|Founded in 1974
Welcome to the Photo Gallery where, every month or so, you’ll find some new photos related to O’Fallon’s history. We’ll try to find photos and documents you may not have seen before, and we’ll give you whatever information we have on them to bring their stories to life.
You may have seen some recent landscaping on the Nicholas Krekel Home at the corner of Civic Park Drive and Main Street. As the city prepares to renovate the house, we thought you might like to know a little more about its history.
In the fall of 1832, Franz and Katerina Krekel sailed from Bremen, Germany to find a new home in America. Of their six children, the youngest--Nicholas born in 1825--would eventually be regarded as the founder of the city of O’Fallon.
Tragically, Katerina Krekel died and was buried in Louisville, Kentucky but the rest of the family journeyed on and settled near Augusta, Missouri in St. Charles County. Franz purchased 110 acres of heavily timbered land for which he paid $25.00 and compensated the previous owner with an additional $9.00 for the log cabin on the property.
Nicholas worked on his father’s farm and in 1848, fought in the Mexican War under General Price. It is said that on August 6, 1856, Nicholas came to O’Fallon. “He walked with his axe and carpetbag from Green Bottoms on the Missouri River where he’d been farming. He came through Cottleville to J. G. Trevy’s, now known as Woodlawn (Seminary), where he stayed for one year until he married.”
Nicholas purchased some land from his brother Arnold who the year before platted out approximately forty acres that he called Krekel’s Addition. There are many details that we are still researching about Nicholas’ home, but one account described it thus: “While staying at Trevy’s Nicholas cleared his land and built a two room log cabin. Later on he built a one and a half story, gable to the south, 32 feet long, 22 feet wide and arranged for merchandise.”
Nicholas’ general store was on the first floor of the house and when the Northern Missouri Railroad came through Krekel’s Addition, it also served as the agent’s office, a post office and purportedly even a library. We do not yet know at what point the house was expanded to its current dimensions, but it certainly was sometime in the late 1800’s.
Nicholas married Wilhelmena Moritz on August 15, 1857 and they raised seven children. In 1859 President James Buchanan appointed Nicholas postmaster. His job as station agent was from 1858 to 1861 so we can only assume that Nicholas’ primary source of income was his general store. Nicholas Krekel died on February 6, 1910 and was buried in Assumption Cemetery. The home remained in the family until the death of Mary Krekel Westhoff, Nicholas and Wilhelmena’s daughter, in 1966.