The photo shows a small group of people who visited our museum this past weekend. They were in town for their regular Richter Reunion, a gathering of descendants of Johann Christian Richter. This particular group of Richters were from Nebraska and Iowa. They are standing in front of some of the museum’s artifacts which came from St. Paul’s Lutheran Church in Wittenberg, where some of the history of their family took place. I am going to attempt to give you a few highlights of what I have found about this family.
This Richter family began its history in Perry County when Johann Christian Richter arrived in America aboard the Olbers. He came with his first wife, Johanna Sophia. However, his wife died shortly after arriving here. Johann Christian then married Johanna Christiana Theilig on July 12, 1840. Here is their marriage record from the Trinity, Altenburg church books.
Johann Christian died in 1848, but not before some children were born. One of those children was Ehregott Richter, who was born on April 4, 1841.
Ehregott married Elizabeth Hartung in 1863.
Ehregott was a charter member of St. Paul’s Lutheran Church in Wittenberg. Often, people do not realize that although Wittenberg was one of the original seven settlements in Perry County, it did not get its own independent church until 1902. Therefore, it is also the case that Wittenberg church records did not begin until that time. Prior to that time, Wittenberg residents had their family events recorded in the Trinity, Altenburg church books. Ehregott’s obituary highlights the fact that he was a charter member of St. Paul’s. He is also buried in the Wittenberg cemetery.
One of Ehregott and Elizabeth’s children was Martin Richter who was born on April 3, 1869, one day before his father’s birthday.
Martin married Ida Grebing on February 17, 1895. In the early 1900’s, Martin’s family moved to New Wells, Missouri.
They raised a family there, which included a son named Walter, who was born on December 17, 1908. His baptism record can be found in the Immanuel, New Wells church books. Walter became a Lutheran school teacher and was also a friend of my dad. I also had many occasions over the years to visit with Walter. All of the people who attended the recent Richter reunion were related to Walter. Walter wrote several books pertaining to Perry County, and we also have a few of his works of art on display at our museum. He almost made it to his 100th birthday.
While it was great to see the Richters who were here for their reunion, it was also sad to hear them talk about the possibility of it being their last one because of advancing age and declining attendance. We encourage other families to come to Perry County for family reunions. Our museum is a great gathering place, especially for families that have their roots here.