The Sudekum Family in Nashville, Tennessee
By Debie Cox, 2010
Johan Justus Wilhelm Sudekum, called Wilhelm, was born about 1817 in Germany. Familysearch.org states that his father's name is George Heinrich Conrad Sudekum. Information from this site is very rarely documented and further research will be necessary to determine is this is true. On that site George Heinrich Conrad Sudekum, is shown to have a son named Johan Justus William Sudekum, born January 4, 1817 in Dransfeld, Hannover, Preussen [Prussia].
A passenger list was certified in New York in June of 1849 for a ship registered to Capt. Herr under the name Hermann. The ship had sailed under the Russian flag in St. Petersburg to escape the blockade at Elbe. On the passenger listed on one line were; W. Südekum age 29, Christina Paag age 20, Justus Südekum age 32, aus Hamburg. The three were indicated as traveling together. The person listed as W. Sudekum may have been August or possibly a different relative of Johan Justus Wilhelm Sudekum. Research on the internet shows many German men with three given names in that era. I have not been able to find the full name of August.
An announcement of a Silver Wedding Anniversary party for William and Christina, in the records of First Lutheran Church in Nashville, places their wedding date in August of 1849.
The location of the wedding is not known. According to family tradition, the Sudekum family settled in Pittsburg, Pennsylvania after arriving from Germany. It is not known when the couple arrived in Pittsburg. They were living in Pennsylvania when their first child Julia was born in 1850. On the 1850 U.S. Census in Allegheny County, Pennsylvania if found a William Sedkam aged 29 born in Germany, cabinet maker, Christina aged 22, born in Germany and Julia aged 8 months, born in Pennsylvania. The last name is difficult to read and hard to interpret but it fits perfectly the small family of William Sudekum at that time.
William came to Tennessee after Oct. of 1855 when his 3rd child Katherine was born in Pennsylvania and before purchasing a lot in South Nashville on Summer St. near the Nashville City Cemetery on Jan. 7, 1857. William made his declaration of intent in Davidson County on Jan. 8, 1857 and gave his age as 40.
His name was written by the clerk as John E. W. Sudekum. William signed his name as Johan Justus W. Südekum. Justus is pronounced Eustis, which would account for the middle initial being given as an E. He was naturalized on Apr. 22 1959 and stated that he was born in the Kingdom of Hanover in 1817.
William and Christina's 4th child, Johanna, was born in Tennessee in 1857. The Evangelical Lutheran Church was organized in Nashville in the summer of 1859. In September of 1859 a service was held by Pastor H. Eggers and among the communicants were August Sudekum, William Sudekum and his wife Christine. Many records of the Sudekum family are found in the register at First Lutheran Church in Nashville, including those of the children who were baptized there. The first Sudekum baptismal entry found was for Wilhelm August Sudekum, son of William and Christine, born April 22, 1860 and baptized on (fill in date).
In 1860 William and Christine are found on the U. S. census, in Davidson County, Tennessee. August Sudekum and his wife Henrietta are also listed in Davidson County, Tennessee in 1860.
August Sudekum may have arrived sometime after William. He cannot be documented in Nashville before Sept. of 1859. In that month August purchased a lot at Nashville City Cemetery for the burial of Maria Johanna Sudekum, born in 1805 and died in Sept of 1859. Her death is the first entered in the burial records of First Lutheran Church of Nashville. She may have been a first wife to August. Evidence indicates the two Sudekum men were brothers. August and William are listed in the 1860 Nashville City Directory as living on Oak St and employed as carpenters for the T & A Railroad, predecessor of the Nashville and Decatur Railroad. The age given on census records for August is conflicting. In 1860 he is listed as being 50 and in 1870 he is listed as being 53. August married in Davidson Co., TN on June 2, 1860 to Henrietta Hagemann. Henrietta was, according to census records, born about 1834.
In 1866 William bought a lot on Humphreys Street also in South Nashville. It was convenient and often required, for railroad men to live near the railroad division to which they reported to work. The Nashville and Decatur Railroad Depot was at Chestnut and Fourth Ave.
August Sudekum was killed in a terrible accident on February 1, 1873. He was foreman of the carpenter shops at the Nashville and Decatur Railroad. He was standing in a curve of the tracks watching a departing train. A train moving from behind August, ran over him and he was killed instantly.
August was buried at Nashville City Cemetery. Possibly because of Henrietta's condition the children of August Sudekum had not been baptized as infants. In 1876 the five surviving children were baptized and the record is preserved in the register of the First Lutheran Church.
