Our story begins today with this baptism record for Auguste Amalie Elizabeth Weise on February 2, 1840. It is the first church record, along with the marriage record of J.G. Hemmann, in the books of Grace Lutheran Church in Paitzdorf (Uniontown).
Rev. C.F. Gruber indicates that this baptism took place on February 2nd, but he left the column for the date of birth blank. This is somewhat bothersome because future records concerning Amalia’s birthday are not consistent. Records found on Ancestry.com and Findagrave.com indicate that Amalia may have been born in 1840 or in 1842, and there are places where her date of birth is given as August 22nd in either of those years.
As near as I can tell, Amalia was the daughter of Johann Christian and Auguste (Niedner) Weise. This couple came to America aboard the Republik in 1838-1839 as part of the Gesellschaft. They brought four children, Hermann, Oscar, Adelheid and Moritz. Zion on the Mississippi indicates that this family left the immigration society before 1844, but this baptism record indicates that another child was born to this family and was baptized in Paitzdorf.
I managed to find Amalia living in Ironton, Missouri after she had grown up. It was there that she married Franz Dinger, who also arrived in America around 1840. Franz Dinger became an attorney and operated his practice in Ironton. Here is an advertisement for his services from the Iron County Register.
Franz Dinger became even more prominent in Ironton as he later became Judge Dinger, and even later Mayor Dinger. He also served as a captain in the Union Army during the Civil War.
We also find quite a bit of evidence that Franz was a member of a Masonic lodge. In fact, the story is told that he was captured by the Confederates during the war, but was later released because he knew a secret Masonic handshake.
Here is a photo of the Dinger house in Ironton.
Amalia and the family’s children were members of Immanuel Lutheran Church in Pilot Knob, Missouri, which is located just north of Ironton.
This church was started with the help of Rev. J.F. Buenger, who also helped build the Log Cabin College in Altenburg. He was a pastor in St. Louis, and in the 1850’s he heard there were several Lutherans in Pilot Knob that needed someone to perform services for them. He occasionally came down to preach and helped organize this congregation which began in 1861.
Because of his Masonic background, I am sure that Franz was not permitted to be a member of this church. When he died in 1894, Franz was buried in the Masonic Cemetery in Ironton. Amalia died in 1915, and her death record can be found in the Immanuel Lutheran Church books.
However, she is buried with her husband in the Masonic Cemetery. Findagrave indicates that her birthday was August 22, 1842, but the baptism record from Grace, Uniontown, seems to indicate that date is incorrect.
Is there anyone who can set us straight about these conflicting records?