I found a birthday girl for November 13th. Upon first look, what I found in our German Family Tree was not much. All I found was a baptism record at Old Trinity Lutheran Church in St. Louis. The girl’s name was Mathilde Roemer. She was born in 1846, and her parents were Carl and Maria Christiane (Kalbfleisch) Roemer. Actually, this surname is another one that originally had an umlaut and no “e”, Römer.
Carl Roemer was one of the original immigrants who was part of the Gesellschaft. He came to America as a 22 year old single man who was a saddler. There was another Roemer family on the same ship, the Olbers, and the father of that family, Ernst August Ferdinand Roemer, was likely Carl’s brother (or half brother). At this point, I will note that I may have found another mistake in our German Family Tree. There is a baptism record for Maria Elizabeth Fischer in Altenburg that states that one of the sponsors is Frau Römer from St. Louis whose maiden name is Kalbfleisch. GFT uses this record to state that Ernst August Ferdinand’s wife had the maiden name Kalbfleisch. Some Ancestry.com trees say her maiden name was Mein. I think the Frau Römer in this baptism record was Carl Roemer’s wife.
The Kalbfleisch name comes from the New York Group. A few people with the name Kalbfleisch came to Perry County as part of that group in 1839. Many of these “New Yorkers” did not remain in Perry County very long. Most of them moved to St. Louis. Although I cannot fully nail this down, I believe Carl’s wife, even if she was not part of the New York Group, was likely a relative of them. We have these photos of Carl and Maria Chisitane Roemer.
This Roemer couple was married on June 8, 1841 at Old Trinity Lutheran Church. Here is their marriage record.
This must have been one of the first marriages performed at Old Trinity by Rev. C.F.W. Walther. He was still participating in the Altenburg Debate in Perry County in April of that year.
Carl Roemer continued being a saddler in St. Louis. According to the German Family Tree, he and Maria Christiane had eight children, but there were two more born after those records ended. Several of these children died early. Only seven of those children lived to be 20 years old, and even then, one of their girls died when she was 22. Two of the children were boys. One entered the lumber business in St. Louis, and the other became a miner in Montana. However, it is Mathilde and her other three sisters who lived full lives that got my attention today.
Mathilde married Carl Samuel Kleppisch on May 18, 1865 in St. Louis. Here is their marriage record.
The first record I could find that included Carl Samuel was his draft registration for the Civil War, which was probably filled out sometime around 1864.
On this form, we find out that he was a students at Concordia College in St. Louis, studying for the ministry. He did become a pastor, and after he married Mathilde, we find him serving a Lutheran church across the Mississippi River in Belleville, Illinois. On his Findagrave.com page, it says Rev. Kleppisch served congregations in Holstein, Missouri and Waterloo, Troy, and Belleville, Illinois, as well as being a professor at Concordia, Fort Wayne. Mathilde died in 1875 in Belleville at the age of 28. That left Pastor Kleppisch a widower with 4 children, ages 2-9. He would remarry Margaret Huxhold not long after Mathilde’s death, and there were 4 more children born to the family. This is a photo that is supposed to be Rev. Carl and Mathilde’s family, but I have my doubts. There are too many children. I think it is more likely a photo with his second wife, Margaret.
Here is Mathilde’s gravestone in the Concordia Lutheran Cemetery in St. Louis.
Rev. Kleppisch and his second wife are buried in the Concordia Cemetery in Forest Park, Illinois.
Agnes Roemer was another sibling of Mathilde. She was born in 1851. In 1870, she married Gustav Wangerin in St. Louis. Gustav was also a Lutheran minister. Pastor Wangerin spent several years serving near Effingham, Illinois, and later became the pastor at Immanuel Lutheran Church in downtown St. Louis. Here are photos of Agnes and Gustav.
Anna Roemer was born in 1861. She also managed to get married to a Lutheran pastor. His name was Rev. Traugott Thieme. These two were married in 1881 in St. Louis. Rev Thieme would serve congregations in Alabama and Indiana. I believe most of his career was spent in South Bend, Indiana. I do not have a photo of Pastor Thieme, but I do have one of Anna.
The last of the Roemer girls was Emma. She was born in 1867 and was the baby of the family. In 1886, she married Ernst Baese. You might have already guessed his occupation. Indeed, he was another Lutheran pastor. Rev. Baese spent time serving congregations in southern Wisconsin, and later in his life, he became pastor in Campbell Hill, Illinois. Here are photos of these two.
I also ran across this photo which shows both of them.
Upon reflection, I think having Concordia Seminary located in St. Louis led to a lot of Lutheran pastors’ wives being from that city. The saddler’s girls are evidence of the fact that seminary students were often in the business of looking for brides. Unfortunately, Grandma Roemer was probably sad that so many of her grandchildren were scattered all over the country where their fathers served their congregations.