Very little information has been found for Henrietta following the death of her husband August. She is apparently the same as Kate Sudekum living as an inmate at the Davidson County Asylum in 1880, listed as a pauper. I found no further record of Henrietta or Kate until the 1900 census where she is listed as a patient at the Central Hospital for the Insane in Davidson County. Henrietta died in 1919 and was buried at Nashville City Cemetery.
The children of August and Henrietta were taken in by William and Christiana Sudekum after the death of August. Kate Sudekum, daughter of August and Henrietta died in 1889, just after her 18th birthday. Kate stated in her will that she wanted her property to go to her aunt, Christina Sudekum. Supporting documents filed with the will state that Kate had lived in her Aunt Christina's home since she was a small child.
William is listed as railroad carpenter in Nashville City Directories at least through 1874. He outlived his brother by only four years. His death occurred on March 02, 1877 and the death certificate gave his occupation as baker. The 1878 directory lists Christiana Sudekum, widow of William. Her residence is on Humphreys St. near the Nashville and Decatur railroad crossing. There is a William Sudekum listed in the same directory as a baker at 46 Market-house and residence at 13 Humphreys. The business may have been started in his name and continued to be listed that way after his death, with sons Henry and William working together.
The listing in the 1880 census for Davidson County shows Christina Sudekum with a full household. Christina, a widow for several years has living in her household, her son Henry now 21, Henry's wife Sarah and their son Anthony. Son William age 17, is living in the house. He and Henry have their occupations given as baker. Daughter Frances is a school girl aged 12. The children of August and Henrietta are also living in the household. Frederich "Richie", Fredricka, Louis, Katherine, and Heinrich ranging in age from 15 to 7 were for all purposes orphaned. Henry had become the man of the house and his responsibilities were great.
Besides his wife and young son, he had his mother and four younger siblings to care for and his five young cousins to support.
Christina continued to live in the house on Humphrey St. after the death of her husband William. Shortly before her death she moved to the home of her daughter Frances Crutchfield on Palmer Place in Nashville. Christina died in April of 1906 and is buried at Mt. Olivet Cemetery.
A few years after the death of Kate, the surviving children of August Sudekum; Frederick of St. Louis, Missouri, Henry of Nashville and Fredericka of Louisville, Kentucky entered into a contract, conveying to their brother Louis Sudekum of Nashville, their interest in a lot on Summer St. The deed states this is the same property purchased by their Uncle William Sudekum in 1857. A record conveying the lot to the children of August has not been found.
The daughters of William and Christina; Julia, Katherine Johanna and Frances married in Nashville and all but Julia raised their children in Nashville. Julia moved away after her first marriage and was living in Atlanta with her third husband when her mother died in 1906. William's sons, Henry and William married and raised their families in Nashville. Family tradition states that the Sudekum's started baking pies while Nashville was occupied by Union forces during the Civil War and that Henry, then a young boy, handled the deliveries. Both Henry and William were in the bakery business in the late 1870's. William later went to work for the railroad.
Henry married Sarah Eggensperger in Nashville on Nov. 12, 1878. They became parents to seven children; Anthony "Tony" born in 1879, Josephine born 1881, Mamie born in 1883, William born in 1885, Harry born in 1889, Sarah born about 1899 and Clarence born about 1902. Henry continued to manage his confectionary business, eventually adding ice cream to menu. Henry also began to buy and sell real estate. For many years Henry's company was located at 838 So. Cherry St. at the corner of Mulberry, which would today be near 4th and Lafayette.
In 1902 Henry moved his store, now known as H. Sudekum and son, to the 817 Broadway, near the grand Union Station. Henry was quite successful in all of his endeavors and was able to provide a comfortable life for his family.
Tony, the oldest child of Henry and Sarah Sudekum, was born on August 21, 1879 and was baptized on October 26, 1879 at the First Lutheran Church in Nashville.
He began working for his father as a boy, doing various jobs in the bakery and delivering ice cream by wagon. He attended Howard School in South Nashville. In February of 1904, Tony married Nettie Elizabeth Fessler. Nettie, born in 1882, was the adopted daughter of John and Barbara Fessler of Davidson county Tennessee.
