Paul Follenius & Marie Muench
Born May 5, 1799, the son of a lawyer in Giessen, Paul Follenius was a fellow student and best friend of Friedrich Muench. At the University of Giessen, they were both members of the Black Brothers, a fraternity (and dueling society) with revolutionary goals formed by Paul’s older brother, Karl, who was later forced to flee Germany after he was implicated as a co-conspirator in an assassination plot.
After receiving his degree, Follenius became an attorney like his father. Often visiting Muench at his home in Nieder-Gemuenden, Paul fell in love with Marie Muench, Friedrich’s younger sister. They were married in 1825 by Georg Muench, Friedrich’s father, the elder Georg’s last official act as pastor before his death a month later.
Follenius led the contingent of the Giessen Society that arrived first, at New Orleans, but which was decimated by cholera on a steamboat headed north to St. Louis. Paul fell ill and had to remain in Paducah, Kentucky, until he was well enough to travel to St. Louis.
He had corresponded and consulted with Gottfried Duden, who suggested he head for Warren County in Missouri. The two farms owned by Muench and Follenius adjoined the one Duden had owned. As with the Muenches, he was known as a “Latin farmer,” one of many cultivated Germans who really was not prepared for the life they would face in what was then still a frontier province.
Follenius died of typhoid fever on October 3, 1844.