civil War Years #3

Henry Eggers died 5 March 1908, on his farm in Eudora, Kansas. He was buried at the Deay Cemetery near his farm.  Anna would continue to live on the farm with her son, William, until she was not able to maintain it.  The 1915 Kansas Census shows Anna and William living with the Amos Westerhouse, Sr. family.  She would later move to Eudora, to live with her oldest daughter, Mary Westerhouse Edler Clark.  Anna Westerhouse Eggers died of pneumonia in Mary Clark's home 29 November 1916. She was buried next to her 2nd husband, Henry Eggers, at the Deay Cemetery.

Henry Eggers' Headstone

Anna Eggers' Headstone

Ann Eggers' Obituary 
 Lawrence Journal World
 7 December 1916, Page 1

When Anna was buried, all of the Westerhouse and Eggers headstones were replaced with new ones. During May 1979, Peter's original headstone was dug up in Lawrence by a construction company.  They discovered it lying over a well cover.  At the time it was unearthed, it was not known where it had come from.   Amos Westerhouse Jr., Peter's grandson, saw an article and picture in the paper.  He wrote a letter to the Lawrence Journal World describing who Peter Westerhouse was, and where the headstone had come from.  Today, the original headstone of Peter Westerhouse is being preserved for future generations to view at the Eudora Area Historical Society in Eudora, Kansas.

Newspaper Picture and Article, Lawrence Journal World, 2 May 1979

Sunday, September 18, 2016

Peter Westerhouse - Post Civil War Years #2

Peter died 23 October 1875.  His original headstone has a death date of 9 October 1876 and his current headstone has a death year of 1876.  It is unclear why his two headstones have a different death year from the obituary.  He was buried at the Deay Cemetery, which was located near his 160 acre farm, at the south west corner of North 800 Road and East 2300 Road (799 East 2300 Road).

Peter Westerhouse's Obituary  
Republican Journal (Lawrence, Kansas) 
29 October 1875, Page 3

Peter Westerhouse's Orginal Headstone  
Located at the Eudora Area Historical Society

Peter Westerhouse's Current Headstone  

At the time of Peter's death, he was survived by Anna and their children:

          Henry - age 21     
          Mary - age 19 (married)     
          Emma - age 14     
          Edward - age 13     
          William - age 9     
          Amos - age 5  

Soon after Peter's death, Anna married Henry Eggers, the farmer living to the south of the Peter Westerhouse farm.

Henry Eggers' and Anna Westerhouse's Marriage License

Anna moved with her five children to live with her new husband, Henry Eggers.  Henry and Anna raised the minor children into adulthood.  All of the children, except for William, married and left home to start their own lives.  William never married and continued to live with Anna and Henry.  This was documented in the 1880 Federal census.

1880 Federal Census, Recorded 15 June 1880 in Eudora, Kansas

Entering the 20th century, Anna and Henry would only have William (Willie) living at home.  The 1900 Federal Census shown below, indicated Henry was 67 years old, born October 1832 and had been married for 20 years.   Anna was listed as 67 years old, born September 1832, had been married for 20 years and had eight children of which six were living.  Peter's and Anna's son, Amos, and his wife, Sophia, rented the farm from Anna and Henry Eggers.  In 1900 they had three living children:      

         Amos Jr, age 8, born May 1892     
         Ethel, age 4, born September 1895      
         Oscar, age 1, born August 1898 

The 1900 Federal Census revealed that Sophia was born April 1868 and had been married for nine years.  The same census showed that Amos Sr. was born June 1871 and he had been married for nine years.

1900 Federal Census, Recorded 6 June 1900 in Eudora, Kansas

The 1905 Kansas Census showed Henry, Anna and their son William living in a house on their farm.  The Amos Westerhouse Sr. family rented next door.

