Mary and Joseph’s Daughter

Mary and Joseph had a baby around Christmas time.  But it’s not the one you may think.  This one was a daughter, and her name was Martha.  Her parents were Joseph and Mary (Bretscher) Weinhold of Wittenberg.  Mary and Joseph not only had this daughter, but all eight of their children were girls.  I have written several posts about this family, but one in particular may provide the most background for this story.  It was titled, Surrounded by Good Lookin’ Women.

Martha Emma Weinhold was born on December 28, 1878 in Wittenberg, Missouri.  Her baptism record is included in the Trinity Lutheran, Altenburg church books.  There seems to be a dispute among people on about her birthday.  Many say she was born on December 8, not December 28.  Here is her baptism record which should solve this problem.

Martha Weinhold baptism record Trinity
Martha Weinhold baptism record – Trinity, Altenburg, MO

You have to be careful with the name Martha Weinhold because there was another one born in Frohna in 1881.  She was Martha Sarah Weinhold, who married Paul Lueders and was the mother of Meta Petzoldt who was the subject of a recent post.  The two Martha’s would have been cousins, and Paul Lueders just so happens to be involved in today’s story too.

Here is a photo taken in 1913 at the Golden Anniversary of Joseph and Mary Weinhold.  When that event occurred, the family must have contracted Paul Lueders to take the photos.  He had a photography studio in Frohna.  Several of the photos in today’s post were taken in 1913 when the family was in town for these festivities.

Joseph Weinhold family 1913 Golden Anniversary
Joseph Weinhold family

Martha is standing in the back row on the right.  As was pointed out in the previous post, Martha’s father was known for inviting seminary students to his house during holidays when these young men could not travel home to visit families.  I think one of those seminarians who was hosted by the Weinholds was Theodore Stephanus Keyl, the grandson of the first pastor in Frohna.  There also had been an uncle of Theodore, E.D. Keyl, who had previously been a teacher at the Lutheran school in Wittenberg.

E.D. Keyl Wittenberg Teacher

On July 28, 1898, Theodore married Martha.  They were likely married in the church/school building located in Wittenberg.  Here is their marriage license.

Keyl Weinhold marriage license
Keyl/Weinhold marriage license

You have to look really closely, but it says that Theodore was from Newfane, New York, which is near Niagara Falls.  He was a pastor there.  Here is a photo of Concordia Lutheran Church in Newfane.

Concordia Lutheran Church Newfane NY
Concordia Lutheran Church, Newfane, NY

Theodore was the son of Stephanus and Magdalena Keyl.  Theodore’s parents were actually first cousins of one another.  Stephanus was the son of Rev. E.G. Keyl, the first pastor of Concordia, Frohna, who was married to Rev. C.F.W. Walther’s sister.  Magdalena was the daughter of Rev. Walther, therefore Theodore Keyl was the grandson of both Pastor Keyl and Pastor Walther.  Here are photos of Theodore’s parents.

I do not have a wedding photo of Theodore and Martha, but I do have a photo of Martha which was taken when she was relatively young.

Martha Weinhold Keyl
Martha Weinhold Keyl

Two years after their marriage, the Keyls were living in Erie, Pennsylvania, not really that far from their previous home in New York.  Sometime around 1907, the Keyls had a family photo taken showing three of their four children.

Theodore Keyl family 1907

Theodore reminds me a little of the current President of the LCMS, Matthew Harrison, in this photo.

The 1910 census finds the Keyls living in Plymouth, Massachusetts.  While there, he was involved in the operation of the Lutheran orphanage in Boston.  I find it interesting that at the same time, another grandson of an original Perry County pastor, Rev. Paul Loeber, was also involved in that orphanage.  So once again, a Rev. Loeber and a Rev. Keyl were serving in nearby congregations, just like their grandfathers had done in Perry County.

In 1913, the Keyls returned to Wittenberg for the Weinhold 50th Wedding Anniversary and like all the rest of the family, they had their family photo done by Paul Lueders.  Here is that photo.

Theodore Keyl family 1913

When that reunion took place in 1913, a document was produced that showed all the Weinhold children and grandchildren.  Here is an image of that document.

Joseph Weinhold grandchildren 1913

In 1918, when Theodore filled out his World War I draft registration, it indicates the family was then living in Newark, New Jersey where Theodore was the pastor of St. Matthew’s Lutheran Church.


Here is a photograph of that church in New Jersey.  Pastor Keyl served there from 1915-1940, and then it closed.

St. Matthew's Lutheran Church Newark NJ

There seems to be some dispute also about Martha’s death.  Several family trees on say she died in 1918.  However, in this 1920 census, we find Martha.

Theodore Keyl 1920 census Newark NJ
1920 census – Newark, NJ

I am guessing Martha died at about the time this census was taken, because Theodore is reported to have married again in 1921.  His second wife was Louise Ritzel.  It appears that Louise gave birth to one more child.

Pastor Keyl died in 1949 and is buried in the Evergreen Cemetery in Hillside, New Jersey.  There is no image of his gravestone on nor could I find where Martha Keyl was buried.

Martha spent her early days in Perry County, but most of her life was spent in several Eastern states.  She probably did not have too many opportunities to return to her home town of Wittenberg.  Her parents died in 1919 and 1920, so it is possible she could have come back for their funerals.  Grandma Weinhold must have cherished the few times she got to spend with the Keyl grandchildren.




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