Jefferson County Historical Society

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Charles Hemme, a contractor and builder of De Soto, is a native of Hanover, 
Germany, and was born in 1843.  His parents were August G. and Regina 
(Wettram) Hemme, natives of Hanover, Germany, who were born in 1815 and 
1825, respectively.  August G. Hemme was a large real estate owner, and 
immigrated to America in 1857, locating in Marine Township, Madison Co., 
Ill., where he died the following year, his widow surviving him but one 
year.  Of their four children only two are living: Charles, and Ida, wife 
of G. Bucher, a farmer of Jefferson County, Mo. Charles Hemme came to this 
country with his parents in 1857, and after the death of his parents went 
to St. Louis, where he was employed as a clerk by his uncle, Francis Wettman, 
a lumber merchant, with whom he remained until 1864.  He then went to 
Chicago, and for one winter attended Bryant & Stratton's Business College, 
when he returned to St. Louis, and resumed work at his trade for several 
years.  He afterward did contracting at Springfield and Bloomington, Ill., 
and in 1868 located in Hillsboro, Mo., where he lived two years. The following
eighteen months he spent in De Soto, and then returned to St. Louis, where he 
remained five years, at the expiration of which time he moved to De Soto, 
where he has since resided.  He is a skillful workman, and is one of the 
substantial business men of De Soto.  He has met with good success, and has 
erected over 100 buildings in De Soto, among the largest being the opera house 
and S. W. Crawford's residence.  In May, 1875, he married Miss Margaret Brill, 
who was born in Washington Co., Mo., in 1852, and is a daughter of Solomon and 
Sarah (Vineyard) Brill. Mr. and Mrs. Hemme have four children: Laura, Charles 
Jr., Lillie and Virdie.  Mr. Hemme is a Republican in politics, a Master Mason 
and a Knight of Honor, and a member of the German Lutheran Church.