Eckardt, Otto - portraits of Marmet family 1

This group of portraits are all signed by Otto Eckardt of Dresden. They were acquired via public auction from a vendor in Ohio who described them as "nine colored photographs". However, they are all painted portraits on ivory. The vendor also advised that a friend had purchased them at an estate auction several years earlier, so that must have been around 1998/2000.

As is mentioned elsewhere, there was a practice at the end of the 19C, of sending family photographs to Germany to be copied as miniature paintings on ivory, and sometimes on porcelain. The various Eckardt family members seem to have painted a large number of portraits of this nature. Some of these other Eckardts are included elsewhere in this collection

The fifth and sixth portraits here are noted on the rear as Great Grandmother Marmet and Great Grandfather Marmet. The seventh one is described as Great Aunt Lena. This information has enabled, with some certainty, the identification of the group as descendants of a Dr William Marmet, who emigrated from Baden, Germany to the United States, in 1849.

(Although the records in America refer to Baden, a kind visitor from Germany has advised the following correction; "I have a point to add: the Marmet family did not leave from Baden/Germany to the US, they came from a small westphalian village Sendenhorst (near Muenster, Westhalia). My wife is descendant of William Marmets youngest brother, who remained in Germany.")

It is interesting to compare the 1849 passenger list for the family with the 1850 cenus, as the family changed several names to a more English format on arrival in USA. The only real inconsistency in comparing the lists is that the youngest child appears to be recorded as a female on one list and a male on the other list.
1849 passenger list -----------1850 census
Otto Marmet ----------------William Marmet 57 M Physician
Clara Niehaus (wife) -----Clara 52 F
Elis ------------------------------Elise 22 F
Otto -----------------------------Otto 21 M
Carl -----------------------------Charles 20 M
Florenz -------------------------Florence 19 F
Fritz -------------------- --------Frederick 17 M
Clementine ------------------Clementina 16 F
Clara Pauline ---------------Paul 12 M (sic)

There is a census reference to Charles as a produce merchant and to Frederick as a jeweller. Two other sons, Florence and Otto commenced business as coal merchants. Their business flourished and they founded the Marmet Coal and Mining Company. They also had river steamers. The town of Marmet in West Virginia is named for them. Florence Marmet was president of the Zoological gardens in Cincinnati and vice-president of the German National Bank.

In case it is of interest to other researchers, the family history seems to be as follows. In the 1880 Census Otto Marmet (aged 52) a coal merchant was living in Cincinnati, Hamilton, Ohio with his wife Sallie Marmet 37 (nee Bogen), his two daughters, Clara 17 and Lena 15 , and also his wife's parents, George 70 and Mary Bogen 69. There is a later reference to Clara Marmet marrying Rudolph Hugh Reemelin b 1855 on Oct 18 1882. They had three children; Sallie b1884, Otto b1886 and Lena Louisa b1893. See HISTORY OF CINCINNATI AND HAMILTON COUNTY, OHIO A reference has also been found to a Lena Marmet marrying A M Smith on 4 Feb 1885 in Hamilton Ohio. Also in the 1880 census, Florence Marmet (aged 49) a coal merchant was living in Cincinnati with his wife Lucy 33, and his three children William 11, Ida 6, and Otto 3. Florence is believed to have died in 1887.

Showing front and reverse is a pre-stamped postcard dated June 14, 1886 stating how many wagons of coal had been shipped by The Marmet Company on Jun 12, 1886 to the Terre Haute Gas Company.

The Marmet family also owned ships and some of them are shown here. From the top is the "Otto Marmet" on a postcard titled "Steamer "Otto Marmet" Building, Nov. 17th,1907".

Secondly, there is the "Florence Marmet" built in 1900 using material from the old "Ark" which had been built in 1873.

Thirdly, is the "Ark" from which the "Florence Marmet" was built.

Fourthly, is the "Florence Marmet" pushing a line of coal barges on the Ohio River.

Fifthly, is the "Florence Marmet" embedded in ice during the winter of 1917/1918.

There is believed to have been at least one other ships, the "Sallie Marmet".

The last of the Marmet coal family to carry the name was Leopold Kleybolte Marmet of Charleston West Virginia. There is still a prize at Marshall University in memory of Leopold K Marmet and Elizabeth F Marmet, see Marshall University - Office of Student Services Leopold was born 10 Jan 1907 and died 31 Aug 1998.

This date of death seems to fit with the above reference to a dealer acquiring the frame of miniatures around 2000. Leopold advised another, but unrelated, Marmet researcher, that his grandfather was Florenz Marmet and his father was Edwin Marmet, a steam boat captain who married Miss Kleybolte. Also that Florenz's daughter Ida married Rudolf Kleybolte, her brother in law, they had a daughter Florence Kleybolte who was born in 1901.

Given this, it seems that name of Miss Kleybolte was Susie, as in the 1880 Census a Rudolph Kleybolte b1870 was living with his family in Cincinnati, the family including his sister called Susie b1874. Leopold also referred to another Sallie Marmet who was a sister to Florence and Otto. This may have been a reference to Elise as above.

It also seems that Florence's son Otto born in 1877, changed his name to Edwin, as the two names are given for the son of Florence Marmet in the 1900 census, William and Edwin are different to the names in the 1880 census, William and Otto, although the birth years are the same in both instances. Perhaps Edwin was the second name of Otto and he did not want people to think that the ship "Otto Marmet" was named after himself, when it was actually named after his uncle. For further references see,_West_Virginia where William and Edwin are referred to as the developers of large coal fields in 1899.

