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RG0790.AM:  William Koenig, ?-1863

Papers:  1854-1864

Omaha, Douglas County, Nebraska:  Businessman

Size:  0.3 cu.ft.; 1 box


William Koenig immigrated to the United States from Berlin, Germany, in 1854. The following year he established his home in St. Louis and after working at various jobs, he invested in a grocery business with a fellow immigrant from Germany, H.R. Pundt. In 1855 Pundt moved west and selected Omaha, Nebraska, as a suitable location for a new business. Koenig arrived in Omaha in 1856 and with Pundt established a grocery business between 10th and 11th streets on Farnam Avenue. On August 20, 1861, Koenig married Eleanor Beecher in St. Louis. Their son, William H. Koenig, was to become a successful businessman and a leading citizen of Omaha at the time of his death in 1916. William Koenig, Sr. was actively engaged in his business in Omaha until his death on October 19, 1863.


This collection consists of manuscript material arranged in three series: 1) Correspondence, 1854-1863; 2) Financial File, 1860-1864; and 3) Genealogy.

The material relates to the life of Koenig from his arrival in the United States in 1854 until his death in Omaha. Correspondence includes Koenig’s comparisons of his experiences and life on the frontier with his former life in Germany, along with descriptions of the profits he enjoyed in his grocery business; the conditions in Omaha in the 1850s; and the impact on Nebraska of the gold discovery in the Rocky Mountains in 1858. The correspondence is written in German and a typed transcript of Koenig’s letters is included in the collection. This transcript also contains two letters, probably from Henry Koenig, relating to his experiences as a Second Lieutenant of Company B, first Regiment of the Nebraska Volunteer Regiment during the Civil War.


Series 1 – Correspondence, 1854-1863

Box 1


  1. Correspondence, 1854-1863

  2. Correspondence, 1854-1863

Series 2 – Financial file, 1860-1864

Box 1


  1. Deeds, indentures, mortgages, etc.

Series 3 – Genealogy

Box 1


  1. Genealogical charts of various families, none relating to Koenig


Subject headings:

Businesses — Omaha, Nebraska

Douglas County (Nebraska) — History

Germans — Nebraska

Gold mines and mining — Colorado

Grocery stores — Nebraska

Merchants — Nebraska

Pundt and Koenig Grocery

U.S. — History — Civil War — Personal reminiscences


Revised TMM       12-26-2006