1905 Kansas Census, Recorded in Eudora, Kansas

Friday, September 9, 2016

Peter Westerhouse - Post Civil War Years #1

Following the end of the Civil War, the Peter Westerhouse family continued to live on the farm which Anna had purchased in the Captain Creek area of Eudora, Kansas.  Peter was able to return to full-time farming in order to  provide for his growing family.  He soon realized he needed more land, so he and Anna decided to sell the farm and purchase a larger one.  The Peter Westerhouse family planned to purchase the 160 acre plot of land which they had originally homesteaded (unsuccessfully) in Kansas.  They first sold their current farm, 8 September 1865, for $1500, according to the property deed found at the Douglas County Courthouse. This represented a $1,100 profit from the $400 price Anna had paid a few years earlier.

According to the property deed found at the Douglas County Courthouse, Peter purchased a 160 acre farm 16 October 1865 for $1000.  The property was located at the Northeast Quarter (2375 North 800th Road) of Section 10 in the Captain Creek area of Eudora.  Currently the southwest corner of North 800 Road and County Line Road.  This property was less than a mile south of the farm they had just sold.  Peter and Anna must have been excited to return to the place where they had originally chosen to live in Kansas.  Based upon family stories, they built a home between two willow trees, near Captain Creek on the southern part of their property.  Peter was looking forward to planting more crops and adding more livestock.  During January 1865, Henry Eggers, a local farmer, had bought an 80 acre farm south of the Westerhouse farm.  Henry would help Peter and Anna from time to time.  He had recently been divorced was living alone on his farm.  Peter and Anna must have been happy to have him as a neighbor.

Peter and Anna had three more children during the next four years:  
       William Westerhouse, 14 September 1866 verified by his Kansas Death Certificate.
       Aurelia Westerhouse, about 1869 based upon the calculated date from the 1870 Federal Census. 
       Amos Westerhouse, 6 June 1870, verified by his Kansas Death Certificate.

According to the September 1870 Federal Non-Population Census, Peter's farming business was successful.  It indicated that he owned 160 acres of improved land and 5 acres of wooded land.  His farm property was valued at $4,400 and the farm equipment was valued at $700. The census also listed that Peter owned 9 horses, 5 mules, 7 milch (milk) cows, 2 cattle and 30 swine with the livestock value of $1,400.  In addition, the census showed 300 bushels of spring wheat, 2,000 bushels of Indian corn and 500 bushels of oats on hand. 

The 7 July 1870 Federal Census indicated Peter was a farmer who was born in Prussia.  His real estate was valued at $4,475 and the value of his personal estate was recorded as $2,700.  His parents were listed as being foreign born and Peter as being a United States Citizen. The census shows that Anna was keeping house, Henry attending school and does not show Amos.

Peter and Anna decided to sell the farm because it was becoming more difficult for Peter to farm the land due to poor health.  The farm sold 7 October 1872, for $3,700 at a profit of $2,700.  The property deed found at the Douglas County Courthouse verifies this. It is not known where the family lived after selling the farm.  

The 1 March 1875 Kansas Census reported Peter's occupation as farmer, his place of birth as Germany, the value of his real estate as $1,600 and the value of his personal estate as $600. It shows that Anna was keeping house and their son Henry was farming.  The census shows Henry Eggers farming the adjoining property with value of his real estate as $800, the value of his personal estate as $200 and his place of birth as Germany.

Saturday, July 9, 2016

Peter Westerhouse - Civil War Years #2

The Peter Westerhouse family most likely would have left Lexington for Kansas during February of 1863. Families traveling west probably would have traveled on the Santa Fe Trail in a horse-drawn wagon.  Peter's and Anna's family may have done this.  Based upon Westerhouse family stories, they settled in Eudora, Kansas, on a plot of land, 3 miles south of Eudora near 2375 N 800th Road.  This section of Eudora was commonly referred to as the Captain Creek area.  A  property deed located at the Douglas County Courthouse revealed that this property had been granted to Paschal Fish and his Shawnee Indian tribe by a 'treaty between Shawnee Indians and the United States government'.  This treaty was signed by President James Buchanan 10 May 1854.  No land claim applications have been found for Peter and Anna regarding any properties.  However, an original property deed dated 11 May 1854, has been found for Paschal Fish reflecting the grant mentioned above.  Research continues in order to determine where the Westerhouse family originally settled during February of 1863.

