Mama Lochner

Lately, my story ideas begin with a search for an event that took place on a certain day, and morph into a different story.  Today will be another of those.  We have a birthday boy by the name of Friedrich Wilhelm Schuricht, who was one of the original immigrants arriving in St. Louis in early 1839.  When he arrived, he was described as a 23 year old weaver.  One year after his arrival, he married Rosina Lorenz, who had traveled to America on the same ship as Friedrich.

Schuricht/Lorenz marriage record

This was one of few marriages performed by Otto Herman Walther because he died in January of 1841.  Just because it has a connection to the story I’m going to tell, I will mention that Rev. Walther’s wife was Agnes (Buenger) Walther.

Friedrich Wilhelm Schuricht

It was when I found the 1860 census record for the Schuricht family that I decided to tell a different story.

1860 census

Friedrich is now a druggist, the couple has one daughter, but we also find the name of Barbara Lochner, who is called a servant.  She is the mother described in the title of this post.

I have been wanting to tell this story for a while because it is one that includes three of my favorite families….the Lochners, the Loebers, and the Buengers.  To begin the story, I have to go back to the 1840’s again.

On June 1, 1846, Rev. Friedrich Lochner married Lydia Buenger.  The pastor who married them in St. Louis was Rev. C.F.W. Walther, whose wife was Lydia’s sister, Emilie.  The Agnes mentioned earlier as Rev. Otto Herman Walther’s wife was another Buenger sister.  This Friedrich Lochner was also the son of Barbara Lochner.

If we skip to 1848, we find the Lochners were living in Pleasant Ridge, Illinois (near Collinsville), and Lydia had just given birth to a daughter in February.  Sadly, about one month later, Lydia died, leaving Friedrich as a widower with a very young baby.  It was during this time that Rev. Lochner wrote a letter to his parents in Germany.  He asked if his younger sister, Marie Lochner, could be sent to America to help him with this baby.  His parents agreed and Marie was put on a ship heading to New York.  However, the baby died in June, so by the time Marie arrived, her reason to join her brother in Illinois was no longer there.

When arriving in New York, she briefly stayed with the Theodore Brohm family.  Theodore was one of the builders of the Log Cabin College in Perry County, but now was a pastor in New York City.  Marie’s next stop was in Ft. Wayne, Indiana, where by this time, there was a Lutheran college.  She became a maid for Rev. William Sihler, a professor at the college.  Rev. Sihler had been the matchmaker who brought Friedrich Lochner and Lydia Buenger together.

While in Ft. Wayne, young Marie caught the eye of August Wolter, another professor there.  It was apparently love at first sight, and it was not long before August wanted to propose marriage.  He went to Professor Sihler and asked his advice.  He was told he should wait until she was a little older.  August had a desire to bring Marie’s parents, Friedrich Gottlieb Carl and Barbara Lochner, to America, and he wrote to them, offering to pay for their passage to this country.  August did not wait long, and he did ask Marie if she would marry him.  She agreed.  However, here another tragic event occurs in the Lochner family.  While the Lochners were traveling across the Atlantic, August got sick and died.

The Lochners picked up Marie and went to Pleasant Ridge, Illinois to be with their son, who by this time had remarried.  His new bride was Maria Amalia Boehme who was from Perry County.  It was not long after they arrived there that yet another tragedy occurred.  The father of this family died in January of 1850, leaving Barbara a widow at the age of 47.  Before the end of 1850, we find the remaining Lochners, except for Rev. Lochner, living in St. Louis.

Here is the census showing Barbara living with a four-year old daughter who came with them to America whose name was Louise Babette.

1850 census – St. Louis, MO

I cannot fathom completely how this mother was grieving at this point in her life.  She had just lost her husband, a daughter-in-law, and a granddaughter.  But what about Marie?  Well, she was also living in St. Louis, but we find her living under the same roof as Rev. C.F.W. Walther and a whole bunch of students who were attending the new Concordia Seminary which had been moved from Altenburg to St. Louis at the end of 1849 and had moved into a new building in 1850.  It has been recorded in family histories that Marie was a maid for the Walthers at this time.

