I am presently traveling in Minnesota and am away from our trusty museum research library. I decided to see if I could find a connection between Perry County and Minnesota. I had heard that Rev. Ernst Moritz Buerger, one of the original pastors who was part of the 1838-1839 immigration ended his career in Minnesota, so I thought I would look into it.
Rev. Buerger came to America aboard the Copernicus along with his wife and two children.
Pastor Buerger was the pastor in the Perry County settlement known as Seelitz. It was an area that saw much death in the early years of being in America. In 1840, Rev. Buerger lost a child and his wife, Johanna, in the process of childbirth. It was a very discouraging time in his life, and not much later, he left the area. The story I have heard is that he was going to go back to Germany, but some people in Buffalo, New York convinced him to remain and become their pastor. It was in Buffalo that he remarried. His second wife, Ernestine (Meissner) Buerger blessed Rev. Buerger with many children.
The Buerger family lived in Washington, D.C. during the Civil War years. Those years must have been very eventful for him and his family as a war swirled around that area. In 1869, he moved to St. John’s Lutheran Church in Hart, Minnesota in the southwest portion of that state.
He is buried in the Oak Grove Cemetery in Rushford, Minnesota.
At one time in his life, it appears that Ernst Moritz was suffering from depression. However, he apparently overcame this and was re-energized to continue his ministry among God’s people here in America.