Peter would have left for Lexington during early March 1863, in order to be present for his 5 March 1863 court trial.  Court records show he was not able to arrive in time, and the trial was rescheduled for 15 April 1863.

Back in Kansas, Anna and the five children were trying to survive on the homestead Peter and Anna had previously claimed.  Based upon Westerhouse family stories, Anna was tempted to buy a larger home up on a nearby hill.  This has been shown by a property deed found at the Douglas County Courthouse, indicating she had purchased 80 acres at the North Half of South East Quarter (2392 North 800th Road) of Section 3 in the Captain Creek area of Eudora, for $400, 25 March 1863.  The property deed listed only her name on the deed, indicating that Peter was away in Lexington at the time.

Anna Westerhouse's Property Deed 

Peter arrived at the courthouse for his trial 15 April 1863 and plead not guilty to both the first charge of 'attempting to entice and decoy away slaves' and the second charge of 'bribery'.  The trial was then scheduled to continue 21 April 1863, as Peter was not ready to continue on 15 April 1863.  Thomas Adamson and John Eneberg paid bail of $1000.  Thomas Adamson was a milliner (hat maker), based upon the 1860 Federal Census.  John Eneberg was a business man and Union Civil War captain, according to his biography in the book, 'Kansas City Missouri, Its History and Its People 1800-1908'.

Peter appeared at the courthouse 21 April 1863, and filed to quash the second count, 'bribery'.  The Court (judge) overruled the request and then 'jurors were elected, tried and sworn in'.  The Court instructed that the trial would continue at 8:30 AM the following morning.

The next day, When Peter was tried on the first charge, 'attempting to entice and decoy away slaves', jurors were not able to agree upon a verdict.   When he was tried on the charge of 'bribery in the amounts of $21.30 and $67.50', jurors were also not able to agree upon a verdict.  A mistrial was declared and a new trial was scheduled for 24 November 1863.  Peter Uphaus, husband of Catherine Westerhaus Uphaus, paid $500 bail for the first charge and $250 for the second charge.

Lexington Weekly Newspaper, 18 April 1863, Page 3

Back in Eudora, Anna would continue to do the best she could, on her own with five children.  In early August 1863, Quantrill, a bushwhacker from Missouri, was planning a large attack on Lawrence, a town just west of Eudora.  Quantrill and his men gathered east of Eudora to plan the attack.  Based upon Westerhouse family stories, Quantrill's men came to Anna's farm and took chickens, eggs and any other food she had available. Quantrill and his men rode through Eudora, 21 August 1863, on their way to Lawrence to burn it to the ground.  Quantrill and his men returned to Missouri and celebrated their victory.  Peter must have been worried about Anna and his family when he heard the news.  He was in Lexington for his trial and had no way to find out if Anna and their children were safe.

Peter arrived for his court trial, 24 November 1863, for the two counts charged.  He requested the first count, 'attempting to entice and decoy away slaves', be dismissed. The judge denied the request and scheduled another trial date for 23 May 1864.  Henry Westerhaus, Peter's brother, would pay the bail of $500.  He also requested the second count, 'bribery in the amounts of $21.30 and $67.50', be dismissed. The judge again denied the request, instructing the 'bribery' count be taken up again at the next trial.  Peter's brother, Henry Westerhaus, paid the bail of $250 again.

No trial record for 23 May 1864 has been found.  A court record for 24 May 1864 has been found and it indicated that Peter came for the trial.  He plead not guilty on both counts with which he had been charged.  The 'jurors were elected, tried and sworn in'.  The trial proceeded, the jurors discussed the evidence presented during the trial and came to an agreement upon the following verdict:
     Guilty on count one ('attempting to entice and decoy away slaves')
     Not guilty on count two ('bribery')

The jurors recommended punishment by imprisonment in the penitentiary for three years.  The court adjourned until following day at 8:00 AM for sentencing.

