Today’s blog was written by Clayton Erdmann, the fifth grade teacher at Immanuel Lutheran Church in Olivette, Missouri. We thank him for his support of our museum and his contributions to this blog.
On this date, in 1861, my great great grandfather, Judge Heinrich (Henry) Ochs, Jr. was born near Friedenberg, Missouri.
A few things need to be established before more details of Henry’s life can be shared. First, Friedenberg was not part of the Saxon settlement, but it was a German settlement established by Bavarian Lutherans in Perry County, MO. In fact, some of the earliest Bavarian families to settle in the area of Friedenberg, emigrated in 1838 just before the Saxons arrived. Starting in 1840, the Bavarian Lutherans, were spiritually cared for by the pastor at Grace Lutheran Church in Paitzdorf(Uniontown).
In 1844, a church was organized and in 1846 the first church building was erected in the valley of Cinque Homme Creek, about a mile north of what would become the church’s cemetery. In 1852 a second church building was built in a settlement they called Frankenburg. This is the site of the congregation’s cemetery. However, in 1885, a new brick church was built in Friedenberg.
The name of the Bavarian’s church was Peace Evangelical Lutheran Church. It seems a very fitting name, as frieden in German means peace. Peace Evangelical Lutheran Church was the mother congregation for several other Lutheran congregations that would later be organized; including Zion Lutheran Church in Longtown and Immanuel Lutheran Church in Perryville. Peace Evangelical Lutheran Church disbanded in 1980 due to declining membership.
The church building and grounds were deeded to Concordia Historical Institute(CHI) in 1981. CHI and the Friedenberg Lutheran Historical Society continue to cooperate to utilize and maintain the property.
Henry was born into a Bavarian Lutheran family. The Ochs family had come from the Bavarian town of Langenstadt. It was Henry’s grandparents, John “Conrad” Ochs and Catherine Kaiser, who had immigrated to the United States. Although, I don’t know what year they immigrated, they were in Perry County by February 13, 1840, because Conrad purchased land on that date from J. Burns.
With the name Henry Ochs, Jr., you would expect that Henry’s father was also named Henry. However, that isn’t the case. Actually, his name has been somewhat of a mystery to me. Henry’s father was Michael Ochs and his mother was Magdalena Meyer; so why did he go by Jr.? What further confuses this topic, is that Henry also had a son, Henry; but his son went by Henry G. or Heinie Ochs. At first, my instinct was to think that the Jr. must have been recorded by mistake. However, after much research, I am confident that Henry did indeed go by Jr. and that this was not just a typo in a couple documents. I also believe that he chose to go by Jr., because he had an uncle, Henry Ochs, and this helped the two Henry’s maintain their identity.
In 1887, Henry, Jr. married Josephine Rauh. She was the daughter of John Friedrich Rauh and Margaret Lang. Josephine was also of Bavarian descent and was born and raised near Friedenberg. They had 5 daughters and 4 sons.
Henry and Josephine’s wedding photo.
The four oldest children of Henry and Josephine.
The Henry, Jr. and Josephine Ochs Family around 1906.
Sadly, Josephine died in 1907 leaving Henry a widower for over 31 years.
Henry lived his entire life near the Friedenberg community. He was a successful farmer and politician. He was a staunch Republican and served as a Judge in Perry County. He also represented Perry County in the Missouri House of Representatives in the 56th General Assembly(1931-1932).
Henry Ochs, Jr. is on the far right.
This poster hangs in the Missouri State Capitol Building.
Judge Henry Ochs, Jr.
Henry Ochs, Jr. with his adult children.
Henry, Jr. died on October 4, 1938 due to complications following appendicitis. He is buried in the Peace Evangelical Lutheran Cemetery.
One final note is that the land used for the Peace Lutheran Cemetery was donated by Henry Ochs, Jr.’s grandfather, John “Conrad” Ochs.
Here is a link to a map that highlights some of the places described in this blog post. https://goo.gl/iITtKW
Some information was taken from the book: Friedenberg Remembrances: A Story of Peace, Faith, and Life.: Lineage, 1998. Print.