While I was looking for a birthday, a death or an anniversary that happened on this day in the past, I really had several stories from which to choose. However, one of them is a story that I just cannot resist, even though it may be the one with which I am the least familiar.
On February 12, 1861, Rev. Theodore Gruber united two couples in marriage at Peace Lutheran Church in Friedenberg, Missouri. One of the couples consisted of Johann Bergmann and Salome Hoehn, and the other couple was Valentin Hoehn and Margaret Bergmann. Johann and Margaret were brother and sister, and Salome and Valentine were brother and sister. You tell me. How can I resist a story of a double wedding with brother and sister marries sister and brother two days before Valentine’s Day with one of the grooms being named Valentine.
This Bergmann family arrived in New York aboard the Plato in 1840. Here we find them on the passenger list for the Plato.
You can see that Margaret arrived at the age of three and Johann at the age of one. The Hoehn family began arriving in 1847. There seems to be some indication that this family did not come all at once to America. I have been unable to find a passenger list for members of this family. You have to be careful in looking at Bergmanns and Hoehns when researching Perry County families because in both cases, there were at least two different families with these last names. In fact, I have run across at least one case of a Bergmann marrying a Bergmann, and at least one case of a Hoehn marrying a Hoehn. In today’s story though, we have two Bergmanns from the same family and two Hoehns from the same family.
Here are the marriage records of these two couples.
The parents of the Bergmanns were Ferdinand and Barbara (Billhorn) Bergmann. Ferdinand is credited in the history of the Friedenberg congregation as being the “patriarch” of Peace Lutheran Church. The parents of the Hoehns were Adam and Anna Marie (Wolff) Hoehn. The only photo I have of any of these four parents is that of Barbara Bergmann.
I also have a photo of the pastor who performed the ceremony, Rev. Theodore Gruber, who also happened to be the son of Rev. Carl Gruber, the first pastor of the Uniontown church.
Both Valentine Hoehn and Johann Bergmann were farmers in the area around the Friedenberg church. It is reported that Valentine Hoehn sold some property in Menfro, Missouri to Frederick Moldenhauer which was then used for the Moldenhauer Alfalfa Mill.
If I calculated correctly, between these two couples, there were twenty children. All of these children would have called Adam and Anna Marie Hoehn and Frederick and Barbara Bergmann their Grandma and Grandpa. I also figure that Johann and Valentine would have never forgotten their anniversary date. They would either remember it was close to Valentine’s Day or Salome and Margaret would have dropped plenty of hints about both an anniversary and Valentine’s Day.