The family was obviously wealthy in the early 1900's, but they may have suffered financially in the Great Depression. In the 1910 census, William was living with his mother Lucy and gave his occupation as President of Coal Company, but in the 1930 census, William was living in a large boarding house with many other boarders, who had occupations such as nurse, labourer, teacher, hostess, and librarian. William appears not to have married and died 2 Apr 1941.

The handwritten identifications on the rear of the miniatures are in red ball point pen and seem to be quite recent, so much so that the writer may not have been certain of the identities, as only three are named . The reference to Great Aunt Clara suggests they were possibly put there by a grandchild of Clara Reemelin.

With the kind assistance of a Marmet descendent with access to some excellent old family photos, it has been possible to confirm some of the identities of the portraits and make educated guesses at others. The definite sitters are therefore as follows; 5 Sallie Bogen Marmet (wife of Otto Marmet), 6 Otto Marmet, 7 Lena (Mary Magdelana Marmet Wolfe - daughter of Sallie and Otto Marmet), 9 Clara Georgina Marmet Reemelin (daughter of Sallie and Otto).

The other sitters are less certain, but it is thought that two of them are younger sisters of Salli Bogen, Ann Elizabeth and Susannah (Susie), both still living in 1910.

The same kind visitor has provided the following background information. "Sallie Marmet's maiden name was Bogen and an Alfred Bogen has written a large book on the Bogen family tracing the family back to 1500 and it confirms some information from other sources - but contains some discrepancies. Sallie is called Sarah in the book and there is a good story about how her father and grandfather emigrated to the USA. They came from the Rhine valley and like Charles Reemelin they started growing wines using the Catwaba grape. I bought a bottle of wine from the same grape and it smelt of Welch's grape juice so I would not be surprised if they do not use the same grape. A restaurant was built in their old vinyards."

"George Bogen and his brother Peter seemed to make their money as pork packers - it was a family business and unfortunately it went under in 1873 - and set some case law at the time - something to do with securing assets. In his old age George and his wife, Mary Magdalene lived with Sallie and Otto Marmet. The Bogen Family tree has her name as Anna Marie but the census always has her as Mary Magdalene - one of her daughter's in the tree is just Elizabeth but has Anne added in front in the census. I think Aunt Lena was actually Magdalena."

"According to a German friend here the Pflaz region (near Mannheim) where they come from is known for its spicey sausages! It certainly struck me, when I went to the Reemelin area how many of the local dishes were reflected in my mother's cooking. Sallie was one of five daughters and two sons. Michael died as an infant. Jacob went into business with his father but died in 1888. Louise (b1832) married an Heinrich Miller who also worked as clerk in the family firm she died in 1908. Mary Magdelena b1838 married Wilhelm Muller and died in 1887, Wilhelmina (b 1845) married Hermann Alms a collector or someone in wine business? She died in 1898. Elizabeth also known as Ann Elizabeth was also married to an Alms but a William H. Alms who worked in a dry goods emporium. She died between 1910 -1920 as he was a widow in the 1920 census. Susanne the youngest born in 1848 married Samuel Neimann the President of an Insurance Co she was alive and well in 1910 but I'm not sure when she died."

"Finally Sallie and Aunt Lena ended up living in the Alms Hotel- does any one know if it was owned by cousins? Is it still there? One final question - the Bogens and Reemelins seem to be Protestant but a contact investigating the Marmet family spoke to Leopold Marmet of the West Virginian Marmet Coal company branch and he insisted the Marmets were all Catholic. I'd never heard of the Bogen family until I found George living with Sallie in the census....maybe it was the bankruptcy, just simply the female line or they lost touch with Jacob Bogen's son, but they seem a little forgotten. Although they seem to have been successful in the early days of Cincinnati!"

Close ups of the nine miniature portraits can be see at Eckardt, Otto - portraits of Marmet family along with some family photos and other information supplied by a kind visitor. 698

Much later - a kind visitor advises:
" I don't know when your excellent article was written but as to the Alms Hotel (which my relative Frederick Alms built) the original building that was built in 1891 has been torn down but the newer 500 room first class hotel built in 1925 is still standing but no longer a hotel it is now called the Alms Hill Apartments which is now 200 low income public assisted housing.
The Alms, Bogan, and Bursdal Families have had a huge influence and presence in Cincinnati."


Anonymous said...

There is also another ship. One of my ancestors was interviewed in a local newspaper and this is what he/it said:

"He began his riverboat career in 1887, when he shipped as deckhand aboard the boat "Ark." "The Ark and the Atlantis belonged to the Marmet Coal Company. The Ark steamed down the Ohio River to Ironton that first trip, and I cam back on the Atlantis," Mr. Laughlin said. The skipper of the Ark was a man by the name of Crow. He owned Crow's Island near Aliquippa, and Crow's Run near Freedom was named after his family." Mr. Laughlin recalls.

Beaver County Times, PA, Newspaper article March 12, 1955.

Rox said...

I don't know when your excellent article was written but as to the Alms Hotel (which my relative Frederick Alms built) the original building that was built in 1891 has been torn down but the newer 500 room first class hotel built in 1925 is still standing but no longer a hotel it is now called the Alms Hill Apartments which is now 200 low income public assisted housing.
The Alms, Bogan, and Bursdal Families have had a huge influence and presence in Cincinnati.

Please moderate and remove this section. If you'd like to contact me my e-mail address is I'd love to find what other information and photos that you may have or have access to.
Thank you
Roxanne Alms Schmitt