Teacher Foelber

Two marriages are recorded in the Trinity Lutheran Church records for July 26, 1891.  I will focus most of this post’s attention on one of them, but the other one brings up some interesting questions.  That marriage is the one between Herman Foelber and Ida Bischoff.

The church record and the Missouri marriage license that document this marriage contain some interesting facts.  They say that Herman was a teacher from Snyder, Nebraska, and Ida was from Wittenberg. Here is the marriage license.

Foelber Bischoff marriage license
Foelber/Bischoff marriage license

The records certainly imply that Herman did not have his roots in Perry County, and Ida did.  However, the opposite is true.  Herman was baptized at Trinity Lutheran Church in Altenburg after being born on March 31, 1868.  Herman presented me some problems when looking for him in our German Family Tree.  He can be found in two places using two different spellings of his name.  He is found as both Herman Foelber and as Moritz Herman Felber.  Then when you look at the actual baptism record in the Trinity church books, it is spelled Fölber.

Herman Foelber birth record Trinity Altenburg
Herman Foelber birth record – Trinity, Altenburg, MO

Ida Bischoff, on the other hand, was not originally from Wittenberg.  Her obituary indicates that she was born in Minden, Illinois.  That may be the town of New Minden, where one of the charter member churches of the Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod is located.  Then in the 1880 census, we find the Bischoff family living in Freeburg, Illinois which is very near Belleville.  I do not know how she managed to get to Wittenberg by 1891.  This is one of those cases where this question might be answered if we had the 1890 Federal census available to us.

After their marriage, Herman continued to serve as the teacher at St. Peter’s Lutheran School in Snyder, Nebraska.  This place is not far from where several other Perry County natives would come to live later in the early 1900’s.  It was there that four children were born to that family, three boys and a girl.  The 1910 census still shows them in Nebraska.

Herman Foelber 1910 census Snyder NE
1910 census – Snyder, NE

This census also gives more credence to the fact that Herman was born in Missouri and Ida in Illinois.  Here is a photo of the Herman Foelber family.

EPSON scanner image
Herman Foelber family

Three years after the 1910 census, Herman took a call to St. Paul’s Lutheran School in Fort Wayne, Indiana.  He served there until he retired in 1941.  He was a school teacher for 52 years.

Ida died in 1954; Herman died in 1963.  They are buried together in Concordia Lutheran Cemetery in Fort Wayne, Indiana.  Here is their gravestone.

Herman Ida Foelber gravestone Ft. Wayne

I have found images of both of their obituaries.  First, here is Ida’s.

Ida Bischoff Foelber obituary

Here is Herman’s obituary.  He died at the age of 94.

Herman Foelber obituary

Herman had quite an impressive resumé.  Also, he and Ida’s children had impressive accomplishments.  Two sons, Elmer and Herbert, spent time as professors at Concordia College in Fort Wayne.  Another son, Eugene, was an investment banker.  The daughter, Concordia, traveled to India in 1923 to do some missionary work.

Now let me get back to that other marriage that took place on this day in 1891.  The groom in that wedding was Emanuel Fischer; the bride was Agnes Boehme.  It was Emanuel’s second marriage and Agnes’s first.  I do not know if these two marriages were conducted at the same time that day or even if they were conducted in the same church building.  I do know that it was a Sunday.  During those days, the Rev. Roesener would have been conducting Sunday services in Altenburg, and on some Sundays, would also conduct services at the church/school in Wittenberg.  It was before the Wittenberg congregation was officially formed.  Maybe one wedding took place in Altenburg and one in Wittenberg.

There are some interesting sidelights to the Foelber story.  Some of them are puzzling.

  • One of the Foelber sons, Herbert, married a Roesener.  I did not take the time to see if she was related to the pastor in Altenburg, but I know she was not a daughter.
  • A few interesting things show up in the Trinity church records concerning these two weddings.  Here is an image of those records.

Herman Foelber wedding record Trinity Altenburg

  • Ida Bischoff is called Ida Fischer Bischoff in this record.  I could not find any reference anywhere else that would connect Ida’s life story with a Fischer.  I found no evidence that indicated that she was once married to a Fischer.
  • There was a Lehre (Teacher) Eduard Fischer who was a witness to Ida’s wedding.  I do not know who he is.  There was no Teacher Eduard Fischer at any school around Perry County.
  • There was also an Eduard Fischer who was a witness to the Fischer/Boehme wedding.  I do know who he is.  He was the brother of the groom, but he was not a teacher.
  • There was a George Bischoff who came to Perry County as part of the New York Group in 1839.  He was a shoemaker.  We find this recorded in Zion on the Mississippi.  I have this sneaking suspicion that this George was in Ida’s family somewhere, but I was unable to confirm it.  I do know that this George Bischoff became a member of Old Trinity Lutheran Church in St. Louis, and Ida’s father later became a member of that church and is buried in Concordia Cemetery.

George Bischoff New York Group

  • Teacher Foelber was teaching at St. Paul’s Lutheran School in Ft. Wayne in 1929 when a young new teacher showed up on the same staff.  His name was Rudolph Fischer.  He was the Rudolph Fischer who was not there very long when he died of an accidental drowning which was told in a previous post titled, Fischer Heartbreak.  Rudolph was the brother of the Emanuel Fischer who was the groom in the Fischer/Boehme wedding.
  • The Foelber family in Perry County must have moved away from this area.  We lose track of this family in any church records after Herman’s sister was married at Zion Lutheran Church in Pocahontas in 1898.  I have no idea where Herman’s parents are buried.

There are several unanswered questions raised in this post.  I am hoping that someone out there in the internet world might know some of the answers and would be willing to share that information with us.

6 thoughts on “Teacher Foelber

  1. My great-grandfather is Elmer Foelber, son of Herman. In the 1870 census of perry county MO, Moritz “Felber” listed 3 children which included Wiliam, age 2, whose name was changed to Herman Foelber. Elmer told my father that Herman’s name was actually William Felber, which follows that the census shows. It is thought that the then wife of Moritz left and he was left with the children and they were taken in by Lutherans and the name Felber changed to Foelber. My grandparents are Harold and Anne Foelber, buried in Concordia cemetery in Ft. Wayne.


    1. Hi Ruth, You and I are cousins, removed a few generations. My grandfather is Herbert J. Foelber, son of Herman Foelber, and brother to Elmer. My father is Herbert L. Foelber. I’ve been doing genealogy and DNA work on our family on-and-off for years now. Please feel free to reach out to me if you are interested. Rebecca (Becky) Foelber Phillpott – becky @phillpott.net

      Also – for the author Mr. Schmidt, my grandmother Marie Roesener, married to Herbert Jacob Foelber is not related to the pastor in Altenburg, at least not directly. Her father lived in Indianapolis, Indiana.


  2. Dear Mr. Schmidt, thank you for this fascinating and interesting information. Herman & Ida Foelber are my great-grandparents, their son Herbert L. is my grandfather. I have some additional information. This information helps but there is still considerable mystery with the Folber, Felber, Foelber’s. I have applied for an account with Zion roots.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s