Again, no trial record for 25 May 1864 has been found.  A court record for 27 May 1864 has been found and it indicated a guilty verdict on count one and a verdict of not guilty on count two.  Jurors recommended that Peter be pardoned from punishment.

On Saturday, 28 May 1864, Peter filed a motion for a new trial.  He also petitioned for a fine to be imposed upon juror John Williams for not attending the trial on 27 May 1864.  Peter's conviction was suspended until 8 June 1864 in order to receive the results of the pardon request.  Thomas Adamson and John Eneberg paid Peter's bail of $1000.

After the trial, County Clerk Richard Vaughn submitted a pardon request with a handwritten letter to Governor Willard Preble Hall.  Governor Hall, after reviewing the request, issued a pardon for Peter on Saturday, 4 June 1864.

Peter arrived for his court trial 8 June 1864 to hear the results from the pardon request.  The court informed Peter that Governor Willard Preble Hall had pardoned him for his crime.  The Court ordered Peter to be discharged upon payment of his debt.  Peter must have been overjoyed when he learned he had been pardoned and was free to return to Kansas. He had been away from his family for 15 months and was anxious to be reunited with his wife and children.

Captain Creek Church

Upon Peter's return to Kansas during June 1864, he would most likely have started to farm the land which Anna had bought while he was away. It was not long before he was drafted by the Union army.  Peter was drafted 23 Feb 1865, under the 34th Sub-District Eudora and Willow Springs.  Peter is  listed as 100% Deficient, meaning he could provide a substitute soldier instead of serving in the war himself. No civil war records have been found for Peter in Kansas.

Peter and Anna's family attended the Captain Creek German Methodist Church, established in 1859.  Services were conducted in German at church members homes until the Captain Creek Church was built in 1882.  Peter's and Anna's children attended the East Hopewell School, a one room schoolhouse built in 1860.  The children walked to the school and studied reading, writing and mathematics.  The church was located near the North East corner of West 146th Street and 2400 Road. The school was located at the South East corner of 143rd Street and 2400 Road.

The Daily Kansas Tribune, 24 Feburary 1865

Thursday, June 23, 2016

Peter Westerhouse - Civil War Years #1

Lexington and Freedom, Missouri, were the sites of many skirmishes during the civil war. Many people lost their real estate holdings, personal properties and their lives.  German immigrants, including the Peter Westerhaus family, were anti-slave advocates living in a pro-slave state. They supported the Union Army and its beliefs. Living near the Missouri River port in Lexington, Peter and his family would have interacted daily with pro-slave owners and their slaves.

Peter was strongly against slavery and joined the Missouri Home Guard Infantry, 14th Regiment, Company E, in Lexington, Missouri, 6 July 1861, for a three year period. His Missouri Home Guard unit supported the Union Army, but received very little income, equipment or training. His unit was composed mostly of German non-English speaking immigrants with the purpose of supporting anti-slave advocates in the community.

When Peter enlisted in the Missouri Home Guard, Anna and Peter had four children:
                   Henry - age 7
                   Mary - age 5
                   Amelia - age 3
                   Emma - new born

The Battle of Lexington began 18 September 1861, near Peter's property in the Anderson Addition.  The citizens were cheering the Confederate troops as they approached Lexington, hoping the Confederate Army would regain control from the Union Army. In the Battle of Lexington, there were 15,000 Confederate troops and 3,500 Union troops, including Peter Westerhaus and his Missouri Home Guard unit. Confederate troops used hemp bales as shields, and pushed the bales forward as they advanced toward the Union troops for their final charge 20 September 1861. Union troops surrendered at noon,  20 September 1861, with very few causalities.
Peter Westerhouse's Muster Roll
Peter Westerhouse was wounded and taken prisoner during the 'The Battle of Lexington'. Wounded troops were taken to the Anderson House which served as a Union Hospital.  However, no medical records have ever been found for Peter. 

