A Hill of Peaceful Weddings

On this day in 1918, a wedding took place at Peace Lutheran Church in Friedenberg, Missouri, just outside Perryville.  The bride was Oneida Ochs; the groom was Carl Ferdinand Bergmann.

Oneida was the daughter of Adolf and Rosetta (Elbrecht) Ochs.  Carl Ferdinand was the son of Henry and Mary (Fassold) Bergmann.  They were married by Rev. J.A. Schoech.

Last  October, our museum hosted an immigration conference, and as  part of the program, we visited Peace Lutheran Church in Friedenberg.  Here is a photo of the interior of that church.


Here is the exterior of their 1885 church.

Hill of Peace

Architecturally, it is very similar to several other Perry County Lutheran churches.

Carl and Oneida lived on a farm not far away from the church.  I may be wrong, but I think this map may show the land owned by Carl.  It is not far from the village of Crosstown.

C. Bergmann land map

A short biography of Carl is given in the book of reconstructed Friedenberg records.  Their original records were destroyed.  In this biography, it says Carl was a member of their school board in 1940.  He was an elder at various times over the years.  He also was an alternate delegate to LCMS Synodical Conventions in 1955 and 1966.  Then it says he was the regular delegate to the Convention in 1972.  I would argue that this took place in 1973.  That was a very contentious convention which had to deal with the issues involving the walkout that took place at Concordia Seminary and the formation of the alternate seminary known as Seminex.


I really used Carl and Oneida’s marriage to lead into talking about another story.  This past weekend, another wedding took place at Peace Lutheran Church.  This church is no longer an active congregation, but it was used for this wedding anyway.  The bride was Hannah Wills.  What made this wedding special was the fact that it was the fifth consecutive generation of women in her family who were married at this church.  If you don’t just look at the maternal line of brides and include a marriage that took place in their previous church, it was the sixth straight generation of weddings from this family at the place where this congregation worshiped.

Clayton Erdmann

One of the relatives of Hannah Wills is Clayton Erdmann, who occasionally writes a guest post on this blog.  Clayton tells me that this maternal line of brides includes Hannah’s mother, LaDonna Kasten Wills.  Her grandmother was Betty Hoehn Kasten.   The great grandmother was Alma Ochs Hoehn.  Here is where there is a connection to today’s story.  Alma was Oneida’s cousin.  The great great grandmother was Josephine Rauh Ochs.  All of these were married in the 1885 church shown above.

These days, this church building is being preserved by the Concordia Historical Institute which is part of the Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod.  I actually wrote this post last night because today I am attending the Walther Roundtable, an annual event which features speakers who attempt to keep the legacy of Rev. C.F.W. Walther alive.  It is taking place at Concordia Historical Institute’s headquarters at Concordia Seminary in St. Louis.

I am thankful that this organization continues to make efforts to preserve the history of the Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod.  I am happy that they made it possible for this young couple to keep a tradition alive at what is now called Hill of Peace (which is what the name Friedenberg means).

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