1850 census – St. Louis, MO

Rev. Walther was listed on the previous page in this census.  Some other interesting names are included on this.  Some of them have been subjects of previous posts.  Jacob Goenner had been a teacher at the Seminary in Altenburg.  Martin Stephan, Jr. is on the list, as well as one of Rev. Gruber’s sons from Uniontown.  Although the spelling is wrong here, you find Gotthilf Loeber’s name too.  Marie would marry Gotthilf’s brother, Christoph Loeber, in 1852, and this couple would live in Frohna until 1862.

This gets us to that time when Barbara Lochner was living with the Schurichts in St. Louis in 1860.  One thing you may notice is that Louise Babette Lochner is no longer living with her mother.  By 1860, she would have been 14 or 15 years old.  We find her living in Frohna, Missouri with her sister and brother-in-law.

1860 census – Frohna, MO

I have this sneaking suspicion that Louise moved back to St. Louis when the Loebers moved to Chicago in 1862.  I am guessing that is where she became acquainted with a Seminarian by the name of Eduard Georgii because in 1865, these two were married in Wisconsin where he was a pastor.

When I attempt to create scenarios in my mind that would cause a 14 year old to move into a small parsonage in Frohna instead of a house in St. Louis, most of those situations are ones which involve more hardship for Barbara Lochner.  However, I suppose it is possible that Louise could have been asked by the Loebers to come down to help with the Loeber children.  They had four children under the age of seven.  Keep in mind that these are also Barbara’s grandchildren.

The Loebers did not stay in Chicago long, but it was long enough to add to their number of children.  By the time of the 1870 census, we see that there are seven children in the Loeber household, and lo, and behold, we find Barbara Lochner who is now shown as being 67 years old.  It appears that now Grandma is getting to spend a lot of time with plenty of her grandchildren.

1870 census – Milwaukee, WI

Also, by 1851, we know that Rev. Friedrich Lochner was no longer in Pleasant Ridge, Illinois.  He took a call to be pastor in Milwaukee, Wisconsin.  So Barbara has two children in Milwaukee, and we know that the Georgii family is also not very far away, also in Wisconsin.  All of these families had plenty of kids, so Grandma was near a whole lot of grandchildren.  Thiis must have been a happier time in her life.

Rev. Friedrich Lochner moved to Springfield, Illinois in the middle of the 1870’s.  His second wife died there in 1876.  The 1880 census shows the following:

1880 census – Springfield, IL

We see no children living with their father, and no wife.  But once again, we see Barbara Lochner, and she is living in still another household.  In 1881, Friedrich would once again marry, this time to Maria von Haugwitz.  She would give birth to four more children, two of which died very early.

Barbara Lochner would die in 1885.  She is buried in a cemetery in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, so it appears that by the time of her death, she was back in that city.  We do know that Rev. Lochner returned to Milwaukee around that time, too.

Barbara Lochner lived quite a life.  Not much time was spent in any one place, but she was always near family, except for that time around 1860 where she was living in the Scuricht house.  Barbara’s birthday was February 4th.  Maybe each year she spent in that household, the Schurichts would celebrate Friedrich Wilhelm and Barbara’s birthdays together.

I have already written Mama Buenger, a piece of historical fiction about the matriarch of the Buenger family.  Maybe someone should write a similar book about Mama Lochner.  It is a fascinating tale.

****One more note:  Another event took place on February 6th that is tied to the Lochner family.  In 1945, Martin Lochner, the 61 year old son of Friedrich and Maria (von Haugwitz) Lochner and professor at Concordia Teachers College in River Forest, Illinois, died of a heart attack on his way to play the organ for a pastor’s conference that was taking place at First St. Paul’s Lutheran Church in downtown Chicago.  That church is also the birthplace of the Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod.

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