An extremely unusual event occurred at Trinity Lutheran Church in Altenburg on this day, April 14, in 1864, one hundred fifty-two years ago. Since the new church in Altenburg was not built until 1867, this event took place in the 1845 church which still serves as a gallery in our museum. The event was a triple wedding. Three couples were united in marriage by Rev. Koestering on that day. And not only were there three couples married, two brides and one groom were from the same Kramer family. The photo above shows the marriage licenses of the three couples as they were recorded on the same page. April 14, 1864, was a Thursday.
Below, you can see these three weddings as they were recorded in the Trinity church records:
Here is a brief description of each couple:
Bride: Maria Kramer Groom: Heinrich Jacob
- Father of the Bride: Gottlieb Kramer (deceased) Mother of the Bride:
- Mother of the Bride: Rosine (Sittner) (Kramer) Hellwege
- Step-father of the Bride: Johann Dietrich Hellwege
- Father of the Groom: Michael Jacob (from Uniontown) (deceased)
- Mother of the Groom: Mary (Hopfer) (Jacob) Hoffman
- Step-father of the Groom: Gottfried Hoffman
Groom: Johannes Kramer Bride: Magdalene Bergt
- Groom: same parents as above
- Father of the Bride: Christian Adolf Bergt (from Frohna….this family is the one that resided at what is now Saxon Lutheran Memorial.)
- Mother of the Bride: Louise (Voelker) Bergt
Bride: Sarah Elisabeth Kramer Groom: George Michael Beyer
- Bride: same parents as above
- Grooms parents were likely still in Germany (Bavaria)
- Groom’s brother, J.P. Beyer, was the previous pastor of Trinity, Altenburg and had just left the year before this wedding, and was replaced by Rev. Koestering.
Heinrich Jacob was a carpenter in Perry County. Johannes Kramer was a farmer in Perry County. George Michael Beyer was a teacher at Trinity Lutheran School in Altenburg for 43 years. Maria (Kramer) Jacob lived only 9 years after this marriage and died in childbirth.
What an incredible day this must have been! Families must have been present from Altenburg, Frohna, and Uniontown. It was a spring day, and if it was like the day we are having in Perry County today, spring flowers, dogwoods, and red bud trees must have been blooming. One wonders whether Teacher Beyer’s brother was able to travel back to his previous congregation from his new home in Chicago. Many of Teacher Beyer’s students may have been in attendance. Maybe the children in his class were even able to form a choir to sing a song for their teacher’s special day.
Can you imagine three couples in this day and age agreeing on getting married on the same day?
A couple items of note:
- Recently, several cousins from this Kramer family visited our museum and were enthralled by the fact that they were standing in the same location as this triple wedding while they visited our building.
- When this event took place, the Civil War was nearing its end. Exactly one year later in Washington, D.C., President Abraham Lincoln was assassinated.
Three weddings in one family. Three in One. What better event could there be to take place in church called Trinity? (Except it wasn’t called Trinity yet, but that is a story for another day.)