I want to address a few matters that need attention today and add a few items of interest. I will start by taking care of a few necessary corrections.
First of all, in the recent post titled, Flummoxed by a Family, the following photo was published.
I identified this bride and groom as Martin and Caroline Stueve. Diane Anderson, who I consider a very reliable source concerning the Stueve family, has informed me that this is incorrect. It is actually the wedding photo of Paul Stueve and Lena Leimer. Paul was Martin’s brother.
A second correction must be made concerning a photo which was part of the post, Got California Milk? NO! A person was misidentified in this photo:
I identified the second person from the right as Larry Leimbach. I have heard from several sources now that this gentleman’s name was Leroy Leimbach. However, I still am unaware of what happened to him after this photo was taken.
I want the readers of this blog to know that I really want to be as accurate as possible when writing these posts, so I welcome it when people let me know when mistakes are made. I have lived in Perry County for a relatively short period of time, and although I have roots to this area, I by no means consider myself to be an expert on the history of East Perry County. Each day, I am learning a new story, and sometimes I make mistakes.
Now for a complement to yesterday’s story about Fred and Agnes Groh. Sharon Hays, a granddaughter of Fred “Fritz” and Agnes, shared this photo on our Facebook page. It is a wonderful photo, and I think it ought to be shared here on our website as well.
This photo was likely taken about 1910. It shows Fritz and Agnes standing to the right, along with young Carl Friedrich, who looks like he may be sitting on a wooden rocking horse. Sitting on the porch is the patriarch of the Altenburg Groh family, Christian Carl Groh. He would die in 1912, so this picture had to be taken before then. I was just asking Gerard Fiehler yesterday morning if he thought this house was already built by 1910. This photo answers that question.
At our congregation, Trinity Lutheran Church here in Altenburg, we had Confirmation questioning this morning. That is that dreaded rite of passage by which our confirmands have to endure what I’m sure many of them consider an inquisition in front of the congregation to prove their worthiness for confirmation. It is a demonstration of the fact that our congregation, along with many other congregations which are part of the Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod, considers it important that their members are familiar with the church’s beliefs. After what usually consists of two years of catechism instruction and surviving the questioning, one is then ready to be confirmed. Most congregations in the Perry County area conduct Confirmation on Palm Sunday. Questioning is usually the Sunday before that.
When I am looking for a story to write for this blog, I often go to our German Family Tree, which is a Microsoft Word document. I do a search for a particular date, looking for an interesting event. I usually settle on a birthday or wedding anniversary. Lately, such a search has been slowed down because I have to skip over so many dates which indicate a confirmation. We are indeed in the confirmation season.
I decided to look for confirmations that took place on April 2nd. Here is what I found. There were three dates which popped up frequently. They were April 2nd in the years 1871, 1882, and 1888. In the year 1871, April 2 was indeed Palm Sunday, but the only congregation that recorded confirmations in that year was Immanuel Lutheran Church in Altenburg. Palm Sunday was also on April 2 in 1882. I found confirmation records for Grace Lutheran Church in Uniontown, Concordia Lutheran Church in Frohna, and Immanuel Lutheran Church in New Wells. All of those classes had around fifteen members. Interestingly, both churches in Altenburg did not record confirmations on April 2nd that year. The missing Trinity confirmation records are understandable. That would be part of what we at the museum call the “Koestering Hole”. Rev. Koestering’s records are minimal.
The 1888 confirmations are interesting. The only congregation recording confirmations that year was Immanuel in New Wells, and April 2 was not a Palm Sunday. In fact, it was not even a Sunday. These confirmations took place on an Easter Monday.
Pastors are usually responsible for keeping the church records. Some of them were more reliable than others in this task. Confirmations were not recorded by some pastors. Some pastors seem to record confirmations, but did not indicate the dates when they occurred. I do know that today’s pastors often use a person’s confirmation verse as the basis for their funeral sermon. Those Bible verses are not always recorded, or they are hard to read.
In our museum, we have a binder full of confirmation photos which were taken during the years when Rev. Adolph Vogel was pastor at Trinity. Here is the first one included in that binder which was taken in 1918.
I leave you today with a photo of my confirmation class. It took place in St. Louis at St. Jacobi Lutheran Church, which no longer exists. However, back in 1964, this class consisted of almost 30 confirmands.