Teacher Asche accepted a call to Trinity Lutheran School in Altenburg in 1884. His daughter, Marie Caroline, tells the tale of her family taking a train ride from Brooklyn, New York, where her father had been a teacher, to Grand Tower, Illinois. There they had to travel across the Mississippi River in a little skiff that was used to carry the mail across the river. Two elders, Mr. Weinhold and Mr. Estel, met the family when they landed in Wittenberg. They were taken to Altenburg where they had dinner with Rev. Koestering and his family in the church parsonage.
As near as I can tell, Werner and Caroline (Brenneke) Asche came to Perry County with four children, three girls and a boy. Here are photos of the Asche parents.
We have some great school photos of a few of Teacher Asche’s classes. This first one was taken in front of the old school building that existed before the brick Kleine Schule was constructed.
This second one was taken later after the Kleine Schule had been constructed.
I love the expressions you see on some of the faces of the children.
As it turns out, Teacher Asche was only here for twelve years because he died in 1895. His wife would later marry Christian Theodosius Estel.
When you start digging into the stories of the four children of the Asches, you run into some difficulty. One of the first difficulties comes with pinning down the time of the wedding of Werner and Caroline. Goodspeed’s History of Southeast Missouri says that they were married in 1875. A New York marriage record has them getting married in 1884, right before moving to Altenburg. Which one is to be believed?
There’s another fly in the ointment. Werner’s oldest son, Gustave Asche’s tombstone says he was born in 1870, and the findagrave.com site says he was born in Germany. Trinity, Altenburg records say Gustave married Sarah Burkhardt in 1899. We can find census records showing him living in the St. Louis area. Those censuses state that Gustave was born in Germany and that he immigrated to America in 1877. That coincides with Goodspeed’s account of his father’s immigration in that year.
Here is another puzzling fact. The Trinity, Altenburg death record, if it is translated correctly, states that when Werner died, he was survived by a wife and four step-children. Then there is the fact that there is an Emma Rust that married Charles T. Grebing in the Trinity records, and an extra note saying that Emma was a step-daughter of Teacher Asche. Where does the name Rust come from? Goodspeed does mention a daughter of the Ashces by the name of Emma, but no reference to different last names.
The other two daughters are a little easier to follow, but I still have doubts about whether Caroline is the biological mother. Marie Caroline married Anton Mueller. She was his second wife. Martha married Rev. Christian Affeldt who spent most of his ministry in Minnesota.
I am going to publish this post, but many questions are not answered to my liking. Maybe someone in the blogosphere can help me.