The Bottoms Church

Today’s story starts in Friedheim, Missouri, but does not end there.  We start with the birth of Emma Wehmueller, the daughter of Louis (Ludwig) and Mary (Ochs) Wehmueller.  Here is a portrait of these two parents.

Louis and Maria Wehmueller

Little Emma was born on August 1, 1895 and was baptized at Trinity Lutheran Church in Friedheim by Rev. F. Meyr.  We now have the Friedheim records here at our museum, so here is an image of this baptism record.

Emma Wehmueller baptism record Trinity Friedheim
Emma Wehmueller baptism record – Trinity, Friedheim

About the turn of the twentieth century, Louis moved his family to the bottomlands of the Mississippi River at a place called Point Rest, Missouri.  Here is a 1915 map that shows where Point Rest is located in Perry County.

Point Rest map 1915

When their daughter, Stella Wehmueller, was born in September of 1900, it is recorded that she was born in Point Rest, but baptized in Friedheim.  These two places were about 22 miles apart.  Edna Wehmueller, who was born in 1905, was the first of their children to be baptized at Trinity Lutheran Church in Point Rest, Missouri.  This map shows where the Wehmueller land was located on a land map produced in 1915.  The red arrow points to their property.

Point Rest map enlarged 1915

The green arrow point to the location of Trinity Lutheran Church.

Next, we must talk about the Wichern family.  A while back, a story was written about Daniel Wichern titled, Holschen’s Landing.  One of Daniel’s sons was Wilhelm Wichern, who was born in 1889.  In this photo we see a young Wilhelm in the front on the left.

Daniel Wichern family 2

Wilhelm ended up in Point Rest, and you can see that the orange arrow above points to a small piece of property that belonged to him in 1915.  It was in that year, 1915, that Wilhelm married Emma Wehmueller at Trinity Lutheran Church in Point Rest.  Here is a wedding photo for Wilhelm and Emma.

Wichern Wehmueller wedding
Wichern/Wehmueller wedding

Over the years, Wilhelm was a farmer in Point Rest.  However, when he filled out his World War II draft form, he identified himself as being self-employed at a farm implement company in Perryville.  Yet it also shows he is still living in Point Rest.


This company is said to have been a John Deere dealership.  This mug shows the company name.

Wichern Tractor Co mug

Wilhelm and Emma had six children.  Here is a family photo.

Wilhelm Wichern family

Wilhelm died in 1969; Emma died in 1971.  They are buried together in the Immanuel Lutheran Cemetery in Perryville.  Here is their gravestone.

William and Emma Wichern gravestone Immanuel Perryville

Trinity Lutheran Church in Point Rest began in the fall of 1900 with them getting both a pastor and a church building.

Point Rest church
Trinity Lutheran Church – Point Rest, MO

It continued to function separately until 1944, when it joined Zion Lutheran Church in Crosstown.  You find several Wicherns and Wehmuellers in this church’s records.  Floods became the downfall of this church.  A breach in the levee in 1943 was the primary cause for the demise of the bottoms church.


4 thoughts on “The Bottoms Church

  1. Louis (Ludwig) was my great-grandfather, August ( Emma’s older brother) was my grandfather. My father was Wilbert and I can remember him talking about and uncle and cousins that owned and operated the John Deere dealer in Perryville. This was very well written and accurate. I am so glad I found it.


    1. From “The Heart of Missouri” (History of the Western (now Missouri) District of the LCMS:
      H H Norden 1900-1919 Also served Zion, Crosstown 1901-1912
      A. Schultz 1919-1923
      A H Fuhr 1924-1927 Also served Zion, Crosstown 1924-1927
      M A Gehrt 1928-1936
      E F Bergmann 1936-1942
      A M Bruss 1942-1944 Also served Zion, Crosstown 1932-1950


Leave a Reply

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

You are commenting using your 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