So Close, Yet So Far

Loebs Schmidt wedding photo
George and Magdalena Loebs

Today’s story is one that is personal for the Research Crew.  The couple shown above is connected to both the family of Warren Schmidt and the family of Gerard Fiehler.  On this day in 1868, the couple shown in the photo above was married.  George Loebs had recently become co-owner of a brewery in St. Louis very near to Holy Cross Lutheran Church and Concordia Seminary.  Magdalena Schmidt was the daughter of Joachim and Maria Schmidt from Altenburg.  It remains a mystery how these two managed to meet one another.

Here is where the story takes an unusual turn.  As you can see in the Missouri marriage record below, the wedding was conducted by a Rev. John, who happened to be the pastor of the Deutsche Evangelische St. Paul – Gemeinde.  That was a German church, but not a Lutheran church.

George Loebs Magdalena Schmidt marriage

I know Magdalena was a Lutheran.  Her father had been one of the original elders at Trinity Lutheran Church in Altenburg.  And there is every reason to believe that George was a Lutheran.  However, there was a problem.  Family stories tell that George was a member of the Odd Fellows Lodge, and that fact disqualified him from being married in a church which was part of the Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod.  Thus, he was married in a church which eventually became part of the United Church of Christ (UCC).

The couple had several children, and they were all baptized at Holy Cross Lutheran Church. One of his sons, Henry, (also Gerard Fiehler’s great grandfather), attended a high school which was conducted at Holy Cross.

George Loebs sold his part of the Cherokee Brewing Company in 1883.  He then purchased a small brewery, the Brenner Brewery, in Wittenberg, Missouri.  However, just two years later, he died in Wittenberg.

Here is where things get complicated again.  The fact that his funeral was held in the office of a man by the name of Adolph Weber in St. Louis indicates that once again, his membership in a lodge prevented George from getting a Lutheran burial in Perry County.  He is buried in St. Matthew’s Cemetery in St. Louis, now a non-denominational cemetery operated by a church which is part of the UCC.

A quick search of where places were located in St. Louis brought grins to the Research Crew, followed by the exclamation, “I’ll be!”

Trinity Soulard map

The location of the church where George and Magdalena were married is shown where the purple circle is in the above photo.  The church on the corner of S. 8th St. and Soulard St. is Historic Trinity Lutheran Church.

St. Matthew's Cemetery St. Louis

St. Matthew’s Cemetery, where George Loebs is buried, is shown in the photo above, not far from Concordia Cemetery, the place where members of both Historic Trinity and Holy Cross Lutheran Churches are buried.

So close, yet so far.

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