President Buenger (1893-1927)

Theodore Buenger
Theodore Buenger

Theodore Heinrich Carl Buenger was born on April 29, 1860 in Chicago, Illinois.  His parents, Theodore Ernst and Martha (Loeber) Buenger, were married twelve years earlier in Altenburg, with Martha’s father, Rev. Gotthold Loeber, officiating the wedding.  Theodore Ernst was a teacher and principal at Immanuel First Lutheran School in Chicago.  Young Theodore became a pastor, and between 1882 and 1884, he was a missionary in Northwest Wisconsin, serving 29 mission stations.  From 1884-1892, he served two congregations in the Chicago area.  It was there that he met his wife, Ottilie Meier.  He was then called to become a professor and first president of Concordia College in St. Paul, Minnesota.

If you try to use Ancestry.com to find information about Theodore Buenger, you will always find that people list his place of death as St. Paul, Minnesota.  I am sure this is the case because that is where he is buried.  However, we ran across this little item in the September 28 issue of the Lutheran Witness.

EPSON MFP image

Dr. Buenger’s body was apparently brought back to St. Paul because he is buried in the same cemetery as his wife who had died in 1935.  That is the first mystery today.  Why was an 83 year-old Dr. Buenger in Portland, Oregon in 1943.

Here is another mystery.  Below is a portion of a passenger list for a ship named President Wilson that traveled from New York City to Los Angeles in 1936.

Theodore Buenger passenger list 1936

Why would Theodore Buenger, a resident of Minnesota, travel to New York City to get on a ship, make a voyage (probably through the Panama Canal) to Los Angeles one year after his wife’s death?

If anyone knows the answers to these questions, please contact us either by commenting here or by emailing us at research@lutheranmuseum.com.


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