Tony Sudekum became a respected Nashville businessman. He was known by all as Mr. Tony. Tony started in the theater business with the Dixie Theater, which opened on April 11, 1907 on 5th avenue in Nashville. Tony and Wiley J. Williams, rented a store front and charged five cents admission to the 170 seat theater. Soon after, Sudekum and others formed the Crescent Amusement Company. Crescent Amusement built the Hippodrome on West End in 1914. In 1915, Sudekum and his partners, W. J. Williams, R. M. Burch, J. M. Gray, Jr., H. Sudekum and R. M. Wilson, filed an amendment to increase the capitol stock from $150,000 to $300,000. Through Crescent Amusement Sudekum purchased and built theaters in Tennessee, Kentucky and Alabama. He also owned the Princess Amusement Company. In 1917 he was a partner in a company that proposed to build trucks, Tans-Mo Truck Company. In 1924 Tony Sudekum was listed in the Nashville City Directory as President of Crescent Amusement Company and President of Hippodrome Motor Company. He was also President of Union Ice Cream Company.
Tony and Nettie were parents of four daughters, Viola Margaret, Nettie Elizabeth, Barbara Marie and Sarah Edine. Viola married Robert Elmer Baulch. Nettie Elizabeth was married 1st to a Mr. Johnston and 2nd to a Mr. Gunter. Barbara Marie married Porter Woolwine. Sarah Edine married Kermit Stengal.
Anthony "Tony" Sudekum died April 26, 1946 in Davidson County, Tennessee. After his death, the Sudekum family made a donation in memory of Tony Sudekum to the Nashville Children's Museum. The money was used by the museum to purchase the first star projector and in 11952 the first planetarium in Tennessee was opened and named for Mr. Sudekum.
Mark Stengel great grandson of Tony Sudekum shared a personal account of the Sudekum family in the Nashville Scene, July 5, 2001. Making Our Way In The World by Mark K. Stengel.
AUGUST2 SUDEKUM (SUDEKUM1) was born between 1810 - 1817 in Germany, and died February 01, 1873 in Davidson County, Tennessee. He was buried at Nashville City Cemetery. He married HENRIETTA HAGEMANN June 02, 1860 in Davidson County, Tennessee. She was born Abt. 1834, and died 1919 in Davidson County, Tennessee. She was buried at Nashville City Cemetery. ( He probably married first, Maria Johanna Sudekum 1805-1859, buried in Nashville City Cemetery in a lot purchased at the time of her death by August Sudekum.) August worked in the shops of the Nashville and Decatur Railroad as a carpenter. He was killed after leaving work on Feb. 5, 1873, when he was ran over by a freight train. After his death court records listed these minor children of August; Dorris Frederick, Fredrika, Louis, Kate and Henry. Three children, Charlotte, Henry and Christina died before their father.
August and Henrietta were parents to:
1. CHARLOTTE FRANCES DOROTHEA3 SUDEKUM, was born March 08, 1861 in Nashville, TN and died November 10, 1875 in Nashville, TN, at the age of 14. She is buried at Nashville City Cemetery.
2. HEINRICH AUGUST WILHELM SUDEKUM, was born October 25, 1862 in Nashville, TN and died from diphtheria on July 18, 1865 in Nashville, TN, aged 2 years and 8 months. He is buried at Nashville City Cemetery.
3. DORRIS FREDERICH "RICHIE" SUDEKUM, was born May 18, 1864 and died in 1916 in St. Louis, Missouri.. He moved to St. Louis, Missouri and married ESTHER Byrne. He is buried at Calvary Cemetery in St. Louis. His children, all born in Missouri, were Esther, Loretto, Louis F., Frederich and Robert
4. CHRISTINA SOPHIA PAULINE SUDEKUM, was born November 01, 1864 and died May 21, 1865 and was buried at Nashville City Cemetery. She died of Whooping cough.
5. FREDERICKA RACHEL SUDEKUM, was born March 21, 1867. She was living in Louisville, KY in 1892.
6. LOUIS SUDEKUM, was born July 10, 1869 in Nashville, Tennessee and died December 12, 1938, Davidson County, Tennessee. He married MARY CATHERINE ROSE November 09, 1892 in Davidson County, Tennessee, daughter of RASMUS ROSE and MARY BROWN. She was born March 1873 in Davidson County, Tennessee. They were parents to Nettie Rose Sudekum Petty and Freda Sudekum.
7. KATHARINA KATE SUDEKUM, was born April 08, 1871 in Nashville, Tennessee and died on April 20, 1889, Davidson County, Tennessee. She had just celebrated her 18th birthday.
