Today we find out what happens when an orphan’s son marries a teacher’s daughter. On September 13, 1892, Martin Ernst Burroughs was born. Martin was the son of Frank and Maria (Schmidt) Burroughs. Frank and his brothers and sister have an interesting story.
If you are like me, you look at a name like Burroughs and think that it is not a German name. And it isn’t. The Burroughs family can be traced back to Peter Burroughs who served in the Virginia Militia during the War of 1812. His son, Robert lived in Tennessee and then Jackson County, Illinois. He served in the Civil War, was wounded, and later died from those wounds. Robert’s wife, Sarah Jane, remarried, but her second husband also died. After his death, Sarah Jane “orphaned out” her four children. These four children were taken into three families who lived in Wittenberg, Missouri. Frank was one of those four orphans. Wittenberg had gained for itself the reputation of being a community that welcomed orphans.
Frank was adopted by Gottfried and Hanna (Hinkelmann) Roediger. One of the first things that was done was to have Frank baptized.
Frank retained the Burroughs name. He would later marry Maria Schmidt in 1878. Their eighth child was Martin. Martin found a bride in Frohna, and it happened to be the daughter of a teacher at Concordia Lutheran School, Heinrich Johann Welp.
Her name was Eugenia Welp. Martin became a teacher too. His career was spent teaching and administering Lutheran schools. I know that he spent some time near Richmond, Indiana and Nodaway, Iowa. Both Martin and Eugenia are buried in Tucson, Arizona.
To sum up, once upon a time a child was adopted and became a part of a family in Wittenberg, Missouri. Then he was baptized and became part of God’s family and a citizen of heaven. One of his sons carried out the mission of telling his students about how God adopts people into his heavenly family. And to him and his father and his father-in-law, this must have had special meaning.