Biographies of Sangamon County

gustav jorns

"Gustav" Wilhelm Burghard Jorns


julia jorns
Julia A. Jorns

Gustav Wilhelm Burchard Jorns was born on 9 October 1832 in the small village of Osterode, nestled in the Harz Mountains of Germany. The Jorns were hard-working, well-respected, protestant family who had deep roots in that part of Germany. Gustav's father, Johann Friedrich Jorns, was the owner of a copper mill which he had inherited from his father. Gustav's grandfather, Johann Jacob Jorns, who was born in 1756 and his great-grandfather, Heinrich Christian Jordens, saw the house of Jorns built in 1780 which still stands today as an official historical site. Johann Jacob Jorns bought the Osterode Copper Factory on 1 January 1796. It is operated by family members even to this day. Gustav's mother, Auguste Amalie Greve, and his father were committed members of the Evangelical Lutheran Church of St. Jacob at Osterode.
Gustav had four brothers and three sisters. Except for Gustav, all of his family lived their entire lives in Germany. The children, in order of birth were, Gustav Adolf, Gustav Wilhelm Burchard, Emma, Fritz Emil, Elise Wilhelmine, Albert Emil und Julie Auguste.
As a teen Gustav attended the Technical University in Hanover. These were troubled times in Germany and many students were protesting against the King and his treatment of the people. In 1848 Gustav was involved in one of these protests. Because of the fear of arrest, the family helped their 17-year-old son find portage to America and a new life. What a change of life styles this must have been for this young man! To move from a secure home and future to a pioneer life in America. It surely took a strong-willed and courageous person. At this point in his life, he had no idea if he would ever return to his beloved Germany, see his family again or where he might settle in America. The next seven years are a mystery. One can only speculate that Gustav probably entered the United States on the east coast, spent those first years developing himself in the new country and migrated across America to Illinois where he met his wife-to-be, Julia Ann Jones.
In 1860 Gustav W. Jorns or G. W. Jorns was operating as a Deguerreian in Rome (Dix), Jefferson Co. IL. Census records show he was living with his wife Julia Ann Jones Jorns in Mt. Vernon.
In the fall of 1862 Gustav moved and began the Gustavus W. Jorns Photography Gallery at 736 Broadway in Saint Louis, MO.
"Jorns, Gustavus W. Ambrotypist, photographer; active in St. Louis, 1863-65. In Dec 1863, photographer and ambrotypist Gustavus W. Jorns applied for an eight-month federal tax license in St. Louis for $10. He renewed the license in May 1864 for $15. St. Louis directories of 1863-65 listed his studio address as 736 Broadway". From Pioneer Photographers from the Mississippi to the Continental Divide, A Biographical Directory 1839-1865, by Peter E. Palmquist and T. R. Kailbourn, Stanford Univ. Press, 2005. Page364.
On 28 Sept 1864 he sold his Gallery at the NW corner of Franklin Ave. and 21st St. On 4 May 1865 he sold a portable photograph gallery also located at Franklin and 21st to Joseph Green for $750.
In the summer of 1865 Gustav moved his family to Chatham, Sangamon Co. IL. It is believed he opened a photo gallery at this time.
In 1866 he moved to Girard, Macoupin Co. IL where he was reported to be the first photographer in the area. The centennial pamphlet of Girard names him as their earliest photographer recorded in 1867.
In 1872 Gustav moved to Springfield, Sangamon Co. IL where he opened a photo gallery on the square in downtown Springfield.
Gustav and Julia Ann Jones were divorced 30 September 1872 in Sangamon Co., IL. Julia and their children. Frederick "Fred" William Jorns, Emma Elizabeth Jorns (Burtis), Albert "Al" Jorns, Augusta Amelia Jorns (McInnes), and Hanson Jorns moved west where they settled in Oklahoma and Texas.
Gustav married "Helene" Auguste Elise Wilhelmine Hesse, 6 April 1882, in Osterode am Harz, Germany. They had on son, Gustav Emil Heinrich "Gustav Henry" Jorns. She died from tuberculosis in 1885. On 6 January 1894, Gustav married a third time, Wilhelmine/ Wilhelmina "Minnie" Schaffer.
He died in Springfield, January of 1900.
- Written by Bob Carlisle, 8 April 2008 ---- Submitted to Genealogy Trails by Jim and Marca Lee McInnes Murray by permission of Bob Carlisle.


©Genealogy Trails