Peter, along with 3,000 other captured Union troops, was released at 2 PM, 20 September 1861, after they all had listened to a speech by pro-confederate Missouri Governor, Claiborne Jackson.  Also paroled by Confederate General Sterling Price, troops were forced to take an oath not to fight again and to leave the area.  General Price told troops if they were caught fighting again, they would be executed.  Peter and other Home Guard troops walked home through crowds of cheering pro-slavery townspeople. As he was walking back to his home at the corner of Broadway Avenue and 3rd Street, Peter must have felt disappointment as to how the battle had ended.  He would have been welcomed by his wife and their four children, so excited to see he was safely home.  This may have been the moment Peter and Anna began to consider moving their family to the free-slave state of Kansas, and into a community having the views more aligned with theirs.

Peter was mustered out 19 October 1861, in St. Louis, Missouri.  His muster roll indicated he was wounded and taken prisoner at Lexington and afterwards, released on oath.  He was originally mustered in for a three year period, but only served 3 months before being mustered out.

The 'Hawkins Taylor Commission' authorized the Missouri Home Guard troops to receive a payment for their military service.  Peter received $54.65 for his 3 months and 13 days of service in the Missouri Home Guard.  He collected this 30 June 1864. 

Peter Westerhouse's  Hawkins Taylor Commission Pension Card

Abraham Lincoln signed the Homestead Act into Law 20 May 1862, encouraging settlers west, promising a wonderful life in the new frontier. The new law established a three step process by which to acquire 160 acres as a homestead for any American citizen. First, the homesteader must file an application with the local land office. Second, they must live on the land, improve it by building at least a 12 feet by 14 feet dwelling, as well as grow crops for five years. Third, after five years, they would need to file for a deed of title and prove to the local land office that the terms of the Homestead Act had been met. The land office would forward the paperwork to the General Land Office in Washington, DC, where it would be reviewed and either approved or denied.

Before leaving Lexington, Missouri, Peter and Anna had their fifth child, Edward Westerhouse, 22 September 1862.  Edward would join the growing family of three sisters and one brother.  After Edward's birth, the family started making final plans to move to Kansas and homestead 160 acres.  These must have been both exciting and scary times, leaving the security of having a home, income, friends and family, for the unknown in Kansas. Peter would leave his cooperage business behind, and learn the skill of farming.  

Peter and Anna sold all of the Lexington properties to Henry Sandler 2 January 1863. The four First Addition lots were sold for a profit of $4675 after an initial investment of $1000. The Six Anderson Addition lots were sold for a loss of $150 after an initial investment of $350.  The two Pomeroy, Houx & Grahams Addition lots were sold for a loss of $200 after an initial investment of $845. The Lafayette County Courthouse property deeds revealed that Peter and Anna were able to collect a total of $6520 for their properties.

Lafayette County Courthouse
On a February morning in 1863, Peter and Anna were packing in preparation for their move to Kansas. Two escaped slaves came to their doorstep asking for a place to hide.  Peter and Anna took them in and also offered passage to Kansas.  The Westerhouses must have welcomed the possibility of having help with their five children, including an infant, on the 300 mile trip to Kansas. 

The two Negroes, Betty and Abe, had escaped earlier from their owner, Mrs. Catherina Cavanaugh, and had been hiding in homes around the Lexington area. They were trying to leave the area and get to a free-slave state.  Only 4 or 5 hours after Betty and Abe had arrived at Peter's home, Sheriff Jacob Price knocked on their door, demanding to be let in to search for the escaped slaves.  Neither Peter nor Anna spoke English, so it must have been difficult for them to communicate with the sheriff.  It was not long before the sheriff was able to find Betty and Abe and take them away.  The sheriff then came back to the Westerhaus home to question Peter. He charged Peter with 'attempting to entice and decoy away slaves from Missouri to Kansas'.  Peter offered the sheriff money and explained that he was not aware he was doing something wrong.  The sheriff did not accept the money and Peter was charged with bribery.

Peter was allowed to continue on his trip to Kansas, as long as he would promise to be present at his trial which had been set for 5 March 1863, at the Lafayette County Courthouse in Lexington, Missouri.  The Lafayette County Courthouse was newly built in 1847, and located only four blocks south of Peter's home.  Today, it is the oldest active courthouse west of the Mississippi River.