In our museum, we have this wonderful account of the family history of John Christian Mueller, a tiler who brought his family to America as part of the Gesellschaft in 1838-1839. Much of the information in today’s post comes from this binder.
On Saturday, September 7, 1839, during the first year that the German Lutheran immigrants had settled in Perry County, Missouri, a group of these Lutherans gathered at the Wittenberg Landing for a wedding. Somewhere in this church record which can be found in the Trinity, Altenburg church books, it indicates that this wedding took place at the river.
The groom was a tailor by the name of Heinrich Markworth. He had traveled by himself to America aboard the Copernicus. The bride was the daughter of a tiler (maker of tiles and bricks) by the name of Fredericke Mueller, who made the voyage to America aboard the Republik. So if you’re thinking this couple may have fallen in love with each other on the way to America, that was not the case. A more likely scenario is that they had gotten to know each other better as they waited in St. Louis before eventually settling in Perry County.
Needless to say, as that first summer in Southeast Missouri was coming to a close and the new colonists eagerly awaited the cooler weather of autumn, this wedding took place. “Tiler” Mueller and his wife, Maria, probably made all the arrangements for this wedding since young Heinrich had no parents here in America. It was going to be Rev. Gotthold Loeber (Löber) who conducted this marriage ceremony. We see his name on this civil record of this wedding.
Here we have a photo of Heinrich and Fredericke Markworth, surely taken many years later.
The Markworth family had six children that lived to adulthood. What is remarkable is the fact that all of them either became full-time church workers, or were married to one. I will give a brief summary of each one.
Gottfried Markworth (1840-1919):
Gottfried attended Concordia Seminary and graduated in 1864. He was ordained by Rev. Johann F. Buenger at Danville, Illinois. He served a church in Wyandotte, Michigan from 1871-1886, and then moved on to serve a congregation in Jonesville, Indiana from 1887-1902. He had married Marie Brinkmeyer in St. Louis in 1864. It is likely that those two met when Gottfried was a student at Concordia Seminary. Gottfried died on the 55th anniversary of his ordianation, April 3, 1919, at the age of 79.
Christian Markworth (1843-1884):
The Mueller family book says Christian was born in St. Louis. Indeed, the Trinity Lutheran church books do not have a record of his birth, even though all her other siblings are included in the records of that church. I have no idea why this would have been the case. The family book also says he graduated from a school called St. Louis Practical in 1866. He became a Lutheran pastor and served several small churches in Wisconsin, including Almond, Amherst, and Fremont.
I am going to take a side trip to Watertown, Wisconsin. In the 1880 census for that city, we find that Christian’s parents, Heinrich and Friedericke Markworth, had moved to that location.
In 1884, Christian and his family, consisting of a wife and two children, were visiting their family in Watertown when Christian, was waiting with his two sisters at a railroad station to make the trip home. He simply slumped to the ground and passed away at the age of 42.
Maria Markworth (1844-1915):
In 1867, Maria married Conrad Damm, who had just graduated from Concordia Seminary and became a Lutheran pastor. He was ordained in Dryden, Minnesota, and then served a congregation in Bloomfield, Wisconsin. His next call was to Sand Prairie, Illinois (near Pekin and Peoria), where he served until 1892, when he resigned and moved his family to Florida.
Justine Amalia Markworth (1848-1874):
Justine married Rev. George Martin Schumm in St. Louis in 1867.
For some reason, the Mueller family book does not include Justine Amalia. According to some records on Ancestry.com, we find that Rev. Schumm was the son of a charter member of a Lutheran church in a town named after this family, Schumm, Ohio. That congregation, Zion Lutheran Church in Willshire, Ohio, is one of the charter members of the Missouri Synod. Sadly, Amalia only lived 26 years. She is buried in Zion’s cemetery. In this photo, we see Rev. Schumm and some of his brothers at the dedication of their new church in Ohio (Rev. Schumm was a pastor in Lafayette, Indiana at the time.)
David Markworth (1854-1903):
David Markworth studied at Addison Teachers College (later Concordia, River Forest) and became a Lutheran teacher. He graduated in 1874. His first call was to a Lutheran school in Little Rock, Arkansas where he became their very first teacher. He would later take a call to become a teacher in Sheboygan, Wisconsin. He would become that school’s principal and serve there until his death in 1903.
Christiane Markworth (1858-1939):
Christiane’s story was told in a previous post titled, Mrs. Rosenwinkel? Or Is It Mrs. Jahn?. She also was married to a pastor, Rev. Gustav Rosenwinkel.
If you delve into the future families of these Markworths, you will find plenty of other descendants who went on to serve the Lutheran church as pastors or teachers.
As for that tailor from Altenburg, after all his children were born, he enlisted to serve in the Civil War. Here is a record telling a little about his time fighting as a Union soldier.
It appears that this was a cavalry unit. I am a little surprised that a tailor who turned into a farmer would end up in the cavalry. Later in his life, as mentioned earlier, Henry and Friedericke would move to Wisconsin where some of his children lived and served. That would be where they would die.
The Markworth name just spent one generation in Perry County. When you see how this family went on to work for the church, it is understandable why that name is no longer around here. However, it can be found in so many other places around the country.