8. HENRY SUDEKUM, was born September 04, 1872, Davidson County, Tennessee. He was living in Nashville in 1892 but by 1900 had moved to St. Louis Missouri. He was working in the same factory that employed his brother Frederich in Missouri. He married Mable McCasland in 1902 in St. Louis.. They had four children, Harold, Mary, William and Edna.
JOHN JUSTUS WILLIAM2 SUDEKUM (SUDEKUM1) was born January 14, 1817 in Hanover, Germany, and died March 02, 1877 in Davidson County, Tennessee. He married CHRISTINA PAASCH August 1849, probably Pittsburg, Pennsylvania. She was born October 25, 1828 in Germany, and died April 25, 1906 in Davidson County, Tennessee. Both are buried at Mt. Olivet Cemetery. On Jan. 7 1857, John E. W. Sudekum purchased a lot from Isaac Paul on Summer Street, now 5th Ave. deed book 26, page 108, lot #63 in the Barrow Grove subdivision in So. Nashville near the Nashville City Cemetery. In 1866 he bought a lot on Humphreys St. deed book 35, page 700. He made his declaration of intent to be naturalized in 1857. He signed his name as Johan Justus W. Sudekum on his naturalization papers and he was 40 years old in 1857. He was naturalized in 1859.
William and Christine were parents to:
1. JULIA3 SUDEKUM was born in 1850 in Pennsylvania. She married 1st Zavier Rottet May 21, 1867, in Nashville, TN. She and Mr. Rottet were parents of . CHARLES ROTTET, b. 1869, CHRISTINE SUDEKUM4 ROTTET, b. July 17, 1871, and WILLIAM HENRY ROTTET, b. October 07, 1872. Julia married 2nd to Fred Steiglitz and she was married 3rd to Mr. Fuller. She was living in Atlanta, Georgia in 1906 and died before 1922.
2. KATHERINE SUDEKUM, b. Abt. 1853; d. January 22, 1921, Davidson County, Tennessee. She married Carl H. Dahlinger on May 23, 1871 in Nashville. Their children were Katherine Christine Dahlinger, Charles Dahlinger, Karl Henry Dahlinger, Frank Wilhelm Dahlinger, and Henry Anton Dahlinger.
3. HENRY SUDEKUM, b. October 21, 1855, Pittsburg, Pensylvania; d. 1952, Davidson County, Tennessee. He married SARAH EGGENSPERGER November 12, 1878 in First Lutheran Church, Nashville, Tennessee. She was born Abt. 1859, and died June 27, 1933 in Davidson County, Tennessee. They were parents of Anthony Sudekum, William Sudekum, Harry Sudekum, Josephine Sudekum, Mary "Mamie" Sudekum, Clarence "Hap" Sudekum and Sarah Elizabeth Sudekum.
4. JOHANNA "HANNAH" JOSEPHINE SUDEKUM, b. Abt. 1857, Tennessee; m. PETER JACOBS, May 21, 1874, Davidson County, Tennessee.
5. WILHELM AUGUST SUDEKUM, b. April 22, 1860; d. October 16, 1861.
6. EDWARD HEINRICH WILLIAM SUDEKUM, b. August 09, 1862, Davidson County, Tennessee; d. October 30, 1941, Davidson County, Tennessee. He married Annie Elizabeth Schardt on Sept. 8, 1887 in Davidson Co., TN. Their children were August Charles Sudekum, John Henry Sudekum, Robert Henry Sudekum, and Magdeline Christine Sudekum.
7. FRANCES SUDEKUM, b. 1868; m. ROBT. J. CRUTCHFIELD, January 08, 1885, Davidson County, Tennessee.
This is from the website of a Missouri Sudekum family researcher.
The german translation of "circumspicete", a word out of the old Latin language, spoken in the Roman Empire and in the Middle Ages in Europe. It means in German: "Sieh dich um", in English: "Look out for". The name is first mentioned in a document in 1228 by Duke Barnim I. of Pommerania (in the northern of Germany, near the Baltic sea). Barnim gave land to a man as a reward for true service. He lead him on a hill, saying to him: "Look out for, that is Your land". In the Thirty Years' War (1618-1648) the Suedekum family had to go with the Swedish troops north to the Harz mountains (Lower Saxony) where the most of them live today. Two of the Suedekums emigrated from Germany to America in the nineteenth century. I think Suedekum in Switzerland are unknown. (1)