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Lemp Impostor Exposed

Near-North-Side-037

I wanted to warn my readers that there is a man that had been going around claiming to be a member of the Lemp family, and was even making some modest money off of his reputed identity. Myself and many other professional historians in St. Louis had known for several years of his fraud, but we lacked the unified narrative that Jeannette Cooperman so masterfully wove together between all of the different people who had interacted with him. Read the results of her research and interviews in her article, “The Last Lemp” at St. Louis Magazine here.

16 Comments

  1. Hi, Chris. Thanks for spreading the word about Andrew Paulsen and his fraud. As the author of a book about this family (Lemp: The Haunting History), I have been very interested in this story, and have been involved to some extent for the past two years. I have even been attacked by Paulsen via social media for agreeing with the actual Lemp descendant in New York who first exposed him. Now if we can just figure out how to squelch the ever-persistent rumors of the “Monkey Boy.”

    • Good to hear from you, Stephen. For my readers interested in learning more about the Lemp family, “Lemp: The Haunting History” is the best resource out there, and I highly recommend it. I believe a new edition is coming out soon?

      • 5 years later he has found a new family the “Woolworths” He is now on FB with a new name and claims to be a member of that family. A friend and I knew he was a fraud from the beginning his stories didn’t quite add up. I think he accquired items from Mary Donahue who was married to Woolworth Donahue and lived in Illinois, and recently passed away.

          • He is a little more evasive this time around. He comes up with some interesting tales, and the only people he is hurting are on FB that I know of. I think maybe he learned his lesson with the Lemp fiasco. Thanks for confirming our suspicions.

          • Well, and these new shenanigans with the Woolworth family show that his previous schemes with the Lemps were not delusions of a troubled young man but premeditated fraud perpetrated by a conman.

        • He’s now Andrew Deville and living in Springfield IL – you can find him on Facebook

          • Thanks for letting us know his new name. Please keep everyone up to date on any cons that he’s engaged in.

          • I “met” Andrew on fb as well. He’s allegedly the grandson of Woolworth Donahue. I’m a bit of a history buff…and tried piecing together his family tree. Of course, he uses the story of his father being illegitimate. He prominently displays an old trunk with “his Woolworth ancestor’s” monograms. I believe he has to have a certain amount of mental illness to create these illusions of grandeur?

          • His Facebook name is ANDREW DEVILLE but he is using the name ANDREW DONAHUE, supposedly the great-great-grandson of F. W. Woolworth through Jesse Woolworth Donahue, as he scams the good people of Springfiled, IL, in much the same way and with some of the same stories he told in St. Louis!!! And, he has hurt far more than just the Facebook crowd!

      • I cannot believe this, but I know this individual personally, and knew him prior to the “Lemp” lunacy. He attended Greenville College with my older sister years ago. They were friends and he and I subsequently became friends. Unfortunately, he’s always held to outlandish claims. Back then, he was purportedly an heir to the Wrigley Gum “fortune.” He’d even accompanied several of my friends and I on a road trip to Chicago on one occasion. We all knew his claims weren’t accurate/valid, but chalked it up to him possessing delusions of grandeur or possibly wishing he had a different, more glamorous life/background. If I remember correctly, he first attended Greenville College (Greenville, IL) but then subsequently transferred to a state university (possibly) near Peoria. This would have been around 2006/2007.

        • He has since dissapeared from Facebook, but still lives in Springfield,, Illinois.

    • Greetings Stephen,
      I recently met with Chris Naffziger and learned so much about the Lemp family. My wife (Not an impersonator) is the Great Grandaughter of Katheryn Handlan Trautz. Her sister was Lillian Handlan Lemp. Katheryn Handlan Buder was her grandmother and as far as we know the only non blood member of the Lemp family mentioned in the Will & Trust. We believe Katheryn spent time living with William and Lillian as her mother had marital problems and her daughter was passed around a bit as a child. If there is any information you might share it would be deeply appreciated.
      Tim

  2. I did publish a second edition a few years ago, with updates to some of the information, some new family photos, and new ghost stories. I’m not planning any major revisions in the foreseeable future. However, I do have another book in the works, which will be a compilation of ghost stories.

  3. Chris – I saw your link to the article via FB – it was just fascinating! Thanks!
    Paulsen’s efforts seem to be a lot of work for what seems like modest returns – and of interest to mainly StL residents.

  4. I’ve been intrigued by the Lemp family ever since I can remember. My love of all things Lemp turned me into a fool. I was this man’s friend on Facebook for over 2 years and fell hook, line, and sinker for his lies. Came awfully close to meeting him in person…so thankful I didn’t. He is apparently rather deranged.

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