As I worked my way through our German Family Tree looking for an event that took place on August 15th, I ran across the birthday of Joachim Martin Steffens. He was born on August 15, 1882. One of the first things I noticed was that not only did he marry a woman by the name of Korte, but his brother did also. And it did turn out that two brothers married two sisters. It is the kind of story that attracts my attention for a blog post.
It was not long though before I became quite confused. I became snookered when I started looking at the Korte family that were members at Salem Lutheran Church in Farrar, Missouri, and I managed to get that family mixed up with another family at that church by the name of Cordes. The parents in both of these families were named Heinrich and Margaretha. Both families also had an Anna and a Margaretha as daughters. The years of these two daughters’ births were pretty close to one another also. Add to that the fact that Heinrich Korte was married to Margaretha Cordes. It took me a little while before I got everything straight in my head.
First, let’s take a look at Martin’s brother, Heinrich Mangels Steffens. He was the first of the Steffens brothers to get married. Mangels was born on February 11, 1870. His parents were Michael and Hedwig (Katt) Steffens. Michael had come to America in the 1860’s and was a farmer in the Farrar neighborhood. We can see his land on this 1915 map, shown by the red arrow.
Mangels married Margaretha Korte on October 24, 1895. Both the Steffens and the Korte families were members at Salem Lutheran Church, so it only makes sense that they were married there. Here is their marriage license.
We have this photo of their wedding.
It is believed that this photo of the Korte family was also taken at the time of this wedding.
Mangels and Margaretha are wearing the same clothing, and the photographic studio is the same. Even the chair you see in both photos is the same.
In this photo, you also see Margaretha’s little sister, Anna. She would have just turned 15 years old a few weeks before this wedding took place. It would be ten years later that she would marry Mangels’ little brother, Martin. Mangels was the oldest of the Steffens children, and Martin was the youngest. Martin and Anna were married at Salem Lutheran Church on November 9, 1905. Here is their marriage license.
We also have the wedding photo for this couple.
I will just add that, even though these men did not button their jackets, they both look like they could have been wearing jackets that could have just been buttoned at the top and have the same basic style as the ones discussed a few days ago.
Both of these Steffens men were farmers. In the map above, the orange arrow points to a piece of property with the name M. Steffens. According to my calculations, that would have been the Mangels Steffens property. In the 1910 census, we see Martin and Anna Steffens living with the Korte parents. That would probably be the property shown on the map by the blue arrow.
The younger Steffens brother was the first to die. Martin died in 1928 of tuberculosis. Here is his death certificate.
Both Steffens boys and both Korte girls are buried in the Salem Lutheran Cemetery in Farrar.
Later this week, our museum will be visited by Dale Kirmse, who is connected to the Cordes family. He is coming all the way from Florida to visit us and see the eclipse. He is a marvelous researcher, and I am looking forward to talking with him about whether I got this Korte/Cordes confusion properly sorted out.