Reformation Vows

I have found that when I am researching for these posts, I will often be tempted to go down several rabbit holes.  I cannot go as far down these holes as I might want to because I simply do not have the time.  So I just start down some paths just to find out minimal information for these posts.  I started down several paths while putting together this post.  Maybe someday I will return to these paths and come up with more stories.  Or maybe you might be inspired to go down those paths to do some extra research.  If you do, please tell us what you find.

As a dyed-in-the-wool Lutheran, I would not expect to find too many marriages taking place on Reformation Day.  However, we do find one that is tied to the descendants of the Saxon immigration of 1839.  On October 31, 1937, Edwin Hemman was united in marriage to Vida Davis in Jackson, Missouri.

Hemmann/Davis marriage license


What amazes me is that October 31st in 1937 was on a Sunday.  So I figure that a rousing Reformation Day service must have taken place on that Sunday morning, and later in the day, the pastor was conducting a marriage ceremony (followed by an evening of Halloween festivities).  Do you think they had a reception after this wedding with people in costume?  Just imagine that for a minute.

Edwin had been married previously to Florence Zwosta.  That marriage took place in 1926.

Hemmann/Zwosta marriage license

Both of these marriage licenses list Rev. W.G. Langehennig as the pastor.  During this time period, he was the pastor at St. Paul’s Lutheran Church in Jackson.  On Sunday, February 23, 1908, a new church edifice for that congregation was dedicated by their pastor, Rev. W.G. Langehennig.


When Florence died, she was buried in the Zion Lutheran Cemetery in Pocahontas, Missouri.  Edwin and his second wife, Zida, are buried together in the Russell Heights Cemetery in Jackson.


Follow the Firstborn Sons

Another interesting tidbit in this story comes if you follow the Hemmann family tree back to its Perry County beginnings.  The patriarch of the Hemmann family was J.G. Hemmann.  When he came to America, he brought several children.  The oldest son in that family was Wilhelm Hemmann.  He was 19 years old when he got to Perry County.  Wilhelm’s oldest son was Ernst Wilhelm Hemmann.  Ernst Wilhelm’s oldest son was the Edwin Hemmann who is highlighted in this post.  Edwin had a few children, but they were all girls, so this string of firstborn sons comes to an end here.

We haven’t mentioned Vida’s family.  As it sounds, Vida Davis does not appear to be a German name, and it’s not.  Vida’s family lived in Bollinger County… the Cripple Creek Township…..and her father was Columbus Napoleon Davis.  Now there’s the kind of name you don’t hear much around East Perry County.

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