Frederick Christian Meinung


Born: January 11, 1782
Death: September 7, 1851

Frederick Christian Meinung was a surveyor in Salem, North Carolina in the late 18th and early 19th century.

Frederick was put into school at the age of four. He was accepted into the Boys’ Choir at age twelve along with Heinrich Steiner, Jacob Blum, and Johann Reuz. Upon his admittance he was recognized by the Collegium as the best adapted for bookkeeping and surveying. In 1796 he was recommended to learn his father’s business due to the necessity of having someone to survey the land and keep the books.

In 1799 he was working with his father in the surveying business. The Collegium noted that he was still continuing his schooling while working with his father. He also worked with the church as a organ player on Sundays for the weekly service.

A list from 1803 shows that Frederick was being paid one and a half shillings per sheet while copying the reports for the church, bookkeeping for 20 pounds every year, as well as getting paid for surveying and making gravestones on the side. Frederick was also a prolific music writer for the church writing several odes and songs for worship.

During the last years of the eighteenth century and the first years of the nineteenth century the town continued its ambitious building program. The Boys’ School in 1794, the Vorsteher’s House in 1797, and Home Moravian Church were erected under the supervision of Frederick William Marshall, who during this time taught the young Frederick Christian Meinung the art of drawing and architecture so that he would be able to carry on that part of the work upon Marshall’s passing. Marshall passed in 1802 and Meinung quickly rose to be a building supervisor and designer.

1804 saw Meinung drafting the plans for buildings at the back of the Gemeinhaus. These plans included a wash house which would share a roof with the woodshed and toilets. On the 23rd of February 1804 Meinung is reported to have given over the plans for the Girls Boarding School and was asked to aid in the building of the school as well.

In 1806 he was responsible with the Helfer Conference to superintend the staking of the place where the church was to be built. In 1807 he was selected as the master of construction for the sheds at the Single Sisters House. In 1808 he was appointed the roadmaster of Salem, tasked with maintaining the roads leading to and from the town.

In 1808 Frederick Meinung married Sr. Johanna Elisabeth Praezel who taught at the Boarding School. This was the first marriage of two persons who had been born in Salem.

Sometime in the 1810’s Meinung switched his profession to the wheelwright trade. Here he trained his son in turning. His life continued much like his father as a bookkeeper and surveyor. In 1810 he surveyed and drew a large map of the Wachovia Tract showing the area in great detail. He also was in charge of deeds and land measurement as well during this period. Three of his best known maps were drawn towards the end of his life. An updated map of the Wachovia Tract was drawn in 1846 by his hand. Meinung also illustrated Stokes and Forsyth Counties in 1848 showing the new split and landscape. He also drew an updated map of the Bethabara Town lot in 1850, this was probably the final map drawn by Meinung as he passed soon after in 1851.