Before I delve into today’s post, let me tell you about how I got some unexpected help in my research for it. I am visiting some grandchildren this week, and my granddaughter Kaitlyn offered to help me. Kaitlyn has been bugging me for a few years because she thinks she should have been included in the “Acknowledgements” of my book, Mama Buenger. So now she wants to make sure she gets “acknowledged” if I write another book. I think I may have gotten her “hooked” onto Ancestry.com.
Today’s story starts with a wedding in Frohna. It took place on April 18, 1915. The bride was a Perry County girl by the name of Clara Bremer. She was the daughter of Heinrich and Margaretha (Meyer) (Hilpert) Bremer. In the 1900 census, we see this family shown as the “Von Bremers”. What is really interesting is the fact that the groom is shown as being from Jefferson Davis, Louisiana. His name was William Wedig, and the reason he is in Louisiana is because he was a Lutheran pastor there.
As we backtrack to look at the Wedig family, we find that even though the Wedig name was not one found in Perry County, there is another connection with this area. William Wedig was the son of John and Emilie (Pfau) (Blanken) Wedig. John was a farmer near Wentzville, Missouri. Emilie was born as Emilie Pfau in Germany and apparently married Hermann Blanken in 1872 when she was 18 years old. Here is that Missouri marriage record. We don’t find it in the church records here because it occurred during what we call the Koestering Hole when the marriage and death records of Trinity, Altenburg while Rev. Koestering was serving there are not to be found.
We find a Herman Blanken marrying Lina Gentsch in 1875. We also have Emilie Blanken marrying John Wedig in Wentzville, Missouri in 1886. This has all the looks of a divorce, but I have no documentation for that.
I must backtrack another generation for another interesting situation. Here is Emilie Pfau’s name on a passenger list when her family came to America in 1859 aboard the Magdalene.
You find Gottfried Pfau traveling with three children, including Emilie, and a woman by the name of Amalie Trummann. It is my guess that Gottfried had lost his wife and was coming to America with the woman he would marry when he got here. It is reported that in those days, it was easier to get married in the United States than it was in Germany. This family settled in Perry County and can be found in the 1870 census.
I have no idea how Emilie (Pfau) Blanken got connected to a farmer in St. Charles County. I also do not know how Clara Bremer connected with Rev. Wedig, although we do know he had Perry County roots through his mother.
In the 1910 census, we find William Wedig as a student at Concordia Seminary in St. Louis.
After their marriage in 1915, Clara moved to Jennings, Louisiana which is in Jefferson Davis Parish. William was the pastor of Immanuel Lutheran Church in that city. In the 1920 and 1930 censuses we find Pastor Wedig and Clara living in Pascagoula, Mississippi. Rev. Wedig was serving at Christ Lutheran Church. Here is a drawing of that church.
This congregation is now described as being the oldest active Lutheran congregation in the state of Mississippi. It was established in 1888. Pascagoula is located right on the Gulf of Mexico. While they were there, two hurricanes went through that area. Also, if they were there in 1916, they would have gone through a very bad hurricane in which ten people lost their lives.
In 1940, Rev. Wedig was pastor of a Lutheran church in Jackson, Mississippi. I was unable to find a time of death for William, but I think it was before 1967, when Clara died in New Orleans, Louisiana. I believe she was there living with her son, William F. Wedig, and most likely she was a widow. William F. Wedig followed in his father’s footsteps and became a Lutheran pastor. Here is a photo of Rev. Wm. F. Wedig with a confirmation class in 1954 at St. Paul Lutheran Church in New Orleans.
I found a story that said Rev. William F. Wedig was a speaker at the dedication of the new church in Milton, Florida in 1966. Since he performed this function, it would not surprise me if he was in some official position in the Southern District of the LCMS, possibly the District President.
I find it unusual that a pastor served his entire career in the South. That is not exactly a stronghold of Lutheranism. I admire the Wedig family for their dedication to bring the Gospel to people in this part of the country.