Happy Birthday, Ottomar

Today would have been the 206th birthday of Ottomar Fuerbringer.  He was born June 30, 1810 in an area of Germany called Reuss.  Ottomar’s chief claim to fame here in Perry County is the fact that he was one of the builders and also one of the first teachers of the Log Cabin College.  He, along with Johann Friedrich Buenger and Theodore Brohm, are given the credit for constructing the log cabin that housed what would eventually become Concordia Seminary.

Ottomar Fuerbringer
Rev. Ottomar Fuerbringer

Ottomar left Perry County very early.  In 1840, he accepted a call to become a minister in Venedy, Illinois, which is not that far from St. Louis. It was while he was there that he married Agnes (Buenger) Walther.  Agnes had been married to Rev. Otto Herman Walther, the first pastor of Old Trinity Lutheran Church in St. Louis.  Agnes was also the sister of Johann Friedrich Buenger.  Otto had died in 1841 at a very young age.  That couple had one son.  Ottomar traveled to St. Louis in October of 1842 to be married at Old Trinity by their next pastor, Otto’s brother, Rev. C.F.W. Walther.  Ottomar and Agnes would have five children of their own.

Rev. Fuerbringer was involved in the writing of the constitution for a new church synod which began in 1847.  That synod would later be named the Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod.  From 1851-1854, Ottomar served a dual parish in Freistadt and Kirchhayn, Wisconsin.  Then the Fuerbringers moved to Frankenmuth, Michigan, where Ottomar would spend the rest of his career.  He died in 1892, and is buried in the St. Lorenz Cemetery in Frankenmuth.

Ottomar Fuerbringer gravestone
Fuerbringer tombstone – Frankenmuth, MI

After Ottomar’s death in 1892, Agnes must have gone to St. Louis to live with her son, Ludwig, who was a professor at Concordia Seminary.  Her death record indicates that she died at 2619 Winnebago St. in St. Louis, which is located near Holy Cross Lutheran Church and Concordia Publishing House.  This was also the location of Concordia Seminary during that time period.  Agnes died in 1895.  Her body was transported to Frankenmuth to be buried with Ottomar.

Agnes Buenger death notice St. Louis
Agnes Fuerbringer death record – Missouri

Here is a photo of Agnes with three of her Buenger siblings.  I would love to know the story behind the picture.  I would like to know what event, if any, would have drawn these particular siblings together for this photograph.  Here’s my best hypothesis:  Emilie (Buenger) Walther (C.F.W.’s wife) died in 1885.  With her death, these four are the only living siblings in the Buenger family.  Maybe they gathered in St. Louis for the funeral and had this photo taken.

Buenger siblings
L to R: Agnes Fuerbringer, Ernst Eduard Buenger, Clementine Neumueller, Herman Buenger

4 thoughts on “Happy Birthday, Ottomar

  1. One other sibling, Theodore Ernst Buenger, married Martha Loeber; they were my great-great grandparents. They had a daughter, Martha Buenger, who married Ferdinand Sievers. I believe they lived in Hammond, Indiana; they had one child, Meta Sievers, who married Paul Hans Guelzow from Chicago (my grandparents). My mother, Martha Elva Guelzow Klaus, was one of their three children. My mother married Harold F. Klaus from Farrar, Missouri; they moved to Perryville when I was 12. Odd that my mother ended up in Perry County Missouri, the place where her ancestors had immigrated! Mother used to tell us story after story about her childhood and her relatives; she even wrote a little autobiography to capture her stories for us. She would have loved your blogs because they are just full of her family history. I have all of her genealogy files; I’ll share them with you sometime when I visit my brothers in Perryville and Cape.


    1. Some Klaus youngsters were in our museum several months ago and shared some written family history with us. I’m guessing they are close relatives of you.


    2. My husband, Roland Baars, is also a great great grandchild of Pastor Ferdinand and Carolina Sievers. Would like to make contact with you, K. R. McManus.


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